Hiro Mashima has celebrated the end of Fairy Tail over the past year by sharing a bunch of new art with fans on Twitter, and this new piece is a change of pace from what he usually shares.
Mashima usually shares scantily clad works featuring his female characters, so this piece of a relaxed Natsu and Gray having fun with a pillow fight is indeed a huge deviation from the norm, so Natsu and Gray fans will surely be happy to see them again even if briefly.
This sketch also lines up with the Erza bedroom art Mashima has uploaded recently as well, so it's safe to say the characters are all currently in the same place. Mashima had spent last year sharing rather spicy sketches of his characters to Twitter. 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.
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.