Challenger is the 276th episode of the Fairy Tail anime, and the 101st episode of the 2014 series. It aired on March 19, 2016.
One year after Fairy Tail's disbandment, Lucy lands a job as a reporter for the Weekly Sorcerer Magazine under the tutelage of Jason. For her new job, she ends up covering the X792 Grand Magic Games, but during the final challenge of the Games after Scarmiglione claims victory over Dullahan Head, a mysterious challenger appears within the arena and begins to lay waste to the Grand Magic Games' competitors.
In the year X792, Lucy wakes up and exercises with Plue, looking forward to the start of a new day as the fourth day of Grand Magic Games are about to begin. Running late, she gets stopped by the security guards that, after a failed attempt at using her sex appeal, bypasses them and meets up with Jason, her novel and editor instructor. As the games begin, Chrisack of Dullahan Head and Berrick of Dwarf Gear are going head-to-head, with the former coming out on top for the victory. Over the past year after Fairy Tail disbanded, Lucy worked under Jason at first as a gravure model but then after convincing him, later took under his wing as a editor-in-training. She began with writing back props on his models, being Jason personal assistant, as well as aiding him and his hostesses with anything they needed. A few weeks later, she continued working on her report, with Jason overseeing her progress, eventually letting her to start working on layouts, which led her to her current status as a full-on editor.
After the fourth day is over, Jason mentions this year's games isn't as entertaining due to the lack of big name guilds not participating, such as Fairy Tail. Lucy reminds him that her Guild has been disbanded but the reporter says she still has her guild mark, but ends the conversation from there. Lucy reflects on the past year later at her home, mentioning to herself that even though she wants to see all her friends, she has been afraid to actually perform the task. Over the past year, she has be secretly tracking all and every news blurb she has came across about her guildmates, biding her time to the day that they can all come back together and restore their Guild.
The next morning arrives, as the fifth and final day has come. An energetic Jason calls for Lucy's attention after the latter dozes off, saying the games' ending will be exciting, but the Celestial Spirit Mage declares these games to be a farce, as Scarmiglione, the eventual winners of the Grand Magic Games, were holding back their power in order to deceive their opposition, with her prediction proving to be true. As they are being crowned, a strange visitor giving off immense pressure as they walk into the stadium. Lucy senses incredible Magic Power as she alerts everyone to begin evacuating, as the unknown man asks the winning Guild if they're the strongest in Fiore, which they reply why he asks, prompting the mysterious person to charge their fists in flames; attacking the Guild while announcing he's their next challenger. After their scuffle and with the Domus Flau partially melting, the mysterious person reveals to be Natsu, which stuns Lucy. Happy later appears behind her, saying that Natsu wanted to fight the strongest guild, which led them to the games. Natsu eventually notices Lucy and decries he hasn't seen her in a while, which Lucy, relieved, replies asking how has he fared.
Characters in Order of Appearance
Battles & Events
Magic, Spells, and Abilities used
- Spatial Magic (空間魔法 Kūkan Mahō)
- Lightning Magic (雷系各種魔法 Kaminari Kei Kakushu Mahō)
- Wind Magic (風の魔法 Kaze no Mahō)
- Dragon Slayer Magic (滅竜魔法 Metsuryū Mahō)
- Fire Dragon Slayer Magic (炎の滅竜魔法 Honō no Metsuryū Mahō)
- Aera (翼 Ēra)
Manga & Anime Differences
- The following parts occur only in the anime:
- Scene of Lucy narrating about the past year at the beginning of the episode.
- Lucy wakes up in a full set of pink pajamas instead of a green shirt and underwear.
- Lucy exercising with Plue after she wakes up on the fourth day of the Games.
- All the scenes prior to arriving to Domus Flau, including trying to invade the guards due to not locating her press pass.
- All the scenes of the past year involving Lucy under her apprenticeship with Jason, including her introduction to editorial writing and layout designing, as well covering one of Jason's models.
- Lucy taking a second shower later in the episode.
- The scenes of Lucy posing as a gravure model is extended.
- Lucy takes a shower first then brushes her teeth in a towel instead of vice versa like in the manga.
- Chrisack and Berrick's fight is extended.
- The opening of the episode reflects upon a montage of scenes from the 2014 series of the Fairy Tail anime, while the ending shows a montage of previous chapter covers from the manga.
|Tartaros arc||Avatar arc||Alvarez Empire arc|
|418 | 419 | 420 | 421 | 422 | 423 | 424 | 425 | 426 | 427 | 428 | 429 | 430 | 431 | 432 | 433 | 434 | 435 | 436 | 437|
|276 | 277 | 278 | 279 | 280 | 281 | 282 | 283 | 284 N/A|