These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Zeref. Was he once a Jerk Ass before something changed him into the meek person he is today? Does he have a Super-Powered Evil Side that forced him to do it or did The Black Dragon, Acnologia, make him do these things while Zeref was powerless to resist?
Is Natsu really the Idiot Hero who only fights, eats, sleeps, and annoys his guildmates, or is he a Stepford Smiler with abandonment issues who only willingly shows glee or burning rage? The scene in chapter 338 where he arrives at the banquet after having stolen the King's crown was very over-the-top, even for Natsu, and he had experienced a great deal of trauma during the Eclipse arc.
Brain seemed to be this due to his quick, no-effort, loss to Jura, but then subverts it when his other personality, Zero, is released.
Midnight in the Key of the Starry Skies filler arc wasn't all that impressive in his fight against Natsu, and he turned out to be much easier to defeat after giving Erza and Jellal a rough time in a one on two battle during his previous canon arc. A battle of which wasn't even a boss fight.
All throughout the Grand Magic Games, Fairy Tail's opponents received a lot of hype...only to get utterly annihilated at some point. Some notable examples are:
Team Raven Tail: Ivan Dreyar is effortlessly curb-stomped by Laxus right after he takes out his elites a few moments earlier, all by himself and without breaking a sweat.
Sting and Rogue: They went Dragon Force. Yet still, they were beaten by Natsu alone without even having to resort to using Lightning Fire Dragon Mode! Sting falls into this category again on the final day; giving up entirely before throwing even a single punch right after being given the "Are-You-Sure-You-Wanna-Fuck-With-Us" stare by the bruised and battered Team Fairy Tail.
Bacchus: He is stated to be on equal footing with Erza, only to become the punching-bag to the other contestants after Quatro Cerberus became the laughing stock of the Grand Magic Games.
Kagura: She FINALLY pulls out Archenemy, her cursed sword that has been talked about throughout the Grand Magic Games...only to end up losing almost instantly a few moments later.
Orga: Built up to be Laxus' rival...Jura OHKOs him.
Future Rogue for the Grand Magic Games finale. His characterization left a lot to be desired as someone who was capable enough to manipulate the public into summoning seven dragons from the past to wreak havoc in the present timeline.
Seilah. After having reduced Elfman to Inelegant Blubbering, destroying the Fairy Tail guild hall in an absolutely masterfully executed way that only failed due to Cana being a Spanner in the Works, and then spending her entire fight against Mirajane absolutely mopping the floor with her while hardly taking a scratch herself... she finally loses when Mirajane uses Seilah's own curse to call Elfman to pull a Dynamic Entry, effectively ending the fight with one punch. See Ass Pull below for why this particular way of ending the fight only makes it worse.
Silver. He's built up as being capable of using Ice Devil Slaying Magic, was responsible for freezing a whole village including a Dragon's Spirit, and he curbstomped Natsu with one finger. When Gray fights him, he does show some cool skills, but Gray takes him down only three chapters after they met.....using a steel ball.
To some the Edolas arc was one. It starts off with interesting ideas, but to many it fails to keep those new ideas going and quickly becomes as typical as the other arcs. To elaborate more, it's one of the longest arcs in the series and divided into two like the S-Class Trial arc meaning it's one of the longest story arcs in the series.
The rescue portion of the Grand Magic Games arc to get Lucy out of the castle gets criticized for this. Hardly anyone took the Executioners as a serious threat for Natsu and company, and was described as nothing but stalling to make sure that the rescue continued alongside the final event of the Magic Games.
Ass Pull: Mashima has never been one for planning ahead plot-wise. There's no way to tell for sure, but many of the Ass Pull developments or twists so far could have been skillfully covered-up. The more obvious ones being:
The X-Balls. What a convenient way for everyone to get their magic back in Edolas! Even worse when Lucy totally forgot she had one herself before coming to Edolas.
The Second Origin, a.k.a. a conveniently easy way for Team Natsu to quickly power up in the span of one chapter, but bear in mind that this comes after an unexpected trolling from Mashima's writing by suddenly wiping out the 3 months of training Team Natsu would of had due to time in the Celestial Spirit World apparently being a lot slower then the real world; the one day they spent in the Celestial Spirit World partying ended up being 3 months in real time (This right here is more of an Ass Pull then the Second Origin example). Team Natsu would of spent those 3 months training to most likely unlock Second Origin anyway. Mashima just chose to get to the end result quicker without the cliche training montage.
Natsu has been known to turn around battles in his favor through some form of Ass Pull. The prime examples being:
Defeating Zancrow by somehow shutting off his fire-magic completely which, for some odd reason, allows him to eat Zancrow's god-flames that he had been unable to eat beforehand.
Jellal using the Flame of Rebuke technique to power up Natsu in his fight against Zero, allowing him to awaken Dragon Force. However, it should be noted that Jellal was already established as capable of using Fire Magic when he was casting Abyss Break, which requires the mage casting it to know the four basic elemental magics (Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth).
The fight against Hades where he is apparently able to absorb Laxus' Lightning Magic to get an instant Power-Up. Somewhat justified however considering that Natsu consuming Etherion (Which is not only fire, but many elements combined) as an excuse for this. Erza even comments on it shortly after Natsu consumes Laxus' lightning. Though some could say that eating Etherion was the original Ass Pull, and the Lightning Power-Up was just an add-on to it.
Erza's fights starting with Azuma have been following a common formula; get beaten to hell throughout her fight, then create an Ass Pull to end the fight instantly.
Her fight with Azuma was due to the oddity of Erza somehow hearing Jellal's voice from his jail cell miles away from Tenrou Island to get her senses back after multiple beat-downs, and the fact that no one was amused by the idea of the "souls" of her friends pushing her forward to pull off a OHKO sword swing against an enemy that had barely taken any damage what-so-ever beforehand.
With Kagura, it was an example of Hype Backlash. Throughout the Grand Magic Games, her sheathed sword was hyped up to be the most badass, unbeatable sword ever, yet once that sword was finally pulled out... Erza ends up blocking it with her standard magic sword!
With Minerva, it turns out that unlike the rest of the characters who received Ultear's Second Origin, it is suddenly brought to light that it works as an instant Power-Up that can be activated at any time, and that Erza supposedly never had it activated like the rest of the group until finally bringing it out against Minerva... this coming after being absolutely demolished in her previous fight against Kagura just moments prior. She then uses this to her advantage to bring out a never-before-seen armor to quickly defeat Minerva in almost no effort.
In a similar manner to Natsu's Ass PullPower-Up against Hades, Gajeel turns out to suddenly be able to eat Shadow Magic to completely turn the battle around against a possessed Rogue (aka Shadow); gaining an instant Power-Up of his own. Somewhat justified however considering that by the time Gajeel did this, Natsu had already made it a well established fact that dragon slayers could, if they so chose, manage to take on a second element.
