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Rave, Fairy Tail, and Mashima HiroFollow

#1 Feb 03 2010 at 2:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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In my quest for a long enough series to provide entertainment for the hours of downtime I have when my oft-ill boss is out sick for days on end, I came across Rave a while back on onemanga. It was incredibly enjoyable, but the scantalations weren't finished when I was reading; got to about chapter 250 or so and it stopped. ARGH! I enjoyed the theme, with most of the towns and random references named after songs or music of some kind. The story itself was pretty good, and the characters enjoyable. While there was a decent amount of fan service, it wasn't nearly as graphic as, say, History's Greatest Disciple: Kenichi or Love Hina. In fact, the fan service and romance frequently took a backseat to the action. And there was plenty of action.

A month ago I discovered that Rave had been finished, and I enjoyed the last few dozen chapters I had missed. The ending was pretty satisfying. Then I discovered the author, Mashima Hiro, had started another series after Rave called Fairy Tail. I sat down and starting reading that too.

While I really enjoy the story (even moreso than Rave, truth be told), I find myself... annoyed, for lack of a better word, by the fact that the characters are almost carbon copies of the Rave characters. I mean, granted, the drawing style is identical. But you have the same stereotypes and everything. I mean, you get the seemingly invincible main character (Haru versus Natsu... and yes, I realize the seasonal themes for their names), the large-chested female sidekick with a history (Elie versus Lucy), the antagonistic best friend (Musica versus Grey), and the lovable animal mascot (Plue versus Happy). Heck, let's not kid ourselves; Plue makes frequent cameos as one of Lucy's summoned spirits. It really is the exact same!

Again, I like Fairy Tail better, but I feel like I know the characters already due to Rave. The filler for fights is also annoying; it's just one after another after another. I feel kinda like I'm stuck in Dragon Ball.

How have others found these series? And are the anime any good? As said, Fairy Tale is coming out better than Rave, and I thought Rave was really enjoyable. I might do a separate review on the series themselves later.
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#2 Feb 03 2010 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
I mean, you get the seemingly invincible main character (Haru versus Natsu... and yes, I realize the seasonal themes for their names), the large-chested female sidekick with a history (Elie versus Lucy), the antagonistic best friend (Musica versus Grey), and the lovable animal mascot (Plue versus Happy).
Not to be a stick in the mud, but that is more an issue with manga in general, and not just with Mashima. Invincible Main Character, Huge Breasted Female Sidekick with History, Antagonistic Best Friend, and Cute Pet is a reoccurring theme in a lot of manga. Its annoying, but I wouldn't put too much thought into it.

I'm enjoying the anime, even though it suffers from a ton of stock footage (transformation scenes and attacks mostly), but even that isn't enough to really take away from the overall feel. I especially enjoy the music, its really catchy. One thing I don't like is the **** narrator. His voice just randomly pops up, as if he were the captions describing Fourth Wall issues.
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#3 Feb 03 2010 at 3:40 PM Rating: Good
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I finished catching up on all of Fairy Tail just recently.

AS lolgaxe said, this has more to do with Fairy Tail borrowing types common to all of shounen series rather than any specific one. While mascot characters are starting to fall out of style, they used to be almost a requirement for a manga series.
#4 Feb 03 2010 at 5:31 PM Rating: Excellent
I watched some of Rave, all of Fairy Tail that is out yet and read some of the Rave manga and all that has been translated for the Fairy Tail Manga so far. As far as I can tell they are very very similar, and also like you I preferred Fairy Tail, the anime was especially better than it's predecessor and I quite enjoyed the manga. But yes it's not only common character subtypes through out the genre itself but also the mangaka will likely recycle old ideas into new characters.
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