I do not know what sort of drugs Hiro was high on when he drew these chapters, but chapters 341-343 had some seriously amazing art. I know Hiro has from time to time shown his ability to go the extra mile with fairy tail with one of those special images he will sneak in at the beginning or the end of the chapter. But these chapters were so consistently well drawn. I am not sure if saying that i was blown away has more to do with my low expectations and less to do with Hiro’s own skills.
A new arc has began and i for one am excited, the sort of excitement i haven’t held for fairy tail in a good two or three months. And i am glad to finally return to that point in my life as a fairy tail fan where i can finally crave for and even hold some excitement about the upcoming fairy tail chapters.
I have said it before, Hiro knows how to set events up, to create exciting situations that leave you dreaming about what will come next. The question is whether or not he can deliver. I for one will choose to believe that he can. I can safely say that these three chapters showcased fairy tail at its best. It’s funny, I wrote a fairy tail based blog post on Wednesday but i decided not to publish it on Thursday like i planned because i wanted to first read these three chapters and see if my conclusion in that post would be justified. I am glad it was.
The first chapter begins with quite a lot of fan service and in color, with Lucy and the other girls enjoying a warm bath in their new guild head quarters. It is revealed that ever since they returned as champions, they have benefited greatly from their popularity, with many a job streaming in for the taking with great rewards in play, making it an unnecessary effort to engage in the old battles over wh gets to take which job. We learn that a number of fairy tail mages have been hard at work for days, leaping from one job to another, including Natsu and Gray who somehow managed to put their differences aside long enough to team up. Same thing for Wendy and Erza.
Flare from Raven tail makes an appearance, looking liker her old crazy self. She is offered the opportunity to join fairy tail but declines. Elsewhere we see the fruits of some of the mages’ labor in a page or two.
Later we learn that one of the four gods of Ishgal, the strongest wizard saints, had requested a team of Natsu, Gray, Lucy and Erza to undertake a great task. Admitting to the mages being a better fit for the mission than he, even with his powers and the fact that he chose them specifically, the wizard, Walron Seeken speaks of an old village that worships an eternal flame which has for no fathomable reason been frozen in place with all its inhabitants.
Walron tasks the mages with solving the mystery of the frost and saving the village from its fate. But they are not alone on this quest. Four mages from Sylph labyrinth, a treasure hunting guild are in search of the eternal flame. This particular village is inhabited by giants and for a while now, there presence had prevented the group from obtaining their treasure. Fairy tail’s mission to free the giants is at loggerheads with their own mission, putting the two teams on opposing ends.
However while the parties squabble, a new party arrives at the scene, unseen, Succubus Eye, supposedly a dark guild of which Minerva is a part. She learns of fairy tail’s approach, though her attire and her words with regards to the underground make her intentions suspect.
As i inferred above, i am quite excited by the advent of this new arc and as always Hiro is doing a great job of setting the stage for what might turn out to be a brilliant saga. I liked what Hiro did here, sort of throwing back to the old days of fairy tail, with the sort of humor we hadn’t seen in a while, Gray and Natsu’s quarrels, Lucy and her run ins with people suddenly breaking into her apartment, even the mention of tasks and quests, making mention of and showing us glimpses of fairy tail mages out and about, tackling different jobs for money, it was a reminder of what fairy tail was about, outsideo f epic battles with dragons and all that.
It is the thrill of adventure that Hiro creates with the beginning of a new arc. While i am apathetic to fan service, i liked seeing some color in the manga, and i was surprised by how good it looked. The flare incident was surprising, that she could have been hanging around fairy tail all this time and no one knew. I was impressed by her decision to turn fairy tail’s offer down. I am now curious as to how her story will play a role in the future.
I was surprised by how humorous the comedy actually was. I had as of late lost interest in Fairy tail’s particular brand of comedy, but these chapters reminded me of why i used to find the material funny. The arc is off to a great start. We have a village of giants that have been mysteriously frozen and a guild of treasure hunters out to capture the so called eternal flame, which has been referred to as a deity, which means there are more twists and turns to come.
Gray mentioned a link to Deliora and how he was frozen. I am impressed by the fact that Hiro actually made use of some of these old elements of the story he introduced a while back. But one of the biggest revelations of them all was Minerva’s appearance. I mentioned before that i wasn’t too happy that she was all innocent and rehabilitated during the ball at the king’s palace. No way she could have changed so drastically so quickly after all the evil she displayed during the fights.
It seems though that she didn’t quite change her spots; i am actually curious as to who is the current saber tooth master. Last time i checked she was in charge. Either way her appearance in the last chapter was not only shocking but welcome. Unfortunately i have a feeling we will later learn that she really has changed and is probably undercover for the magic council. That is the kind of twist fairy tail is known for, and it would be a particularly unwelcome one.
We learnt here as well that Seeken, the Ishgal fellow was originally a member of fairy tail, having started the guild with Hades, Marvis and another fellow. We can now safely say that the Marvis we see is not in her true form. She was a girl 105 years ago. No way she remained like that, unless she died that young. And why would she be chosen as master over Hades when he was so much older. Clearly there is more to fairy tail’s history than meets the eye, and it seems like Hiro is intent on unraveling the mysteries behind the guild.
Which i love. The fairy tail mythology is growing and there are more stories to tell, hopefully they are all worth reading.
RATING:>4/5; these three chapters were interesting, and not to mention the art here which was brilliant. I hope we do not get another three chapters next week. I am starting to get used to this which means returning to one chapter a week will suck.
HIGHLIGHT: Minerva’s appearance, Seeken’s revelation.
On a side note, if you have not heard, THE FAIRY TAIL ANIME IS RETURNING. It has been officially confirmed by Hiro that the fairy tail anime will return on some undisclosed date. Now i have to say that besides that being good news, it says something about Bleach. Fairy tail has been gone three or four months and its already making a come back. Bleach has been gone for ages, since last year in fact and there has not been a whiff of its return. Fairy tail took a break because it was ridiculously close to the manga, just halfway an arc that hadn’t even ended.
If fairy tail returned this week it would still be really close to the manga because that same arc just ended. So fairy tail isn’t even a whole arc away like Naruto and one piece are (i am glad Naruto is finally getting back on track, hopefully one piece does the same, that business of dragging out events, doing like five pages of a manga chapter in an anime episode is just as bad as Naruto and its fillers), just half an arc away and yet it has returned. Bleach is miles ahead of where the anime stopped, no where near a risk of catching up, and yet it has yet to return. Bleach fans still holding onto hope, it’s time to quite. Bleach is gone.