Long ago, a lone boy genius would set in motion events that would affect the world for hundreds of years. But what motivated that boy, and how did he become the most feared dark mage of all time? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. Only in anime would one expect a monstrous dark mage worshipped by countless cults over hundreds of years to start out as an adorable child genius. Yes, after nine years of development we’re finally getting to see the true backstory of Zeref, the mage who’s driven the efforts of all the Dark Guilds our heroes have faced. We’ve known for awhile he wasn’t as evil as people assumed, but it’s only now that we get to see exactly what his story is about.
Zeref was a young genius who lost his brother while they were both children, and he became fascinated with life and death. At the risk of angering Ankhselam, the god of life and death, Zeref began researching ways to bring people back from the death. He invented the Eclipse project and several other science methods our heroes have had to deal with over the years, all in an attempt to save his brother.
He was unquestionably a genius, but none of that stopped the college he was at to have him expelled. After his teacher mocked his desire to bring his brother back, Zeref snapped. Suddenly, his magic resulted in a curse activating and killing everyone in the university. Known as the Curse of Contradictions, it brings death to everything around Zeref as long as he cares about protecting life. It also makes him immortal, making his legend grow.
What I mostly want to know is…at the end of all this, what happens to Ankhselam. If the way Zeref remembers this story is true, then there’s a god that created a monster for no reason. He brought needless death and misery to the world for hundreds of years, because…what? Zeref reached too far? After Natsu fights his brother, he should aim for this thing up next–he’s good at punching gods.
2. We’ve known since the end of the Tartaros arc that Natsu is the so-called “E.N.D.” monster everyone was worried about. A demon with unlimited power. Now, more specifically, we discover his specific origins. Natsu wasn’t just created by Zeref, Natsu is Zeref’s ultimate success: the body of his brother, brought back to life. And he’s been given the unique ability to finally bring Zeref’s life to an end. The mages in Tartaros were meant to do the same thing, but none of them proved powerful enough to be capable of what Zeref needed from them.
Come to that, it’s a heavy burden Zeref has placed on his brother, and it makes me wonder if the story is even headed in that direction. Deaths in Fairy Tail are exceedingly rare to begin with, so asking Natsu to kill his brother feels…unlike what we’re used to here.
3. Just when we think we’re about to get all the answers in a single episode, Zeref decides to stop reminiscing about the past to meet up with someone unexpected: Acnologia, who has a humanoid form. I guess this is to make the inevitable fight easier, as Zeref teases a battle between the two along with “a human”. This is going to get really messy. But right now I can’t help wondering–how do these two even know each other that well? They’ve come in contact with one another a few times–is it purely because they’re the most powerful beings in the Fairy Tail universe?
4. Shonen anime have two moods: fired up, and weepy. Last week was fired up, so this week is weepy, but it’s not like I don’t get why. As Natsu, Lucy, Wendy, and Happy make their way back to Magnolia, it starts to dawn on her just how hopeful they’ve been up until now. When the Master disbanded the group, he sent away more than co-workers. He broke up a family. In the case of Natsu, Gray, Erza, Cana, and Mirajane–they grew up in that guild. It’s all they ever knew. People got married and raised children there. They lived there, and relied on one another. And Makarov threw it away, without telling them why. It could’ve been easy to see them all decide after a year that hey didn’t need one another, or that they weren’t that close at all.
It’s those nervous thoughts that filled Lucy’s mind as they approached their old guild home. But in the end…a family bond like that can’t be destroyed so easily. Every member Lucy contacted found their way to Magnolia, found their way home. It’s a sappy moment, but it connects when you’ve spent so many years following these characters, and it’s the kind of thing Fairy Tail brings to shonen that few other series can compete with, short of maybe Black Clover.
5. Next Episode: With everyone gathered together, all that’s left is to build a new guild hall. But in the midst of it’s construction. Who’s this strange young man, bearing the crest of the guild?
With Makarov gone, they were going to need a new guild master, but I’m one hundred percent against it being the new guy here, as the preview seems to be implying. If it’s not Natsu or Erza, I’m not even sure what we’re doing anymore.