Chapters: 418-438, Episodes: 276-284
A year has passed since the end of the Tartaros Arc, Fairy Tail had disbanded and its members gone on to their own devices. However with the return Natsu from his year long training. Lucy, Happy and he embark on a quest to find the former members of Fairy Tail and revive the guild.
Fairy Tail Revival/Avatar Arc provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Mashima admits that he didn't really know what he was doing with the subplot of Frosch's death and Rogue's Start of Darkness, leading to an unceremonious resolution of Gray (who was never actually evil in the first place) simply gushing over the Exceed.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Ikusatsunagi. One of the Eighteen War Gods of the Yakuma, summoned by Arlock. The first time we see an actual God in the flesh as a boss in the series (unless you count the lower-tier one briefly summoned by Minerva), Natsu single-handedly breaks it into pieces without taking a single scratch.
- Bad Boss: Arlock, in spades. The guy doesn't give a single crap about his followers. He intentionally led them to their deaths in Operation Purification, wanting to sacrifice their souls for Zeref.
- Breather Episode: After the events of Tartaros it feels more hopeful than the last arc. The calm before a new storm perhaps...
- Bittersweet Ending: Fairy Tail is reunited, Frosch's death that would have caused Rogue's Start of Darkness in the alternate timeline has been averted, and Avatar is no more. However, Zeref and Acnologia conspire to launch a final battle to wipe out humanity and Makarov has disappeared.
- The Bus Came Back: Bluenote returns, only to easily get beaten to show off how powerful Natsu is compared to their meeting eight years ago at Sirius Island.
- Cult: Avatar assumes this role as the latest group of Zeref fanatics.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- The Orochi Fin reveals their guild master is none other then Bluenote Stinger, the former number two of Grimiore Heart. Naturally you think this is going to be a challenge for the heroes, right? Natsu hits him with a fire blast and instantly knocks him out.
- When Natsu invades the Avatar guildhall, he takes out three of them with no problem. He only gets subdued due to getting distracted by Gray supposedly turning evil.
- The entire climax is nothing but this. Natsu, Erza, Gray, Lucy and later Wendy, Carla, and Juvia practically wipe the floor against Avatar's army, including their elite forces and even the War God Arlok summons. Avatar is left in utter disbelief that they lost so one-sidedly at the end of the battle.
- Cut Short: The 2014 anime ended at the start of this arc, though likely as to wait until the buffer was built back up as, at the time, they were coming dangerously close to catching up with the manga and didn't want to stall it.
- Cute and Psycho: Mary is possibly the best example of this in the series.
- FaceHeel Turn: Gray. It's heavily implied that he's not in his right mind, though. Ultimately subverted, he was just faking it. Erza and he were scoping out Avatar to spy on them.
- Flashback: The end of the arc finally goes into detail on Zeref's past and how he came to be cursed with such strong dark magic. As well as the fact that Natsu and he are actually brothers.
- Gray Rain of Depression: Show in the page revealing Juvia after the time skip, but she's not her usual self...
- Heroic BSoD: Juvia has been stuck in a major one ever since Gray left her behind to join Avatar.
- He's Back: Natsu returns from his year of training and takes out the winners of The Grand Magic Games without breaking a sweat. Later turns into "They're Back!" when the members of Fairy Tail all get Lucy's letter and reunite to restore the Fairy Tail guild.
- Innocent Cohabitation: Gray and Juvia spent a year living together like this, though Juvia has tried without success to subvert the "Innocent" part.
- I Was Just Joking: Chapter 435 reveals that Gajeel joined the Council because Warrod suggested it. It turns out Warrod was just joking and is horrified that Gajeel actually did it.
- Kill 'Em All: Avatar's "Operation Purification" turns out to be a plan to wipe out an entire village in the hopes the mass deaths will draw out Zeref. Arlock didn't intend for his own cult to survive, either.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Yep, Natsu did it again. Granted, he had mildly more success this time, but once Avatar pulled themselves together, it ended exactly the same way as it did the other times.
