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Lucy Heartfilia

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Lucy Heartfilia
Fairy Tail character
The main female protagonist of the Fairy Tail series
Lucy Heartfilia as drawn by Hiro Mashima
First appearance Fairy Tail chapter 1: The Fairy's Tail (2006)
Created by Hiro Mashima
Voiced by Japanese
Aya Hirano
English
Cherami Leigh
Profile
Notable relatives Jude Heartfilia (father)
Layla Heartfilia (mother)
Anna Heartfilia (ancestor)
Guild Fairy Tail
Magic Celestial Spirit Magic

Lucy Heartfilia (Japanese: ルーシィ・ハートフィリア, Hepburn: Rūshii Hātofiria) is a fictional character and the main female protagonist of the Fairy Tail manga and anime series created by Hiro Mashima. She is depicted as a teenage wizard and aspiring novelist who joins the titular guild due to its popularity, despite its members' tendency to cause unintentional property damage. As a celestial wizard,[JP 1] Lucy uses magical objects known as Gatekeys[JP 2] to summon celestial spirits, beings from another world that possess various abilities, such as powerful zodiac spirits that she summons with rare golden keys. Lucy's initial weapon is a whip with a heart-shaped extremity, which is later switched to an extendable celestial whip. Lucy appears in most Fairy Tail media, including both feature films, all original video animations (OVAs), light novels and video games. She is voiced by Aya Hirano in Japanese, while Cherami Leigh plays her in the English dub.

Mashima stated that Lucy was designed with a serious personality and represents his artistic side. Lucy's character has received a mixed critical response. Journalists have praised some of her fight scenes and have regarded her as sympathetic, but they have found her development lacking and have generally criticized her relationship with the celestial spirits. Her voice actresses have also received mixed responses for their performances. Lucy has placed high in popularity polls, and many different pieces of merchandise related to her have been released, such as action figures.

Creation and conception[edit]

Lucy Heartfilia was one of the first characters Hiro Mashima created during the development of Fairy Tail. In her earliest concept, Mashima designed an outfit with a ruffled dress, high heels, and curled pigtails. Three alternative hairstyles included a bun, a short haircut covering her right eye, and a side ponytail similar to the one Mashima ultimately picked for her. Lucy's design was eventually changed to a sleeveless shirt, a short skirt, and boots. Mashima's original idea for Lucy's magic involved using cards in combat, which he later changed to keys due to the repeated use of weaponized cards in other media.[1] Mashima based Lucy's first name on the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" recorded by the Beatles.[2]

When asked about his resemblance to his characters, Mashima stated that he is sometimes serious like Lucy.[3] He further said that Lucy represents the artistic side of himself. He confirmed that Lucy is one of his favorite characters and mentioned that he wished to focus on her while developing the story. Mashima also commented that Lucy had been designed to always give the best of herself, and he felt that this characteristic gained the support of the fans.[4] Mashima listed Lucy as one of the three Fairy Tail characters he would prefer to be on a team with.[5]

An image with Lucy's English voice actress
Cherami Leigh plays Lucy in the English dub.[6][7]

Regarding the anime adaptation of the series, voice actress Aya Hirano, who plays Lucy in Japanese,[8] stated that Lucy's potential romantic relationships were popular with fans, and she wondered whether Lucy would form a couple with male protagonist Natsu Dragneel in the end. She further said that Mashima really enjoyed a scene from Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess, where Lucy is embraced by Natsu.[9] Hirano also mentioned that Lucy's separation from the spirit Aquarius made her cry during the recording session, adding that Lucy is a character she can develop along with.[10] Cherami Leigh voices Lucy in the English dub.[6][7]

Appearances[edit]

In Fairy Tail[edit]

Lucy first appears in Fairy Tail as a seventeen-year-old daughter of business tycoon Jude Heartfilia and celestial wizard Layla Heartfilia. Developing a love for Layla's celestial spirits at an early age,[11] Lucy inherits two of her mother's gold Gatekeys that summon powerful zodiac spirits, later acquiring a third key.[12] Following Layla's death and her own later estrangement from Jude,[13] Lucy embarks on a journey to join the Fairy Tail guild, which she admires in spite of its members' inclination to cause unintended property damage.[14] She is rescued from a criminal by members Natsu Dragneel, a fire wizard and dragon slayer, and Happy, his Exceed companion, who invite her into the guild after learning of her goal.[14] Lucy quickly forms a partnership with the two in order to pay the rent for her house in Magnolia, the city where Fairy Tail is located,[12][15] demonstrating her proficiency in summoning spirits and handling a whip in battle.[16] The three later form a permanent team with ice wizard Gray Fullbuster and armor wizard Erza Scarlet, becoming what their guildmates regard as Fairy Tail's most powerful team, despite Lucy's inexperience and inferior magic skill.[17]