Mirajane's fight against Seilah ends in a way that immediately drew comparisons to Erza's similar Ass Pull against Azuma: Insert flashback, receive Nakama Power. What makes this example even more egregious, however, is the fact that literally one chapter before, it was established that Mirajane can't use Take-Over on Seilah. Guess what she does the very next chapter after this precedent was set? Yep, you guessed it, somehow managed to use Seilah's Macro to call Elfman to pull a Dynamic Entry and save her.
Author's Saving Throw: Despite a few rough patches, the Tartarus arc is shaping to be this. To elaborate:
Natsu gets beaten by Silver and takes a smaller role for a few chapters to let other characters have the focus.
Lucy and Wendy get a Day In The Lime Light, both involving a badass fight where they win against a much stronger opponent, completely on their own.
Jellal trying to recruit the Oracion Seis, all of which are rather popular in the fanbase.
Laxus not being as active due to a Game-Breaking Injury, which gives more screen time to the others and helped stopped him from coming across as a God-Mode Sue.
The HSQ of Silver being Deliora being the topping in what is considered one of the series biggest twists.
Minerva is usually accused to have suffered from this by the time of her reintroduction during the Sun Village arc. What started off as a fun, despicable, JerkassAnti-Hero during the Grand Magic Games arc, has resorted to joining a Dark Guild for, among other things, the purpose of getting revenge on Erza for humiliating her during their tournament duel. The humiliation was bad enough, but by joining a Dark Guild with vague motivations at best, it ended up destroying what previously made her an interesting character.
Chapter 388 Possibly made this worse. Fans (for the most part) seem fine with Minerva's past, but think that her character wasn't explored enough to make her sudden change from revenge obsessed to self-loathing for being weak enough to fall to darkness convincing. As a result fans seem to think the character lost everything that made her a interesting as a character to begin with. There's also Mashima's tendency to always redeem or give a Freudian Excuse to the evil femalecharacters. There's also the fact that Erza beat her with just her fists when she had to Ass Pull an invincible armor during the GMG, after Minerva had supposedly gotten stronger from demonization, while Erza should have been worn down from several chapters of torture and fighting Kyouka.
Name almost any character from a Dark Guild and you'll have people making this claim about them due to never living up to the Badasshype Mashima develops for them at the start of their story arcs.
Whenever Fairy Tail goes to war. Back in the Phantom Lord arc, the minute Makarov decides to go to war with Phantom Lord was instantly recognized as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. The problem is that this has happened in pretty much every single arc since then, making it so common and such a staple that when Natsu said Fairy Tail was going to war in the Tartarus arc, many said it was not even interesting anymore because the novelty has worn off a long time ago.
Jellal. Fans typically either like Jellal's development through the series, or dislike how he's essentially a Spotlight-Stealing Squad who makes Erza look like a Satellite Character whenever he's around. There's also a middle ground who considers him a great addition to the series, but one who's overstayed his welcome.
Americans Hate Tingle: Seems to be a staple of the English-speaking fanbase—he's incredibly popular in Japan and China.
Laxus started off as a clear-cut Base Breaker where on one side, people disliked him for being a Jerkass to the Fairy Tail guild, particularly when he stayed out of the guild war against Phantom Troupe. The other side loved him for it, seeing him instead as a Badass for being the only non-friendly guild member at the time. He then entered Ensemble Darkhorse territory after his Fighting Festival arc where he dropped the Jerkass facade but kept the Badass aura. However, he enters Base Breaker territory later on again for the same problems Erza's been suffering from lately due to his quick victories over Team Raven Tail and Jura in the Grand Magic Games.
Lyon. Despite gaining a lot of respect amongst the fanbase for his Heel-Face Turn after the events of the Deliora arc, some now find him a tad irritating due to creating pointless drama from forcing his way into an odd Love Triangle between him, Gray and Juvia.
Cana, after she knocks out and abandons Lucy in the S-Class Trial because she is so eager to win. It should be noted that Lucy was the sole reason why Cana came as far as she did in the test, and was her partner, to boot, which excluded her from being an actual exam candidate. Some think that she redeemed herself when she obtained Fairy Glitter and protected Lucy, Natsu and Wendy against Bluenote with it, while others think that this isn't nearly enough to make up for what she did.
Consequently, even people who forgave her for this action find her scolding of Elfman in Chapter 368 for simply returning to the guild after Lisanna is captured hypocritical, even though Elfman is lying and he hadn't intended to just come back.
Natsu is often seen as a generic Shōnen hero who makes tiresome friendship speeches, rarely loses a fight and always relies on an Ass Pull to win. His fights with Zero, Zancrow and Hades are the prime examples.
Lucy's a relatively ordinary girl in a magic world who many view as being unable to take care of herself properly; the fact that she's effectively reduced to a Muggle when her Celestial Keys are swiped from her doesn't help (it has happened on more then one occasion), even if she's already demonstrated to be able to hold on her own without them, especially after getting her Fleuve d'Etoiles - although she did receive at least two brutal beatdowns from more competent foes when not in possession of them. As a result of her (perceived) lackluster competence, her status as the de facto main character doesn't sit well with some fans. They claim she has too much of the plot revolving around her, and consequently takes in the spotlight far longer than some can handle. Her supporters enjoy how she's one of the few mainstream Shonen manga heroines whom people can confidently say is the main character. Her eccentricities as the Straight Man endears her to certain fans, as well, plenty of whom also appreciate her being Ms. Fanservice.
Erza, despite being all-around Badass who deliciously subverts the Straight Man (hence why she has fans), is now the subject of some pretty heavy backlash. Depending on your point of view, this reaches a peak at the end of the Grand Magic Games arc, where she suddenly blocks a sword that cut down an entire city, defeats said swordmaster despite being overpowered by Kagura when she had her sword sheathed, and brought up another last-second Ass Pull to overcome Minerva.
Gray is disliked by some who consider him The Generic Guy who exists mostly for fanservice, and for always being the downer in the Gray/Juvia shipping with the fans thinking that his disregard of her advances has gone on for far too long. On the flip side, he's liked by others who gravitate to the fanservice he provides, and has enough eccentricities to keep him fairly fleshed out to his supporters.
Wendy occasionally receives backlash for being seen as the tired, cliche, Token Mini-Moe of the core group. However, what separates her from other mini-moes seen throughout manga is the fact that Wendy can actually kick people's butts as good as anyone else seen in Fairy Tail. After Chapter 376, she can now officially be called anything but a typical Token Mini-Moe, and in the opinion of much of the fandom, has finally graduated to Little Miss Badass.
