A Heinous Criminal and The Fated Meeting
A group of Mages known as the Magic Council meet and discuss the problems that the Fairy Tail Guild has caused for them. Meanwhile, in the town of Hargeon, a teenager named Natsu Dragneel and his blue talking cat named Happy arrive, looking for an individual named Igneel. At the same time, a young girl named Lucy Heartfilia is milling around shopping, runs across a few girls pining over someone named Salamander, literally throwing themselves at his feet. Lucy also nearly gets swayed into falling for him but is brought to her senses when Natsu bumps into her after rushing into the crowd upon hearing Salamander's name. However, upon finding out it wasn't who he thought it was, he goes to leave the scene, which earns him the animosity of Salamander's fans. Salamander himself calms the crowd down before departing, inviting them to a party on his private yacht.
Lucy goes to Natsu, thanking him for breaking her out of Salamander's spell, explaining that he is using illegal Magic to make the girls fawn over him. Lucy offers Natsu a meal as a reward, which he and Happy gladly accept. At the cafe, the two get to know one another. Natsu explains his quest to find Igneel, who, as it turns out, is not a person, but rather a Dragon, much to Lucy's surprise. The two then part ways, and Natsu vows to pay Lucy back. Lucy then looks over a magazine with pictures of Fairy Tail Mages and expressing her wish to join their guild. Salamander suddenly appears and, infatuated with Lucy, invites her to join him in the party on his yacht. Lucy is initially suspicious, but agrees to come when Salamander promises to show her the way to Fairy Tail. Night soon falls and Natsu and Happy are having no luck in their search. As they're resting for the day, they overhear some girls talking about Salamander and his relationship to Fairy Tail, peaking Natsu's curiosity.
Meanwhile, Lucy is on Salamander's boat, who constantly flirts with her. He then uses his Magic to make the liquid in the wine float and tries to get Lucy to drink it. However, she realizes its another one of his tricks, specifically that he'd laced the wine with sleeping drugs, and confronts him on it. Indeed, he comes clean revealing himself as a Mage named Bora who was using his Magic to lure girls to his boat, drug them, then sell them into slavery. His henchmen soon reveal themselves, restraining Lucy and tossing her Celestial Spirit Gate Keys into the water to keep her from trying anything. Just as Bora is about to brand Lucy, Natsu suddenly crashes onto the boat and confronts Bora about his relationship to Fairy Tail. Happy carries Lucy off to safety using his Aera Magic, but it wears off mid-flight and both Lucy and he fall into the ocean.
Back on the boat, Natsu finds himself hampered by his chronic motion sickness. Lucy manages to find her keys and summons Aquarius who, despite her moody attitude, uses her powers to sweep the boat onto shore with a tidal wave. Those on board survive the crash and, with the boat no longer rocking, Natsu can now focus and use his full powers revealing that he is a member of Fairy Tail and has never seen Bora before at the guild. Bora tries to attack him with some Fire Magic but Natsu simply eats it then goes on the attack. Happy explains to Lucy that Natsu's Magic is that of a Dragon Slayer, which was taught to him by Igneel himself. The Fire Mage soon beats them but goes overboard and ends up destroying the port in the process. Soon, the military arrives, at which point Natsu, Happy and Lucy run for it. Along the way, Natsu promises to show Lucy where the real Fairy Tail is, much to her joy.
Welcome to Fairy Tail
Natsu, Lucy and Happy soon arrive in Magnolia Town where the Fairy Tail Guild lays and Lucy experiences first hand the rowdy atmosphere when Natsu starts a brawl by kicking Krov, the one who gave him the supposedly false information on Igneel. Among the members introduced are Gray Fullbuster, an Ice Mage and a rival to Natsu who unconsciously strips, Cana Alberona who drinks rum by the barrels, Elfman, who preaches about manhood then unceremoniously gets knocked out, Loke, a womanizer who instantly hits on Lucy but backs off when he realizes she is a Celestial Spirit Mage. And finally Mirajane, the poster girl of Fairy Tail and bartender of the guild who assures Lucy that brawls happen all the time, before getting decked with a bottle and gains bloody head, though it doesn't seem to flinch her.
After a bit of fighting barehanded, the Fairy Tail Mages begin to resort to using their Magic but are stopped by their guild master, Makarov Dreyar, who angrily tells the bunch about the complaints he gets from the Magic Council for the members' antics and methods which usually leads to collateral damage. After reprimanding them a bit, Markov goes on to say they should forget the council and do what they think is right as it is the Fairy Tail way, and the members all cheer in agreement.
