Fairy Tail Volume 33 Manga Review

Fairy Tail Volume 33 Review

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(Note: The LE edition of Fairy Tail Volume 33 is sold out.)


Fairy Tail Volume 33Highlights from Fairy Tail Volume 33 begin with Fairy Tail throwing a loud party despite having done so poorly in the games. Natsu (Fairy Tail A), Gajeel (Fairy Tail B), and Sting (Saber Tooth) all suffer from motion sickness, the curse of the Dragon Slayer, and do poorly in the next competition. Kurohebi (Raven Tail) defeats Toby (Lamia Scale) in a battle. Elfman (Fairy Tail A) is chosen to battle Bacchus (Quarto Cerberus), where Elfman defeats him by taking on a spiked, lizard man form, causing Bacchus to damage himself to the point of losing. Mirajane (Fairy Tail B) battles Jenny (Lamia Scale), conceding to do a swimsuit competition, then switches it to a battle which Mira easily wins.

Kagura (Mermaid Heel) defeats Celestial Mage Yukino (Saber Tooth), causing Saber Tooth’s master to humiliate Yukino in front of the guild before throwing her out. Yukino pays Lucy a visit, offering up her two Golden Keys (Pisces and Libra), but Lucy refuses since Yukino does care about her spirits. Millianna surprises Erza with a visit, revealing she’s in Mermaid Heel and that she and Kagura want Jellal, whom Erza had earlier met with, dead. Natsu goes to apologize to Yukino for thinking ill of her, whereupon he learns of the disgraceful way she was kicked out of Saber Tooth. As such, he decides to challenge Saber Tooth’s Master Ziemma.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In terms of content, Fairy Tail Volume 33 provides some interesting stuff, but also some of the funniest stuff I’ve ever seen Mashima-sensei do.

Mashima-sensei suddenly retconning things so that all Dragon Slayers are cursed with motion sickness is pretty typical for him. In this case, the amusement of having Natsu, Gajeel, and Sting being sick and failing the running race on the moving “chariot” platforms trumped everything. Mashima-sensei does acknowledge the retcon by having Gajeel question why he’s suddenly motion sick when he’d never experienced this before, and by having Laxus’s teammates say something to him about this. So, I’ll let it ride. ^_~

Since Bacchus had been shown to have that drunken fighter style which meant that folks could never lay a hand on him, Elfman’s tactic to adopt a form that would cause Bacchus to damage himself is good thinking, but dodgy writing at the same time. At some point, one would think that Bacchus would realize that taking more damage than he was dealing is a losing proposition and would settle for a draw. But, he basically beats himself to death, allowing Elfman to get rare praise from Erza (a nice moment to be sure) and admiration from Evergreen. Plus, Elfman’s bet with Bacchus protected his sisters and caused Quatro Cerberus to be referred to as Quatro Puppy, which is humorous.

Mirajane’s battle with Jenny caused my eyes to roll since it was basically pure fanservice. That said, Mashima-sensei does know his audience would not be happy with any tournament contest where Mirajane didn’t go into her Satan Soul form to defeat an enemy. Plus, her bet with Jenny did lead to the funniest stuff Mashima-sensei has ever done. More on that in a bit.

Kagura’s battle with Yukino comes off fairy cliched since Kagura doesn’t unsheathe her sword to defeat Yukino. Still, there’s something about a badarse babe with a sword who’s so badarsed, she doesn’t need to unsheathe her sword to get a win.

I liked how Lucy turned down the offer to take possession of Yukino’s Golden Celestial Keys. I still think that eventually, Lucy will end up with all twelve Golden Keys, possibly at the end of this arc, but we’ll see.

This thirteenth key that Yukino has wasn’t part of the deal, which I find interesting. Why would Yukino be willing to part with two of her keys but not the thirteenth. Actually, why would she want to part with any of her keys unless she’s in on this Eclipse scheme. But how could she be since Captain Arcadios apparently didn’t know there’d be two Celestial Mages in the tournament? Regardless, it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me for Yukino to offer two keys. She should have offered them all if she were going to stop being a mage completely.

Natsu going after Master Ziemma is a fairly cliched moment. I can almost see where this is going, and that was without the aid of the spoiler preview of the next volume at the end of 33.

Finally, where Mashima-sensei scores a massive win on the humor front is in the “silent” omake chapter where Wakaba and  Macao buy Sorcerer 3D in order to see Jenny naked in 3D. However, both are horrified when they discover the issue also has Eve, Ren, Hibiki, and Ichiya (front and center) naked. Macao’s woes are added to when his son Romeo comes in to see the naked, 3D Ichiya there. A similar event awaits Wakaba, when his wife and daughter catch him looking at the same image.

I have to say, this omake chapter makes me laugh even now. The looks of horror on Macao’s and Wakaba’s faces after they went from seeing Jenny to seeing Ichiya and his crew is so priceless. While the joke of having others walk in on the guys as Ichiya is out there for all to see is cliched, it just adds to the humor of the initial horror.