Believe it or not, Chapter 388 made, of all people, Minerva into this. While many people saw Jiemma's Abusive Dad tendencies from a mile awaynote His treatment of Sting, Rogue, and Yukino, along with Minerva seemingly not caring at all when he had a hole blasted through his chest, pretty much screamed that this was the case, the result of this coming out has left fans being unable to decide if this excuses Minvera's many crossings of the Moral Event Horizon, or if she's simply beyond redemption for her actions during the Grand Magic Games, and then running off to join not one, but two Dark Guilds after. A third faction believes that it's not necessarily a bad thing that she was given more backstory and was humanized a bit, but found the execution of her seemingly impending Heel-Face Turn to be hastily and therefore sloppily done, seeing that it took all of two pages of exposition and a subsequent Dynamic Entry from Sting and Rogue to happen.
Bizarro Episode: Fillers in the anime tends to be this when they're not stories from the manga. And sometimes when they are based off bonus stories from the manga.
The Time Skip is either considered the greatest plot twist Mashima has ever planned, or the most anticlimactic and blatant One Piece/Naruto/Bleach ripoff ever. Some were relieved over the fact that none of the characters had aged up, while some were clamoring for new character designs.
The Key of the Starry Sky filler arc in the anime. One side claims it's just filler material, not in the manga, and not worth considering. The other side points out that Mashima had a role in writing the story, and has referenced the arc within the manga.
The fan-service of the manga became this around the time of the Sun Village arc. Despite existing since the very beginning of Fairy Tail, some readers have started to note that the fan-service has really gotten out of hand to the point that its either deemed disgusting, or just downright insulting to the female public. For example:
This panel alone from Chapter 354 had almost everyone asking...why?
Chapter 355 receives some of the largest backlash for this, to the point that Hiro Mashima admitted on Twitter that he went too far with the fanservice. The focus was Team Natsu completely naked in a unisex hot spring. The fact that this was supposed to be story progression rather than a special made it worse. Worst of all was the lack of story progression considering that the plot was entering the Tartarus Arc; all we got was Walrod revealing to Team Natsu his membership in Fairy Tail that the readers had known for about a month, a song about The Power of Friendship (another element receiving heavy criticism), and minimal information about Tartarus that the next chapter proves mostly false (he states that they worship demons when they are demons and suggests that they possess E.N.D when it's the other way around with the demon as the Guild Master). Ironically, after these mentioned chapters, the fan-service was toned down...A LOT. It's still there, but its basically back down to the level of the fan-service seen from the early chapters of Fairy Tail. At least before...
Chapter 365; giving us multiple panels of a nude, shackled Erza being tortured by a member of Tartarus, with more than one full on shot of her buttocks, and a ridiculous amount of sweat running down her body once the torture starts. There's also a shot of a nude Mira covered in tentacles. Even though there is some exposition during this and scenes of Jellal fighting mixed in, most consider them very gratuitous. One could argue though, that the nudity itself is justified, as taking the prisoner's clothes off is standard for a traditional torture session, even if some angle choices during that scene don't. That they strip Natsu a few chapters later and state it's to degrade people helps support this. As for Mira's case, it would be really impractical to perform a demon transformation process with her clothes on, and it was already firmly established that it's part of Tartarus' protocol to remove the subject's clothes for that kind of procedure. Nevertheless, the feeling that Mashima was taking those opportunities to throw more blatant fanservice at us persist.
Chapters 383 and 384 sadly confirm that Mashima sees no problem in applying blatant fanservice to female characters, while they're being tortured, wounded or about to be killed. Many would argue that, along with Chapter 365, this is going beyond the Dude, Not Funny! trope straight into downright creepy territory. Though some may argue that was the author's intention.
Believe it or not, the Tartarus arc seems to be heading this direction. A good majority of fans feel that this arc saved the series after the lackluster Magic Games arc and entered Darker and Edgier territory. On the other side, you have fans that feel this arc isn't living up to the hype, because of Natsu's rather ''easy'' victory over Jackal, the obvious setup of Jellal being one of the 3 former council members to have the seal for FACE (a doomsday weapon), Natsu's more generic Shonen traits being Turned Up to Eleven, and too much reliance on shock factor. Time will tell if these thoughts will go away.
They are, for the most part, as of Chapter 371. Though some fans rolled their eyes at Jellal suddenly losing the 'key to face' and at 'Zero' having turned out to just be another one of Midnight's illusions, it should be noted that Jellal attempting to recruit Oración Seis into Crime Sorcičre, Hiro Mashima actually using a believable way for Fairy Tail to survive Seilah's Fantastic Nuke lacrima that wasn't just another Deus ex Machina, or worse, doing something like recycling Fairy Sphere, and the incredibly satisfying way Fairy Tail has finally started turning the table on Tartarus has alleviated quite a few of these concerns. Let's hope it stays this way.
You can almost see the standing ovation Mashima is getting from the fandom for allowing Wendy to finally have a chance to truly shine—on her own (okay, fine, Carla is with her)—for the first time since her fight with Chelia in the Grand Magic Games arc. To clarify, it's not Natsu, Erza, or even Lucy who gets to defuse Face; it's Wendy. And she has to go through Ezel to do it. She didnotdisappoint.
While everyone was happy to see it return, the Fairy Tail anime's new animation style has caused a major split between those who like the higher quality production values and the fact that it made sure to stick to the character designs, while the other half hates the new animation for looking so different (most cite the awkward Off Model nature of the faces) and the odd designs compared to the original anime.
Problems regarding her inconsistent Character Development aside, Minerva's "humanization" in Chapter 388 split the fanbase as to whether or not she is forgiven for all of her previous actions.
Chapters 392 and 393 caused a rather peculiar split as to how Mashima handled the Silver sub-plot to the point that fans can't seem to agree as to whether or not it would have made for a better story had Mashima just stayed with the original revealthat Deliora took over Silver's corpse instead of conjuring up a second reveal in these chapters that basically confirmed to the readers that the Deliora reveal was a lie, and that Silver was just a zombified Death Seeker that still loved his family dearly. Granted, there are those who are fine with the second reveal as they feel that the Crowning Moment of Heartwarming between Silver and Gray is a great payoff. As for the detractors, it enters They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot territory for the complete abandonment of the original reveal.
A very weird example. The minute Yukino said she had an older sister who was kidnapped by Zeref cultists, it didn't take long for fans to put two and two together and reach the conclusion that Yukino's sister, Sorano, was none other than Angel from Oración Seis. They have very similar physical appearances, they're both Celestial Spirit Mages, and they even dress in a similar way to one another. This was finally confirmed in Chapter 365.