Search for Macao
After everything dies down and night falls, Lucy is officially made a member by Mirajane via a stamp on her right hand. Natsu meanwhile goes to the job board to look for work. Just as he is about to consider one, he overhears a child, Romeo Conbolt asking Makarov when his dad, Macao, will return. He was worried as Macao hadn't been back within a week like he had promised, after going off to a mission on Mt. Hakobe. Makarov, however says he hasn't heard word from him and tells Romeo to go wait at home. When Makarov refuses to send a search party after him, Romeo punches him in the face and leaves in a huff. Upon seeing this, Natsu leaves, intent on going to look for Macao. Mirajane guessing its due to his own parental abandonment of Igneel, who she reveals raised Natsu as a child but suddenly left him alone without warning one day. Soon Natsu with Happy and Lucy, who decided to tag along, are on a carriage to Mt. Hakobe. Lucy discovers, much to her dismay, that Mt. Hakobe is a snow covered land which she came ill prepared for. The three continue on, with Lucy using her Celestial Spirit, Horologium, a grandfather clock-like spirit that she able to ride in. Natsu reveals that Macao's job was to subdue a monster known as a Vulcan, an ape-like monster with tremendous strength which terrifies Lucy even more.
Natsu calls out to Macao through the snowstorm, but something finds him in the midst of his search: The Vulcan itself. However, rather than fight Natsu, the Vulcan dashes past him and grabs Horologium with Lucy inside and takes it back to its lair. Horologium later disappears due to his time limit expiring, leaving Lucy to fend for herself. Luckily, Natsu manages to find the lair and demands the Vulcan show him where he hid Macao. The Vulcan however tricks Natsu into looking over a cliff, which it pushes him over. Angered at this, Lucy goes to summon the Celestial Spirit Taurus to combat the Vulcan. However, before he can attack, Natsu reappears and attacks Taurus, thinking he's an enemy and knocking him out. When asked how he survived, Natsu shows that Happy caught him using his Aera (and able to counteract his motion sickness as he doesn't consider Happy "transportation").
The Vulcan once again goes on the attack and a battle between it and Natsu ensues. Natsu however triumphs when he manages to melt some of the metal from Taurus' axe, which the Vulcan used against him, into fire and power himself up to deliver a finishing blow. As the Vulcan lays defeated, it suddenly turns into Macao, who nearly falls through a crack in the wall where Natsu knocked him into and over a cliff. Natsu manages to grab him, followed by Happy grabbing him, Lucy grabbing Happy and a revived Taurus helping Lucy pull them up. As they treat Macao's wounds, Happy surmises that the Vulcan must have taken over his body during the mission. Macao confirms it, having defeated 19 Vulcans before the 20th and final one possessed him. The bunch soon heads back to Magnolia and returns Macao to his son. Romeo apologizes to Macao after nagging his dad to do a big mission after being teased by the resident kids. Macao kindly apologizes as well for making him worry, telling him next time the kids tease him, he can gloat that his old man defeated nineteen Vulcans. With the mission completed Natsu, Lucy, and Happy head back to Fairy Tail with Romeo thanking them for bringing back his father.
Anime and Manga Differences
- Originally the manga opened with the council sitting around a table discussing Fairy Tail. In the anime they're not seen until episode 2 and instead are standing in a circle.
- Bora about to brand Lucy was cut from the anime. Also Lucy initially thinks he's still with Fairy Tail when he reveals his true nature. In the anime, he admits he was lying to her.
- In the manga, the entirety of the fight takes place on the ship after it was washed ashore. The anime takes place on the debris of the ship.
- Said fight is also extended with Bora trying a few more attacks against Natsu.
- The Fairy Tail brawl is significantly toned down in the anime. Gray completely lacking pants is not seen and the camera only stays on his upper body. Also, Mirajane getting hit with a bottle and gaining a bloody head is changed to Elfman landing on her and being knocked unconscious.
- Macao nearly falling out of a wall and over a cliff forcing Natsu, Happy, Lucy and Taurus to save him was not seen in the anime.
- In the anime, Macao is not as badly wounded and close to bleeding to death as in the manga. The anime also omits Natsu using his flames to cauterize the wound.
Battles & Events
|Fights||Natsu Dragneel, Lucy Heartfilia & Happy vs. Bora • Natsu Dragneel & Lucy Heartfilia vs. Vulcan (Macao Conbolt)|
|Events||Lucy Heartfilia joins Fairy Tail • Search for Macao|
|Zerø arc||Macao arc||Daybreak arc|
|1 | 2 | 3|
|1 | 2|