|“||"AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, I WANTED TO BE A MANGA ARTIST"||”|
—Hiro Mashima, when interviewed during San Diego Comic-Con
He was a notable guest at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con.
Hiro Mashima grew up in the Nagano prefecture of Japan. When he was young, he dreamed of becoming an artist, particularly one who dealt with manga. His passion for drawing encouraged his grandfather to search for discarded manga for him to read and trace pictures with.
Two manga series in particular were the main inspiration for him to become a professional manga artist: Dragon Ball, a well known manga produced by Akira Toriyama, and Ultimate Muscle (still ongoing), created by Yudetamago. Hiro Mashima especially enjoyed parts featuring the main characters getting into trouble, but somehow always managing to win in the end. He also liked the fierceness depicted in battle scenes and this later encouraged him to incorporate his own style of fierceness into his works.
After high school, he decided to further pursue his dream career, so he attended an art school which specialized in teaching manga artists. He believed this would help him in learning how to improve his manga drawing ability. However, he ended up detesting the approach, and left without completing the studies. He stated that while it taught him the basics, he felt it would not help as a professional. At the end, he decided to teach himself.
Around the year 1998, Hiro Mashima had created a 60 page original work called Magician that he took to editors to review. Soon afterward, it won him the amateur manga artists' competition. He made his official serialization debut the following year with Rave Master.
Rave Master (1999-2005)Edit
Also known as RAVE, the series debuted in 32nd issue of Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1999. Rave Master ran until 2005, that is 6 years without pauses between issues, and was adapted into an anime titled Groove Adventure Rave from 2001 to 2002.
In 2002, while still producing Rave Master, Mashima began to write a Rave spin-off featuring Plue and titled Plue's Dog Diaries. It was serialized in Kodansha's Comic BomBom. Then, in 2003, Mashima assembled some of his one-shot titles in two volumes, under the title Mashima-En, including his original work Magician, and Fairy Tale, a sort of prototype for his latest work.
In 2005, after Rave Master had concluded, he began to serialize the title Monster Soul in Kodansha's Comic BomBom. It was around this time that Mashima drew the prototype for what would become Fairy Tail.
Fairy Tail (2006-Current)Edit
Main article: Fairy Tail (Series)
While producing Fairy Tail, Mashima continued to run the series Plue's Dog Diaries and Monster Soul, until they both concluded in 2007. He also published the manga series Monster Hunter Orange (2008-2009, Kodansha's Monthly Shōnen Rival), and the two one-shot manga Nishikaze to Taiyou (2010) and Hoshigami no Satsuki (2014). Also in 2008, he drew a remake of Atsushi Kase's gag manga Chameleon for the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Magazine.
In 2011, Mashima created a crossover manga between Rave and Fairy Tail published in the May issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine. It was adapted into an original video animation released in August 2013. Two years later, a special 2013 issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine featured a small crossover between Fairy Tail and Nakaba Suzuki's The Seven Deadly Sins, where each artist drew a yonkoma (four-panel comic) of the other's series. An actual crossover chapter between these two ran in December 2013.
Since 2014, there are also two Fairy Tail spin-offs written under Mashima's supervision, but while Mashima personally draws Fairy Tail: Zerø himself, Shirato Yuusuke is the artist behind Tale of Fairy Tail: Ice Trail. Two other Fairy Tail spin offs, Fairy Tail Blue Mistral and Fairy Girls, also started in 2014, however, Mashima is not personally involved in them.
Mashima also collaborated with Miu Kawasaki to write two light novels: Fairy Tail: The Color Residing Within The Heart (2012) and Fairy Tail 2: After the Grand Magic Games, Each Single Day (2014).
