Happy Thanksgiving to all living in the U.S. Hope the family gathering and food were to your liking as well as the start of the shopping season that was Black Friday. Happy Holidays to all ^_^.
Chapter 261: The One Magic
Gist of it: Its a beach/breather/training episode. Really thats all there is to it.
My thoughts: I liked it. A nice mixture of fanservice and silliness with a little bit of exposition thrown. Splitting the members up into groups was a great idea too since it'll make us wonder what they're doing to gain more power. Maybe spend a chapter or two looking in on them before the games. I was especially interested in Lucy's training since we've only caught glimpses that she more powerful then she looks but hasn't been able to fully utilize her spirits. Her little theory on what the "true magic" is is also quite interesting but like Marakov said it could be anything the user wanted it to be. I guess the stronger the belief the more powerful the magic though that just my little theory. The comedy was also pitch perfect especially with Natsu and Gray. Rivals, but more alike then they know it hurts.
Of course being a beach chapter, Mashima as usual takes advantage of displaying some bikinis and naked female anatomy. Though there are some male pecs for the female reader out there as well. By now I've come to expect this from him in his works. Its shameless but hey its his signature and, being a fellow artist, I can dig it. Its a preference, either you like or you don't. Though in my personal opinion, Mashima better then controlling his fanservice then most other mangaka out there that its pretty tame in comparison. Still make of it what you will.
Overall a great chapter. Its the usual training routine but at the least it keeps the story moving.
PS: Kekeke show of hands, support for Levy and Gajeel ship out there?