Fairy Tail – Relationship Values

That sound you hear is a mix of a million squees and four million hisses.

Is romance something you think about a lot? When you read an manga or watch an anime, how much thought goes into the potential partners that could come about? I know when I was younger, I was much more into shipping and everything it entailed, so I know the mindset that goes into it. Now it’s something that happens very rarely unless I can clearly see a romantic subplot. Sure, sometimes I’ll wonder about romance in other series, but it’s less “Should Yuuki hook up with Zero or Kaname?” and more “Could Yuuki be having sex with both of these guys and get away with it?”. You know, weird theories and ideas like that.

When it came to Fairy Tail, then, I really didn’t put much thought into romance. Hell, I’m pretty sure the mangaka doesn’t put any thought into it. So when we get moments like this where two characters are teased like crazy, the result isn’t so much adoration as it is confusion. I know the series isn’t going to suddenly pair off two characters in the middle of an arc, but having Lucy suddenly confess is completely out of left field. Of course I knew it wasn’t real, but it still got me thinking because the thought of Gray and Lucy ever being together is not one I’ve had before. What if this ever did happen?

It’s genuinely hard for me to think about these two as anything other than friends (I suddenly have newfound respect for Chizuru Yoshida). The fact is that there really isn’t room in a manga like this for that kind of relationship. It’s like how there’s no romance in One Piece or Natsume Yuujinchou because those are supposed to focus on completely different kinds of relationships. Have you ever seen love get in the way of friendship? How about when a series is focused around friendship? Romance changes things, and most writers know that on some level, so it’s best to avoid it when it would hurt the other themes.

Now we know there probably won’t be anything in the main story, but we’ve all seen stories where people hook up at the very end. If somehow Lucy and Grey did get together when everything is over, I think I’d be okay with that. If Lucy and Natsu got together, I’d be okay with that too. If Lucy and Erza hooked up…okay, that would probably be the best ending ever, but not out of any real attachment to the ship. With a manga like Fairy Tail, I prefer to leave those things in the hands of more capable fans. I suppose that’s why this scene threw me off so much, but it should serve as a reminder of how out of place this stuff normally is. And why so many people like Juvia.

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Chapter Discussions, Fairy Tail, Series and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Huh. That is sorta bizarre. I mean, romance was central in Rave Master, but the romance between Haru and Ellie had percolated from their first meeting. It’s really rather… I just keep feeling like in his desire to cool down after Rave Master, he’s backslid in terms of story quality. This blog isn’t disabusing me of that notion; thanks for keeping me in the loop.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s declining in story quality if the romance is taken out. Maybe if it’s poorly handled, but there’s nothing to poorly handle. Then again, I haven’t read Rave Master, so I’m not sure how that goes.

      • That’s still pretty bad. Sure, he had a tendency to just throw things in in Rave Master, but from what I read from him at the end of volume 1, this series is all about just making it up as it went along.

  2. Hmmm Lucy and Erza I think I like that 🙂

  3. Haha, I always thought Juvia’s imaginations are hilarious.

    If someone’s going to hook up with someone at the end, I think I’ll be fine with Lucy hooking up with either Natsu or Gray but Erza must be with Jellal. >.<

  4. Eve now, after being an anime fan for nearly four years, I still enjoy pairing characters up inside of my head. You know, I acutally prefer it when an anime that isn’t really a romance, like Fairy Tail, has romance injected into it at parts- when romance doesn’t take centre stage it really gives my wild imagination free reign…

    Lucy and Gray? Eurgh. I’d much prefer Lucy and Loki or Lucy and Natsu…

    • It can be fun to imagine sometimes, and I do like quite a few pairs that I know will never happen, but I rarely reach the point of expecting the pairing.

      Loki seems a bit more natural, but he hasn’t been getting enough screentime lately to really consider him. Not that I think much about it anyway.

  5. I tend to focus primarily in the romantic aspect of a series when the series itself is largely romantic, like Hana Yori Dango, or when the romance is very well done like in Full Metal Panic! or Kodocha. I do think there are times when romantic subplots don’t make sense or ruin the mood of a series because they aren’t well done or just don’t fit in. I especially hate it when they’re added to appeal to female demographics because it assumes that all females are interested in (or mainly interested in) romance. The best example I can think of isn’t even an anime – it’s The Matrix.

    As for shipping, I rarely get that ardent about who should end up with whom because I tend to agree with most canon pairings. Even in cases like Skip Beat!, where I like another pairing that isn’t the couple who seems most likely to be canon, I don’t get into ship wars.

    • Romance subplots that break the rest of the flow can be extremely annoying. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a fan of big budget Hollywood movies.

      The only times I don’t agree with canon pairings are usually when the most token of love interests ends up winning over far more interesting characters. Of course that applies to 90% of all harem series, which is why I don’t follow those much either.

  6. i was unconsciously squealing and so when i read “That sound you hear is a mix of a million squees and four million hisses” it hit me that i’m a sucker for romance

  7. Stefanie Frederick

    I always ship Lucy and Gray they are so fucking damn cute together. LOL

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