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YMMV / Fairy Tail

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  • Adorkable: For all his badassery, Jellal still shows signs of this when he and Erza sheepishly apologize to each other after their ambiguous kiss (an Almost Kiss in the anime), or when he freaks out whenever he accidentally touches her breasts.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Zeref. Was his threat to wipe out all of humanity genuine, or is he actually forcing himself to think that way, as a last-ditch effort to keep his powers under control, in the hopes that his brother, Natsu, kills him? Or is it just the ultimate expression of Rage Against the Heavens?
    • 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.
    • Brandish. Bunny-Ears Lawyer with a Sweet Tooth and a penchant for treating her subordinates like slaves, as well as openly complaining to her superiors about doing her job because her sheer power and worth to The Empire allows her to get away with it, or Broken Bird who felt the need to become so powerful out of a misguided desire for revenge for her deceased mother, or victim of child abuse at the hands of Aquarius who made her act like a dog, call her "master," and apparently beat her as well?
    • The Alvarez Empire as a whole. A utopian, prosperous nation ruled by a benevolent (at least, domestically) monarch where non-mages and mages live together in peace not terribly different from Ishgal and Fiore in particular, or a brutal, militaristic, classic example of The Empire whose citizens are blind to the suffering Alvarez causes to the nations it attacks because of their own nationalistic pride? The fact that Alvarez makes no distinction between light and dark magic and is ruled by Zeref, a man universally feared in Ishgal but beloved by Alvarez' citizens, also makes for some In-Universe Values Dissonance, something a lot of fans would have liked to have seen explored.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Several examples, partly due to the series' fast pacing.
    • Raven Tail, whose team during the Grand Magic Games was allegedly meant to counter Fairy Tail, only for each member to get one-shot by Laxus after trying to gang up on him.
    • Sting already looked pretty bad losing with Rogue two-against-one to Natsu, when they were in Dragon Force and he wasn't. Pressured by Minerva to win the Grand Magic Games finale for Lector's safe return, he decides to wait for Fairy Tail to finish off the rest of the competition so he can fight them all at once... whereupon he decides that such a victory would be dishonorable and simply surrenders.
    • War God Ikusa-Tsunagi, summoned by Avatar's leader Arlock, ends up doing little more than swinging its sword once before Natsu destroys it.
    • Zeref, after all the buildup suggesting that the heroes would need extraordinary circumstances to defeat him, and Natsu losing Igneel's magic power and his Dragon and Demon Seeds, ultimately succumbs to Natsu's base form after an underwhelming fight in which he failed to properly utilize any of his devastating powers, even after he'd been further strengthened by Fairy Heart.
    • Acnologia spends much of the final fight laughing off the Dragon Slayers' attacks and giving them a one-sided beatdown. When they decide to give all their power to Natsu to finish him off, Acnologia looks set to keep going, but the actions of everyone on the outside and his lost arm manage to leave him completely immobilized and unable to dodge or even absorb Natsu's final seven-Dragon Slayer powered strike, finishing him in one blow.
  • Anvilicious: The series is infamous for laying the "friendship wins the day" moral rather thick. While The Power of Friendship is common amongst shonen, Fairy Tail in particular earns scorn for frequently preaching its importance and rarely teaching anything else, even if it's more or less explicitly shown to be a magical power to make it justified in the setting.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • 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 Grand Magic Games.
    • The Key to the Starry Heavens arc in the anime actually got this in reverse, with the first half up to the appearance of the new Oracion Seis being incredibly mundane, running around bringing together pieces of the Infinity Clock... i.e. the clock which was supposed to bring about chaos if its pieces were brought together, and fighting with Legion who were all fairly low-level one-trick-pony wizards who should have been easily beaten by our heroes after the insanely powerful rivals of the previous Sirius Island arc. It just rolled on and on, painstakingly slowly and things only picked up when the actual main plot came into play with Oracion Seis in the second half, and got increasingly interesting from there, although not enough to save the arc all in all. Unfortunately, the appearance of Oracion Seis highlighted how ridiculous and nonsensical the previous fifteen or so episodes had been and made everyone's power levels and fighting ability look insanely inconsistent. Except Mirajane. Who has a form that can easily beat Satan Soul... which is both terrifying and awesome.
    • The Eclipse Celestial Spirit arc has gotten quite a bit of flak from those who couldn't care less about the oddly designed and paced fights. It doesn't help that the fandom had gone through a great deal of impatience to see it done with, to get to the canon arcs that come after, which deal with the heavily-hyped Tartaros Dark Guild. The studio's insistence on dragging the filler out even longer by animating almost every single omake chapter made in the last year, only intensified this reaction, until finally the Tartaros arc began airing in April, 2015.
    • The Tartaros arc got some of this. Not the arc as a whole, mind you; it is regarded as one of the best in the series despite some setbacks. However, within the arc were two aspects that many felt dragged on for too long: The first is the countdown of Face. We start with it seemingly getting destroyed about 10 chapters after it emerges, only to reveal 3000 more and initiate another countdown that actually reaches 0, then we go back 20 minutes before this and have several chapters ultimately leading to the same chapter ending as when it went off just to keep the cliffhanger... and it's destroyed by the Dragon Slayers' long-lost parents just as it goes off. The second is the way the chapters juggled through several concurrent fights, often without significant progression in all but one that the chapter would end on.
    • The Alvarez Empire arc. While it started off promising, with a feeling of impending doom that terrified even the main characters, a series of Curb Stomp Battles that set the Spriggan Twelve up as a threat unlike anything Fairy Tail has ever faced before (and themselves being interesting and sympathetic characters, being the most popular villains in the series since Grimoire Heart), and a truly heartbreaking reveal of the backstory between Zeref and Mavis pushing some fans into full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, the fights themselves in the latter part of the arc have been met with calls of being poorly handled, not the least of which has been the heavily criticized overdose of the Not Quite Dead trope. The arc went on for over 100 chapters and even the fact that this was the final arc didn't stop people from voicing their complaints. Many were eager just to move on to the inevitable final battle with Zeref and Acnologia.
  • Archive Panic: Manga: 545 chapters. Anime: 328 episodes. And there's also 6 Spin-Off mangas, 2 prequel mangas, 9 OVAs, 2 movies, and continuation manga.
  • Ass Pull: Mashima has never been one for planning ahead plot-wise. The Ass Pulls in the series tend to revolve around never-seen-before magic developments (most of which are never foreshadowed, or if they are, it's in such a vague way it might as well not be) which occur without warning in battles or are demonstrated by different magic users. Most are supported (read: handwaved) by a vague and nonspecific magic system that even in-universe is full of unknowns and is a subject of intense study (with subtle overtones of knowing too much leads to madness or These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know).
    • Natsu has been known to turn around battles in his favor through some form of Ass Pull - generally the Indy Ploy kind of Ass Pull where the character makes shit up on the spot. They are usually built up during the battle as Natsu struggles and fails with an obstacle before finally figuring out how to overcome it in an Ass Pull manner (routinely doing things that the other characters say are supposed to be impossible or extremely dangerous but often have no technical reason why they shouldn't work in the setting context).
      • During the Tower of Heaven arc during the fight with Jellal, in a desperate attempt to restore energy Natsu ate Etherion which is a combination of a number of different types of elemental magic, despite Dragon Slayers supposedly only being able to regain energy from eating one element – fire in Natsu’s case. This Ass Pull is only backed-up by a brief mention of Natsu attempting previously to eat Laxus’s lightning, which made him very sick. Both Erza and Jellal go so far as to call him an suicidal idiot for doing so. Although Natsu succeeds in eating and using Etherion, he does end up sick for a few days afterwards as a consequence.
      • In order to defeat Zancrow, Natsu uses up all of his immediate reserve of dragon-fire flames and magic, making himself an empty vessel, which then allows him to eat god-fire flames without them conflicting with his own. YMMV on whether this is an entirely new Ass Pull or building on the original eating Etherion Ass Pull. Even Makarov is completely stunned that it somehow works, and yells at Natsu for trying something so reckless – making this an in-universe example at the very least. This evolution of Natsu’s ability to eat different flames and elements then culminates in the fight with Hades where Natsu takes in Laxus’s Dragon Slayer lightning and unlocks his Dual Dragon Slayer Mode.
    • The X-Balls, which provided a way for the Fairy Tail gang to regain their magic in Edolas. There's no hint for how or why Mystogan (who gave them the X-Balls) would have them aside from him also being from Edolas and knowing how magic there works, but then that stretches belief.
    • 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 have had due to time in the Celestial Spirit World apparently being a lot slower than the real world; the one day they spent in the Celestial Spirit World partying ended up being 3 months in real time.
    • Erza's magic style lends itself to this trope rather easily. Due to using weapons and armor stored in Hammerspace for every situation she can think of, she's constantly pulling out new ones to suit her situation, some of which are never before seen. A particularly infamous example was the Nakagami armor, which was described as essentially making Erza invincible and allowed her to easily defeat Minerva despite the latter being far less injured. The title of this Chapter 321 review sums up fan reaction nicely.
    • In her fight with Azuma, the "souls" of Erza's friends pushed her forward to pull off an OHKO sword swing against Azuma, an enemy that she had damaged and worn down but wasn't close to finishing off. This one can be explained by them being on Fairy Tail's sacred island and Azuma's attempted final attack drawing upon the magic of the very Tenrou Tree he uprooted (which also contains the magic of the Fairy Tail mages, which could have legitimately gotten away from him thanks to Erza's iron will and deeper connection), but it can still come off as contrived at first glance, with Makarov's later musings at the end of the arc on magic evolving alongside wizards only helping a bit.
    • Future Rogue being the final villain of the Grand Magic Games arc comes across as this. For the entire arc his present self has had little focus, typically playing second fiddle to Sting, and the plot device used to explain why he became evil is only introduced AFTER it's been revealed that he's Big Bad, with no real evidence of it existing at all before that point. Plus, considering what we see of Future Lucy's timeline, his secondary motivation of doing this (because Gray joined Avatar and killed Frosch) also doesn't seem to line up. It comes across like the future version of someone else was SUPPOSED to be the arc's villain, but it had to be changed at the last minute and Rogue had nothing else going on.
    • Erza's second fight with Kyouka, after Kyouka enters her One-Winged Angel form. Erza hit Kyouka's Berserk Button (telling her that she'll never get to meet Zeref), after which Kyouka started absolutely mopping the floor with Erza, culminating in Kyouka utilizing her Sensation Curse to rob Erza of her five senses. Erza somehow manages to pull through a win despite having none of her senses. This one is so much of an Ass Pull that even the characters are forced to admit that Erza won... because she's Erza, logic be damned.
    • During Mira's fight with Seilah, Elfman beats Seilah with an In the Back punch despite the fact that Elfman's strongest form is considerably weaker than Satan Soul, which was overwhelmed by Seilah's unrestricted form, going by their fight in the Sirius Island Arc.
    • Ziemma's out-of-nowhere reappearance during the Tartaros arc is seen as this as the only reason for his sudden return was to get Sting and Rogue away from the final battle to allow for just Natsu and Gray to battle Mard Geer. It really doesn't help that he was killed off in the very next chapter.
    • Mard Geer's defeat involved two in quick succession. The first was Gray suddenly revealing the ability to demonize himself to cancel out the effect of Memento Mori. The chapter makes little attempt to explain what he just did. Then Natsu spontaneously enters Dragon Force without an outside magic source like he normally needed (a feat that previously had only been shown with 3rd Generation Dragon Slayers Sting and Rogue, albeit never showing how they learned how), which doesn't defeat Mard Geer, but distracts him enough for Gray to deliver a finishing blow. The first one turns into a plot point, however, as Gray's demonization continues beyond this arc, which has him first pretending to have been corrupted to infiltrate a dark guild, but also revealing the corruption was a very real threat (and nearly does take him over in the final arc). The second ends up receiving a Continuity Nod, as Wendy is revealed over the Time Skip to have eventually figured out how to activate Dragon Force at will after she gained access to it for the first time during the battle with Tartaros; apparently, it can be done with sufficient training after it's first unlocked, and Natsu simply never bothered to try and his usage there was merely instinctive.
    • The red lightning that Laxus obtains to defeat Wall, who had been firmly established to No-Sell any lightning attack. It comes out of nowhere (at most, a flashback implies that it has something to do with Yuri), with no real explanation on how it works. At most, people have suggested from the name "Mercury Fulminate" that Laxus created the actual explosive compound, but the end of the chapter still attributes his victory to "lightning that surpasses lightning". This one has to wait until Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest for a proper explanation in that it's Laxus' unique Super Mode as a Lightning Dragon Slayer, created by utilizing his own blood to empower his lightning.
    • Gajeel defeats Bloodman by deciding to emulate Natsu's strategy when everything's on the line and sucking up the latter's Magical Barrier Particles, a lethally poisonous substance that was plaguing Laxus' health a year after he was largely cured, with Bloodman only stating after the fact that it has trace amounts of iron. He also changes back to normal immediately after his victory despite Levy insisting that it should have lasting consequences.
    • In chapter 517, Wendy turns out to have survived Irene's Grand Theft Me by copying the same Enchantment magic Irene used on her. Even if it was established that Wendy and Irene use the same type of Enchantment magic and Wendy could conceivably copy it, the idea of Wendy successfully coping a body stealing spell she's never seen before, as it's being used on her, and casting it back in a fast enough time to body swap instead of having her mind destroyed is a little too convenient to call clever writing.
    • Everything about Anna Heartfilia's role in the present counts as this. Neither Zeref nor Aquarius had ever once insinuated that Anna had come through as well during their independent accounts of the plan. Initially introduced as the person who simply opened the Eclipse Gate to enact the plan, we are later told that she was one of the Dragon Slayers' teachers alongside their parents, her absence from their own recollections explained away by their apparent affected memories from traveling through the Eclipse Gate. She has flimsy reasons for never contacting the Dragon Slayers or Zeref, and gave little information about where she'd been while apparently knowing that her descendant Layla died and made no effort to comfort Lucy at the time. Her main role was to introduce the space between time, a tiny black hole (explicitly compared to the size of a tangerine) floating over the open ocean that she somehow found and then prepared to try trapping Acnologia in it.
    • Meredy providing Fairy Tail with the combined magic power of all the mages across the continent to reinforce the Fairy Sphere that they're using to trap Acnologia. She had not been seen for the past 60 chapters, and their surprised reactions to her sudden appearance indicates that they hadn't been in contact with her, so she really shouldn't have known that Fairy Sphere was planned for use, much less that they would need extra magic power after Acnologia started to break out mere seconds before she reappeared.

