Magic, mage, dragon hunters, fairies, spells, guilds, fantasy, etc. These are all elements that can be found in the universe of Mangaka Hiro Mashima.
Among all these protagonists of a fantasy genre, we find a particular character whose name alone makes all the characters of the universe tremble: the dragon king.
Acnologia is an extremely powerful 400-year-old dragon slayer from the Japanese animation series Fairy Tail. At the beginning of his story, he is in the service of the army and wants to destroy every dragon on earth.
But in the process, by bathing in the blood of his prey and using too much dragon slayer magic, he ends up becoming one himself. His past is quite tragic, as it is overshadowed by significant events.
When he was young, he was the only survivor of his village after an attack by dragons he considered to be his companions. This tragic story left him with a lot of pain that would later lead to an unprecedented hatred and desire for revenge.
His first objective becomes to exterminate all dragons. Only, he ends up becoming one; thus transforming himself into what he hates the most. In the series, he is known by several names: the black dragon of the apocalypse, Acnologia or the dragon king.
Note: for fans of the Fairy Tail series, the rest of the article may contain spoilers.
About Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is a series of Japanese manga with the author and designer Hiro Mashima. It puts on the scene a fantasy universe where magical creatures and human beings exist and cohabit. The plot puts forward the story of several main characters, one in particular: Natsu Dragnir also called the salamander because of his use of flames.
During a journey to discover the kingdom of Fiore, Natsu, the Dragon Slayer magician of the Fairy Tail guild, befriends a young celestial witch named Lucy Heartfilia and invites her to join his guild.
The young wizard accepts and forms a team with Natsu and his feline partner, Happy. Natsu and Lucy are then joined by all the other main characters of the series: Gray Fullbuster an ice wizard, Erza Scarlet a magical knight (and her stunning armor), Wendy Marvell and Carla, another dragon slayer duo.
In the course of their adventures on behalf of their guild, they will eventually come face to face with the one who is shaking up their whole world: Acnologia, the most powerful dragon in the whole shonen.
Acnologia’s Special Story: A Young Doctor’s Career
Born over 400 years ago, Acnologia was a doctor in a small village before becoming one of the first Dragon Slayers to be born. His job was to heal and care for the dragons he was close to. He was particularly fond of one of them: Acnologia (from which he got his current name).
After witnessing the actions of the dragons he considered friends, he entered the Dragon King Festival (a big tournament for future dragon hunters) on the side supporting the coexistence between the two species.
However, he and other Dragon Slayers have been corrupted by their power and ignore the cause their comrades fought for, killing every Dragon they can (even allies) and bathing in their blood.
By abusing his power as a dragon wizard, the former doctor turns into a hydra himself. His new goal: to kill all the remaining dragons and every dragon hunter.
Dragon Slayer: a title not very possessed
Acnologia has the title of dragon slayer. After the destruction of his village, he decides to become one in order to fulfill his wish for revenge. In the Fairy Tail universe, a dragon slayer is a person who has (with the help of a dragon), learned anti-dragon magic.
Besides Acnologia, there are several other dragon slayers in the Fairy Tail universe. These slayers have acquired their title thanks to beneficent dragons. The reason for their existence is simple: to defend the human race against the attacks of evil dragons.
This ability to acquire dragon power comes from one mage in particular: Irene Belserion also known as the Queen of Dragons. However, many humans, including Acnologia, decided to use this magic for the attack and not for defense.
It is after having acquired the title of a dragon slayer that Acnologia begins her hunt against all these mythical creatures.
Acnologia’s favorite aspect is his human form. In this guise, he is similar to a rather muscular young man, about 5′9″ with long, midnight blue hair. He abhors a sharp look; his eyes have dark circles around them. He has dark skin and has the same blue light markings on his body as when he is a dragon.
In terms of clothing, Acnologia wears a black cloak with a high collar all the time, he has sharp red claws around his neck in the form of a collar, a white band belt around his waist and loose pants. Apart from his cloak, the black dragon has nothing on his upper body: he usually has his torso exposed.
In her dragon form, Acnologia is gigantic and has her entire upper body covered in round black scales. The lower part of her body is gray and smooth, including her chin, chest, belly, inner tail, thighs and arms.
The eyes of Acnologia in Dragon are white and pearly. The black dragon’s mouth is full of sharp teeth: there are about 214 of them.
Note: For fans of the character, there are figurines of the dragon king in both forms.
The personality of Acnologia, the Black Dragon of Fairy Tail
Acnologia’s personality in the past can be seen from 2 different perspectives. At the beginning of his life, he is a kind and loving young man. He helps the people around him and is a doctor.
