This is the tale of Lucy Heartfilia, a seventeen-year-old girl seeking to become a full-fledged wizard.note In a magic world ruled by guilds, becoming a full wizard requires you to join one. When Lucy meets a boy named Natsu Dragneel, who also happens to be the well-known wizard Salamander, he invites her to join one of the most colorful and notorious wizard guilds in the kingdom: Fairy Tail. Their adventures continue as they perform missions for the self-titled guild, struggle with problems from the past, fight world-threatening villains, and learn The Power of Friendship.
Written by Hiro Mashima of Rave Master fame and first published in 2006, Fairy Tail consists of more than 60 manga volumes, proving itself among the more successful long-running shonen series. The manga was adapted into an anime in 2009 by A-1 Pictures and Satelight, with two English dubs produced by Funimation and Animax. The show was put on hiatus in March 2013, totaling 175 episodes (not including OVA episodes), but later relaunched in April 2014 with a new animation studio (working alongside the already established A-1 Pictures) and director. The continuation itself would end upon reaching its 102nd episode (bringing the total to 277 episodes), but there are already plans for a final season in Fall 2018.
Licensed episodes are available to watch on Hulu and on Youtube. Natsu, Lucy, and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen. The series also has a podcast here and a wiki here.
Not to be confused with the Fairy Tale genre (the author has stated since the beginning that the spelling of the name is intentional).
Several spin-off series have been made:
- Fairy Tail Zero is an Origin Story for the guild as a whole, featuring Mavis Vermillion as the main character, which proved to be so popular that an animated adaptation was included to cap off the anime's second run.
- Fairy Tail Ice Trail chronicles Gray Fullbuster's life between Ur's death and him finding a new home in Fairy Tail.
- Fairy Tail Blue Mistral stars Wendy Marvell on her earliest adventures as a member of Fairy Tail.
- Fairy Girls focuses on the lives of Fairy Tail's core female members: Lucy Heartfilia, Erza Scarlet, Wendy Marvell, and Juvia Lockser.
- Fairy Tail Gaiden, a three-part subseries consisting of the following manga:
- Twin Dragons of Saber Tooth features the lives of Saber Tooth, a rival guild to Fairy Tail.
- Rhodonite explores Gajeel Redfox and his past before he became one of Fairy Tail's biggest adversaries-turned-friends.
- Lightning Gods centers on Laxus Dreyar and the Raijin Tribe, and their unlikely friendship with the Blue Pegasus guild.
- Fairy Tail Happy Adventure features Happy the Cat becoming Trapped in Another World where everyone is a talking animal.
- Fairy Tail City Hero is set in an Alternate Universe where Fairy Tail is not a guild, but a magical police force.
Fairy Tail likewise got a couple of movies. The first, Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess, was released in 2012 (with the dub following in 2013). A second film, Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, was released on May 6th, 2017 in Japan (with the dub following in August of the same year).
The series ended in July 2017 with a total of 545 chapters, collected in 63 volumes. Despite the series reaching its conclusion, an official sequel manga launched nearly a year later titled Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest, with storyboards by Mashima and the finalized art done by Atsuo Ueda. As for Mashima himself, he moved on to create Edens Zero, a Spiritual Successor that continues the same themes and contains a few Expies of familiar Fairy Tail characters, just as Fairy Tail has done with Rave Master before it.