Shortly after joining the guild, Lucy becomes the target of a kidnapping plot carried out by Phantom Lord,[18] a rival guild that her father recruits with the intent to bring Lucy home for an arranged marriage.[19] After her friends rescue her,[20][21] Lucy renounces her family ties with Jude, although the two begin to mend their relationship after he goes bankrupt.[19][22][23] Eventually, Lucy improves her abilities over several battles, such as mastering the powerful celestial spell Urano Metoria,[JP 3][24] and replacing her lost whip with the extendable energy whip Fleuve d'étoiles.[JP 4][25][26] She eventually contracts ten of the twelve zodiac spirits,[27] including her guildmate and disgraced spirit Loke after she persuades the Celestial Spirit King to revoke his exile from the spirit world.[28]

While Lucy is present on Sirius Island for Fairy Tail's S-Class promotional exam,[29] former guild master Mavis Vermillion places the island in suspended animation within the defensive spell Fairy Sphere to protect the guild from the dragon Acnologia;[30] Lucy regains her love for Jude after discovering his death from overwork shortly upon her release seven years later.[31][32] During the kingdom of Fiore's annual Grand Magic Games tournament, Lucy's future self uses the magical time travel gate Eclipse to return to the present and warn her friends of an impending assault conducted by dragons from the past,[33] later dying while shielding her present self from fellow time traveler Rogue Cheney's attack.[34] Lucy is then able to prevent the crisis by closing Eclipse using all twelve zodiac spirits belonging to her and fellow celestial wizard Yukino Agria.[35] Later, when her guild is incapacitated by the dark guild Tartaros,[36] Lucy is forced to destroy the key of her spirit Aquarius to temporarily summon the Celestial Spirit King,[11] who saves her friends.[37]

Over the next year after Fairy Tail dissolves,[38] Lucy learns how to magically change into Star Dresses[JP 5] that grant her personal access to her spirits' powers.[39] Soon after Natsu and Happy help her reform the guild,[38] she and the rest of Fairy Tail participate in a war against the Alvarez Empire,[40] which is led by Natsu's brother, the dark wizard Zeref.[41] A temporary reunion between Lucy and Aquarius occurs on the battlefield,[42] with Lucy resolving to find the spirit's reforged key after the war to permanently reunite with her.[43] Later, when Lucy discovers that Natsu is a demon called "Etherious Natsu Dragneel" (E.N.D.) who will die if Zeref is killed,[44] she edits the book containing E.N.D.'s soul in order to make Natsu human,[45] allowing him to survive his battle with Zeref.[46] Following this, Lucy contributes to Acnologia's defeat by harnessing the magic of wizards across the continent to imprison the dragon within Fairy Sphere, while his spiritual form is destroyed by Natsu and the other dragon slayers.[47] One year later, Lucy publishes an award-winning debut novel based on her adventures in the guild, after which she and her team embark on a "century quest", a guild mission that has never been accomplished in less than 100 years.[48][49]

In other media[edit]

Lucy is present in both Fairy Tail films. In Phoenix Priestess (2012), Lucy befriends a girl called Éclair and helps her reach her destination.[50][51] Lucy also makes an appearance in the one-shot prologue manga created by Hiro Mashima for this film and in its animated adaptation.[52][53] In Dragon Cry (2017), Lucy and other Fairy Tail members are assigned by the king of Fiore to bring back the stolen Dragon Cry staff.[54][55][56]

Lucy is also a character in all nine Fairy Tail original video animations (OVAs). In the first OVA, she visits Fairy Hills, Fairy Tail's dormitory for girls;[57] in the second, Lucy is portrayed as an academy student;[58] in the third, she is sent to the past by a magical book;[59] in the fourth, she attends a training camp to prepare for the Grand Magic Games;[60] in the fifth, Lucy goes to a water park to have fun and relax;[61] the sixth is a crossover OVA of the Fairy Tail series and Hiro Mashima's Rave Master series, in which Lucy and Rave Master heroine Elie search for Natsu and Rave Master main protagonist Haru Glory, respectively;[62] in the seventh, Lucy takes part in a penalty game;[63] in the eighth, she and other guild members try to make Mavis Vermillion feel better;[64] and in the ninth, the Fairy Tail members gather together in Lucy's house to celebrate Christmas.[65] She also appears in every light novel based on the series, such as one in which her role is inspired by the character Alice from the Alice in Wonderland novel,[66] and one where the Fairy Tail guild members are depicted as samurais.[67] Lucy is also present in the sequel to the Fairy Tail manga, Fairy Tail 100 Years Quest, which directly continues the original story.[68][69][70] She appears in several spin-offs from the original series as well,[71][72][73][74] including one regarding the female Fairy Tail members.[75][76]