Another odd example is Silver from Tartarus. The moment of his introduction, he was revealed to have ice powers, and is established to have a "connection" to Gray. Everyone was convinced that the man was his father, and sure enough, by Chapter 390, that was confirmed to be true. However...what DID surprise a larger portion of the fanbase was that Silver is in-fact dead, and is actually the demon, Deliora, having manifested itself in Silver's corpse to survive. There were some people that guessed this as well due to being a member of a guild that's comprised of nothing but demons, but it's a tiny fraction compared to how people saw the original reveal coming, but then, Silver is hit with a another reveal that basically brings it back to the first reveal due to the Deliora reveal turning out to be a lie. Ya...it's complicated.
Cargo Ship: Max x Broom. And Mashima himself seems to enjoy joking about it in manga,since most of Max's panels in the Tartaros arc has him holding said broom.
Crack Pairing: The Ship Tease for Freed/Mirajane and Evergreen/Elfman has caused some fans to want to round it out by pairing Bickslow with Lisanna.
In a bonus chapter, Natsu uproots an entire tree of flowers and promptly sends it to Lucy because she wanted to see it.
Bonus points in that he is completely oblivious to the fact it would be taken as a romantic gesture to most females. Good chances are, Natsu would instantly rise to No.1 on the "most desired bachelor mage" list on Sorcerer Weekly if word ever got out about the incident.
Before finding out the guy shared a backstory and friendship with Igneel, he intended to EAT Atlas Flame, a humongous fire dragon, and use that power up to kick Future!Rogue's ass. From what it looked like, one could believe his plan would have worked.
Jellal is this for Mashima who seems to always find a way to shoehorn into almost every story arc. Most fans will agree however that his jail-cell appearance during Erza's duel with Azuma was the worst of it since it partially contributed to Erza's Ass Pull in the fight. And then there's the whole "Key" fiasco during the Tartarus arc that just screams Mashima playing favorites; coming up with a convoluted switch-a-roo plot-device to get the Key that activates the F.A.C.E. super-weapon out of Jellal without having to kill him off as was originally told being the requirement.
Lisanna is this to the anime producers who have actually gone on record stating that she is their favorite character of the Fairy Tail lot, and have tried to give her some moments of anime-original screentime ever since her return from Edolas since Mashima has hardly given here anything to do since then. The first season or so of the anime very gratingly had her taking over literally any scene she was so much as mentioned in, even if there were more important things to focus on. In fact, about 95% of her involvement in Natsu's background development takes place only in the anime and she has maybe two or three panels in the manga before the Edolas arc. Her main focus in the manga has always been how what happened to her affected Mirajane and Elfman, her siblings, not Natsu or anybody else, and much of it is them slowly learning to let go of the past. Even now, so many chapters after her return, she is primarily only important when her older siblings either need some development or when one of them needs to become desperate enough to start kicking ass. In addition, the events of the Edolas arc were actually stalled by an entire episode thanks to an unnecessary flashback where a forest Vulcan randomly decides to marry her, despite her being only about eleven at the time. Thankfully, this all has been toned down quite a bit and she was successfully Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
They're joined by Azuma, the single most badass member of Grimoire Heart.
And let's not forget Mavis, the first Guild Master of Fairy Tail, who manages to be kind, cute, mysterious and hilarious at the same time, and badass enough to master and cast one of the most powerful protection spells in the Fairy Tail universe from beyond the grave, Fairy Sphere. On top of that she created and can probably cast Fairy Glitter and Fairy Law.
Wendy Marvell as well. Enough to be considered a main character.
Rogue, pretty much the only member of Sabertooth who isn't a MASSIVE DICK.note Yukino sorta counts, but her allegiance with Sabertooth is an odd case, and while Sting does get better later on, people see his character as a missed opportunity anyway for his failures throughout the tournament.
Silver, an Anti-Villain who's spawned a TON of Wild Mass Guessing, has an amusing personality, and a Badass capable of instantly freezing the spirit of a dragon MADE OF FLAMES and later Natsu, cutting off a rather obnoxious God-Mode Sue streak he had going on. Indeed, after The Reveal, his status only grew, despite the fact that not only was he Evil All Along, but Silver wasn't even his original name - it's Deliora. Many are calling it the single greatest plot twist in the last hundred or so chapters.
Once the anime began airing, Fairy Tail has quickly garnered comparisons with One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. If you're a fan of Fairy Tail in particular, you could see it as a good thing that Fairy Tail is considered right up there with the Big 3.
Debatable, but it is now perhaps turned up to eleven, particularly with Naruto as both of their movies came out at around the same time in the summer. And they're both being written by their respective authors.
Rusty Rose's Arc of Embodiment magic. Being able to pull off anything through sheer imagination.
Similar to Rusty Rose's magic, Rufus Lore gives us his Memory-Make magic which allows for him to copy anyones magic to use as his own as long as he sees it. He can even keep these copied spells stored for later use, allowing for Rufus to then bring them back to create unique combinations with said copied spells. This doesn't even include the fact that Memory-Make can memorize spells from text-books to use in the present. The only downside? If someone overloads on individual spells against him, the Memory-Make would fail to keep up to create counters for each of the attacks.
The choice of how many monsters to fight in one of the games in the Magic Tournament. The game has a house ("Pandemonium") with 100 monsters inside, whose strengths vary from scary (D class) to not-even-mentioned (S-Class). Each competitor picks the number that they want to fight at one time, but only gets 1 point per monster (regardless of class), and can't leave until either they or the monsters are dead. After no less than 6 pages spent laying all this out, answering contestant questions, and demonstrating how powerful the monsters are, Erza picks all of them. Even though she only needs 51 to win. When she's done, the other 7 competitors are reduced to punching a device to measure their power level. She lampshades this when she finds out she's going first by saying "with this, it's no longer a game."
Also during the Tournament we have Obra, who can empty a target's magic completely. The fact that it would work on someone like Laxus, shows just how Gamebreaking he is when used right.
Growing the Beard: The beginning of the Tartarus Arc has received overwhelmingly positive reception compared to previous chapters. However, certaineventsledtoaBase Break, which, thankfully, is being gradually restored as of late, at least to some degree. By Chapter 390, the sheer HSQ levels had reached levels the series hadn't seen since the Sirius Island Arc, and has gotten back into the good graces of fans despite the aforementioned rough patch.
Harsher in Hindsight: Very early in the series, Lucy brings up the Fridge Logic to Natsu about how Igneel, a dragon, would teach him magic that is designed specifically to kill such creatures. Fast forward to the Magic Games where they learn that is what the dragons had in mind to teach humans to battle the more carnivorous brethren, which unfortunately backfires and causes the humans to use it on the more humane dragons as well.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The 10th opening of the anime showing Zeref and Mavis side-by-side counts, as the manga hadn't even gotten to the point where it confirmed Zeref and Mavis has a deep connection at the time.
