Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Manga: Hiro Mashima's Playground

Hiro Mashima's Playground
Rating: 3/5
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A new collection of short stories by Hiro Mashima, creator of Fairy Tail and Rave Master! Read some of Mashima's never-before-seen debut stories, including the first appearance of the Fairy Tail guild! 

First off, this is two volumes in one, and it has 8 stories across both volumes! We've got: 

Magicians: Magicians is about a magicians club that's going to be cancelled if they don't scrounge up two more members. Plue guest stars, and honestly? This one was kind of ridiculous and I'm not sure if it was like that on purpose, and was supposed to be a parody? It did give us some action though what with the shady organisation. 

Fairy Tale: This one features a world of spirits and monsters, and a treasure has been stolen. We've got some....familiar faces, names and nicknames like Aquarius, Taurus, Gray, there's someone called Salamander and Silva. The phrase Flame Brain is thrown about too, so I'm sure you can see where Fairy Tail came from! There's some more action, and a nice amount of danger, I was actually intrigued by the world in this one and the characters and I feel like it was wrapped up nicely. 

Cocona: Princess of the devils Cocona is in love with a human man, but Armon can't date a devil. So Cocona and her cat go on a journey to find a druid to turn her human. Kinda like the Little Mermaid but without the mermaid part. Or the Prince part. It's kind of a rom com, and it's basically just a fun little short story. It's nicely paced and it had a nice little twist to it too! 

Plue's Adventure 2: This is Plue from Rave Master, and he has a quest to go on. It's set out like a game, and you can collect points and tick things off of a checklist that you have to find. I have to say...I didn't really have much interest in this one, although I did think it was fun that it was laid out like a game! 

Bad Boys Song: We have four delinquents about to graduate and they reflect back on their school career and realise they might have been a bit...separate from the general school populace. They decide to do a live music show because they want to feel part of the school. This is perhaps the most normal one in this volume as there isn't any magic. 

Magic Party: Elena is learning magic and she's sent on a test. All she has to do is find a magic book...but it's not that easy. This one was a lot of fun, and there's some echoes of Fairy Tail in it too, I wouldn't have minded seeing this one expanded upon! 

Xmas Hearts: Santa's....Santa's everywhere. We join The Santa's, and Santa Strat is basically a Grinch who wants to skip out on Christmas and just eat cake. Unfortunately the Nightmares steal all the cake and he has to fight them to get it back. This one was kinda fun, and was Christmassy. I did actually enjoy it, even if I did think it was a bit silly at points. 

Combo Squad Mixture: Evil anima monsters kidnap kids, and Mafuyu is one of the heroes who fights them, but he's....not that great, shall we say. He gets teamed up with a couple of other unpopular heroes and they have to get their approval rating to 90% or their basically fired. This one was again, one with action and some fun to it! 

Overall, the art is what you'd expect from Mashima, it's an interesting collection of stories. Most of them feature magic, and you can see some similar themes throughout them. It's a fun little collection, each story has a different vibe but there's some romance, magic and action! It's definitely intriguing to dip in and out of, particularly if you're already a Mashima fan! 

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