To think Mest’s secret mission inside the Magic Council held such importance to the story of Fairy Tail that it has become the foundation for a brand new arc/saga Fairy Tail is about to enter into, I can only colour myself shocked and impressed. Within a chapter Mashima-sensei managed to resolve both Mest’s purpose and the reason why Makarov was so adamant in dissolving Fairy Tail once the previous Magic Council was destroyed. All for the sake of protecting his family and preventing the danger the “Alvarez Empire” represents from targeting Fairy Tail. With Makarov in danger and Fairy Tail revived, this new arc has me tremendously excited, especially with it incorporating an area of the Fairy Tail world that is outside not only the Fiore Kingdom but the Ishgar region which we have been centered in for the past 438 chapters. BRING. IT. ON.
It is great to have Fairy Tail back as well as the members which make the guild so ridiculously fun to watch/read. Having a few light-hearted moments to remind the readers of the fun nature of Fairy Tail was a great way to get them ready for the upcoming threat Fairy Tail is about to face and not only Fairy Tail but most likely the many guilds we have gotten to know and love within Fiore.
The Alvarez Empire is such a smart antagonist group to introduce at this point in the story in order to not only reintroduce Fairy Tail but also the other guilds we have gotten to know post the seven-year time skip. With the past few arcs helping the readers get to know the many guilds within Fiore, we have come to care about how those other guilds develop and change alongside Fairy Tail. All those past few arcs which helped create a connection between Fairy Tail and the other guilds within Fiore has now formed a purpose which is completely relevant to the current threat facing Fiore. Just as how the Alvarez Empire formed a united front to target Ishgar, in particular Fiore, Fairy Tail and their connections with the other guilds within Fiore that have been developed through the past 438 chapters can become the foundation for an alliance of Magic Guilds existing within Fiore. Through Fairy Tail, Fiore will have a united force of their own to stand against the threat of the Alvarez Empire, or so I believe may happen with the next antagonist being the entire West Continent guilds.
If that is the case and we get the guilds of Fiore standing against the Alvarez Empire of the Western Continent, I for one will be beyond excited to see many of the guilds we don’t normally get to see in focus again. Just as much as I am eager to see how certain Fairy Tail members have developed over the past year, I am curious to find out how certain non-Fairy Tail members belonging to other Fiore guilds have developed over the year (i.e. Minerva). The Alvarez Empire provides a great opportunity to bring those secondary characters belonging to different guilds within Fiore back into the loop and actually have an excuse to spend time developing and expanding on their existing characters.
As for Erza being the Seventh Guild Master, the thought had crossed my mind and I did entertain it but I was doubtful whether such a prominent character within the story would end up becoming such a key member in the guild. But now with Fairy Tail having to unite the guilds of Fiore or even the whole of Ishgar against the Alvarez Empire, it makes perfect sense having Erza as the Seventh Guild Master, because she has that charm and aura that gets people to believe in her. Erza has changed many characters through her actions, especially ones confused by darkness, and many of them belong to different guilds within Fiore – Mermaid Heel, Sabertooth, Crime Sorcière. Because Erza herself has been tormented by the conflict within her own mind on several occasions, she understands the conflict within others and recognises the complexity in the reasons behind the decisions they may make. Erza understands weakness and at the same time understands the weight a decision or choice holds and because of that, no matter how hopeless a situation is, she will continue to fight. It is that drive within the core of her soul that beckons others to notice the strength radiating from her and be inspired by it. If it is Erza as the Guild Master, I can see Fairy Tail motioning the guilds with Fiore and possibly Ishgar to unite together against the Alvarez Empire.
With Mashima-sensei having utilised past developments he left hanging, I am curious if he has planned a future role for the other developments which he has not expanded on yet, such as the Treasure Hunter Guilds and the sixth/seventh sense Erza had awakened when she had lost all five of her base senses when she fought Kyouka. Seeing as Jerome from Avatar possessed a sword that utilised dark magic, I am left wondering if the Treasure Hunter Guilds end up acquiring artifacts that possess powerful magic or such. With Mashima-sensei revealing that there was a purpose for Mest infiltrating the Magic Council and with Etherion and Face (deterring the Alvarez Empire from attacking Ishgar), I believe many of the developments he has not expanded on yet do have roles in future arcs.
Makarov, to think his decisions has Guild Master over the past few arcs have had such a key role in shaping up the future story of Fairy Tail, I am honestly surprised and impressed. Makarov deserves a lot of respect, to take on the burden of protecting the Fairy Tail members himself by trying to buy time for a new Magic Council to be rebuilt or at the very least to avoid his ‘family’ from becoming targets for the Alvarez Empire. What fate does Mashima-sensei have planned for Makarov? And what will Fairy Tail (Erza) do now? Really looking forward to the next chapter.