There are certain things I’ve come to expect from Fairy Tail. First, the characters are going to look great – it has one of the best-looking casts in the Shounen universe. And second, the ensuing resolution will almost always be pretty straightforward – as the power of teamwork and nakama defy all expectations! The pacing and tone of the Grand Magic Games Arc is, however, quite puzzling, and the moving target is one that I can never get a fix on. We’ve gotten a quick wrap-up for the Erza-Jellal subplot this week and unfortunately, it was nowhere close to the intense showdown that I was expecting. But to my great surprise, the most recent bombshell actually came from elsewhere and when Gray’s unfortunate demise was made apparent, my jaw literally dropped in disbelief and the moment of shock felt pretty real. Of course, anyone who’s a fan of Fairy Tail knows this is almost certainly not the end-game – at least, I hope not – and when the concept of magic is at the crux of the story, there’s always a chance that Mashima sensei could pull a rabbit out of his hat and revive their fallen comrades through some unknown means. I should make clear that Juvia is one of my favorite characters in Fairy Tail – only second to Erza among the main casts, and my adoration for her has obviously extended to Gray – which probably explains why the latest happenings hit me harder than it should. The sight of Juvia breaking down was pretty unsettling, to say the least, and I suspect the catastrophic fate that befell Gray could mark the beginning of the series’ darkest and most somber effort.

No question, what happened in this chapter will be a game changer and lying at the center of all of this is none other than Ultear Milkovich. It’s clear that Ultear is suffering through an identity crisis of her own, and even when she tries to do the right thing, her checkered past is a baggage that continues to haunt her till this day. I have no doubt her proficiency in the Lost Magic – Arc of Time, will be critical in turning the events around, and the long history that she shares with Gray will unquestionably weigh on the ultimate decision that she makes. Killing the Rogue of the current timeline is most likely the easiest way out – and one that I presume Juvia will be quick to endorse, but such a pragmatic answer is obviously not going to sit well with Natsu’s idealism and he will most probably seek out a win-win solution that keeps everyone alive. As I’ve said in my first Fairy Tail post, the series is, first and foremost, a shounen story that is synonymous to pure happiness and while the recent occurrence has ostensibly taken a darker turn, I don’t expect its core theme to assume a dramatic change at this stage – not now, and probably not ever!

Random tidbits:

  • “I brought the dragon with me” – Sting’s silly antics is very reminiscent of Natsu’s. It managed to draw a chuckle out of me in this grim chapter.
  • “Should I become stained with evil, the light will surely kill me” – Could such a remark from Rogue be a death flag for Sting?
  • “Gray sama and my butt, ufufu~” – Words can’t describe just how adorable Juvia is, but I shall shower you with my “fanboying” on another day – preferable when she’s smiling!
  • I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, Ultear, in her post-timeskip get-up, is just insanely hot! Not quite at Erza’s level just yet, but close enough.

tl;dr: @SeishunRC – #FairyTail 334: Noooo… this can’t be happening! The unexpected first kill and tears from Juvia that break my heart #Manga

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    1. I actually think this is a good set up for killing Rogue. Natsu hears his friend has died and then has to weigh the option of killing Rogue and thus reversing the events. You have pretty much all of Fairy Tail struggling with their conscience on what to do. I think it would come down to Juvia cornering Rogue and then attempting to do it but giving up last minute because Gray wouldn’t have wanted that from her. Then some deus ex machina ala-Fairy Tail style where he comes back.

  1. If you ask me, Mashima need to do a “Ace” on someone in the main cast sooner or later. “Simon is dead! You killed him!” Yea yea but he’s a minor character that most of us can’t even care to bother about.

    1. If Mashima wants to save his manga from being a constant joke, Jellal should have been first on the list of terribly written plot device characters who need to die.
      An let him stay dead in the next manga too. For once.

      1. he’s not going to be able to do anything to prevent the constant whining from those who just whine about FT to whine about FT, so i doubt he’s losing much sleep over that joke

      2. Jellal is not going to get killed because you want Him to be killed and frankly speaking He’s not the character that deserves instant death just for the sake of creating tragedy to provoke audiences this is FAIRY TAIL and not 24 or lost.

        K C M
    1. I was thinking the same. this was a dark week for the entertainment, first game of thrones, then Furuichi in beelzebub and now Gray in FT.
      I just hope he does not join the list of dead black hair characters(Ace, Neji, Ulquiorra and some more).

      1. You do remember that unlike Ace and Neji, Ulquiorra is actually a bad guy, but I can understand if you like Him, I also like Him too. Unlike Ace and Ulquiorra, Neji’s hair colour is dark brown and not black but it doesn’t matter all three have dark coloured hairs. Unlike Neji and Ulquiorra, Ace had a vivre card that can tell and signify when He was going to die(I had to balance three differences of the equation) although not that it matters too much.

        PS. Unlike Ulquiorra, Neji and Ace died to protect the main characters, Neji died to protect Naruto along with Hinata and Ace died to protect Luffy.

