Fairy Tail is one of those franchises that is very interesting because it has extremely high highs but suffers from never ending fanservice that always drops it way down. This spinoff is no different. Well, I wouldn’t say the highs are that amazing but in a lot of ways it looks rather solid. The fights are great, the art is top notch, and the story is interesting. Towards the end it starts to sputter a bit but it’s never able to truly achieve greatness because the fanservice sticks around. Yes, even without Lucy and the gang this keeps up for the animals…ah well Fairy Tail will be Fairy Tail I suppose.
The series starts with Happy being warped away from his normal world over to animal village. He’s not exactly sure why this happened or how but now they are saying he is the hero of legend who is here to save them all. Happy is more interested in going home but the only way to do that is to perform a lot of good deeds. This will fill up the smile heart that he has to wear and once it is filled up, then a miracle will occur which will take him home. Sounds easy enough right?
Happy is a nice guy for the most part even if he’s not super heroic. So for example if he sees a crime in front of him then he’ll definitely jump in. Happy isn’t about to let something like that slide. At the same time he still just wants to go home above all else so it’s not like he’ll stay to fulfill the prophecy first if he has a choice. Ultimately Happy doesn’t really have a say in the matter though as completing all of the tasks will take a while. There is a lot to do in this world that’s for sure.
The pre arc introduces us to some of the characters in the village and Happy starts to win over everyone’s trust. It isn’t particularly difficult since he is able to fly and is physically strong enough to help everyone out. I wouldn’t say that he is the strongest character around but he can hold his own with the heavyweights since the characters aren’t all that powerful here. The introduction is sound and all as we gear up for the first big arc.
At first you may have expected this to be more of an adventure title without a whole lot of action but that quickly changes as the series goes on. It transitions into a complete action story which I thought was an excellent move. You get dynamic fights with a lot of characters who have different skillsets. The art is top notch as I mentioned earlier and the story is sound. The chapters really breeze through too so you can definitely fast blast through the series.
On the negative side, yes the fanservice is as bad as you would expect. It’s crazy how even with no human characters in the series for most of the arcs, the series still manages to include a lot of fanservice like this. You have one character constantly flirting with Happy and while he doesn’t react to it at all, it still gets crammed into the series a whole lot. If you take this away then the series would be a lot better without a doubt.
The final arc involving time travel also gets a little dark. Keep in mind that these are all animals running around here. They are evolved versions that can talk and walk so they get a bit more humanoid but we find out about a farm that basically forces the animals to fight and get slaughtered in vicious war games. It’s possible that they all survive since Fairy Tail tends to spare them at the end but they certainly go through quite the ordeal and it’s hard to say if they actually did make it completely intact. I think for a series like Happy this felt rather out of place. You even had characters pretending not to know about it and while they were threatened, it’s awful that they didn’t try harder to stop this whole project. Ultimately this ended up being the weakest arc.
Lets jump into the first arc now though. We are introduced to a group of animals from Wild Town led by Chee who want to rule the village. They don’t believe in friendship and operate in a might makes right kind of mindset. Happy’s group of fighters will have to try and show them the error of their ways but it won’t be easy at all. This was a solid arc with a lot of fights and a really solid villain in Chee. It was the first point where the series really felt like a Shonen title with a lot of good battles. I would even say this was the best arc in the series.
Chee is an emotional villain who has a tough exterior but the whole time you know he’s going to have a big backstory. The fact that he is constantly emitting a poisonous aura that he can’t really control shows just how tough he would have had it. Not being able to approach anyone is hard to deal with no matter how you slice it. Chee ends up becoming a solid supporting character afterwards and someone that Happy can rely on. It’s always good having allies who can really fight.
Then we have Rhino who is one of the more petty villains. Sure, he eventually sees the light but I felt like he went a lot farther than Chee the whole time so it was a bit harder to get on board with his turnaround. The guy was just willing to go so far to claim his win and help the villains that I ended up already not liking him. It’s not bad to really go all out as a villain but you typically need some kind of master plan or honor code. There just wasn’t anything that I found really cool about this guy.
