Fairy Tail had a big 2017, and series creator Hiro Mashima has been gifting fans with sketches over the past year after his series had officially ended.
One tradition he's been keeping up for the last few years is a special character sketch celebrating the new year. 2018 is the Year of the Dog on the Chinese Zodiac, and Mashima has celebrated with a cute sketch of Lucy and Happy.
In the past he's only drawn Happy in whatever animal of the zodiac year it was, but this year's a bit more special thanks to the addition of Plue and Lucy in dog paws and ears. Surely fans will appreciate getting to see Lucy again before the anime series begins its third series later this year.
Mashima has been sharing some rather spicy sketches of his characters to Twitter in the past. In fact, to celebrate the holidays, he uploaded an alluring sketch of Lucy for Christmas, also uploaded a curvaceous sketch of Juvia in a revealing Santa suit, and a decidedly less naughty sketch of Wendy and Plue.
Last Halloween he depicted both Erza and Lucy in risque outfits. Lucy donned a tight-fitting cat costume while Erza wore a golden Playboy bunny suit. The Halloween pair of sketches also led to a fan debate as fans felt Erza and Lucy got the brunt of the focus, which made some later sketches of Erza and Lucy with tight fitting clothing a bit harder to appreciate even when the sketches highlighted the kind of features fans of the series tended to enjoy. Then again, there are fans that appreciate his level of detail when he draws Erza in particularly alluring ways.
But Mashima has also uploaded sketches for a different kind of fan as well. Fans of the "NaLu" ship in the series were treated to a sketch catering to their needs recently as it featured a handsomely dressed Natsu and a scantily clad Lucy. Mashima has also teased that he was working on his next work for 2018, by releasing a piece of new art with most of the series' characters.
For those unfamiliar with Fairy Tail, the series was originally created by Hiro Mashima. It is set in a fantasy world full of magic, and Natsu Dragneel is a fire breathing wizard with the powers of a dragon, and is in search of his missing foster father, the dragon Igneel. As he and his wizarding guild Fairy Tail get into adventures, Natsu always tries to find a way to succeed. The series ran in Weekly Shonen Jump from August 2006 to July 2017 and has spawned 60 million copies. It was later adapted into an anime by A-1 Pictures, Dentsu Inc., and Satelight in 2009 and ended its first run in 2013. A second series ran from 2014 to 2016, and a third series is planned for a 2018 release.
Fairy Tail's final chapter released in the 34th issue of Kondansha's Weekly Shonen Jumpmagazine, and the 63rd and final volume of the manga released November 11 in Japan. The series ran for 11 years and has sold over 60 million copies worldwide.