  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Despite a few rough patches, the Tartaros arc shaped up to be this. To elaborate:
      • Natsu gets instantly frozen by Silver mid-sentence, not even getting a fight with him, and takes a smaller role for a few chapters (after pretty much solo-ing Jackal, being the only person to realize that Crawford is a traitor, and storming into Tartaros HQ on his own) to let other characters have the focus. For the rest of the arc, Natsu ends up needing more teamwork and strategy for his victories.
      • Lucy and Wendy get A Day in the Limelight, both involving a badass fight where they win against a much stronger opponent, completely on their own.
      • Gray receives some Character Development, and a much needed Next Tier Power-Up unique only to him, after people started to view Gray as a Flat Character ever since the Time Skip occurred.
      • 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 overpowered.
      • Gajeel getting his Day In The Lime Light after remaining mostly Out of Focus compared to his fellow Dragon Slayers.
      • The arc ends with another Time Skip, this time a proper one allowing the protagonists to get stronger through proper training and age up, generally regarded as much better than the one Fairy Sphere forced by keeping the protagonists frozen in time for seven years, before easily overtaking other guilds with Second Origin or a mere three months of training.
    • The anime sheds light on Acnologia's backstory, after Mashima lamented that he was underdeveloped.

  • Badass Decay:
    • 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, Jerkass Anti-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. In addition, 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.
    • 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 badass hype Mashima develops for them at the start of their story arcs.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Now with its own dedicated page.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The story is well known for having plenty of curvy ladies who often suffer Clothing Damage. The original anime had a near-memetic “Wow!” during erotic scenes.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene with Mio and Arius in the final chapter. They appear to be reincarnations of Zeref and Mavis, somehow being the same age as the latter pair who had only died a year ago. The concept of reincarnation flies in the face of Ankhseram's policy on death. The other characters look confused, but end up taking it in stride without actually stopping to question it.
  • 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.
  • Broken Base:
    • The pacing of the series is noticeably faster than many of its contemporaries, with most fights ending in 2-3 chapters. Some appreciate that most arcs don't overstay their welcome, while others feel that the fights often feel anticlimactic as a result. This becomes especially apparent with the final battles with Zeref and Acnologia, as some people feel how they went fit the themes of the series and some people bash them by saying they feel far too rushed and make the Big Bads look like weaklings.
    • The series openly pushes its romantic pairings much more than many other similar shounen. Shippers appreciate Mashima's willingness to embrace pairings instead of beating around the bush. However, some feel that Mashima is instead forcing ships down the readers' throats, such as abusing Accidental Pervert moments for all they're worth. Further controversy lies in how the relationships have developed, with characters like Levy, post-Time Skip Jellal, and especially Juvia often being criticized for having their characterization revolve too much around their pairing. The final chapter occurring only a year after the Alvarez arc, with virtually none of the ships ever becoming official, Mashima's Twitter illustrations continuing to push Ship Tease for pairings that the actual story never finalized is viewed as either throwing the shippers a bone or simply mocking them.
    • Was the anime better with Satelight or Studio Bridge? The former is praised for brighter colors and more consistent art quality, while the latter is praised for more closely resembling the manga.
    • Who's the better major villain: Zeref or Acnologia? Supporters of the latter mock Zeref for whining too much and his questionable relationship with a physically 13-year-old girl (which has been outright confirmed to have been sexual in the past), and believe that Acnologia works just fine as an unrelenting force of destruction with no sappy sob story attached. Supporters of the former praise Zeref's detailed backstory and sympathetic motivations and condemn Acnologia for having a very shallow backstory only briefly mentioned during the finale, which was almost unanimously agreed to not only make Acnologia a massive hypocrite and less interesting, but was so disjointed and illogical that it was seen as making Acnologia practically incoherent.
    • The ending. Hiro Mashima's almost gleeful refusal to pair up anybody and deliberate attempt to troll the fans, his retaliation toward fans making too much FT couple fan art and taking the piss out of depicting anybody together himself, or a stylistic way of telling us this was really Lucy's story from her viewpoint, not ours? Either way, it left a huge dent in the fanbase, considering how Rave Master, his previous work, ended with the main love interests Happily Married and with a son.
    • The Running Gag of Makarov trying (and failing) to pass on the title of Master, with his successors constantly passing the title back to him by admitting they're not interested and believe he's still the best choice. A nice subversion of possible Mentor Occupational Hazard and Passing the Torch oh-so-common that shows how much the guild cares about him as a father figure, or annoying Status Quo Is God and They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot that stymies possible Character Development for other characters?
    • The fanservice. One of the most prominent aspects of the series is the multitude of curvaceous ladies who, when not already wearing skimpy outfits, suffer no shortage of Clothing Damage. Some readers enjoy the fanservice, and defend the female characters for remaining a significant and competent fighting force compared to many other battle shounen while also being sexy. Others feel that it can be too distracting, especially as it gets ramped up as the story progresses. Some of the most polarizing events include the Hot Springs Episode in Chapter 355 (which Mashima himself later acknowledged in a tweet to have gone a bit too far, and expected this trope to take hold), Erza's torture during the Tartaros arc (nudity is not uncommon for torture victims, but critics argue that that the sequence was more titillating than horrifying) and the Stone Age omake (even many ardent supporters of Natsu x Lucy felt that Natsu's actions toward Lucy were comparable to sexual assault).

