Let me say this up front – I love the series and if there was ever a shounen story that is synonymous to pure happiness, it would look something a lot like Fairy Tail. I’ve been following Mashima Hiro’s work intently since early 2000, from his earlier work such as RAVE and Monster Soul to the recent ones like Fairy Tail. His artwork is absolutely gorgeous to look at and I consider the character designs in Fairy Tail to be one of the very best in shounen history. I won’t pretend I’ll be able to match Stereoman’s enthusiasm – she’s one of a kind (I miss her already), and her term of coverage was certainly marked with undisputable excellence. But speaking as a huge fan of the manga, the notion that Fairy Tail would go un-blogged was simply unimaginable and while I am not nearly as good a writer as Stereoman, I assure you I’ll do my very best to meet your expectations!
If I’m to step back and look at the last few chapters, I’m compelled to admit I wasn’t expecting the emergence of seven dragons from the Gate of Eclipse. It was an unexpected surprise, but something that Mashima sensei has hinted at in the earlier chapters. It’s not just the statements asserted by future-Rogue that seemed inconsistent, the entire notion of the Eclipse cannon has been riddled with dubiety from day one. There are two characters that caught my attention in all of these disparate plot threads. First off, there’s Yukino – the former celestial mage of Sabertooth is a perfect fit for Fairy Tail on paper, and the fantastic chemistry that she shares with both Mira-nee and Lucy is utterly beyond doubt. Whether she’ll eventually become an official member of the guild is a question that remains unanswered for now, but if Mashima sensei’s previous work is any indication, he’s probably not opposed to the idea of having two Celestial Spirit mages as part of the main cast – if you recall, Elie and Belnika have similar abilities in RAVE. Then there’s future-Rogue, who remains one of the most intriguing component in the mix. On the surface, he seemed like an antagonist who’s completely rotten to the core, but I’m convinced there’s more to his back story than meets the eyes, and such narratives could explain the radical about-face to his character that we’ve witnessed. We know for sure he killed Sting to acquire the “White Shadow Dragon Mode”, but the lack of any mention of Frosch thus far is critical and I have a certain suspicion the frog-like Exceed could be more central to the overall story than we initially thought.
As the story enters the final leg of the Grand Magic Games arc, it seems like things are finally heating up and the sight of Natsu roaring out to his fellow Dragon Slayers definitely got my adrenaline pumping. The reintroduction of Cobra is an interesting twist that I wasn’t anticipating and it’s no doubt thanks in large part to Jellal’s good foresight – he was the one who reached out to Lahar and Doranbolt in Chapter 325 – that the poison-Dragon Slayer was able to return when his skills are needed the most. Given how overpowered the dragons are, it remains to be seen if the seven dragon slayers – Natsu, Wendy, Gajeel, Laxus, Rogue, Sting and Cobra, could even stand a chance if they take on the mighty creatures individually and frankly, I wouldn’t be so quick to write off the rest of the cast. Fairy Tail is an epic shounen tale through and through and as such, it’s always the importance of teamwork and nakama that is at the heart of its stories. Will they be a match for the dragons? Of course, but I suspect it’s going to take a true combined effort for them to even have a prospect of winning – one where Erza, Gray and everyone else get the opportunity to kick some ass!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #FairyTail 325 to 329: Guess who decided to pick up FT! Non-Dragon Slayer magic impotent? Don’t write off the rest of the gang yet! #Manga
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