5 Ways Edens Zero Is Just Like Fairy Tail (and 5 Ways It’s Different)

While there are many well-known manga creators, very few are as recognized and beloved as Hiro Mashima. Mashima has created hit series such as Rave Master and Fairy Tail, and greatly delighted fans when he announced he'd be working on a brand new series called Edens Zero. Labeling it as a "space fantasy," the series takes place in a fictional outer space and follows the adventures of Shiki Granbell and the rest of his crew as they travel the cosmoses on his ship, the Edens Zero. It might seem like a vast departure from the series he did right before, Fairy Tail, but the two series actually share some things in common while keeping enough differences to be distinct.

The Power of Friendship Prevails

The crew of Edens from Edens Zero

Throughout both Edens Zero and Fairy Tail, the theme of friendship is integral to their respective stories. At the start of Edens Zero, Shiki was obsessed with making friends with as many people as he can, something his grandfather Ziggy encouraged him to do. This became less and less prevalent as the story progressed, especially as the tone of the story gets darker, but Shiki's desire for friends and his appreciation of the ones he already has was central to his character. At times the series even implied he gained power from those friendships.

This is an obvious carryover from Fairy Tail. Throughout this series, all of the characters, Natsu in particular, were seemingly obsessed with the concept of friends and friendship. Natsu himself even stated that his friends give him power on multiple occasions and proceeds to beat his opponents from a friendship-fueled power boost. To drive the point home even further, many of the foes Fairy Tail faced end up becoming friends or even full members of the guild after their battle, most notably Gajeel, Jellal, and even Cobra.

The Setting Isn't Set

Mother can grant any wish in Edens Zero

Probably the most obvious difference between the two series is their respective settings. Fairy Tail took place in a mostly medieval setting, with a few pieces of futuristic tech such as missiles and literal flying ships there as well. These anachronisms were a bit jarring, but they explained the problem away by saying they were only possible through magic. Other than that though, Fairy Tail's world was the standard medieval fantasy setting.

Edens Zero on the other hand is the opposite. Featuring planets with sprawling cities, flying cars and space ships, and literal robotic sentience, Edens Zero's setting is incredibly more advanced than Fairy Tail's. It is important to note though that this is still considered a space fantasy title, meaning that there is still "magic" to some degree and it is usually responsible for anything that can't be explained easily.

Seeing Double With the Characters

Happy from Edens Zero and Fairy Tail

If you haven't seen both shows this would be an easy thing to miss, but Edens Zero actually has a lot of characters that were in Fairy Tail or at least has borrowed many of the designs. Happy, Natsu's talking and flying cat is in Edens Zero as the partner to Rebecca Bluegarden. The role he served as comic relief is not only still the same, but his name is still Happy. Mashima didn't even bother to change it! Rebecca is also a lot like Fairy Tail's Lucy in both appearance and attitude, albeit their similarities are not nearly as one-to-one as Happy's are.

Those two of course aren't the only examples. Natsu and Shiki are also incredibly similar characters in both appearance and personality. Both were taught long-lost powers by an adoptive paternal figure of a different species. They both have a fascination/obsession with friends too. If put side-by-side they would look practically identical aside from the different hair colors. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it hard to view one series without being immediately reminded of the other.

One Isn't Afraid of Death and Killing

Michael and Valkyrie both ceased functioning in Edens Zero

For a series that features a playful blue cat named Happy, it's surprising just how dark Edens Zero gets, especially when compared to Fairy Tail. Happy, for instance, isn't a real cat, but actually the soul/consciousness of a dead cat that's been revived in a mechanical body. All of the robots that raised Shiki are shown to have a sentience that is equal to that of humans but had all died as well. There are actually moments throughout Edens Zero where an entire planet's worth of people was killed for a multitude of reasons. There are even manga panels where people were graphically crushed into bloody chunks by an enemy's power.

This is so strange because Fairy Tail never really dealt with death too often, and the few times it did the characters were brought back to life, such as Lisanna Strauss. There was the moment during the Grand Magic Games arc where most of Fairy Tail was killed, but because all of this was undone by Ultear it's hard to count it. Even Fairy Tail's villains don't die when they are supposed to, with the most notable example being Jellal. While some might consider it excessive, Edens Zero actually uses death as a way to promote its central theme about the "weight of life." It's dark, sure, but the series is actually better by featuring death this way.

