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HELLO FT WIKI! Long time no see, I would ask if ya miss me. But eh most of ya hardly know me, so I won't delude myself. But still for the few who do follow my blogs, sorry for the wait. I had a disagreement with a certain editor over in the story arcs section (I won't name but he knows who he is >=/) as well as commitments outside the site. I decided to take a little break from the wiki for a bit though have been keeping up with the manga. Figured I let it go far enough to warrant a batch of reviews. So then, let's go.
Chap 312: Threesome
Skinny: Erza, Kagura and Minerva clash for a bit. Minerva reveals she has Milliana. Datong confronts Hisui about the Eclipse plan, the rescue team finally meet cloak woman who is indeed a Future Lucy.
Thoughts: Good clash but annoyed it had to end by showing Minerva cowardly tactics but I suppose they had to fit Millianna in there somewhere. The Hisui plot felt a bit like padding but at least it makes her actions somewhat more understandable. Begs the question why she didn't tell Datong this before but eh. The F. Lucy reveal wasn't anything special, just confirmed what many already figured out though at least we're moving that subplot along.
Final Grade: B
Chap 313: The King's Scenario
Skinny: Rescue Team understandably confused by F. Lucy who faints before she can say anything. More Hisui and Datong discussion, Minvera reveals she'll fight the victor between Erza and Kagura. Gajeel meets with Rouge. Laxus meets with Orga. Sting still mopes.
Thought: Meh, it's alright. Figured F. Lucy would be prevented from revealing anything. I rolled my eyes when even Hisui admitted the dungeon idea was stupid (which is like Mashima saying "yeah kinda hit a bump there. Sorry guys") and even more so when she already unlocked the Eclipse door. So basically the gears are already set in motion for a tragedy. Lovely. More Minerva fighting dirty which is basically set up for a one on one battle with her (making me wonder why they even did a three way battle in the first place) and setting up Erza battle with Kagura which I will admit I was looking forward to. Add some obvious one on one setup battles with whom we pretty much predicted from the start and call it a day. Ho hum
Final Grade: C
Chap 314: Kagura vs Erza
Skinny: Crime Sorcière discuss what to do after hearing F. Lucy's message. Erza and Kagura fight with Erza outclassed at every corner. The two talk about Jellel and Kagura's grudge against him which is revealed from the fact that she's Simon's sister (the bloke with the metal jaw from the Tower of Heaven/Paradise arc) of whom's death she found out about from Milliana. Erza claims she was responsible for that and Kagura prepares to kill her.
Thoughts: Very good, solid action and it nice to see someone on Erza's skill level outfight her. I even liked the twist that Kagura and Simon were related giving her actions justification. Erza taking the blame was in character and the chapter ends on a great cliffhanger as well. Really no complaints here.
Final Grade: A
Chap 315: Rosemary
Skinny: Just as Kagura makes the killing strike with her unsheathed sword, Erza blocks it claiming she won't allowed to be killed after the sacrifices Simon, Rob and others have made. She defeats Kagura, then saves her from falling rubble. They talk where it's revealed both of them (as well as Simon) come from the same village, Rosemary. Erza saved Kagura from getting captured from Zeref's followers but was caught in her place. Just as she's about to forgive her, Minerva attacks and strikes down Kagura from behind, gaining a point. Erza of course get's pissed off.
Thoughts: Ugh and that awesomeness goes back down the crapper. The battle ends on a anti-climatic note and goes for the typical "friendship" display. I wouldn't have a problem if it was better executed. I liked the twist that Erza and Kagura are connected but the flashback artwork was horrible, added that this is suppose to be a serious moment and it really kills the atmosphere. Minerva's surprise attack wasn't surprising really considering how she usually fights anyway. But it can't save the damage already done by this point.
Final Grade: D
Chap 316: Acceleration Towards A Doomed Future
Skinny: Minerva continues to show how much of a bitch she is by throwing Millianna to Erza having scarred her back in the process while "passing time". Adding another point for her team and pissing off Erza even more. Gajeel continues to fight Rouge, who remarks he's not as strong as Natsu. Laxus and Orga are going at it till Jura shows up and decides to join in. Juvia and Chelia are mostly slap fighting till Gray and Lyon show up to assist them. The Rescue Team get lost in the castle while trying to find an exit. F. Lucy finally wakes up and reveals that 1) They were captured again in the original timeline and 2) The future's devastation came from dragons. Hisui claims the truth of this will come from the tournament.
