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As you already know, i really hate this chapter for many reasons. Earlier when i first read this chapter, i was really pissed off by the way everything occured and i went a bit on a tirade and i would like to apologize to the people on this site. I tend to get upset at times when things are vastly disappointing and my intentions weren't to offend anyone, just to address how much of a letdown this entire chapter was and how it goes against everything established within Fairy Tail.
Let's start off with the fact Natsu defeated the big main villain of the arc entirely by himself. The biggest problem i have with this isn't Natsu beating him within a fight, otherwise i would never liked watching previous fights, it's him beating him so easily shortly after powering up . This is a big problem given that in all previous fights, Natsu at least had a pretty decent battle with his opponents when he gained a powerup and i was really hoping that Future Rouge would be so powerful that it would take all 7 dragon slayers plus an powered up Natsu but nope, let's have Natsu steal all the glory. Genius writing Mashima * Sarascarm *
I actually had no real problems with Last week's chapter, i actually thought this would be a clever setup for Future Rouge to pull a stunt to still keep himself within the time realm but nope, that would be too awesome and make Mashima a credible, respectable writer. To say this was a bad idea on his part is an understatement .
Also as you can tell from the previous rant that was taken down, i'm no longer a big fan of Lucy or Natsu because of how they were written as the only people to do anything regarding the plot of Fairy Tail nowadays whereas literary everyone else is treated like fodder. Also i was expecting something much more grand to stop the dragons and Future Rouge than one character smashing the gate.
This concept and theory could've worked alot better if everyone teamed up together to try destroying the gate and with the combined power of all the guilds and the dragon slayers, they shatter the gate, not just Natsu smashing it in one blow without using a secret Dragon Slayer magic.
This bad ending also drastically undercut what i thought was a very good villain for Fairy Tail. Future Rouge seemed like an interesting villain because he was a tragic villain created by the harsh rule of Acnologia and losing everything, including his closest friends and having the shadows of his powers take over while he was grief stricken , i wanted to learn more about him and wanted to see more of his powers and even see him interact with Present Rouge but do we get any of that ? Nope, Future Rouge is defeated only by Natsu. It's rather disappointing to say the least to see such a cool villain go to waste because the writer was too lazy or incompetent to extend the fights or follow up with his build up.
This chapter also ruins Natsu for me as a character. It's already been established that Natsu is the main hero and he's well known for his infamous Namaka Punches and fights with the power of friendship, this chapter doesn't show any theme of that, it's just random power overpowering power and doesn't have the genuine theme of friendship or teamwork. I don't like how Natsu is this overpowered whereas all the other Dragon Slayers, even Laxus take a backseat to him.
This chapter enrages me for the primary reason that we spent the entire series building up to the Dragons and Dragon Slayers and it was even built up that it would be the Dragon Slayers who can take on a dragon , by not having them kill dragons, you devalue their worth as characters and devalue the plot entirely and you basically ruin the entire series. It's flat out insulting and criminal that we don't see any character development with the Dragon Slayers or the dragons and just seems like a terrible cop out. When i picked up Fairy Tail, i wanted to see Wendy complete her evolution as a character by taking out a dragon that can level mountains , i wanted to see Cobra united with Kinna and they get some well deserved utilization together , i wanted to see the teamwork of the Twin Dragons and i wanted to see Laxus and Gajeel prove their badassery. Having the dragons gone take away any fun, suspense or development within the plot.
As for the Dragon Slayers being upset, they should be because Natsu was the only one to defeat both the Dragon and the Dragon Slayer controlling him. This doesn't make it better, if anything, this makes me angrier about the ending for now once the time comes, everyone needs to be saved by Natsu given he's the only one who increased his powers overtime within the fight and all the talent ,character development and potential is entirely wasted in the process.
Another thing i didn't like throughout this event but didn't mention much about or ignored given i foolishly believed this was the early stages of the arc and hoping that the Last Ages sacrifice was going to be the second win for the Non Dragon Slayers to start kicking ass and taking out baby dragons left and right but nope, that would require actually taking the time to write well. This writing approach completely and utterly abandons all other characters to the curb.
This is especially disappointing given the Grand Magic Games showcased several dozen talented and powerful mages and yet we see almost none of their talents or abilities shown. Hell , we don't even see Kagura kick ass and that alone is a crime in itself. Also given Cana and Elfman are S class level given their feats, they should've had little problems taking care of at least a dozen of those mini dragons but we barely see them at all within the chapters. Mashima somehow managed to derail an entire series of characters with this massive 180 turn of characters being used within the plot compared to previous arcs.
Also, you can tell that the writing really got lazy because we barely see any guildmasters at all within the story and before we can get any real action, we don't any at all helping out their guilds. The only Guildmasters we see were Mavis and Makarov of Fairy Tail and one of them are dead . Where were the Guild Masters of Lamia Scale, Blue Pegasus , Caruto Puppy, Mermaid Heel and Sabertooth ? Also where were these Gods of Ishvall ? I expected them to make a onscreen appearance and where the hell was Gildarts ?