Elsie Crimson Versus Erza Scarlet

Elsie Crimson & Erza Scarlet

The similarity between characters has already been mentioned, but this one deserved a category all of its own. Elsie and Erza are literally the same characters. Not figuratively, not metaphorically, but in almost every way possible these two are the same character. Elsie acted as a kind of rival/older sister type of a character towards Shiki and rest, which was exactly the role that Erza herself played. She was also missing her right eye, same as Erza, except she covered it with an eyepatch instead of using a replacement like her Fairy Tail counterpart. Her powers also took the form of equipping armors and weapons, just like Erza's.

Elsie might not be as prevalent throughout the story as Erza was in Fairy Tail, but she was still incredibly vital to the story. Her relationship with Justice was also quite reminiscent of Erza's with Jellal at the beginning of Fairy Tail, with the two being at odds and wanting to kill each other, yet still harboring feelings for the other. She might not be a part of the main cast like Erza was, but Elsie's presence, appearance, and personality are identical to arguably Fairy Tail's best character.

One Gets Much Darker Than the Other

The Chronophage in Edens Zero anime

If it wasn't made clear by now, Edens Zero is a much darker series than Fairy Tail was. They both can be quite silly and plain old fun, but Edens Zero features much darker themes than its predecessor, and not just because it kills characters. During its Sun Jewel arc, Edens Zero clearly depicted class inequality, human trafficking, slavery as well as torture. While these could be found in Fairy Tail, it was never as prevalent as it is in Edens Zero. One of its earliest arcs even depicts young girls being kidnapped and forced to become furniture.

The Fan-Service Is Unreal

Erza Scarlet Fairy Tail Butt Jiggle Gang

For a show like Fairy Tail, it was kind of crazy how much fan service could be found in it. Shonen manga/anime often feature attractive women with borderline insane and unrealistic figures in revealing outfits, but Fairy Tail probably takes the crown amongst its peers. The amount of time Lucy's clothes fell off or were ripped off was ridiculous, and even Erza's battle armors could leave very little to the imagination.

Somehow, against all odds, Edens Zero managed to beat it in this department. Not only is there a giant open bath, but in almost every single instance viewers see it, it's being used by women. In the first few episodes viewers don't just get to see a girl bound and tied in such a way that even the characters become aroused, but there is an entire part of the show where Rebecca and a bunch of other women are running around a facility completely naked. The whole "bunny girl" outfit Homura was forced to wear also shouldn't be forgotten.

Romantic Sub-Plots Are Developed Differently

rebecca, shiki and happy eden's zero

Much to the chagrin of many fans of Fairy Tail, there were very few romantic subplots. Gray and Juvia were probably the most prominent, but it was mainly played for comedic effect until the very end of the series. Erza and Jellal seemingly had some romantic tension, but even then everything between them was mostly implied and never truly acted upon. Natsu and Lucy becoming a couple were definitely hinted at throughout the series, especially as the series finale approached, but nothing ever really came of it.

Edens Zero on the other hand has made multiple allusions to growing romantic subplots between characters. Weisz has definitely shown interest in Homura, with her even realizing it to some degree. Both Shiki and Rebecca have acknowledged that they find the other attractive, but so far everything has remained platonic. However their bond keeps getting stronger and they keep getting closer, so things could very easily change in the future.

Daddy Issues All Around

Eden's Zero episode 1 Shiki as a kid

While the two have very different fathers, both Shiki and Natsu have a decent amount of daddy issues. Natsu and Shiki were both raised and trained by their paternal figures, Igneel and Ziggy, respectively. Coincidentally, they both lost their surrogate fathers while quite young. Natsu lost Igneel because of the latter's plan to save him in the future, while Ziggy ultimately shuts down one day. Ironically enough, while Fairy Tail started out as Natsu's quest to find his lost dad, Igneel, Edens Zero has become a story about finding Ziggy who has somehow rebooted and now suddenly wants to destroy all organic life in the cosmos.

Is Edens Zero Better Planned Than Fairy Tail?

Edens Zero wallpaper featuring the main cast

Maybe the most important difference between the two series is that there is actually a plan for Edens Zero. Mashima has stated himself that when he was doing Fairy Tail, there was barely any plan and all he had was a general backstory for Natsu. For many who have watched or read Fairy Tail, this might seem quite obvious in retrospect due to the many retcons and weird, seemingly random plot developments that occurred throughout the series.

According to Mashima, Edens Zero is a much more thought-out experience. He has admitted that there are a lot of things that he comes up with as he goes, but the important plot and character developments are actually fully thought out. Mashima has said that there are some choices he's thought about that he waits until later to decide upon, but even this shows a level of foresight and probably means he's planning out what possibilities each choice brings. Overall, this one difference will probably be the key to Edens Zero one day surpassing its predecessor.

jamie lee curtis on one piece
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