Although Elfman starts off fighting Gajeel, it’s Natsu who jumps in and takes over. The two are fairly evenly matched, and while they and the rest of their guilds are fighting, Makarov finally reaches Jose’s room. Unfortunately, Jose surprises Makarov by revealing that he’s captured Lucy, and this allows Aria of the Element 4 to catch the guild master off-guard and drain him of his magic. With Makarov incapacitated thanks to this and the tides turning against them, Erza decides to order a retreat. Natsu, however, overhears Gajeel talking about Lucy’s capture, and instead of leaving with everyone else, he grabs a Phantom Lord member and finds out where Lucy is being kept. Lucy meanwhile wakes up in a prison cell and is immediately visited by Jose. He knows that she ran away from the wealthy Heartfilia family and reveals that Phantom Lord was hired by her father to bring her back. Lucy refuses and tricks Jose into turning his back on her, allowing her to kick him in the groin. She then tries to escape but discovers that her prison cell is at the top of a tower. With no other choice, Lucy decides to jump, placing her faith in Natsu, and he appears in time to catch her. Lucy now blames herself for everything that’s happened, but she doesn’t want to leave Fairy Tail because she loves it so much. Not quite understanding her, Natsu carries her back to the guild.
Well the fighting and action this week was better animated than last week – at least the stuff they showed between Natsu and Gajeel was. It’s too bad there wasn’t actually a battle between Makarov and Jose (Aria’s ability seems a wee bit overpowered), but as expected, the story soon turned towards a more Lucy-focused direction. I do think that it was a bit overkill for Phantom Lord to do all this just to get their hands on her, though I guess they enjoyed antagonizing Fairy Tail. As for Lucy, her back story seems like pretty standard hate-father-and-run-away-from-home stuff so far. I can understand her emotions at the end, however it came across as a little melodramatic, and I’m hoping there’ll be something more intriguing for her down the road. I was surprised at how easily she was able to get away from Jose, but it looks like Phantom Lord and its mobile fortress will be coming after her again next week.