        K C M
      2. i don’t know why people are bringing up Neji and Ace anyway.
        its like people are so desperate to call a “ohh, kill a main character” twist they’ve forgotten what that even means.

        neither Neji or Ace were main characters either, at least not on the same tier as Gray is to Fairy Tail.
        now if Oda goes and kills off Zoro, you guys would have a valid comparison.

  2. Argh I am this chapter was so heart wrenching. Either way if Gray lives or dies this chapter was pretty grim with the fact that we’ve got a silhouette head shot. Overall I like the chapter as it had deep characterisation for everyone and even though the Simon subplot ended without a bang, it still affected all the characters significantly.

  3. At last the moment is coming when Future Levy’s Prediction is coming to pass, Future Levy is the one who predicted a lot of deaths(chapter 297) and I believe that many more Fairy Tail’s comrades will fall to their deaths including Gajeel whom Future Levy called my beloved when She was crying out for help in tears. I am astonished by Gray’s death just like I was astonished by Neji’s death in Naruto but I don’t mind Gray and Neji staying dead for a while until HM(Fairy Tail’s author) and MK(Naruto’s author) pulls out a Miracle in the future (especially when the war is over) and revives both of them back to life because unlike Ace in One Piece, Gray and Neji will come back to life.

    K C M
  4. Gray wont die… I’m already seeing a deus ex machina involving time travel here which explains why Ultear has been the focus of the past two chapters… but if that doesn’t happen and characters actually starts getting killed off for real then coloured me impress since this will show that Mashima has balls unlike a certain other Mangaka that we all know and… why beat around the bush unlike fucking kubo.

  5. Wow, Mashima-sensei…way to suddenly up the stakes. The jaw-dropping should’ve been pretty widespread. I do agree that Rogue’s line sounded a lot like a Sting death flag, especially since, not sure if anyone felt this about the perspectives of the scenes, but Sting kind of fell into the background. I really felt that we got into Rogue’s head in this chapter. Needless to say, Mashima-sensei’s talents as a mangaka really shone through in this chapter.

    Gray’s hit was pretty shocking. I mean, I recall when seeing the first page, I was shocked, sure, but I thought he’d just be injured. Nakama power will save him, right? Then the next page happened. Then the headshot and poor Juvia’s expression (omg Juvia lovers unite *_*), and I found myself staring at the screen for who knows how long. Disn’t even realize that the page wasn’t even the last page. I honestly think he’s dead though. HR would not draw such a devastating scene otherwise. I think Makarov’s red herring with Achnologia was a set up to this. The next chapter is when HR builds on that and reaps the benefits of his carefully amplified shock effect. Gray’s death is going to come as a final revision to Ultear’s character. There will be some kind of atonement, but nothing conventional. With Mavis and Ultear present, I think something very Spitfire-esque a la Air Gear will happen.

    I don’t think this arc will simply end with the present cast defeating the dragons, but I also don’t believe that Levy’s prediction will come COMPLETELY true. I think Gray’s death will come as a wakeup call to Fairy Tail that they need to pursue a new timeline, and that continuing the fight would only finish as future Lucy foretold. I think the story’s focus on Ultear will be for something MUCH deeper than expected.

    Heck, it won’t be the first time HR has weaved a simple plot around timelines, only to unveil the complexity and intracacy near the end. It’s what he did in Rave, which was beautiful after coming full circle. This arc is going to be the cornerstone of Fairy Tail’s legacy if Mashima executes his plan to outdo Rave.

    1. Indeed, the time traveling aspects of RAVE was prety well done – I choked up a bit every time I think about it, the ending was so beautiful 😉
      Let’s hope the one in FT lives up to that. Don’t disappoint us, Mashima sensei!

  6. No man…no way man Hiro won’t go there. For the entire series there was only one casualty on the good guys side and that was Simon I doubt he’d kill one of the main cast so bluntly especially in such graphic way.

  7. That was a seriously intense chapter for Fairy Tail, not sure we’ve had such a graphic casualty before. My prediction is, as I’m sure most people’s is, that Ultear will be the one who saves him with her Time Ark magic.

    1. Yeap. It will definitely be Urtear saving Gray. Though my guess is that it won’t be without a consequence. It would probably have to involve a sacrifice of sorts.

  8. Just when you think Mashima can’t write something worse than he already did, he manages to prove you wrong.

    And no Makankosappo will ever kill anybody in this manga. Except Simon.

  9. Gray is my bias and Mashima didn’t have to hit him so many times T.T
    If he won’t be alive, Juvia, the perfect depiction of fangirls, will be crushed, and us too. T.T

  10. pfffttt, come on hiro, you can’t even killed a DAMN CAT…….
    why try to troll us to kill one of main 4 ????
    the real question now is, WHEN will gray be revived, and how

  11. If it wasnt so blatantly obvious that he will do some time travel shenenigans (or whatever) to bring gray back, then this might have been interesting. There is also the option of a future gray replacing dead gray (awesome infinite spares in futre timelines xD)

    I like Fairy Tail for a lot of things, but there is also alot thats downright awful.

    Many terrible asspull win fights. Absolute Invincibility via plot armour. There isnt any suspense left because everyone survives, they always win absolutely.

