Fairy Tail (フェアリーテイル) is a manga series created by Mashima Hiro. It has been serialized in Weekly Shounen Magazine since August 23rd, 2006 and is still currently running. As of April 2014 there are 41 published volumes of the manga. An anime adaption started in 2009 and was produced by A-1 Pictures and Satelight. With 175 episodes under its belt, in March 2012 it went on an extended break. As of April 2014, the second run has started airing and is being produced by A-1 Pictures and Bridge. The series has been very successful spawning some video games as well as being released outside of Japan.
The premise of Fairy Tail is a mage, Lucy Heartfilia looking to join the legendary guild Fairy Tail. She falls under Salamander's (Bora) spell and is saved by Natsu Dragneel and Happy. Looking for Igneel, his father, Natsu thinks Bora might have an idea. Lucy thanks Natsu by treating him to lunch but is later kidnapped again. Natsu again rescues her and introduces himself as the real Salamander and also as a Fairy Tail mage. After causing mayhem, Natsu offers to take Lucy back to the guild and she accepts. Soon after she becomes a team with Natsu, Happy, Gray, and Erza. From there they go on various missions and get caught up in the various plots in Earthland.
Many themes and plot points are explored over the course of the series. Some theme being: family, friends, love, revenge, forgiveness and more. Some of the big overlying plots are Zeref and the demons, Lucy's family history and the dragons vanishing. Sometimes the damage magic and Fairy Tail can have on missions, towns, etc. is explored as well through the council.
Fairy Tail takes place in a world called Earth Land (アースランド). The majority of Earth Land is a peninsula, surrounded by water. Its climate is very similar to Earth with both tropical and antarctic areas. There are different races including humans, exceed, demons, vulcans and dragons. There are several (although randomly named) countries or provinces in Earth Land: Veronica, Seven, Sin, Caelum, Enca, Pergande, Joya, Bellum, Minstrel, Midi, Bosco, Iceberg, Desierto and lastly Fiore. While there are several countries, Fairy Tail primarily takes place in the Kingdom of Fiore. Mashima has expressed an interest in avoiding the other kingdoms. However the Principality of Veronica has been briefly visited.
Fiore (フィオーレ王国) is a large neutral kingdom boasting a population of 17 million people. It is run by a monarchy bearing the Fiore name. Toma E. Fiore currently rules with his daughter Hisui next in line. The currency of Fiore is jewels and its capital is Crocus. The Magic Council also finds its base in the Fiore kingdom. Every year the Grand Magic games take place in Crocus as well. Fiore is home to many towns including Hargeon, Clover, Oak, Balsam, Crocus, Cedar and Magnolia. Many towns in Fiore follow a theme of being named after plants, trees and flowers. Fiore itself is Italian for "flower".
Magnolia (マグノリア タウン) is located in the southeastern part of the Fiore Kingdom. It is considered a merchant town with a high magic user population. Overall the population is roughly 60,000! A short skip south of Magnolia is Hargeon and the ocean. Heading north is a long railroad system connecting smaller towns. Magnolia's architecture is considered to be medieval with a few monuments including Kardia Cathedral. Magnolia also as a unique layout put in place to prevent Gildarts from damaging the town. Called "Gildarts Shift", The town has large walls come up to the protect the town, leaving only a straight path from the entrance of town to the Fairy Tail guild building. Fairy Tail is widely considered the strongest guild in town until the time skip. After that point they are forced to move to the outskirts of town.