So… Its finally over, huh? After a decade of enjoying this story, these characters and this world of Fairy Tail, its finally time to say good bye. Or is it?
Before we answer that question, I think its worth just stating up front that this final episode of Fairy Tail, really worked for me. And the fact that it worked for me, even as I came into it expecting to totally hate it and be disappointed, points to the talent of both Mashima-sensei and the Anime production staff responsible for this Final Season, and final episode.
To that end, I feel like I’ve really trashed the efforts that both parties made over the course of this Final Season and series. A season, that I might add, I never expected we’d even get. Heck, the financial incentive to even produce this Final Season, is honestly not there. As viewership numbers and sales will probably point to eventually, Fairy Tail isn’t the little shounen series that was able to break into the mainstream anime fandom, anymore.
Most people, have either forgotten about the show and franchise, or just moved on. The comments and views on the episode reviews here, and just the general lack of discussion or excitement online, definitely points to a lack of overall interest in this franchise, at least in the west. So, let me say, that if nothing else, I really appreciated Hiro Mashima and the effort he himself put in to reward and take care of the most hardcore of his fans. Even he himself has since moved onto Eden Zero, but I just really love a mangaka who keeps his promises and cares about his fans and his overall brand over just sheer profitability.
Fact of the matter is, regardless of the success of this Final Season, some of his hardcore fans like myself, will definitely be back and invest in his next property because of what we got here. Mashima-sensei promised to finish and complete his story in anime form, and he delivered. That definitely counts for a lot, in my book. And Look, I’m under no illusions that even a good chunk of his hardcore fanbase was disappointed and bailed after what we got in this Final Season and in his last few story arcs. Not only do I get that, but I actually expected to be one of the people who’d regret investing as much time and energy in Fairy Tail, as I did.
But… The fact of the matter is that I don’t. At the end of this week’s episode and the series finale, I surprisingly came out both happy and nostalgic. Yes, this final season wasn’t even close to decent, but I think, there were enough moments that kept me going through it all, till the end.
And speaking of the end, which is what this week is all about, I’d say Fairy Tail’s Final Season kind of nailed the sort of ending that Fairy Tail needed to have. For one, I was actually expecting a really lackluster ending that just focused on the Acnologia battle, and skipped on an actual epilogue.
We’ll get to the epilogue itself in a second, but before that, I think its worth lauding the decision to get done with Acnologia as quickly as possible this week. The final punch from Natsu was cool, the music and animation were enough to make me smile, and I think the series’ overall good will and nostalgia were enough to make me kind of not care about how bad these past few episodes were.
Acnologia was a terrible villain, and a terrible left over plot point that just needed to be dealt with. It was dealt with, and while we could definitely talk about what a missed opportunity he was, I’d say I’ve really covered that topic at length in the last few posts. Heck, missed opportunities and disappointments is kind of a running theme in my writings on the past 50 episodes.
But, much like last week, where this episode worked and shined, was in its character moments and in looking back to the franchise and its rich history. The epilogue sequence where we jumped forward a year and saw Lucy accept an award for becoming a successful writer, was in one word, perfect.
What I wanted, more so than anything else, was for Fairy Tail to give us some sort of progression for its characters. I wanted to see the show leave off with a hint at how these characters would spend the rest of their lives. And honestly? This episode didn’t disappoint in that regard, at all.
And in a weird break from tradition in this season, I think I’ll actually cover each little moment, like I used to back when I really loved covering and talking about this show and franchise. Each character kind of got an epilogue of sorts, and so I think its worth discussing all those moments.
First lets get the only bad character out of the way (heh). Anna. Anna I didn’t really care for in this series, so while I understand the need to acknowledge what happened to her, I really didn’t care at all about her or her brainwashing a bunch of village kids with her stupidity as a teacher. Anna I think, should be kept away from all people, if only because she’s never made a good decision in her life. At the same time, I respect Lucy for being as welcoming and accepting of Anna as she is. That’s why we love Lucy as a character, I suppose.
