Ah February, the month of love and Presidents. As well as the start of the fighting in this time skip. Let's rock.
Chapter 269: Vanish Into The Stillness
Skinny: After a rather useless exposition by Mavis of what we already were told in the last chapter. The first game of the tourney, Hidden, begins. The participants are sent to fake city with fake clones of them moving around the field. The objective, find the real one and score as many hits as you can. Hitting a fake one detracts from your score. The Fairy Tail teams get off to a bad start with Juvia unable to control her fangirling around the multiple Grays. While the real Gray finds himself targeted by Raven Tail's Nulpting who not only tricks Gray into attacking a fake but somehow manages to find him among the fakes almost instantly.
My Thoughts: Firstly awesome color spread. Been awhile since we had one and I like the different positions of the teams. Course as its Fairy Tail, Team A and B get top billing of course. Kinda wish we couldn't gotten a better view of Raven Tail but meh.
As stated above, the chapter wastes its extra pages with unneeded exposition. Yeah its cute that Mavis is the one doing it but its still annoying and could've been used for more story time. Seriously Mashima, what the deal? Theres no excuse for trying to pad out the story. Even moreso with Nulpting complaining about how unfair Fairy Tail is being (yeah your one to talk, guy) and some unfunny jokes about the pumpkin announcer. Just a major fail there.
Still when the chapter finally does get to the action, its a very well handled section with tension and Gray quickly catching on while readjusting his strategy. Team A comments while watching the action from the viewing screen was also good as they know about as much as the reader does about these games. So their responses mirror what were thinking, not bad. I did chuckle at the Juvia humor even though it was typical, but its in her character and breaks up the tension a tad.
While we don't get much from Nulpting this go around, he shown to be pretty formidable with how he catches Gray off guard. Though theres a chance he's using underhanded means to fight him but we'll see come next chapter.
Overall, half and half. Hated the first bits, but loved it when we finally got to the action. Looking forward to seeing what the other participants are doing next time..provided we don't get more exposition =P
P.S: And oh yesh, I know very well this whole thing is similar to Assassin Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer. Considering that Mashima is a known video gamer, I wouldn't put it past him if he got the idea from the game. I ain't mad brother, on the contary I can dig it ^_^.