  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • 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 Tartaros. 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, though he's actually the reanimated corpse of his dad. Ya... it's complicated.
    • E.N.D. stands for Etherious Natsu Dragneel. Some may feel that it's pretty obvious considering how much the Tartaros arc foreshadowed it, and it was hinted at as far back as the Tenrou Island arc. Although many will agree that figuring out what the E stood for to describe E.N.D. was probably the hardest part to figure out.note 
    • Zero: When Mavis reveals that her magic powers involve illusions, pretty much everyone immediately assumes that her best friend Zera is another one of her illusions. This was confirmed in chapter 11, when Yuri admits that neither he nor his companions can see or hear Zera. Granted, Zera's illusion works differently from Mavis' other illusions, and only works so long as Mavis doesn't realize that she's an illusion.
    • Irene Belserion of the Spriggan 12 being Erza's mother. They look so similar to one another that it would of been a much bigger plot-twist if it turned out that they were completely unrelated.
    • The frozen mountain in the Sun Village. It looks suspiciously like a giant flame. It's not until the second half of the arc when they finally realize how obvious it looks, and only then do they learn learn that it's the Eternal Flame from Flare. Although, WHO the Eternal Flame actually is, was much more surprising.
    • Hardly anyone was surprised that Gray's trump card against Zeref turned out to be his Iced Shell spell. Even fewer were surprised that he was not allowed to go through with it.
  • Cargo Ship: Max x Broom. And Mashima himself seems to enjoy joking about it in manga, since most of Max's panels in the Tartarus arc has him holding said broom. The final color page of the series has Max with a broom, too.
  • Cliché Storm: For better or worse, the series tends to follow a lot of shonen manga cliches, such as heavy use of The Power of Friendship and most major characters having Plot Armor. Whether this makes the series a fun and light-hearted adventure or dull and predictable depends on the reader.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Acnologia, the Black Dragon of the Apocalypse, was once a hero who protected humans from dragons. Succumbing to bloodlust and a love of combat and destruction, Acnologia embraced his transformation into a black dragon, massacring the entire dragon race, even his own allies. Becoming a terrifying scourge on the world, Acnologia annihilates innocents for fun, stopped only from conquering the world by his own boredom. Upon his second appearance in the story, Acnologia brutally kills his old enemy, the Fire Dragon King Igneel in front of the latter's adopted son. When he decides to take center stage in Alvarez's invasion of Fiore, Acnologia targets the other Dragon Slayers to wipe them out and reveals his intention to simply annihilate everything that lives, while keeping the only immortal wizards as playthings to torture forever.
    • "Phantom Lord" arc: Master Jose Porla of Phantom Lord, motivated by ceaseless but unfounded envy towards the Fairy Tail Guild, orders Gajeel to destroy their home base in Magnolia Town and hang up the violently beaten Team Shadow Gear as an example. After incapacitating Makarov, who he holds a special enmity towards for a mere drunken outburst, Porla kidnaps Lucy and holds her for ransom to acquire the entire Heartfilia family fortune. Going to extreme lengths to satisfy his hateful jealousy, Porla orders the activation of "Abyss Break" to annihilate all of Fairy Tail as well as the innocent civilians of Magnolia Town.
    • "Edolas" arc: Faust, the King of Edolas, supposedly desires eternal magic for his kingdom, but in the end only wants it for himself. He conducted a plan called "Anima" to absorb all of Earth Land into Edolas as Lacrima for fuel, but his son Mystogan eliminated most of the portals save for one in Magnolia City. Consumed by greed, he eventually orders the genocide of all Exceeds and uses his army's desperation for Magic to rile them. During "Code ETD", he siphons the Dragon Slayers of their magic to create a chain to throw the giant Lacrima containing Magnolia City residents and facilitate in Extalia's destruction. When Mystogan thwarts it, Faust personally leads a final assault in the Dorm Anima, callously shooting down his son and promising to turn Natsu, Wendy, and Gajeel into living batteries to fund future Anima plan attempts. His burning of Coco's legs and disregard for Pantherlily's life in a crossfire ultimately out Faust as a power-hungry and avaricious king.
    • "Tartaros" arc: The "Etherious" Jackal, member of Tartaros's Nine Demon Gates, is a sadistic psychopath who assassinated the Magic Council. A lover of Sadistic Choices, he forced a former councilman to choose between his life and that of his own granddaughter. Later, he imposes one upon Lucy where he will either detonate an elder councilman or a pregnant woman. Already viewing humans as mere playthings, Jackal later pettily kills one of his own guildmates, showing his monstrous nature extends to even fellow demons.
    • Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry has Zash Caine. See that page for details.
  • 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. While Evergreen and Elfman have a great deal of Belligerent Sexual Tension and the ending of Freed and Mirajane's fight has some Ship Tease, Lisanna and Bickslow hardly ever interact, save for fighting Rustyrose and keeping an eye on Raven Tail during Laxus's fight with "Alexei".
  • Crazy Awesome: Quite a few characters:
    • Fukuro is a cross between an owl and a man, sees himself as a superhero, has Mega Manning powers and, most of all, uses two missiles as a jetpack.
    • Also Gajeel, here's a short list of problems and his solutions:
      • Want to be accepted by friends? Hijack the stage and sing a song in a silly Nice Hat.
      • Encountered one of the most badass furries ever? Tell him you are going to make him your cat.
      • A freaking Humongous Mecha? Eat the damn thing!
    • Natsu as well:
      • Faced with a Anti-Magic Sphere of Power? Use your magic outside to propel yourself and punch the guy in face.
      • How to stop a powerful moon beam from entering a pyramid? Break the pillars on one side and tilt it.
      • Dealing with an enemy who can read your mind? STOP THINKING.
      • In a bonus chapter, Natsu uproots an entire tree of flowers and promptly sends it to Lucy because she wanted to see it.
      • 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.
    • Finding that touching Jackal causes an explosion on his body? He eats the EXPLOSION. Or more accurately fire from it, minimizing the damage.
  • Critical Dissonance: The anime and manga of Fairy Tail have both won numerous awards from reviewers and critics in Europe since 2009 - even ranking within the top 10 most popular manga series in Japan from 2010 to 2011 and 2012 onto 2013. Upon ending the manga in 2017, Mashima even won the Harvey Award in New York. In stark contrast, among fans online, Fairy Tail is generally considered as one of the most hated series around and a primary source of mockery.note 
  • Cry for the Devil: Zeref. Where to even begin? He Used to Be a Sweet Kid who just wanted his baby brother back, while constantly being chided by his teachers for what they perceived as blasphemy. When he didn't take a hint and got a little too close to figuring out how to resurrect the dead, he ended up being cursed by a Jerkass God and killed everyone around him, leading to his guilt complex. He spends the next few centuries creating demons in a desperate bid to kill himself because of the sheer amount of pain he's feeling and causing the rest of the world, culminating in his magnum opus, E.N.D., a.k.a. his dead little brother Natsu. A while later, he meets Mavis, the first and only person to ever show him genuine kindness, causing him to teach her magic that inadvertently makes her immortal. He eventually falls in love with her, and just when it looks like he's got a chance at Eternal Love and a tiny glimmer of hope at being happy, his curse kills her body causing her to be placed in suspended animation. Now, his only hope at ending his suffering is to die, and it has to be E.N.D. (a.k.a. Natsu, the same brother he dedicated his entire childhood to resurrecting) to be the one to do it. Nobody - nobody - can go through all of that without losing it afterward. He was already in Ensemble Dark Horse territory, but after The Reveal of his and Mavis' backstory, some sections of the fandom are in full-blown Rooting for the Empire mode, and now believe that Acnologia and Ankhseram are the real villains.

  • Designated Love Interest: More than a few people think that Gray is this for Juvia. Gray has barely shown any indications of a serious romantic interest in her, at least at first. This isn't helped by Juvia's obsessive behavior.
  • Designated Villain:
    • The Magic Council are constantly portrayed in a negative light for trying to keep Fairy Tail in line, even though the guild repeatedly breaks the law with reckless abandon, from property damage to defending wanted criminals.
    • Kagura during the Grand Magic Games arc is portrayed as an antagonist for wanting revenge against her older brother's killer, Jellal. While Jellal did so under Ultear's control, Erza's protests appear largely based off of her feelings for Jellal, with no attempt to convey to Kagura that he wasn't in his right mind when it happened.
    • Scarmiglione, the winning guild in the X792, is painted in a negative light with the members' somewhat shady-looking appearance and holding back their full power until the finale to make for a better show. At no point did they do anything illegal, yet Natsu is apparently justified intruding the arena and burning them (and most of the arena) without provocation to display the results of his training from the second Time Skip.
  • Dork Age: For many, the Avatar arc is seen as this due to how pointless the arc came off as when it was all said and done. Other problems included the overexposure of Natsu, and wasted world-building potential.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ultear, pre-Heel–Face Turn. Her known atrocities are slaughtering Merudy's village, brainwashing Jellal into continuing the Tower of Heaven after the slave revolt, leaving him a reviled criminal in the eyes of most characters, and assisting Lyon in trying to revive a demon who slaughtered several characters' families (he at least wanted to prove that he could kill it, she was planning on using it to wreak havoc). Her motivation, while admittedly sympathetic and working under the belief that all her crimes will be erased, is Poor Communication Kills by not revealing herself to Ur before deciding that Ur had forgotten about her. Even now that she's The Atoner, her only punishment was self-inflicted. Despite all this, her character has been received quite positively, especially in comparison to the guy whose crimes were forced by her.
  • Dueling Shows:
    • With One Piece, partly as a result of having similar art styles and somewhat similar premises, with a cast of misfits going on adventures.
    • And briefly Slayers during its short-lived revival.

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Naturally, there's quite some. Notably:
    • Laxus and Gildarts seem quite popular among the western fandom.
    • Mirajane is quite popular for her bubbly personality and being on par with Erza as one of Fairy Tail's premier Action Girls. Many have pushed to see Mira in action more often.
    • Gajeel is this for many after his Heel–Face Turn to the point that you would hear of fan disappointment for not getting treated on the same level as his fellow Dragon Slayers, Natsu and Wendy
    • The Oracion Seis overall (sans Brain), likely due to the fact they were the first dark guild that posed an actual threat to the heroes as well as being evil but also tragic figures given their past as slaves. They were so popular that they not only got a second arc as the villains, but also became good guys with Jellal and Meredy.
    • Ultear. She was the first established villain that went beyond just a one-off Arc Villain, and the fact that people tend to forget about how much of an evil biatch she was before Gray knocked some sense into her just goes to show how engaging her character turned out to be overall.
    • 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 hundreds of miles away and while in stasis, Fairy Sphere. On top of that she created and can probably cast Fairy Glitter and Fairy Law. She ultimately became so popular that Mashima made her the main character of Fairy Tail Zerø, and she later had a central role during the Alvarez Empire arc.
    • Rogue, pretty much the only member of Sabertooth who isn't a massive dick at the time of their introduction.note 
    • 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. 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... at least before he decided to reveal that the plot-twist was all a lie.
    • Seilah has reached this point, too. She had quite a fair number of fans right out of the gate (mostly because Evil Is Sexy and her relationship with Kyouka was perhaps the most well done villainous romantic relationship yet), many fans refused to believe she could have possibly gone down because of one punch to the back of the head in one of the victories in the arc. It reached the point where fans were lobbying Hiro Mashima over Twitter, demanding she come back... and she did, in perhaps the most badass way possible, giving her the send-off many fans believed she deserved and had been previously denied.
    • Brandish is easily the most liked of the Spriggan Twelve. An intriguing backstory connected to Lucy, as well as just being a fun character to watch, had many hoping that she will perform a Heel–Face Turn somewhere down the line, and much to a many's joy, she ultimately did.
    • August of the Spriggan Twelve has also gathered himself a sizable fanbase primarily for curb-stomping Jellal's guild all on his own. His "The Reason You Suck" Speech that followed which deconstructed Crime Sorcière's rigid belief that Dark Is Evil and Light Is Good with zero room for nuance definitely helped. There's also the fact that he is the only member of the Spriggan 12 who didn't suffer Badass Decay, making him one of the most dangerous antagonists in the series. The Reveal about his true identity in Chapter 526, served with an extra helping of Heartwarming Moments and Tear Jerker, only intensified this, now tying him with if not surpassing Brandish as the most popular member of the Spriggan 12.
  • Epileptic Trees: The sheer number of times Makarov has been subjected to the Not Quite Dead trope has led some fans to wonder, completely seriously, if he is immortal like Mavis and Zeref. Even detractors admit that there really is no other logical explanation for it at this point.
    • Another one that has been developing has been the idea that Mashima was being forced to rush the series to its end by his editor or rushed it to just be done with it. Some fans cite the atrocious pacing of the finale arc after Irene cast universe one where many of the issues under Bile Fascination really began to occur.
  • Evil Is Cool: Most of the Arc Villains, with a few specific members of the arc's Quirky Mini Boss Squad standing out like Gajeel, Seilah, Kyouka. And for overarching villains there's of course Acnologia.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Erza Knightwalker, Daphne, Azuma, Rustyrose, Mard Geer, Zeref, Jackal, Seilah, Acnologia's human form, Cobra, Angel, Jellal, and Ultear until the latter four turned.
    • Many of the humanoid Eclipse Celestial Spirits are getting this reaction, too. Especially Ophiuchus.
    • Many of the Spriggan Twelve - specifically, Brandish, Dimaria, Invel, Neinhart, Irene, Larcade, and Ajeel - count, though the majority of them are examples of Anti-Villain at worst, due to My Country, Right or Wrong.

