Fairy Tail 1 by Hiro Mashima: B-

From the back cover:
Cute girl wizard Lucy wants to join the Fairy Tail, a club for the most powerful wizards. But instead, her ambitions land her in the clutches of a gang of unsavory pirates led by a devious magician. Her only hope is Natsu, a strange boy she happens to meet on her travels. Natsu’s not your typical hero-he gets motion sickness, eats like a pig, and his best friend is a talking cat. With friends like this, is Lucy better off with her enemies?

This series was praised on a couple of review sites I read, but I have to say I’m kind of underwhelmed so far. I think my main problem with it so far stems from the characters, who are fairly annoying and reckless. The wizard guild members pride themselves on thumbing their noses at authority, and one has to wonder how they keep getting jobs when they’re famous for destroying public and private property.

There’s definitely potential, though, and later chapters that began to explain Lucy’s magic were more to my liking. I’m quite impressed by the art, as well. I adore any panel that depicts a city, because Mashima does them particularly well, and though we’ve got the stereotypical spiky-haired hero and buxom girl for the leads, some of the other character designs are very original. Like the Taurus spirit Lucy conjures who looks like a man-cow in superhero briefs. With six nipples. His appearance led to the one line that I actually did giggle at, when he saved them from a dangerous situation and Natsu gratefully cried, “Cow!!”

So yeah, I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would, but I’m willing to give it a couple more volumes to catch my interest.

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