Another volume of manga I picked up from the MCM London Comic Con October 2016 was Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail Zero. It is a prequel to Fairy Tail, focusing on the events that led up to the creation of the eponymous guild.
This series began in the first issue of the Kodansha’s Monthly Fairy Tail magazine on July 17th 2014, and finished in the thirteenth and final issue on July 17th 2015.
The thirteen chapters were collected together in a single volume, which is what I’ll be looking at here.
Fairy Tail Zero received an anime adaptation which premiered on January 9th 2016.
LEARNING TO FLY
Mavis, the future first master of Fairy Tail, lives with her best friend Zera on Sirius Island. At six years old, Mavis is just a simple bookworm who dreams of meeting fairies someday. In the year X686, treasure hunters invade Sirius Island, forcing Mavis to take flight and embark on a fantastical adventure! She etches the joys and sorrows of each new encounter and heartbreaking farewell into her memory, and finally figures out her ultimate goal…
THE SPELLBINDING STORY BEHIND THE FOUNDING OF THE WIZARD GUILD FAIRY TAIL!
Chapter 1, ‘Fairies in My Heart’, introduces us to a six-year old Mavis Vermillion, as well as the Red Lizard guild and its master Zeeself. Mavis has a rough time, whilst Zeeself dotes on his daughter Zera.
However, an attack on Red Lizard leaves only Mavis and Zera behind.
Seven years later, three treasure hunters arrive on the island – they are Warrod Sequen, Precht Gaebolg and Yuri Dreyar. They seek the Sirius Orb.
In chapter 2, ‘The Truth Game’, Yuri encounters Mavis. He tells her of his search for the Sirius Orb, but Mavis isn’t willing to give it up. They play a game that involves telling truths about the other person. If Yuri wins, Mavis has to tell him the location of the Sirius Orb, whereas if Mavis wins Yuri has to introduce her to a fairy.
Mavis is confident of winning the game, regardless of whether she goes first or second.
‘The Night They Set Out’ is the title of chapter 3. Though Mavis uses some clever tactics to try and win the game, it is pointless as Precht and Warrod show up to tell them that the Sirius Orb is nowhere to be found – Mavis surmises that Blue Skull took it. As such, Mavis decides to set out with the treasure hunters in order to reclaim the island’s treasure.
She also introduces Zera to Yuri here, and the group sets off.
Mavis’s group arrives in the port town of Hargeon in chapter 4, ‘Dancing with Blades’. Precht decides to go off on his own to gather information about Blue Skull. Mavis ends up accompanying him, and they end up having a run-in with a few members of Blue Skull – fortunately Precht is proficient with his blades and Mavis is able to demonstrate the magic she had learned. The chapter ends with the group’s next destination set: Magnolia.
Whilst on the way to Magnolia in chapter 5, ‘Moonlit Lake’, the group stops to camp outside for the night. Mavis and Zera spend some time together, including bathing in a lake.
After that, the group arrive at Magnolia, where they see the skeleton of a dragon on Kardia Cathedral.
‘Blue Skull’ is the name of chapter 6. Magnolia is under the rule of Blue Skull who attack innocents for fun. Mavis and her group stand up against them, but the master of Blue Skull proves to be a formidable foe. With no way to fight back against Blue Skull, Mavis and the others make a hasty retreat.
Chapter 7 is ‘Black Wizard Mavis’, in which Mavis meets Zeref for the first time. She is able to recognise the curse he suffers, and convinces him to teach magic to her and her companions.
Chapter 8, ‘Is Magnolia Burning Down?’, is next. Having learned magic, Mavis carries out a plan to save Magnolia. Warrod and Mavis distract Blue Skull master Geoffrey, whilst Yuri and Precht enter Kardia Cathedral. They find the treasure they seek, but Geoffrey warns Mavis that it must never be touched.
Mavis and Zera arrive at Kardia Cathedral in chapter 9, ‘Treasure’, and try to warn Yuri about the danger the Sirius Orb poses. He doesn’t believe her, and ends up suffering the consequences. This poses a huge threat to Magnolia, but Mavis becomes determined to save the town and her friends.
With her heart set on saving Magnolia, Mavis decides to use a dangerous spell that Zeref taught to her. That spell is the title of chapter 10, ‘Law’. Zera tries to talk Mavis out of it, but ends up seeing things from Mavis’ point of view. There are consequences for using the spell, however…
Chapter 11 is ‘That Which Vanishes’. After the events of the previous chapter, those who were affected by them recover – Mavis’ use of the Law magic has had a major side effect.
Yuri shares some words with Mavis, and has a difficult truth to share with Mavis concerning Zera.
‘Zera’ is the title of chapter 12. After Yuri reveals that truth, Zera has some things to say to Mavis. Mavis decides to start moving forward after hearing what she has to say to her.
The last chapter, chapter 13, is ‘Eternal Adventure’. This is where Mavis forms the wizard guild Fairy Tail, and her friends decide she should take on the role of master. Fairy Tail isn’t the only new guild to be formed – a rival guild is formed around the same time.
There’s a timeline at the end, detailing a few events starting with the formation of the Fairy Tail guild and going into a few events that occur in the main series. Following on from that is an interview with Hiro Mashima, which includes some interesting information about the characters and events of Fairy Tail Zero.
As far as Fairy Tail characters go, Mavis Vermillion is up there as one of my favourites. The story of how she came to form the guild has both fun and sad moments and makes for an interesting experience.
Fairy Tail Zero definitely has a slightly different feel from the main Fairy Tail series – perhaps it’s because most of the characters don’t know magic to begin with. Or perhaps it’s the different characters that do it, giving it a nice change of pace from Natsu’s antics.
I know that Mavis’ history is expanded on some more in the main series, but Fairy Tail Zero is something I heartily recommend to fans of Fairy Tail as it is the very beginning – hence the ‘Zero’. Though saying that, there is another meaning to the ‘Zero’, but you’ll have to read this manga to see what that is.
Going back to talking about characters, Mavis’ intellect makes a nice contrast from Natsu’s hot-headed nature. Whereas Natsu would charge straight into a fight, Mavis is able to come up with clever strategies and carefully plan out routes to victory – again, this is something also shown in the main series.
I also liked Mavis’ close relationship with Zera – I guess when you spend seven years isolated on an island together you become somewhat intimate.
I have no doubt that Fairy Tail Zero will appeal to fans of Fairy Tail, but there’s actually a fairly enjoyable adventure story here as well which might be able to hold the interest of those who aren’t so keen on the main series.
The anime adaptation actually expands upon a few things, giving Yuri, Precht and Warrod some more development. We also see their training for learning magic, too.
If you want to experience a fun fantasy adventure with some twists and turns as well as happy and sad moments, Fairy Tail Zero is a pretty good shout.