Fairy Tail Edit
- Fairy Tail (2006–ongoing)
- Fairy Tail: Zerø (2014-ongoing)
- Tale of Fairy Tail: Ice Trail (2014-ongoing) (Story only; art by Yūsuke Shirato)
- Monthly Fairy Tail Magazine
Cross-over manga Edit
- Fairy Tail x Rave
- Fairy Tail x Yankee-kun to Megane-chan (with Miki Yoshikawa)
- Fairy Tail x The Seven Deadly Sins (with Suzuki Nakaba)
Light Novels Edit
- Fairy Tail: The Color Residing Within The Heart (5/2012) (Art only; story by Miu Kawasaki)
- Fairy Tail 2: Each Single Day After the Grand Magic Games (8/2014) (Art only; story by Miu Kawasaki)
Completed manga Edit
- Magician (One-shot, 1998) (First work, later included in Mashima-En, vol. 1)
- Rave (1999–2005) (Published as Rave Master in North America)
- Plue's Dog Diaries (2002–2007)
- Mashima-en (12/2003)
- One-shots included: Magician, Fairy Tale, Cocona, Plue's Adventures (Pt. II), Bad Boys Song, Magic Party, Christmas Hearts, and Fighting Group Mixture
- Monster Soul (2005–2007)
- Chameleon (One-shot, 3/2008) (remake to Atsushi Kase's title) (Only art; retelling story by Atsushi Kase)
- Monster Hunter Orage (2008–2009)
- Nishikaze to Taiyou (One-shot, 2/2010)
- Hoshigami no Satsuki (One-shot, 9/2014)
Other works Edit
- Sangokushi Taisen (Card illustration)
- Respect Gundam (Contribution)
- Bakemonogatari (End card - fifth story)
Hiro Mashima's drawing speed and production of manga is actually quite well known among those within the manga community. A typical workload for a Weekly Shōnen Magazine manga artist (him included) may be about 20 pages of completed draft, 20 pages of rough drafts, and maybe a colored page. However, this was also the point in time when he was producing a monthly manga called Monster Soul, for which he had illustrated 43 pages of completed drafts, 69 pages of rough drafts, and 4 full-colored pages in a single week. His record is 65 completed pages (3 of which were colored) within one week.
Mashima revealed his schedule for Fairy Tail was script and storyboards on Monday, rough sketches the following day, and drawing and inking Wednesday through Friday. In addition to coloring, the weekend was for Monster Hunter, and currently for Fairy Tail Zero; working on a quarter of the story each weekend and finishing by the end of the month. In 2011, he stated that he worked six days a week, for 17 hours a day.
Mashima has six assistants in 2008 that worked in an 8,000 sq. feet area with seven desks, as well as a sofa and TV for video games. Mashima's assistants included Miki Yoshikawa, together with whom, in 2008 developed a crossover one-shot story called Fairy Megane where characters from her Yankee-kun to Megane-chan decide to find part-time jobs at the Fairy Tail guild. Other assistants who have gone on to work on projects of their own were Shin Mikuni, who published Spray King, and Ueda Yui, who published Tsukushi Biyori.
- Bobby Osawa (Chief Assistant)
- Sho Nakamura (Vice-chief Assistant)
- Kina Kobayashi
- Miki Yoshikawa (Yankee-kun to Megane-chan, Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo)
- Shin Mikuni (Spray King)
- Yui Ueda (Tsukushi Biyori)
- Hiro Mashima's main characters are named after the four seasons:
- Magazine Serializations
- Rave (Haru = Spring)
- Fairy Tail (Natsu = Summer)
- Monster Soul (Aki = Autumn)
- Monster Hunter Orage (Shiki = Four Seasons)
- Oneshot (Mashima-En, volume 2)
- Fighting Group Mixture (MaFuyu = Mid-Winter)
- Magazine Serializations
- Hiro Mashima has never served as an artist's assistant.
- When asked about Gray's habit of stripping, during his visit to San Diego's Comic Con, Hiro said that he used to be like that.
- Originally, Hiro Mashima planned to finish Fairy Tail around the 10th volume. That, however, changed from both the fans, and he wished to draw even more of Fairy Tail.
- Mashima's assistants often refer to him as Superman for the following reasons:
- Even after the assistants had finished working around midnight, he still continued to work on the manga.
- His level of focus and the sudden transition from video games back to working is second to none.
- The first thing he does when he wakes up is grab his tools and begin the day's work on the manga.
- Despite his busy schedule, he still gets at least seven hours of sleep per day. For some reason, most other manga artists envied him in this.
- Switched from traditional coloring to digital coloring in 2005.
- Morita Hiroaki, former Chief Editor of Weekly Shonen Magazine, considers Mashima the ideal manga artist for his art skills for characters, stories, and production capability.