FAIRY TAIL ZERØ
Genre: Action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, magic, shounen.
Episodes: 9 (266-275 in the FAIRY TAIL anime)
Aired: January 9th, 2016 – March 12th, 2016.
Opening: 明日を鳴らせ (Ashita Wo Narase, Roar Towards Tomorrow) by Kavka Shishido
Ending: Landscape by SOLIDEMO
FAIRY TAIL ZERØ, known as the Tenrou Jade arc in the anime, is originally a FAIRY TAIL spin off manga by Hiro Mashima. The manga has 13 chapters in total (just 1 volume). The story is a prequel to the original FAIRY TAIL and centers around Mavis, and tells the story of how the FAIRY TAIL guild came to be.
The anime has 9 episodes in total, and while that doesn’t seem like a lot, many things happen in these 9 episodes, and it’s very entertaining and sad. Especially sad.
The arc starts when Natsu and Happy leave for Tenroujima to train, and they try to find Mavis’ grave to pay their respects to her and ask her to watch over them while they train to get stronger. That’s when you hear Mavis narrating, and she explains to the viewers that you will now watch ‘the story of a girl who followed her dreams’.
The story begins when Mavis was still about 6 years old. It’s revealed her parents died not too long ago, and she has to pay off the debt her parents had with the guild Red Lizard. She is forced to work for the people there, and while they are all mean to her, Mavis, being the adorable girl we all love so much, tries to smile and get through the day without crying. The guild is located on Tenroujima, the sacred island we came across earlier in the series.
One day, the guild and town are completely destroyed, and everyone is killed except for Mavis and Zera. Zera is the daughter of the guild master, and a spoiled brat. Because Mavis saved her life, however, Zera feels bad for how mean she had been to Mavis all this time, and asks to be her friend.
Seven years after this incident, three men travel to Tenroujima to find a treasure that is supposed to be located on the island. These men are: Warrod Sequen, Yuri Dreyar and Precht Gaebolg.
Yuri finds the library that Mavis and Zera spend most of their time in, and Zera, now afraid of people, tells Mavis she is scared. Mavis decides to talk to the strangers, and eventually is tricked by Yuri into playing a game with him. If Yuri wins, Mavis will tell him the location of the treasure, and is Mavis wins, Yuri has to show her a real fairy.
The game is simple: They both need to guess something about the other, and the first person to guess wrong loses. Yuri creates a magic field that senses if a person lies, and tells Mavis one more rule to the game: The guess cannot apply to both of the players. Mavis informs Yuri she will win this game in 1 turn.
Once it’s Mavis’ turn to play, she guesses Yuri blinked 57 times since the game started. Yuri gets confused and frustrated, saying this would apply to her as well, to which Mavis replies she has not blinked since the start of the game so she could ask this exact moment. She even gets teary eyes and complains about the pain in her eyes she now has. Yuri realizes he has no way of winning; Saying that it’s true would be a lie as he does not know if he blinked 57 times, and saying no would also count as a lie for that same reason. Mavis wins the game. Eventually the others come in and let Yuri know they have found the location of the treasure anyway, only to find out it’s been stolen during the massacre of her guild and village 7 years ago. Mavis knows it’s the guild Blue Skull that took the treasure, as they are the same people who killed everyone on the island, and asks to join the group to get revenge. She drags Zera along with her, despite Zera not really wanting to.
After that the group sets out to find information about Blue Skull, so they can get back the Tenrou Jade. They find out that the Blue Skull’s base is located in Magnolia, and when they arrive there they see a skeletal blue dragon has destroyed the town. It belongs to the Blue Skull guild. Mavis and the others try to find the guild and confront them about their tyranny, but get defeated easily and end up fleeing.
Mavis is upset, blaming herself for getting the others hurt, and runs off to a pond. There she finds a boy named Zeref, bathing naked in the water. As the boy puts on his clothes again, Mavis notices the trees around him dying, and realizes he has the Curse of Anhkseram.
At some point, Mavis asks Zeref to teach her magic that she can use to protect others. He also ends up teaching Warrod, Yuri and Precht how to use magic. Yuri learns how to use lightning magic, similar to Laxus, while Precht learns how to shoot magic bullets from his fingers, and Warrod learns tree magic. Mavis ends up learning some black magic, and learns Law, a powerful dark magic, taught to her by Zeref.
Eventually, they manage to capture the guild master and defeat the guild members. They then take over the town and save everyone from Blue Skull’s reign. They find the Tenrou Jade, and learn that they’re not allowed to touch it. However, it wouldn’t be an anime unless someone messes up, and this time, it’s Yuri. Again. Yuri touches the orb, and is then under control of the evil that resides in the orb. He becomes one with the blue skeleton dragon and destroys the town. Mavis uses the Law magic that Zeref taugh her and saves Yuri and the town, at the cost of her own body. She is told that she will never be able to grow or mature again, as it is the price of her magic.
