A power cold enough to chill one to the bone and a fantasy warm enough to melt the heart. Such is the Mugen Setsugekka that Hakune attempted to defeat Gray with. Yet within the maelstrom of happiness, Gray held on to his purpose and shattered the illusion devoid of the one he loves. Deep down what Gray seeks is the embrace of those he loves and moments of normality to share amongst them. Simple and blissful moments of celebration together with his family. Moments that he had not had the opportunity to experience with them. Part of Gray was certainly seduced by such joy yet another aspect of himself feels he has a duty beyond making himself happy. A desire to respond to the immeasurable love he has received.
After the spirited efforts of Lucy and Mimi (not to mention the fantastical contribution of Aquarius), Gray follows up with his own display of resolve and commitment. If only Juvia were there to hear Gray’s proclamation. Gray would love to have that fantasy be reality but he is intimately aware of his sins and his responsibilities. And more than making himself happy, he seeks to make Juvia happy, the one whom he has come to share his heart with. Gray knows that if he succumbs to the illusion and gave in to the warmth, the one who would suffer would be Juvia. And Gray can’t have that. Hakune sought to exploit Gray’s heart but what will instead happen is Hakune being affected by the warmth of Gray’s love for Juvia.
Hakune is themed after the Yuki-Onna with a seemingly frozen heart numb to the emotions that may be coursing through her heart, body and soul. After having her Mugen Setsugekka shattered and witnessing the resolve of Gray will her own heart be subconsciously affected. Could the ice around Hakune’s heart begin to melt with the display of Gray’s love? The battle is far from over but Hakune has already been impacted by Gray’s powers. And with an imbalance growing in Hakune’s heart, will it influence her powers and the killer chill it possesses? Hakune uses Freezing Spirit Arts that is powered by spirit power. If part of Hakune comes to react to the warmth on display and begins to desire it, a conflict will definitely arise internally that may upset the spirit behind her attacks. From here on, the element that could end up deciding the outcome of this battle may be the emotions flowing through each of their hearts. If Gray’s weakness was the warmth of his love, could Hakune’s weakness be the same – the warmth of love?
The battle Gray is having against Hakune has developed into more than just a battle for the fate of Elentir, it has placed Gray in a position where he is forced to confront his feelings for Juvia and to clarify exactly how he feels toward her. Juvia loves Gray, that is unquestionable. Yet it has always been Gray who remained unclear in regards to his feelings for Juvia. Gray never fully committed. But with that declaration at the end of chapter 84, he has arrived at his answer. The ship has been constructed and it is now going to soar through the skies!
Even though it wasn’t featured in this chapter, the Selene VS Suzaku battle has been fantastic. Suzaku is obviously being highlighted within the first phase of that battle because ultimately he will not overcome Selene. Team Fairy Tail will be the force that breaks through Selene and restores the balance to Elentir. Suzaku though will survive and likely become an indirect ally to Fairy Tail. He has been introduced as a character that can interact with Fairy Tail once the obligations of his Guild are ignored. The quirks he has revealed also suggest a character intended to exist as a supporting character once his antagonism toward Fairy Tail has run its course. There does appear to be a overriding relevance in play with Suzaku being isolated from the rest of Diabolos. If Suzaku comes to personally like Fairy Tail (which he has begun to), they won’t be any conflicting parties present to prevent him from listening to his heart. Once perspective has been achieved concerning Diabolos’s intentions and Fairy Tail’s characteristics, Suzaku can make his decision.
What could also end up happening once Suzaku becomes a semi-ally to Fairy Tail is having him train Erza in the art of Swordsmanship to push her beyond her current limits. We have previously seen Erza enhance and extend her magical power and versatility in battle before but in regards to her ability as a Swordswoman, room has been left for Erza to improve. Erza has utilised different Weapons and Armors to overcome her opponents before but in regards to pure swordsmanship, there have only been a few battles where it has been on display as the focus. Such as Erza’s battles against Ikaruga, Erza Knightwalker and Kagura. A future battle that has been set-up for Erza where enhanced swordsmanship will help is the inevitable battle Erza will have against Kiria. Titania and the Blade Dragon will get their moment. Also the overlap shared between Erza Scarlet and Suzaku, the Scarlet Dragon is not lost on me. And lets also not forget that Erza is part Dragon. I wonder if Irene has any comments about Suzaku and the Dragon he “consumed” – Kurnugi.
As for Selene, I am incredibly curious to see what happens with her. She isn’t evil per se but more a chaotic neutral character. What Selene is doing is certainly bad from the perspective of humans but one has to analysis her actions from the viewpoint of a Dragon as that is what she exists as. Similar to how Humans don’t concern themselves with lesser creatures such as insects or “pest” when existing, Selene could be described as the same with humans embodying the “insects” or “pest” for her. From that outlook, she could be conveyed as being no different from how some humans act. When amusement is at play, lesser existences relevant to the subject are dissolved into objects of entertainment to be taken advantage of. Suffering, destruction or annihilation aren’t Selene’s goals. Those are the product of her thirst for recreation. If Selene got given a Nintendo Switch and found amusement in playing a video game, she would divert her attention toward such a venture. “Sealing” Selene may not require her destruction but an alternative avenue in which she can direct her insatiable appetite for entertainment. Could Fairy Tail spark an interest in humanity for Selene? An interest that centers around how far humanity can extend themselves beyond their perceived limits and inabilities? I am very fascinated about Selene’s story and am invested in seeing it play out. Looking forward to the next chapter!