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“Fairy Tail” has grown to be one of the most popular shounen out there, following the classics like “One Piece”, “Naruto”, and “Bleach”. Naturally, it’s inclined to focus on the importance of relationships and bonds that you create with the people around you. The story is a little sneaky, though, because they leave out the aspect that appeals most to us, in terms of the fights. This aspect is: who are the strongest characters? Who are the characters that, no matter who they fight, are able to hold their own and prove that they shouldn’t be messed with?
10. Precht "Hades" Gaebolg
Dubbed the second guild master of Fairy Tail, Hades turned over to the dark side and abandoned his guild members, including Makarov. He’s only introduced in the Tenroujima arc, right before the members on the island are introduced to Zeref. His overall appearance is intimidating, but what truly makes the members of Fairy Tail feel petrified is the fact that he wears an eye patch to cover his Demon’s Eye. When activated, it changes a few of his physical appearances to make him seem more intimidating.
The power of Hades’ Demon’s Eye is a caster-type magic, which means that his magic power is expelled from his body as opposed to through a weapon or another external source. Of course, all mages in the “Fairy Tail” universe uses magic power that comes from their body, but having a Demon’s Eye is related to the reawakening of Zeref, automatically making someone like Hades a hundred times more petrifying than he originally was. The fact that he was a former Fairy Tail guild master makes the whole situation much worse too, since it’s obvious he abandoned and deserted the very people he was supposed to protect.
9. Minerva Orland
Daughter of Jiemma, Minerva is introduced in the story as having absolute control over the members of the Sabertooth guild. She’s unforgiving, vindictive, and definitely places herself over the others, with the exception of her father. Of course, that only lasted until the end of the Grand Magic Games. The reason Minerva is so feared by the members of her guild, as well as others who witness how she treats others, is because she uses threats as a way to ge what she wants.
After Sting Eucliffe lost his battle against Natsu in the GMG, Minerva zapped away Lector, Sting’s trusted Exceed. As a “Fairy Tail” fan and knowing how important Happy and Carla are to Natsu and Wendy, having an Exceed taken away from a Dragon Slayer — even if they’re the enemy — is something that is sure to pull at your heart strings.
Not only is Minerva a master of manipulation, but she was also ruthless in her fight against Lucy during the GMG, and even more so during Erza and Kagura’s fight. Seemingly strong characters would have bowed down to Minerva, because she knew how to find what was most important to a person, and threaten to put its existence in danger. Characters like Sting were perceived as strong, but not as strong as Minerva. Her heartless and cold reputation was even more enforced when she killed her own father without hesitation, making her even more of a spectacle to fear.
Of course, in the end, she was taken down by none other than Erza, though that still doesn’t diminish the actions she had already committed in order to gain more power.
8. Erza Scarlet
Although there is a bit of bias on my part because Erza is my favourite female in “Fairy Tail”, it’s pretty obvious that she does deserve a spot in the top ten strongest characters, since all characters who have heard of her name fear her greatly. After countless missions and her requipping magic that houses her different swords and armor, Erza had truly made a name for herself across most guilds, if not all. Her strong sense of justice and ethics drives her to protect those important to her, and those who are innocent, simply because her desire to make things right make it easy for her to recognise what is valuable and what isn’t.
It is no secret that Erza doesn’t know who her biological parents are, and it is definitely known that she was thrown into a sort of concentration camp, where children her age as well as people in their old age were tested on for experiments. Having such a dark background caused her to develop a sense of protectiveness over anyone she loved, which ultimately is what gives her the strength and the title “Titania”, making her a truly frightening yet admirable foe — she doesn’t fight to win, she fights to protect, which sets her apart from her enemies and makes her unique.
7. Jellal Fernandes
A previous member of the Magic Council, it’s only natural that Jellal is thought to be considerably strong. As we know, he originally had a counter identity named Siegrain, who was, in one word, evil. Essentially, he wished for the destruction of Fairy Tail guild members, and while he worked in the Magic Council as a cover up for his illegal crimes, no one was able to figure that out until later on. He was conniving, manipulative, and something else about him simply screamed intimidating! Like Minerva, Jellal/Siegrain used manipulation as a tactic to establish fear and power so that people wouldn’t question his actions.
Having been a member of the Magic Council isn’t enough to call Jellal strong, in this case. During the Nirvana arc, he is revealed to have lost his memory of his actions, though he does know that he has committed crimes he cannot keep track of. At this moment, we feel absolute sadness for his character, and when he opens up the portal of Nirvana that was supposedly to kill himself, we truly learn of his strength.
His personality is one that carries many burdens and he holds himself accountable for his mistakes, which, similar to Erza, causes him to develop a sense of justice that is gentle, yet firm. Coming from the same background as Erza is no surprise as to why he is strong, either. Without his past, Jellal might not be as strong as he is now.
6. Laxus Dreyar
Grandson of the third guild master of Fairy Tail, Laxus is known amongst his guild members to be monstrously strong, and with appearances such as his, who wouldn’t think so? The title of a Dragon Slayer is already one that has most people in the Fairy Tail universe shaking in their boots. Of course, Laxus is only a second-generation Dragon Slayer, which gives him disadvantages that first-generation Dragon Slayers do not. However, he still possesses a considerable amount of magic power inside him, which essentially means that he can exude as much magic as he pleases. Being a Lightning Dragon Slayer is already intimidating enough.
