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Base Breaking Character / Fairy Tail

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Many characters of this series are, or have been, a Base-Breaking Character at one point or another. In a long-running Shōnen series this isn't all that uncommon, but the fanbase is fractious and really mean about characters they don't like; likewise people who dislike the series as the whole are often quite vocal and aggressive about why they don't like it. You will find very good justifications for liking every character that has had sufficient development and you will find very good justifications for hating them too. Be careful because you will need flame-retardant armor on some forums.


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    Fairy Tail Guild: Core Group 
  • 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. The fact that he has a Blood Knight tendency and a more interesting outlook on life with solid reasons to actually believe in his friends (considering they are his family he grew up with) still make him a favorite over other much more mundane alternatives in the Shōnen hero category. The fact that The Power of Friendship quite literally makes you magically stronger in this series and really affects what is going on in the larger plot gives those friendship speeches some actual weight (rather than Shōnen heroes who talk about friendship while fighting every real battle themselves and their friends doing basically nothing). His Idiot Hero facade turn out to be equally overstated: if something prevents him from acting immediately and on impulse (a tall order by itself, given he mostly gets by through sheer determination), he can be rather creative and shows remarkable restraint. Despite all of this, he is routinely accused of being overpowered; these accusations died around toward the middle of the Tartarus arc, but were back with a vengeance after the second Time Skip, in which he repeatedly fodderized pretty much every single enemy he went up against (including an actual God, leading to many fans believing it to be a missed opportunity to show why God Slayer Magic exists).
    • Another somewhat controversial issue is how much of a role Natsu plays in some of Lucy's fights, such as against Kain Hikaru, Franmalth and Jacob, since Natsu gets a lot more solo fights than Lucy does. People who ship Natsu and Lucy together like seeing them as a Battle Couple, while people who think Natsu is too powerful and/or has too much screentime think this only exacerbates those problems.
  • 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. She also suffers being thrown into unwanted Fanservice more often than most other females, leading some to see her as objectified. 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. The fact that she has very high magic potential and great powers with her spirits but has very little idea how to use them effectively in battle a lot of the time also causes a lot of tension and frustration among the fan base, although some point out that a few of her losses were caused by bad luck or extenuating circumstances (Flare not only took a hostage, but probably would have lost if Obra hadn't negated Lucy's ultimate attack and drained her magic), and wish that she'd get more chances to fight and win alone, rather than having to share many of her fights with Natsu. However, her popularity has increased significantly from the Tartaros arc, when she is left to fend for herself and Took a Level in Badass.
  • 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. Her overall character is still praised by many as one of the best females in shounen history, but her fights have come under heavy scorn. Like Natsu, she rarely loses, and not only also constantly gives friendship speeches, but has become excessively preachy to her enemies for not following The Power of Friendship. 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 and brought up another last-second Ass Pull to overcome Minerva. Her infamous Ass Pull against Kyouka in their final battle, widely regarded as one of the worst moments in the entire series, hasn't done her any favors either. The controversy only intensified after The Reveal of her lineage. She is the daughter of Irene Belserion of the Spriggan 12, also known as the First Dragon Slayer. Yet, over the course of 513 chapters, not once has it been hinted she had any connection to the dragons. Many viewed it as a quick, lazy plug-in by the author to connect Erza to the dragons plot-line, though there are arguments on exactly how this affects her as a whole. You now have people seeing Erza as either one of the best characters in the series whose fights are filled awesome and has some of the best depths to her personality, or she's the epitome of everything wrong with Fairy Tail as a whole.
  • 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. However, the Tartarus arc has garnered him a lot more popularity with noticeable Character Development, being more receptive toward Juvia, and gaining a significant Power-Up in the form of Ice Devil Slayer Magic, giving him an advantage over the Dark Guild that the fanbase could get behind. Also, people generally appreciate that Gray wins his fights with wits and strategy, not necessarily with power-ups or for other Ass Pull reasons.
    • Other issues with Gray can boil down to him being seen as a Flat Character due to the fact that the first major arc revolves around his backstory and motivations but he doesn't really gain any focus again the second to last major arc. Because of this, Gray just seems to float around for most of the arcs so it comes across like he's only a main character because the author says so without him really contributing much outside of occasional fight scenes. This also tends to lend him to gaining many one-off or even informed character traits to keep him involved in what's going on (like his out of nowhere animosity toward Rufus for beating him once and not even primarily just to set up their confrontation in the final round of the Grand Magic Games). Even Gray's initial role of Natsu's rival is taken up by Gajeel from the latter addition to Fairy Tail until right before Tartaros. It can come across like Gray doesn't have much of a role in the series outside of the very beginning and very end.
  • 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.
  • Carla isn't that popular compared to Happy as she has been quite mean (and not in a funny way like Happy), though she's nowhere near as bad as she was before the Edolas arc, and many have warmed up to her since.