Jerkass Woobie: Sting ever since Chapter 300 due to Jiemma possibly killing Lector and Minerva manipulating his feelings under the promise he will get him back if they win. The guy just wants his cat back.
Minerva herself when all her heartless attempts to prove herself strong are revealed to stem from her father's abuse.
It's pretty much a well-established fact nowadays that everyone knows Lisanna was never truly dead. Especially since many people new to the Fairy Tail franchise joined in long after her return from Edolas when the anime adaptation came out of hiatus during the Grand Magic Games arc.
Laxus returning to the Fairy Tail guild post Sirius Island can be considered this as well for some new fans.
What was that? You thought Arcadios was not of this world anymore because he submerged, head-to-toe, into a POOL OF HOT LAVA? Don't worry. Turns out Lucy's silver key spirit, Horologium, was able to protect him!
The ending of Chapter 334. Nobody believed Mashima would actually randomly kill off Gray. Chapter 335 proved the fandom was right.
Chapter 368 and 369. Did you honestly believe that Mashima would kill off Jellal to a guild that's been in lock-up?
A very rare villainous example, especially for a Shōnen series, comes in the Tartarus Arc in the form of Marde Guille. While he does have his fans, the real reason few believed he was truly down and out when his curse was turned against him was because this would have not only meant he would never get a real fight against the protagonists (beyond that truly epic fight against the Celestial Spirit King), but it would have also meant that E.N.D. would never make his appearance, since his Book of Zeref would have been petrified as well. Never having that resolved, especially given E.N.D.'s apparent backstory with Igneel, would have been completely unacceptable to fans, and absolutely nobody thought Mashima was going to pull a What Happened to the Mouse? of that magnitude.
Post-Time Skip, Lucy initially came across as this, doing incredibly poorly in the Grand Magic Games and only getting chances to shine against characters who were effectively cannon fodder. Thankfully, this changes after chapter 379, where she proves instrumental in defeating Franmalth, and a few chapters down the line, takes several levels in badass by summoning three Celestial Spirits at once, as well as the the Celestial Spirit King, when she's the only member of the guild who is capable of acting, but it was still a long period of time where she was constantly losing or being humiliated.
Sting of Sabertooth is well-known for the amount of failure he accomplishes through the Grand Magic Games arc. From finishing last in chariot race, to losing to Natsu in a one-on-two fight where Natsu didn't even use 100% of his strength, to having his pet Exceed, Lector, taken away from him, and then, to top his losing streak off, he completely surrenders before even attempting to fight a single Fairy Tail member in the final match despite how Badass he thought he became after learning the values of friendship. It's amazing the guy didn't fall apart afterwards. It only gets worse in the Tartarus Arc, where he and Rogue fight Marde Guille, who has spent the entire fight Just Toying with Them and mocking them as the Puny Humans hes sees them as, all while No Selling every single thing they throw at him. Sting then demanded Marde fight them seriously. With his track record, Be Careful What You Wish For doesn't even begin to cover it.
"Nakama Punch" Explanation The end of a fight, particularly those that end in an Ass Pull, have been dubbed as this by the fans.
"It's all Sting's fault." Explanation Anything that goes wrong in the Magic Games arc usually involved him in some way. Even more so given it's his fault that Jiemma gets kicked out because he blasted a hole through him.
"Magic Games is the new Fishman Island." Explanation A joke amongst Fairy Tail fans due to both mangas enduring lackluster story arcs after their time-skips.
"Happy > Pell." Explanation Took the fanbase by storm almost instantly due to what occurs in the last couple of pages of Chapter 362.
"Explosion Afros!" Explanation Came about in the same case as the previous example where Happy gets caught up in Jackel's explosion... and all he has to show for it is his hair getting messed up in the form of an afro. But then chapter Chapter 378 comes around and everyone starts fussing that if Carla was going to tank F.A.C.E.'s explosion, she might as well have ended up with afro hair as well!
"Make a god-damn Hentai already!" Explanation With the quality of the fan-service Mashima pulls out nowadays, many question why he doesn't just create a Hentai that he clearly has all the necessary skills for.
"But Simon died!" Explanation Whenever someone makes a claim that no one ever dies in Fairy Tail, the first thing defenders will do is point to Erza's friend, Simon; making him a post humorous legend amongst the fanbase.
"Sakura haircut"Explanation Wendy's important haircut in Chapter 388 has led many people to draw comparisons to Sakura pulling the same routine.
"Darth Silver"Explanation For a majority of the fanbase, Silver's reveal to Gray was almost like reading a copy-and-paste of that infamous scene from Empire Strikes Back.
The vicious beat down that Minerva gave Lucy and while the rest of Sabertooth except Rogue all smile smugly at it. Sting even laughs.
Jiemma crosses it twice. The first is when he orders Yukino to strip in front of all of the Sabertooth members and erase her guild mark,and the second one, when he erases Lector for no reason other than he bore the Sabertooth mark on his body. Considering that the rest of the guild was shown smirking or smiling even during his previous antics, their expressions at this wanton cruelty might signal that Jiemma may have crossed the line even in the eyes of many of his subordinates.
Pretty much everything Minerva does is a candidate. The aforementioned beatdown of Lucy, blackmailing Sting with Lecter's well-being by promising to return Lecter only if Sabertooth wins, and more recently, taking Millianna as a hostage to provoke Erza and Kagura. It seems she is fond of escalating this to the point of audacity given she also stabs the latter In the Back while they were off guard for the point gain. The worst bit: Erza and Kagura were settling their differences and about to reconcile. Finally, she revealed that while Erza and Kagura were fighting, she tortured Millianna just For the Evulz, gloating about how pleasant her screams of pain were. It won't be long before Minerva finally pays for it. especially given that Erza is ungodly pissed and glaring daggers.
Future Rogue tops them all by trying to kill Lucy, killing Future Lucy in the process. This act instantly turns Natsu and company against him. He later tops himself when he reveals to Natsu that he killed Sting to absorb his powers.
Treasure hunter Hiroshi seems to have crossed it in Chapter 346, stating that a load of giants can die simply because they're not a valuable treasure.
Tartarus wasted absolutely no time in making a beeline straight for this. No less than three chapters into their arc, they mercilessly killed off possibly every single member of one of their vassal guilds except for Minerva, bombed the Magic Council's headquarters killing all but one of them, and then gassed an entire village/town and killed hundreds of innocent civilians and counting, and almost killed the Raijin Tribe in the process. Talk about Cerebus Syndrome!
