When we last saw the cast of Fairy Tail they’d infiltrated the Great Labyrinth, home to Elefseria’s heart and the remains of the Earth Dragon God. However, upon arrival, Selene made it a race against time to see who could reach the heart first as team Fairy Tail were pitted against members of Diabolos. Then the Fire Dragon God Ignia appeared, which threw the whole thing into disarray! With another two volumes in hand, let’s find out what’s in store now.
As we reunite with the cast we find Natsu and Suzaku have teamed up to fight the revived Earth Dragon God, Dogramag. Unfortunately no matter what they try, they can’t leave a scratch on their formidable opponent, at least not until Selene gathers the members of Fairy Tail together and offers a solution.
If they want to defeat Dogramag they’re first going to have to find and destroy over seventy Dogra Cores which are hidden throughout the Great Labyrinth. Not only do they need to find and destroy them, but they’ll also have to fight off members of Diabolos who want to stop Fairy Tail from defeating the Earth Dragon God. Luxus has already found himself in a bind as he tries to fight Kirin, a man who ate the Lightning Dragon King, Elexion, Up until now electric-type attacks have never been a problem for Luxus, but now he’s taking damage and fears he may have met his match!
Elsewhere Gray runs into Sai, who belongs to the number one alchemist guild Gold Owl. Sai has infiltrated the Great Labyrinth to steal a core, which will be useful in a variety of alchemy. Having never dealt with an alchemist before, Gray underestimates Sai and soon finds himself in plenty of trouble as Sai uses one of his skills to transform Gray into the form of Juvia, making him unable to use his precious ice magic.
In contrast to Volume 13, #14 wraps up the end of the Dogramag arc and spends its time preparing the Fairy Tail group for their next mission. There are still two other Dragon Gods out there, but before hunting them down they’re going to need more information. And then there’s the question of what to do with Selene, who may be a friend rather than a foe. Perhaps Selene and the Diabolos guilds’ desires are not so different from Fairy Tail’s, in which case they could even work together…?
As often happens when reading two volumes of Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest back to back, we get the best of both worlds here. There are some great battles in Volume 13 and it’s especially nice to see Natsu take a backseat in favour of Gray, Lucy and Luxus. And then moving into #14, you have a selection of chapters that are dedicated to moving the story along and tying up loose ends.
On its own, I think Volume 14 risks being somewhat dull compared to the content that comes before, but if you’ve been reading Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest for this long, you’ll be used to the ups and downs of the pacing. Hiro Mashima never has figured out how to consistently offer the best of both worlds in a single volume in terms of action and exposition. But, that’s not a problem for long-term fans and it’s hard to criticise too much when the series remains relatively balanced overall.
Perhaps what I appreciate about these volumes the most is the fact it feels as if an end to the overarching storyline is in sight. It’s not that I want 100 Years Quest to conclude as I am enjoying spending more time with the cast, but I don’t want it to become padded either which is always a risk with these long shonen series. And this certainly felt like it could fall into that trap earlier on, so it’s reassuring to see that’s not the case.
Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest Volume 13 & 14 come to the West thanks to Kodansha and continue to be translated by Kevin Steinbach with lettering by Phil Christie. Both releases read well with no problems to note. Both have a page or two of translation notes at the back, too.
Japanese releases for the series are up to 16 volumes and here in English we have #15 scheduled for a release in April with #16 following in September, so these releases are slowing down substantially now. Perhaps also of note to readers is that Kodansha is currently rereleasing the original Fairy Tail series in 3-volume omnibuses, which are an enticing offering if you’re looking to collect that.
Overall, Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest continues to offer an entertaining read for fans of the franchise. It’s imperfect in terms of its pacing, but that doesn’t distract from the twists and turns of the narrative too much. With a new arc on the horizon, there’s no better time to catch up than now!
Our review copies from Kodansha were supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.