Story/Art: Hiro Mashima
Translation: William Flanagan
Lettering: AndWorld Design
Editing: Ben Applegate
What They Say:
Natsu, Lucy, and Happy are on a journey to find their former comrades and revive Fairy Tail! They’ve managed to meet up with Wendy and Carla, who have joined Lamia Scale. But before they can start celebrating, there’s trouble! Then, it’s on to the Village of the Rain Bringer, where they discover Juvia has gone back to her old ways, for a terrible reason: Gray’s gone missing! Could it have something to do with the black magic cult Avatar?! With so many obstacles in the way, will Fairy Tail ever be reformed?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
A year is a long time to be away from anything, especially if that time is spent away from your guildmates, who you’ve come to consider family. The whole of Fairy Tail has splintered after Makarov declared the guild disbanded and went missing. Since then, the 10 Wizard Saints minus Makarov have become the new Magic Council and a new “strongest guild” has been crowned from the Grand Magic Games.
Most importantly, Natsu is back from training and Lucy left her job as a journalist and they’re on a new beat to get the members of Fairy Tail back together again. Their first stop is at Lamia Scale, Jura and Lyon’s guild, where Wendy has found a place amongst friends. This part of the book is short, but brilliant. Natsu hasn’t really gotten a chance to show off how strong he’s gotten in the year he’s been training, his only fight being in the Grand Magic Games against wizards who had no power scale with existing characters. Back on Tenrou Island, Blue Note Stinger made a joke out of Natsu, Lucy, Wendy, and Cana. A year later, Natsu beats him in one blow. That’s how strong he’s gotten. And that’s a great moment.
This also brings to front two important things: 1. While everyone in Fairy Tail would love to drop everything they’ve built in the past year to rejoin, they 2. Have lives of their own right now and just dropping everything is a tall order to ask anyone. Wendy can’t just leave Lamia Scale because Natsu said so. Fairy Tail is where her heart is, but Lamia Scale is where her home is. Sherria is there and they’re the Sky Sisters. Plus Sherry is gone. Sherria is a big girl, but everyone gets lonely. Wendy probably would have been without Carla and Lamia Scale and she doesn’t want to put Sherria in that position. Everyone else in Fairy Tail probably has a similar story.
But their bonds are deep.
Wendy joins back up and they find Juvia and Gray in quick order. Juvia is in the now-known-as Village of the Rain Bringer because it rains only over that village as Gray left Juvia a mess. Because that’s what could happen when you’re left alone. And Wendy didn’t want to leave Sherria like that.
Gray, however, has been in the new dark guild Avatar, which has ostensibly replaced the Oracion Seis, Grimoire Heart, and Tartaros. His only goal: The book of END. Gajeel, Levy, and Pantherlily? In the Magic Council hunting Avatar. Things are about to come to a head with Natsu and Lucy already infiltrating Avatar and Gray revealed to have not been evil all along.
I love Fairy Tail and this is it back at its best. There’s a lot of moving parts in this volume, but that’s because there’s a lot of parts to get moving. Fairy Tail was a big guild and everyone is spread across a continent now, perhaps further. With Wendy back and Gray and Erza revealed, Team Natsu is almost back together and there’s the backbone of Fairy Tail. The plots so far feel weak, but its these character moments that glue Fairy Tail together, not the monster of the arc they fight every time.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: October 6, 2015