  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • 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.
  • Fanon:
    • Given that the S-Class Trial arc didn't have a true resolution, a lot of fans tend to believe that Cana Alberona won the test given that she was the only one that actually reached Mavis' grave.
    • A lot of people tend to believe that Erza's "fake-eye" played a part in the Kyouka fight to overcome the loss of her five senses. It's a perfectly valid excuse, and even though it wasn't explicitly stated (Happy's 'explanation' has even been likened to an In-Universe Shrug of God), fans truly believe it's the only logical explanation for how that fight went. However, a few panels where the artificial eye was exposed showed that it was darkened just like her real eye.
    • Conversely, some take Pantherlily's explanation on unlocking a sixth sense as the true canon rather than Happy's (who's consistently shown to be an Unreliable Narrator).
    • Erza's hakama outfit is often justified as turning her into a Glass Cannon by converting her magic from defense to attack. When we first see her use it against Ikaruga, the latter states that she senses no magic power from it like her armor, and Erza explicitly calls it "just fabric". However it was the sword Benizakura that she used against Azuma while wearing the outfit that maximized her attack power, but required her to not be wearing protective gear. Since then Erza has used the hakama to different effects - both using it with specialised weapons and simply just funneling her magic power into the attack of two more ordinary katanas.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Some people felt that Irene's outfit was trying a little too hard to be sexy, particularly with the Underboobs.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Azuma has some with Mirajane and Erza.
    • Minerva towards Erza, so freaking hard. It approaches Albert Wesker levels in Chapter 386.
    "Now, come and show me what you're made of, my beloved... ERRRZZZAAAAA!!!"
    "I won't forgive you any more. I don't love you any more!"
    • Erza and Kyouka have shades of this. Particularly the amount of time Kyouka wishes to..."torture" her.
    • DiMaria of the Spriggan Twelve runs on this trope. She really likes cutting off women's clothes with her sword, while admiring their bodies. Whether she really is a Psycho Lesbian or if it's a tactic to psyche them out is up to interpretation, though it's probably both.
  • Franchise Original Sin: While Fairy Tail has always been divisive, and a source of mockery because of the friendship speeches, somewhat nonsensical victories (which sometimes got a pass because of Rule of Cool), and Fanservice, these elements were not as prominent early on, especially the latter. These examples were most of the time used for funny gags, but after the Timeskip, these elements got prominently turned Up to Eleven with tons of cleavage/butt shots, and moments where the characters were naked for no logical reason except for the fandom (which usually reacted negatively). In addition, the Ass Pulls became more and more exaggerated, causing the Willing Suspension of Disbelief of the fandom to be very low (Read the Ass Pull examples above. You'll notice that some of these could have gotten a free pass in a less divisive series).
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans of Fairy Tail became attracted to Black Clover after Fairy Tail had ended, with the series rising in popularity around the time. Both take place in a world of magic and have a colorful cast, with the core characters comprised of a group of quirky mages.

  • Genius Bonus:
    • "Ankhseram" is actually a combination of two words. An Ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol that, even today, represents life, or the creation of life. 'Seram' is the Malay/Indonesian word for 'horror.' It's the true name of Zeref's Death Magic, only it's not magic, but a Curse.
    • How the Eclipse Gate works. Time flows differently in the Celestial Spirit world, sure. But why? Keep in mind, the Celestial Spirit World, as its name implies, is a dimension made up of multiple celestial bodies, and where gravity has been shown to be warped. The Eclipse Gate requires magic developed by Zeref and Celestial Spirit Magic (specifically, all twelve Zodiac Keys) to function, and presumably uses the Celestial Spirit World as the means for which Time Travel is possible. Meaning, the Eclipse Gate is less a time machine, and more like a wormhole through space. In Real Life, this concept is known as Time Dilation, and is a part of the theory of Relativity.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • There are several occurrences early on that could be established as when things decided to get serious for this series. It could be Galuna Island which moved away from Fairy Tail doing basic jobs for money. It could have been the Phantom Lord arc which was the first all-out war between guilds, or it may have been the Tower of Heaven arc which increased the size-and-scope of the series by now having the entire world at risk.
      • The Tower of Heaven arc also had a long-running storyline, massive emotional developments and very dark character arcs, characters dying and death being a real plausible threat, as well as a villain who completely out-classed the heroes.
    • The Tartarus arc, despite some rather controversial events, received much more positive reception than much of the content since the seven-year Time Skip, mainly for giving next tier power ups and Character Development to some of the more neglected FT members and addressing several of the series' mysteries.

  • 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 Grand Magic Games, where they learn that this is what the dragons had in mind to teach humans to battle their more carnivorous brethren, which unfortunately backfired and caused the humans to turn it back it on the more humane dragons as well.
    • Cobra pissed off Natsu by insisting that dragons were extinct. Aside from the previously human Acnologia, they are.
    • Fairy Tail Zero shows us how Mavis and Zeref really first met. Mavis showed Zeref what was probably the first bit of genuine kindness he'd experienced in centuries, if not ever, prompting him to agree to teach Fairy Tail's future founders the magic necessary to defeat Blue Skull. Fast forward a century, and Zeref kills one of those members and then declares his intent to wipe out humanity to Mavis' face. No wonder it looked like her heart was breaking as she heard him go on his Humans Are Bastards tirade; she was watching someone she genuinely liked, felt sorry for, and tried to help finally snap before her very eyes.
      • Chapter 450 brings this Up to Eleven, and somehow manages to make even Harsher in Hindsight. Mavis died because of a Kiss of Death with Zeref. He then spent a long amount of time with her ghost on Tenroujima, unable to see her, hear her, or touch her, and doing little more than being able to feel her presence. All of that time, he spent stewing, wishing for death, before the ticking time bomb finally exploded in the aforementioned Humans Are Bastards scene. That must have absolutely broken her heart.
    • Also from Zero, every heartwarming interaction between Mavis and Precht instantly becomes this due to Precht turning to the dark side. Not to mention Precht's harshness towards Fairy Tail becomes much worse and pettier after that: he appointed Makarov as his successor and used to be friends with him.
    • The Eclipse Project, led by Princess Hisui, to use the Eclipse Gate to go back in time to kill Zeref before he became immortal. Chapter 436 showed us that Zeref never intentionally became immortal; it's actually a part of his curse, for angering Ankhseram by studying taboo magic. Yes, Zeref ended up doing some pretty horrible things and eventually did Take A Level In Jerkass, but at the time period in which Hisui wanted to kill him, Zeref was completely innocent, save from being a controversial figure at the Academy and a blasphemer. And the worst part is, he only became cursed because the guy just wanted his brother back. The plan was already considered extreme due it being a Butterfly of Doom scenario just waiting to happen, but if it had been allowed to succeed, Hisui would have murdered an innocent man in cold blood, and Natsu as we know him would have never existed.
    • The manga chapter where Igneel dies was published the same day Bob Magruder died. Fortunately, the English voice work for the first anime was already done, and so Magruder was able to complete his lines before then.
    • Zoldeo's appearance as a Seven Kin of Purgatory, after we learn why he became evil, snapping when Layla was sick and dying by murdering Grammi, Brandish's mother. What ultimately happened, to have him turn him into that, is horrifying.
    • After what happened to Scott Freeman, Bickslow being excited to team up with Wendy in Episode 141, becomes this.
    • The scene where General Rung brutally abuses Irene after her transformation into a dragon is harder to swallow after his English VA Chris Niosi publicly admitted to a history of abuse towards his girlfriends and fellow colleagues in July 2019.
    • Shortly before he excommunicates Laxus from the guild, Makarov lectures his grandson on not understanding what Fairy Tail is all about- among other things, it's a family for those who don't have one. Eventually, you learn that Makarov lost both his parents- his mother died shortly after giving him as a result of Mavis' curse, and his father died when Makarov was no more than five years old.
    • In the Battle of Fairy Tail arc, Juvia Lockser destroys a lacrima, which results in her getting shocked with electricity and passing out, so that she and Cana Alberona will not have to fight. By the time of Chapter 499, she sacrifices herself again and nearly dies. It's also Heartwarming in Hindsight to a certain degree, since it shows that Juvia would rather die than hurt someone she cares about, not just Gray Fullbuster.
    • Daphne's motivation becomes this with the revelation that all the dragons in the world are dead... except for Acnologia.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The unique "Number One!" handsign all the Fairy Tail members perform in the second episode? Turns out that Laxus came up with it as a little boy so he could send a message to his grandpa during his first Fantasia Parade.
    Makarov: You'll hold up your hand?
    Young!Laxus: It's a message! When you see me holding up my hand like this, it means even if I can't see you, I'm looking your way!
    • Lucy's planned marriage to Duke Sawarr Junelle becomes heartwarming when her English voice, Cherami Leigh, would marry actor Jon Christie in 2014.
  • 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.
    • Jad Saxton voicing Carla became amusing once you realize that she also voiced Koneko, who resembles a cat like Carla, in High School D×D. The fifth Blu-ray/DVD release of Fairy Tail was released one month before the Blu-ray/DVD release of High School DxD. What's more, Saxton has a cat named Granger.
    • Ultear's plan to use Zeref to return to a time where she can kill her mother, essentially re-writing history via time travel becomes a bit funny when you realize that this is literally Zeref's entire plan in the final arc in regards to his own family and Acnologia.
    • Mallorie Rodak voicing Yukino, who underwent a Shameful Strip and was banished from Saber Tooth after one failure too many in the Grand Magic Games, suddenly becomes funny when she later voiced Rossweisse in High School D×D. In Hero, Rossweisse also gets subjected to a shameful strip thanks to Issei's Dress Break, just like Yukino.