When Yuri regains his consciousness he goes to find Mavis, wanting to know if she’s all right and desperate to apologize for his behavior. She forgives him, and Yuri says that Mavis is one of the only people he trusts, and that he considers her a friend. He then says that, because they’re friends, he needs to tell her something about Zera and calls the girl to them. Mavis says Zera shouldn’t hide so often and should get to know the others better, but then Yuri reveals he cannot see Zera, nor hear her. Mavis doesn’t understand, and Yuri explains that Zera is simply an illusion created from the figment of Mavis’ mind, and that neither he, nor Warrod or Precht can see the girl. Mavis doesn’t believe it and starts to cry. Zera then begins to speak and tells Mavis that Yuri is telling the truth, and that she died seven years ago when Blue Skull killed everyone on Tenroujima. She also says that, now that Mavis knows she isn’t real, her body will disappear. Mavis cries in disbelief and says that won’t happen because she doesn’t want Zera to leave, and promises to recreate the illusion time after time so that Zera can stay with her forever. Mavis tells Zera she’s afraid to be alone, but Zera assures her she won’t be alone because she has real friends now, and that she will remain in Mavis’ heart forever, just like the Fairies that Mavis believes in.
Right before Zera completely disappears, Yuri can see her for a few seconds. Zera thanks him for being Mavis’ friend, and tells him to look after Mavis for her. After she disappears her voice echoes through the room that Warrod and Precht are in, and thanks them for helping Mavis.
After everything calmed down, Mavis decides she wants to remain in Magnolia and help protect the city. In order to do so, she wants to create a guild. They name it FAIRY TAIL, after her love for fairies and a conversation she had with Zera about Zera’s hair reminding her of tails, which then lead to them wondering if fairies had tails. Since the mystery of fairies having tails or not is never-ending, she hoped her adventure and guild would be never-ending as well.
I LOVE FAIRY TAIL, both the regular anime and the spin off. I love the characters in ZERØ, as well as how the guild came to be. Mavis has been one of my favorite characters since she first appeared in the anime; She’s adorable and kind, funny and innocent but also strong and extremely smart. She kicks major ass for such a young person, and I love how she just casually shows up as a ghost in the regular anime to keep an eye on the members of her guild. I also love how she’s always remained childish, despite being over 100 years old in the present and despite having fought in wars and kicking major ass.
Yuri is kind of like Natsu, and I like his personality. He fits really well with the others, and his relationship with Warrod in the beginning is a little like Gray and Natsu.
I cried A LOT during these 9 episodes, especially during the revelation of Zera not being real and when Zera disappeared. The first episode or two also made me cry, as everyone treated Mavis so badly in the guild, and I just felt so bad for her.
Other than being sad, this anime is very funny and exciting as well. There’s only a few fights, and they’re not super spectacular, but it’s mainly because they don’t know how to use magic for most of the episodes.
The themes used in this arc fit the story really well. The opening theme, 明日を鳴らせ (Ashita Wo Narase, Roar Towards Tomorrow) is really exciting and not only fits this arc and the story of Mavis, but has a very FAIRY TAIL kind of feel in general. The ending theme, Landscape is really sad and fits Mavis’ background and future a lot. The song made me cry after every sad episode.
The artstyle of ZERØ is, of course, the same as the original series, but what still bothers me is that, ever since the second season of FAIRY TAIL, the colors are less bright. Sometimes haircolors look a bit strange, especially if you’re used to the original colors of season 1.
FAIRY TAIL ZERØ is much less ecchi than FAIRY TAIL, despite there being a naked Zeref and bikini scenes, probably due to both Mavis and Zera being around 13 years old at the time this spinoff takes place.
I strongly suggest this spinoff to everyone, as well as the regular series. FAIRY TAIL ZERØ episodes are actually right after the Tartaros arc episode wise, so those who have finished watching that arc, will automatically find ZERØ to be the next episodes. I’m not sure you can find it as a separate anime, despite it being a spinoff and not chronologically right for the anime.
Seriously, it’s a great arc, and even those who have not seen FAIRY TAIL, this arc can be enjoyed separately.
Did you know:
- The Warrod in FAIRY TAIL ZERØ is the same Warrod we saw earlier in the series, however, their appearance is different. The younger Warrod (FTØ) has a human face, while the present Warrod’s face is transformed into a tree.
- Precht Gaebolg is actually Hades, the leader of the Dark Guild Grimoire Heart.
- Yuri Dreyar is Makarov’s father. Mavis was asked by Yuri to name his son, and Mavis named Makarov after a prince in one of her books.
- Both in the manga covers and the anime title introductions, the Ø in FAIRY TAIL ZERØ gradually loses its opaqueness, until in the 7th episode, when it completely disappears. In the final episode, the Ø is replaced by an A, which symbolizes the revealing of Zera being an illusion.
Review by: Mariëlle