In Shonen Manga there tends to be at least for North American fans Jump series and everything else, with the everything else rarely catching fire. However, Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail managed to win over quite a few converts and provided one of the most continually entertaining manga (and anime) for over a decade.
Following Fairy Tail’s conclusion over eleven months ago Mashima has started up Eden’s Zero a manga that will look very familiar to fans of his previous works. The question though is does Eden’s Zero live up to its forebearers? Lets find out.
The first thing that needs to be discussed when talking about Eden’s Zero is how much it looks like Fairy Tail and Rave Master. If one wanted to call Eden’s Zero Fairy Tail IN SPACE in jest, they would not be that wrong. The character designs as of now are slight alterations on the main cast from his previous work and the art style has not changed all that much; considering its only been eleven months since Fairy Tails end this is not a huge surprise. As Mashima wouldn’t have changed a lot in a short period of time.
If this is an issue for you you likely won’t like the manga, but as a matter of personal taste, myself I quite enjoyed Fairy Tail’s art style so Eden’s Zero is right up my alley. It also provides a welcome mat for old fans to feel right at ease, something a lot of first run manga’s do not have. All around I think its familiarity will be a boon to Eden’s Zero at first but it will need to come out from under its popular predecessors shadow going forward.
Plot wise, I wont really do my normal recaps as quite frankly it is nothing to write home about. Like the early chapters/episodes of Fairy Tail most of the interesting bits were setting up the characters and the world they live in. This is where Eden’s Zero shines brightest however as the world and characters - so far - are rife with potential and different enough from their Fairy Tail counterparts to seem unique.
First where Fiore was a “World of Magic” the setting of Eden’s Zero is a galaxy of worlds. Reminding me quite a bit of the set up to CLAMP’s dimension spanning epic Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and One Piece or to North American’s Stargate or even Star Trek. The strength of this premise is clear to see as every world can be radically different allowing for a unique visual style from arc to arc. Where one world could be high fantasy another could be gritty steam punk, the possibilities are limited only by Hiro Mashima’s imagination - that is a good thing.
With only two chapters published the other side of the story which are the characters are coming into focus but still undefined. The first is Rebecca who clearly takes inspiration from Lucy with design elements from either Mirajane or Carla’s human form rounding out the design - both literally and figuratively. However, unlike her predecessor she is much more dynamic as a character. Where Lucy early on was most commonly the damsel in distress Rebecca is much more take charge, in fact she is the one who starts the entire story. Personally in this case she reminds me of Bulma from early chapters of Dragon Ball. Again this is a good change.
The second character is Happy that gets a backstory I will not spoil in Chapter Two as its just too hilarious/awesome. Basically if you know Happy from Fairy Tail you know Happy from Eden’s Zero just in this case he is Rebecca’s companion not the Natsu/Grey Clones companion. Aye!
Finally that brings us to Shiki Granbell which is mostly influenced by Natsu with design elements from Grey mixed in - most notably his hair. Much like how Rebecca is the instigator of the story Shiki has taken the Lucy role of being the wide eyed follower. Again a situation closely following Dragon Ball. Actually I would make the argument Eden’s Zero entire plot seems to be heavily inspired by early Dragon Ball.
At the end of Chapter Two we get a tease from the Erza Scarlet character Captain Elsie Crimson. We don’t know much about her other then she looks like Erza as a Space Pirate. Which I am totally okay with.
With close to eighty pages published I believe Eden’s Zero is off to a good start and has the potential to be a worthy successor to Fairy Tail. Of course if you were not a fan of Mashima’s earlier work I doubt you will much enjoy this new one. That being said I personally am looking forward to reading it week to week.
Check out this weeks write up:
Eden’s Zero is available streaming of Crunchyroll Manga the same week it releases in Japan.
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