Hmm... I really need to start watching that series again. I've only been reading the manga. When I first began reading Fairy Tail my problems were the characters themselves. Outside of Erza, there weren't any characters that really stood out, and at that time Erza stood out because of her "strong" role. She was no damsel and she could handle herself. I do remember when I first watched the series I felt that the female characters were more enjoyable though. So maybe it's a manga vs anime thing... "shrugs" But for the most part I still read Fairy Tail, but I hate Natsu (his type of character annoy me even more than damsels now)
I definitely am liking almost all of the characters, though it kinda feels like a better bleach since most people have one quirk and that is it for their personality. I am not sure about differences between the two, but I do like the animation and the voice acting, so it hits all the major qualifications that I have. I mentioned it before, but I dunno I am not sure if it is much different in the Manga... but the fan-service level is pretty ridiculous. Its as if they try to figure out different ways for Lucy to have her clothes torn off. Other than that I am sure the anime isn't a waist of time to try.