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Good morning, good afternoon or goodnight to you guys, wherever you may be.
I'm sure we all know about the relatively recent spin-off of Fairy Tail titled Fairy Girls, featuring Lucy, Erza, Juvia and Wendy. Though I actually have dropped the main series for the time being, I did read the first chapter of this spin-off, and I'm also following Fairy Tail Zero. Anyways, I've never actually written a review for this site in spite of being here for nearly four years, so I figured I may as well do so on a topic that's obscure since I haven't seen anyone else do it on this spin-off so why not be the first, eh?
Keep in mind that everything here is just my opinion, and anyone's free to agree or disagree, but do it civilly. So without further ado, here's my review of the first two chapters of Fairy Girls.
To briefly summarize, this chapter begins with Lucy, Erza, Juvia and Wendy being seen by some surprisingly muscular people impersonating Fairy Tail Mages. Revealing themselves to the impostors, the girls then proceed to kick their asses off-screen before continuing their walk around Crocus. Meeting a young boy who happens to be their fan, the girls take him as a guide and go to a clothing shop and later to a dating spot where Erza's scary demeanor frightens off some guys trying to hit on them. After a bit more walking, the entire impostor guild appears and after some fruitless intimidation, gets their asses handed to them like the fodder they are. Seeing this, the boy named Roil is impressed, since the girls are completely different from what he imagined and decides to ask them to complete a mission for him.
This chapter was...acceptable. It's not a bad chapter, but it did leave me at the end feeling a bit like..."that's all?" I'm not referring to the cliffhanger of not finding out the job Roil wanted the girls to take, but more along the lines of wanting something really significant to happen. All that really happened in this chapter was the girls fighting fodder, going shopping, walking and talking before fighting fodder again. Sure, it gets them introduced to the new character but it leaves me feeling bored after a while when I'm reading the same old thing. If it weren't for the ending with the request, this could pretty easily just be a random omake of sorts that gets adapted into a one-off episode of the anime.
On the plus side to this chapter, it does actually stick fairly closely the characters and their personalities. Juvia's a lovesick puppy, Wendy and Lucy are more rational and Erza's the toughie with a soft side. Nobody feels out of character here, and you do enjoy them at first.
One of the biggest issues people seem to have taken with the series is its art. Personally, I don't mind it. Yes, it's different but it's not Mashima who's writing or drawing it so that's to be expected. Every character is still perfectly recognizable and in the end, I can imagine the art fitting the overall tone of the series. The characters can still look tough and intimidating if they need to, and they can look cute at times too. The range of emotions they're conveying via this art looks good to me. I do agree it can get a bit messy and even a bit bland, but I see this with tons of manga, and it doesn't really distract me from the content so far.
Overall, I do think this chapter has some issues, but like I said before, I wouldn't call it bad but I do think it has a lot it ought to improve on.
Final Rating: 5 / 10.
As it would turn out, Roil's dad is a guard in the palace and was attacked two nights prior, by someone who just had to be a traitor since nobody else could get in. Since it involves the depths of the castle, the girls have to sneak back in and in what reminds me so very much of Welcome to Fairy Hills!!, they come across the female (and even male) bathing rooms while sneaking around in the air vents. Eventually, the girls find the office of King Toma, who forbids them to enter but upon finding injured soldiers, they wind up revealing the king to be a fake and a member of a Dark Guild. Lucy and her spirits are the ones to take the impostor down as all the girls hitch onto an airship intended for him, setting them off on a journey to find the real king.
This chapter was kinda..."wtf".
Roil's dad was a guard who got attacked two nights ago, and only now he's trying to get help? Nobody else in the palace knew about this during the Grand Magic Games or during the Dragon invasion? The girls walk in just as the villain is preparing to leave on his airship, giving them the perfect way to carry on the story? Can you spell "plot convenience"?
Surprisingly though, the fanservice was not badly done. Not distracting from the main plot, actually amusing, and focused on males and females effectively equally. Can't help but think, for obvious reasons, that were Mashima behind this, he would've given his male readers way more to look at, but I digress.
Art this time is kinda iffy for me. While I like the cover page of the girls sneaking around, and how Toma/his impostor was drawn, I found the bath scenes kinda awkward to look at when focused upon. Sure, look at it simply and you notice just who is there but look closer and you see the weird way their faces are drawn. True, it is the new art style in general, but I do feel the artist didn't practice much to do them all.
On the issue of the battle this chapter had, I did like Lucy's role in it. Allowing her to take the lead here was fine, seeing as Erza did it in the last chapter. The only issue I have here is that she's the only one who did anything. Sure, the other girls protected the guards, but Lucy was the only one engaging the bad guy. Of course, I do like her getting her spotlight, but that's when it's her alone. Leaving the other girls on the side, quite literally, seems like a waste considering that I thought the battles of the series would mostly be teamfights with a different member taking lead each time to show off their unique abilities. Still, that is just me, and I do like the fact that clear thinking played a role in the actual fight so overall, an acceptable fight nonetheless.
This chapter is better than Chapter One in my opinion, since it isn't boring and it does keep the reader's interest, but it does have a ways to go in order to make this series actually good.
Final Rating: 6.5 / 10.
Truthfully, I may be being a bit generous with Chapter Two, but the thing is that unlike the end of Chapter One, I am actually curious about where the girls will end up and how this situation will be resolved. The kidnapping of the king feels more like something that should be the 3rd or 4th arc of a series, so it does seem that they're starting off with a bang. Whether they actually resolve it while dealing with all the implications that it brings up, I doubt. I can pretty much tell this spin-off is not going to take itself as seriously as Fairy Tail Zero is taking itself, and it won't likely be very long, but it should at least be interesting to see how this situation came about and how it'll be resolved.
That's the end of my review here. Feel free to comment, but remember to be respectful of other's opinions, no matter how much you disagree. If it's that bad, just act like they don't exist. Otherwise, let loose!
Till next time, guys!