But one day he changes. He is now ruthless and even bloodthirsty. His objectives: to kill and kill again. In the present, Acnologia lives on the bangs of society and seeks no contact with humans, even though he is still one.
For him, all human beings are like insects: inferior beings. Even in their presence, he often seems to ignore their presence. In all respects, he is an arrogant person. At the beginning of the series, the slayer of dragons goals are unknown. Information about them has only been discussed by people outside of him.
In his dragon form, Acnologia is very destructive and violent, but in his human form, he usually displays a stoic personality. He clearly remains calm after defeating the legendary God Serena.
But the black dragon loves to fight: especially with an opponent of his caliber. According to Zeref, he is looking for a fighter that matches his rank. That explains why he smiles when the black mage promises to offer him a fight soon.
When Acnologia encounters a powerful enemy, he shows a more excited side than usual, like during his fight with Irene Belserion. After witnessing the power of the Shield of a member of the 12 Spriggan, he smiles enthusiastically and even congratulates his opponent.
The Different Appearances of Acnologia in the Fairy Tail Universe
Being the final adversary in the last season of the Fairy Tail manga universe, the black dragon of the apocalypse is the object of several appearances in the manga series and the anime.
He makes his debut in the manga in chapter 251, in the anime we see his silhouette in episode 121 and he appears more clearly in episode 122.
He can also be seen in the movie Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry and in the video games of the anime series. In addition, there are several Fan fictions of the manga in which the character is represented.
Appearance in the Tenrou Island Arc
Acnologia arrives on Tenrou Island, causing great destruction in his wake, attracted by Zeref’s powers. Sensing the Black Dragon’s destructive abilities, Makarov Dreyar, master of the Fairy Tail guild, enters Giant mode, trying to keep the dragon at bay to give the other members of his guild a chance to escape.
The fight against Marakov is quite short. The guild master is wounded and Acnologia takes advantage of this to throw him to the ground and shoot him with her claws.
Just as he is about to finish Makarov off, Natsu steps in and pounces on him, preventing the old master from receiving the fatal blow. Acnologia tries to get rid of Natsu, but the Flame Dragon Slayer hangs on his tail, forcing him to leave Marakov behind.
Under the command of Erza Scarlet, the other members of the guild come to help Natsu in his attack against the black dragon. However, Gildarts soon realizes that Acnologia is just having fun with them.
The end of this encounter ends with Acnologia leaping into the air and sending a Dragon’s Roar to eradicate Tenrou Island. Once the assault is launched, the dark dragon flies away and disappears into the air, leaving behind a destroyed island.
Appearance in the Tartaros arc: the Dark Dragon versus the Fire Dragon Igneel
Acnologia also appears in the Tartaros arc where the war between the mages of fairy tail and those of Tartaros takes place. It doesn’t take very long for mages and demons to feel the presence of the black dragon.
As soon as he arrives, he sends huge explosions just with his breath while his wings create devastating shock waves to the great misfortune of the mages. The presence of Acnologia is analyzed by Mard Geer.
According to him, the dragon king is after E.N.D. To stop him, Natsu frees the fire dragon Igneel, who launches into a direct confrontation with the dragon of darkness. The fight is quite tough.
For once, Acnologia takes one of its opponents seriously. We witness a fight between two dragons of a particular level of strength. At the beginning of the fight, Natsu joins his sensei. At the beginning of the confrontation, they seem to have a certain advantage on the situation.
The black dragon finally recognizes Igneel as a worthy opponent and promises to defeat and kill him like all the other dragons. Igneel makes him understand that he is not alone because he has with him all the other dragons sealed in the dragon slayers and that they can join him at any time.
The fight which was at the base on the ground will continue in the air. This allows the dragon king to quickly get the upper hand. Acnologia quickly overwhelms Igneel with claws and crushes his chest. His excited personality quickly takes over. He starts screaming destruction while mocking the fire dragon.
Igneel takes advantage of this moment to tear off Acnologia’s left arm. In counterattack, Acnologia disintegrates the left half of Igneel’s torso and then finishes him off with his Dragon’s Roar. The scene ends with Igneel dead, Natsu in a state of confusion and the dragon king leaving the battlefield.
Appearance in the Arc Avatar
It’s been a year since Acnologia faced the fire dragon Igneel and lost his arm. The black mage Zeref proposes a meeting to Acnologia, which he accepts without question. The place of the meeting is secret.
