Erza and her team set out to track down Makarov, their former Guild Master. But before they can reach the Alvarez Empire, a pit stop leaves their mission in danger before it’s even started! 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. In case the last episode didn’t make it clear, the opening of this episode sees three of the most powerful people in the country explain how the Alvarez Empire is easily capable of stomping them into the ground. Levy goes to the Council to submit the paperwork for Fairy Tail’s reformation, and while she’s there she meets three of the Four Emperors of Ishgar, and one of them explains that their most powerful member–a man named God Serena–has actually abandoned them in favor of joining the Alvarez Empire and guarding their emperor, Spriggan.
We’ve yet to see the country Alvarez for ourselves so it’s hard to have an opinion on them, but we’re already seeing the difference between them and the more democratic, free-spirited Ishgar. Ishgar let its dark guilds grow so out of control they were able to destroy all the country’s military weapons, leaving them defenseless against a potential invasion. Alvarez united its guilds into one massive, oppressive army…and if that wasn’t enough, they manage to convince the most powerful mage in Ishgar to leave his position there and come work for them. We could refer to this as gross incompetence, but it seems more like Alvarez is throwing its weight around and forcing people to join them.
2. While Fairy Tail’s A Squad is already on its way to Alakitasia, the continent home to the Alvarez Empire, the B Team has decided to go looking for their missing member, Laxus. An episode ago I thought this was overkill, but as they clarify the power of the Alvarez Empire, recruiting Laxus and his Thunder Pals seems like the bare minimum of what’s going to be necessary. While they’re searching, they link up with Levy, who talks about how dangerous the Alvarez Empire is, but the more they bring that up the more obvious it becomes they’re absolutely going to take the whole place down.
3. It’s not a proper infiltration mission without things going wrong before the mission’s even started. Erza’s infiltration team takes a detour to reach an island between Ishgar and Alakitasia to meet up with a spy Mest knows, giving them the chance to figure out the best way to sneak into the country. But they don’t even reach the island without noticing some enemy ships from Alvarez have beaten them to the island, in search of the spy. With a bit of make-up to help their Fairy Tail guild symbols resemble Wendy’s old group Cait Sith (which hasn’t existed in nearly a decade), they manage to sneak onto the island. Well, with that and a lot of Fairy Tail’s patented fanservice from Erza and Lucy, which works surprisingly well given how militaristic the Empire seems on the surface.
4. You have to congratulate the group for knowing their own weaknesses. Multiple times once they hit the shore of the island, they warn Natsu not to draw attention to them needlessly, since he’s a lot less about sneaking in and a lot more about blowing as many things up as possible. But again, this is absolutely not the show where a mission like this would go off without a hitch. They barely even get a chance to explore the island before they notice a weeping child talking to one of the Alvarez soldiers. They try to ignore it, but when the soldier threatens the kid’s life, Lucy, Natsu, Gray, and Erza all move without thinking and knock out half of the soldiers in the area.
It’s not the smartest decision, but we knew what we were getting into when we started this show. This isn’t the universe where the protagonists ignore potential victims to carry on with a “more important mission”. It’s the one where they do stupid things like this because if they don’t “how can I look my friend in the eyes” after they save them? All that really matters when they risk their lives in stupid ways like this is there are consequences.
5. Welcome to the consequences. These guys were always going to be powerful enough to steamroll over the Alvarez Empire’s rank and file (even Lucy, which is pretty awesome), but it was only a matter of time before they ran into someone with an actual character design and the abilities to be a problem. Enter: Marin Hollow, a mage with quite the unique ability–control over space. That’s an absurdly powerful ability, and it immediately shuts down half of their mages: Erza’s Requip to summon armor from another dimension, Lucy’s Celestial Mage powers to summon magical beings. Even Mest is screwed–during the initial fight he runs off to meet up with their spy, but apparently ran afoul of Marin, who shuts down his ability to teleport and beats him unconscious.
If this isn’t frustrating enough, Marin’s a creep in general, leering over the women in Fairy Tail and teleporting Lucy and Erza away to his “relaxation area” because they broke his law by trying to use their powers. Natsu and Gray try to fight him off, but with control over space Marin can also teleport, changing his location to any place in the area whenever he wants. If things don’t seem dire enough, just as the fight’s getting started another member of the Alvarez army arrives–Lord Brandish, a woman powerful enough to boss Marin around.
In fairness, the first mini-arc saw the group obliterate an entire dark guild in around six episodes, so the fun had to stop eventually. Time for the group to actually get challenged.
Fairy Tail is available on Funimation and Crunchyroll.