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After a long time, we had Natsu really steal the show this episode. Shounen main characters seem to lack some serious depth these days, but with Fairy Tail and One Piece, the manga and anime industry are really upping the ante. The arc continues to move forward, providing some great character moments, but also furthering each character’s individual series wide story arc. What I mean by individual story arc is that each chararacter kind of has a purpose and a backstory to their current role in the world of Earthland. Each one of them seem to be trecking forward on the promise and potential their pasts have provided.
Makarov has always been the Guild Master of Fairy Tail since we first saw him, and he’s had his own challenges being the leader for a looong time. That really came to head last episode as he faced Purehito and lost. Other than that, Makarov has also been touted as a father for everyone in Fairy Tail, and that role really hit home this week, with Natsu taking on Zancrow in a “flame dragon versus flame god” battle.
To be honest, as the episode started, Natsu appeared at a huge disadvantage. Nearly everything he did was just useless. In many ways, the arrogance and cockyness that Zancrow had was based on the fact that he had lost magic, and pretty much nothing else. He is by far, the weakest villain or opponent Natsu has had to face, characterwise. With Cobra, Cobra had a pretty decent back story, reason and belief system that spurred him on to fight. As did both Jellal and Zero. All the main baddies or even little opponents that Natsu have faced have had some kind of philosophy embedded in them that fundamentally clashed with Natsu’s. That’s what made the conflict all the more interesting.
In the battle against Zancrow, all Natsu really faced was a giant obstacle that he needed to overcome somehow. That’s what made Zancrow as a villain, very boring to me.
At the same time, Zancrow was pretty darn strong though, with some pretty sick powers. I really loved how he could make his flame into objects, something Natsu’s only been able to do once in the entire series, at the very start.
What was interesting was how Natsu continued to butt heads and eventually come up with a pretty interesting solution.
Before Natsu came up with a way to fight Zancrow, we had a great moment, where he was thrown a far, right to where Makarov was. The meeting between Natsu and Makarov was IMO, one of the best parts of the episode, and something that could’ve been expanded upon a bit more. We had the defeated Makarov lying on the ground, and then a worried, injured Natsu heading to him. I think Natsu really raised an interesting point for Makarov.
As a parent, Makarov cares very deeply for everyone in the guild, in fact, I think he cares a bit too deeply for them. His worrying and insistence for Natsu to leave and escape was hardly something the leader of Fairy Tail should have said though. If anything, despite how strong and domineering Grimoire Heart may appear to be, Makarov really needs to believe in his guild, and in their abilities. Many of them are splendid mages, growing as they fight, sometimes even inbetween battles. Makarov’s mistake was trying to sheild his young ones, rather than have them join in, united in a fight against Grimoire Heart.
Its not like Makarov’s worries were unfoudned though, as he did have to help Natsu a bit. The scene with him daring Zancrow to hurt one his children infront of him was darn awesome and badass, and that spurred Natsu to take a huge risk.
The way in which Natsu beat Zancrow was interesting, and we learned a new aspect of his powers. Much like how Natsu was able to eat Etherion, he was able to consume Zancrow’s flames as well. The only trick was to totally empty out his magic power and create a second vessel where he could store Zancrow’s magic. Kind of like a second stomach for a different kind of food XD. Of course, the feat that he acomplished, mid battle, was echoed by Makarov, saying that he could’ve really gotten himself killed:
In the end, Natsu prevailed, and really showed Makarov that the new generation is capable of much more than he could ever expect. I also loved the little bit in the middle of the battle where Natsu seemed like he was afraid. What was interesting was the fact that while Gildarts had definitely scared Natsu with his overwhelming power, Zancrow hardly qualified as scary. In fact, Natsu’s rage was far greater than any form of fear, and the only thing he was worried about was anyone else taking on Hades/Purehito.
I must say, that while Natsu is awesome, if he ends up taking on Purehito on his own, and then if he wins, that’s going to be beyond stupid. I love Natsu, but against a full fledge caster type mage like Purehito, he doesn’t stand a chance. If anything, Natsu’s actions will hopefully inspire Makarov to take a second stand against Purehito. Either that, or the entire guild will rise up to the challenge together.
Speaking of the entire guild, we had a look at some of the other battles throughout the episode as well. The most interesting of which, was the ongoing battle against Caprico. Now, some commenters a while back noted that Caprico reminded them of a Zodiac sign, which may mean that he was a Celestial Spirit, much like Locke. This was severely hinted at this episode, to the point where its obvious. This echoes the concept of each character furthering their own series arc. A big theme for Lucy has always been her relationship with the Celestial Spirits.
Caprico might be a spirit that was either exhiled, or left on his own accord. The fact that Lucy is straight in his path, echoes that some kind of interesting conflict is about to happen, centered around her. I’m very interested to see what the deal is between Lucy, Loke and Caprico in the coming episodes. Cana and Gray are just kinda there at the moment, and this episode really just highlighted that none of their attacks could hit, and that something weird is definitely going on.
That said, the other battle we saw was the whole Azuma versus the two Take-Over sisters, Mirajane and Lisanna. Lisanna stood on her own, despite having been gone from Fairy Tail for at least two years. Although, I’m sorry, I couldn’t take her seriously when her transformations were as silly as they were, bordering on excessively cute XD:
That said though, the real kicker was seeing Mirajane really getting her evil on. That scene where she went behind Azuma was creeeeeeeepy. Mirajane is really scaaaary sometimes:
And with that, the episode ended with Natsu defeating Zancrow. Of course, there’s more to come, but I’m dead sure that the part in the ED theme where Natsu has one of his arms raised, is going to be coming up soon.
One thing I really noted, was that the art this episode really got shoddy in some spots. I’m not one to notice the dip in animation or artwork quality, but MAN! Was it prominent in some spots, especially with regards to faces of both Natsu and Azuma. Hopefully they keep up the good work as far as keeping a steady animation budget and quality go.
Also, yes this episode blog post is exceedingly, exceedingly late. There are a plethora of reasons. If you visited our site at all in the past week, you’ll have noticed that we were hacked, messed up and had a virus oon our server. Everything has been fixed, and the site is back, albiet quite a bit broken. I’m still working on fixing things, and hence, my time is divided as a writer for the site and its designer, coder and webmaster. Hopefully everything should be resolved by next week, and I’ll get back to reviewing Fairy Tail on time.
See ya all next week!
Next week, its time for THAT moment. OH YEAH! See ya all next week! XD