Fairy Tail may not delve into themes as deep as identity and existentialism or analysis the philosophy of freedom and responsibility against the constructs of religion and society and it may not challenge the darker themes it does begin to voyage into but what Fairy Tail does have is heart, and a lot of it. It’s emotionally powerful scenes drive the story, the character development and the characters themselves. The encouraging touch of its embrace resonances deep within the reader, inspiring connections with the characters alive in its story and struggling through its world to be formed. And central to that evocation is the heart of the story; the guild Fairy Tail.
The heart is a miraculous existence that allows us to connect to others, to share our emotions with them and to have emotions shared with us. And yet, along with the joy it is able to conjure, the shadows of its rhythm also awakens a darker beat of love. A realm of negativity in which the echoes of optimism and bonds of relation can be submerged and lost within. Such concepts are the navigating expressions embodying the adventures and journeys within Fairy Tail. Characters lose themselves within their pain, torment and heart yet through their shared connection with others, they are able to accept the debilitating thoughts within their mind and embrace the warmth of their imperfections.
As is with life, there is a darker side of your mind that you can become absorbed within. What Fairy Tail has helped achieve through its moving and inspiring content, at least with me, is the ability to empower a languishing mind with its magic of love, joy and humour. As simple as it sounds, Fairy Tail is able to calm the heart and reach deep within the layers of the individual, through the darkness and passed walls of doubt to animate feelings of delight, happiness and wonder. Like the sun shining through after a storm, the warmth Fairy Tail represents is a comforting one. For myself, I have long since considered Fairy Tail to be very therapeutic.
It is saddening that my journey with the main Fairy Tail story is over but how grateful I am to have experienced it in the first place. The adventures, the characters, the humour, the tears, the love, the magic. I have been apprehensive about ending it which is why it took me three and a half years after it ended to finally get around to finish reading the remaining chapters I had not read (after rereading the prior 527 chapters). It is a bad habit of mine in how I can’t bring myself to finish stories I know are ending as the act of doing so creates the reality of finality. Having the end left unfinished creates the illusion within my mind that the adventure is still ongoing and allows for that very end to remain a mystery for my psyche. But that is entirely a truth to mislead myself. There is nothing wrong with journeys you love ending. That is part of the adventure. A valuable and worthwhile aspect of it. I just have to accept it.
Even through the little issues I have with Fairy Tail, I have been able to look passed it and I have come to love Fairy Tail immensely. But if there were two parts of Fairy Tail that I would have preferred to have been addressed again in the conclusion of Fairy Tail, it is the fates Ultear and Irene. Their stories were incredibly tragic and even though initially portrayed as antagonist, we had come to find out how broken they were by the hands of circumstance. The evils they committed were unforgivable but deep down when the shell of their madness was pierced, there resided a vulnerable heart capable of good. They were victims of misfortune who only wanted to be loved but the darkness of humanity twisted their nature and covered their hearts in pain, anguish and loss. In the end, it didn’t seem fair. Despite their efforts and desires to help the world, the world only allowed them a momentary relief from their life of suffering before casting them aside. Ultear’s time was lost. And Irene’s love twisted.
When it came to Ultear, her story had affected me deeply. Her pain and desire for atonement resonated within me. Her struggles to accept herself, her feelings of remorse, her sacrifice as she gradually revealed more about her demons, I found myself taken in by her humanity and made vulnerable by her true emotions. Her farewell at the end of the Grand Magic Games Arc was heartbreaking. Only at the end of her ‘time’ was she finally able to attain that which she so desperately fought and lived for. I wanted Ultear to be happy, to share that happiness with her friends. I didn’t want her end to be one filled with tragedy.
And likewise with Irene; she didn’t get the chance to get to know Erza, to spend quality time together with her and to be a parent to her daughter. I would have loved for Irene to live a life filled with happiness and to have the opportunity to make amends for the bad things she had done while in a state of pain and confusion. I didn’t want the tragedy and sorrow to define Irene’s character but instead help open the door to a future she could have.
I was hoping that with the final battle taking place within the space between time, Ultear would make an appearance. And with Irene ending her life with Erza’s blade, she could enchant it to imbue Erza’s blade with the essence of her spirit so to have a part of her remain close to her daughter. None of that happened but at the same time it didn’t not happen. Ultear’s time was locked in the space between time yet after the battle against Acnologia when Natsu and Co. escape, that space cracked opened. Could Ultear’s time not have also found its way back to Ultear? I would like to think so. And with Irene, maybe she did find a way to enchant the essence of herself in Erza’s blade. I would also like to think that happened. The scarlet bond Erza and Irene share, even if one-sided, it is the bond that saved Irene in the end. If Makarov can be revived and if Mavis and Zeref can be reborn, maybe anything is possible.
At the end of it all, with an era over, a new adventure begins. The Fairy Tail team embarks on the Century Quest and to find Aquarius’s Celestial Key. And once again, we are reminded of the curious questions beckoning an eternal mystery and an eternal adventure – do fairies have tails? And do fairies even exist? For me, I would like to think so. But regardless of the answer, the feelings attached to the efforts one makes are what is most important.
Fairy Tail is a manga that opened my heart, reached deep inside and embraced it with its endearing and inspiring nature. I can’t help but love it. The essence of its warmth has a way of connecting the reader’s hearts with the characters in the story and because of that I always find myself smiling after the experience. Thank you for taking the time and effort in creating this beautiful series Hiro Mashima. Thank you.
Enjoyment level: 10 Fairies/10 Fairies