Fairy Tail Manga Volume 13 Review

フェアリーテイル
Fairy Tail Volume 13

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Fairy Tail Manga Volume 13In some remote, mountainous region, the fire dragon Igneel receives a visit from something named Grandeeney, who apparently knows what happened with Natsu and has something to say about that.  Igneel gets angry, but Grandeeney hopes that Natsu meets up with someone named Wendy and that they become friends.

Elsewhere, Ultear communes with Zeref, revealing that she’d been using Jellal and had fooled him into thinking he’d been communing with Zeref.  While Ultear doesn’t believe Jellal is dead, her actions were a step in unsealing Zeref.

Back at the resort, Natsu is out cold, recovering from consuming Etherion magic. Erza invites her childhood companions to join her at Fairy Tail but they decide to set out on their own.  As such, when Natsu awakens, he, Gray, and Lucy put on a firework show with their magic as a farewell gesture.

Returning to the Fairy Tail HQ, they find the facility to be completely rebuilt and larger than ever.  Juvia is easily made a member of the guild for her work in helping Erza and company and at her recommendation, Gajeel is also admitted.  Mira plays a ballad on stage but it doesn’t take long for the Fairy Tail members to degenerate into their normal, friendly battles, much to the irritation of Makarov, who says a reporter from Sorcerer Magazine is coming.

The day reporter Jason is to come by Fairy Tail, Lucy is determined to show off her appeal while Gajeel has Mira bound and gagged in a storeroom.  Reporter Jason comes by but every time Lucy attempts garner his attention, he’s interested in someone else, culminating in Gajeel getting on stage and singing a terrible song.

Laxus is heading through a town and is not amused to see how folks are amused at the Sorcerer magazine coverage of Fairy Tail and beats up a wizard who thought it was funny.

Meanwhile, Lucy finds herself going solo for a job as Erza is off to complain about her new armor, Natsu is sleeping again, and Gray is off with Juvia on a mission.  Gajeel takes a job Lucy had her eye on and after he leaves, he’s met by Jet and Droy, who wants some payback for what he did to them and Levy during the Phantom Guild incident.  The two beat on Gajeel, but he doesn’t fight back.  Laxus arrives and punishes Gajeel as well, but again, Gajeel doesn’t fight back, causing Levy to realize that Gajeel is trying to be accepted.   When the enraged Laxus attacks Levy for being weak, Gajeel jumps in and takes the electric bolt.  Laxus decides to focus his rage elsewhere and leaves.

Lucy comes home, having failed to find a job, and is afraid of what might be waiting for her since she often has unexpected guests.  Seeing no one, she relaxes but when she goes to bed, she finds Natsu and Happy there.  Happy tells Lucy that Natsu’s need for sleep happens when he consumes foreign magic and this previously happened when he ate some of Laxus’s lightning.  As they talk, Happy shows Lucy a flier for Miss Fairy Tail contest, which has a nice cash prize.

Fairy Tail members Evergreen, Freed, and Bickslow, aka: Thunder God Tribe and part of Laxus’s Bodyguards, decide is it time to return home for Fantasia, the annual festival of Fairy Tail in which they also hold the Miss Fairy Tail contest. Lucy enters to win the cash, in which Cana, Juvia, Mirajane, Erza, Levy, and Bisca are also contestants. Evergreen enters as contestant number 8 and turns the other girls into stone statues. Laxus arrives with Freed and Bickslow and announces a battle of Fairy Tail, in which the guild has three hours to defeat the four of them or the statues turn to dust.

Laxus and company take off in a flash and the guild soon learns that Freed’s Jutsu-shiki is active, meaning he has established barriers all over town and in the Fairy Tail guild building which forces Fairy Tail members trapped in those barriers to abide by his rules. As such, Makarov and Natsu find they cannot leave the Fairy Tail building, which has a rule stating that stone statues and those over 80 years of age cannot pass.  Makarov sends Reedus out to Poluchka to obtain anti-petrification medicine but Freed blocks him at the edge of town with a barrier.

