I don’t know what Hiro is up to, giving us one of the dullest chapter in ages last week, then following it up with its complete opposite. This chapter was epic, exactly what it set out to be, a prologue to the Tartaros arc; though every time i begin to celebrate that Fairy tail is on its way back to greatness (if it ever was great) i am reminded of how good Hiro is at set up chapters, only to fail epically when it comes to actually delivering.
The chapter kicks off with a look at the past, the magic council discussing Fairy tail’s return, their impact on the tournament and the possibility of cancelling the Grand magic games. The subject turns to Tartaros, with news of many guilds in the Balam alliance, affiliated to Tartaros, being annihilated over night. A few counselors seem to find the news suspicious, the way it coincides with fairy tail’s return.
Other counselors defend fairy tail, one suggesting that Tartaros might actually be responsible for destroying its own partners, in some strange bid to gain power while cutting away the weaklings. The Chairman, Gran doma, suggests action similar to the alliance between guilds that brought Oracion Seis, another member of the Balam Alliance down.
This time it would be the counselors combining their magic to bring Tartaros down. It is then that news reaches them of an intruder; explosions, initiated by a demon named Jackal, tear through the building, and when the smoke clears, only Daron Bolt and Org Roshi are alive. Daron bolt tries to help Org Roshi, who orders him to run as he falls foul of Jackal’s exploding magic.
Back at fairy tail, the guild celebrates its win and informs Makarov of all they had learnt from the village of the sun moments before the news reaches them.
Elsewhere Daron bolt arrives at the snake slayer’s (forgot his name) cell, informs him of the death of the counselor, and demands he tells him all he knows about Tartaros. The slayer will not budge, not even when bolt puts a knife to his neck. He wants bolt to secure his and the rest of Oracon Seis’ release before he can provide any information.
He does however provide him with an important bit of information; that none of the nine demon gates are even human, not even silver, but rather they are all demons from the book of Zeref (just like Deliora) and E.N.D is their lord, the strongest demon Zeref ever made. We catch a glimpse of seven of the gates assembling for a meeting.
I haven’t read a fairy tail chapter as good as this in a very long while. Actually the last time a fairy tail chapter got me this excited was when Gray died during the Daimatou embu, and even that chapter was mostly dull except for the end. This chapter does an epic job of setting up this next Tartaros arc, and clearly Hiro aims to raise the stakes of the battle this time.
I do not think we have ever seen villains as strong as this in fairy tail before, besides Zeref himself and Achnologia of course. The fact is Deliora was so strong that a mage as powerful as Ur had to sacrifice herself to contain it. If any of these guys are anywhere near as powerful as that, then Fairy tail is going to need a lot of Nakama power ups to even make a dent in this particular force.
It is interesting that this time the bad guys had the foresight to attack first; and the fact that one demon could lay to waste the entire council says quite a lot, either that the council was indeed that weak or that jackal is that strong. Seeing Daron bolt take a knife to the slayer’s neck quickly heightened the dark tone of the chapter. Clearly he was willing to kill to avenge his friends.
That brings up the question of the snake slayer. The last time we saw him, he was out of prison, fighting along side fairy tail to stop the dragon rampage. Then rather than escape, he handed himself back to the authorities and was returned to his jail cell. He clearly hinted to have heard something with his abilities in the time he was free and that led him to return to prison.
It is plausible that he knew of the Tartaros plot and, rather than gaining freedom all by himself, he thought to leverage his information for the release of his friends in the future. But that is another thing that doesn’t make sense. Oracion seis have never been the best of friends, despite being in the same guild. I do not see the snake slayer putting his life on the line to save them from their incarceration. So he clearly has something else in mind.
I am surprised by the deaths in this chapter; sure not exactly important characters, but none the less, people do not die in Fairy tail and that has always been one of its greatest weaknesses, its failure to go the extra mile and actually show the consequences of facing a powerful threat. Knowing that characters will not die in any situation usually innervates the sense of danger.
This time round Hiro might be moving to change that. This arc just might be what the Grand magic games arc was supposed to be but failed terribly, the best arc in fairy tail history.
It was interesting seeing silver in color; he didn’t look anything like Gildartz. More interesting though is the revelation that he isn’t human. That puts a spin on the devil slayer concept. Now we know why a devil slayer would hang around demons in the first place, and it makes you wonder if a devil slayer even exist. The way i see it silver is probably just a devil who is a slayer rather than a being that uses devil slayer magic per say.