When Laxus is first introduced, he’s perceived as cocky and arrogant, which automatically sets a difference between the usual Fairy Tail members from him and thus, it possibly makes you dislike him. When he disrespects Makarov and inadvertently assumes that he is the strongest of the guild, it sets off Natsu, and there is a clear rivalry between the two that seems to simmer. Ultimately, his brute strength is on par with Natsu’s, and anyone who opposes him in a fight will surely lose, with their tail between their legs.
5. Natsu Dragneel
Surely you didn’t think that the protagonist of Fairy Tail would not make his way to the top ten strongest characters! All the way back from episode one, we see that Natsu is, simply put, a freak of nature. Known notoriously for destruction, eating and breathing fire, and having a blue cat that goes with him everywhere, Natsu is the kind of character that no one would want to mess with. Having been introduced as having a title known amongst others as “Salamander”, it’s pretty clear that he’s caused enough ruckus for people to give him a nickname. Not only that, but he is incredibly protective over his guild and his friends, which makes for a fearsome foe.
At this point in the anime, it’s pretty obvious that out of the three first-generation Dragon Slayers, Natsu can be considered the strongest. With a resolution to protect everyone he has come to care about, as well as the resolve to become infinitely stronger, it’s not so surprising that many enemies of the guild know his name and want to fight him. Never willing to turn down a challenge, Natsu usually wins his fights not because he knows how strong he is, but because he relies on the strength that his loved ones give him.
4. Makarov Dreyar
A member of the Ten Wizard Saints as well as the master of the strongest guild in Fiore, Makarov, although originally tiny and deceptively frail, is actually quite dangerous. A lot of the stronger characters in “Fairy Tail” received their titles through brute strength, and while Makarov is physically strong, he also has ideals that place justice in favour over his own desires, which is what makes the members of his guild admire and love him. Traditionally, characters with a strong sense of justice and the need to protect those dear to him are the very ones that their enemies underestimate. Once you come across a character like Makarov, it’s wise to be careful!
While the anime has shown many opportunities for Makarov to shine, I feel the best moment was when he, along with the S-Class Wizard candidates, were on Tenroujima. Just as the existence of the people he refers to as his children is threatened, Makarov jumps in to protect them. This specific and touching moment is what defines Makarov’s character and his strength. Without him, the very core of the Fairy Tail guild would feel empty.
3. Gildarts Clive
Who in their right mind would accuse Gildarts Clive of being weak when he has destructive magic? Being able to take any form of matter and destroy it is something anyone should be afraid of, because it basically means that if you get in his way, he has no problem with destroying you. Yikes! His general appearance is one that intimidates others, though of course for characters like Natsu, he’s considered someone to train with, in order to improve to become better. Natsu, who’s considered to be a prodigy in terms of strength because of the origins of his magic, was not able to defeat Gildarts at a fight — and Gildarts didn’t even have to try to fight the kid.
It’s also a known fact that Makarov had asked Gildarts to become the next guild master after him, in case anything ever happened. Naturally, those who are assigned or asked to be guild master of Fairy Tail are those who are not only strong, but who have a strong sense of family and would put their lives on the line for their comrades. For whatever reason he had though, Gildarts denounced his title as guild master and gave it back to Makarov, before taking off again and continuing his journey, partaking in S-Class jobs like he normally would.
2. Jura Nekis
Also a member of the Ten Wizard Saints, Jura is stated to have incredible strength stats during the Grand Magic Games. Being an expert in Earth Magic may not seem like such a big deal, especially when compared with Dragon Slayer Magic, but it does play around with the elements, which should be enough indication as to how much strength really comes along with that type of power. Another character that focuses on hard work being the pinnacle of strength as opposed to relying on skills that one is born with, Jura is someone that most characters fear, merely due to his patience and his ability to calculate a situation under pressure.
When faced with Hoteye in the Oracíon Seis arc, he is asked by his enemy whether he thinks Earth Magic that melts is stronger, or one that hardens is stronger. As a simple answer, Jura tells his opponent that, “the quality of the Magic itself is immaterial. He who has the stronger conviction will always prevail”. While he obviously doesn’t show up constantly in the story, the times that he does, you can count on Jura being a badass and blowing his enemies out of the water.
Not so surprisingly, it is difficult to think of a character in the entire anime series that is stronger than Zeref, mostly because all the other villains have been defeated. When this villain was officially introduced in the Tenroujima arc, we are thrown off by the fact that he starts crying when he sees Natsu. Naturally, this also throws off everyone on that island, as well, which is why it’s incredibly frightening when he brings out his dragon Acnologia. Suddenly, no one knows what to do or how to defeat him! The characters that were on the island at that time were all taken aback by how much power Zeref, as one entire person, could have, and it made them afraid of the consequences if they were to lose this battle.
At this point in the anime, Zeref’s demons has been introduced to the plot. Essentially, the reason for the existence of these demons is so that they can ultimately revive him or kill him. There has been no character in “Fairy Tail” where their life was being hindered by multiple factors, and the fact that there are specific demons that were created for the express purpose of ridding of Zeref is enough to tell you how terrifying he really is.
Although with a little bit of unconventionality in terms of the genre it is meant to be placed under, “Fairy Tail” has created some unique characters that aren’t quite that comparable with other series! Surely, the more you watch it, the more you will experience individual characters’ strength as they grow into admirable people. But hey, isn’t that the point of shounen manga and anime?