Does anyone else who watches the anime Fairy Tail sometimes feel slightly uncomfortable with how willing the characters are to forgive just about any other character of any other crime? Warning, general spoilers ahead!
(Somehow the original draft got deleted – human error I’m sure, so here’s my quick re-do of the post).
I like Gajeel a lot, but it has been awkward accepting him as one of the gang when I remember how he beat Lucy out of sadistic pleasure after she had been kidnapped, thus fulfilling his guild’s job parameters. Even his comrades were like, “Uh, dude, not necessary…” and now, much as I like the general chemistry between him and Levy and want to ‘ship them, I keep being haunted by how he, you know, beat Levy and the rest of Shadow Gear until they were unconscious, then strung them up for Lucy and the other Fairy Tail wizards to find…
If Gajeel had simply acknowledged his guilt, or admitted that he felt sorry -or even just took responsibility for his actions in general, I would feel a lot more comfortable with my acceptance of and affection for his character.
Jellal and Ultear have both taken responsibility for their crimes (I admit that their crimes are arguably worse, or at least on a grander scale, than Gajeel’s, but shouldn’t that be even more reason for Gajeel to apologize?). In fact, I can sympathize with Jellal and Ultear’s backstories much more easily than I can empathize with Gajeel’s actions. Jellal and Ultear were both tortured and manipulated emotionally and psychologically as young children, it’s not shocking that they did some messed up things. But Gajeel, as far as we know, had a relatively normal upbringing (you know, for a Dragonslayer) and was a cognizant adult when he brutally beat the members of Shadow Gear and Lucy.
Jellal and Ultear started a guild tasked with the mission of stopping other evil wizards as a form of atonement for their crimes. Gajeel has given us hilarious performances a Blues singer, fulfilled his ambition to obtain a cat companion, and yes, helped out Fairy Tail a number of times since he joined the guild. I’m not saying he hasn’t earned his place as a Fairy Tail wizard, I just wish the audience could have seen him acknowledge his past actions before being expected to embrace him as a character (and if that’s the point, that he never felt the need to acknowledge what he did, then I’d like to know that because it makes me like him a lot less). This show is based on a manga, which I have not read yet, so perhaps the manga addresses this entire situation and the show simply did not portray it for some reason.
Other than Gajeel, did anyone else find it weird how the guy who is kidnapping and selling women into sexual slavery from the first episode was suddenly ok to be around later in the series? I’ve read that in the manga the character goes to prison for a time and apparently feels regret for what he did, but the show definitely did not portray that. When we see him again, all we get is a “oh hey, it’s that guy who tried to brand Lucy with a hot-iron and then sell her and a ship load of women into slavery. What’s up?” …even with Natsu’s generally-forgiving nature, it was a pretty awkward scene for me.
Maybe it’s just me, but a little recognition of the seriousness of these characters’ actions would only give the show greater depth. If the excuse is going to be “oh it’s for kids” then maybe the actions of these characters should have been less gratuitously violent and human-rights-violating.
That said, I do find this show to be excellently written otherwise and look forward to more of the series.