If you went into this episode looking for some form of closure, then prepare to feel a dissapointment and a tease that can rival the pain inducing cliffhanger of Code Geass’s first season. Fairy Tail episode 175 may be the last episode of Fairy Tail we see for a good chunk of time, but there is no aura of finality in the episode in the slightest.
While a twitter post from Hiro Mashima-sensei denies a permanent end to the Fairy Tail anime series, there’s still no official confirmation of a season two or return for the series. Added to that, we really honestly don’t know how many years it may be before we get to see the rest of the story continue. While I’m sure fans have their own beliefs on this, I myself do expect Fairy Tail to return in some capacity, but the whole Fairy Tail ending thing is a seperate post in and of itself.
This episode is about the final episode, and what point the story closes on as the series goes on its hiatus, break or potential end. And as it goes, the story couldn’t pause at a more inopportune moment.
Before I touch on the rather shocking cliffhanger ending, and throw my theories around for those of who don’t/haven’t read the manga, I’ll comment on the major bulk of the episode.
About 90 percent of the episode focused on everything that fans have come to love and enjoy about Fairy Tail. There were quite a few references to the start of the series, and as I look back at where the series began, its quite amazing and awesome to see how far its come in the last few years.
The animation and art in particular, have taken a huge step up. Where the first few episodes of Fairy Tail had decent story, there was a horrendous amount of recycled animation. The fight between Natsu and the twin dragons Sting and Rogue, really goes to show how awesome this show has become.
Honestly, Its hard to not look at this whole battle between Natsu and the two Sabertooth Dragon Slayers as a big huge shounen “Gaaar!” fest. For all intents and purposes, there really shouldn’t be a way for someone to be able to overcome Dragon Force with his basic power. At the same time, it goes on to show just how strong and mosterous Natsu is.
The comment about Natsu growing stronger against stronger opponents isn’t a small little statement, its a theme running throughout the series. Natsu has, on literally every occasion, risen to meet the challenge and taken on the odds.
Some viewers have been quite annoyed by Natsu’s constant powering through. Refer to it as plot armour, refer to it as main character mary-sue-ness, or whatever, Natsu always come out on top at the end. That is, what Fairy Tail has been largely about.
At the same time, I’ve never felt that the story hasn’t given some form of context or reason to support his sudden power ups. During his battle with Jellal, the guy ate and absorbed power from Etherion. His battle with Zero had him absorb Jellal’s own fire magic. There was also the little battle with Purehito, and absorbing Laxus’s lighting itself.
Here, I’m willing to say that Natsu has just grown enough through experience, and his little power up from Jellal. Its not difficult to guess that Natsu’s power doubled because his already insane magic capacity increased.
I’d also be lying if I didn’t enjoy Natsu totally owning two Dragon Slayers with their Dragon Slayer force on. The entire battle was a big fanservice to anyone who’s been watching Natsu and all the other Mages from Fairy Tail struggle through the events of the entire series so far.
And before I move on, I’ll say that unlike the moments between lector and Sting, the touching moment between Happy and Natsu really did make me all teary-eyed. It really was a small but beautiful that outlined the trust and friendship these two characters have shared, fostered and cultured throughout the series.
The finally bad did kind of sideline Gajeel a little bit, but I think Gajeel is going to have more important things to do in the story. Which brings me to the what fans will probably be talking about until we get a continuation or new season for the series; The Ending.
Wow… So many bombshells in a few minutes. I gotta commend Fairy Tail, as the last few minutes felt like the biggest teaser trailer I’ve ever seen for the series.
For those cynics who hate Natsu actually being able to win so easily against Sting and Rogue, there’s obviously a bigger purpose to the whole thing. Mashima-Sensei has done this once before in Fairy Tail, where the guild has been able to overcome a really big challenge only to have their entire world turned upside down.
Given the dark subject matter, the foreboding of a dark future throughout this arc, its safe to say that the next few parts of this story are going to a very bleak and broken place.
So lets go in order of what we saw shall we?