    Fairy Tail Guild: Supporting Members 

  • Lisanna. On one side, she is liked for her extended scenes in the anime, and for her role in developing Natsu's background which many found to be cute. On the other side, notably but definitely not only from Natsu x Lucy shippers, she is disliked for said anime scenes for hogging screen-time that she never had originally and that are ultimately pointless, and having the character shoved down the fan's throats in the anime at every turn when they should be giving screen-time to characters that actually matter in the long run. Granted, she's had a better reception lately since she's back to mostly being a background character used to continue developing Mira and Elfman...which leads people to saying that Mashima is wasting Lisanna's potential to be a major side-character alongside the core Fairy Tail members in the manga.
    • Lisanna's competence and power level in battle are also contentious, and she often gets the What Measure Is a Non-Badass? treatment. Another controversial area is how much blame she should be given for her sister's loss against Azuma, since her careless words and decision to challenge Azuma despite being ordered to flee led to him taking her hostage, and Mirajane, unable to defeat Azuma before the time expired, performed a Heroic Sacrifice to save her.
  • 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. In fact, her suspicion of Elfman's uncharacteristic behavior enables her to save the entire guild.
    • Also considering that the whole reason she wanted to win the S-class trials in the first place was to have the courage to tell Gildarts that he's her father, it comes off very hypocritical when she starts giving Gildarts the cold shoulder for his perverted tendencies despite him accepting her as his daughter. Comes off worse when he gives her a card that could summon him in case of an emergency (such as the war against Tartaros that ended with the guild's disbandment), but she tears it up out of pride. And she continues to belittle him in the fight with August, further contradicting her previous motives from the Tenrou Island arc. Some would see this as her falling back on her independence, as she has been most of her life. But many have felt this, too, is less than justified.
  • Juvia gets some flak for her obsession with Gray being seen as one-note and creepy. Others, primarily the folk who adore the Juvia x Gray ship, enjoy these moments greatly.
    • Among the more rabid shippers, Juvia is the biggest on this page, mostly thanks to Ship-to-Ship Combat, with some saying she has a single-minded obsession with Gray while others think she is a well-rounded character with numerous friendships with her other guildmates (notably Lucy, Erza, Lisanna, Gajeel, and Cana). She also gets called a Hypocrite by some due to her Thou Shalt Not Kill speech to Meredy in the Tenrou Island arc, because she admittedly quite brutally killed Keyes in the Tartaros arc, even though several other characters killed their enemies in that arc too, and Juvia was the only one besides Gray who was reluctant to do so (albeit because it would essentially result in Gray's father dying once again). There's also how Keyes was also trying to kill her, with his efforts leading to his own death.
  • Laxus started off as a clear-cut example 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 Lord. 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 Dark Horse territory after his Fighting Festival arc where he dropped the Jerkass facade but kept the badass aura. However, he enters this 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
    • A-1 only brought this into further breaking status with the role Laxus takes in their adaptation of Tartaros. In the manga he was taken out by Tempester's Anti-Magic Particles, and does not fight for the rest of the arc. The anime changes this giving him a new fight with Tempester. Naturally some fans like this change happy to see Laxus get a rematch while others are less than thrilled namely Gray fans.
  • Makarov is actually a well-liked character overall personality-wise, but what causes him to be polarizing figure in the fandom is that he has been the most frequent offender of Mashima's refusal to kill off main characters. The fact that Mashima has cried wolf one too many times on the idea of Makarov "stepping down as Guildmaster" has only made it worse. The series has teased the idea of both that and actually killing off the character multiple times, but each time he always returns as the Guildmaster, the Alvarez Empire arc has Makarov actually die, only to be brought Back from the Dead, provoking widespread scorn. This led to debates over whether his presence in the series is stunting potential growth that other characters like Gildarts, Laxus, or Erza could have if Mashima finally followed through with retiring the character.


