5 Point Discussions – Fairy Tail 24: “The Grand Ball”

by Sage Ashford

The mages of Ishgar confront the ghosts of their past because of the Spriggan 12’s “Neinhart” Historia of Corpses ability. Elsewhere, a new threat appears on the horizon, as the strongest members of their group finally start to close in. 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. Another member of the Spriggan 12 dealt with. Not to complain about such quick pacing, but this is happening with such frightening ease now that it’s beginning to make me see the entire group as a joke. God Serena was supposed to be more powerful than the strongest four wizards in all of Ishgar, but he got washed by one blow.  Jacob was defeated by an odd sense of modesty and a slightly angry Natsu punching him. Wall was a super-intelligent AI that got outsmarted by a regular human.  Brandish lost because of allergies.  So far the only threats which took real work have been Dimaria and the Desert King, meaning only two of the six taken down up til now have mattered, and that doesn’t get any better with this episode.

Neinhart’s “Historia of Corpses” is meant to be impressive, but it takes the mages of Fairy Tail another half an episode to completely deal with the threat in question.   Gray puts in the most work and that’s because he has to convince his former training partner Lyon to get over attacking someone just because they look like their mentor Ur, which literally comes down to “Lyon wasn’t a member of Fairy Tail”.

As for Erza, who wound up in the worst spot last episode…ugh. Mashima has such a great character on his hands in Erza, and it sucks that scenes that challenge her always delve into torture porn. The latter half of Fairy Tail somehow always winds up showing her getting bound and tortured at someone’s whims. I’d give up on rooting for her (and the show), if he didn’t also always make her comebacks unspeakably epic.  While this has backfired before (Erza was not supposed to win during the Tartaros arc), this time it felt right. Neinhart’s ability comes down to being able to defeat his opponents with the ghosts of opponents they’ve defeated, and Erza simply decides she won’t be held back by her past.  It’s the classic “I can’t lose to an enemy I’ve already defeated” trope, but amped up: merely the threat of having to fight Erza when she gets serious makes all of her old enemies back off.

Then a restored Jellal comes back to finish Neinhart off with a single spell, because last I mentioned in last week’s recap, this is literally the worst ability one could rely on in a series like this.

2. After realizing yet another of the Spriggan 12 has been defeated, all the members back in the guildhall begin to get excited again about their chances against the army. This is understandable, because this episode is a pretty big landmark moment for Ishgar: Jellal’s attack on Neinhart wipes out all of the forces coming by sea and roughly half of the Spriggan 12 are defeated. Of course, here comes Brandish to play Moment Ruiner and point out that there are still two major threats: August, and Irene Belserion, known as the “Scarlet Despair”, both seen as the two strongest members of the Spriggan 12. What that’s worth considering we’ve seen half of them get beat in the last ten episodes? Who knows!  However, Brandish agrees to negotiate with August (the one she’s known since she was a child) to try and talk him out of attacking the guild.

There’s a negative chance this works, but what if it did? What if August meets team Fairy Tail and has some kind of change of heart?  Mashima isn’t the greatest writer but he doesn’t introduce things without reason, so perhaps something more than being ignored (and attacked) will come of it.

3. So even though that’s not how CPR works, Kagura “kissed” Jellal last week when she was trying to pull all the water from his body. Embarrassed and believing she was making time on Erza’s man, she makes up for it by giving Erza a kiss as well. It’s a pretty good one too, and probably the only legitimate kiss this show’s seen in it’s 300+ episodes. Can I say I’m all the way behind Erza/Kagura as a pairing?  Erza/Jellal is so boring and doesn’t really have enough romantic tension behind it to me, and Erza/Natsu just feels like her dating her little brother.  This totally isn’t a thing, but I’d really love it if it were–they’ve got a friendship/rivalry thing going that could become really cute.

4. The end of this week’s episode involves a woman named Irene, who mysteriously has hair the same color as Erza’s, who was originally from the continent of Ishgar. She’s one of the two strongest members of the Spriggan 12, and she’s the monster who laid Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus low.  She’s got some help in the form of two young mage women and two monsters, but Brandish makes it clear she’s absolutely August’s equal in terms of ability. I’m not a detective, but I’m going to say there’s a one hundred percent chance Irene is Erza’s mother, what with Neinhart specifically finding Erza’s hair color and power of her magic “familiar”. This seems like it could have come in a later arc (this should be Fairy Tail’s “last” of course, but we’ve already got a sequel going), but I’m not against dealing with it here.  Presumably the two of them will get to face off…maybe it’ll come with a happy ending?

5. Next Episode: Man, that spoiler-y opening is now three for three.  “Giant Happy” isn’t the worst plot point to give away, but still.  Anyway, next episode looks like it’s another showdown involving Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus–they got washed before, but does that matter when you’ve got the main characters cheering you on?  Of course not.

Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

Sage Ashford

A writer with way too many hobbies, Sage can often be found catching up on the latest anime, or reading a stack of comics between Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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