A man driven by his love, a leader motivated by his responsibility and a father inspired by his family; Makarov, the Guild Master of Fairy Tail, makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to ensure a future for his ‘family’, one that allows for everyone save himself to survive. Aware of the pain awaiting his children, Makarov bears the burden for them and uses his own life to pave a path forward into tomorrow against the countless soldiers enchanted into ravaging berserkers. Through Fairy Law Makarov nullifies their evil but pays for it with the remainder of his life.
There may have been some health issues with Makarov that made him more willing to accept what he needs to do opposed to leaving it all to the plan Mavis conceived that likely had the possibility of seeing some of the Fairy Tail Mages seriously injured. We may not know in the end, but despite Mavis having a plan to combat the Alvarez Empire, Makarov sacrificed his own life to ensure that his children weren’t the only ones bearing the responsibility. Makarov wanted to lessen that burden their had to bear, his decision may not have been a necessity for victory but it was a necessity for protecting his family.
With the Alvarez Empire Army defeated and the berserker enchantment of Irene nullified, the enemies left currently consist of the remaining Spriggan 12 members plus Zeref. The mages battling against the Spriggan 12 members can now focus on their enemy without worrying about the massive army to deal with. Makarov’s sacrifice meant something. It will serve as the turning point in this battle against the Alvarez Empire in the battle to reclaiming both Fairy Tail and Ishgar.
Makarov has cheated death several times in the past so one has to wonder if he will do so again. But this time, with so many red flags and his death signifying a major meaning at this critical point, I doubt Mashima-sensei is playing around, I believe he is serious about Makarov dying. Makarov’s death will without question stop the Natsu and Gray battle once they realise what their actions or lack of action has led to. Makarov is a parental figure to both Natsu and Gray whom they deeply care about and with his death, they will blame themselves for following their dark emotions when their guild needed their strength. Guilt and sorrow may end up being what helps Natsu and Gray back to their senses. It was in that moment Natsu and Gray were hit by the shockwave of Fairy Law, oblivious to what exactly was going on, that I found myself cognizant of Makarov’s death. Through their sinking reaction as the shockwave reverberated through their bodies I felt the meaning in Makarov’s death. The effects will be long lasting; every single Fairy Tail member will be affected by his death. The decisions they make from now on will be reflected against what has happened today, against what they were unable to stop from happening.
In particular, the focus in the chapter singled out Erza as being the most related to Makarov’s sacrifice. Makarov directed his final words, his mantra, to Erza. He left with her the message he wished to be passed on to the rest of the guild. Mashima-sensei also focused primarily on Erza’s reaction to Makarov’s lifeless body in the chapter. What has Mashima-sensei planned for Erza? What changes will occur to and in Erza as a result of Makarov’s death? As a leading figure in Fairy Tail, what role will Erza serve now? If Makarov really did die, then I look forward to seeing where Mashima-sensei will take his story towards. Looking forward to the next chapter!