First there’s Gajeel and his big discovery. A Graveyard of Dragons? I think anyone watching for the first time was just as shocked as Gajeel. I’m sure the whole idea of the Festival of the Dragon King comes into play into all of this, but how? Was this an incient festival to empower a person with Dragon powers and sacrifice Dragons in the process? Was it a Dragon Slayer training ground?
Or is it something even more sinister? Is there some kind of mass genocide of Dragons that happened? Were humans the ones who killed the Dragons? Or did a mighty dragon like Arcnologia kill its own kind? There’s so many potential places the story can go from this one plot point, that it gives me chills. At the end of it all, my mind just keeps going back to the visual of Gajeel staring, confused and shocked, eyeing the bones of hundreds of Dragons…
Then of course, there’s the whole thing with the Eclipse Project, and the future. I think its easy to tie those together, because I’m assuming its the Eclipse Project that eventually brings about the dark, gritty red future we see in the future. Again, we get some truly chilling visuals. I have to admit, The whole thing with a broken, scarred and crying Levy as she recounts what happened in a dark candlelit room sent a series of shocks throughout my body.
The stark contrast between that scene and the Fairy Tail celebration after Natsu’s battle is just wow. Not only that, Levy states that “We lost to Fate that Day. That person died. They and them died… even though I loved them”. Was Gajeel one of the first people to go? Is this perhaps, a future with characters like even Natsu are dead?
Who died, is definitely the big question that is being posed right now. It is obviously someone extremely significant, and its easy to paint a target on Natsu since the guy seems to save the day constantly. What would happen to the world if Natsu was lost? Not only that, but Lucy herself may be dead. Its hard to even guess what kind of derranged state Levy is in.
The real ending though, and the big final moment, is given to none other than Jellal. Jellal is a character that I enjoyed as a villain, but I’ve since grown to truly adore as a anti-hero seeking redemption. His quest to take down Zeref ends up leading him to a woman. The woman in the hood that cries as she witnesses Natsu’s great victory.
She also shares a power very similar to Zeref’s. Is she Natsu’s mother or family? My theory about whether Zeref and Natsu are related came back in a big way to me in this finale. Since the woman is someone that knows Natsu and Zeref, its hard to not associate the three of them as a family. Maybe the reason Natsu can constantly power up is because of his family tree?
But of course, throwing a wrench into the whole theory is the fact that Jellal seems to know or at the very least recognize the person he sees. The final shot we see of the series, is the bewildered face of Jellal as he gazes upon the face of the woman, muttering “It can’t be….”
And of course the big ass “To be Continued”.
My immediate thoughts following that were: “What a darn tease!”
Actually no… my actual thoughts were more along the lines of a collection of English and Japanese swear words. The feeling that crept up, the feeling of longing and disappointment was exactly the feeling I felt when I finished season one of Code Geass.
That Cliffhanger. ’nuff said.
As an episode, the 175th episode is one of the most exciting episodes I’ve seen from the series. It throws one of the most amazing battles I’ve seen from the series, a ton of emotional moments, and teases so much great stuff for the future.
As a final episode, this episode is beyond horrible. If this ends up being the last we see of Fairy Tail as an animted series, then really, this was the most cruel and painful way to end the series. I’m sure many people will just directly jump into reading the manga, and I can’t blame them. This is one hell of a cliffhanger.
As such my feelings for this episode are a mixed bag. I won’t call this a great ending episode, but I will say its one of the best episodes I’ve seen from “this” run of the Fairy Tail anime series, in an arc that mostly kept on giving.
Now… Before I write down my full review for the series that I’ve blogged for the majority, I’d like to talk about the series as a whole without worrying about spoilers or the like.
I’ll say that Fairy Tail has largely become my favorite shounen series. Thats kind of obvious because I probably blog it every week, but the series just has everything that I look for in my entertainment.
