How Fairy Tail Handles The Power Of Friendship Differently Than Other Shonen

Overcoming greater adversity with the power of friendship has become a staple of shonen anime. Unfortunately, more often than not, the Power of Friendship is rather poorly executed, coming out of nowhere and lacking a solid grounding in the story, making it feel like a Deux ex Machina. While Hiro Mashima Fairy tale may have its fair share of problems, it masterfully wields the power of friendship by integrating it directly into the power system.


Establishing the importance of friendship and finding family as central themes while adding aspects to the power system allows the power of friendship to feel natural and justified when used internally Fairy tale. Mashima’s characters are often lonely or abandoned individuals who benefit immensely from being able to join a family like Fairy Tail, so empowerment by other people is also a driving factor for most actors. While The Power of Friendship might still feel a little hokey or clichéd, Mashima has done a fantastic job of making it fun and justified in the narrative.

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Magic happens when the spirit creates a physical form, which a person’s feelings and relationships can intensify. Throughout the series, the loneliest characters gain awesome new abilities in the heat of battle due to the power of a new friendship or family bond. Many of the most powerful abilities in the series also stem from a desire to protect and save family and friends or suppress any force that torments them.

Natsu constantly highlights these aspects of the magic system when he rescues his guildmates by overcoming his limitations, consuming a manifestation of magic, and temporarily gaining a surge of strength in the heat of battle. Some aspects of Natsu’s Dragon Slayer magic allow him to eat fire and sometimes other magic to boost his skills. Pairing this ability with the heightened desire to save his found family and Natsu’s surges makes narrative sense through Mashima’s system. While this use of Natsu’s temporary power boost can quickly become exhausting, she is saved by how well she fits into the magic system and her ethereal nature.


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While Natsu encompasses most of what makes the power of friendship work well for Fairy tale, it is also one of the least convincing examples. Juvia is the perfect example of a lonely person strengthened by new friends, giving her more strength. The three magic fairies involve protecting family and friends or dispatching enemies. And, Lucy’s abilities directly depend on the power of friendship as she gains strength by bonding with Celestial Spirits.

Lucy’s magical abilities involve summoning spirits from another dimension to aid her in many strange ways. Lucy’s relationships with the wide array of spirits enhance her magical abilities. At the same time, she possesses the keys and establishes contracts with these beings. The level of their power and availability increases and decreases depending on the depth of a shared bond.


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The level of connection and belief Lucy has for the Celestial Spirits is so deep that she convinces the Celestial Spirit King to change their laws in an attempt to save Loki. This same king comes to the rescue of Lucy and Fairy Tail after Aquarius urges Lucy to break her key to summon the king in a time of great distress. The power of friendship in Lucy’s abilities only grows as her family ties with the Spirits continue to grow stronger.

Fairy tale, the story and the guild is all about bringing together a motley mix of like-minded misfits to form found families, so it’s only good for guild-specific magic to be about protecting that family from a number of hazards. The three great magic fairies manifest all relationships and friendship of the caster or the guild into a dynamic means of solving guild problems. For example, Fairy Sphere uses the entirety of guild ties to put up an almost impenetrable barrier. The other two spells are more related and involve the suppression of opposing forces: Fairy Glitter and Fairy Law knock back or damage individuals the caster singles out as enemies.


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While any magician can harness this, the Fairy Tail Guild’s penchant for becoming a family has allowed its members, old and new, to have more access to these magical boosts through the power of friendship. Former loner villain turned guild member Juvia Lockser epitomizes this guild element best. While Juvia isn’t a main or super-strong character, and is downright a little weird, the displays of friendship and love that show through the powerful magic raids in unison are Fairy tales best example of the power of friendship. These Unison Raids combine people’s magic into one immensely powerful fused creation.

Juvia can connect with her guildmates multiple times to trigger the so-called rare unison raid. The first time Juvia unlocks this ultimate manifestation of friendship is when Lucy confesses that Juvia is a guild member and a wonderful friend with her very caring nature. Lucy’s friendship and her ability to bring out the best in people allowed Juvia to unlock new potential she never had in the coldest dark guilds.

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With a more open heart, Juvia can continue to develop more vital bonds, none more powerful than her love for Gray Fullbuster. His contagious emotions allow the clumsy duo to unlock raids in unison on numerous occasions. Although the Unison Raid might seem like a highly accessible magic as Fairy Tail members easily use it repeatedly, Jellal recognizes that many people have lost their entire lives trying to unleash its power.

Juvia is also an example of Fairy tales power of friendship not to defeat bad guys but to convert them into guild members. Over a dozen former villains join Fairy Tail or find a brighter path in life through Fairy Tail. The show’s over-the-top approach to emotions and interactions makes this recurring trope fit right into the narrative.

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What Fairy tale lacking in stakes and depth, it makes up for it with a bombastic, lovable cast that endears itself to viewers and other characters alike. Additionally, the magic system and story themes allow for the perfect execution of the power of friendship without feeling too contrived or practical. Mashima handles this core element differently in the shonen anime by embracing it and adopting it as part of his fabricated world.


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