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Fairy Tail Vol. #44 Manga Review

4 min read

Fairy Tail Volume 44 CoverFace impending and Fairy Tail is nearly out of options…

Creative Staff:
Story/Art: Hiro Mashima
Translation: William Flanagan

What They Say:
Now that they’ve made it out of Tartatos’s prison, Natsu, Erza, Mira, and Lisanna begin their counterattack against the Nine Demon Gates with a daring raid on the Tartaros guild to stop the wizard pulse bomb from obliterating the continent’s magic. But then, as if they don’t already have enough problems, Natsu suddenly encounters Zeref the Black Wizard himself! Past the gates of Hell, it’s a desperate battle between fairies and demons to decide the fate of the world!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The back cover kind of gave away everything that happened, but let’s break it down…

Face activating as a result of the former chairman’s death caused some huge turbulence in the square that they’re flying above the continents. It caused a few important things, most importantly Natsu and Lisanna are able to break out because of a sword that happened to hit their cell bars in the disturbance. It also allowed them to break Erza out and now it’s time for Fairy Tail to do what they do best: raise a little hell.

The bulk of the volume isn’t really spent with one character, but the choice of Wendy on the cover is a good one because she gets the most important parts of the volume. She’s the one tasked with destroying Face—the thing that will, you know, eliminate all of magic in the entire world—through a series of happenstance in a fray of fighting and running inside of Tartaros. It gives Wendy some real step up to the plate time, which has been largely absent prior to. She’s of course had her own moments, but a lot of them were in combination with another character. This is truly one of her solo shining moments and it is wonderful. It’s indicative of her character that she’s willing to sacrifice her life for the sake of her guild members—and it is for her guild members. The thing on her mind is not the thousands or perhaps millions that could die from losing magic; it’s the dozens fighting a battle above everyone else who’s oblivious to the conflict going on. Those are the ones she’s worried about and those are the ones she makes this sacrifice for.

It does irk me a little that Mashima seems unwilling to kill any major character. Wendy now and Gray back when could have been huge and spurring emotional moments for the characters and would have brought an interesting plotline into the story. Given that they are so connected by familial bonds, would Natsu or Lucy quit the guild because they feel responsible? Given the quick exchanges between Cana and Elfman (one scene too long, by the way), I’d say no. Family doesn’t let each other just walk away, especially in this time of need.

The few deaths that have happened in Fairy Tail have been in the past (Ul and Karen) or retconned in some way (Lisanna and Gray). Granted, Oda doesn’t just let any character die either (SPOILERS: I can only think of Ace and Whitebeard that have died in continuity), but no good guy has died in Fairy Tail. And that’s fine. I think Fairy Tail’s strength lies in the feeling of seeing an ally return from seeming death, not the power or despair you feel from revenge (One Piece isn’t about that either, but it’s very much some despair that drove Luffy after Marineford).

In Summary:
I love the pacing of the manga Fairy Tail; I always have. It gives just enough information in each chapter that you’re raring for more and the volumes are no different, you just get to marathon more at a time. This volume has a lot of cool stuff though and it shows that Fairy Tail has come a long way from Erigor, Moon Drip, and Phantom Lord.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 25th, 2014
MSRP: $10.99