Speaking of the member who destroyed the Magic Council, he manages to cross it and then do even worse when he threatens to kill a retired Magic Council member's granddaughter just to prove a point. And then tries to force Lucy into a Sadistic Choice in either having the the Magic Council member or a pregnant woman be killed. Thankfully, Natsu stops him.
Chapter 246: Hades' almost cartoony facial expressions as Natsu starts beating him up in Lighting-Flame Dragon Mode.
Chapter 315: Many saw the reveal that Kagura and Erza coming from the same village as a plot device to make Kagura psychologically unable to continue fighting Erza, especially after Erza easily blocked Kagura's highly touted sword, and it all seemed like a cheap stunt to make sure Erza won. Minerva stabbing Kagura was met with much praise simply because it brought the focus back on the tournament.
Chapter 322: Sting simply surrendering to Team Fairy Tail was supposed to show his Character Development as someone who recognized The Power of Friendship. The general fan reaction was the loss of what little of Sting's credibility remained and hammering the final nail into the coffin for the Grand Magic Games.
Chapter 365: Kyouka's Cold-Blooded Torture of Erza failed to qualify as Nightmare Fuel for many because Mashima took too much liberty in showing off Erza's naked body, instead coming off as thinly veiled Fanservice. The borderline waterfalls of sweat didn't help matters. Chapter 368 was more effective by keeping more of Erza's body obscured and using Electric Torture much more visually painful than the small cuts from earlier that relied on Erza's currently maximized sense of pain to function as torture at all.
Chapter 388: The chapter where fans are supposed to finally turn a new leaf regarding how people should feel towards Minerva, learning of her Dark and Troubled Past with her father, is instead met with large-scale confusion as to what the hell the manga/Mashima is actually going for regarding this character.
Chapter 389: Sting and Rogue attempting to appear threatening as they fight Marde Guille, given their lackluster performance at the Grand Magic Games and Marde Guille's minimal effort to fend them off.
While fans all around go crazy regarding the Gajeel/Levy shipping, many do not let it pass over their heads that Gajeel beat-the-living-crap out of Levy in their initial meeting. Labeling Gajeel as a wife-beater.
Doranbolt makes one extremely creepy face while he was partnered up with Wendy, and he ends up forever labeled as a child molester; no matter what he does to improve his image. Mashima even goes along with it in a later chapter to the point that he agreed with the fans that Doranbolt should be a Lolicon.
Doesn't matter what Sting does from here on out. No one will ever forgive him for his complete failure to live up to the hype throughout the Grand Magic Games.
While Sting good side was showing a few chapters prior, Chapter 300 might have had him join Rogue in being the only well-liked members of Sabertooth after blasting a hole through Jiemma after obliterating Lector for showing he had a guild mark. The fans were pleased to see Jiemma get it coming. Rogue and Yukino have been getting a lot of love, too, after the Grand Magic Games arc, especially following the Sabertooth side-story.
Also, Flare was a disliked member of the disliked Raven Tail guild...until said guild disbanded and she came to Lucy and the rest of Fairy Tail in an apologetic state. When her backstory and Freudian Excuse for her prior behavior came out, the hate for her pretty much vanished in-story and out of it.
Though she remains a Base Breaker by and large, Minerva, of all people, has surprisingly ascended to this trope to a fair degree. Before she was one of the most reviled characters of the story, but after it was revealed she is the way she is due to her Abusive Dad (who, among other acts, beat her for crying and left her naked in a forest one night) and that she actually regrets what she had become, the fanbase eased up on her a little bit. Obviously she still has a lot of things to make up for, but as far as most readers are concerned, this is still tremendous progress in her development.
One-Scene Wonder: Any of the Celestial Spirits, including the Spirit King, could be considered this in general as they can only appear when a Celestial mage summons them. However, the Silver Keys (outside of Plue) are extremely rare to see.
Raven Tail. A team designed specifically for the readers to have someone to hate during the Magic Games; with Ivan as the jerk family member of Markov and Laxus, Obra as the game-breaking cheater that caused Lucy to lose her duel, Flare as the crazy nut-job (though she doesgetbetter), and Nullpudding for singling out Gray during their game match. People seem to be fine with Kurohebi, but only because he got the least screen-time of the bunch and never got to pull anything on a beloved Fairy Tail member.
After Chapter 291, Sabertoothnote except Rogue and Sting as of Chapter 300, as well as Yukino recently, too propelled itself to this trope, to the point that fans are calling Sabertooth the next Raven Tail.
Sabertooth's Minvera is hated for a plethora of reasons. To start, there's her characterization in the Grand Magic Games arc where she crosses the Moral Event Horizon several times; garnering the hate for being an extreme Jerkass towards other Fairy Tail characters that are loved by certain factions of the fanbase. After the Grand Magic Games however, the hate for her character develops into a much different reason by the time of her reintroduction in the Sun Village arc. To explain, she ends up joining a Dark Guild after Sabertooth lost the Games just for petty revenge against Erza without having to worry about the laws legal guilds follow. As noted above in Badass Decay, there was some fun in seeing how far she could jump through the Moral Event Horizon while still not technically being a villain, but now that she has become a straight-up villain (for a Dark Guild that hadn't even been worth mentioning beforehand, a far cry from the former strongest Guild where she was respected as their strongest Mage), her actions are no longer interesting. Many people felt that she was overstaying her welcome once Chapter 359 revealed that she had survived Kyouka's magic and is now becoming a demon and a member of Tartarus. And now, thanks to her Dark and Troubled Past reveal with her father, she is hated for being seen as one of the mostinconsistentlywrittencharacters ever seen in Shonen, because at this point, no one knows what to make of her character...
And now that the fandom realized that all of the above is all a result of Jiemma being an Abusive Dad and an all-around Jerkass of a Guild Master, he has since jettisoned himself to the top of the Scrappy heap, with almost all of the former hate for all of Sabertooth's members (except, arguably, Minerva) now being aimed squarely at him.
Aquarius is also disliked by a wide number of fans due to being a Jerkass to Lucy and always abandoning Lucy at the eleventh hour, such as in the above-mentioned chapter, despite Lucy being her former master's daughter, to whom she swore to protect Lucy. And then Chapter 384 was released...
The Hungry Wolf Knights (aka, Executioners). While fans will agree that their designs were interesting (especially since they were thought up some of said fans), their characterization is despised as they were responsible for the aforementioned Arc Fatigue, and their sadistic attitude towards killing makes it hard to see them as "just doing their job". Even in-series, they weren't taken as serious opponents and nobody cared when Future Rogue seemingly killed them (Though they did show up unscathed at the end of the arc).
