Hot off the success of Fairy Tail comes master mangaka Hiro Mashima’s latest work. Does Edens Zero stand out from the crowd and provide a unique experience? Or does it fall into the category of “Fairy Tail but Worse”? Let’s take a look at the first three episodes of Edens Zero and find out!
Edens Zero comes to us from the mind of renowned writer Hiro Mashima. We follow the lives of Shiki, an outcast human raised by robots, and Rebecca, a professional video content creator, as the two travel across the galaxy in hopes of finding Mother (a being said to grant the wish of whoever finds her). Already, this plot sounds interesting enough but Edens Zero goes above and beyond to deepen its setting with rich and complex backstories. Shiki is not only a human but the descendent of the Demon Lord. He is infused with the power to control gravity (a relic of a time gone by).
Additionally, where Fairy Tail focused heavily on magic, Edens Zero seems more focused on machines. Fairy Tail was set in a time before such technological advancements and so, for a change of pace, Edens Zero sets out to conquer a possible future. The ending of episode three gave us a brief glimpse into 2000 years from the current date. We see the corpses of a possible Rebecca and Shiki alongside their recording device. Carved into the back reads “Edens Zero”. Fairy Tail was more focused on the present fights and rarely teased audiences this much. Edens Zero, much like a future-centric anime should, foreshadows stories that we will come to see told at a later date.
Fairy Tail’s Lucy was accepted into the guild after meeting Natsu. He acted as her teacher in some ways, introducing both Lucy and us to the world of magic. Here, the roles are reversed as Shiki is the newbie on the scene and Rebecca takes the reins. Perhaps a reach but it was nice to see an anime so focused on the future and technological progression, also embrace the future of gender equality by letting Rebecca take the leading role regarding exposition. However, this wouldn’t be a Hiro Mashima work without copious amounts of fan service to balance it out. Rest assured, skimpy skirts, exposed cleavage, and implied panty shots are aplenty. With the advent of B-Cubers running riot amidst the world of Edens Zero, surely, it is only a matter of time before the “Bonly Fans” creators make their debut. Regardless of your opinion on the narrative of Fairy Tail, it was a fun ride. Ultimately, that’s what Edens Zero does best. It’s just fun!!
The Fairy-Sized Elephant in the Room
It would be impossible to discuss Edens Zero without paying homage to Fairy Tail. Both works coming from the same creator, it was understandable that a lot of what made Fairy Tail so successful would bleed into Edens Zero. However, it is uncanny just how much Edens Zero is similar to Fairy Tail. Plue was a character featured in Rave Master and was also present in Fairy Tail. Edens Zero decided to borrow Happy and Plue this time around who make their return as supporting characters. We’ve yet to meet Plue but Happy is still the same cutesy, fun-loving, mechanical dual pistol killing machine you know from...so maybe he’s not exactly the same.
However, we had to blink twice upon first witnessing Rebecca, who bears such a striking resemblance to Lucy. Shiki seems to be the Natsu of this series; sharing a lot of his personality traits and, while we have yet to discover much about their personalities, we’ve also come to meet an aged Wendy Marvel design in Labilia Christy, a blonde Gray Fullbuster in Weisz Steiner, and a one-eyed Erza in Elsie Crimson! Keen-eyed fans will be happy with the number of Easter eggs on show here as well from a hidden Revy sat at a table, to Lucy and Natsu quietly leaving the restaurant!
Yes, this could be considered lazy writing or lazy character design. Reskinning your already established characters and imbuing them with varying levels of personality, could be seen as nothing more than a ploy to tug on our nostalgia strings. However, this is surely not the case. Some artists like to evolve with each new project. They create marvelous works of literature or food that bring something new to the table each time. However, there is nothing wrong with a chef who makes the same thing, day-in-day-out, but does so expertly every time. Edens Zero is one such show. Yes, it could be referred to as ‘Fairy Tail in Space’. But to many Fairy Tail fans out there who were sad to see it go, that is most definitely not a bad thing. After all, we get to see more Fairy Tail. If you ever desired a Fairy Tail spinoff front lining Natsu and Lucy, be sure to give it a watch.
It remains to be seen whether Edens Zero will break away from Fairy Tail’s narrative surrounding the importance of friendship, or whether it will change up its characters to a significant degree. The show is certainly self-aware enough with the countless nods to previous works, that it seems unlikely to be a purposeful carbon copy. Whatever the case, rest assured that you are secured in the hands of a capable and proven writer. With someone like Hiro Mashima at the helm of your spacecraft, you should be prepared for a wild ride. What do you think of Edens Zero so far? Did you catch any Easter eggs we might have missed? Let us know down below!