The Fairy Tail Season 9 release date has officially been confirmed and anime fans are excited since it’s been a long time since we’ve seen Natsu Dragneel, Lucy Heartfilia, Happy the Cat, Gray, Erza, and other Fairy Tail characters grace our screens. Yes, the Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry movie came out in 2017, and some argue that the Fairy Tail: Zero anime released in 2016 could be considered Fairy Tail Season 8, but the Alvarez Empire arc from the Fairy Tail manga has yet to be told in anime form.
In addition, Hiro Mashima, the creator of Japanese manga Fairy Tail, has reportedly indicated the series will end soon. In a Twitter statement, Hashima said he expected Fairy Tail’s ending to be in about “two more volumes,” which should mean he’ll be finished by the end of July of 2017. The author also indicated he plans on working on a new world in the future.
“After this, I have to draw more as well, something set in a new world — YES, I want to write a new story!” Mashima explained on Twitter. “Fairy Tail will be completed in about two more volumes, after that I will feel a bit empty. But [I’m] excited to think about all the new things that might start later. Thank you so much for the support! My new work will begin soon, so please, until then, watch the final curtain draw over our fairies.”
The Alvarez Empire story arc has run for about 100 chapters, so this seems like a good stopping point for the entire main Fairy Tail story. The author admitted he started the story arc “without intending for it to be such a long running story in the first place,” but he does believe it gives the “feeling of being the final battle” in the manga series.
[UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information about the official confirmation of the final season of Fairy Tail. Except for these changes, the article remains as originally published.]
Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry Is A New Anime Story
Mashina did not just prepare a new Fairy Tail story for the movie, he actually gave director Tatsuma Minamikawa an entire rough draft in manga form. According to Anime Now, copies of this manga special were handed out in movie theaters in Japan. This means the movie is an entirely new experience in comparison to the manga, and it should not change the story for Fairy Tail Season 9 at all.
Even though it’s a new story, the author told the director that the series has a “series of specific rules that have to be kept to” no matter the format.
“When I had a meeting with Mashima-sensei, he told me that the story of Fairy Tail has a theme, and that theme is ‘bonds with one’s comrades.’ Whatever happens, that theme cannot fall apart,” Minamikawa explained. “Mashima-sensei told me that he wanted me to keep that in mind while working on Fairy Tail.”
The film features two new characters that are not in the Fairy Tail manga. Sonya is a gentle-hearted girl who can sense life forces, while Animus is the cruel ruler of Stella Kingdom, an island nation that makes its living off of magic crystals. Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza, Wendy, Happy, and Carla embark on a quest to Stella Kingdom, and of course, they get into trouble.
“I think that lots of people who love Fairy Tail will be coming to see the movie, but maybe there are some people who have never seen Fairy Tail at all,” the director said. “It’s my first time with the property as well, but I think we’ve made a really fun movie, so I’d love it if people would enjoy the first anime work from Fairy Tail we’ve seen in quite a while.”
Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry Director Is Asked About The Fairy Tail Season 9 Release Date
The final episode of Fairy Tail Season 7 aired way back in December of 2015. The Fairy Tail Season 8 release date occurred in the spring of 2016, but since the story of the Fairy Tail: Zero took place 105 years before the main story, Zero really stands alone as a spin-off. As such, some reports discuss the possibility of a Fairy Tail Season 8 release date in reference to the main anime story, not Season 9.
Back when Fairy Tail Season 7 first ended it was assumed by fans that the series would go on hiatus for at least a year. At the time, Mashima also confirmed plans for future anime projects, although no specific details were given. The fact that A-1 Pictures chose to release Fairy Tail: Zero was taken as a sign that they were giving a chance for the Fairy Tail manga to get further ahead story-wise since the anime was catching up. Fans also appreciated these plans since it meant the anime would not include a bunch of filler episodes or diverge from the source material.
When directly asked if Fairy Tail Season 9 was in the cards, the director of Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry did not confirm or deny anything, but he did indicate that A-1 Pictures is thinking about it.