Tigre was a much better character and like Chee she would really get to help out in future fights. Her speed is excellent in combat and she has a lot of confidence. If anything I thought she should have been able to defeat her opponent Eleph but it was a close fight either way so that works out well enough. The villain group as a whole was rather impressive which really helped you take them seriously as a threat in this arc.
I should go back and talk about some of the heroes now though. I already talked about Happy for a bit so we can get past him. Long story short, he’s a good main character and surprisingly a lot better than in the main Fairy Tail series where he could be a bit iffy at times. Ururu is a reoccurring character and one of the main heroines in a way. Happy helps her out when she’s sick and she looks up to him as the legendary hero. Ultimately her role isn’t particularly big since she’s very young and can’t fight so she represents the emotional part of the village. Hamta is in the same boat here as he’s a little hamster kid who looks up to Happy but can’t really fight. He has his big moment where he stays back to fight the villains but that’s really it.
Captain Bull is the police chief who means well but tends to scare Happy a lot. He’s a nice guy though and while he isn’t very strong, he does stand up for what’s right and tends to always show up in the climaxes. Bull just can’t keep up with the power creep. There’s the elder Tortoise and while I would say he’s a non character for most of the series, he suddenly gets a big role near the end. I can’t say I liked him though. To me he makes all of the wrong decisions both in the past and the present. I wouldn’t want him as the leader of my village.
Now we get to Luna who is the real main heroine in a lot of ways. My issue with her aside from being the main fanservice character here is that most of her character is about flirting. She has a tragic backstory and can fight but those elements always fall to the background for her. I think there is a decent character somewhere here but I don’t think she was handled all that well in the series.
Dori Dorin is another character running around who was a villain and then helps out the heroes. That’s a running theme in Fairy Tail as most characters can ultimately be redeemed so long as they are fought with healthy amounts of friendship. He doesn’t leave as much of an impact as the other characters though because he doesn’t fight much once he turns good. One character who was good from the start was Eleph who is a powerful warrior. You can probably tell from the name what kind of creature he is. Eleph is good and even gets a power up before the series finishes.
As someone who was loyal from the start I definitely have to give him extra credit here. Agi was another good fighter here who was always ready to rumble. He had some good combos with Happy and was a great addition to the hero army. He tends to create a lot of misunderstandings with the roundabout way he talks but ultimately he does mean well.
One more villain from the arc was Moppity but I didn’t like him at all. He’s the pervy character of the series and that’s all that you need to know about him. He was completely doomed from the start and whenever the manga tries to make him sympathetic or something it just doesn’t work out. It’s just not going to happen, there’s no way I’m going to buy into that. He just needs to try being a better person and since that’s not going to happen, he was never going to rise up.
There’s a mini arc where Happy shows up to help a girl named Kai against some robots but then we get to the next big arc. Happy is captured by Leon who rules the holy kingdom and is sentenced to death as the devil who will bring ruin to the world. Even Happy’s friends begin to doubt him so this will be a true test of loyalty. Naturally Leon has a powerful group of fighters at the ready for him so we get a lot of action here. I do have to say that I don’t see why anyone had doubts about Happy though. By this point in the series he had already saved them so many times. Even if the prophecies were turned around, you have to believe in your friends right?
It’s not like this kingdom is all that trustworthy either. They showed up and were acting real aggressive right from the jump. At least once the heroes focus up then they are ready for the big battles. Leon himself works well as the big boss. He talks tough and wants true power. It may be a little straight forward but he had more charisma than Rhino. The guy didn’t even need a big backstory here, just the ability to run in and take names. He gets a cool final form and really gives Happy and the other heroes a lot of work in trying to take him down.
One of his big three advisors is Shieshiemon who is really impressive as a villain. The guy is able to fight numerous opponents at once with how his hair can stretch out and even by the end of the arc he looks like he can fight a lot more. The guy was rather naïve in being quick to believe Leon but his fighting abilities can’t be doubted. I thought he was rather solid as a result. Shadow is another good villain who ends up getting some emotional moments. His role isn’t huge or anything but he does a good job with what he’s given.