As an aside, I’m not sure what to make of Freed’s reaction to Eve, Hibiki, and Ren’s nudity. ^_^;

On the Kodansha side of things, I’m not very happy. The hybrid adaptation really made my head hurt this time. They might have snuck it over on me had they not used Western honorifics, but the moment I saw Yukino saying “Miss Lucy”, it was red alert time. I had thought that a simple -san honorific was replaced with Miss, but imagine my surprise when I discovered that Yukino was addressing Lucy as “Lucy-sama”. Further investigation revealed that Yukino addresses EVERYONE with the -sama honorific.

Seriously, that completely changes Yukino up for me. When she’s just being casual with everyone, it is one thing. When she’s being so reverent to everyone, then that is another person completely. Clearly, Mashima-sensei had Yukino use the -sama honorific as a literary device, but hey, we ALL know that a fantasy title must NEVER have filthy, disgusting Japanese honorifics in them. Sometimes, I’m surprised that Kodansha doesn’t just translate names (You know, ’cause Japanese names in a fantasy title? Unforgivable!), except I believe Yukino’s name is written in katakana, not kanji (so there’s no definition per se).

Still, once my eyes have been assaulted thusly, then the other things that I usually give a pass on start irritating me as well, such as Lissana not addressing Elfman or Mirajane properly (Elf-niichan, for example, rather than “Elf”). Then there was Juvia’s fantasy sequence where this adaptation had her saying, “How could Gray do that to me?!” Except Juvia would NEVER, EVER, EVER say “Gray” without the “-sama” honorific, even in a fantasy sequence. Turns out, she apparently never used his name, but hey, up yours reader! “We’ll add his name the way it is SUPPOSED to be used because we aren’t slant-eyed gimboid gits in America!”

Of course, once the dung starts rolling downhill, it gets larger and larger. After learning that in Yukino’s and Kagura’s fight, the two basically just said the equivalent of “pleased to meet you” (vs. “Fight well,” “And you.”), I decided that I better quit looking or I’d just stop buying the manga completely.

Yes, I know this is a dead horse issue and yes, I know that for most, they won’t give a rat’s keester, but we all have our weaknesses and pet peeves, and the removal of Japanese honorifics and rewritting of text because, “Well, I think the characters should say ‘this’ rather than what they say ’cause what I came up with is cooler” is one of mine.

I will say that I do appreciate the Japanese attack names being retained as well as the Japanese name of Kagura’s sword. I just wish the editorial decision to make the adaptation hybrid hadn’t been made.

Otherwise, the usual extras are here, including a couple of pages of translator notes.

Manga-wise, I like this volume. Kodansha-wise, I don’t like what’s being done.

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15 Responses to “Fairy Tail Volume 33 Manga Review”

  1. AstroNerdBoy says:

    (Name lost in the switch…sorry)

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013 10:28 PM
    Bacchus not settling for a draw can be pretty easily explained by reasons of pride and honor. He was the one who was so confident of winning that he proposed the bet in the first place. Sure once Elfman made it a contest of “Let’s see which breaks first, your fists or my face.” Bacchus could have easily settled for a draw, leaving no one to win the bet. However not only would that basically be the same thing as admitting he couldn’t win, it would make it look like he was both afraid to take the punishment required to win, and afraid of losing the bet. Quite shameful and cowardly. Trying until he collapsed and admitted defeat on the other hand just results in a loss fair and square. Elfman does not have the same problem as he’s not the one who proposed the bet, and he’s the one offering to stand there and endure being beaten to a pulp. Even if it goes to a draw, he wins for either enduring, or forcing Bacchus to back down.

    Most people seem to take Freed’s reaction as proof he’s gay. I figure it could be either that, or just him admiring the artistic aspects of the nudity.

    Slightly surprised you didn’t mention anything about the Zentopia incident Yukino mentioned. Tossing in a reference to an anime filler arc is kind of unusual in manga.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Slightly surprised you didn’t mention anything about the Zentopia incident Yukino mentioned. Tossing in a reference to an anime filler arc is kind of unusual in manga.

      I’ve never watched the anime so I didn’t know the reference. ^_^;

      • Krono says:

        That was me. One reason I figured you’d mention it was specifically because it was a seemingly huge event that the manga just casually dropped mention of without manga readers ever having heard of it before. So I figured you’d be curious about what it was referencing that reduced the number of Celestial Spirit wizards down to a rarity with only two know practitioners.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Actually, the reason I didn’t think nothing of that remark is because back when the manga started and I realized that Golden Keys could only be owned by a single person, I started thinking there couldn’t be many Celestial mages since Lucy already owned a few Golden Keys. By the time she obtained several by defeating other Celestial mages, I just figured the total number of said mages was going down since they didn’t have Golden Keys (other keys not being that powerful).

          • Krono says:

            Nah, there were plenty around, just not talked about much. And Silver Keys are rather badly underestimated by a lot of readers, probably because we’ve seen only a few of them, and most of the ones Lucy has are pure utility rather than combat ones. First, stop and consider that while the Gold keys based on the Zodiac constellations are officially the strongest, the spirits do get stronger as the wizard gets stronger, so if someone like Makarov was to summon Plue, he could almost certainly take every gold key Lucy and Yukino threw at him. Second there are plenty of interesting constellations that aren’t zodiac constellations that we haven’t really seen, or haven’t seen as more than a cameo. For example, Aquila, Auriga, Centaurus, Chamaeleon, Draco, Hercules, Orion, Pegasus, Perseus, Phoenix, and Ursa Major.

