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Fairy Tail Vol. #23 Manga Review

5 min read

Fairy Tail Volume 23
Fairy Tail Volume 23
A final confrontation with the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Hiro Mashima

What They Say
The king of Edolas has taken a final stand in the fearsome, magic-proof Droma Anim! The only ones who can stop him are Fairy Tail’s three dragon slayers. But how can magic stop a magic-proof killing machine? Discover the final fate of the world of Edolas!

Content: (please note that content portions of review may contain spoilers):
The battle is at perhaps its most desperate point as the core Fairy Tail crew finds they have to stop a giant island from crashing into the floating home of the Exceed while Wendy and Carla have to convince the Exceed living there of the danger facing them imminently- a danger that the winged cats believe can’t affect them as they have supreme faith in their queen and her powers to save them. But the moment of truth is bearing down on them all and when the queen reveals a secret that only the highest of councilors is privy to and it may turn out that the last hope they have clung to will abandon them at their most dire hour.

And when it seems that disaster has been avoided when the Exceed join together and are reunited with some of their cast out members who help turn the tide, the momentum of battle changes one more time when the king of Edolas arrives on the scene with his army armed with tools to turn the Exceed into raw magic for their conquest of the world that the members of Fairy Tail hail from. Even worse though is that the king has taken the field in the land’s most powerful armor- a giant dragon shaped device that has the ability to nullify all magic attacks used against it and is joined by this world’s Erza- with the familiar members of Fairy Tail already having been pushed to their limits, may it be that this time they will be too late to save their world and its magic? And when a secret is reveled will one of their guild’s most powerful members has to make an impossible choice and choose between the two parts of his heart…and will he be able to live with the consequences of judging two worlds and throwing one into chaos?

Possibly the most impressive thing about Fairy Tail is its ability to use and revel in some of the staples of the shonen genre it exists in while still providing enough of a kick through its characters to allow for even some of the more cynical fans who have grown tired of the staples of the genre to enjoy the adventures through the clashing of the colorful- if often bizarre and unorthodox- cast and there is plenty of that sort of activity found throughout this conclusion to the major battle that the story arc has built up to. At its heart there is an abundance of the type of self sacrifice, determination to use will to concourse a problem and redemption through shared conflict that one might expect in a story where two world’s futures are at stake.

And yet part of what makes Fairy Tail so special is how the series uses some of these basic formulations and build them into something that feels like so much more than the sum of its parts as it allows for it to entertain without overly burying the reader in the underlying moral message that is at the center of the construction and as such works like a pleasant tasting shell that covers the taste of the main meat’s flavor that the person might otherwise reject on reflex. The series partially does so with some incredibly detailed and spectacular art that both captures some incredibly impressive and outlandish action while also providing moments of fan service with some provocatively drawn and clothed female characters who, despite their seeming presence as just eye candy from a glance, are capable of at the very least holding their own with their male counterparts if not outshining them completely with their ability to fight and hold their own when it comes to the pathos they can bring to the story.

While wrap up to the current arc may walk a little to the thin side of concealing some of the more blatant diverging into the preaching message that the genre seems built on, the fast pace of the action and continual growing threats encountered often manage to keep the standard tropes of friendship and fighting with will when strength isn’t enough which has completely overwhelmed so many other series in the same vein from completely taking over the message though it is perilously close at times. Still the idea of throwing in a magic resistant armor plus the revelations about a key character will almost certainly keep those fans who have stuck with the series entertained enough to allow this to be a memorable escalation in events and a partial resolution, though the action is so big that not all of the aftermath can make it into this volume but what is here is very satisfying.

In Summary
The buildup has reached its zenith as the familiar cast of Fairy Tail has to fight to protect the world they love from having its magic stolen while also going in knowing that their triumph will spell catastrophe for their counterparts on that world. With the land’s king taking the field with a massive magic foiling armor the scales may be tipped against them as the exhausted cast may have finally faced an opponent the odds say they just can’t beat…though that’s probably irrelevant as the crew has never payed any attention to the odds in the first place.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Kodansha USA
Release Date: January 29th, 2013
MSRP: $10.99

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