As the members of Fairy Tail are forced to battle each other simply in order to engage Laxus and company, resulting in half of the guild being eliminated. Despite being trapped, Natsu isn’t concerned by this, citing the fact that Fairy Tail members always fight each other. Makarov realizes the seriousness of the situation and attempts to make Natsu understand. However, Natsu doesn’t think that Laxus is serious about letting the stoned girls die. However, he is frustrated at being left out of the fight.

Thoughts/Review:

Not that I didn’t expect this, but Mashima-sensei confirms that his method of writing is pretty much “go with the flow.”  This isn’t my favorite style of writing as it often allows for plot holes and retconning but there’s nothing wrong with it, providing the entertainment value overrides the downside stuff.

The plot twist with the reveal that Ultear had been manipulating Jellal for years, going back to his child slave days came off as very weak to me and a perfect example of the pitfalls of Mashima-sensei’s writing style.  Don’t get me wrong – Mashima-sensei can make this work in the end so that it doesn’t bother me.  After all, the writers in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would at times introduce story elements or characters (or changes to characters) that might be incredulous, but in the end, both of these sci-fi series are favorites of mine.

Not that everything is done on a whim.  Having Igneel and Grandeeney, whomever that is, mention “Wendy” is a sign of plans for down the road.  Plus, I think one of you guys mentioned this name in comments so I’m guessing that Wendy will show up and be another Dragon Slayer like Natsu and Gajeel.

Regardless, I liked finally seeing Igneel, proving that Natsu’s foster parent is still alive and well.  Unfortunately, we don’t learn more than that.  I wonder how Zeref plays into things since Grandeeney name drops him.

I was glad to see a proper aftermath for Erza’s childhood companions.  Normally, Mashima-sensei’s arcs don’t get such extended aftermath work but for whatever reason, he decided to put in the time and I think it wraps things up with those characters quite nicely.

As expected, Juvia enters Fairy Tail but she has a new look.  At first, I wasn’t sure about it since she’s had that 60’s, Russian look since her introduction.  However, the new look is nice although I admit that the old look seemed to fit her character well.  ^_^

Gajeel is the one character that seems an odd addition to Fairy Tail.  I’m guessing that Mashima-sensei wanted to keep Dragon Slayers together, especially if he’s going to introduce a new one down the road.  I do like how Mashima-sensei is working Gajeel’s character to allow the audience to accept him as a Fairy Tail member.  It only makes sense to use Levy and her team as a vehicle to bring about reader acceptance of Gajeel since it was her team that got their butts handed to them by Gajeel during the Phantom Guild fight.

Finally, there’s Laxus, who’s been a punk since his introduction. Now, he’s taking that to the next level with his actions in causing Fairy Tail to destroy itself.  It will be interesting to see how he’s taken down.  Mashima-sensei has come up with an interesting way to reduce the guild numbers for the final fight.  I think that the reason Natsu cannot leave the area with Makarov is because of his scarf, but we’ll see.  I say that because (1) Mashima-sensei made a big deal of bringing the scarf into focus and (2) it is from Igneel, who’s likely a very old dragon.

Unfortunately, Kodansha Comics made a poor choice in showing that Erza somehow gets free and is fighting Evergreen.  Well, seeing how she gets free will be interesting.  Can’t keep Erza on the shelf for very long, eh? ^_~

Speaking of Erza, I’m glad she’s still doing her armor.  After the last arc, it almost seemed like she might give up on that but thankfully, that’s a “no.”

Kodansha Comic’s release of Fairy Tail is pretty much identical to Del Rey’s. The only thing missing from this volume are the blueprints for the new Fairy Tail guild building.  No word on why this is the case.

So, a pretty fun and VERY fanservice-filled volume.  I’m glad the next volume will be out next month. ^_^

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8 Responses to “Fairy Tail Manga Volume 13 Review”

  1. Ku_fei Lover says:

    The whole “go with the flow” thing gets worse…a lot worse.

