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Remember my outrage from the past week regarding Mashima ? Yeah the horrible 337 chapter nearly destroyed this entire series with it's horrible ending and unsatisfying conclusion to both the Grand Magic Games and the Dragon King Festival arc. How does Mashima make up for it this week ? Pretty damn well for a guy who caused a horrible anti climax on par with the disappointment of Aizen vs Ichigo or the offensively bad moments of Naruto defeating the Third Raikage and Second Tsuchikage which denied character development of both Kage successors. Seriously i wasn't expecting this to be good at all but it seems like i was wrong about that. All 3 chapters this week have been pretty good and actually were fun to read , they almost made up for the terrible ending last week, almost.
I still hold Mashima in contempt for last week for good reasons. It was still stupid for him to end the battles abruptly with this Deus Ex Machina BS which denied us the thrill of seeing the Dragon Slayers not only take down their Dragon opponents but develop it's characters, it was also a massive underuse of returning character Cobra and it still drastically undercut Future Rouge greatly who i thought was a very good villain for Fairy Tail. I still hate this ending and have great skepticism for the future of this series for as well meaning Mashima seems to be , disappointment and let downs seem to be the norm of him lately in a slowly growing pattern .
We can trace it back to the start of the timeskip of Fairy Tail where the setup was rushed and badly executed however it was the Grand Magic Games for most of it's length that made this timeskip good. There has been quite a few letdowns within the Grand Magic Games arc, for insistence, the slight letdown of Jellal vs Jura's battle which to be fair was expected, the slightly larger letdown with the battle of Mirajane vs Jenny which to be fair can also be defended on the grounds that Mirajane is an S Class Wizard, the moderately disappointing battle between Laxus and Raven Tail ( I was seriously expecting more from Ivan ) , the slightly more disappointing battle with Natsu vs Sting and Rogue ( Seriously, they were weak opponents for Natsu ) , the large disappointment with Kagura being taken down so soon in battle by Minerva ( Seriously fuck that bitch Minerva ) the unforgivable insult of the bullshit ending of the Grand Magic Games ( Sting you suck !) and now 337 . The point i'm making of this is that Mashima seems to be getting better with buildup over time while simultaneously getting worse with payoff since the time skip so i remain highly cautious if i were you because you never know when he can fuck up and how bad it's going to be .
Needless to say though, this was a great trilogy of chapters. I wanted to hate these chapters out of spite for what Mashima did last week however it's physically impossible to hate these chapters because they were all actually very good and i enjoyed all of them. 338 is more of a filler like chapter that puts a closure to the entire Grand Magic Games/Dragon King Festival arc, 339 is basically all the resolution and dealing with the aftermath of the Dragon festival including the fate of Ultear and 340 is a major shocker to events that would come much later on and i can only hope that i'm proven wrong about Mashima's slight decline pattern and doesn't turn into full out ,irreversible decline that nearly destroyed Naruto and completely destroyed Bleach .
( SPOILER ALERT : If you haven't caught up to the series, don't read the following . 340 is especially heavy spoilers )
Fairy Tail 338
We start of the chapter with a bit of fanservice with Mirajane, Yukino, Lucy and Lisanna . Yukino is unsure about wearing this dress while Lucy and Mirajane comment on Yukino's beauty while Lisanna ask for Mirajane's help in buttoning up her corset. Am the only one one who thinks Mirajane might like Yukino a bit too much ?
Anyways we then cut into our party with Elfman looking a bit like Gildarts with his hairdo and clothing while Gray is naked yet again,seriously why wasn't he kicked out of the castle for indecent exposure ? Also why is Erza holding alcohol ? Wasn't it established that she can't handle liquor in the fourth OVA ?
Anyways ,this chapter as if you can't tell already is the Grand Magic Games post party in which the characters and this chapter is about simple fun. When i first read this, this actually kinda enraged me, at first . I wanted to see how the Ultear subplot was resolved and if she ever got to say her farewell but thankfully the next chapter tackled that well , that and let's just say a certain character more than suppressed my rage .
That's right, it's Kagura who pretty much calmed me down back before i realized that the next chapter would still cover Ultear's ending . Seriously , she's hot ! Hell i would be the first to say this but she just might have beaten even Erza in the looks department. What makes her even hotter though is the fact that she doesn't seem 100% comfortable within that outfit and it shows that she has a bit of a conservative approach to clothing and doesn't like showing much skin, fro some reason that's kinda hot to me. If anything, next to Juvia, she is one of the most overdressed females within the entire series .
