Gray’s battle against Spriggan 12 member Invel Yura takes a new turn, when Gray is forced to battle against his fellow guild member Juvia! 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. I can’t really decide how I feel about Juvia and Gray’s relationship, aside from calling it disturbingly unhealthy. That’s the clear part, but I can’t decide if Juvia’s a creep who should give Gray his space, or if Gray’s a bum who should stop manipulating Juvia’s obvious feelings for him. What I do know is I wouldn’t have guessed how this fight was going to turn out, it was easy enough to assume Juvia would take herself out in an attempt to save her beloved, but I didn’t guess Gray would do the same to himself to stop himself from hurting her. It’s a great moment, backed up by a bunch of (mostly hilarious) flashbacks which chronicle their relationship…but from the dialogue it’s hard not to feel like Gray wouldn’t have done the same for any member of Fairy Tail, rather than doing this for Juvia because of his love for her.
Even when he wakes up thanks to a blood transfusion from Juvia, he’s still saying things like “I promise to take you more seriously” rather than the tear-streaked love confession Gajeel gave a few episodes back. This really feels like a relationship that’s only happening because Mashima knows people pair them together, rather than one he wrote from the beginning to work out.
2. Going into this, I was sure Brandish was going to want to get revenge on the people who hurt the man she was closest to in the Alvarez Empire. Turns out, she wasn’t nearly so petty–even after Mest’s betrayal, she decides she still wants to save Lucy and Natsu. It comes with a high cost, though: they have to escape, leaving the rest of their allies to be slain by the Spriggan 12. It’s easy to see Brandish as someone who was never meant to be a warrior–she only found her way to the Alvarez Empire because she thought her mother was killed by Lucy’s mom, and even that turned out to be a lie. Whatever hatred she had keeping her going is long gone now, so it’s no surprise she doesn’t have the same attitude towards the guild as everyone else.
3. Spriggan 10 down to Spriggan 9. The theory I had about Irene enchanting Neinhart to make him powerful enough to fight Erza turned out to be correct, and he spends this episode walking around searching for her aimlessly. He wanders into Brandish while she’s pleading with Natsu and Lucy to stop and let Zeref and Alvarez have what they like, and tries to take on Natsu. But since trying to turn a summoner into a frontline fighter hasn’t worked ever, he gets two-shotted by Natsu and knocked unconscious.
This actually raises some questions on how Neinhart’s ability works. If he’s really out (and he certainly looked it), then the Historia he created for Wall and Bloodman should ALSO go down. This is worth mentioning because during this same bit, we see the Fairy Tail guild struggling with the overwhelming forces of the remainder of the Spriggan 12 army. Logically, at least two of them should go down because they’d already been defeated and were only being conjured by Neinhart. Granted, I doubt it’s that easy…but considering they were already squashed once…it probably should be?
4. So this is how Invel frames the E.N.D. reveal for Gray. After Juvia’s new ability saves her self-destructive partner from dying, Gray finds Invel and displays a new level of focus to lay him out and finally become King of the Ice Mages. This is yet another fight that could have benefitted from lasting longer than it did in the manga. There’s very little back and forth here, and it’s not like A1 Pictures is giving its best animation to Fairy Tail, so there’s not quite the gravitas a fight like this deserves. Invel shows off his final form: ice armor made out of a unique kind of ice, but Gray perfectly imitates it and easily takes Invel out with a flurry of punches, the end.
Then again, maybe it’s such an easy fight for him because the real challenge comes at the end, when Invel explains E.N.D. stands for Etherious Natsu Dragneel, and calls Natsu the source of all of Gray’s pain and loss. It’s the best kind of lie, because Zeref’s attempts to bring Natsu is technically what led to the events of Fairy Tail…it’s also not as if Natsu ever had any say in the matter.
5. Next Episode: There are officially less than fifty chapters left to go before the end of this arc, as this episode adapted chapter 500. Next episode looks to finally begin the battle between Brandish and Lucy, though with Dimaria standing on the sidelines it’s unlikely that battle won’t have her stepping in sooner or later. The better question is…what’s up with Natsu? He looks particularly monstrous in the few glimpses we get of him. Between that and Gray wandering around looking for his friend, it really looks like things are going to get darker before they get brighter.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.