Anime Review Up Close and Personal

My Thoughts on Toxic Bias and Fairytail

What’s up everyone, how are you guys? Have you been tackling the day with positivity and confidence? You better. Today, I’m travelling back to my home country for my little brother’s graduation, and I’m really exited about it. In today’s post, I finally talk about Fairytail, all is about to be revealed, and I will also elaborate on what I think is its biggest flaw. As usual grab your coffee or tea, and let’s get down to unraveling what the deal is. This post will contain spoilers.

Natsu smiling
Bias is one of the things I dislike most when I watch anime, whereas I might overlook minimal plot holes and inconsistencies, bias is a hard pill to swallow. What is bias you might ask? Bias is when the plot is being unfairly overly advantageous to the protagonist(s). Now we can always expect protagonists to have that edge of luck or favoritism over the other cast, but sometimes, the plot will rub that in your face and straight up abuse that privilege, that is what I consider bias. This makes the anime look like a very dull, unfair story and takes out a lot of value from it, because you know that bias will always come through to fix the situation no matter how dire it gets, with very minimal to no consequences, sometimes, in the corniest way.

I’ve been throwing some shade over Fairytail in some of my previous posts, and it’s for that exact reason. I know the author said he was afraid of killing of anyone, because he didn’t know who and blah blah, but in the long run of that series, I could just see where a character’s death would’ve been a major positive plot twist for the series. Same for Bleach. I’ll give you some example in how the author’s bias affected Fairytail.

Making characters seemingly immune to death no matter how likely or imminent it is, is bias, because when the plot triggers the situation, the whole scene and even the rest of the anime might be ruined because of the plot’s bias and its potential corny intervention. Erza almost died on multiple occasions, especially while being tortured by Kyoka. Erza’s state after that torture should have been close to death, instead she just bounced off as if she was never hurt. Same for Laxus, who I thought was gonna die after inhaling the cursed particles from the tartaros demon, but apparently, this curse only works on…. nobody. Also, did you notice how long the FACE timer lasted. The plot added time pressure to make us feel as though the ongoing action was intense, but if you know Fairytail, you knew you had nothing to worry about.

Now here’s the thing, I’m not saying Erza should’ve died or Laxus should’ve I died, but why make them suffer, or go through dramatic, painful, near death scenes, and then bring them back like it was nothing, with no lasting injury or consequences. 

 

When situations are suddenly turned for the good of the protagonist without a significant event, it strips the show of any value and depth it may have tried to attribute to dramatic near-death scenes or character struggles, because you just end up getting used to their sudden turn of events that favor the protagonists, and as a result you completely and understandably dismiss those scenes, only to eventually be proven right later. Without the bias that protects the characters at all costs, Porlyuska might have needed to sacrifice herself to save Laxus, or Makarov to save Erza, or something of significant value should’ve happened to satisfyingly change the fate of these characters, and not just through the power of a Fairy tattoo and make believe. 

On multiple occasions, Makarov should’ve died, but the plot simply whipped up some banal reason to have him back, all while making his death scene look sad. When it happened at first, I thought Makarov’s death would really bring something to the story, it would’ve changed its tone, empower its characters and overall increase the value of the story, and turn him into an icon for the guild and potentially have a big impact in the anime community as one the most epic, valuable character deaths in anime, but then turns out he wasn’t dead. The next time it happened, I believe in the fight against Alvarez, my thoughts simply were: “oh please, as if the story would ever let him die”. Then guess what happened in the next chapter or so, Makarov revives… sigh.

 

An anime carries a lot of weight in its dramatic, emotional scenes. When a main character struggles in front of an enemy or is facing a terrible situation, it should worry us as well, that’s when you know the plot has done a good job of attributing value and importance to the right things in a realistic, stable manner, where we just won’t brush off such a situation with the anticipation of a banal event turning the tables for the good of the protagonist. Don’t get me wrong though, events that turn the tables around are eventually going to happen since main protagonists can’t die, but, for example, when a character faces a terrible situation where their death is impending, in order to successfully shift the field, something like another character sacrificing themselves for them or some other incredible event HAS to happen in order for the balance of things to understandably shift and leave us satisfied. But when, the plot gives us banalities as a means to turn the tables in a desperate situation, that event doesn’t carry nearly enough weight to overturn the tables, and that is a straight up disappointment. I find myself cheering for the bad guys in anime like those.
I’m not saying Fairytail is all negative and a complete flop, no, I’m just illustrating some example of bias throughout the series. Fairytail does have epic moments and some deep backstory which involve loss, but it still remains that there is bias in the series. In the end however, surprisingly maybe, I still like Fairytail. I know, but listen, I started watching Fairytail in high school, Fairytail was one of those “gateway” anime for me, I knew very little about anime at the time and enjoyed Fairytail, especially those amazing soundtracks, openings, endings, and it’s very lively characters, definitely a highlight for the series. So because of all of that I have an emotional attachment to Fairytail. The critic inside me would read Fairytail to filth, but in the long run since high school, I have been watching and enjoying it. So the emotional side of me has plenty of arguments against the critic, even though the latter is kind of right. So although I see a plethora of flaws in Fairytail, because of the way I feel about it, I will still tell you about its flaws, and throw shade here and there, but I would still tell you I liked it because it means a lot to me, it’s one of those anime for me.

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I used Fairytail to illustrates the concept of toxic bias, but some other anime have that as well, Black Clover has shown some bias, however, being a new anime, I can’t drag it through the mud for it just yet, especially since I see so much potential growth in the series and mainly the characters, mind you I dropped the series, and I don’t know why I feel that way. 
So that’s it for my take on bias in stories, and finally my real thoughts on Fairytail. I really enjoyed writing this post, it took a lot of time and a lot of editing, but I was finally able to post it. I hope you enjoyed it, and I think I will write more posts like these in the future, about anime I straight up want to get my thoughts through and simply want to talk about. Thank you for reading, and tell me what you think about Fairytail.

 

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