I'm also disappointed by the severe lack of involvement with Team Natsu helping to defeat Future Rouge. In all the previous arcs, we see Gray, Lucy and Erza all fight powerful minions of the main villains and use their abilities to defeat them while Natsu fought the big baddie and sometimes like in the case of Hades and King Faust, even rely on the help of his friends . In this arc, Natsu does all the fighting while people sit on the sidelines virtually. Gray is only used as a false shock death and nothing more and now looking back at it, i now detest the fact that a badass like Erza needed to be saved only for her not to be healed up and kick ass alongside someone she loves and cares for. Even Lucy didn't do much aside from closing the gate and being fanservice bait for 2 chapters prior to her future self ruining the plot with the whole gate destruction Desu Ex Machina.
If anything, Gray dying or at near death and Erza not fighting further add fuel to the fires of my hatred given these guys are the main cast and yet casted aside as mere fodder ,not even helping against Future Rouge with Natsu or using that time to pull off some awesome feats. Also in regards to Gray, there was no end scene with him and Ultear which further angers me to no end. Ultear dies and Gray doesn't even have any final words for her , goddamn it Mashima. Also Erza not doing anything within the entire arc pisses me off even more given as you can tell, i'm a very big Erza fan.
But my biggest problem with this chapter is that it not spits in the face of everything and everyone that fought hard within the dragon battle but spits in the face within the timeskip. Fairy Tail had a very rough set up to it's time skip that almost destroyed the series entirely, especially given the Celestial King trolled Team Natsu back within chapter 262 . Aside from the rough timeskip setup, the timeskip of Fairy Tail was pretty good for the most part. While it wasn't as polished as One Piece's timeskip, it still had alot of awesome moments within the series and despite the lackluster final chapters of the Grand Magic Games , including the horrible Sting Surrendering subplot, it was still awesome and it's flaws can be forgiven .
This on the other hand can never be forgiven. The entire series built up to all this event happening and this is the best Mashima can throw at us ? This vastly undermines all the setup to the timeskip and everything the Grand Magic Games were building up to and not only that but completely destroy all character development within the series .
Let's also talk about the fact that Nothing was accomplished at all within this arc ! All the potential and promise of characters in the Grand Magic Games is pretty much gone within the context of the chapter and the Dragon Slayers are made pretty much useless within their own story.
Sting is still a joke! He lost to Natsu, he surrendered without a fight to Team Fairy Tail despite the fact he was at full power whereas all the fighters, especially Erza were injured and weary and now he can't even scratch a dragon, poor kid can't catch a break. He has alot of potential to be a cool character but Mashima continues to make him into a jobber.
Rouge's interaction with his future self was also lacking and this could've been one of the greatest moments within the manga but we never really see much interaction between the two Rogues so that's another reason why i hate this chapter.
We never saw Jellal and Erza battle side by side against the Dragons. Granted i enjoyed the subplot with them confronting Milliana and Jellal saving Erza but it further angers me that Erza's only highlight in this arc was to be saved. She's Erza Scarlet, you don't treat her as fodder ! Also we only see one panel of Jellal's badassery ? That's criminal underuse of Jellal .
Also, what happened between the beginning of the timeskip when B list maghes like Max can nearly defeated Pre Second Origin Natsu and the recent chapters where even S class Wizards like Bacchus and Gray who's close to S Class level were nearly killed by fodder mini dragons ? We don't see any of the implied increased strength of the fodder level mages like Bisca, Romeo, Laki and Alzack like we did with Max back within Chapter 258 , they're instead need to be rescued by Natsu.
At this point, even Acnologia can't save this seires. First of all, it's been established that only a Dragon Slayer has any chance of beating a dragon and given Acnologia is a lone wolf, i highly doubt he'll have minions to fight the other Dragon Slayers and non Dragon Slayers. Second, this striups away everything that enjoy about Fairy Tail the most, the teamwork and side character use. This makes awesome characters like Erza, Mirajane, Kagura and even Gildarts seem nothing more but complete and utter helpless fodder in the future and already sets the hopes low of a recovery. If anything, i've been dreading Acnologica's arrival because i know that no one would stand a chance even if they all fought together and now that only 1 of the 7 Dragon Slayers have any possible defense against him, this further turns this series into the very thing i hate .
Given how they kinda screwed up the training arc within the start of the timeskip and that was easily forgivable compared to this , i have no hopes of even the training arc going well and even then, it's going to border down to Natsu>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Dragon Slayers >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Pissant humans.
For those who question whether i'm a real fan or not due to the tirade i went on this morning, i'm still a fan of this seires or at the very least the fan of Fairy Tail prior to this weeks chapter. I don't like this chapter or it's story direction and i fail to see how anyone can like this direction of the plot but i guess to each it's own.
Also the comments regarding Natsu and Lucy earlier and wanting them to die horrible deaths was just blind rage and misdirected anger, i don't really hate them as characters, i just don't like how they stole the spotlight and saved everyone in this forced, contrived ending. Hell, at one point, i even considered Lucy to be the best female character aside from Erza so for me to turn on her like i did just shows how Mashima really pissed me off.
So no, there's little to no redeeming value with this plot and if anything, it kills any hopes for this series getting better for now Mashima is repeating the same mistakes as Kubo. I don't know if i can continue this series given the disappointment of this chapter.
Overall score -9001/10