A couple of things come to mind reading this chapter of Fairy Tail. Firstly, is it really that simple to become a slayer? Because I thought one needed contact with an entity steeped in a specific element to gain control over its magical form.
Like a dragon slayer training under a dragon. And why bother? For what purpose did Deliora determine to gain slayer magic, a demon so powerful as to have laid to waste several cities, now cowering against a mere ice mage.
Gray Vs. Silver officially commences with Gray immediately pushed to his limits against a superior foe.
A lot of action in this chapter and yet it felt a lot like set up for some breakthrough Gray will probably achieve in the coming week.
Not complaining, I liked this chapter, and the action was pretty well choreographed to display Gray’s full range of attacks. I appreciate Hiro’s attempt to make this battle about more than mere power levels.
Gray actually applied himself in displaying the dynamism of his magic, using ice make in various unique ways, from the Gatling guns to the giant hammer and the sword. Pretty impressive art as well.
I have always found Hiro’s art to peak when drawing Gray’s ice magic in action; as opposed to the various hazy panels that are Natsu’s dull battles. Maybe fire doesn’t translate as well on paper.
Whatever the case, I actually found myself entertained by this chapter. That isn’t to say that I am not still apprehensive about what is to come next. The fact that Deliora was so afraid of Gray as to resort to using slayer magic is nonsensical, seeing as not even Ur could match his capabilities.
More importantly, this is starting to mirror the Mardgeer situation; Deliora placed an entire village under ice with a single wave of his hand. Why is the fight against Gray still moving a this pace?
Not only should he have murdered Gray a long time ago, taking into account how helpless Gray is against him, but even if we are to believe that Deliora is more interested in causing more pain than actual killing, he spent most of this chapter standing about and letting Gray unleash a barrage of attacks against him.
As it is we have yet to see an actual fight between Silver and Gray. For pits sake Deliora froze the entire battlefield for no logical reason. Why worry about a few non ice projectiles if he could have simply placed Gray himself on ice.
+Predictions: Yes, Gray is going to master ice slayer magic; at the very least expect him to eat Deliora’s ice at some point, probably on Ur’s advice.
RATING: 6/10, yes pretty entertaining. Fairy Tail is best when it maintains an air of unpredictability, even though I am pretty sure I know how this is going to progress.
Okay Fairy tail is officially back in my good books; I have been on the fence for a few chapters, unsure as to whether or not i had any interest in where this was going. This chapter gave me some hope that we might be in for a really interesting ride. Not that the chapter was mind blowing or anything.
It's just that....i was entertained while reading it and it has been quite a while since 19 pages of a fairy tail chapter excited me.
Natsu meets up with Lucy, Wendy and Flare, and together they head to the eternal flame, which turns out to be the entire frozen mountain. Just then Gray, Charlie and Happy arrive on the scene, fleeing the giant bird that ate Doriate. Gray believes he can melt the ice now that he knows how to conduct it through his body.
While he accomplishes this mission, Natsu takes on the bird, engaging it in a short but intense fight that bring the bird to its knees.
Natsu then joins Gray as he attempts to the melt the ice.
He melts the ice indeed, but the flame within disappears the instant it is freed.
This chapter was more action than anything, with the only progression in the story occurring at the end. But i liked it. For one thing the art was better than what we saw last week. And the action sequences with the bird were actually well choreographed and interesting to read.
Like i said, the battle was short yet intense enough to illicit some excitement. We didn't get any shots of Erza but maybe that is good. Hopefully Hiro dedicates the next chapter to their fight.
Though now that i think about it, Natsu and company will most likely interfere. After all without the mountain to obscure the way, i wouldn't be surprised if Erza and Minerva were just a few hundred meters away.
That doesn't sound so bad actually, since i do not think we have seen Natsu Vs. Minerva yet.
The eternal flame is a mystery. I was surprised at how MASSIVE it was, and i have to wonder how the heat waves of a roaring mountain high flame didn't cook everything in the vicinity, the village included.
I have a feeling all that happened is that on melting the ice, the generated water simply quenched the flame.