            That’s to say nothing of the seemingly unremarkable constellations that Mashima’s done something interesting with. For example, Horologium the pendulum clock. Doesn’t sound particularly useful short of having some hax time power. Instead, Mashima’s made him a defensive spirit. He started the series as an airtight, sound proof container that doesn’t suffocate it’s occupants. Since then he has yet to be shown taking damage from anything thrown at him, and after the Hades fight, is basically a once a day auto-save vs instant death. Lucy at this point could probably avoid injury most fights by riding around inside him while her other spirits fought if she was so inclined. Or Caelum the chisel. Again, doesn’t sound particularly impressive. Mashima gave it a cannon form and a sword form. In sword form, Gemini as Lucy used it to dispatch Taurus in a single blow. In cannon form, Angel used it to take out both Loki and Aries in a single shot.

            So yeah, while Mashima’s left the silver keys largely underutilized, it’s kind of a mistake to dismiss them as not being that powerful. It has a lot more to do with the wizard than with the key.

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Excellent point on the Silver Keys. I really hadn’t thought much of them, nor about their key holders.

          • Krono says:

            Understandable that you wouldn’t give much thought to them. Like I said, Mashima has unfortunately left them really underutilized, in part to play up Lucy I think.

  2. SL from MH says:

    Well here is the link to my theory which i had regarding why the Dragon Slayer’s are weak to transportation (mind that i posted it more than 1 & half year ago).


    What do you think about it.

    I still think that eventually, Lucy will end up with all twelve Golden Keys, possibly at the end of this arc, but we’ll see.

    I know this might be a spoiler to you, but Lucy doesn’t get the keys from Yukino (she keeps them). The reason i told this is because this part doesn’t get any mention at all after this point. So, it would be kind of waste to keep hoping about it. Also the fact that there are only a few Celestial Mages left in the Fairy Tail universe (thanks to the anime-only “Zentopia Incident”), its was kind of necessary for someone else to have some of those Golden Keys as well.

    But you would know about some interesting aspects regarding Yukino in the future which might relate to a character that have appeared in the story in the past (though presently the connection is mainly based on a theory, but the way the present on-going arc in going we might get a confirmation regarding it soon). Same goes for Kagura, though the connection is clearly revealed, unlike Yukino’s.

    Also if you want, you can read the summary regarding the “Zentopia Incident”, in the link below.
    Warning: Their seems to be a part in that arc about a person which has been not yet revealed in the manga story yet (though hinted very lightly).

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      OK, give me a bit. I’m going to read up, then make comments. (Man, I love this new comment system. ^_^)

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Interesting theory on motion sickness and Dragon Slayers. Even if that becomes the reason, it is still a retcon on Machima-sensei’s part. ^_^;

      That anime arc seems pretty massive. I didn’t read it, but I did scan down it. (Rather pressed for time at the moment. ^_^;;;) If you could do me a favor, in a nutshell, why are there so few Celestial Mages?

      • Krono says:

        The short version is a a girl claiming to be long lost cousin of Lucy’s showed up, with a large key that Lucy’s father had supposedly left to her to protect. Before they get far investigating that, the Earthland versions of the Edoras captains plus a couple new characters show up to attack Lucy for the key at the behest of the Zentopia religion, which incidentally is apparently the religion the cathedral in Magnolia belongs to. Investigation reveals that the “key” is the hand for a large and powerful clock, so Fairy Tail opts to gather the parts with the intent of keeping them safe. Unfortunately, when they get the parts all in one place, the clock automatically assembles. It turns out the clock is the controller for an ancient super weapon sealed away by a high ranking Zentopian a hundred years ago, and it’s recovery was orchestrated by Oracion Seis who had quietly powered up and broken out of prison and were manipulating the current head of the church.

        The relevance to the Celestial Wizards comes into play in that the guy that sealed it was a Celestial Spirit Wizard, and he tied the seal to his disciples, and their descendants. Disciples using the same magic as their master, and children learning the same magic of their parents meant the descendants linked to the seal were CS wizards as well, and Oracion Seis needed to wipe them out to fully release the seal. Unfortunately Oracion Seis lacked a list of who they were looking for, so they just went around attacking any CS wizard linked to Zentopia they could find. The result being a whole bunch of CS wizard who were killed, or permanently lost the ability to use magic, or were frozen in a kind of stasis for a hundred years when the link broke before Oracion Seis managed to break the seal.

  3. SL from MH says:

    Wanted to ask if you have gotten your copy of Volume 34, 35 & 36 by now. And if you have then when would you post your review of them.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I have them. I need to read them (and about twelve other manga volumes). ^_^;

      I’ll see what I can do this week since I’m not watching any new anime this season.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        Update: I’ve read volume 34 and I have 37 on the way in. However, my review of 34 won’t go up until the 22nd or so. I’ll be doing a lot of manga volume reviews, including 34-37 of Fairy Tail over the next couple of weeks. ^_^

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