Moving on, there’s Levy and Gajeel. Maan, the talk about a kid was a pretty chuckle worthy and warm moment. In terms of couples in Fairy Tail, Levy x Gajeel is perhaps the most interesting and the most progressive of all the other characters. Gajeel and Levy have long expressed interest in one another, and I think it all reached a level that I don’t think we’ve seen from shounen characters, in the last arc.
So to see the two of them kind of moving to the rather big step of being parents, is definitely interesting. Whether they’re getting married and talking about kids, or whether Levy’s pregnant, I don’t know, but I think if anything, its the former. Still, seeing Lucy and Wendy both freak out, was just the right amount of comedy in the moment, an element that I think I’ve really missed from Fairy Tail as of late.
Next, there’s Wendy and Shelia, and for them, I think we got what you’d expect. They’re still good friends, and Wendy tends to hang out with Shelia quite a bit. The magic returning thing is kind of a letdown sure, but at this point, I guess everyone needed a happy ending. Sure, that lessens Shelia’s big sacrifice, but hey, this final season did a lot of that. So as a whole, the Shelia losing her magic thing being reversed, didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have.
And speaking of other guilds, I have to say, the comedy around Lamia Scale, Sabertooth, Mermaid Heel and Blue Pegasus was definitely a bit much. The cringe was definitely there, but I think there was no other way to say good bye to these characters. At this point, the cringe and odd ball nature of these characters is part of their identity. So to see Ichiya go ham one more time, or to see Mermaid Heel become models? It wasn’t amazingly awesome to see, but it felt fitting. And fitting, I think, is what this final episode needed to feel like.
Then of course, we have the actual bunch of characters and couples that everyone cares about. First, there’s Gray and Juvia. Seeing Gray finally acknowledge Juvia and express his own interest in her, was darn awesome to see. It took a while, and Gray is still tsundere as heck, but well, It was just nice to see a hint of these two eventually getting together. As a Juvia x Gray fan, that was about all I needed, and I think the rest is kind of inevitable and will happen as these two characters grow older.
Moving on, I quite enjoyed the acknowledgment of Elfman and Evergreen, and the straight up teasing of Laxus with potentially a bunch of the other female Fairy Tail members. I had never thought about Laxus and someone else, but heck, I think I’m personally a Laxus x Mira guy here. It just makes sense, I think, and that moment where the two of them were chatting? That kind of sold it for me. I get that Mashima-sensei and the anime production staff was being coy and a bit tongue and cheek, but I’d honestly be okay with a Laxus x Mira pairing.
Of course, I would’ve really loved to see Laxus be named the next Guild Master, but well, I suppose that will just remain a dream here. Speaking of dreams, I really enjoyed the hint at a future for Erza and Jellal. As far as couples go, these two move at a glacial pace, but I think the onus is on Jellal to finally make a move. The little moment of Erza starting to do her hair and care about looking attractive? That was one of the sweetest moments for that character.
In the show, Erza has been shown as the confident, strong, older sister of the main group. Yet, the times I’ve enjoyed her character the most is when she’s shown her feminine, sensitive side. Being independent, confident and being feminine and cute are not mutually exclusive. Its nice to see Erza being represented and portrayed in that nuanced fashion. And given that Hisui became the queen and pardoned Jellal? Well, there really are no barriers anymore for this couple to move forward.
Speaking of barriers, lets talk about Mavis and Zeref for a second. The reincarnation bit? Unnecessary to be honest. I think this whole scene, while kind of weird and fake, was just Mashima-sensei really wanting to give ALL his characters a happy ending. I’ll save the arguments on whether Mavis and Zeref deserve a happy ending or not, but I get the sentiment here. There’s a part of any human being that wants everyone who’s good, to be happy, and I think this scene, while flawed and problematic, is just that human emotion personified.
