Erza goes up against Ajeel, the Desert King. Elsewhere, members of Fairy Tail find themselves beset by the Alvarez Empire’s massive army. And what’s up with Lucy? 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. If the characters aren’t concerned about their situation, why should the viewers be? That’s the question that often prefaces people’s biggest complaints about action shonen and their main characters. When the main character’s taking care of everything with a smile, how can we be concerned with what he’s up against? This episode circumvents that a bit with having the leaders in charge of the situation all panicking over their current situation, where they’ve barely started their war against Alvarez and they’re already surrounded on all sides and their city has been infiltrated. Warren loses it so much, he can’t even use his telepathy magic properly, leaving the team without the strategies of Mavis or the leadership of Makarov, until Max helps him bring himself back together.
2. The growth Natsu’s displayed since the start of this new Fairy Tail continues, and now even other characters are drawing attention to it. Last episode, he and the other Dragon Slayers were confronted by what we assumed were trash mobs, except a few of the better designed characters seemed to be holding out, giving the impression they were legitimate threats. This episode starts with Natsu actually pointing out he’s holding back on purpose due to the Alvarez Empire’s massive numbers. A younger Natsu would’ve just torn through as many as possible early on, then been exhausted when the real threats showed up. (And won anyway, because plot armor.)
He’s still Natsu though, so when one of the soldiers tries to get the drop on him after pretending to be knocked out…he punches him so far into the sky he knocks him clean through the ship Erza’s fighting Ajeel on.
3. More than anything else, I feel like Fairy Tail’s stupid fanservice holds it back. Last episode ended with Lucy discovering Brandish had snuck inside of her house taking a bath in her tub. I thought this was a joke when it appeared in the opening song, but nope–it leads exactly where the opening was teasing. Brandish forces Lucy to strip and talk to her while in the tub. There’s a menacing aspect to this for sure, since Brandish has the power to end the battle prematurely–especially with Marin around canceling Lucy’s Celestial Mage powers. There’s also a pretty dope moment where Brandish asks her to wash her back and Lucy thinks about stabbing her in the neck with one of her keys. This series doesn’t have what it takes to go through with a moment like that though, so her attempt to kill Brandish ends when Brandish recognizes she’s seen Lucy before…and calls out the name of Lucy’s mother.
From here, we finally get away from the stupid bath tub bit, with Brandish shrinking Lucy’s house and her barely making it out. She’s smart enough to snatch Marin up while he’s trapped inside of a bottle, and knocks him out by stomping on him so she can use her powers again. In a pretty cool bit of crossover, this actually helps one of the other fights happening this episode…
4. The marquee fight for this week is Erza vs. Ajeel of the Spriggan 12. The Desert King has the drop on Erza for most of the fight thanks to Marin cancelling out her abilities, which continues a trend of the Spriggan 12 and their immediate subordinates–their powers have the widest area of effect I’ve ever seen in Fairy Tail. Erza gets her ability to Requip back and changes to a form that can harm Ajeel’s sand form…but that only lasts until Ajeel activates his ultimate technique: Sand World. A spell so powerful the city of Magnolia is engulfed in a sandstorm, Erza is nearly killed from Ajeel draining the water from her body. It’s a smart usage of a sand magic user’s powers, and lets Erza look weak for once. Natsu’s the main character, but Erza actually gets the most BS wins. Still, before she can be defeated she shifts form to her Morning Star armor, giving off enough of a glimmer for Biska to hit Ajeel with the Jupiter Cannon. Erza follows up with an attack of her own, and the first of the Spriggan 12 has gone down.
5. Next Episode: One down, eleven to go! Too bad team Fairy Tail is surrounded by thousands of soldiers, and one of their strongest members is already out of the game. From the looks of things, the battle continues on multiple fronts–Lucy and Cana going up against Brandish, while Gray and his group run into another member of the 12, and Freed and the Thunder God Tribe run afoul of Wall. All this, and Zeref hasn’t even appeared yet. To say nothing of Alvarez’s more dangerous members.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.