“At the moment, I personally have not heard anything,” Minamikawa said back in June. “Maybe the higher ups are talking about the possibility. At any rate, there isn’t not a possibility that something might be coming.”
Fast forward to July of 2017 and the Fairy Tail Season 9 release was officially confirmed by manga creator Hiro Mashima! Not much is known at this time, but check out the new article for more details.
Fairy Tail Season 9 Spoilers
The last time we saw the main characters, Earth-land was saved from destruction but at the cost of Igneel the dragon’s death and the disbanding of the Fairy Tail guild itself. Natsu vowed to avenge Igneel by killing Acnologia, so he left with Happy the Cat to train hard for the next year (Happy is really, really good at resisting fish now!).
This was the end of the Tartaros story arc and the beginning of the Avatar story arc, which is covered in Chapters 418 through 437 of the manga. The main story stopped in Episode 265 and picks up again in Fairy Tail Episode 276 (Episodes 266 through 275 were Fairy Tail: Zero).
Oddly enough, Episodes 276 and 277 were already released in March of 2016, but the Avatar story arc was never finished. Audiences were simply left with the understanding that the three main characters were on a new adventure.
To summarize, the story for Episode 276 parallels the first episode of Fairy Tail since it follows Lucy Heartfilia as she repeats history in Fiore. The new events start as Lucy is covering the Grand Magic Games as a writer. The contestants are not that great but things get interesting when Natsu shows up as a surprise entry and easily defeats everyone in the stadium.
After the Fire Dragon Slayer’s shenanigans at the stadium, Lucy, Natsu, and Happy eventually find themselves eating at a restaurant where Natsu regales Lucy with tales of his adventures during the past year. Natsu and Happy are shocked to hear that the Fairy Tail guild disbanded. You can check out the videos of the two episodes yourself, but in short, Natsu angers the Royal Family by dramatically declaring his intention to reform Fairy Tail with a message written in flames.
Fairy Tail Episode 278 is what everyone is waiting for. After fleeing from the army, the threesome decide to seek out their former guild members. Once again, the nostalgia should be thick since Natsu recognizes a clock tower in Tuly Village that he destroyed back in the day. And, yes, Natsu wants to destroy the tower for old times sake, but he’s really just frustrated that he can’t try out his new power!
The travelers eventually make their way to a town where Wendy Marvell and Carla are living. Audiences will be treated to the fact that Carla is now using a human form thanks to Transformation Magic, which is quite the shock to the poor “male cat.” Everyone catches up with Wendy and Carla, although things don’t go as expected when it comes to reforming the guild. There’s also a fight between Wendy’s new guild Lamia Scale and the Orochi Fin guild.
Natsu, Lucy, and Happy continue their travels only to have an odd reunion with Juvia, who has been constantly rained on for six months ever since Gray left the village for a mysterious reason. While attempting to help their friend, the travelers learn of a cult called Avatar, an organization that wants to destroy every mage who doesn’t pledge allegiance to Zeref.
Most of the story arc is focused on the fight against the Avatar cultist and finding out what happened to Gray. Audiences will also learn more about the history of Zeref and his origin. Other Fairy Tail mages like Erza join the fight, and of course, Natsu shows off his new powers! The story arc ends with the reunion of all the prominent Fairy Tail guild members back at the rubble of the old guild building in Magnolia.
Fairy Tail Season 10 And Beyond
Considering the length of the previous anime seasons, the ending of Fairy Tail Season 9 will probably find a stopping point somewhere in the middle of the Alvarez Empire story arc. After all, this section is the longest by far, numbering 125 chapters.
As of this publishing, nothing has been announced, but it seems reasonable to speculate that Fairy Tail Season 10, or maybe even Season 11, will finish off the main story completely. Anime fans will eventually say goodbye to Natsu, Happy, and Lucy, but at least we know there is at least two years of good anime coming our way.
[Featured Image by Hiro Hashima]