Hiro Mashima (真島 ヒロ, Mashima Hiro; born May 3, 1977) is a Japanese manga artist. He gained success with his first serial Rave, published in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 to 2005. His other work Fairy Tail, was published in the same magazine since 2006, experiencing even greater popularity.
Hiro Mashima stated that he knew he wanted to be a manga artist for as long as he can recall. His father was an artist that aspired to turn professional, but died when Mashima was young. Living in the mountains as a child, his grandfather would bring him discarded manga that he found. After reading them, Mashima would draw from them. When he graduated high school, he entered a school specializing in teaching manga artists, but left without completing the studies. He stated that while it taught him the basics, he felt it would not help as a professional.
Mashima created a story on his own and brought it to manga editors, which led to entering it into a competition that he won. He made his official serialization debut the following year with Rave in Weekly Shōnen Magazine. It ran until 2005 and was adapted into an anime titled Groove Adventure Rave from 2001 to 2002. Both the manga and anime were released in North America under the name Rave Master.
In 2003, he collected some of his one-shot titles in two volumes: Mashima-en Vol.1 & 2. Those stories include, among others, "Magician", "Xmas Hearts" and the "Fairy Tail" pilot chapter.
From 2005 to 2007, Mashima wrote Monster Soul in Comic BomBom.
While working on Rave, Mashima drew the prototype for what would become Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 2006 and has been adapted into a television anime series.
Mashima serialized Monster Hunter Orage, an adaptation of the Monster Hunter video games, in Monthly Shōnen Rival from 2008 to 2009. Also in 2008, he drew a remake of Atsushi Kase's gag manga Chameleon for the 50th anniversary of Weekly Shōnen Magazine.
In 2011, he created a crossover manga between Rave and Fairy Tail published in the May issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine. It was adapted into an original video animation released in August 2013. A special 2013 issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine featured a small crossover between Fairy Tail and Nakaba Suzuki's The Seven Deadly Sins, where each artist drew a yonkoma (four-panel comic) of the other's series.
Mashima's Fairy Tail has inspired several other works. From summer 2014 to July 17, 2015, Fairy Tail had its own monthly magazine titled Monthly Fairy Tail, which included a prequel manga by Mashima himself titled Fairy Tail Zerø. In 2014, three spin-offs were released: Tale of Fairy Tail: Ice Trail by Yuusuke Shirato; Fairy Tail: Blue Mistral by Rui Watanabe; and Fairy Girls by BOKU. Mashima also collaborated with Miu Kawasaki to write two light novels: Fairy Tail: The Color Residing Within The Heart (2012) and Fairy Tail 2: Each Single Day After the Grand Magic Games (2014). Another spin-off manga titled Fairy Tail Gaiden: Kengami no Sōryū ("Fairy Tail Spinoff: Twin Dragons of Sabertooth") and created by Kyōta Shibano launched on July 30, 2015 in Kodansha's free Magazine Pocket mobile app.
Style and influencesEdit
Mashima listed Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball as his favorite manga growing up, the video game series Dragon Quest, and Yudetamago's Kinnikuman as inspiring him to become an artist. He also read/watched several works by Hayao Miyazaki as a child. In 2008, when asked if there were any current titles that inspired him, he gave Code Geass as a response. In 2011, Berserk was stated to be his favorite manga.
For Rave, Mashima's inspiration was wanting to travel the world, while for Fairy Tail it was simply sitting in bars and partying with his friends, the community aspect, but is also about young people finding their calling. He stated that while he tries to consider both his own interests and the fans' on what will happen next in Fairy Tail, the fans take precedence.
Mashima has named his main characters after the seasons. In Rave, the main character is named Haru which is Japanese for spring. In Fairy Tail, the main character is Natsu (夏) which is the Japanese word for summer. In Monster Soul, his main character is Aki (Autumn), and in Monster Hunter Orage, he names a character Shiki, which is the Japanese word for seasons. He has also named a character Fuyu, which is Japanese for winter. Mashima said in an About.com interview that he did this because Japanese readers may not be familiar with western fantasy names. The main characters of both Rave and Fairy Tail do not have fathers, partly taken from Mashima's own experience of his father dying when he was young.
Mashima had six assistants in 2008 that worked in an 8,000 sq. feet area with seven desks, as well as a sofa and TV for video games. He revealed his schedule for Fairy Tail was script and storyboards on Monday, rough sketches the following day, and drawing and inking Wednesday through Friday. The weekend was for Monster Hunter; working on a quarter of the story each weekend and finishing by the end of the month. In 2011, he stated that he worked six days a week, for 17 hours a day. Mashima's assistants included Miki Yoshikawa, who has gone on to work on the romantic comedies Yankee-kun and Megane-chan and Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches. In 2008, together they developed a crossover one-shot story called Fairy Megane where characters from Yankee-kun decide to find part-time jobs at the Fairy Tail guild. Other assistants who have gone on to work on projects of their own were Shin Mikuni, who published Spray King, and Ueda Yui, who published Tsukushi Biyori.
- Magician (1998, one shot) – debut work
- Rave (Weekly Shōnen Magazine, 1999–2005, 35 volumes)
- Plue's Dog Diaries (プルーの犬日記; 2002–07)
- (ましまえん, Mashima-en; 2003) – collection of one-shots
- One-shots included: Magician, Fairy Tale, Cocona, Plue's Adventures (Pt. II), Bad Boys Song, Magic Party, Christmas Hearts, and Fighting Group Mixture
- Monster Soul (Comic BomBom, 2005–07, 2 volumes)
- Fairy Tail (Weekly Shōnen Magazine, 2006–2017)
- Fairy Tail Zero (Monthly Fairy Tail, 2014–2015)
- Chameleon (Weekly Shonen Jump, 2008) – one-shot remake of Atsushi Kase's Chameleon
- Monster Hunter Orage (Monthly Shōnen Rival, 2008–09, 4 volumes)
- (西風と太陽, Nishikaze to Taiyou; 2010, one-shot)
- (星咬の皐月, Hoshigami no Satsuki; 2014, one-shot)
- Light novels
- Fairy Tail: The Color Residing Within The Heart (FAIRY TAIL 心に宿るcolor; 2012) with Miu Kawasaki – Art
- Fairy Tail 2:Each Single Day After the Grand Magic Games (FAIRY TAIL 2 大魔闘演武その後、それぞれの1日; 2014) with Miu Kawasaki – Art
- Other works
- Sangokushi Taisen – Card illustration
- Respect Gundam – Contribution
- Bakemonogatari – End card – fifth story