Fairy Tail Master's Edition, Vol. 1 by Hiro Mashima
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paperback, 944 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Kodansha Comics
Orig pub 2006-2007
Source: Review copy from Random Penguin House Canada
Fairy Tail (Vol. 1-5)
This is my first time reading Fairy Tale and I had wanted to start earlier but then I heard these omnibus editions were coming out so I waited. Omnibus editions are the glory of my home library manga bookshelves! Kodansha publishes beautiful collections, suitable for collectors at a price that is reasonable for the quality you are getting and a lower price point than buying the volumes individually. A large oversized volume containing volumes 1 thru 5 with huge pages and large text that make it a joy to read. There are no colour pages, but that is not something I fall for or need. The pages are quality, a far cry from viz omnibuses, but viz is serving a different market with their omnibi (?). The back information following each volume is crazily informative and I've been reading every word. Admittedly, I often find manga backmatter boring and skim at best and skip usually, but not here. Fans of the series will be pleased with the omnibus.
As to the manga itself, for a first-timer, I'm in delight! Such a fun old-school (2006) shounen fantasy with all the tropes that were popular back then. There are a lot of characters and it promises to be a large world inhabited by many people and creatures. These first five volumes establish a small core of main characters: Natsu, Happy, Lucy, Gray, Erza & Makarov. Many others have been introduced too but just in the Guild's pub setting so far. There is going to be a lot of variety here as so far in the five volumes the characters have gone to the board to select jobs/missions for themselves, they have been gathered together to go on a mission of great importance to the Guild Masters and they have snuck out without permission to accept a mission for glory which ended up having personal meaning for one of the heroes. There is a lot of character development which I'm loving; the battle scenes are many, wild, but short and the plots are both hilarious and serious. The general tone of the series reminds me of "One Piece" with the obscure, wild characters and enemies they meet and the extreme overreaction of the main characters. On the other hand, the art is highly akin to "Dragonball"'s Akira Toriyama, especially the facial drawings. This is so much fun; I'm so glad I'm finally getting into this must-read classic. I haven't settled on a favourite character yet because I like them all so far!