    Simon, the only one to ever die, and its a running gag more then anything else now >_>

  12. The fact that the next chapter is called ‘The Time of Life’ (or something similar) points to a one chapter death for Gray, and then Ultear will use some newly developed Time Arc magic that is now able to work on living things.

    We all know Gray is coming back, I just hope that he stays dead for a little while instead of a revival after a single chapter. This manga needs to go to a dark place for a bit.

    1. That’s my guess at the moment too. Ultear is going to save Gray’s life by rewinding his time with an improved “Arc of Time”. It’s time to see some progress for her character.

  13. Because of all the rage that killing Gray made, Mashima said on twitter “Just wait for next week”, so it’s pretty clear that he is not dead, I think something like a Kage bushin of ice 😀

    1. If that were a clone then he wouldn’t have spit out blood from his mouth. As real as this looks that it might be the end of Gray, i’m still holding onto one last piece of hope that he’s alive, and ironically enough that hope’s name is…Minerva! She hasn’t been seen since the end of the Grand Magic Games, and with how Gray was shot, there’s a chance Minerva might have used her Magic on him, like she did with Lector. But on the off-chance she doesn’t, then maybe Ultear could be the key to Gray’s survival.

  14. Well, that was unexpected. Seems to me like Mashima’s using death to advance certain pairings… I’m still on the fence about this, on one hand it was very shocking and brutal (the shot through the head especially), but on the other hand, I somehow doubt Grey will remain dead. We’ll see how this pans out, but my bets are on Urtear reviving him at the cost of her own life.

  15. Considering the messed-up personal history between Ultear and Gray, It seems bluntly obvious that Gray simply got killed as an accidential favor to Ultear, granting her the solution to both escape her current moral and self-identity crisis AND also prove her intentions have been honest to FT through direct action instead of just talk. Plus, redemption through resurrection! It’s so painfully obvious I didn’t even think about it; when Gray got shot I KNEW the reason why it happened.

    I like Gray, but I’d like to be surprised next week even more. But, honestly, I don’t read FT for it’s sizzling, complex, non-shounen-style plotting.

    Danny the dog
  16. The absolute last thing I want this scene to be is a passage from Future Lucy’s diary being read by Present Lucy. Please, Hiro, don’t go to that level. But if that DOES turn out to be the case, here’s how I’d like it to go:

    The last headshot actually missed, but Gray is still practically dead. Armed with this knowledge from the diary, Lucy finds Ultear and somehow gets her to save Gray’s life. And if she can’t use her Arc of Time on him since it doesn’t work on humans (unless there was some modification to the spell I’ve been unaware of, not counting the Second Origin release), maybe she’ll used Iced Shell to keep him in suspended animation until they can heal him.

    As affecting this scene was when I first read it, and in many ways still is, there’s a part of me utterly convinced that Gray is not gonna die.

  17. Oh come on this is like when kakashi almost died when pain did that attack on him all those chapters away… As much as I’d like to see Gray come back, I do wish character deaths be legit but cause this is a time-travelling arc it kinda makes sense for things to reset and be normal *sigh please make it interesting Mashima, whatever you got planned xD

    1. What if she CAN use it on humans, but it would have terrible side effects on her? All that stuff about saying it doesn’t work on humans could probably be to dissuade her from suffering those side effects.

  18. I feel like Gray will return later. While he’s certainly “dead” now, Im sure by the arc’s conclusion there’s gona be some mechanism to bring him back. Just as we all thought everyone in Fairy Tail died from Agnologia and came back 7 years later.

  19. The whole point of Ultear’s involvement with Grimoire Heart was to upgrade her Arc of Time so that she could return to the past. In these past 7 years, perhaps she has improved enough that she now *can* or can send someone into the past. Its unlikely she can travel very far (perhaps…. a week) but if a lot of Fairy Tail fall she might send Lucy (the one furthest from the fighting) back one more time to fix the past. If this is the case, expect more drama as other beloved members of Fairy Tail go down. Erza would certainly go beserk and in her condition, she’d almost definately die afterwards. Juvia too might go out the same way if she simply doesn’t fall into catatonia. If Juvia goes, Lyon is likely to follow and with so many losses at one point, the entire defense line could collapse.

    Future!Lucy came to avert a tragedy and Future!Levi foreshadowed that a lot of her friends would fall. With time travel being possible, it might be Mashima’s chance to show off that bad future to milk all the pathos he can before a reset button is pressed. After all if the Eclipse Gate needs a lot of time to charge energy, it might be possible to use it again if Ultear speeds up its Time. Still I believe it far more likely that Ultear will sacrifice her life to bring Gray back instead. In her mind she already doesn’t deserve to live and going out protecting her “younger brother” would indeed honor the sacrifices of her mother.

    1. I’m more for that second idea of yours. As for the first idea (which I’m looking forward to the absolute least), unless they do it over the span of several chapters (which doesn’t seem likely given the next chapter’s title), it wouldn’t feel right to devote a significant amount of time to Gray’s death, let it sink in for a week, and then knock off another four or five characters in just one chapter, even if Chapter 335 is devoted entirely to it.


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