Fairy Tail has been excelling at dishing out the pain and tragic moments lately. Its been upping the stakes, and with this episode, its revving up the feel good moments too. There’s a real build up of anticipation for the conclusive moments of this stellar Tartaros arc, and it all feels very much earned. I think this week’s episode really exemplified the sense of hope, that feeling of positivity that protrudes every aspect of Fairy Tail. Fairy Tail’s mangaka Hiro Mashima is definitely a sentimental storyteller, and one that generally favors happy endings a midst all the tragedy and anguish that he prepares for his characters. I couldn’t help but feel that things ended in the best way that they could, for all the characters involved and it all felt good (all things considered).
We got the truth regarding Silver this week, and it turned out that he WAS indeed Gray’s father. That revelation was… interesting. It was interesting in that Silver ended up using his own killer’s image against Gray. There’s a story of pretty powerful tragedy in there, but I couldn’t help but feel that I almost liked the first idea of Silver being Deliora better.
Does the Silver story make sense and is it powerful? Yes it is. Its got a pretty powerful story for Silver himself. Revived by Keyes long after his death, struggling to kill the very Demons that took his family away from him, Silver ended up becoming an Ice Devil Slayer. What he didn’t know, of course, was that Gray was actually alive and well, and after finding that out, something inside the undead Silver broke.
Silver’s turn to the dark side, his wanting to end it all, does make sense if you think on the fact that the only thing pulling him forward was revenge. Realizing that Gray was actually alive probably put in some relief, but it also killed his purpose in life as a result, and his own self worth. I can’t begin to imagine how it must feel to have everyone you care for killed, and then to come back, but I’d imagine that Mashima-sensei’s answer to that question felt pretty plausible.
Is it disappointing that Gray’s father decided that he’d rather become a villain and meet his end at his son’s hands? Totally. I think that’s the part that sit the worst with me, was that Silver was indeed being a bit selfish in what he was asking Gray to do. No son should be forced to kill his own father, especially when that father was generally a good guy. And Make no mistake, I’ll say that Silver was a good father, except for maybe how he reacted to the news that Gray was alive.
The fact that Silver needed to die in order to pass on his powers to Gray make sense, and give his death meaning too. Its really cool to see Gray get a powerup, especially given how much he’s paled in comparison to both Natsu and Erza in recent arcs. More importantly, I’d say Gray’s power up came at great personal cost, and feels very earned. Gray basically faced up against his demons, and conquered them, while rising above his greatest fears and choosing to live.
In terms of character arcs, Gray’s gone through quite a bit of progress on his. I’d actually state that at this point, Gray’s got the lion’s share of the development actually, eclipsing Natsu in terms of overall character development and focus. I’m sure that’s bound to change, eventually but yeah.
I do wonder though, how the story could’ve been if Deliora had actually been possessing Silver’s body. I feel like Silver could’ve been in there, helpless as Deliora hurt his son, and his son fought back. Gray could’ve taken down Silver/Deliora, released his father, and gotten his power upgrade, and the story would’ve largely remained the same. Part of me wishes it was like that, but then there’s the other side of the story.
Silver being revived by Keyes, not only made for a personally tragic story for Gray, but also gave Juvia a very real stake in the battle. Its not stretch to say that Juvia’s world is Gray, and she’d do anything for the guy. In past arcs, its gone against her, and in certain situations she’ll do some rather annoying and crazy things. Her dedication to Gray is also to be admired, especially since now it’s clear that its not unwelcome.
So for Juvia have to face off against Keyes and potentially kill him was a big conundrum. If she finished off Keyes, Silver would cease to live, but it was getting pretty obvious that she needed to. Silver wanted his own undead nightmare to end, Gray couldn’t finish him off, so it really fell on Juvia to support her man through this tough time and get stuff done.
And its to Fairy Tail’s credit, that it was Juvia. a strong female character, that powered through this situation and brought it to an ending rather than the man (in this case Gray). Silver being at peace, Gray getting his new powers, Juvia was the one responsible for it, and strong enough to actually go through with defeating Keyes, both physically and emotionally.
Much like Gray’s moments, it was just great to see Juvia fight for the bonds of humans and love, something that she gained only after meeting Gray and falling for him. If there was ever any reason to ship Juvia x Gray hard, then this moment would be it.
I will say though, that Juvia actually taking care of Keyes was pretty anticlimactic. I didn’t believe for a second that Juvia “died” when Keyes crushed her, and her using her water form to burst him open was pretty lackluster. It was clever yes, but compared to some of the other awesome moments we’ve seen, it seemed pretty meh.
And while we’re on the topic of meh, Let me just mention my anger over another stupid Erza and the Exceeds moment that just felt like complete filler. I’m not sure if it was in the manga or not, but man, that scene almost knocked the wind out of my sails. The comedy was just terrible, and it felt really out of place given what was going on. I’d have rather had more scenes of Natsu and Gajeel being beaten around, because that at least felt appropriate.
Natsu and Gajeel’s thrashings did feel more intune with the story, mostly because they put the onus on Juvia to take care of things. It made sense and even raised the stakes, so it worked pretty darn well.
So… By the end of the episode, Juvia took out another Nine Gate Demon, Silver ended up going to the afterlife to rejoin his wife, and Gray became an Ice Devil Slayer. I’d say in terms of positives, we got quite the haul. We also got a hint about END, in that he’s a Fire Demon, so itll be curious to see what happens when that specific demon arrives.
In any case, Fairy Tail continues to consistently just be GOOD, and I think as a fan and viewer, I couldn’t be happier. Its just a great time to be a fan of Fairy Tail.
Looks like next week continues the battle against Tartaros, and Mard Geer in particular. See you all next week!
OP [Believe in Myself] by EDGE of LIFE: (A+)
I put this down lower because well… There were quite a bit of spoilers in this one. I can see why certain people warned me to skip it, as some truly epic stuff got spoiled in here. I was strangely not too disappointed, and I actually like the little teases of what’s to come, and if anything, while it did ruin the actual surprise in the story, I’m still pretty pumped for what’s coming. As a song, Believe in Myself continues the trend of being another fantastic Opening theme in a series that is chock full of them. Seriously, Fairy Tail’s Composer/Music Director needs to work on every friggin anime. EDGE of LIFE did a fantastic job, A+ as far as I’m concerned.
ED [Azayaja na Tabiji] by Megumi Mori: (A)
While not as epic as the OP, the Ending theme this time was pretty darn great none the less. It feels fitting, and rather positive, and is a simple one with Natsu’s silhoutte kinda walking as we see all the major important characters kinda appear on screen. Nice, upbeat song, good animation. Another winner I’d say.
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