Natsu faces off against Zeref. But if he loses, he’ll die! Meanwhile, Gildarts and his daughter Cana fight the last member of the Spriggan 12. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It means a lot. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. For the most part, I’ve long given up on A-1 Pictures giving anything resembling a proper animation team to Fairy Tail. I’m not a specialist on how the process works obviously, but ultimately they simply don’t seem to view Fairy Tail as important enough to give that. Whether it doesn’t bring in enough money or they’d rather allocate that money elsewhere. Still, this episode at least made some attempts at actually animating the fight scenes instead of just leaving them at tossing magic spells around and very little animation for the physical contact. The result improved both the fights in this week’s episode several times over, and made me wish they actually tried this much for the entire series. (I’ll never get over how boring that Gray vs. Rufus was.)
2. As much as I found it hard to care about Cana standing up for Fairy Tail, I am absolutely hear for Papa Gildarts. The relationship between the two has been up in the air since she explained who she actually was. It didn’t make Gildarts show up more or seem to deepen their bond at all. But with this week’s fight scene, it turns out there was a reason for that: he didn’t want to smother a grown woman with Big Dad Energy.
That doesn’t mean he’s not willing to use his life to protect hers though, and that’s exactly what they set up. August attempts to kill Cana before beating Gildarts, but fails when Gildarts blocks his blow. It gets worse when Gildarts reveals he’s figured out August’s trick: he copies magic, and in doing so is easily capable of reversing their effects on him. But it doesn’t work on magic which is based on tools, so a combination of Cana’s card attacks and a strong punch from Gildarts’ mechanical arm puts August down. It’s a bit of a disappointing way for him to go out, but at least they gave an explanation for it.
The important thing here is Cana acknowleding Gildarts as her father. While Cana talking about how much Fairy Tail meant to her fell flat, her finally choosing to call Gildarts her dad connected. That’s most likely because despite her tough act, her motivations from day one have been to foster a relationship with him. She joined Fairy Tail for that, and she hung around until she was able to tell him. So when she realizes he does love her and accepts him, it’s a powerful moment for the series. Speaking of…
3. The most disappointing thing about Fairy Tail is how it’s given its primary villain the “mental disorders = bad” trope. From the moment the Curse of Contradictions was placed on Zeref, his actions haven’t made sense. After carrying that spell for hundreds of years, even his own mind isn’t what it once was. He loves things he hates, hurts the things he should care for.
After another showdown between Natsu and Zeref, Larcade uses the last of his energy to arrive and help his father. But with Zeref enjoying his battle against Natsu, he lashes out against Larcade, blasting a hole in him and knocking him around. These are some pretty despicable acts (and Natsu does nothing, for some reason), but it’s hard to feel rage for him. His mind hasn’t been his own in centuries–he’s even risking his own plan now. I was wanting some massive beat down for the guy, but after learning the truth of Mavis and his origin, now I just hope they can find a way to undo most of what he’s done and give him some manner of peace.
4. Plot twist. August had been complaining about why the Emperor didn’t love his own child for the last two episodes. This week, they built up the idea that Mavis somehow had a child with her, and showed Larcade struggling to reach Zeref. Since Larcade’s last name is Dragneel, it was assumed he was the son in question, making his actions of destroying Larcade all the more unsettling.
But then August reveals the son was actually him all along. Zeref is immortal after all, so while August met him as a child, he continued aging while Zeref stayed the same. All this time, he’s wanted his own father to love him (though if he did it’d instantly kill him), but much like Cana he was never able to find a way to tell him. This is pretty heartbreaking, and makes August one of the few members of the Spriggan 12 who’s gotten enough development to help us see how Zeref talked him into his plan.
5. Next Episode: The battle between Zeref and Natsu continues, but Acnologia is getting closer by the second. Meanwhile what’s Mavis figured out about the book of E.N.D.?
There’s something like ten episodes left, but from the looks of things August is done. That leaves Zeref, Acnologia, and hopefully some manner of closure for them to wrap this arc up. Presumably Mavis’ plan is going to be how they beat Acnologia, which would be nice because right now things feel hopeless, and because she’s not come up with a useful plan yet this arc.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.