Fairy tale is an anime series that is littered with a wide variety of Easter eggs to give viewers a fun hidden surprise in every episode. The vast majority of these Easter eggs are often lost, but some fans couldn’t help but notice a familiar silhouette of a boy in a straw hat in the crowd in several episodes. After much speculation, this mysterious background character was recognized as none other than the protagonist of One piece and the Captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, Monkey D. Luffy.
It’s no secret that Fairy tale manga writer Hiro Mashima and the author of One pieceEiichiro Oda, are longtime friends with the shared inspiration of the Dragon Ball series, written by Akira Toriyama. Although their stories are not connected or confirmed to be in the same universe, Mashima and Oda have many similarities between their character designs and storylines. While the similarity between the two stories seems mostly unintentional, the authors have been known to pay homage to each other by intentionally placing Easter eggs and references to the other’s series throughout their own. An example of this is that Luffy appears as a not-so-hidden background character in several episodes of Fairy tale.
Luffy’s first appearance occurs during episode 20, “Natsu and the Dragon’s Egg”, in a flashback to Natsu Dragneel’s childhood. Natsu discovers what he assumes to be a dragon egg and decides to take care of it with the help of her friend Lisanna. Later in the episode, when Natsu and his guildmates are gathered in the guild hall, the egg suddenly turns into an adorably small blue cat with wings named Happy. The pleasant surprise of the kitten’s birth breaks the tension within the guild, and in the middle of the celebration is Luffy, wearing his trademark straw hat, blending in seamlessly with the crowd of cheering guild members.
Again, in Episode 78, “Edolas”, Luffy briefly appears in the background of a scene set in the alternate world, Edolas, a place parallel to but opposite Earth Land in the Fairy tale universe. After the disappearance of her hometown, Magnolia and all the inhabitants of it, Natsu, Wendy Marvell and their animal companions, Happy and Carla, set out to rescue their friends from Edolas, where they discover the parallel version of their guild. Entering the guild hall in Edolas, the rescue team looks around to see doppelgangers of their Earth Land guildmates, and among this crowd, browsing the job application board, is the man himself. Rubber, Luffy.
Although most of Luffy’s easter eggs are low-res and hard to catch, his appearance in the second Fairy tale The series, which debuted in 2014, was very obvious. In episode 205, “Sign of Rebellion”, Luffy is seen from behind, looking up at the sky and sighing as the sun shines down on him. This particular Easter egg was especially notable as it occurred during the opening scene of the episode, so the distinctive profile of Luffy’s back and straw hat was the first thing viewers saw. According to some fans, some subtitled versions of the episode included the text: “[LUFFY] (Sighs)” displayed at the bottom of the screen, confirming the identity of the mysterious background character.
Over the years, fans have increasingly noted Luffy’s cameo appearances. Whether hiding in the middle of the guild or disguised as a carriage driver for Erza Scarlett’s childhood friends, Luffy’s presence in the series is just another indication of the bond that Mashima, Oda, and fans of both series share. As mentioned before, it has not been confirmed that the characters of Fairy tale Y One piece They exist in the same universe. However, it’s clear that these Easter eggs are there to bring joy to those who share a love of the goofy, happy-go-lucky pirate captain and the adventures of a daredevil fire-breathing wizard.