Though the flow of time may have separated the fairies, the bonds of their hearts which has always connected them to each other has led them to gather again and with the threat of a new dark entity rising, the world once again is in need of the guild bold enough to challenge the approaching darkness ready to consume the world. The Mages of Fairy Tail make their return ready to take on the inevitable wickedness awaiting them!
What an exhibition of feel-good content, I absolutely loved how Fairy Tail were able to gather their core members and crush the majority of an emerging dark force centered around summoning Zeref at the cost of innocent lives. The intriguing thing about the Fairy Tail overwhelming Avatar is the fact that the leader of Avatar – Arlock – doesn’t seem all that worried that things are looking quite bleak for the dark cult. The strangeness of the situation certainly does induce curiosity.
Even with the core of Avatar defeated by Natsu, Gray, Lucy, Taurus, Wendy, Juvia, Carla and Erza, Arlock doesn’t seem concerned at all and instead actually states that he has prophesized the events taking place as they have. Based on that comment, it is quite apparent that the battle with Avatar is far from over and despite crushing the main members of Avatar, Arlock still has this “Ikusatsunagi” up his sleeve. Whatever or whoever “Ikusatsunagi” is, it is most likely paramount in achieving the purification for Arlock. With Natsu at the scene though, it seems certain that the purification will not occur, but I am curious to learn what Arlock exactly has planned and where the real threat of Avatar lies, because it certainly wasn’t in their core members. Unless of course, the Avatar members defeated will rise again stronger and more powerful or are there more powerful members within the Avatar ranks?
I actually wouldn’t mind Avatar revealing a powerful faction within its ranks to challenge Team Natsu as Avatar does have the potential of being a relevant and memorable antagonistic group in the story. The current defeated Avatar members have served the purpose of highlighting the new strength of the Fairy Tail members, so it would be hard to use them again in battle against Fairy Tail unless they receive power-ups, so if Mashima-sensei is planning to highlight the threat of Avatar, a new faction within Avatar revealing itself, one with stronger members, would serve the purpose better.
Still, the current named members we have seen of Avatar have been characterised quite a bit and the fact that they have learned a form of Black Magic does lead one to believe that they should serve a purpose more important than what we have currently seen. We have barely had the Black Magic of the Avatar members explored let alone introduced, so despite them being easily defeated by Team Natsu, I wonder if they will play a larger part in the Avatar Arc.
Certainly I hope Briar will play a more significant role in this arc as I have come to really like her character and design. Mashima-sensei set Briar up as a relevant character to the arc highlighting her as one of the leading figures in Avatar and even introduced a new magic through her – Clone Magic. On top of that, Briar has a very creative and memorable character design, one can tell Mashima-sensei spent time creating her. Briar’s Clone Magic, Black Magic and character were barely touched on, so despite her currently being incapacitated by Gray’s ice, I expect her to make a comeback. Briar has displayed the ability to use shockwaves to attack, so I am intrigued to learn if her Black Magic is the cause of that. I am also very curious to learn more about her Clone Magic as she was presented as quite the amusing character when she split herself into her four clones – smiling, angry, loving and sad.
Would be cool if Briar were liberated from the darkness as she doesn’t seem all that evil from what we have seen (understanding of her team mates), but I have to wonder where she would fit in if she were to become a ‘good’ character. I could see Briar fitting into Sabretooth, but I don’t see any reason why she would join them. The most logical place she would end up if she were liberated from the darkness is Fairy Tail as Briar does have a connection to Gray. Well whatever the case, I am interested in her character and I look forward to seeing how Mashima-sensei develops her.
Nice to see that Gray hasn’t abandoned Fairy Tail in favour of pursuing his desire to stop E.N.D. Also great to see that Erza and he had a plan in place which they began executing 6 months ago to breach the ranks of Avatar and gather intel on Operation Purification in order to stop it and crush the whole of Avatar. I almost stopped believing in Gray and in the possibility of him acting as the “villain” when Mashima-sensei tried to mislead the readers with the drama between Natsu, Lucy and Gray, not to mention the death of Frosch. While I did will myself to continually believe in Gray throughout the ordeal, it would be a lie if I didn’t say that with each chapter the possibility that Gray had lost himself to the darkness was growing larger within my mind. Ultimately though, I am incredibly glad that Mashima-sensei chose not to follow the path he mislead us down to tease us.