It is like calling Igneel, a dragon, a dragon slayer because he can use dragon magic; it wouldn’t the biggest surprise if it turned out that Silver is actually a dragon slayer.
RATING:> 5/5, like i said this is the best chapter i have read in a very long long long while. And i know, Hiro is awesome at set ups but almost always fails to deliver in the end; but i will hold onto hope that that will not be the case this time.
HIGHLIGHT: jackal, that last page.
Edited by Takashichea - 10/19/2013
Removed all scanlation names
I have read quite a number of manga in the past few months, many of which i cannot remember-mostly because i dropped them after a few chapters of boredom- but i do not think i have read anything like A fairy tale of the demon lord this year; and i am not sure if i mean that as a compliment either, because the unique nature of this manga did work against it at some point.
None the less as far
as fairy tale stories adapted by manga go, this one stands above any similarly adapted work that i have read.
An undetermined amount of time ago, a beautiful princess fell under the sleeping curse of a demon lord. Countless knights rose to claim the princess from the curse and defeat the demon lord in the years that followed, all of them, in the thousands, possibly tens of thousands, slain. The curse and the demon that wield it prove infinitely obstinate, until a nameless night appears one day to challenge the demonic power and save the princess from her dire fate.
What follows is an adventure that no one could have predicted…
Here is the thing about A fairy tale of the demon lord; in more ways than one it is just that, a tale that weaves a story ar
ound the concept of the demon lord. And that is what most intrigued me about this manga, the particular nature of the roles assigned. Basically if i was to break it down briefly, this would be a manga about a demon lord. a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor.
And that might seem rather straight forward, a demon lord that kidnaps a princess, a knight that rises to defend her while contending with the demon lord, and a princess that receives salvation, but a few dozen chapters into the manga will have you questioning the exact nature of the characters involved in the story. In other words who is the real demon lord in this picture? And who actually qualifies as the damsel in distress? Because nothing is ever as it seems.
There is a definite lack of initiative in clearly differentiating between the forces of good and evil, and that is actually a good thing because this story isn’t about the good Vs. the bad, or good and evil-despite titles like Demon lord- but need, necessity and desperation and how these forces can warp one’s sense of being and result into transformations and changes that some might consider drastic.
This story has its flaws, yet no matter how infuriated i was several times in the manga, i cannot bring myself to actually criticize this manga after finally finishing it; because the way it ended seemed to justify all the time wasting that was done in the beginning, like all the pieces fell into place perfectly. Or maybe i am trying to justify the need for the rather dull first chapters of the story.
Either way, there is a point in the manga where things begin to finally make sense, and no matter how dull and uneventful certain portions of the series where, you will not be able to help but be unbelievably impressed by the sort of plot that begin to unfold, so much so that even the failings of the manga seize to matter.
And like i said, there are failings. This story proves to be very confusing earlier on, especially when it leaps from the fairy tale elements into Greek mythology, brining us into the Arena of Odin, Olympus and the like; because the author puts very little effort into actually trying to explain what is going on, what sort of world the nameless knight inhabits (who the nameless knight is), the nature of the advanced technology in use and the like. Most times you are left to assume rather than figure things out. And that gets irritating.
The series is also a little too action oriented. On the one hand the action scenes are the manga’s strongest point, with the beautiful art making for some very
vividly displayed battles. And the nature of the nameless knight’s power, the transformation capabilities of his sword make for some pretty impressive battle scenes, dynamic and very unpredictable.
However there is a time where it feels like that is all there is to the entire manga, each chapter moving from one meaningless battle to another and making no attempt to infuse any elements of quality story telling into its pages. It was during these moments that i considered dropping the manga. Having finally finished it i can see the purpose some of the pointless chapters played, yet most proved boring.
But i will not hold that against it, because the unpredictable twists and turns that follow after the half way point prove worthwhile. And the art, as mentioned above, is quite impressive, one of the best i have ever seen. It actually felt like i was reading a western comic rather than a hastily colored manga.
RATING:> 7/10, this manga is more than worth the dull chapters you have to endure earlier on, the sort of manga that i would recommend everyone try; because it is that unique.