Nakama Power. The ultimate get-out-of-jail-for-free card for any of the core cast members of the Fairy Tail guild. To explain, there comes a time when a Fairy Tail member receives an absolute beat-down by the enemy. The opponent who caused the beat-down is seen gloating on top of him/her as to why he fails at life, and that they will never be able to win. However, the Fairy Tail member, against all odds, stands triumphant to fight again, claiming that they will fight for their friends, and that so long as their friends are with them, they will have the strength to overcome anything; resulting in an anti-climatic ending to the fight.
Not a weapon but clothing: Erza's samurai getup, which consists of a ponytail, Sarashi, and flame-print hakama (often bitterly calledNakama) pants. What's the problem with this admittedly cool-looking outfit? An increasing number of Erza's victories have occurred while wearing it, even though it's explicitly stated to provide no defense (or any abilities for that matter). This makes it much more grating when Erza keeps defeating opponents who are actually using abilities, and her ridiculous resistance while in this defenseless outfit looks much less believable when powerhouses like Azuma and Kagura go down from less injury. Not to mention that it's slowly making her armors obsolete despite all the powers they give her, making her fights less flashy as a result.
God Slaying Magic, which is touted as one of the strongest forms of magic in the series to the point of being able to slay Gods, but is ultimately just black-tinted Elemental Powers that Dragon Slayers can't eat (disregarding that one Ass Pull from Natsu). It lacks the history and Super Mode of Dragon Slaying Magic, and given the new Demon Slaying Magic/Curse, has pretty much faded into obscurity.
Lucy's Silver Key, Horologium, when it dawned upon readers that the only gimmick it's ever used for is to have a character cheat death in some, unconventional, method. People let it slide the first time around when it was used to save Wendy from possible death in the fight against Hades, because readers figured that she was obviously alive due to her main-character status as a member of Fairy Tail, but when it occurred a second time to safeguard Arcadios from a pool of lava despite seeing him clearly submerge, head-to-toe, with no form of protection apart from his daily clothes (and the later discovery that Princess Hisui gave him an enchanted necklace that provided some extra defense)...let's just say that a lot of people were not impressed.
In the anime, the CG flames, be it from Natsu, or even from Zancrow, usually gets this reaction for just not being pleasant to look at on the eyes, and often feels out-of-place compared to how the rest of the show's been animated.
She's Just Hiding: Many fans still flat-out refuse to believe Seilah is down and out for good after Chapter 381. Despite the fact that her defeat was referenced in the next chapter, very few people believe that a demon who curb stompedMirajane for several straight chapters, blew up the Fairy Tail guild hall and nearly down most of Fairy Tail's members along with it, and utterly humiliated Elfman and Lisanna in a 'fight' that ended in Elfman being forced to make a Deal with the Devil just to spare his and Lisanna's lives, could have possibly died after one punch. To this day, fans still insist that she's, at worst, unconscious, and compare the ending of the fight with Mirajane to Erza's universally panned Ass Pull defeat over Azuma. It's almost gotten to the point where she's retroactively becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse, with fans lobbying Mashima over Twitter for her to come back.
Shipping Goggles: Despite only ever having one scene total interacting with each other throughout the series, Laxus x Lisanna◊ actually has a surprising number of fans.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: Was always a minor thing until Lisanna came back into the picture, giving the Natsu/Lisanna fans a fighting chance against the Natsu/Lucy shippers. Ron the Death Eater accusations against Lisanna began already, while Lucy is being bashed for "being in the way."
Much of Natsu's fight with Gildarts in the S-Class Exam was a big anvil drop on his tendency to Leeroy it up. Considering that Gildarts had just come back from fighting the black dragon, it was probably also dropped the anvil that if Natsu couldn't beat Gildarts on his own, he has no chance against the black dragon.
A later extension to keep Natsu from reaching God-Mode Sue status comes along when Future Rogue curb-stomps him in their first fight to the point of Ultear having to save his life from Future Rogue's shadow magic. A skirmish that takes place only a day after Natsu's last battle where he utterly embarrassed Sabertooth's Sting and Rogue in a two-on-one fight in which he didn't even have to resort to using his Lightning Fire abilities.
Tartarus member, Silver, 1HKOing Natsu with his ice-magic when the later decided to go Leeroy Jenkins on the Tartarus hide-out. This coming moments after people started making claims that Natsu had officially obtained God-Mode Sue status.
Basically what happened to Laxus at the start of the Tartarus arc; being taken out nearly right away. Some believed this occurred due to his character showing glimpses of God-Mode Sue as the Grand Magic Games moved along, and that this incident brought him back down to normal level.
She changes her mind and starts using the tentacle demon, but we fortunately don't get a Naughty Tentacles scene of the tentacles wrapping around Erza's naked body... because it merely grabs her arms and legs to start electrocuting her!
Any time the fanservice includes Wendy.
Strawman Has a Point: In Chapter 228. Maybe the healthier mages could hang around, but shouldn't they begin removing the injured from the island at this point?
Lisanna however, is a prime offender of this trope. She was developed to be a major contributor of Natsu's background development, and was even built up for a glorious return due to her Back from the Dead hype in the Edolas arc. However, her time afterwards ends up being spent mostly standing idle in the background. Most newcomers nowadays hardly even know who Lisanna is, or that Natsu even has an established background with her.
Mystogan is thought to be a major case of this. Him being the mysterious, elusive guild member, only showing up to get jobs or when the guild was in a crisis made him appealing. As well as the fact that be was a unique guild member, not needing some ancient magic, or being part of some powerful family to be considered powerful, and not needing a tragic back story to be heroic and selfless. Instead he turns out to be another Jellal and gets stuck in Edolas before we really even get to know him.
Hades also has a case. He was the first character in the series to beat Makarov through sheer power alone, had a deeper connection with Fairy Tail than any of the previous antagonists, held great charisma and an intriguing philosophical outlook on the Fairy Tail universe and magic, and overall possessed qualifications to be a central antagonist for the series. Instead, after he beats Makarov, he simply retreats back into his ship, lets his subordinates be beaten down one after another, then holds one final fight against the main characters. After that, he's randomly killed.
Future Rogue is another major example as someone who started off as a fan-favorite moments after his introduction for his curb-stomping over Natsu, but as his appearances went on, many readers came to believe that the guy had hardly any motivation or goal for why he ended up the way he did. His last words, however, foreshadow that big events surrounding his present self are going to take place on the next future, so it's debatable.
After a Time Skip that's happened recently, you'd think that the main cast would grow up, looking more mature and badass and taking a level in badass in power. Instead we got the lame Fairy Sphere, a defense spell that stops time for everyone on the island by the first Fairy Tail master, meaning everyone looks and acts the same and no visible power-ups, though it does present the possibility on how they react to a world that's changed drastically.