It is possible, though it is a strange wonder that ice could freeze a flame in place. We now know that the voice Natsu heard was emanating from the flame. I still think this is related to Igneel. I cannot think of anyone fire related character that could be within or connected to the flame.
I am starting to enjoy the mystery shrouding this arc, so many questions yet unanswered while raising new
ones. Seeing Leon on the cover made me wonder how the hell he lost to Gray and Juvia in the tournament. After seven years of growth he should have been miles ahead of both of them.
RATING: 4/5, this was a decent chapter, with great fights and an intriguing mystery at the end.
Highlight: Finding out that the mountain was the flame.
Predictions: There is every chance that the reason the village was frozen was to protect the flame. Maybe it was already on the verge of disappearing for one reason or another and someone took steps to prevent that. I wouldn't be surprised that Gray unleashed a disaster when he melted the ice.
Ooh, atlas flame.
I was seriously surprised by how much i enjoyed this chapter. Not that i was amazed, more like i had absolutely no interest in the chapter even as i was reading it, and hence found myself rather surprised at the fairly dynamic and unpredictable nature of the events that occurred.
Gray Vs. Doriate commences. Doriate puts Gray on the defensive with his powerful attacks. Before Gray can regain his footing and counter, Doriate unleashes his magic once more, retrogressing everyone on the battle field to their child like state, including, Erza and Minerva.
As a kid Gray's attacks have absolutely no effect on Doriate and it is only with the help of Charlie and Happy, both too young to fly more than a foot or two off the ground, that Gray manages to stay ahead of the demon.
Nearly going down after just one hit, Gray notes that while his Ice is unable to hurt him, earlier on Doriate was hurt upon crashing into the frozen bushes, causing Gray to conclude that Doriate is vulnerable to the ice freezing the village.
Initially stomped on how to make use of ice he is unable to melt, Gray figures out a way to channel its magic into one hand, through his body and out the other hand, putting Doriate down with one hit.
Defeated, Doriate speaks of as Gray having been the one that had opened the gates to hell.
Before he can elucidate further though, a massive black bird descends and eats him.
I wasn't too enthusiastic to read this fairy tail chapter. The first few pages did little to change that with what was pretty shady art-which continues through out the chapter by the way.
None the less i was pleasantly surprised by the Gray fight. Of course Gray spent most of it on the defensive, but i loved the organic flow of events, watching Gray face an opponent he couldn't beat, try his best and logically fail, but choosing to try a different approach each time. It feels like every time Natsu comes up against an opponent he cannot beat, he keeps doing the same thing no matter how ineffective it is or how much of a beating he takes until his attacks take affect, basically taking advantage of the opponent's fatigue, if you think about it.
That annoys me about a lot of shonen heroes. Gray was using his head in this chapter and that much impressed me. He knew when to flee when threatened and when to attack. There was a clear path followed from facing the obstacle, analyzing the situation, locating a weakness and making use of that weakness.
And i was especially happy that Gray didn't use a Nakama type ability to somehow overcome the limitations of his small body. There were no sudden and unexpected power ups or never before seen techniques that gray pulled out of his magic bag. This was plain old strategic thinking.
That ending made the chapter for me though. We can safely say that this underworld business is going to take a much darker tone than i anticipated. I actually figured that the term underworld was just metaphorical, but Doriate seemed to be quite serious when he spoke of the gates of hell.
This arc seems to be taking a turn for the better, and i am happy we are done with the chibi gimmick. Finally we can continue the true Erza Vs. Minerva battle.
Next week's chapter is called the eternal flame. It seems we are finally going to put an end to this one mystery about what exactly the eternal flame is.
I am far from excited about next week's chapter, but i will admit to being a bit intrigued. Clearly the ice is linked to the underworld somehow. Doriate assumed Gray was linked to the underworld because he could use ice magic.
My prediction is we are going to learn more about iced shell, the powerful suicide type ice technique Ur used to put Deliora down. Clearly the ice encompassing the village is similar to iced shell's form. Admittedly i am curious to learn where this arc is heading, especially since it looks like we might get another Gray centric storyline.