  • Idiot Plot:
    • The first half of the Key of the Starry Skies filler arc can be considered this as the whole point of Natsu and company finding the clock pieces is so that the enemy can't find them to put together a Doomsday Device... which is exactly what the Fairy Tail guild ends up doing, and basically handed them the device on a silver platter.
    • Lucy. Despite being shown to competently use her magic and her spirits as well as having powerful magic with impressive magic reserves (being able to summon spirit after spirit over and over again is supposed to be significantly impressive for celestial wizards), Lucy continually uses her spirits in the stupidest and most banal ways possible whenever it is actually important. She has also been shown to be able to strategize and think smartly about magic battles, but she will routinely do things that border Too Dumb to Live in sheer stupidity. This is particularly annoying when we've seen many of her spirits being used in inventive and effective ways by wizards who were equal in power or less powerful than she later becomes - used in ways that she witnessed and should easily be able to replicate. A good example is in the Tartarus arc prologue in the first fight against Jackal: he's shown to be able to use his explosions to repel wind-powered attacks, so who does Lucy summon? Scorpio - to use his sandstorm attacks...
    • Chapter 529: Holy shit! Anna Heartfilia is alive and in the present!? And she has a plan to— Wait. She's been working on what all this time, and she's just telling Fairy Tail this now? She's been researching this for years, after or while Acnologia destroyed Tenroujima (leading almost everyone to believe four Dragon Slayers were dead), and wreaked havoc during the Tartaros Arc? She didn't even bother to tell anyone, least of all Zeref, her old partner and someone who considered her a genuine friend (and really could have used one these last few years while she was here)?
      • However, Chapter 530 reveals this is a Subversion, as not only did Zeref know about said plan, it directly correlates to his own grand plan...which if Anna knew about, she would likely immediately abandon it.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • Chapter 490. Irene Belserion casts a cataclysmically powerful Terraforming spell called 'Universe One' on the entire country of Fiore, which resulted in the entire country being shrunk to one-twentieth its geographic size, and people in the country randomly teleported all over the place. Think about that for a minute. How many citizens of Fiore are now in the middle of the ocean? How many of their homes are now destroyed, underwater, underground, or in several locations at once? Even in the best case scenario and there weren't many casualties, shrinking the entire country will wreak havoc on the nation's ecology, meaning land for agriculture and natural resources will almost certainly no longer be able to support Fiore's population, leading to overpopulation and famine. With a single spell, Irene has quite possibly done more damage to Fiore than all previous dark guilds in the series could even dream of doing, causing a near-apocalyptic event... at least until the country returns to normal with Irene's suicide.
  • It Was His Sled: Considering the length of the Fairy Tail series, there have been many revelations over the years that could be considered a given for newcomers.
    • Fairy Tail member, Loke, is Leo of the Celestial Spirits.
    • Gajeel and Juvia perform a Heel–Face Turn, and join Fairy Tail after the Phantom Lord arc.
    • Jellal lives past the events of the Tower of Heaven arc.
    • Wendy and Carla join Fairy Tail after the Oracion Seis arc.
    • Pantherlily performs a Heel–Face Turn, and joins Fairy Tail after the Edolas arc.
    • Lisanna was never truly dead.
    • Laxus returns to the Fairy Tail guild post Sirius Island. Doesn't help that the tenth opening outright spoiled his return.
    • A 7-year Time Skip occurs after Sirius Island.

  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Sting ever since Chapter 300 due to Ziemma 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.

  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Given Fairy Tail's Loads and Loads of Characters, taking a single character, and pairing them off with someone from the list, is quite common amongst the fanbase.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • What was that? You thought Arcadios was not of this world any more 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 362. Happy pulls a Pell-like Heroic Sacrifice by flying an exploding Jackal into the sky, and ends up with only an afro for his troubles.
    • Chapter 368 and 369. Did you honestly believe that Mashima would kill off Jellal to a guild that's been in lock-up?
    • Chapter 378. Wendy and Carla dying due to Face being destroyed? What, you think Hiro Mashima is the type to Kill the Cutie? Though Carla could have at least gotten an afro for her trouble.
    • A very rare villainous example, especially for a Shōnen series, comes in the Tartaros arc in the form of Mard Geer. 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.
    • Zeref. The near-unanimous reaction from the fandom to Zeref's "death" in Chapter 464 was that there was no way Mashima would kill off the Big Bad before the rest of the Spriggan Twelve were revealed, before Natsu became aware of his true relation to Zeref, before Acnologia's appearance, or especially after right after revealing he has ties to Layla and another unknown character named 'Anna.' The fact that there was No Body Left Behind only further cemented this reaction. The very next chapter proved they were right.
    • Who actually thought Gajeel died after his fight with Bloodman?
    • In the span of a couple pages for Chapter 493, Mashima gives us Mira being shot through the heart by August, only for it to be revealed that Brandish shrunk the injury without anyone noticing.
    • Chapter 499. For the fourth time in the same arc, another character, Juvia, seemingly died by means of Heroic Suicide. Few people believed it would stick and sure enough, she recovered thanks to Wendy's help. The anime goes even further, by having a flashback montage of "important" moments from their relationship (like the time Gray accidentally touched Juvia's bum, or when Juvia gave Gray a love pillow of herself) set to weepy piano music. It's so unconvincing it might have been a stealth parody of Mashima's love of fake-out death gimmicks.
    • Chapter 505. Some people were suggesting this about Makarov after he activated Fairy Law in a situation that resulted in him dying in return for disposing of many of the Mooks from Zeref's army. Given several other already mentioned characters who've survived life-threatening situations, it was only a matter of time before Mashima pulled the Not Quite Dead trope again...then Chapter 537 happened although in that case he really was dead, but then literally brought Back from the Dead.
    • Chapter 522. Considering the number of times Gray has threatened to use it before and been interrupted, the likelihood that he would actually get to use Iced Shell on Zeref was slim.
    • Chapter 536. In another villainous example, this chapter makes it seem as though both Zeref and Acnologia are defeated simultaneously. The main problem with this is that the chapter's title page states that there are still ten chapters left, and despite vowing to kill him, Natsu has yet to even interact with Acnologia, who was merely sealed away. Sure enough, Acnologia breaks out stronger than ever and absorbs the Dragon Slayers into his new realm, giving Natsu a proper showdown, while everyone else fought on the outside.

  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Zeref Dragneel, the Dark Mage, is known as the most evil wizard of all time. In truth, a tormented genius cursed with everlasting life after he tries to resurrect his beloved younger brother, Zeref plotted to send the future Dragon Slayers into the future to one day combat the evil dragon Acnologia. Upon surrendering to darkness, Zeref clandestinely founded the Alvarez empire as Emperor Spriggan and used them to wage war on Fairy Tail, seizing the ultimate magic Fairy Heart for himself, intending on using it to wipe out the current timeline and go back to correct all his mistakes in the hopes of forging a better world.
    • Ultear Milkovich is a manipulative, backstabbing sorceress who uses other wizards to further her Master, Hades', plans to bring back the aforementioned Zeref, most notably causing the events in the Tower of Heaven that result with the Etherion cannon being fired at the Tower, destroying it. Even after her Heel–Face Turn, Ultear continues to show her ruthless nature, even trying to kill the heroic Rogue to prevent him from becoming a villain in the future and her honor by giving her youth to cast a spell to turn back time and save the heroes from death. Later returning as a magical projection, Ultear helps save Fiore from the Alvarez Empire's sorceress Dimaria.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser:

    • 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 Mard Geer, 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 Mard fight them seriously. With his track record, Be Careful What You Wish For doesn't even begin to cover it. It reached such a point that even when he won a long and trying fight (albeit with help) against Larcade, one of the strongest Spriggan, some readers still felt he didn't deserve such a feat because of this status.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Flare comes across as a creepy Psycho Lesbian during her fight with Lucy. In fact, Lucy tends to fight a lot characters who give off rapist vibes.
    • Juvia due to her Stalker with a Crush attitude towards Gray.
    • Doranbolt, thanks to his stint with Wendy; particularly him standing behind her, with a creepy smile. Mashima clearly caught on, as when Erza is reverted into a child, she imagines Doranbolt taking interest in her just as Jellal dumps her.
    • Zeref gets this as well. According to at least one circle of fans, he's "done" everything. Some even go so far as to say he's the progenitor of all living things because of this, dubbing the phenomenon "The Big Bang Theory." Despite never showing even a casual interest in anybody but Mavis and seeming to be all but immune
  • Memetic Mutation: The 'Wow!' sound effect used during fanservice scenes in the anime became a popular sound effect for various Youtube videos, either for other fanservice scenes or moments that are decidedly not sexy.
  • Mis-blamed: Jellal regarding a lot wrongdoings that have occurred throughout the manga. Fans tend to forget that not only was Jellal brainwashed, mindraped, and controlled by Ultear for the duration of all his evil deeds, but he spends six years hunting evil and still feels his life was worthless due to what he'd done, it's surprising that he hasn't gotten more of a break from the fans (although his Creator's Pet status via Mashima could be a very prominent reason). Surprisingly, Ultear has never gotten a Never Live It Down reputation, despite not only freely chosing to Mind Rape Jellal for years but torturing and massacring huge numbers of people (Ultear's very prominent Freudian Excuse is one reason why she gets so much compassion). There seems to have been an attempt to rid Jellal of his Never Live It Down reputation after Mavis herself said he isn't evil - and she puts the 'God' in Word of God - however with not a huge amount of success.
  • Moe: Mavis. Her cuteness even gets to people in universe. Especially Zeref.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ziemma 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 Ziemma may have crossed the line even in the eyes of many of his subordinates.
    • 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!
    • Mard Geer ran head-first into the Moral Event Horizon, and kept on cruising afterward. The very next appearance after his debut, he tortured one of his subordinates and then callously sacrificed his own mooks just to make sure Fairy Tail fell victim to his trap with Alegria. Even Kyouka was horrified by this, and to put that into perspective, she did pretty much the same thing to Succubus Eye!
    • Speaking of the member who destroyed the Magic Council, he manages to cross it and then do even worse when he tries to blow up Natsu, 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.
    • Arlock of Avatar crosses it the moment we finally get to see him in action. Operation Purification, a plan in which he was going to massacre a village full of innocent people to summon Zeref, was probably enough to qualify him for crossing this as it was, but oh no, that's not enough for this guy. Remember all of that debate from the fans about whether or not Avatar being fodder made them look weak, and the chapters fighting them a waste of time? Yeah, he wanted that to happen. He never had any intention of even his own followers surviving this, which he proves the moment he summons one of the Eighteen War Gods of the Yakuma, laughing like a maniac while it begins slaughtering his own men, while saying that sacrificing the true believers who worship Zeref will surely draw Zeref's attention and summon him to them. The sheer despair on Mary's face when she realizes Arlock is going to leave her to her fate speaks volumes. No wonder Zeref wants nothing to do with the people who worship him.
    • Ankhseram hasn't even been seen on-screen yet and the fandom already believes he's crossed this. Cursing Zeref because he just wanted to his little brother back from the dead was bad enough, considering his Start of Darkness was entirely Ankhseram's fault. But as if that wasn't already Moral Event Horizon material, he then cursed Mavis, and all she wanted to do was save her friends from a sort of Demonic Possession caused by the Tenrou Jade, which would have caused mass casualties if she hadn't decided the risks of using an incomplete Law were worth it. The former could maybe be justified, if you buy the excuse of an In Mysterious Ways sense of a deity's Blue-and-Orange Morality. The latter was just a straight-up dick move against a character who absolutely did not deserve it. And just to cement how much of a douche he is Zeref's curse kills Mavis despite her own curse because they fell in love with each other, just to drive him even further into despair. He'd seriously be in pure evil territory had he actually appeared on screen.
    • Invel Yura crosses this when he uses his Ice Lock magic on both Grey and Juvia in order to force them to fight each other, fully expecting Grey to win and kill Juvia so that the "darkness" inside his heart can awaken and he can become a warrior who can defeat E.N.D.(i.e. Natsu, which means that if Invel's plan had succeeded, Gray would have killed two of his friends) This leads to Juvia's apparent death by Heroic Suicide, and Invel's manipulation leads Gray to want to kill Natsu.