Looks to be heading in the latter direction, starting with the death of Lucy's father.
Natsu and Wendy buying magic-weapons in Edolas, but losing them after their one-time uses. Most fans around this time figured Team Natsu was going to all eventually get Badass weapon tools as their next Power-Up. Never happened obviously.
The S-Class trial plot which got pushed to the side (and had no actual conclusion afterwards) in favor of another war against a Dark Guild. There are a plethora of people that found the test much more interesting than the fight against Grimoire Heart; especially considering the reaction many of the fights got after the guild war concluded.
Raven Tail as a whole. It was introduced as far back as the Fighting Festival arc and was initially presented as a major antagonist, being that it was led by Makarov's son and seemed specifically made to counter Fairy Tail (right down to the name). In the end however, when it does finally get time in the sun, Raven Tail is only one of the participants in the Grand Magic Games, where its team spends the whole arc simply bullying Fairy Tail members before at last getting trounced on by Laxus. And after that fallout, it was apparently disbanded.
Toy Ship: Romeo/Wendy is quite popular, considering they're both the same age as of the Time Skip.
Viewer Gender Confusion: It's not 100% apparent whether Midnight is a tomboyish woman or a somewhat feminine man. The only time anyone referred to him/her with pronouns they used female ones ('her', 'daughter', etc.) but that's obviously not complete proof... and in fact, more recent chapters have switched to using male pronouns. This is a translation confusion. Midnight refers to himself using a pronoun only used by men and boys, and the times that the translator has used him and daughter were actually gender-neutral phrases like person and father and child.
Crawford Seam, the former chairman of the Magic Council. He maybe could have been given a pass for turning out to be The Mole for Tartarus, a genocidal guild full of demons who believe humans are inherently inferior to them. Not so much for transferring the last living Key to Face from Jellal to himself, and then announcing he had done this to everyone in the room. Although, if you want to be honest, the reason why he felt that they wouldn't dare to kill him is because he's the one who can activate Face remotely. Something Kyouka later regretted. Of course, if he'd let that slip sooner, Kyouka wouldn't have killed him too soon.
Lamy of Tartarus outright stating their secret to immortality in front of Fairy Tail being that their laboratory tubes can just recreate and revive them. Even by Explaining Your Power to the Enemy standards, this was quite bad on her part. Made worse by the fact that Mira just goes ahead and destroys the Tartarus labs a few pages later.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Jellal, especially in the Nirvana arc. Crucifix? Yep, his coffin's shaped like one. He gets revived from the "dead" and in addition uses Heavenly Body Magic.
Lucy as of late. Her father dies while she's at Tenrou Island, one of her friends is attacked on the way to the Grand Magic Games, her friends' daughter gets held hostage, is brutally beaten up not once but TWICE, gets arrested for a plan she just found out that she was a part of, and an asshole from the future tries to kill her for what turns out to be his own selfish gain, instead lethally injuring her future self so that the dies in the present Lucy's arms.
Millianna has been getting this since she is having trouble keeping up with Kagura to be a worthwhile ally and being the recent victim of Minerva's sadism. Especially when the latter started clawing into her to pass the time.
Another contender is Rogue. Not only does he have to often witness and deal with the horrific nature of his guild master, but he was forced to Mercy Kill his dragon parent. To add more, something in the future causes him to turn evil (while killing Sting in the process), and the present version is horrified at the fact he will be the one to bring the hell that they are currently suffering through. To add more fuel to the fire, Ultear thought to kill the guy in order to save everyone else and even when she doesn't, the fact that he could still become his evil future self, really hits hard.. You just want to hug the guy.
Erza as well. She lost her parents to Zeref's disciples, and is caught, enslaved, and tortured while being forced to build The Tower of Heaven. Her attempt to set her Childhood Friend Jellal free fell through, and Jellal takes the fall for it. He loses his mind while being tortured and killed her grandfather figure, Rob. Jellal banished Erza from the Tower of Heaven, making sure she realized that she'd never be able to save the other children, and they were doomed to stay. 8 years later, Erza was kidnapped by these people, and was to be a sacrifice to Zeref. She fought her close childhood friend, Jellal, only to see Simon die protecting her from Jellal. She was nearly killed by the Etherion, which she offered herself to in order to destroy the Tower of Heaven. Fast-forward to the Oracion Seis arc, where Jellal had been turned good and was ready to live with Erza, Erza had to send Jellal to prison for all that he'd done, leaving her a sobbing wreck. She is frozen in time along with many Fairy Tail members during the Tenrou Island incident. Fast-forward to the Tartaros arc, she is kidnapped with Mirajane, and tortured by Kyouka, who used a magic to heighten Erza's sensitivity to pain, and is also threatened with the death of Mirajane.
Gray beats them all in sheer amount. To start with his parents are killed by Deliora and he's taken in by Ur and raised alongside Lyon. Then he tries to beat Deliora and instead Ur performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Deliora, which results in Lyon hating him. Then he finds out years later Lyon wants to bring Deliora back and is forced to fight a guy who is essentially his brother. He ends up later confronting his technical sister who tries to kill him, gets stuck in magic stasis for seven years and gets mocked and for his performance in the Grand Magic Game's first day. Then he dies in the fight with the Dragons and is only saved by Ultear's Reset Button and goes on to fight a Demon who makes him freak out cause it reminds him of Deliora. THEN in the Tartarus arc he is told by Silver that Ur's sacrifice was in vain because Silver is Deliora possessing his Dad's body and that Silver wants to kill everyone associated with Ur. The fact that this turns out to be a lie actually makes this worse. No wonder Gray is usually quite sullen. Makes you wonder what the hell else is next.
Silver turns out to be this, as well as being quite possibly the best case of Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds since Zeref himself. Why does he seem like Tartarus' Token Good Teammate? Why was he visiting that grave? How did he know who Natsu was? He's not a demon, but he's not technically human, either; he was actually a corpse reanimated by Keyes, and was the closest Keyes had ever come to being able to fully resurrect the dead exactly as they were before. Silver began trying to destroy Tartarus from the inside, until he saw the Grand Magic Games, and discovered that Gray was alive, causing a major Heroic BSOD in which Silver decided he had no right to try to seek revenge for someone who was not only alive, but was definitely on opposing sides. Silver then began working as a true member of the Nine Demon Gates, and admits that he helped kill former Council members, simply because he wanted Gray to put him out of his misery. The ending of his fight has him begging Gray to kill him, with him wanting to join his wife, Mika, in the afterlife. The guy's been through every bit as much as Gray, if not more.