Thoughts: Okay Mashima we get it, Minerva's is not only a cowardly fighter but a sadist as well. You don't have to make us love to hate her then you already have. The rest of the chapter is mostly checking in on what everyone else is doing to speed along the story. I admit I loved Orga's expression when Jura show up and the squabbles between Gray, Juvia, Chelia and Lyon. But seriously how the hell did the Rescue Team get lost? They snuck in from the opening they should've at least known where to go after coming from the dungeon. Did they just come up from the back end of the castle or something. They even have Yukino, someone whose worked in the castle. with them! Plus y'know you can climb from the windows guys. Ugh whatever, least we get some exposition on what caused the devastation in the future timeline which is certainly more then I had thought. Maybe Acnologia had rallied an army of dragons to pull this off. The fact that even the Princess isn't so sure about this also adds a bit of tension too. So I'll give some kudos there.
Final Grade: B
Chap 317: Frog
Skinny: More talking about if the Dragon Bad Future is true between the Princess and Datong and the Rescue Team. Arcadios wakes up and questions to himself why F. Lucy is telling then a different story she told the princess. Back with Rouge and Gajeel, the latter is dominating the fight. Rouge reveals his motives for joining Sabertooth and questions why he fights. Gajeel of course convinces him he still has Frosch and that's reason enough. It looks like things are about to end peacefully when...Rouge's shadow starts talking to him?
Thoughts: Exposition and more exposition but pretty informative nonetheless. The Rescue Team's reactions are understandable. We get some more great tension with the fact that F. Lucy is hiding something. And even some nice backstory with Rouge and his motives which fleshes out his character. But the shadow thing though came out of left field, seriously what the hell? Where is this coming from? Is it a part of his powers or something else. Just...really?
Final Grade: B-
Chap 318: Gajeel vs Rouge
Skinny: The Rescue Team follow F. Lucy for an exit but run into guards and a brawl ensures. Aracdios and Yukino suddenly slip away during the ruckus to which Mirajane runs off to find the latter. Back at the tourney, the shadow thing possesses Rouge and continues to fight Gajeel. He pummels him for a bit until Gajeel suddenly sucks in the shadows himself becoming the Iron Shadow Dragon.
Thoughts: For a chapter that was suppose to be focused on the fight it really has trouble keeping it attention sorely on it. I didn't mind the Rescue Team running into trouble nor Arcadios and Yukino running off (it was bound to happen) but Mira further obsession with Yukino is really painting that long lost sibling theory I had when they first met and utterly dreading it as well. The title fight though was pretty interesting with Gajeel getting knocked around like a ragdoll and his solution for a counter made sense, considering how many times he saw Natsu fight. His mention that Rouge real name is Raios also show he knows more about him then he's letting on though I am annoyed that Mashima didn't build this up properly up till this point (like he was suppose to do in the tag team battle) nor is letting on what this thing that taking over Rouge is. But at least we're getting something. And Iron Shadow Dragon, very badass.
Final Grade: B
Chap 319: Holy Knight
Skinny: So newly empowered Gajeel fights the possessed Rouge and mops the floor with him, earning Fairy Tail a point. The shadow thing leaves Rouge's body much to Gajeel's confusion. What remains of the Rescue Team fight the guards with the Garou Knights suddenly re-joining the fight. Arcadios meanwhile dons some white armor and goes to meet Hisui to ask about what's going on.
Thoughts: Mmm stocking barefooted Levy =D...Oh sorry lost my train of thought. Anyway the end of this fight, while a curbstop, was at least enjoyable though I had trouble wondering if that was Rouge talking or the thing possessing him, it was hard to tell. Rest of the chapter is just padding with some impressive fighting but when you're up against mooks, it does tend to wear on a bit. I guess the Garou Knights coming back wasn't too much of a surprise though I don't see much point in them showing up now if just to up the difficulty. They can't fully use their magic unless they're sadistic enough to hit their own people and the team already proved they can beat them so...yeah, they might as well just be elite mooks. Must say though Arcadios does look killer in that armor and the chapter keeps us questioning whose telling the truth about the Eclipse plans. Though as much as this is intriguing I kinda would like some answers now Mashima.
Final Grade: C
Chap 320: Fierce Lighting
Skinny: Everyone's either busy fighting or watching the tournament. Erza tries to fight against Minerva but isn't doing too good in her wounded state. Gray and Juvia are having trouble against Lyon and Cheila. Orga tries to juke out Jura with an attack and gets One Hit KO'd for his trouble. Laxus tries to his luck next, seems to have the same result but comes back with an uppercut.
Thoughts: @_@ Schizophrenic is the best I can describe it. Mashima trying so hard to juggle all these characters and to his credit he not doing too badly though the results is sometimes it means we can't get the desired results. Case in point with the Laxus/Orga battle, so much hype for it...and it ends with Orga going out like a punk. To be fair though he did go up against Jura and it was both hilarious and satisfying to see him get dropped like that. Plus I suppose going against a titan like Jura would make for a more interesting battle. Must also give the four way fight between the FT and Lamia Scale members some due, nice teamwork between the groups.
Final Grade: B+
-Whew- and that'll do it for now. Yes I know there's a chapter this week. Don't worry it's coming. So keep a look out. ^_^