The Fairy Tail 2018 release date for the anime has officially been confirmed by Fairy Tail manga creator Hiro Mashima! With the recent release of the Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry movie it's not too much of a surprise to hear that Fairy Tail Season 3 is coming. Anime fans have been wanting to see more of Natsu Dragneel, Lucy Heartfilia, Happy the Cat, Gray, Erza, and other Fairy Tail characters for a while now and now the end is in sight.
Most of the Fairy Tail cast and staff from the second season have been confirmed to be returning for the third season. The project is being produced by A-1 Pictures and helmed by director Shinji Ishihira. Series composition is being handled by Masashi Sogo. Sound designer Shoji Hata and composer Yasuharu Takanashi will be the handling the audio experience.
What's more, Mashima has confirmed that the Fairy Tail anime will finish the entire manga story since it's going to be the "final season." But that's not all. Mashima is also talking about doing a new Fairy Tail manga spin-off series.
"I decided to create a spin-off comic and another spin-off manga for the sequel to Fairy Tail," he tweeted.
When it comes to the Fairy Tail anime, A-1 Pictures, Dentsu, and Satelight broadcast the first season in Japan from 2009 to 2013. The second series started up again about a year later and ended on March 26, 2016. However, the English-language version of Fairy Tail aired for seven seasons from 2010 to 2015.
Therefore, the Japanese Fairy Tail Season 3 is the English Fairy Tail Season 8. Even then, the season number issue is not settled since some fans consider the spin-off prequel anime Fairy Tail: Zero to be the eighth season. If an English fan goes by that counting method, then the final anime season in the main story would be considered Fairy Tail Season 9.
Mashima says Fairy Tail Season 3 is the final season, but there's also the possibility that the English sub version may continue to count upward. After all, there are over 100 manga chapters left to adapt, so the third season will probably end with Fairy Tail 2019. That could mean the final English subtitles season will be labeled as Fairy Tail Season 10 or 11.
The only information released so far is are brief statements from manga creator Mashima on his official Twitter account.
"The Final Season of FAIRY TAIL TV anime will go on air in 2018!" tweeted Mashima in the summer of 2017.
Then, in the spring of 2018, he tweeted that he "would be able to make various announcements" on April 5, 2018. Finally, Mashima stated, "The final season of FAIRY TAIL TV animation series will go on air from fall 2018!"
In the past, the first two Fairy Tail seasons opened in October and April. Assuming Mashima just received official word that production on the third season begins soon, that means it's possible the Fairy Tail Season 3 release date will be in October of 2018 in Japan.
Hopefully, the English sub version will be simulcast on video streaming platforms like Crunchyroll and Hulu. It's uncertain whether the Funimation English dub will follow shortly since the first two seasons were never finished.
How many episodes should we expect from the third season of Fairy Tail? Episode 277, "Message of Fire," was the last anime episode to be released, and it covered the opening events of the Avatar story arc. The manga ending comes finished off with Fairy Tail Chapter 545. That means the third season will cover 125 chapters of the manga. In general, the anime adaptation has a chapter-to-episode ratio of around two-to-one, so it's likely Fairy Tail Season 3 will have around 50 to 60 episodes.
[Update April 11, 2018] Added the Fairy Tail cast and staff.
[Update April 5, 2018] Added confirmation for the Fairy Tail 2018 release date and the new manga spin-off series.