The long wait is over!
The most anticipated battle is finally here. Both teams have strong supporters. Everyone has high expecations for this spectacular showdown between four Dragon Slayers.
As soon as the sound of a gong rings, the battle is on. Natsu doesn’t hesitate, he goes straight for Sting who is a bit surprised by Natsu’s sudden approach. Same goes for Rogue who is up against Gajeel. Both Sabertooth’s Dragon Slayer end up getting punched in their faces by the ones from FAIRY TAIL.
Natsu doesn’t stop, he keeps landing hits on Sting; Gajeel does the same on his opponent. After a while, Sting is the first one to use magic in the battle. He uses his “White Dragon’s Roar” – an attack that seems like a laser beam. Natsu dodges the attack by ducking; the beam nearly hits Gajeel instead (this laser isn’t straight) who is busy countering Rogue’s “Shadow Dragon’s Slash” with an “Iron Dragon’s Sword”.
The counter is successful and sends Rogue flying towards Natsu who grabs the guy and runs towards Sting, sending them both flying with his “Flame Dragon’s Wing Attack”.
Everyone but FAIRY TAIL is surprised as they find it quite odd that the twin dragons of Fiore’s strongest guild are being pressured.
Sting tells his opponents that they are strong as expected. Natsu questions their strength by asking if they really beat dragons with that level of power and Sting replies by saying that he killed them – his own parents.
The dragons of Sabertooth are going to show FAIRY TAIL the power that kills dragons. Both of them uses their “Drive” power, allowing themselves to be surrounded by an aura of their magic.
Sting lands a hit on Natsu – “The Judgement of Holy White” while Gajeel is hit by Rogue who says that shadows cannot be captured (his entire form looks a bit like a shadow). Gajeel tries to punch Rogue but his fists only passes through Rogue’s shadowy body.
Sabertooth has completely turned the tables with their amplification magic. Sting tells Natsu that he always looked up to him and his goal was to surpass him – now is that time. Sting marks Natsu’s torso with a “White Dragon’s Claw” – a holy attack that takes the freedom away from the person being marked by the stigmata of it. Rogue tells Gajeel that the dragon that becomes a shadow hides itself while hunting its prey.
Both Gajeel and Natsu counters the very powerful attacks Sabertooth’s dragons were approaching them with. It turns out Natsu burned away the mark from his body. Gajeel elbows Rogue’s chin and reminds Sabertooth to not look down on FAIRY TAIL.
Sting has to use the best of his best now. He tells Natsu that his fists will turn flames to ash. He uses a secret Dragon Slayer art – “Holy Nova” but Natsu grabs Sting’s fist in his own. Rogue heads for Gajeel only to be punched away.
FAIRY TAIL surprises everyone as they’ve only had three months of training. The levels are far too different. Sabertooth’s dragons are worn out but they won’t give up yet. Lector is crying for Sting who assures his Exceed comrade that he won’t lose. It seems that the two of them share a strong childhood. Rogue and String rise again. They unleash their final form of Dragon Slayer magic – “Dragon Force”.
Before I unleash my thoughts on this chapter, I’d like to apologize for the delay. So, now, let’s move on to the chapter itself.
Wow, just wow. This chapter, I don’t know how to describe it – fantastic? I think everyone was anticipating this battle more than anything in this arc. For me, this truly lived up to my expectations, even surpassing them. I haven’t been so impressed as I am now since Erza won her battle. This chapter was simply remarkable!
While we knew that Natsu and Gajeel had gone through some training, we hadn’t really been given any chance to see them use their strength in a battle (the Chariot event wasn’t a “battle”) so it was really nice to see them fight after such a long time and I must say that I’m amazed by how far they’ve come in such short time. Just that itself, to me, is enough to mark their guild as the strongest one! I doubt Sting and Rogue would be able to achieve the same kind of results if they were in Natsu and Gajeel’s situation.
The first few attacks on the dragons of Sabertooth made me really happy as I’ve been wanting to see them being taught a lesson for what they’ve done and their attitude in general, but as usual, there are two sides to every coin. I still want Sabertooth to lose this battle, but Sting and Lector’s unknown promise made me sympathize a bit with them. I don’t know anything about Sting or Rogue. There could be something deep behind their nasty attitudes, and knowing the character patterns the author of this manga likes to use, I assume Sting and Rogue might be good guys in the future, I mean, just look at Gajeel! But as I said, I want Sabertooth to lose, especially Minerva, however, she’s not up for this round so I’ll leave it at that.
Sting and Rogue both have very interesting kinds of magic. I wasn’t very impressed with Sting’s Dragon Slayer art, but Rogue on the other hand – shadows are very handy. How Natsu overpowered Sting was explained, but the same can’t be said about Gajeel being able to land a hit on Rogue’s shadow form. I assume Rogue must be solid while attacking so Gajeel took his chance when he was about to be punched. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.
The battle was very intense throughout the entire chapter. It was a bit fun to see Sting and Rogue amplify themselves and “upgrade” their magic so much while Natsu and Gajeel did nothing but fight as they usually do without enhancing their abilities. To be honest, when the chapter ended with the dragons of Sabertooth unleashing “Dragon Force”, I wasn’t as shocked as the audience was. Natsu and Gajeel haven’t used very advanced magic yet so they’ve probably got an ace up their sleeves that might help them surpass their opponents despite the difference in magic. Let’s see if my assumption is correct next week when the battle will continue.
Note: Mashima Hiro is releasing an art book called “Fantasia” containing FAIRY TAIL illustrations on Aug 17!