There’s a ton of mysteries in this series. The world of Fiore and the universe that houses Fairy Tail and its characters is exceedingly well crafted. The lore, the Dragon Slayers, the history of various events, it’s just as good if not better than One Piece my eyes. In many ways, the series feels like what I thought Bleach would become. Kubo Tite-Sensei’s manga series had the same amount of mysteries and cool ideas, but for some reason or the other, he slowly ignored them. The whole deal between Ichigo and his Hollow self was never properly explored or addressed, alongside constant reversals and powerups that made no sense. The Whole thing with Zangetsu, the whole talking to your Zanpaktou (which no one except Ichigo did after the first Soul Society arc)… e.t.c
I bring up Bleach, because it crafted a ton of ideas, and then forgot about them. Fairy Tail has done the exact opposite. Each mystery it adds is either adressed or expanded upon in some way. Whether its’ Lucy and the spirit World, Edolas e.t.c, all those ideas are properly explored and given their due time. There’s also the overarching story of the Dragons and what happened to them, as well as Zeref, and his relation to the events in the world.
Most importantly, Fairy Tail manages to take care of an extremely large cast of characters. Natsu, Lucy and Jellal are definitely my favorites, but they no one in this extremely large cast is boring, uninteresting or mundane. The more I learn about these characters, the more attached I become.
If there’s a criticism to Fairy Tail, its that its villains have been a bit weak. Most of the “last bosses” of each arc have been forgettable at best. Yet, one thing that I love about Fairy Tail is how it seeks to really redeem its characters. Jellal and Gajeel are two villains that have turned into really loveable anti-heroes who continue to seek their redemption and do good. I’d say Jellal reminds me of Batman while Gajeel is like Wolverine. I say “like” because these are amazing characters in their own right, and ones that truly continue to amaze.
And of course, with characters, I think what Hiro-Mashima sensei and to a great degree even the anime series writers have done, is beyond amazing. The humor, the way these characters play off of one another, its all really expertly done. This series has a really distinct style of humor that generally hits on all the right notes.
Its really brought to life by all the seiyuu playing the characters. I’ll bring up Aya Hirano a bit here, as she’s probably the one person who may not return. Her work on Lucy was truly remarkable, and while I may not be a fan of her as a celebrity, she’s an exceptional voice actress. Should Fairy Tail return without her playing Lucy, it will be a major tragedy and a big part of what made the series special will be lost. As Lucy, Hirano has definitely served as the main female lead of the series, but she’s also served as a narrator for the series too, and a great one at that.
While I don’t pretend to understand or know how Hirano screwed herself so bad that she’s banned from Anime voice acting work, I will say that its unfortunate.
Finally, I’ll give credit to the series for the one thing I loved the most about it: The pacing. The pacing in this series is one that I’ve praised throughout its run, and it really is something that even the biggest Shounen series in the Anime Industry can’t manage. The way this series balances story developments, action and character moments while moving the plot forward is something that every larger running series should aspire to.
Rarely have I seen an episode and felt like I was cheated out of too little plot or content. Much like Code Geass Season 1 and R2, there was a lot of content jam-packed into every episode.
I think a big part of what’s made the pacing for the series so great is that the story was never a slave to the action. It was always the reverse, and I truly admire Mashima-sensei for using battles, fights and action as a tool for story-telling, rather than making it his focus.
Even if this series never gets a second season or contiuation, I would still recommend it to anyone who’s even a remote fan of shounen anime or anime in general. This was a great series, and here’s hoping we get a season two or a continuation soon.
I’d like to take this space to address the fans of the show on this site, who made blogging Fairy Tail such an awesome experience. I really really loved hearing what you guys had to say, because honestly, Its no fun just blogging and not getting any comments. Its like talk to an empty room, and trust me, no one who writes or speaks, likes it.
I admit I haven’t been the best at blogging the series, missing episodes at weeks at times, or being fairly late with my posts, but I am glad that some of you stuck with me through the end and continued to read these posts.
So I’d like to personally thank you guys, the people who commented on these episode blog posts. Thank you, for sharing your opinions, for adding extra information from the manga, and for extending my experience of the anime every week. I learned and read a lot from you guys, and I really felt like there was a general sense of community in the comments each week.
And I apologize if life prevented me from responding to every comment personally, I did read all of the comments I received.
Thank you and hopefully we’ll see each other again when Fairy Tail resumes. Until then, I look forward to some healthy discussion on the series in this post, the news post about the series ending, and the full review when it comes online!