Not Your Average Fairy Tale

Though this long-running anime has been around for years, many people overlook it in exchange for newer or more popular shows, despite the adventures and chaos of each episode.


This image from the first episode shows protagonists Lucy Heartfilia and Natsu Dragneel, accompanied by the flying and talking cat, Happy, as they run away from the national army due to the property damage they caused.

Jaiden Radoczy, Bear Hub Staff

Despite its name, and the presence of dragons, knights in shining armor, and pseudo-princesses, Fairy Tail is very much not a fairy tale. This anime, spanning several seasons and 328 episodes, details the adventures of a team of wizards in a world where magic is used as a tool, and people can be hired to use their magic for tasks.

It starts off with Lucy Heartfilia, the daughter of a rich widower, who ran away from home in order to join the magic guild of her dreams, Fairy Tail. She uses a special type of magic called celestial spirit magic, which allows her to summon incarnations of constellations she can fight alongside. It’s her use of this magic that brings her to Natsu Dragneel, a wizard who fights with the power of a dragon and has a tendency towards pyromania. He takes her to join the Fairy Tail guild, where they meet weapon mage Erza Scarlet, ice mage Gray Fullbuster, and a variety of other eccentric characters while getting into mischief and fighting opponents.

Each season has several arcs with compelling villains and heroes, and in my opinion, some of the best character development I’ve seen in the shows I’ve watched. Each character grows in their own ways, with several characters having redemption arcs, as well as general trait development.

Like Carmen Sandiego, my other show recommendation, it also has the found-family content of my dreams, though it does have more romantic or romantic-implied relationships. The characters bounce off each other in their development and have meaningful relationships with each other that support both the plot and other characters.

The first season can be found on Netflix for anybody who wants to dip their toes into the universe, and the rest of the show can be found on Hulu, Funimation, Crunchyroll, and a few other platforms. Whether it’s the characters, the fighting, the magic, or something else, the series has something for most viewers, and while long, is definitely an interesting watch.