Regarding the comment Gray made concerning Ultear, I am very curious now to see what plans Mashima-sensei has for Ultear and her role in the story. Mashima-sensei went out of his way to remind the readers that Ultear is still alive. Mashima-sensei made such a mention because it is relevant to his story and as a result I can’t help but feel that such an act by Mashima-sensei serves to illustrate his intention of wanting to bring Ultear back into the story again soon.
Back when Ultear cast Last Ages, I wasn’t convinced that fifty or so odd years of Ultear’s life constituted a mere one minute of time rewound, and I am still not convinced now. I am more inclined to believe that price to carry out the spell went beyond the necessary payment due to Ultear’s lack of mastery over Arc of Time – she only learned about Arc of Time from the fragments of information that were recorded in books she found. Ultear’s feelings of repentance and atonement at the time may have also had a hand in why so much ‘time’ was stolen from her by the magic – it reacted to the will and feelings within her heart. Ultimately, only part of Ultear’s ‘time’ was used as payment for Last Ages to rewind time by one minute. As energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only change form, I feel the excess ‘time’ that was taken from Ultear can be returned to her. Ultear’s excess ‘time’ is most likely residing within some place of space within the Fairy Tail world. I would absolutely love to see Ultear regain her youth and return to the story.
As for Avatar’s objective, I find it quite amusing that Zeref goes out of his way to meet Natsu when he has a legion of fanatics willing to kill to meet/see him. Even if Operation Purification was successful, I doubt Zeref would come to meet the dark cult Avatar. The fanatics of Zeref seriously do not understand Zeref and what he desires. The followers of Zeref have deluded themselves into believing they know what Zeref seeks and desires but in actuality, what they are really following is a figment of their own ego’s. Arlock’s belief that Zeref will descend upon Avatar like an Angel of Darkness ushering in a New Era is an immensely flawed belief – Zeref will not appear where ever death gather. As for Arlock, I wonder if under that mask he is the former Guild Master of Phantom Lord – Jose Porla.
Natsu, Gray, Lucy, Wendy, Carla and Erza being highlighted in combat were great, one can tell they have seriously pushed themselves over the past year to improve what they are capable of doing. Got to love how Lucy has evolved the use of her Celestial Magic by being able to imbue herself with her magic to gain a zodiac specific Star Dress that allows her to utilize the magic of that particular Celestial Spirit. Plus Lucy’s magic power increases in Star Dress form.
Wendy being able to use Dragon Force at will was a surprise, looks like she has been busy the past year. The same can be said for Carla and her ability to use transformation magic on herself to change into a human form gaining magical strength and increased ability. With Lily and Carla being able change into different forms making them useful in fights, one has to wonder what Happy’s transformed form will be and when he will achieve it.
Gray and Juvia working together was great. There relationship certainly does seem to have developed positively over the past year with Gray becoming more accepting and understanding of Juvia. There abilities really do go well together and I am honestly in shock that Juvia managed to pick up Gray’s stripping habit =P.
Natsu and Gray, we haven’t exactly seen what they are fully capable of yet, but it apparent the two of them have increased their magic power substantially over the year. I am curious to see how they would fare against Gildarts now. I honestly feel sorry for Bluenote that the strength he has gained over the eight years since his defeat to Gildarts doesn’t even come close to matching the strength Natsu gained during his one year of intensive training. Poor Bluenote, he was once such a terrifying character.
Erza, as captivating as ever. And now even more deadly. A one-woman army that just exudes honor and elegance. Her new ‘Wingblade Armor’ (waiting for the official name) looks incredible. Not only can she use her Telekinesis to manipulate all eight swords to attack, she can also use those swords as shields and on top of that those Wingblades can land blows without making direct contact. I am very excited to see what new Requip Armors Mashima-sensei has developed for Erza. Also with Makarov’s current location unknown, I wonder if a new Guild Master will be elected for the reformed Fairy Tail. Erza and Laxus are the most logical candidates for being the next Guild Master. Erza in her operation with Gray served as the senior party member coordinating the operations and developing the plan. It wouldn’t be surprising and unnatural for Erza to fill the role of Fairy Tail Master.
Very interested in seeing Gajeel highlighted after the one year time-skip, that is if he does get the opportunity to be featured in a battle this arc. Levy and all the other Fairy Tail mages have also grown, so it will be exciting to see each of them featured in the coming chapters. Very much looking forward to the future chapters and Fairy Tail reforming.