If you didn't watch the previous episode of Fairy Tail, you'll most likely have no idea what the episode title of "Defeat Your Friends to Save Your Friends" means. No, it's not some psychological metaphor for changing personas, it's the name of the game in this next thrilling story arc. Laxus and his Raijin Tribe cronies have trapped most of the 80+ members of Fairy Tail in a magical barrier where they need to fight each other in order to save the petrified beauties. It's pretty much inevitable that this whole arc will be all about many simultaneous fights, and this episode in particular was a fine example.
I have mixed thoughts on where these "and then!" scene cuts are heading...
Sadly we didn't see all the 40 trapped members fighting in this episode (it's doubtful that Mashima even has the mindset to create that many unique magic-wielders), but we still got to see plenty of the generally unseen members strut their stuff with plenty of crazy moves employed. Though we all got to see tons of quick old fashioned magic-type shonen battles, unfortunately it didn't take too long for the Raijin Tribe to take them all out, thanks to some magic-draining effects of the barrier (so, yeah, Gray should still be everybody's favorite ice-wielder!)
It took like forever, but there's now a female member of Fairy Tail who has her membership tattoo on her boob...Not that I was waiting for it or anything *ahem*
Fortunately all isn't lost yet for Fairy Tail to be run by an assh*** like Laxus. For some reason, dragon-type wizards couldn't leave the beauty pagent building leaving both Natsu and Gajeel to shine beginning in the next episode. Erza was also able to join thanks to her magical fake eye taking away most of her petrification and the always-awesome Mystogan finally arrived to save the day in time for the guild's expected parade. In other words, the next episode is really where the s*** hits the fan for this epic story arc, but this episode also was no slouch in showing how a tournament-style shonen arc should be done.