RATING:> 2/5, basically okay chapter, the art was horrible actually. I couldn't follow the Gray Doriate fight. I hope there is an improvement next week.
HIGHLIGHT: The appearance of the giant bird.
I do not understand why Hiro is choosing to approach this arc in a rather slow manner. As usual this chapter revolved around another member of fairy tail under going an age regression, which makes you wonder why he doesn’t have them all under go this effect all at once to save us from these sorts of chapters were little to nothing happened.
This time it is Gray’s turn, who run afoul of the sharp toothed dark mage. Gray has a moment to posture and threaten before shrinking back into his younger self. Suddenly the dark mage’s threats take on a more dangerous manner as he bounds up towards Gray, intent on carrying out his threat of consuming him.
He pauses upon coming up to Gray, now a child and cowering against the mage; the mage seems temporarily mollified, explaining that when some mages are shrunk back to their younger forms, those traumatic events that dogged their earlier life resurface with a vengeance, reducing them to whimpering children. For Gray it is the memories of his parents deaths, the attack by Deliora and everything that followed regarding Ul.
The dark mage overcomes any mercy he seems to have been contemplating, grabs Gray by the neck and prepares to take a bite out of him, making the comment that the boy had wondered into and was standing in the very boundary between Hades and the human world.
Gray breaks the grip with a less than powerful ice attack, seemingly overcoming his fears and preparing to take on the dark mage.
Elsewhere Erza is taking a beating from MInerva. She expresses regret at having to take her revenge with Erza so weakened, but decides that Erza’s death would suffice either way.
Wendy and Lucy learn why Flare came off as so evil, revolving around her being the only human in the village and how raven tail manipulated her.
I am starting to wonder if there will be any major villains left when fairy tail eventually ends. AS i was reading Flare’s confession and excuses for being evil, i started to realize how many of fairy tail’s villains receive redemption after some time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we learnt Hades survived Zeref’s attack and somehow turned over a new leaf.
All this comes back to my earlier suspicions that Minerva is going to make u-turn at the end and do something heroic, thus redeeming her character.
Seriously though, why is Hiro Mashima handling these age regression cases one at a time. We have wasted a couple of chapters now watching these characters revert to their younger selves one at a time.
I do not expect much from Gray’s fight. He is a kid after all, and even Natsu had to flee the dark mage in their first fight. I wonder what will happen if Wendy comes under the attack of the same magic. She is already much younger than the rest of the team. Speaking of which, i am starting to wonder how this magic works. The dark mage didn’t even look like he had to do anything special before Gray transformed.
Maybe it comes down to how close you get to him, which makes him that much more dangerous, if his magic operates automatically. I was slightly intrigued by the dark mage’s words about Hades. And i will admit to being curious as to whose voice Natsu is hearing. If he thinks it sounds familiar, i am going to take a guess and say he is heading for the eternal flame, and it is Igneel’s voice he is hearing from within. If not Igneel, then it is Hades, the fairy tail master.
During his conversation with Minerva, the dark mage mentioned the underworld. It would be interesting if he was talking about an actual underworld; though with the way things are going, i am pretty sure he was referring to their guild, which might prove to be a little underwhelming story wise.
RATING:> 2/5, come on fairy tail, pick up the pace. I am getting bored here.Next week’s chapter might prove to be interesting considering that Flare was leading Lucy and Wendy to the eternal flame. But considering that Lucy and Wendy are not my favorite of characters, i do not know how enjoyable that will be.
Aaaaaaah, Hiro went ahead to do exactly what i was praying he would do his best to avoid.Suddenly this arc looks like it is going to take a more comedic cutesy turn.
Last week the hunters bested fairy tail. This week find out that, following Natsu’s disbelief that mere humans without magic could defeat magical opponents, the hunters are not as average as assumed and are actually champions of the hunter guilds’ version of the Daimatou Enbu, making them fairy tail’s equal at least as far as accolades are concerned. Gray still manages to steal the moon drip which they go on to pass around among themselves as they avoid the hunters until it gets to Happy’s turn.
