The Mary-Sue (or Lucy's back-pain)

[In this episode, I analyse the occurrence of Mary Sues and in specifics the character of Lucy from the anime Fairy Tail.
Spoilers: Major for oracion seis arc, minor for tower of heavan arc and major for eclipse cannon arc (however even a lobotomised horse-shoe crab can see the latter coming).]
Mary sues tend to come in a variety of flavours.
Most are merely the creator's own fantasies of their own self being projected into the works. Some can be the creator's vision of the ideal character often being presented as the cool kid or unstoppable hero. Some Mary's have even been used to express opinions be it political, social or even racial.
Frankly, I don't like the word. I'm not a fan of trying to limit one's ability to comprehend stories by trying to label certain phenomenon. Its a lot like trying to label personality types based on certain symptoms; it often leads to a misunderstanding when the truth is far more complex.
Nevertheless, I suppose this is more of a limitation of our ability to communicate as human beings and so without further ado
Lucy Heartphelia is a Mary Sue or Donald Trump isn't a symptom of a resurgent global nationalist trend.

This is obviously in regards to Fairy tail the highly esteemed Anime series about a kingdom so stretched out and undermanned that it must rely on undisciplined child mercenaries to keep the population from being overwhelmed by the unforgiving wild.
Its also a comedy.
You know, fairy tail isn't all that bad. Once you overlook the absurd collateral damage and mountains of civilian casualties indirectly caused by the heroes and the haunting possibility that blue pegasus may be a prostitution ring, its a rather innocent series that can be a breath of fresh air in a world filled with unforgiving stories such as the walking dead and game of thrones occupying our television screens.

When all the main characters are introduced and the series gets rolling, there can be some genuinely amusing interactions
and every five or six episodes I actually got a slight chuckle out of their gags.

But the series really managed to grab my attention when it decided to bring back Jellal.
Jellal had stood out in that his justifications for building the tower of heaven were quite understandable and even though he was often obscured by the giant evil curly moustache on his face, I nonetheless liked him as a villain. In bringing him back, the story took a big risk and pulled it off complicating the relationship between Erza and Jellal and creating a new avenue in the form of Jellal's redemption.

But for all the good ideas this series has had. It is limited by the fact that every single narrative must in some way involve that gibbering, self absorbed twat Lucy.
No joke.
Literally all of the arcs (excluding tartoros onward) feature Lucy in a central role. All in all, Lucy is the cause of the problem or provides the solution or both to seven out of the fourteen arcs mentioned.
Compare this to Erza Scarlett: a female character who is similar in Lucy's position as a prominent character and we see some interesting bullshit.
Erza features a main role in eleven of the fourteen arcs and is the source of the problem once and the solution once never being both solution and problem in a single arc.
So granted Lucy isn't some sort of mastermind puppeteer of all the major events occurring in Fiore, I think I am justified in asking “What the fuck is going on?”

I first smelled something rotting during the “key of the sky” arc when it started going through Lucy's relationship with her father and her back story and the thought occurred to me “Haven't we been here before?”
Actually we had just covered it in the previous arc, about twice now that I think about it. And then before that at the end of the “Battle of Fairy tail” arc. And then again for the entirety of the “phantom lord” arc.
As if I need to legitimize this blatant favouritism once more, compare this once again to Erza or even Wendy who both have their back stories sufficiently fleshed out in one arc and put to rest to make way for character development and hopefully you'll start seeing something very wrong here.
It seems like this whole “My daddy never listened to me” back story is thrown out every now and then just as an excuse to give some screen time to everybody's favourite retard.

It's either that or its an attempt to give some characterisation to a character so bland as to be completely resistant to character development, like a right wing republican.
Actually now that I've just mentioned that, let's look at one of the biggest problems with Lucy as a character – her character.
Lucy presents herself as quite vain and boastful often assuming herself to be more capable or attractive then she actually is. In many episodes she also exhibits behaviour such as greed and cowardice but this is more than usually being used for some comedic effect as it is almost always discarded whenever it matters most. That said, Lucy appears to think very lowly or at least lack optimism in regards to her companion's competence. Any time a character comes up with a plan or an idea Lucy immediately expresses her doubts. And then when these plans work perfectly, often saving Lucy in the process, she whines about them not doing it sooner or finds some other pointless thing to complain about.
There was actually a scene in which Lucy begins complaining quite vocally about having to work in a diner only to have Gray point out that everyone on the team is working as well and are doing so because they are helping her pay her fucking rent.

So here we have a shallow, self absorbed, incompetent, noisy, ungrateful teenage girl who takes advantage of her friends and does nothing but complain about their shortcomings.

And we are expected to believe that everyone genuinely loves her.