That all said, lets talk about our two protagonists here, Lucy and Natsu. Honestly, when I saw that Lucy had become a successful writer, I was worried that she and Natsu would drift apart. And of coruse, as we neared the end of the show, I was SURE that the whole Lucy x Natsu thing wouldn’t even be touched at all. Color me surprised when the show not only acknowledged it, but hinted at the fact that Natsu was about to express his feelings for Lucy.
The fact that he didn’t doesn’t matter. The acknowledgment was there, and the future possibilities for this happening were created. I think I often forget that these characters are all still young teenagers. They’ve got a huge chunk of their lives left, and stuff like romance and settling down with someone, isn’t what they’re worried about right now.
So to have the show acknowledge Natsu x Lucy, and then immediately follow up with the two (and Happy!) going on another adventure with their friends? That was perfect. It felt so very much like Fairy Tail, and I think I actually really liked this ending, more so than anything else.
Look, I totally get that this isn’t the big conclusive ending that I think a story that’s run for over a decade, needs, but I think its still an ending that feels appropriate and works. The idea that we’ve only seen a handful of adventures for these characters, and that there’s more in store? That’s kind of awesome. I like the idea that these characters will go on to have many more adventures and happy memories with each other.
Fairy Tail’s Final Season’s initial arc was all about the guild coming back together. So to see Erza, Gray, Wendy, Charles, Natsu, Happy and Lucy all go on a new adventure as the show closed? That was the ending that I never realized this show needed to have. It ends everything on a positive and exciting note, and it feels fitting for a show that’s focused on friendship and having fun with one’s closest friends.
The adventures and the trials that these characters have faced are pretty darn memorable, and acknowledging that and putting it above everything else, is the right call, IMO.
So… With all of that said and stated, what’s left to talk about? Well… A ton actually. I definitely want to discuss Fairy Tail as a series, and while we usually do a series thoughts section in our episode blogs here at Anime Evo, I think I’m going to forgo that this time. The series thoughts and a series review are separate posts, and I think I need some time to kind of digest what happened here.
I’ll close by saying that while Fairy Tail’s main story is over, there’s still stuff to see with regards to this franchise. We’ve got the Hundred Year Quest sequel manga, which is teased at the very end of this series, and then there’s the RPG and of course, Eden Zero (which is a separate thing entirely). Hundred Year Quest I’m definitely most interested in, and have the first official volume for, so I may end up talking about that, after I go ahead and read it. Enough said, there will be a bit more Fairy Tail content on this website, soon.
So… In the end, despite whatever misgivings and problems this Final Season had, I think I’m at least willing to say that this ending worked for me. As I literally come off of viewing the final epsiode of this series, I come out a happy and nostalgic fan. I’ll miss the cast and the world of Fairy Tail, and a part of me wishes that Mashima-sensei was still interested in telling stories in this world. If nothing else, this ending proves that there’s a lot of potential and magic left in this universe.
And the fact that I’m actually still interested and excited for this franchise, even after this final season? That speaks to the quality of what we had here, and the note that this final episode left us on.
Thanks for reading my posts over these past 10 years. Its been a blast covering Fairy Tail. To those of you who stuck with me till the end (Omar and FlareKnight), a special thank you. And to those 50 or so people that read these posts every week? You guys are awesome, and the reason I made it through covering this show, even at its worst. I’m not sure what the future holds for myself, for Fairy Tail and Mashima-sensei and perhaps for even Anime Evo, but this past decade? It was a darn fun and beautiful time that we all shared together.
Tags: erza x jellal, Fairy Tail, fairy tail 2018, fairy tail episode 328, fairy tail episode blog, fairy tail final episode, fairy tail final episode review, fairy tail final episode thoughts, fairy tail final season, fairy tail final season episode 51, fairy tail images, fairy tail review, fairy tail screenshots, fairy tail series end, fairy tail summary, gray x juvia, levy x gajeel, natsu x lucy
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