Lucy is a playable character in several Fairy Tail video games,[77][78] such as the PlayStation Portable action video games developed by Konami Fairy Tail: Portable Guild (2010),[79] Fairy Tail: Portable Guild 2 (2011),[80] and Fairy Tail: Zeref Awakens (2012).[81] She is also present alongside Natsu in the crossover video game Sunday vs Magazine: Shūketsu! Chōjō Daikessen (2009).[82]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical reception of Lucy's character has been mixed. Critics have commented on her characterization in the manga series. While reviewing the manga, Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network (ANN) regarded Lucy's relationship with her celestial spirits as "awful".[83] He considered Lucy "sympathetic", despite stating that her character development was lacking.[84] Rebecca Silverman of the same website characterized Lucy as "kind of annoying".[85] Nevertheless, the writer described Lucy's confrontation with one of dragon slayer Laxus Dreyar's allies as "breathtaking"; Silverman elaborated on this aspect by saying this battle had "a combination of emotion, intellect, and good old fashioned brawling to maximize the reader's involvement in the story", adding that no other major fight in the series contained the same mixture of elements.[86] Silverman further wrote that dragon slayer Wendy Marvell took over Lucy's role as the primary female character of the story for a limited amount of time.[87] The writer enjoyed the "reaffirmation of Lucy's bond with her spirits" and stated that Lucy's role in her team-up with Natsu against a member of the dark guild Grimoire Heart was a bizarre yet major one.[88] A. E. Sparrow of IGN compared the way Lucy was drawn with how the characters Nami and Vivi were portrayed by manga artist Eiichiro Oda in the One Piece series. The reviewer regarded Lucy's ability to summon celestial spirits as "great" and thought it would be fun to see what other keys she could collect in the future.[89] Dale North of Japanator felt that Lucy had the widest variety of facial expressions among the Fairy Tail characters and described her as "cute".[90] Richard Gutierrez of The Fandom Post said that Lucy had become a stronger person following Fairy Tail's fight against the Phantom Lord guild.[91]

Journalists have also analyzed Lucy's character based on her portrayal in the series' animated adaptation and feature films. While reviewing the anime, Carlo Santos of ANN praised Cherami Leigh's role as Lucy.[92][93] Carl Kimlinger wrote that Aya Hirano's "dark timbre and self-conscious delivery" were a "poor fit for sunny Lucy", but he enjoyed Leigh's interpretation of Lucy.[94] While the reviewer described Lucy's partnership with Natsu and Happy as odd, he thought of their teamwork as the core part of the series' ensemble.[95] Crystalyn Hodgkins of ANN believed Leigh was suitable for Lucy's voice, stating that her performance was "full of enthusiasm".[6] Rebecca Silverman viewed Lucy's family relationships as the central aspect of her character, and she said the relationship between Lucy and her father was handled better in the anime compared to the manga.[96] The writer thought the introduction of Lucy's future self represented an important part of her story.[97] Silverman mentioned that the anime missed an opportunity to explore Lucy's character further in the filler storyline where the celestial spirits started a rebellion against her, describing the emphasis on her relation with the spirit Virgo as unnecessary;[98] she also expressed disappointment that Lucy's interactions with Loke and Aquarius, both of whom Silverman considered "far more integral to [Lucy's] character", were comparatively underplayed.[99] Matt Kamen of Neo admired Lucy's ability to summon spirits,[100] and Chris Beveridge of The Fandom Post referred to Lucy as one of his favorite Fairy Tail characters.[101] Kevin Leathers of UK Anime Network regarded Lucy as "the representation of the viewer" and thought her contribution to the series was "decent".[102] While reviewing Fairy Tail the Movie: Phoenix Priestess, Kimlinger mentioned that there were "little spikes of melancholy" in the story when the plot focused on Lucy; he praised Hirano's "emotional intensity" in the film and stated that Leigh's performance sounded "childish in comparison".[50] Reviewing Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, Silverman said Lucy fell into the damsel in distress trope since she was often captured and seemed "helpless", finding this disappointing as it had been shown in previous story arcs that Lucy can handle herself; nonetheless, the writer enjoyed the scene in which Lucy started wearing celestial clothing, and she described it as "beautifully done".[55]

Popularity and merchandise[edit]

In a popularity poll published in the 26th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Lucy ranked first with a total of 8987 votes.[103] Merchandise based on Lucy has been released, including action figures.[104][105][106][107] Badges inspired by her have been produced,[108] and necklaces based on her have been created as well.[109]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 星霊魔導士 seirei madōshi
  2. ^ 門の鍵, ゲートのかぎ Gēto no Kagi
  3. ^ ウラノ・メトリア Urano Metoria
  4. ^ 星の大河, エトワールフルーグ Etowāru Furūgu, French for "River of Stars"
  5. ^ 星霊衣, スタードレス Sutā Doresu

References[edit]

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