Instead of colliding against the united force Alvarez possess with an equally massive force, Erza has decided to keep things simple and send in a recon team consisting of Natsu, Gray, Lucy, Wendy, Mest, Happy, Carla and herself to infiltrate the Alvarez Empire and save Makarov (if he is indeed captured). Unbeknownst to Erza, Gajeel with his abnormal hearing has overheard their conversation and has plans of his own to infiltrate the Alvarez Empire with a group composed of the Fairy Tail Team B members. With the revelation of the Spriggan Twelve and the number one Ten Wizard Saint becoming part of it, it has become clear that in order for Fairy Tail to succeed in saving Makarov, they will have to clash against mages that possess magical power equal to or greater than the level of Ishgar’s strongest mage.
I was intrigued by how Mashima-sensei would handle the threat of Alvarez and the 730 magic guilds it is made up of and it seems prior to completely dealing with Alvarez, he plans on focusing on saving Makarov with the core members of Fairy Tail. I suppose the possibility does exist that if the infiltration doesn’t go exactly as planned, the members of Fairy Tail still left behind can gather the guilds of Fiore which have been in focus in the last few arcs and mount a united attack against the Alvarez Empire to buy the core Fairy Tail members an opportunity to save Makarov and escape.
It is interesting that with the six members in Erza’s group – Natsu, Gray, Lucy, Wendy, Mest and Erza – and the five members we are aware of in Gajeel’s group – Juvia, Cana, Mirajane, Gajeel and soon to be Laxus – that we will have enough of Fairy Tail to stand against the Spriggan Twelve. If Jellal ends up becoming part of the force which will save Makarov, the possibility of the Spriggan Twelve being featured in battles and some even being defeated during this arc is quite high. More than the focus being on the masses of the Alvarez Empire, the focus for this arc seems to be leaning towards highlighting the Spriggan Twelve in battle, especially when Mashima-sensei went out of his way to convey that the Spriggan Twelve possess power close to or equal to the strongest mage in Ishgar – God Serena.
Even though Erza informed Natsu that the upcoming mission is an infiltration mission which involves them avoiding fights, it is obvious that something will happen due to Natsu’s actions that will cause the core members of Fairy Tail to battle the Spriggan Twelve or at least attract their attention in some way. And unfortunately for Gajeel, Natsu’s actions will probably end up dragging his team into the fold, unless of course Gajeel already planned for such an occasion.
Was great to see the members of the Four Heavenly Kings of Ishgar and generally what abilities they have save for God Serena, who was purposefully saved to be highlighted later, likely when Fairy Tail and/or Makarov encounters him. Wolfheim seems to have some form of Werewolf transformation magic and Hyberion seems to be a vampire of sorts. With the Ishgar Four Heavenly Kings composed of humans that don’t necessary look like humans (Warrod looks like a tree =/), I cannot help but be intrigued by what God Serena is exactly capable of – that ‘bunny ear’ hairstyle of his is curious.
Personally, I wonder if God Serena has ulterior motives in joining the Alvarez Empire beyond just allying himself with the more “powerful” force. Certainly, there must be more to the story than Mashima-sensei is leading us to believe. Why exactly has God Serena abandoned Ishgar when he is the highest ranking mage of the Ten Wizard Saints? Something definitely does feel odd about the circumstances surrounding God Serena. I wouldn’t be surprised if God Serena infiltrated the Alvarez Empire ranks and joined the Spriggan 12 just to get close to the head of the Alvarez Empire. It is possible that in order to prevent the war between Alakitasia and Ishgar from beginning, he intends to disrupt the Alvarez Empire from the inside and potentially destroy it by taking out its head – Emperor Spriggan. It will be interesting to see if God Serena is actually Yury Dreyar.
Whatever the case, Fairy Tail certainly does have their work cut out for them as they prepare to infiltrate the Alvarez Empire to rescue their master, Makarov. I definitely am looking forward to seeing how Fairy Tail manages to accomplish such a mission when only a dozen or so members are actually aware of the mission. I also look forward to seeing how the current core members of Fairy Tail fare against mages who possess power and abilities close to that of the strongest mage in Ishgar, if not as strong or stronger. Can’t wait for the next chapter.