  • Narm:
    • Chapter 246: Hades' almost cartoony facial expressions as Natsu starts beating him up in Lighting-Flame Dragon Mode.
    • Chapter 358-362: People were finding it difficult to take Tartarus seriously when Tempester and Jackal got their asses kicked in direct combat and had to resort to underhanded methods.
    • 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 389: Sting and Rogue attempting to appear threatening as they fight Mard Geer, given their lackluster performance at the Grand Magic Games and Mard Geer's minimal effort to fend them off.
    • Chapter 394: Juvia tearfully giving a speech about love? Heartwarming. Juvia blowing up Keyes from inside? Moment of Awesome? Doing both at the same time? Narm.
    • Chapter 395: After having had a relatively tough time fighting Tempester and Torafusa, Gajeel and Natsu enter their Super Modes while the former two enter their One-Winged Angel modes. Of course, just as the fight looked like it was getting to the good part, not only did Gajeel and Natsu have the fight inexplicably do a total 180 and started kicking the two demons' asses (with Torafusa calling Gajeel and Natsu demons), but Natsu and Gajeel literally started fighting each other because of a sudden argument over who was stronger, making the fight seem much less serious than it was before as a result. And all of this while Juvia was potentially dying due to Anti-Magic Particle exposure.
    • Chapter 408: Demon! Ziemma's pointy hair and ears don't really fit with the rest of his extremely muscular body.
    • Lisanna and Mirajane talking in serious, concerned voices about how Seilah is putting Mirajane on the defensive by ‘‘pelting her with books.’’ And not in a creative way either – just throwing a small number of books straight at her over and over again while Mirajane stands there motionless guarding. It’s funny both the first ‘’and second’’ time you watch it – worse with the anime because of the dramatic music in the background.
    • FACE in general becomes a lot less scary when characters are blurting out phrases such as "Stop the face" or "We come face to FACE"
    • Chapter 505: During the otherwise dramatic fight between Natsu and Gray, after one combatant says that no one will stop him, the other yells "I'm gonna stop you!! I'm gonna stop you from breathing!!"
    • Chapter 531: Motion sickness, a Weaksauce Weakness among Dragon Slayers usually Played for Laughs, is seriously used to incapacitate Acnologia and becomes crucial to his defeat.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • 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. The Would Hit a Girl defense has been tried in that Gajeel beat up all three people fairly equally, but without much success. Chapter 485 seems to imply that Mashima has caught on to this criticism with the Gajeel/Levy shipping, and reveals that Gajeel considers it to be his greatest sin.
    • Doranbolt makes one extremely creepy face while he was partnered up with Wendy, and he ends up forever labelled 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 paedophile.
    • 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.
    • Max is only ever remembered for the broom incident which has since become a Running Gag Cargo Ship.

  • 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 wizard summons them. However, the Silver Keys (outside of Plue) are extremely rare to see.

  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Jellal was a fairly controversial character pre-Time Skip, due to perceived overexposure (especially with a lookalike) and controversy over whether or not amnesia pardons his past actions. Post Time Skip, between his self-punishment over what turned out to be brainwashing and pretty much canonizing Jerza, he's now a fairly popular character.
    • 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 Ziemma after obliterating Lector for showing he had a guild mark. The fans were pleased to see Ziemma 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-Breaking Character 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.
    • The expansion in the anime did this for the Hungry Wolf Knights, giving them Pet the Dog and Defeat Means Friendship moments with the guild, as well as making them a bit less Ax-Crazy.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • The reason for this is because Zeref and Mavis' backstory proved to be so goddamned tragic that some fans actually want to see Alvarez win, just so that Zeref and Mavis can be reunited and given the happy ending they believe they so desperately deserve.
    • There are other fans who believe Alvarez is entirely justified in wanting to acquire Fairy Heart. To elaborate, for at least the last four hundred years, everyone in universe, from light guilds to dark guilds, from Zeref to Igneel, from Lucy's ancestors to the Fiore Royal Family, can agree on one thing: Acnologia is a menace and needs to be put down. Igneel, the other dragons, Zeref, and Anna Heartfilia even conspired for centuries to do exactly this, but Igneel's plan failed when the Dragons' hands were forced in the Tartaros arc, both to hold off Acnologia and to destroy Face before it could erase all magic in Ishgal. With that plan no longer viable, the last, best hope to stop Acnologia seems to be Fairy Heart, and Zeref might just be the last being left on Earth Land who has a single prayer of fighting him on equal grounds. Despite this, Fairy Tail outright refuses to even consider using it, despite knowing that neither Zeref nor the Dragon Slayers don't stand a chance without it, and there's at least one Bad Future in which Acnologia has succeeded in taking over the world. True, Zeref threatened to destroy humanity, but even that must be taken with a grain of salt given the nature of his Curse, and if there is any hope of Zeref having a Heel–Face Turn, it's Mavis. While the story attempts to paint this as Fairy Tail just protecting their First Master and refusing to use Fairy Heart on principle despite the fact that Mavis is now alive and well, it comes across to fans sympathetic to Alvarez as selfish Protagonist-Centered Morality that could very well doom the entire planet, and that Alvarez are the adults in the room for seeing this.
    • Once Zeref revealed the truth about his plan, a Ret-Gone by going back to the past and prevent himself of becoming immortal the Rooting for the Empire expanded. Let's just count how many tragedies occured, both directly and indirectly, because of Zeref that were the cause behind many Dark and Troubled Past (like Gray, Erza, Jellal, etc), the Start of Darkness of others (like the entirety of Oracion Seis and Hades) and the birth of evil organizations (like Tartaros and Avatar) and the creation of objects used for evil intents (like R-System and Eclipse) and we see that a world where Zeref died is clearly a better one. Some could actually say that Fairy Tail are being idiotic by fighting to maintain the Status Quo of the current world rather than considering that a world cleansed of Zeref and all the suffering he brought would be better for everyone. Though given the amount of consequences that altering four hundred years of history would cause (among other things, Mavis and the dragon slayers dying much earlier, dragons rampaging throughout the world, and a Temporal Paradox brought about by the fact that Zeref couldn't reset history if he didn't become immortal, create the Eclipse Gate, and make Mavis immortal), there's enough reasons for them to be stopped.

  • 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."
    • Loke/Lucy is typically still treated as a minor and easily-squashed contender though.
    • The aftermath of Fairy Tail Zero Chapter 7 ignited a bit of this, between the already well-established shippers for Mavis and Zeref (mentioned below in Shipping Goggles), and the much-newer shippers of Mavis and Zeira. The former had been around for over a year (before Mavis/Zeref became canon, mind you), but now that we've actually seen how the two met, they were galvanized all over again, just two months after some rather major Ship Tease between the latter. Others decided to Take a Third Option.
  • Shipping Goggles:
    • For a long time before it was officially made canon, the fandom shipped Zeref/Mavis simply because Zeref's first on-screen appearance was him hanging out on an island that was the location of Mavis' grave. Due to Zeref living for hundreds of years, a lot of fans assumed right away that he knew Mavis at some point in the past.
    • Chapter 508 sent the shippers in the fandom into a tailspin once Fridge Logic set in. The source of this was Larcade's magic; or rather, how it chooses its targets. You see, Larcade's magic only affects those who have "eaten the forbidden fruit" and have experienced a certain amount of "pleasure." Cue the fandom analyzing the victims of the magic. Some of them were expected, like Gildarts, Macao, and Bisca and Alzack. The fandom exploded once they saw it affected Rogue and Minerva, and Mavis and Zeref. The latter was later confirmed in Chapter 526.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • The Tartarus arc. In spades. Fairy Tail getting its ass handed to it for quite a few fights, even when compared to previous arcs? Check. Darker and Edgier? Check. Awesome plot twists, including Luke, I Am Your Father? Very, very well overdue Next Tier Power-Up for characters who all desperately needed to Take a Level in Badass for the last several arcs? Check. Appearance by Zeref? Check. Appearance by Acnologia? Check. And finally, the long-awaited appearance of freaking Igneel, followed by the other Dragon Slayer's parents? Oh yeah, check. Growing the Beard indeed.
    • The now-infamous 'countdown' chapters in the Alvarez Arc, starting with Chapter 483. To explain, these chapters' titles all have numbers in the titles counting downward from seven, eventually reaching zero in 490. What happened in these chapters? Erza is revealed to have some kind of relative in the form of Spriggan 12 member Irene, Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus were paraded around like war trophies in a very gratuitous Crucified Hero Shot, a huge Gut Punch in the form of Gajeel's apparent death, Mavis breaking out of the crystal, and Irene proving to be a Reality Warper who fought Acnologia on even grounds!
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • Doranbolt was a Fairy Tail spy from the beginning came out of nowhere since no one except Makarov knew about it. Even Doranbolt didn't know, due to sealing away his own memories. It's established that Makarov visits Doranbolt periodically and undoes the memory spell he placed on himself, but Doranbolt still lampshades how weird and confusing it all is. Word of God admits that it was a plot point that had been considered a long time ago and was nearly scrapped, thus leading to the lack of foreshadowing.
    • The Alvarez Empire has no presence in the story up until the arc focused on it despite supposedly being a looming threat toward Ishgal throughout the series. Then we learn who its Emperor is: Zeref, who had been portrayed as The Aloner because of his curse killing all life around him as long as he values it. He claims that he's able to avoid killing his empire's citizens by not viewing them as people, yet he's able to maintain a good enough relationship with them that they still adore him, making his previous issues with killing those around him seem self-inflicted. It also calls into question what he was doing on Sirius Island when he has an empire to rule, even if it is implied he apparently spends long periods of time away from the empire to leave day-to-day activities to his ministers and the more rational Spriggan 12. The revelation seems to have been thrown in just to put Zeref directly into the position of Big Bad.
    • The only thing surprising about Irene's relation to Erza was how long the story delayed such an obvious reveal. Then we're told that she's the Queen of Dragons and the creator of Dragon Slayer Magic, despite there being nothing obvious about Irene beforehand having hinted at any relation to the Dragons. The Dragon she learned from, Belserion, is suddenly revealed to have started the Dragon King Festival to protect humanity despite Zirconis' story heavily implying that it was Igneel. The revelation, as well as the consequences of her dragonfication, comes several chapters after Acnologia is shown to be capable of casually switching back and forth (granted, it's not shown how he first transformed back or even his own initial reaction to his transformation), and even the current Irene shows no sign the Sense Loss Sadness that she's supposedly suffering form. On the topic of Acnologia, he displayed the ability to smell all the Dragon Slayers across the continent, yet had absolutely no interest in Irene until he was goaded into a fight. When brought up, Hiro claims that he always planned for Irene to create Dragon Slayer Magic, but hadn't decided on her relationship with Erza, and had to leave out any aspects of her backstory before then.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The reaction that some fans had on the infamous Chapter 519, where Erza, who has multiple bones in her body except for her right arm completely broken, gained the strength to fly into space to slice a meteor into billions of pieces, and knocked her mother out of her Dragon form (albeit having Wendy's help with that). One has to see it to believe it. Mitigated by the official translations.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • The end of the Tower of Heaven arc emphasizes that just because a Heroic Sacrifice saves your friends' lives doesn't mean that they're going to be happy to be alive at your expense.
    • Much of Natsu's fight with Gildarts in the S-Class Exam was a big anvil drop on his tendency to charge into a fight and beat up whoever the opponent is with no regard for their strength, never backing down. It puts in perspective both how necessary it is for Natsu to learn from fear and accept strategic retreats, and also just how far Natsu has to go in magic power. Considering that Gildarts had just come back from fighting the black dragon, it was probably foreshadowing an anvil that gets dropped at the end of the arc: that if Natsu couldn't beat Gildarts on his own, he has no chance against Acnologia.
  • Squick:
    • In the Galuna Island arc Sherry took control of Taurus and probably would have forced him to rape Lucy if Lucy hadn't learned how to force a Gate closure, unsummoning him. The anime has been extremely careful in sidestepping the incredible volume of rape subtext in the manga, extending that particular scene to have Taurus attempting to punch her repeatedly.
    • The leader of the Jiggle Butt Gang shoving his ass in Erza's face. Pass the Brain Bleach please.
    • The Jiggle Jugs Gang. Never has Gainaxing been so horrifying.
    • As if the Cold-Blooded Torture involving Erza in the Tartaros arc wasn't bad enough on its own, Kyouka had left a chained up, naked, sweaty Erza with, of all things, a tentacle monster. Thankfully, Kyouka told it not to touch her.
      • 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
    • Oddly enough, despite the couple being a fan favorite, Chapter 450 caused this reaction for the Zeref and Mavis pairing. Some people ended up getting turned off at the thought of what looked like Zeref kissing a little girl.
    • One thankfully anime-only filler scene has a Vulcan for some odd and unexplained reason falling in love with Lisanna. It quickly decides to marry her and have mutant children with her. Keep in mind that not only are Vulcans basically animals, she was only eleven years old at most at the time, and could literally fit into the palm of the Vulcan's hand. God, why.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In Chapter 228, Mest proposes evacuating everyone using his teleportation powers so the Council's forces can bombard the island. Natsu and the others from Fairy tail object, due to not liking or trusting the Council, not wanting to blow up the island with the first Master's grave, and wanting to take down Grimoire Heart themselves. They, however, don't consider that Mest's proposal makes a fair amount of sense considering the number of injured people still on the island.