    And about Juvia’s new style (I liked the old one better), she is back to her old hairstyle in the recent chapters….with no real explanation why she did it..

  2. NullApostle says:

    Hey ANB, nice observation about the scarf. I hadn’t thought of that. But I think that’s not really the case – you’ll see next volume why.

    @Ku_fei Lover
    There was an explanation for her return to her old style, but it wasn’t all that convincing. I think it ultimately was because the majority of the fans didn’t like the new look introduced here.

  3. Krono says:

    Mashima’s writing style is a mix of planning things out and the “go with the flow”. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it falls a bit flat, but it’s rarely a serious problem.

    I think I’d chalk the lack of the sketches at the start up as an error for the time being. The volume has a couple other minor errors or oddities as well.

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    The whole “go with the flow” thing gets worse…a lot worse.

    Hmmmm…well, hopefully the stories are still fun.

    And about Juvia’s new style (I liked the old one better), she is back to her old hairstyle in the recent chapters….with no real explanation why she did it..

    Really? Heh! Well, I guess I have something to look forward to then. I wonder why Mashima-sensei changed things up in the first place.

    Hey ANB, nice observation about the scarf. I hadn’t thought of that. But I think that’s not really the case – you’ll see next volume why.

    Heh! OK, I’ll be looking forward to my theory being shot down then. ^_^;

    There was an explanation for her return to her old style, but it wasn’t all that convincing. I think it ultimately was because the majority of the fans didn’t like the new look introduced here.

    Juvia did have a certain “kick arse” look with the old hair style that she lacks with the new.

    Mashima’s writing style is a mix of planning things out and the “go with the flow”. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it falls a bit flat, but it’s rarely a serious problem.

    Well, that’s what I’m hoping for — the entertainment factor overriding the “go with the flow” factor.

    I think I’d chalk the lack of the sketches at the start up as an error for the time being. The volume has a couple other minor errors or oddities as well.

    What were those minor errors?

  5. Krono says:

    @ANB

    “What were those minor errors?”

    In chapter 106, the on the two page spread of the thunder god tribe, Freed is labeled Bickslow, and Bickslow is labeled Freed.

    At the end in the fan art section, the address fan mail is directed to is still labeled as being a Del Rey address. Likewise, at the page of text before the preview of volume 14, it directs people to http://www.delreymanga.com for updates, rather than http://www.kodanshacomics.com

    Speaking of errors, you either mis-interpreted who Ultear was speaking with, or you’ve got an error in your summary here:

    “Elsewhere, Ultear communes with Zeref, revealing that she’d been using Jellal and had fooled him into thinking he’d been communing with Zeref. While Ultear doesn’t believe Zeref is dead, her actions were a step in unsealing Zeref.”

    On a different note, there are a few interviews with Mashima available dating from 2008, when the manga was about at the point you’re at now. Not sure if I or anyone else has directed you to them previously, but here they are if you’re interested:

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/12434-everyday-hiro-fairy-tail–s-mashima-at-comic-con-.html

    http://manga.about.com/od/mangaartistinterviews/a/HiroMashima.htm

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interview/2008-08-17/hiro-mashima

    http://comics.ign.com/articles/896/896004p1.html

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    …you’ve got an error in your summary here…

    Fixed. I’m notorious for those kinds of errors and the sad thing is, even when I reread the piece, I don’t catch the error and that sucks. Thanks for the help. ^_^

    Also, thanks for the links. I’ll read those.

    As to the errors, when you mentioned them, I went, “Oh yeah. I did notice those.”

  7. andry says:

    I really like this manga … very interesting to read ..
    written by hiro Mashima very global indeed: D

    thanks

  8. […] other item of interest is the introduction of the young girl Wendy.  I remember the name from volume 13,  so I don’t think it is a stretch to say that this is the Wendy in question, especially […]

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