The exceed drops the bottle, causing panic. But as predicted it only melts a small portion of the ice on the ground and from beneath Natsu hears a voice using his enhanced senses which he says is familiar. He runs off to find it as everyone else follows, eventually colliding with the mage that was with Minerva on her first appearance in this arc. Before Natsu can react, the mage reverts him to his younger self, making him less of a threat.
Elsewhere Erza grapples with her tiny size and searches for a solution.
First the good bits: i am starting to like Sylph Labyrinth. They are proving to be very capable mages. I actually didn’t realize it last time that the hunters were human. I assumed they were somehow manipulating magic through their gadgets. The fact that they managed to hold fairy tail off so easily without magic makes them that much more impressive. I liked the bit about the hunters’ tournament, proving that they are just as capable as fairy tail, who are magic champions.
It took everyone way too long to figure out the fact that the moon drip was too little to prove useful. But i liked the comedic elements it injected into the scenes, especially when happy dropped the bottle and he asked Natsu to spank him. Erza’s scenes were funny enough, especially when she was imagining how different her life would be if she couldn’t revert to her normal age.
What i didn’t like was the age reversing bit. I am starting to fear that this is going to turn into a chibi arc. And i am not saying that it automatically means Hiro will mess up. Just that i have never seen a chibi related arc or saga execute well on screen. I will commend Hiro though. I still can’t predict where this story is going and that is good. If there is one place fairy tail goes wrong, it is when it becomes too predictable to be enjoyable.
I am starting to think that the enemy mage shrank Natsu and Erza because he heard from Minerva just how dangerous fairy tail was. That makes him seem weak though.
RATING:>3/5; overall a decent chapter, even though i didn’t like where it seemed to be going.
Highlight: Happy’s dropping of the bottle, the reactions of everyone.
I am really starting to regain my faith in Fairy tail. Obviously that makes me naive because anyone that has read fairy tail extensively knows that Hiro never does anything new. None the less i am choosing to have hope in this new arc.
I enjoyed this chapter. Story wise, we didn't get anyway, but not every chapter of a manga series is able to create a natural pacing in story while constantly making new revelations. For now i am comfortable.
Thinking about it, little happened. The chapter starts off with fairy tail pursuing sylph labyrinth for the moon drip. The dialogue here i mostly comedic. The hunters complain that they went through quite a lot to acquire the moon drip and it wouldn't serve their interests to give it up so easily.
They eventually stop fleeing and engage fairy tail, proving to be a formidable force. Fairy tail quickly realizes that they will have to take the fight seriously after the trio deflects there attacks.
Elsewhere Erza does a bit of investigation, discovering that the giants had been heading into the mountains when they were frozen, clearly armed and ready to fight against something.
At the mountain top, she discovers something and before she can react, she finds herself transformed a younger version of herself.
As i mentioned above, this was a fun chapter, compounding upon the quality of the last six chapters. The art was great and again i am not sure if it's me who has never paidmuch attention to fairy tail art or Hiro has really kicked his skills into another gear.
The story stalled in this chapter to focus on the action and that didn't bother me because as far as action chapters go, this was pretty good. I liked the uniqueness of the different mages, the giant fist like gadget and its potency against Natsu's flames, the sword with the stretching abilities, perfectly complimenting the sword skills and agility the mage wielding it displayed against Gray's ice attacks, and the sniper attacks that debilitated Lucy's arrow based summon.
I was afraid these guys would prove to be no different from the Garou knights, all talk and no bite. But i was pleasantly surprised when they put up a good fight. And, as mentioned above, the art in these action scenes was superb. One of the reasons i enjoy reading fairy tail is how fluidly displayed the action scenes are.
I do not know what to think about the Erza twist.
If all the characters end up reverting to their child like selves, i will not be happy. Those sort of clichés do not impress me. Clearly this is linked to the eternal flame which i assume Erza found located behind ice. whatever the case, i hope Hiro has a good story in store for me.
So far i have nothing to complain about.
MY RATING: 4/5, this was a decent chapter, short and concise. I cannot complain.
HIGHLIGHT: The fight between fairy tail and the hunters. Lucy looks like she is in for a beating once more. I am curious as to how they are going to deal with the sniper.
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.
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