So Ikusa-Tsunagi, a massive deity of battle capable of large-scale destruction, was one of the Yakuma Eighteen War Gods. Arlock sacrificed his own face to summon Ikusa-Tsunagi and was ready to offer him his own life and the lives of all the followers of Avatar in order to create a landscape of death to beckon Zeref. Operation Purification was never only about “purifying” the masses in a town, Arlock had always intended to offer up the souls of the believers of Zeref within Avatar as his ultimate sacrifice. That conviction to his twisted delusion really did make Arlock a dangerous man.
Not only was Arlock able to seduce thousands to his cause, he was also able to summon a Colossal War God, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. Zeref existence constituted an icon for Arlock, a being capable of ushering in a new era and leading its followers into a new age. It didn’t matter to Arlock what Zeref really wanted, his own ego deluded his mind into believing that what he wanted, Zeref wanted. Arlock was probably never trying to satisfy Zeref with Operation Purification, just his own madness that he had come to fully embrace. The human mind can be complex construct, especially when governed by feelings of negativity.
Ikusa-Tsunagi was truly a colossal entity; not only did he almost match the town in size but he also possessed strength that could split the Earth’s surface. If Natsu wasn’t in need of having his new strength highlighted, I wonder just what else a War God could be capable of. I also wonder if Ikusa-Tsunagi was at full strength when Arlock summoned him or whether he only possessed a portion of his full capabilities. It wouldn’t be surprising if someone as weak as Arlock would only be able to manage to draw out a fraction of his summons strength. This would explain why Natsu was able to dispose of Ikusa-Tsunagi without much trouble – taking it down in two hits. It would also leave open the door for other War Gods of Yakuma to be summoned with more strength if their summoners are more capable individuals. There is also the possibility that Ikusa-Tsunagi was one of the weaker Yakuma Eighteen War Gods and served to only introduce what the other War Gods are capable of.
With Mashima-sensei having Erza mention that there are seventeen other War Gods of Yakuma, it is obvious that he has the intention of focusing on more of them in the future. With Fairy Tail in need of more antagonist, the War Gods serve an important role of being enemies that can serious challenge the Fairy Tail mages and any other relevant characters. God Slayer Magic was introduced by Mashima-sensei 217 chapters ago and now with the introduction of War Gods, it is becoming apparent that Mashima-sensei has the intention of focusing more on the God Slayers. With Zancrow dead, there are only two other God Slayers within the story – Chelia and Orga. If Mashima-sensei intends to highlight God Slayer Magic against the War Gods, it seems likely that we will get more God Slayers being revealed. With Dragons and Demons serving their roles as antagonist in the past 434 chapters, why not War Gods now?
With Arlock revealing that he had always intended to sacrifice the followers of Avatar to Ikusa-Tsunagi, it seems likely that those followers once loyal to Avatar will disassociate themselves from the cult now and pursue their own interest, whatever they are. Arlock’s granddaughter, Mary, had her spirit shattered by her grandfather’s lies so it will be interesting to see what Mashima-sensei intends to do with her. The same goes for the rest of the Avatar members, what will they do now that they are aware of Arlock’s lies and true character?
I am particularly interested in Briar’s character; with Arlock lying to her and with Avatar having been defeated, I wonder what she will do now. Briar didn’t seem all that evil and dark, so there is hope that Mashima-sensei will incorporate a redemption moment for Briar, kind of like what he did with Flare Corona. I was right about Flare having a good side before, so I am confident in Briar serving a larger role in the story than what we have been shown so far.
Now that Natsu’s strength has been highlighted, I look forward to seeing how and where Mashima-sensei intends to take the story. The Yakuma Eighteen War Gods have been a notable faction, so I expect to see more of them in the future. With Avatar defeated, the Avatar Arc seems to be approaching its conclusion. Team Natsu have gathered and they will most likely encounter Gajeel and Levy soon, so with many of the core members of Fairy Tail gathered, I am curious to know when Fairy Tail will officially be reformed. Very much looking forward to the coming chapters.