Lucy, Natsu, Erza, and Gray return from a job to find the Fairy Tail guild house in ruins thanks to an attack from rival guild Phantom Lord. Makarov initially isn’t too concerned because no one was hurt, but all that changes the next day when Levy, Jet, and Droy are found nailed to a tree and injured thanks to another Phantom Lord attack. Makarov decides that this means war, and most of the guild departs with him to strike back. Although they generally don’t have any problems in the ensuing fight, they soon realize some of the strongest members of Phantom Lord aren’t there, including Gajeel – the one responsible for the attacks – and the group called Element 4. When Makarov heads further into the enemy base to find Phantom Lord’s leader Jose, Gajeel reveals himself and jumps into the fray. Lucy meanwhile stayed behind to look after Levy since they had become friends, but while out to get some groceries, she gets ambushed and captured by Juvia and Sol, two members of the Element 4.
After the last couple of episodes, I didn’t expect that they’d get back to the action so quickly, but that’s pretty much exactly what happened here. It was exciting to see things unfold like this, though I have to say that the action itself still wasn’t all that impressive. I mean, it was great to see Makarov fired up for once and to see everyone’s abilities, but the battle was filled with fairly static action shots instead of well-choreographed fighting. Part of that might be because they’ve only been fighting enemy grunts so far, and I’m hoping that will change for the better when the Gajeel, the Element 4, and/or Jose get more involved. I also assume that since we have these new villains and since the episode didn’t end with just this episode, we’re at the start of a new story arc. Based on how Lucy got captured and what the preview showed, it looks like this arc will be focused on her in the same way that the Galuna Island arc was about Gray.