Meanwhile we get some development with Lucy and Hisui who reminds me a bit of princess Vivi in a way Lucy kinda reminds me of Nami. Anyways, Hisui apologizes for the disappointment of the Dragon King Festival and Lucy of course forgives her for such a massive letdown. Meanwhile Juvia has improved her look yet again and breaks the fourth wall referring to all her loo changes within the past and now has an even cuter look to her while Gray acts a bit of a dick towards her, which i really don't like . Seriously Gray, are you trying to be an asshole like Sasuke or are you just stupid ? There's a hot chick willing to go with you , i think Juvia might be right about you being gay ! Anyways,. Lyon pretty much annocuses to Gray that he quits being interested in Juvia and realizes that she doesn't want him .
Meanwhile, we get a kawaii moment between Wendy and Cheila looking at Jello and then eating it when Mavis appears hungry for Jello, seriously how is she a ghost and yet still gets hungry ? Also how is it that only Fairy Tail members can see Mavis ? I understand that it's because they have the mark of the guild but i still want to know how that exactly works .
Meanwhile we see Thunder Tribe hanging out with each other with Laxus being a pimp and casually picking up chicks while talking with Evergreen and Bickslow about Natsu's notable absence. I like how Freed is upset with all the women being all over Laxus, either he's jealous of all the women surrounding Laxus because he wants the women to be around him or this is just another nod of him having possible homosexual feelings for Laxus.
We then cut to one of my favorite moments within the in the chapter and that's when Kagura and Erza talk with each other for the first time within several dozen chapters. Erza wants to become friends with Kagura and put the past aside but Kagura wants to be more than just friends.... i know what you're thinking right ? Yeah Kagura wants to be her sister, i somehow doubt that it's just that given the way Kagura hugs her and not made better by Chisley stating " Even Kagura can't resist " ...yeah you just gave us some awesome Yuri fanfiction here Mashima ,XD. But in all seriousness, i actually found this as a nice step with the development of both characters.
Meanwhile Milliana is sulking a bit, probably jealous of Kagura and Erza being together so Erza makes up for it by pulling Happy, Cheila and Pantherlily from the hammerspace of her ..boobs ? So Erza can fit 3 cats there ? Either she can requip living things or she has massive hammerspace in her cleavage , i wonder what else she can fit there if you know what i mean . Anyways Milliana is happy again after seeing the cats and goes back to her quirky, cat looking self . Anyways,i can see how Happy is super Happy, he was first resting between Erza's boobs and now being hugged by Millana .
We then cut to Sting who offers Gajeel to have a drink with and Gajeel as well as Rouge and they talk about the disappointing payoff of last week's abyssal character with Lecter reminding Sting how much he fails at life and how he's the Yamacha of Dragon Slayers . anyways Rouge reflects more on his much cooler and more badass counterpart from the future and ensures us that he'll never be as badass as him . Anyways Stin and Gajeel have a drink which marks the friendship between the Fairy and the Tiger . Anyways it's confirmed that Minerva and her father Jiemma have went into exile and that the guild has the start over from stract and Sting would take leadership as the new guild and wants to take back Yukino .
We then get Kagura interrupting the moment , drunk ! Yep, Kagura is now drunk ! Anyways Sting and Kagura get into an argument over who gets Yukino, yeah it's an argument between the best time skip character and the worst time skip character. Seriously Sting, you're just nowhere near as awesome or powerful as Kagura , go home, you're drunk ! Anyways Fairy Tail wants Yukino too, well except for Juvia who fears more competition over Gray and Lisanna who breaks the fourth wall about her having competition with Yukino given their similar appearances which i found pretty funny. Then all the other guilds want Yukino and have a brawl over her , then again she's the second best character in the timeskip so it makes sense that people will fight over her.
We then get the funniest moment within the manga, Natsu dressed up as the King of Fiore. Looks like Natsu has become the king of the fools ! Despite the problems i have for last week's chapter, this was a good chapter that was pretty funny as expected .
Overall : B
Fairy Tail 339
Before we cover that chapter, let's look at the cover. Damn Kagura is looking really hot within the cover,even hotter than she did a chapter ago with her dress,seriously even Jenny who's a rival to Mirajane within the looks department doesn't compare to Kagura, nor do any of the other girls on the cover. Also it's quite ironic to see a woman well known for not liking to show too much skin be the girl with the skimpiest bikini.
Anyways, we start the chapter with Jellal and Merdery walking across the heavily damaged capital city of Crocus searching for Ultear. Jellal and Merdery state that despite the fact that Future Rouge and the Dragons were sent back to their time, the damage and destruction as well as the memories of the event haven't been undone . They then meet Mest AKA Doranbolt who reveals that he used his memory manipulation magic on everyone within the Magic Council.