  • Take That, Scrappy!:
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Anna Heartfilia's plan to defeat Acnologia towards the end of the Alvarez Empire arc, the fandom immediately noticed that her plan to defeat Acnologia (displacing him in time itself) was ripped straight out of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, only making the accusations of it being an Ass Pull even worse for having been lifted from another series. Word of God even confirmed that he's a big Skyrim fan.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Jose Porla. The Guild Master of Phantom Lord, the primary Guild rival of Fairy Tail, a Wizard Saint, and a relatively young but powerful Wizard. Given his status as something of an Foil to Makarov, and the first major antagonist the story has, he had a lot of potential to be a credible threat after his arc ends, either as a Dark Mage or perhaps later defecting to Alvarez later in the story. Despite his potential and being very powerful (notably he could casually toy with Erza, Gray, and Elfman at the same time, and Makarov outright says he is very strong), after his defeat and the disbanding of Phantom Lord, he vanishes from the story and never gets mentioned again in the story unless dealing with flashbacks relating to stuff he did. He's one of the only main antagonists in the series to not have further exploration in any way after his arc ends, which leaves his potential wasted.
    • Lisanna however, is a prime offender of this trope, if you think that her new scenes in the anime and backstory with the core cast give her prime placement to be used more. Of course, there's always the opposition who think she's been in the spotlight long enough, that her fairly pointless-in-the-long-run extra scenes in the anime were already pushing things, and are really happy that she now has a prominent but supporting role that allows her to develop Natsu, Mira and Elfman's characters without pulling focus.
    • 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 killed by Zeref. Mashima seems to have a similar opinion, since he briefly reappears as a spirit in the Tartaros arc, is a supporting character in Fairy Tail Zero, and is revealed to have large connections to the plot in the Alvarez arc, specifically the creation of Lumen Histoire.
    • Crime Sorciere, a group of atoners who have set out to get rid of dark guilds and, ultimately, Zeref. Their vigilantism against dark guilds is entirely offscreen (the closest we get is giving Erza and Gray the job of infiltrating Avatar, something they themselves don't take part in), and they never even see Zeref during the final arc, despite Zeref finally becoming the Arc Villain. Ironically, Zeref even states he expected Jellal to get there before anyone else to face him, but he was too busy dealing with Acnologia.
    • Ivan, related to two major characters (Makarov and Laxus), just disappears after the Grand Magic Games. Especially odd given the redemption for Flare, who received sympathy even before the Sun Village arc even though her battle with Lucy involved some of the most amoral actions of any Raven Tail member. Even though Lumen Histoire, the information that he possessed that caused Makarov to be so worried about him, later becomes a plot point in the Tartaros arc and the entire cause for the Alvarez arc, Ivan is only mentioned in passing once during the latter.
    • Despite the dramatic and comedic material to be mined from Lucy meeting her future self, the two of them ultimately share few words due to only having a brief amount of time together before the latter throws herself in front of Lucy to prevent her from being murdered.
    • 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.
    • The Celestial Spirits have always been side-lined characters to the point that the 2nd anime felt they were deserving to have a Filler Arc centered around them, but later chapters have been heading this direction even further due to Lucy's Next Tier Power-Up where she can now take on the form of the Spirits to fight the battles herself rather than act as a summoner for the Spirits. At this point, there's no reason for the actual Spirit personas to show up anymore.
    • God Serena. Hyped up as being the most powerful mage on Ishgar, his rank as number one of the Ten Wizard Saints left his fellow Gods of Ishgar and Levy referring to him with awe, and the revelation that he had defected to the Alvarez Empire left readers dreading the implications of that. While he does get one fight scene where he trashed the other Gods plus Jura, we never see his other four elements of Dragon Slayer Magic (he has eight in total), and he's killed shortly after by Acnologia in one hit. While this is clearly meant to reinforce just how stupidly powerful Acnologia is, we're ultimately left with only a hint as to why God Serena defected, the ability only to speculate on his other powers (with only the hope of the anime shedding light on the subject), and absolutely no backstory on an otherwise interesting character before he was killed. And when he was brought back by Historia, there was a chance, only for him to be one-shotted by Gildarts.
    • The Ten Wizard Saints in general. Two of them are never revealed (and that's only if God Serena, Jose and Jellal were never replaced), and the Gods of Ishgal aside from God Serena served little purpose in the war other than worfing to God Serena (though Warrod at least got a decent amount of characterization in Zero).
    • Acnologia received considerable derision for this by the end. While he was initially quite popular and got readers interested in learning more about him, he ends up having very little of his backstory revealed. The audience only learns shortly before his defeat that he bears a grudge against Dragons for causing death and destruction, which doesn't exactly gel with Acnologia's current Omnicidal Maniac tendencies. How Acnologia learned Dragon Slayer Magic (he is presumably a 1st Gen Dragon Slayer, meaning he would have been taught by one of the species that he hates so much), or what exactly he was doing for the few centuries between wiping out most of the Dragons and the present story, go unexplained. Mashima himself laments in a post-series interview that he should’ve developed him more.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite revolving around a wizard's guild who take all sorts of jobs, the latter point is phased out rather quickly. Jobs were mentioned occasionally, but rarely actually shown outside of special chapters and anime Filler.
    • The Edolas arc. Were you interested to see how the main characters would topple an evil authoritarian government in a parallel world where they're stripped of their powers and have to rely on their alternate universe counterparts and their steampunk technology? Well, too bad! Mashima found it too hard to keep the story going, so he introduced X-Balls to give the main characters their powers back. The off-beat aspects were pushed to the side in favor of becoming what was basically a giant excuse to put Mystogan on a bus. Not to mention, it was the arc that hyped up Lisanna's return only for her to basically remain in the background from then on.
    • The S-Class Exam trial plot was wasted in more ways than one. Despite the good premise, the execution had problems in places (e.g. Lucy and Cana's fight against Fried and Bickslow ended with their opponents letting them win; Lisanna and Juvia were beaten to a pulp mercilessly by Erza without even giving a good showing, albeit with Juvia being nowhere near her full potential; Loke and Gray's fight against Wendy and Mest was at least pathetic for a partially justified reason...). Another problem was the war with Grimoire Heart interrupting the S Class Exam, when the exam plot could just as easily have been finished first and then moved on to Grimoire Heart happening upon everyone at Tenroujima after the fact, which would have gave more credence to everyone being so exhausted, rather than Erza and Mirajane being exhausted after one fight each that they both completely dominated.
    • After a 7-year Time Skip, you'd think that the main cast would grow up, looking more mature and badass, and gaining an increase in power. Instead, we got the 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. The one minor change was the death of Lucy's father, Jude.
    • The Raven Tail story-line as a whole. The guild 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.
    • During the Sun Village arc, Minerva mentally claims to have a counter to Erza's Nakagami Armor. What could possibly help her against such a powerful armor? Never mind, Minerva's good now. Speaking of Minerva, she and her father both undergo demonization. Many were expecting new powers, or even an Etherious Form. Both are defeated in underwhelming battles without showing anything new.
    • While Silver Fullbuster is beloved by the fandom, many wish that Silver was actually Deliora in Silver's body like he initially lied about. Not only would be allow for Gray to confront the monster that was responsible for the death of his mentor, but it would let him get a chance at developing and provided a good emotional moment for Gray to see his father off, but many feel it lacks the same emotional weight as him being Deliora, especially since Deliora being able to come back and get revenge would have fit nicely into the arc. Plus Silver could still have gotten a chance to say goodbye before dying if they wanted to.
    • Chapter 363 implied that other guilds would be coming to help Fairy Tail against Tartarus, potentially leading to an all-out war similar to the Dragon King Festival, except that this time, more than seven people would be able to do some damage. The only guild that ends up coming for assistance is Sabertooth (and even then, only the Twin Dragons). The arc ends up with only Fairy Tail fighting, and even then, only the Tenrou Group gets in on the action. The anime, at least, shows all the other guilds dealing with FACE in their own towns.
    • Ikusatsunagi in Chapter 433 & 434 would have been a great chance to make the God Slayers actually relevant as a setting element, especially Chelia/Sherria, who might actually have a reason to get involved and to have followed the group. Instead it ends up being a one-hit kill on Natsu's part. Then Chapter 476 released and something happened that either made them relevant or made them more insignificant.
    • While we're on the topic of the Avatar Arc, the revelation from Future Rogue that the one who killed Frosch in his timeline was none other than Gray. Indeed, Gray seemed to have had a Face–Heel Turn (even if he was actually The Mole for Erza), but at the end of the arc, when the two of them were face to face, Gray just spazzes out and hugs Frosch for being so cute. There is absolutely no explanation as to why the Bad Future was averted, or which event Set Right What Once Went Wrong, leaving fans wondering if Natsu showing up was all it took to avert the Bad Future, or if it was Gray needing to save Lucy's life, thus blowing his cover and the need to keep up appearances, with no real answers to satisfy how and why Frosch was saved... or if it merely delayed the inevitable. When asked about this plot point in the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot, Hiro more or less admits that he didn't think through how he was going to implement it and consequently dropped it.
    • Erza becoming the Seventh Master. She's one of the most powerful members of the guild this side of Gildarts, has obvious leadership skills, and commands the respect of the entire guild. She was more than qualified for the position, and pretty much the entire fandom was eager to see in which direction she would take the guild. She only oversees one mission, which, while successful, resulted in a Tactical Withdrawal. So what happens when Makarov comes back? Makarov becomes guild master again. FOR THE THIRD TIME. Status Quo Is God indeed.
    • Natsu and Gray's secret weapons during the Alvarez Arc. Natsu's was Igneel's magic power, which doesn't really amount to much more power than Natsu had already displayed in the first few chapters following the second Time Skip. Gray's was Iced Shell again, simply with the added effect of making him Ret-Gone so nobody would remember his sacrifice. Not only was this a disappointment for those who expected something bigger, but it also displayed a huge case of Aesop Amnesia on Gray's part that Natsu himself brings up from Galuna Island.
    • The revelation that DiMaria is a Racial Remnant of the people of Mildian opens up a multitude of possibilities, especially considering the city is stated to have later worshiped Chronos, the God of Time, of whom DiMaria is basically a living vessel with her Take Over ability. Perceptive fans have noted that this is also the same city where Zeref attended school up until receiving his Curse. When did Mildian become the home of Chronos, after its populace used to worship Ankhseram? Was Mildian actually located within what is now the Albareth Empire? And if so, does Zeref have something to do with the conversion, and is it really just a coincidence that a descendant of Mildian now serves him? Does DiMaria know that she's now serving the same person who started Mildian down the path of destruction, or does she even care? All of these unanswered questions make it seem as if the Racial Remnant revelation was added on to DiMaria's backstory as an afterthought, which is a real shame, because not only could it tie into the backstory of the Albareth Empire as a whole, but also potentially Zeref's.
    • The Reveal that two of Irene Belserion's henchmen, Juliet Sun & Heine Lunasea, are fake personas that Irene brought to life as Living Weapons really brought to question if Erza was perhaps one as well given that there was an obvious connection being build up between Erza and Irene. Instead, Erza turns out to be her actual daughter, and by extension is the daughter of the former Dragon Queen, which for some is still a plot worth pursuing, but to others looks like it came (though more for the second point than the first, which would be a Captain Obvious Reveal).
    • Irene hijacking Wendy's body. While nobody actually expected it to stick, it presented the possibility of a real plot conflict; can Fairy Tail really bring themselves to fight one of their own, even if she's not herself? Could Irene have used Wendy's body to find a clue to reversing dragonification? Would Zeref have been able to use Wendy's Milky Way magic to speak with Igneel, or even Belserion to find an edge against Acnologia? We'll never know, because it was reversed one chapter later.
    • Natsu being an Etherious, more specifically Zeref's most powerful creation E.N.D., laid the foundation for several promising plotlines that ended anticlimactically. Gray's personal grudge against E.N.D. led to a fight with Natsu, but Erza's intervention prevented that from being resolved one way or the other. Natsu dying from the Demon Seed and Dragon Seed inside his body forces him to decide which he wants to be, but Natsu just deciding to be "human" destroys both seeds and wastes all the drama the plotline gave it.
    • The Reveal in Chapter 526 that August was actually the true child of Mavis and Zeref, and not Larcade, caught many people off-guard, and had the fanbase invested in the story wondering where this plot-line was headed. One chapter later, August decides to kill off Fairy Tail along with himself, but stops when he sees Mavis dying from the spell and instead sacrifices himself without killing anyone else to spare her. While providing an extremely emotional scene, many in the fanbase wish that this revelation could have provided more before that point.
    • The drama of Natsu dying if Zeref dies has an unsatisfying resolution. After Zeref stabs Natsu, Lucy repairs the hole in his chest by rewriting his book, and begins to suffer a corruption from tampering with it. This could have led to Natsu's life force being tied to Lucy's instead of Zeref's, but the corruption is dealt with by Gray's Ice Devil Slayer magic so easily that it might as well never have happened. Ultimately, Lucy writes some vague additions to Natsu's book, and the consequence of Natsu dying with Zeref is unceremoniously averted.
  • Toy Ship: Romeo/Wendy is quite popular, considering they're both the same age as of the Time Skip.

