Irene and Erza finally meet on the battlefield. Fortunately, Erza has the power of her allies on her side. Or does she? 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. Since both Wendy and Irene are capable of casting Enchanter magic, the beginning of this fight looks a lot like a role-playing game. Wendy’s a White Mage so she keeps buffing Erza (a strange mix of DPS and Tank), while Irene attempts to de-buff Erza so she’s not capable of dealing as much damage. Even with A1’s lacking animation (more on that later), this was a pretty entertaining way to open the episode, and made me want a Fairy Tail RPG more than ever.
2. We flash over to Natsu, Lucy, and the others briefly to finally get the answer on what’s happening inside of Natsu and why he appears to be dying. Irene confirms that even within the other Dragon Slayers there’s a Dragon Seed inside of them, though Wendy knows and explains that the Seed was permanently stunted within them all. This explains why they haven’t transformed into dragons, but doesn’t explain what’s happening to Natsu. Turns out, there’s another seed inside of Natsu–a Demon Seed–the power that makes Natsu into E.N.D. It’s that ability that’s beginning to merge with the Dragon Seed within him, and is slowly killing him.
Of course, since there’s literally zero chance a series like Fairy Tail kills off it’s main character, we’re probably headed towards the two different powers canceling one another out but giving Natsu either a temporary or permanent boost–enough to beat either Zeref or Acnologia, or both. This also makes Natsu into a Magic Dragon Demon, which is firmly in the realm of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot, and slightly bending the Rule of Cool a bit, but I’m willing to withhold judgement until we see if he has a final transformation, and what it looks like.
3. Allowing Irene to go through with story time creates a slight wrinkle in Erza and Wendy’s battle plans. After she recalls attempting to enchant her personality onto Erza, she realizes the flaw in her initial plan: a lack of compatibility. But while she isn’t compatible with Erza, she finds herself perfectly compatible with Wendy, a mage that’s both an enchanter and Dragon Slayer. She casts a spell to inhabit Wendy’s body, leaving behind her old one and leaving Wendy to an unknown fate.
This actually changes the tenor of the battle quite a bit–up until now, Erza’s had almost no hesitation in fighting Irene. From the beginning she’s been convinced her real family is Fairy Tail, and refuses to hold back against someone trying to harm her family. However, when Irene takes over Wendy’s body it finally causes Erza to handle things differently. ….At least until Wendy reveals she’s taken over Irene’s body by saving Erza at the last second from a dangerous explosion.
Using Irene’s superior magic, she tosses Irene out of her body and re-inhabits her own, but is unable to continue fighting thanks to Irene damaging her body in a frantic attempt to keep it. This whole section of their fight is impressive, but particularly there’s a bit where Irene returns to her body and sends out a massive section of laser beam attacks Erza is forced to dodge just to survive. It’s handled well for A-1 Pictures, though it left me wondering just how much could’ve been added to the scene by a studio with a better pedigree, or even one that just cared more about the property.
4. After Wendy successfully kicks Irene out of her body and reclaims it for herself, Irene snaps and goes full dragon form unintentionally. Unsurprisingly, her magic grows as a result and she literally smacks Erza once to put her out of action. As if she weren’t overpowered enough, but at least her not immediately using this form isn’t her holding a giant Idiot Ball, plotwise. We spent an entire episode focusing on how much she despises being a dragon, so having her avoid using this until she’s forced to is logical.
Plus, the damage she inflicted on Wendy’s body before being sent back even keeps her out of action. Not that it would’ve mattered–the Dragon Slayers of this era haven’t been able to bring down even a single dragon yet, likely the side effect of having the Dragon Seeds within them permanently stunted.
5. So after Irene finally gets ticked about how two mages who’ve already just narrowly survived several battles from her comrades are able to not only hold her off, but outright deny her major scheme, she finally decides not to tolerate their disrespect a second longer. Rather than continue fighting them even in her dragon form, she goes full on Final Fantasy 7 villain and summons a giant meteor to obliterate them all.
….Okay, first off. How powerful is Acnologia? If Irene can do something like this and she’s still not confident enough to face Acnologia alongside August and Zeref, then he’s officially too strong to be reasonably stopped by Fairy Tail. And if Acnologia can do something like this, why doesn’t he just summon a meteor and kill all the Dragon Slayers at once and “win” the Dragon King Festival?
In any case, because Erza is the most absurd shonen character ever created, she flings her broken body up at the meteor with the intention of stopping it at the cost of her own life to save the rest of her guild. I’d say she has no chance, but she’s succeeded in worse situations than this–ones in which, narratively, she absolutely should’ve lost. So why not? At this point the only person with more plot armor than her is the main character, so I’ll lay good odds somehow this works out in her favor.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.