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The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest

How would you rate episode 1 of
Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest ?
Community score: 4.2

What is this?


Now that both Zeref and Acnologia are defeated, it's time for the wizards of Fairy Tail to get back to doing their everyday things – and in the case of Team Natsu, that's trying their hand at the S-Class 100 Years Quest. Natsu, Lucy, Gray, Erza, Happy, Carla, and Wendy set out for the continent of Guiltina, where magic and guilds began, in order to fulfill a quest set by the very first wizards' guild ever. But the quest has some surprises and caveats that they never expected, and things are almost certainly nothing like they first seem to be in this next chapter of Fairy Tail's adventures.

Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest is based on the manga series by Hiro Mashima and Atsuo Ueda. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

How was the first episode?

Nicholas Dupree

I started reading Fairy Tail way back around 2010, and followed it all the way to the manga's conclusion, yet I can't say it was ever a favorite. It's more like it was just...there. Like a bag of chips when you just want something to snack on, Fairy Tail was always reliably the same flavor and quality, even if it was never a standout, and it seemed to be designed to go on forever. So it wasn't really surprising when just a year after the original series ended, they announced a sequel that would immediately pick up where that left off. That's why this premiere – Fairy Tail's first return to animation in five years – feels so unceremonious: it's just More Fairy Tail, and that's about as special an occasion as a new Starbucks opening up down the street.

If you haven't read or watched the original series, you will definitely need to if you want to check out this one. There is not a single second spared to introduce newbies or re-acclimate anime-onlies. You better recognize every single member of this cast by design alone, and remember all their wacky gimmicks, or you're going to be lost. As far as this episode is concerned, this is just the newest arc in the series, rather than a new show altogether, so Natsu, Lucy, and the rest are just back to business. That's perhaps comforting for fans who just want to see more of these characters, but it makes for a pretty underwhelming premiere.

In that vein, this episode is largely concerned with exposition for this “100 years quest” that Team Natsu has taken on, while letting all the characters make their usual jokes, and barely introduce some new villains. The quest is to slay five dragons that are sealed somewhere on a separate continent, and to make sure the stakes are properly high, we're assured that each of them is just as strong as Acnologia. There will of course be a bunch of new villains for our heroes to have magic battles with. Since I'm primarily familiar with the manga, I can't say how this new production compares to previous anime iterations, but on its own this episode looks perfectly alright. The designs are a little soft for my taste, and I'm not a fan of the color palette, but there's nothing exactly bad with the overall animation. Granted, we don't see any fighting this episode, so it remains to be seen how the action portions will be handled.

Otherwise, this is just Fairy Tail continuing on like usual, as matter-of-fact and unremarkable as a new season of The Simpsons or NCIS.

Rebecca Silverman

I have to admit, I expected a bit more ceremony for Fairy Tail's first new episode in five years. Instead, with no reminders of how the first series ended, we're just dropped right into the start of the 100 Years Quest storyline, with Team Natsu already out in the field and business as normal back in Magnolia at the guild. On one level, that's kind of nice; the show trusts its fans to remember who everyone is and what the basic dynamics are. On the other, it's a bit of a letdown, and some elements, like Touka and her name-dropping Briar, would have worked better with some extra explanation.

Fortunately, we do get to know what the actual quest is, and it looks like both a doozy and one tailor-made for our group of heroes. After traveling to another continent, one we previously knew nothing about, Team Natsu learns that not all of the dragons were involved in the war that took place four hundred years ago and drastically shaped their world. Instead, five of them ended up being worshiped as gods, and the implication is that this was not a great thing for the continent. But can we trust the old man who placed the quest? He admits that he learned dragon slayer magic specifically to fight against these dragons, likening himself to Acnologia, and that may not make him the best source of information. He's also the founder of the very first wizards' guild, but again, that's not necessarily a mark of trustworthiness, because as we've seen before in this series, a lot can change over time.

That's really what this episode is about – establishing the new quest and getting us back into the swing of things. That doesn't make for the world's most interesting or exciting episode, but it does feel like getting back together with old friends. Natsu and Happy are the same as ever, Wendy's a little more confident, the sibling dynamic between Gray, Erza, and Natsu remains, and Lucy remains the straight man of the operation, although it's clear that some of her determination to undertake this job comes from Virgo's hint that she could be reunited with Aquarius during the course of it. The only unwelcome piece of the puzzle to me is Juvia, who, thankfully, isn't with the group. She's always felt like a wasted character to me, someone whose hyper-focus on Gray undermines anything else she could have been or done, and I'm not sorry that she's stayed behind in Magnolia for this one. It is a little amusing that she's so annoyed by Touka's Natsu-worship, possibly because she can see herself in her…or maybe she's not that self-aware and just doesn't realize how obnoxious she can be.

Slow, underwhelming fanfare of a start aside, I'm glad to have Fairy Tail back. It's been around long enough to merit giving an episode or two to get its feet under it, and I'm more than ready to see where this is heading.

Jairus Taylor

As a lover of classic action-adventure shonen romps, I have something of a love-hate relationship with the works of Hiro Mashima. On the one hand, his stuff is usually the easiest place for me to get my fix outside of the eternal monolith that is One Piece, but on the other, I feel like a lot of his stuff tends to get held back by his tendencies to avoid straying too far from all the usual shonen cliches or being way too horny on main. For better or worse, Fairy Tail is kind of the poster child for everything that can be both fun and frustrating about his writing style, and while I could probably write a 200-page thesis on the frustrating bits (Lucy continues to deserve much better than what Mashima gives her), I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still fond of it, so while I wasn't exactly clamoring for a sequel, I was probably always gonna end up checking it out one way or the other.

As for this premiere…it's definitely more Fairy Tail all right. Things pick up pretty much exactly where they left off in the original series with Natsu and the gang going on the fabled 100 Year Quest, which involves defeating five dragons who are all as powerful as Acnologia, and while I feel like that particular revelation kinda cheapens Acnologia's defeat in the original series, it's a decent way to raise the stakes for the sequel and to expand Fairy Tail's world a little more. We've also got some new characters including a girl named Touka who is basically just Juvia, but obsessed with Natsu instead of Gray, and given how one-note the joke with Juvia got after a while I'm at least glad that it seems like Touka might have a bit more going on since she seems to know a little too much about her new guildmates. Beyond that, this basically has all the usual bits you'd expect from Fairy Tail with everything from declarations about the power of friendship, to weirdly timed boob jokes, and while some of that can be a little grading, it all more or less comes with the territory at this point. By now, though, I'm basically here for the long haul, and I imagine that's the same for anyone who's gotten far enough into the franchise to make it to this sequel, so as long as the fun outweighs the frustration, it should probably be a pretty good time.

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