Cover up (Fairy Tail analysis)
Once upon a time, there was an anime series that presented a world of magic, knights, talking creatures, and sweaty people with rare dice. There isn’t any in this realm, but there are other shenanigans running around in Magnolia and within the Fairy Tail guild, such as fish, and ass kicking. This was a show I wasn’t fond of, but of course like all interesting aspects of storytelling, there is one that kept my thinking as I watched the characters progressed and that is the outfits and how they cover up the vulnerabilities, leading to empathy from the audience.
Magic is the most useful element carried out by members of the Fairy Tail guild and each one wears certain types of clothes. The classes show different magic powers and helps them become capable of handling situations with no problem, but when all magic energy drains, the battles between mages ends up submissive. That’s when the emotional side of the mages start to show, which gives them an extra boost during a time of either losing or dying. This is when we get to see the main characters open up. Not only do the outfits and classes represent who they are, but also allows them to hide secrets from their past. Lucy is a happy outgoing girl who uses celestial magic (summoning) to help her in battle and is very enthusiastic in the Fairy Tail guild. She’s caring, supportive, and calls the Fairy Tail guild her home. But due to her rough past with her father and the reclusive life as a princess and not interacting with the outside world, she is a prisoner in her own mind and working as a celestial wizard covers up her past. She had maids who help her throughout her days in a mansion, and was under the many social norms and didn’t actually make friends. When her father sends a guild of wizards to stop the Fairy Tail guild and take her back and watches her friends beaten, she falls in denial and eventually goes back to her father. Another thing to mention is the clothes she wears. Most of them are causal and often exotic, whereas the clothes she wears back at her home is formal, and respectable. As Lucy confronts her father and listens to his rules, she rejects his offers. We see Lucy grow stronger when she is a wit’s end and not giving in.
Perhaps one of the strongest female leads in the series, Erza is without a doubt Fairy Tail’s knight in shining armor. She is also hardheaded and is the drill sergeant of everyone. She keeps a strong composure of her feelings inside when she wears her armor. When shes alone Erza is comfortable in her own skin without the armor. Her magic armor and her strict behavior shows us her that she has gone through abuse as kid. She was a slave and worked in forced labor along with other children and was mentally scarred when the other slaves rebelled and started to kill some officers. One of her fellow slaves taught her that the only to survive is learn how to fight back physically and this made her stronger as she aged. She is afraid to express her shame, sadness, and isolation and the armor she picks up is to unite her heroism and cover up her frame of mind.
Gray is a super laid back dude with a lot of buff, and has scars and bruises to prove it. Even without wearing a shirt. To me, there’s an opposite direction for Gray as compared to the other characters I’ve mentioned. Gray fights best without a shirt on and goes to the extreme with recklessness. Some members of the guild tell him to put clothes on because it’s embarrassing and sometimes pushes people away. The striking part about Gray is since he’s an ice wizard, he wears a jacket and shirt, especially when he was training to become one as a kid. Covering Gray’s skin allows warm comfort and Juvia, another member of the guild who has a crush on him, is his saving grace and knowing that it’s okay to commit to others for support.
Natsu has a piece of clothing that keeps his past hidden and that is his scarf wrapped around his neck. And his neck is a weak point much like every other human. The scarf acts like a band-aid and he doesn’t go anywhere without it. Like a stuffed toy from childhood and letting it go is hard, even if it has some bad stains.
Clothes are like masks and the style represents who you are and then there are the ones that are plain and hardly shows whats on the inside. Everyone has a costume. And it’s interesting to see how one evolves.