5 Point Discussions – Fairy Tail (2018) 3: “Avatar”

by Sage Ashford

Natsu and the others track down another of their members in Juvia. But what’s happened to Gray? And why’s Natsu so freaked out about Sabertooth? 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. For her first episode back, it’s good to have Juvia act something approaching normal. She’s still unhealthily attached to Gray, with her having caused a constant torrent of rain in a village for six months straight because she’s depressed Gray left without her–but she also seemed pretty happy to have Fairy Tail back in her life.
In the missing year, Juvia was able to finally carve out some measure of happiness with the object of her affection, as the two of them lived together for six months in peace without issue. But after Gray’s body started to show some strange black marks, he gradually started going away without her, until one day he stopped coming back at all. The ordeal put her into shock, causing her powers to run constantly–and by the time the group finds her she almost immediately passes out from a high fever.
I still wish she were her own character instead of just being obsessed with a guy who barely seems interested in her at all, but she was much more bearable here than I remember her from the previous two series.

2. One major thing I’m loving this season is how much more Natsu seems to be embracing a leader role. He’s got much of the old, goofy Natsu in him–he tore through an army of monsters because he thought someone stole his cat–but he’s also matured a lot. He’s become a beacon to the other Fairy Tail members, swearing to bring them all under one banner–a good deal of this episode is him assuring everyone that because he’s back everything’s alright, and it’s only a matter of time before he reforms Fairy Tail.
This week, the normally scatter-brained Natsu manages to remember the words of the future Rogue from the Grand Magic Games arc, and travels to visit the Sabertooth guild to stop present Rogue from going on the mission that eventually leads to the death of Frosch. He’s thinking more strategically, knowing when to keep friends in the loop and gradually learning how to lead people. He’s even come up with a fairly plausible theory about Gray losing his personality because he’s lost control of his Devil Slayer abilities. I avoided reading the manga so I could be surprised by the anime, but it feels like there’s every chance we’re pushing towards Natsu being the leader of Fairy Tail until the guild is completely organized again.

3. With the rest of the Baram Alliance of Dark Guilds down, there’s only one guild remaining–Avatar. Avatar is a dark guild aiming to bring everyone under the heel of Zeref, a guy who clearly doesn’t care to be worshiped at all but keeps getting followed by weirdos thanks to deeds he hasn’t committed in over a hundred years. Avatar offers a colorful collection of new foes for our heroes, but the most noteworthy one is Gray Fullbuster. Apparently he left his quiet life with Juvia to find the one guild still loyal to Zeref. With his powers malfunctioning, he’s become obsessed with one goal–destroying E.N.D.
Of course, since Natsu is E.N.D., he’s going to get a shot at his goal a lot sooner than he thinks.

4. One thing I wouldn’t have expected when I started Fairy Tail nearly a decade ago is how much of a cop Gajeel would turn out to be. Dude was riding so hard for his dark guild when he was first introduced, but eventually revealed he was a spy for Fairy Tail all along. Now with Fairy Tail disbanded, he’s joined the Magic Council of all things alongside his cat pal Panther Lily and his girlfriend Levy.
At this point it’s a pattern, but you’d think someone who enjoys fighting and blowing crap up so much would never think to join something like the Magic Council. I mean, they were basically at odds with Fairy Tail for the entire time the guild existed thanks to their penchant for really, really large explosions and junk.
Still, this is probably a good thing overall, since Natsu’s decided to attack Avatar with no help other than Lucy–who spent a year learning how to make her kicks shiny (that’s not what they mean by a Shining Wizard) and Happy, who’s training involves not eating his favorite food. He’s definitely going to need back up, even if it’s coming from the Magic Council.

5. Next Episode: The preview to this really makes it look like Natsu’s only challenge with this guild is with Gray, and he tears through the others with the same ease Happy does raw fish. I’m definitely all for absurdly strong protagonists, but does that mean Avatar hung back all this time because they were a bunch of scrubs, or has Natsu really entered another echelon of power? As for Gray, from the looks of things it’s going to take longer to bring him back around than I might’ve guessed, unless he’s become really good at faking all this.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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