  • 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. The issue with Jellal is generally not the character himself but the way he is used and/or over-used, depending on your opinion (although there are always extremist fans and haters on either side). There are those who like that he becomes a recurring Sixth Ranger to the core group, and others who think Mashima is playing favorites to extremes. In an odd twist, it seems to be a staple of the English-speaking fanbasehe's incredibly popular in Japan and China. His reception has generally improved since the Time Skip, particularly with him practically becoming an Official Couple with Erza.
  • 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. Although some of this is because it gives even more screentime to Gray and Juvia's side-act (you can't call it a romance) which continuously goes nowhere and is very repetitive. Fortunately, he gave up at the end of the Grand Magic Games arc.
  • Sting, initially a full-on Scrappy for being such a Smug Snake, gained more popularity when he nearly killed his abusive master and became more humble and reserved over the supposed loss of Lector. However, his simple surrender to Team Fairy Tail at the end of the Grand Magic Games after many people had expected him to take advantage of their weakened state drew such disappointment that he's become a Memetic Loser, although in-universe, not everyone's convinced he could have defeated five (admittedly seriously injured) opponents at once. Rogue has also drawn some scorn for not living up to the Third Generation Dragon Slayer hype, but much less so than Sting thanks to being much more pleasant from the beginning. Both maintain popularity though thanks to their more likeable demeanor post-Grand Magic Games, and providing one of the more favored fights in the Alvarez Arc alongside Kagura against Larcade.
  • 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 , the result of this coming out has left fans being unable to decide if this excuses Minvera's many Kick the Dog moments, 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.
    • Many preferred her as a villain, seeing her as a fitting replacement to the series' recurring villain Ultear before her Heel–Face Turn, and were thus disappointed by Minerva's quick resolution. It also felt like a cheap copy of what was already done with Flare to many, except that Flare wasn't quite as heinous a villain as Minerva was and had a more believable turnaround.
  • Ultear, for many similar reasons as Minerva above. Almost everyone found her to be a well-written villain with great motivations and a nice track record of villainy. After her Heel–Face Turn, she did alienate a few of her fans but most found it to be well done and believable - and it was certainly drawn out a lot longer than Minerva's, and her personality change was attributed to the seven year Time Skip. However, her Heroic Sacrifice took things too far for some, since it resulted in her Rapid Aging and effectively took her out of the story, since she finally felt like she atoned for her sins. It is particularly annoying for some because her actual fate was left up in the air, and it was unclear if her spell ultimately killed her or not. If she is still alive, many fans would still like to see her help out her old friends, since age hasn't held back many other mages in this series.
    • Ultear returns in chapter 474. Apparently her existence in the regular world has ended but her magic allowed her to live on outside of the regular flow of time. Basically it means she cannot interact with anybody or anything but is aware of events. Serving as a Deus ex Machina for Wendy and Chelia to battle another time mage, it would seem that her story has come full circle. Her mother Ur watched over Gray and Lyon in her And I Must Scream state and now Ultear is doing the same for Fairy Tail and presumably Crime Sorciere.
  • Acnologia, initially quite popular for being utterly unstoppable, started to fall under this trope once it became apparent that his motives weren't going beyond "I'm gonna destroy everything because I can!", and when his Freudian Excuse is finally spat out right at the end of the final fight in the manga, it is absurdly hypocritical to the point of making him look incoherent. Luckily, the Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry and the final anime season would expound on that to let it make more sense. Regardless of that, however, his final defeat was either a satisfying conclusion that brought everyone together, or an anticlimactic mess that made him look like an absolute joke.
  • Larcade of the Spriggan Twelve. He has a small following that puts him here and is generally liked by the fanbase despite his short screen time so far. Being a Badass Preacher and Narmy but powerful abilities, along with giving one of the best fights in the arc against Sting, Rogue and Kagura, which required actual team work and strategy to overcome compared to the largely disappointing fights of the other Spriggans. Another reason comes from the Wild Mass Guessing about how Zeref and Mavis managed to have a child and what that might mean for the story. On the other hand, the fact that it was Sting, Rogue and Kagura that he lost to, the former two of which come from a guild failing to live up to the hype for the Grand Magic Games, has led many who liked Larcade away since they now see him as someone incredibly weak.
  • Irene Belserion initially caught interest for her ambiguous relationship with Erza and the sheer scale of her power. The controversy began when she was revealed to be the first Dragon Slayer. Some were intrigued by this, while others viewed the reveal as having so little foreshadowing or consistency (such as Irene's lack of Dragon Slayer traits like pronounced canines, or Acnologia's inability to smell her) as to come off as a last-second plot addition. The big break came after Irene, after spending her entire battle with her daughter Erza spewing hatred and mercilessly trying to kill her, unleashes one final reveal in that she actually lied about abandoning Erza out of scorn and intentionally left her at the orphanage during a small break in her insanity, right before ramming Erza's sword through her stomach and committing suicide upon realizing deep down she still couldn't kill Erza. You have one side enjoying it because it shows she wasn't evil and she wasn't actually defeated by Erza unleashing a Deus ex Machina and you have another side hating it because from one point of view it just looks like a cop-out by Mashima to get one of the most powerful mages in the story out of the way of the Final Battle and it ended the fight anticlimactically, as well as making Irene's characterization look incredibly inconsistent.


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