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Ummm...I have no clue how to introduce this week's chapter. Let's just go.
Chapter 266: Sky Labyrinth
The Skinny: Team Natsu returns to the hotel to find that Wendy isn't back yet. But bigger problems arise when the preliminaries suddenly begin with the first obstacle being to make their way though a labyrinth sphere made with the city's buildings and floating in the air. The group manage, just barely making it into the 8th place slot. Meanwhile Lisanna and Happy find Wendy's purse. Not good.
My Thoughts: Wow way to hit the ground running. No next day opening ceremony, no trash talk with opponents. Just straight to the action, considering the last chapter was sorta the build up, this was a great way to follow it. We even get a new Lucy spirit, it's not terribly interesting but its great to see her break out some new ones. And hey Elfman joins the group for a little, we hardly get to see some action from here so I'm not complaining. The curb-stomp of Twilight Orge again was hilarious, seriously I burst out laughing at how fast they got taken out.
The labyrinth was actually a neat idea especially with it shifting. Made for some nice tension plus it was great seeing the group having to use their brains to get through the maze. Course that probably the reason they they took so long too but hey I doubt they come from under the underdog status so early.
We also get a lot of sinister food for thought. Ezra does bring up some good points how the contest was so quick to knock down the number of guild in such an instant. Then again she could just be paranoid but when has Erza been wrong about this stuff. Wendy and Charle disappearance also brings some nice tension as well, though pretty sure its Raven Tail. Considering they had a mole with Gajeei before the time skip, I wouldn't put it past them if they had been spying on the group before the games. Thats my theory at least.
But overall I dug the chapter, there wasn't really any complaint I could think of. So I'd say that a score for Mashima this week. We'll see if he can keep it up next time.