  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Future Rogue admits shortly before disappearing that Frosch's death turned him evil... which most people would say does not justify him killing his next closest friend to steal his powers, wanting to use a dragon army to fight Acnologia (not just to stop it, but for the self-centered goal of world domination in Acnologia's place), trying to have the dragons wipe out humanity for inadequately explained reasons in the meantime (which, as Natsu points out, is endangering the very Exceed whose death is supposed to drive him crazy), and trying to kill Lucy (while succeeding in killing the future version) because she had the potential to stop his selfish goals before they got off the ground.
    • Minerva is quickly absolved of her actions once she's given the Freudian Excuse of Ziemma's abuse. For some, this excuse came out of nowhere (Minerva had never shown any signs of submission or fear for her father in the present story), and doesn't justify all her cruelty (which wasn't really part of Ziemma's demands for her to "be the strongest", and was never displayed by the other members of Sabertooth, who were Smug Snakes at worst, despite being subjected to exact same abuse under Ziemma's command). Others felt that this was too predictable given Ziemma's behavior and an anticlimactic end to the conflict between Minerva and Erza that had been dragged on for far too long.
    • Zeref's angst about his Power Incontinence killing anyone that he tries to bond with becomes this in light of The Reveal that he's the Emperor of Alvarez. He attempts to Hand Wave his curse not killing anyone by claiming that he views his subjects as pawns rather than people - but this doesn't mesh well together with the benevolent dynamic that we see between him and his subjects. This comes over especially egregious when compared to other Arc Villains like Brain or Arlock, who were much more overtly callous toward their subordinates. As a result, much of Zeref's previous issues come off as self-inflicted from someone who has plenty of subjects for company, and yet still Wangsts about not being accepted.note 

  • 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, eventually 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.
    • Eve of the Tri-men. With a female name, female (Japanese) voice actress, and tomboyish pixie cut, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's a Bifauxnen.

  • Wangst: Erza when she angsts about her torture at the end of the Tartaros arc. The issue is not the angst itself, but the timing; it would have been more acceptable during or right after the torture, but Erza failed to show any emotional or even physical impediment throughout the arc that is regarded by many to be one of her worst portrayals, coming fresh out of the torture cellar to initially overpower her torturer before fighting evenly without much apparent strain, then beating her rival from the Grand Magic Games in an anticlimactic fistfight that trivialized said rival's demonization, then finally trouncing the aforementioned torturer despite a horrible handicap in one of the series' most infamous Ass Pulls. She also suddenly starting displaying trust issues, even though only one person (the ex-Chairman who she barely knew) betrayed her, while her guild was the same as ever and she even got Minerva to pull a Heel–Face Turn. The most positive view to take away from all this is "Erza is such a badass that torture is no big deal", which makes her sudden trauma right at the end of the arc feel forced in for the sake of Ship Tease by having Jellal comfort her.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Crawford Theme, the former chairman of the Magic Council. He maybe could have been given a pass for turning out to be The Mole for Tartaros, 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.
    • Lummy of Tartaros 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. Lampshaded when Seilah exasperatedly says "Lamy-sama, there are some things that are better left unsaid."
  • 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.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Being one of the main characters, Lucy often gets this for her personal fighting abilities not being that impressive compared to the rest of Team Natsu, and this is a common argument against her when pitting her against Erza for the better character.
    • Post-Tartaros arc, aside from being the one who ultimately defeated Jackal, saving the rest of Fairy Tail by summoning the Celestial Spirit King, and even gaining a desperately-needed Next Tier Power-Up, Lucy finally demonstrates the ability to fight all on her own with her Magical Girl-esque Star Dress power. You'd think this would alleviate these concerns, right? Wrong. Instead, the chief complaint about Lucy now revolves around the fact that Lucy has been repeatedly denied the chance to properly show off her new fighting prowess (except against Mary, but Avatar as a whole has its own host of issues that have been beaten to death above), mostly due to Natsu now being so absurdly powerful, to the point where fans have asked what was the point of Lucy gaining a Next Tier Power-Up was in the first place if she barely even gets to show us what she can do. One particular point that caused some annoyance with Lucy fans was when Natsu (who'd been unconscious for the last several chapters) shows up to help her fight Jacob.
    • Lisanna gets this, albeit to a lesser extent, since she's a secondary character. Surprisingly enough, it's less due to the fact that she's the weakest of the Strauss siblings and more due to people comparing her to Lucy and pointing out how poorly she stacks up in comparison.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Just before his match in the Grand Magic Games, Jellal switches from using "ore" to the more formal "watashi" as he remembers that he's impersonating Mystogan and using the latter's manner of speech. In the official English localization of the manga, he says "I've got this" before correcting himself and saying "Leave this to me."
    • Juvia addresses Gray with the honorific "-sama," which in most cases is extremely formal and respectful, but Juvia uses it as a term of endearment for the guy she has an extreme crush on. Rather than translate it literally, the Funimation dub had her use various pet names for Gray (e.g. "My darling Gray" or "My prince").
  • Writer Cop Out:
    • Pretty much any time the Fairy Tail's guild-master reverts back to Makarov. Instead of Mashima sending the guild in a different direction with a new master at the head, things will always revert back to normal due to Makarov somehow ending up in the position once more.
    • The amount of times that Mashima has relied on the Not Quite Dead trope can also be seen as this since it's become quite obvious to a plethora of readers that the author isn't interested in killing off any semi-regular good guy character permanently.


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