During a recent interview, the author of Fairy Tail he unveiled several unedited background stories about the series and the rest of his works. Among the sea of curiosities shared by Hiro Mashima, we finally get to know the reason that prompted him to change his mind on the fate of Makarov.
By coincidence, he accidentally met Makarov's voice actor, Shinpachi Tsuji, just when the character was supposed to die on the island of Sirius / Tenrou. Because Mashima liked very much to converse with Tsuji, decided to revise his plans and then to keep the character alive. This interesting confidence, therefore, clarifies the reason why the author kept Makarov until the end, with all due respect to that slice of fan who wanted a different epilogue for the character.
Moreover, the author unbuttoned himself on some details concerning the animated series and his work as a cartoonist. As for the first, he said he had no decision-making power in the casting of the voice actors, this is a choice solely considered by the animation staff.
Mashima later revealed that despite his huge workload, (currently has three weekly series in progress) still manages to ensure a good rest and have some time for himself. Its current weekly schedule is as follows: Sunday deals with storyboards, on Monday he has an appointment with his editor, from Tuesday to Friday he draws at least eight pages a day, while on Saturday he does a different job. Therefore, every day he is busy for about 9-10 hours, 2-3 hours he devotes himself to video games, in the rest he rests.
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New Hiro Mashima interview revealing tons of insight on Fairy Tail and his other works (summary in comments) from r / fairytail