Needles and Maru are also decent villains but they got more of the shaft compared to the other villains. They have good designs and potential but their fights are over in a flash. Happy means a little animal named Bakkun but he has that annoying gimmick where his nose is always running and he talks like a baby with how he can’t pronounce some of the words. He can read minds to an extent which is handy but the kid’s not too subtle which leads to him being captured. He’s a kid so you can’t expect him to be an expert but I didn’t think he was all that good here.
Finally we enter the final arc where Happy gets to find out the true reason why he is here and goes through his last trial. This arc involves time travel which is always fun and there are a lot of twists here. It is still my least favorite arc but we do get more fights. So Happy heads over to the tower now that he has the hearts and it sends him 1000 years into the past where he gets to meet Marice and the ancestors of all his friends. It turns out that a villain named General Star wants to use her powers for himself so of course that’s something that Happy can’t allow.
One of the big issues with this arc is the ending. Oh man, this is the kind of ending you never want to see because it effectively voids the entire series. It’s not a dream so everything still happened but the ending is the classic copout you do for spinoffs to ensure that it is never mentioned or brought up in the main line. It’s the ultimately copout for me and just hurts the arc. If you ask me they should have played it straight and you could easily handwave questions about why Happy never brought up this place in the main series. He just chose not to, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Then as I mentioned way earlier, the arc just randomly gets to be more on the darker side here. Star ends up torturing a bunch of the animals and even the kid Marice for her power. Everyone is too shellshocked and nervous to do anything about it either. So what you have is a cast that doesn’t look very good here as they overlook Star’s actions. Blackmail can buy some time for the villain for sure, but I’d expect the heroes to have thought of some way to stop him eventually. Instead it felt like they hadn’t done anything on their end.
Ah well, we do get some fights but then there’s also a whole new group of villains that show up when there are only around 5-7 chapters left in the series. Needless to say, they don’t last very long. I liked their designs and everything but there isn’t enough time to really like them. Their names are Cyclops, Unicorn, and Griffin. They are robotic fighters who are super powerful and get a lot of hype. Technically they would have really won and done a whole lot of damage if not for the heroes getting major buffs at the end. Take that away and it would have really been game over.
The 3 were all cool, I just probably won’t remember them after a while. General Star is the only villain with a really big role here and he’s a tough villain but not really my kind of antagonist. For starters he probably could have had a winning strategy if he was nice to Marice instead of tricking her. She would have listened to him if he wanted to use some power since she doesn’t know much about the world. Why not just have her help you like that instead of going through all the trouble of having a conspiracy and all of these different plans? Star ends up overcomplicating the issue which costs him in the end.
Dr Magicana is a lot more reasonable. He’s still not perfect as he’s one of many characters who just overlooks what Star is doing the whole time but at least this guy isn’t quite as insane. You can at least count on him to try and think of some idea to help Marice. Better to help a little than to not do anything right? It’s a start at least and he’s a decent doctor kind of character. He’s just not much of a fighter.
Marice gets to have a big role here. The whole arc is definitely tough on her since she’s a little kid and yet she has to deal with a whole rebellion going on and a would be world conqueror. She grew up in a small area and doesn’t really know anything about the world either so it’s easy to manipulate her. Ultimately she is manipulated for almost the whole saga and tends to go wild so she didn’t end up being very high.
Finally, you have the 3 hearts who were actual characters in the past. It was nice to see them try to help out but I was glad that Happy beat them in the competition. He’s the true hero after all so he’s not about to lose to these guys like that. It’s just not happening. I should mention that this arc throws in some DBZ homages like the introduction to power levels and one character’s power level going over 10,000. It was a small thing but it’s always cool when DBZ is brought into the fray like this.
Overall, That wraps up the Happy adventure. Happy was a surprisingly solid lead so that worked out and the action was good. If you cut out the fanservice then I dare say this would be a pretty good manga but ultimately that held it back just enough to keep this one from breaking even. There’s less time for it at the end of the series but man is it heavy at first. One day Fairy Tail will be able to resist the whole time and that’ll be a great day. I mean I know some of the shorter ones can be fine at times but I’m talking about a decently long adventure like this. I want Fairy Tail to reach its full potential and this is the best way. Of course I’d like to see the actual members appear next time. Happy is cool for the novelty and all but ultimately you want Natsu and the gang to show up and get their action.