However, we can see that it is a rocky terrain and far from everything. As usual, it is in his human form that the dragon king appears. After a mutual exchange on what are the motivations of each one, Zeref realizes that Acnologia only wants to meet an opponent at his level.
He ends up telling him that his goal is neither to join him in his quest nor to fight him. He confesses that he wants to kill him and all human beings. With these words, he promises a worthy fight to the dragon king during a great war between all humans.
After these words of the dark magician, Acnologia shows a smile and already starts to enjoy this future fight.
Appearance in the Alvarez Empire Arc
Acnologia, still in human form, appears later on the Ishgar war front, outside the Bosco border. He finds himself in front of three members of the Spriggan, namely Jacob lessio, August and God Serena.
Acnologia challenges God Serena. He attacks her suddenly and forms a hole in her stomach with a quick one-handed blow. At this tragic scene, the surrounding mages are stunned and shocked. On this note, Acnologia retreats, leaving behind a dead and inert God Serena.
Leaving the scene of the fight for a few seconds, the dragon king reveals his plans to eradicate the last 7 dragon slayers. These represent for him a trace of the existence of the dragons.
After this scene, Acnologia heads for the war field north of Zonia. On the way, he is intercepted by Irene Berserion who tries to get rid of him. Acnologia wonders aloud if she knows who she wants to fight.
Acnologia is almost immediately attacked by a high-level enchantment from Irene. The attack surprises him at first, but when he realizes that Irene is a great magician, he gets excited about how good their fight will be and decides to use dragon slayer magic.
Irene later decides to finish off Acnologia using a type of magic that even he doesn’t know. Before Irene casts her spell, Acnologia asks her name. Just after hearing it, he and the entire kingdom are enveloped in the light of Univers One.
As a result, Acnologia is deported somewhere far away from the shrinking land mass that is Fiore.
The last season of Fairy Tail shows a large-scale war between Zeref with the Alvarez empire and the different guilds of the Fiore kingdom, including the one of the protagonists Natsu and Lucy.
But in reality, behind these battles, there is another threat: Acnologia. The powerful dragon has just made its return in a rather brutal tone.
Appearing for a few seconds in the previous episode, Acnologia was sent to an entirely different place because of Irene’s spell: Universe One. However, the witch’s defeat of Erza and Wendy caused the spell to disappear, making everything return to normal and with it Acnologia.
Universe One’s cancellation allows Acnologia to immediately find himself at the three girls’ location, and while the impact of his arrival leaves Erza and Wendy dazed and unmoving, he makes his way to Irene, dead, on the ground from her fight.
The dragon recognizes her as the mother of dragons and, therefore, the creator of the Dragon Slayer’s magic, responsible for the birth of what he is now. So he has no qualms about stomping and kicking Irene’s lifeless body repeatedly, as Erza and Wendy look on in disgust.
The Magic and Abilities of Acnologia
As one of the first humans to enter the Dragon King Festival, Acnologia is among the first Dragon Slayers to exist. While it is currently unknown exactly what element he employs in his use of Dragon Slayer, it is learned that he has the ability to harvest the souls of dragons. Here is a list of all his abilities:
- The Dragon’s Roar
The Dragon’s Roar can be performed by all dragons and dragon slayers. The particularity of Acnologia’s Dragon’s Roar is that it breathes its own element inside its own (an element unknown to all).
Acnologia’s Dragon’s Roar is worthy of a mass destruction attack. It is so powerful that it can destroy the island of Tenrou in one blow, even creating a crater in the ocean.
- Eternal Flare
Acnologia throws thousands of stars that rain down destructively.
- Power of the End
Acnologia creates an explosion of destructive energy just with the palm of her hand.
- Time Magic
With this power of time, he was able to bring the seven Dragon Slayers with him into a temporal rift.
- Healing Magic
Magic he used daily when he was still a doctor before becoming a Dragon Slayer. He used it to heal his patients in his position as a healer. He noticed at one point that healing magic only stops bleeding without completely healing mortal wounds or alleviating pain.
- Shape Shifting
A special ability of the Black Dragon is that it can change its appearance as it wishes: it can change from a dragon to humans or from human to dragons at any time.
It is well known that all dragons can fly. Acnologia uses her large wings to fly long distances.
- Improved Resistance
Although Acnologia is a dragon, it can dodge the attacks of very powerful mages such as Erza Scarlet, Laxus Dreyar, Mirajane Strauss, Natsu Dragneel, Gajeel Redfox and Wendy Marvell. The last three are dragon hunters, but all their magic has no effect on the black dragon.