Oh but wait. There are redeeming qualities aren't there!
Like how she never takes advantage of her spirits or uses them as tools.
Seriously, the moment Lucy started spouting this hypocritical horseshit is the moment I discovered I could simultaneously burst into tears laughing and projectile vomit.
Any time Lucy feels cold or even just tired of walking she summons her clock man to carry her. Can I just repeat that for everyone currently in the back seats with their head firmly planted up their arse.
This is not unusual as Lucy has at many times summoned her “friends” in order to aid her in menial tasks she could probably do herself but doesn't because “she loves them so much”. Summoning the crab as her personal hair dresser, summoning Virgo to fetch her dry clothes, summoning Crux because she can't be bothered renewing her library membership.
There have been some notable cases of this such as when she put Aquarius in the humiliating position as a water fountain for a day and had Saggitarius shoot arrows at a man with a FUCKING GUN while she herself LITERALY HID BEHIND A TREE.
Were Lucy truly partners with these spirits I would have expected to see her fight along side them not command them like fighting cocks.
Of course there was that wish fulfilment episode but that felt more like throwing the dog a biscuit than any sort of friendly outing.
Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing Lucy palling around with any of her spirits either. When's the last time you remember seeing her and Virgo having a coffee at the Café du Hypocrite.

Hopefully, we are all starting to see the Mary and the Sue in this picture.
It only gets worse when one considers her relations to other characters. Apart from nobody recognising her being a terrible person or even a shit wizard, she appears to take on roles that seem to be totally contrived for lack of a better word.
Take for one that she was the person who accepted Juvia during the tower of heavan arc. It seemed a little strange that out of all the people to put Juvia's anxieties at rest it would be the character that had the least to do with her. Gray placating Juvia seemed like a far better match but I suppose the creator just needed some role for Lucy to keep seeming important.
Actually, now that I've mentioned Juvia, did it never seem strange that Juvia saw Lucy has her rival for Gray? Lucy does not appear particularly close to Gray, not at least in the way she is around Nazu. Erza and her tendency for mother henning Gray seems to be a far likelier candidate for jealousy. And if the joke is supposed to be that Juvia is unreasonably jealous then why is she not immediately jealous of Erza as well as Lucy or even any other girl that interacts with Gray.
Lucy is often seen as a rival by many characters for little reason and the best friend of other characters for even less reasons. This constant shoehorning is irritating at best but can also destroy some perfectly good story lines.
Fairy tail was at its best during the magic games arc. It presented fairy tail as a weak guild that must now work its way to the top, an already interesting premise. Fairy tail is best at its conflicts and in the grand magic games arc there was no need for pointless faffing about when one could just get into the magic fights.
But of course, Lucy needed to be the focal point of this arc as well and so there was some complete and utter bullshit about time travel and an evil version of a good character from the future and dragons.
At this point I was so freaking used to Lucy always being the big reveal character that I didn't need any hints to guess the mystery time traveller was Lucy.
It's always Lucy.

It looks like I'm stretching this out a bit far for my time schedule. But trust me there is an entire library on how Lucy is shoehorned into the story.
So I suppose I'll have to wrap this up with a single question;
“If Lucy is a Mary Sue, then who's is she?”
The obvious answer is the creator, but I have seen some subtle hints that might tell otherwise. For example there are moments in which characters, usually antagonistic or occupying a comedic role, point out some of Lucy's shortcomings and question her reasons for sticking around. Take that time when one of the royal executioners suggested the reason for Lucy's plethora of interesting celestial spirits was because she was so boring.
And most notably there was a weird scene in the grand magic games arc during that wedding dress parade where Lizana walks up to Nazu, blushing, only to be knocked out of the way by Lucy who drops literally from the fucking sky.
This scene reminds me of how Lizana and Nazu's affections towards each other appear to have been put on hold despite it having been established as an important part of these two character's histories together. And I think I know the reason.
I think the creator may be trying to vent their frustrations at having to place Lucy at the heart of all of their ideas. And the reason they are forced to do this is because of YOU.

I don't usually pay attention to a good story's fanbase, for the same reason I don't look at the shit coming out of a thoroughbred's arse.
But if I looked at Fairy tail's fanbase I would be shocked not to find that a lot of people like Lucy. She's a whiney, selfish, untalented little prat and hence the most easily identifiable character since high vis jacket wheres Wally.
A lot of the times Manga writers must appeal to their fan's or service them and sometimes that can be more then just showing a swimsuit scene every now and again. So it is because of Lucy's popularity she has never been allowed to fit into her own role in the story and instead must be placed at the forefront so whiny little wankers will buy the magazine so they'll feel special.
I suppose that's the sad truth of living in a capitalist, consumerist world full of selfish people only caring about their own egos being massaged.
But I'll be damned if I'm ever going to accept that sort of bullshit screwing up something like a good story. I haven't finished the series, I may never do so, the only way it could ever redeem itself is if its revealed that Lucy had been hypnotising the guild the entire time with her massive, grotesque breasts and couldn't hold up the charade any longer due to the severe back pain.

And then they shoot her.

And burn her.

And then they drown her.

…......fuckin hate Lucy.

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