Completely oblivious to the events taking place, Natsu and Gray continue their misguided feud. While there is a ‘reason’ for the two of them to oppose each other, there is an overwhelming counter argument for why the two shouldn’t have even entertained the thought of fighting each other at this point in time i.e. there is war ongoing with Fairy Tail at the center. Fortunately, their imprudent battle has been interrupted and through this intervention, they will be reminded of the meaning of Fairy Tail.
Erza, I would not have expected her to be the one to end Natsu and Gray’s battle last chapter, but once this chapter switched to Natsu and Gray unleashing their full power, it became apparent that someone of Erza’s capabilities would be required to drag the two out from their blind rage. Erza, given her focus in this chapter came to be the most likely choice. I had expected Lucy and Juvia to be the ones to stop the battle but I seriously don’t mind being wrong, the surprise of Mashima-sensei handling the plot development in an unexpected manner was fantastic. It feels good to be genuinely surprised on occasion.
With Erza, her farewell to Makarov was deeply moving and characterised exactly how each and every member of Fairy Tail felt. To bow before Makarov’s body, such an act symbolised her immense respect for Makarov and the eternal gratitude she had/has towards him. To Fairy Tail, Makarov was more than just their master, he also served as their parental figure; a man who loved, mentored and guided them.
I am glad we also got coverage on Laxus, as not too long ago he challenged Fairy Tail and Makarov. Laxus must be significantly affected by Makarov’s death at the moment yet despite that he was still there to pick Mavis up and spur her on to continue guiding them. Guilt and sorrow may be eating away at Mavis’s heart but like Natsu and Gray, Mavis has the support of a whole guild behind her. She has her family there to pick her up when she stumbles. Laxus understands Mavis’s pain as he too feels guilt at what had transpired yet he is aware there is a war unwilling to wait for them to mourn and recover.
The Spriggan 12 will use this opportunity to strike and despite their belief in the end result being inevitable, Makarov’s sacrifice will serve as a turning point in this battle. They will find out the true form of Fairy Tail and exactly how uncompromising Fairy Tail can be. Zeref has already underestimated Makarov and he is on his way towards underestimating the whole of Fairy Tail.
One aspect I cannot get over is why did such a conflicting fissure form between Natsu and Gray? Their relationship to each other was largely forgotten once E.N.D.’s identity was confirmed by Gray. I understand why Natsu challenged Gray, he was influenced by the dark magic stored within him, but why was Gray so caught up on ending Natsu. Gray should have surely been more cool about his approach to stopping E.N.D. or has the Devil Slaying magic slowly been corrupting him? Lacking a more obvious reason, I have to believe the Gray has been affected by his use of the Devil Slaying magic overtime. Coupled with the fact that he feels guilt for not being able to save his loved ones, he used Natsu as an outlet for his sorrow and fear. Hopefully with the news that Makarov is dead and the revelation of Juvia’s survival, Gray comes back to his senses. Natsu as well should return to his senses, losing a member, especially a parental one will affect him deeply.
Very interested to see what happens from here on out and how each of the members of Fairy Tail come to terms with Makarov’s death. Looking forward to the next chapter!