As we return to Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest for Volumes 8 and 9, we find ourselves entering a brand new arc! But first, our cast is taking a well-deserved break at the local baths to unwind and gather their strength before marching on to face the next dragon in the 100 Years Quest.
Of course, trouble is never far behind Natsu and co and it’s not long before they’re mysteriously summoned to the world of Edolas! Readers may remember Edolas as the parallel universe our heroes found themselves in, starting in Volume 20 of the original Fairy Tail manga (or Episode 78 if you watched the anime).
Here the cast reunites with the friends they made in the past, but the happy reunion doesn’t last once Touka appears and informs the group she meant to send them all to Elentear, a universe that’s parallel to Edolas and Earth Land. Elentear is the world Touka originally came from and it’s in grave danger of being destroyed. Then the group are transported to Elentear by the Moon Dragon God Selene, who wishes for nothing but entertainment and plans to have the Fairy Tail group fight each other to the death!
Before Selene can set her plan in motion, she first splits the group up and sends her Moonlight Divinities to wear them down. Once that’s done, Selene transforms Lucy, Erza, Wendy, Happy and Carla into Yokai and puts them under orders to kill Natsu and Gray! Now they need to find a way of freeing their companions before someone gets seriously hurt, which is easier said than done when you’re faced with some of the most powerful fighters in Fairy Tail.
As you may have gathered from this summary, Volume 8 of the series is largely set-up for the new arc while Volume 9 acts as an action-filled accompaniment. Between the two, we get to enjoy figuring out where the story is headed now and seeing some terrific fights, which has always been one of Fairy Tail’s strong suits.
I also appreciate that, while author Hiro Mashima has invented a new parallel universe, we first take a trip to Edolas. This is sure to delight fans who remember the original storyline and grew attached to the doppelganger characters. It’s certainly interesting to see where their lives have taken them since we saw them all those years ago. That’s not the only emotional reunion in store for us in these volumes either, but I shan’t spoil the other…
On the other hand, the introduction of Elentear does leave me somewhat conflicted. It’s an easy excuse for the series to hit another power creep for one thing, with different ways of using magic and new powerful enemies to battle with. This means that our cast will need some new powers of their own, which can be fun but also has the potential to become very silly.
Taking us out of Earth Land also ensures that Natsu’s group are completely cut off from their other friends. This might not be a bad thing, but I worry that the series will lose some of its charms as we no longer see the extended cast as often as in past volumes. So while I’m excited about this new development, I do worry about what the future has in store for us.
Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest Volumes 8 and 9 come to the West thanks to Kodansha and continue to be translated by Kevin Steinbach. The translation reads well with no issues to note. Volume 10 of the series is scheduled for an English release in June, so it’s a bit of a wait until we get to see what happens next but I’m sure it’ll be well worth it.
Overall, these two volumes of Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest successfully set up the next arc and provide the best bits of the series. While I have some concerns about the direction it’s going in, there is plenty of time for the author to put my fears to rest and continue to deliver one of the better shonen series on the market right now.