- The Mole: Levy infiltrated Avatar's ranks as a mook in disguise. Gray was also one for Erza, a matter entirely separate from the Council.
- Mood Whiplash: Chapter 435 has Avatar defeated and arrested, Fairy Tail rejoicing in their victory, and the trigger to Future Rogue apparently averted. Chapter 436 focuses on Zeref as his backstory is explored and he meets with Acnologia in human form, promising him a climactic battle to annihilate both him and humanity. And then Chapter 437 has the majority of the guild coming back together.
- Necromantic: Zeref's original goal was to learn how to bring the dead back to life, so he could revive his younger brother Natsu. In lieu of this, he researched forbidden magic and was cursed by the gods. Unlike most examples, he succeeded — only he had to merge an Etherious with Natsu's dead body in order to accomplish it, and in the process, he also achieved his new goal: creating a being that was capable of killing him.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Gray didn't join Avatar because he worships Zeref; he wants E.N.D.'s Book of Zeref, and he flat-out told them to their faces that he doesn't care if he has to use them to get it. They not only seem okay with this, but know that someone who reeks that much of darkness couldn't possibly be The Mole for the Magic Council. Ironically the Avatar members were indeed right. Gray was The Mole, just not for the Magic Council.
- One-Hit KO: Every antagonist suffers this except Ikusatsunagi, and all he needed was a second blow.
- Party Scattering: The members of Fairy Tail are now spread all over Fiore.
- Put on a Bus: Laxus and the Raijin Tribe can't return in this arc due to the circumstances with Blue Pegasus.
- Putting the Band Back Together: The goal of Natsu, Lucy, and Happy.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: The Avatar members below Arlock: Jerome, Briar, Mary, Able, Gomon, and D-6. Gray turned out to be The Mole for Erza.
- Religion of Evil: "Avatar" becomes the latest group of Zeref fanatics after the time-skip. With Gray in their ranks...
- Time Skip: A one year time-skip that's more traditional than the previous one.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Zeref, and how. He just wanted his baby brother back, and couldn't understand why everyone was so against him researching the connection between life, death, and magic. And then he got a little too close to figuring it out, and was cursed by a Jerkass God...
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Bluenote apparently sat on his ass for the last eight years while Natsu became exponentially stronger. Guess how their rematch goes?
- Villain Team-Up: In an odd twisted sense Zeref visits Acolongia and asks of one...by stating that he'll likewise kill him as well. Acnologia, being a utter Blood Knight, agrees to it.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Carla can now transform into a human form. So can Acnologia, though apparently he always had this ability; we just never saw it on-screen before.
- Wham Episode:
- Chapter 424 shows Juvia and Gray being together, but Gray becomes more distant and ultimately leaves without a word as his Devil Slayer Power Tattoo begins to grow on his body. Half a year later he's entered Avatar, a cult made for Zeref.
- Chapter 425 in spades... Future Rogue revealed to Natsu that Gray killed Frosch.
- Chapter 436 might just be the biggest Wham Episode in the entire series. We finally get Zeref's backstory. He's Natsu's older brother. E.N.D. was both an attempt to kill Zeref himself out of a massive case of Survivor's Guilt, and an attempt to resurrect Natsu, who had died at a very young age. Zeref was initially a Child Prodigy at Milan Magic Academy, who was so brilliant that he made his teachers nervous, due to Zeref's insistence on studying taboo magic towards this goal. In the end, Zeref couldn't perfectly resurrect his brother. He instead had to do the next best thing, and give him an entirely new body: E.N.D. We also see Acnologia's human form, and the stage is set for the series' endgame: A Mêlée à Trois between Zeref, Acnologia, and the entire rest of mankind.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lucy chides Natsu for his hypocrisy whenever he expresses anger towards their guild mates for going their separate ways.