Mest reveals that the eclipse magic is from the book of Zeref and the royal family was tricked by Future Rouge to make it and it word got out about their accidental involvement within the unleashing of a Dragon Apocalypse , that could cause countrywide panic and complete collapse of the royal family and that would cause anarchy across the land. He even altered the memories of Lahra, his partner to prevent any information of what happened under tight wraps .
We then get more information about Cobra and his whereabouts . Cobra willingly went back into jail which shows that alot of the character development he received during the Key to the Starry Sky arc . I really wish that Kinana and him had a chance to meet and they worked together once again to help defeat the dragons and i really don't like how Cobra was pointlessly brought back only to not kill a single Dragon . It's then revealed that this is far from the last we seen of Cobra for it seems he has plans to reform the Oracion Seis once again behind bars to help out within the future and that's when we get some bombshell news about the Baram Alliance.
Cobra then reveals the plot known as the door to Hades, Tartaros . The dark guild which was the third most powerful of the Baram Alliance which eluded capture for 7 years, it's revealed that Cobra plans to use that to get immunity in exchange of giving that intel but this raises questions about Tartaros . How many top tier members do they have and how powerful they have become within the last 7 years ?
Anyways we then encounter an elderly old woman within her 80's walking across the road holding an letter from Ultear. They read the letter from Ultear which explains her last words to them. During the dragon battles, her Last Ages failed and she wrote out the letter in advance shortly before she passed away for them to read as their last words and wishes for Crime Sorciere to move on without her and carry on her will and to fight against Zeref and other evil forces to protect humanity .
However it's revealed that the old lady who gave them the letter was none other than Ultear who's been horribly scarred by aging, losing all of her magical powers and her beauty in the process however she has found redemption and was able to wash away her sins in exchange of helping thousands of lives and giving Gray a second chance to live and Gray realized the old lady they saw across the road was Ultear and remembers her sacrifice and now mops at the lost of Ultear and Ur.
Overall a pretty good chapter and good resolution to Ultear's character arc and good build up for next week.
Overall : B +
Fairy Tail 340
Now this is the chapter which the plot and the series makes a large turnaround from 337 and the wounds caused to my trust and faith of the series . Fairy Tail is welcomed back with open arms by the citizens of Mongolia Town with even Twilight Ogre welcoming their return which is ironic given that these were the same guys bullying Fairy Tail not too long ago . Lucy is revealed to still own some rent money, Erza is embarrassed by the disappointing ending of the Grand Magic Games and Natsu stole the King's crown . They then won back their former guild hall and they all celebrate but that's not what really matters given anyone could've predicted that.
What wasn't expected was this ! ZEREF ! Yep we get a full page spread of the entirety of darkness himself , the one who purged the world into a abyss 400 years ago who's accompanied by Obra's creature , this means that Raven Tail and by extension Taratos must be working directly under him as well as all the other dark guilds connected to the Baram Alliance . Does that mean that we might see Mirevana and Jiemma within a Dark Guild soon ?
To add to to the expected twist, Mavis manages to find Zeref within the outskirts of Mongolia Town which adds even more fuel to the fan teriores about the connection between Mavis and Zeref and by extension the possible dark history of Lumme Historie hinted all the way back with the subplot with Raven Tail . Anyways despite not being able to see or hear Mavis, he has the mystical powers to respond to her words.
Ignoring the continuity error of Maivs and Zeref talking despite Zeref saying he can't see or hear Mavis , he speaks to Mavis about his motivates against the world. He believes that humans have lost their ways and they're all evil and corrupt and it's driven him to complete insanity and isolation. He then announces that he plans to destroy the entire world but Mavis responds by stating that Fairy Tail will stop him and they have an epic staredown...despite Zeref not being able to see Mavis.
This was an excellent comeback for Mashima, this chapter was beyond epic and i can't wait for more within the next weeks.
Overall : A +
Boy was this a massive rebound,the likes i haven't seen in a very long time. In just 3 chapters, Fairy Tail was dramatically reversed from being absolute shit to being good again in just 3 chapters. To put this in context, the last major fuck up with Naruto was chapters Naruto 553 when Naruto one shotted the previous Tsuchikage, stealing Onoki's battle and it took 8 chapters for that damage to finally be undone by Madara's epic appearance.
Fairy Tail on the other hand did this with just 3 chapters, the first chapter i read was okay, a bit fillerish but okay, the second chapter finally got some resolution for the Ultear and the last chapter was just awesome, Zeref who is known for killing things ironically resurrected the entire series in the same way Madara pretty much saved Naruto.
Overall score for all 3 chapters: A-