- Great strength
Given its large size, Acnologia, is easily capable of reducing a very large area to rubble with just its landing. According to Gildarts Clive, despite the amazing feats Acnologia accomplished on the island of Tenrou, the Dragon did not use the same level of strength during their brief confrontation.
- Brute force
Even in his human form, Acnologia already has immense brute strength. This is illustrated by his brief “fight” against God Serena, which he annihilates with a single one-shot and bare hands.
- Immense Speed
Even in his human form, Acnologia is presented as being able to move at lightning speeds. He hits God Serena before he or his companions, August and Jacob Lessio, realize what is happening.
- Enhanced Sense of Smell
Dragons have a highly developed sense of smell. Acnologia’s is even better than the other 7 dragon slayers. This ability is presented several times in the story.
During his fight, at least after the defeat of God Serena, the dragon king perceives the presence of 7 other dragon slayers and decides to go and fight them.
On the way, his sense of smell makes him feel that one of them is dead and so there are only 6 of them left. This is quite a special ability because it allows him to spot his targets.
- Immunity to manipulation
It is said that the Dragon King is immune to the magic of dragon subjugation.
- Expert in hand-to-hand combat
Acnologia’s 400 years of life gives him a certain background in hand-to-hand combat. Even his figure says a lot about it. Moreover, he faces God Serena in his human form. With a single bare-handed blow, he manages to eliminate her.
- Immense Magic Power:
Irene Belserion says of Anologia that he is vastly more powerful than Zeref.
The Life and Death of Acnologia: The Inner Monologue of the Black Dragon
There are events in life that change us completely. The ones I experienced a long time ago made me what I am today.
I was born more than 400 years ago in a land where dragons and humans lived in harmony. Only one day they burned everything, they devoured us. What did we do to deserve such hatred? They killed us without the slightest hesitation, without giving us a chance to defend ourselves.
Acnologia I hate you so much! I hate all dragons from the depths of my soul. I was far too weak to protect my own. What will I do now? What will I become now?
Acnologia and her fellow dragons have taken everything from us. But one day … they will pay for it! I will make them feel hatred, fear and humiliation 1000 times stronger than the feelings they left in me.
All my life I have healed dragons by stopping their hemorrhage. What an irony, today I wish the opposite. I want to become stronger and spill their blood. I see only one way to do this: to learn anti-dragon magic…
It’s been a long time since my real name disappeared from my memory. But I will never forget the name of the dragon that destroyed my life.
The dragons will fear me, hate me, and die by my hand. I will exterminate every last one of them. I want them to fear me more than death itself.
And to never forget the infernal monster that made me what I am, I have decided to bear his name. I will use it to strike terror into my enemies. When they hear this name, my name, they will tremble with fear: Acnologia.
Centuries passed and in time the dragons were exterminated by me. In the year X 784, I traveled the world until I was drawn to the magic of Zeref, which I could smell from miles away.
I also felt the smell of several dragon hunters in the same place, so I went to the island of Tenrô, protected by Fairy Tail. Igneel who had remained hidden in the human he protected and took in the past (Natsu Dragnir), confronted me by taking an arm, before I finished off what was left of him.
No mage could defeat me, for I could absorb all existing magic. The humans had succeeded in making me fall into the limbo of time, but I had come back even stronger and more enraged than ever.
Thus, my body found itself destroying the world, and my mind lingered on destroying the dragon slayers that I had taken with me. I wanted to strengthen my magic with them and find a way to merge my body with my mind that was separated.
All the dragon slayers finally rebelled against me for our final confrontation. After hitting me at the beginning of my life, irony had also hit me at the end.
My thirst for vengeance and greed for power, which had made me so powerful through the centuries, had finally brought about my downfall. I was defeated by the slayer dragons I was chasing: the hunter finally became the prey.
At the end of my life, I finally understood who deserved to be the true king: Natsu Dragnir. The dragons and humans I hated so much finally got the better of me.
What is the lesson of the Dragon Slayer’s life?
A brief analysis of Acnologia’s character reveals that he is just a young person whose dreams and hopes for life have been dashed.
Destroyed and ravaged by pain, he is unable to get out of the suffering in which he finds himself. He sinks day after day into the darkness.
However, taking all the parameters of his behavior into account, especially his speeches and his various appearances, it is easy to see that the dragon of the apocalypse, although living alone and having no contact with the outside world, has never really considered destroying the human race.
If he had, his great power would have allowed him to do so. Throughout the series, it is a person frustrated and traumatized by life’s events that we see at the forefront: he has definitely never been able to overcome his pain from 400 years ago.