Fairy Tail: Final Season
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 285 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
It may have been another series that said that magic always comes with a price, but Mest sure is proving that true in this week's episode of Fairy Tail. Mest (or Doranbolt) has always been a bit of an oddity in the show, which is really saying something given the unusual nature of most of the cast. But Mest's magic is memory manipulation, one that can be used against himself in a way that most of the others' powers can't be, and even if he means to use it responsibly, that's not always going to work out. Case in point is what Mest shares with Erza, Lucy, Natsu, Gray, and Wendy (along with Carla and Happy) this time: that ten years ago he erased his own memories as a Fairy Tail wizard in order to infiltrate the Council and learn about the Alvarez Empire. Fortunately he gave Makarov the “key” to lifting the spell, but there were clearly some very weird years there with Mest remembering and forgetting his true mission repeatedly.
What's important, however, is that he went undercover at Makarov's behest. The canny old man was aware that the Alvarez Empire is a major threat – present tense definitely applies – because it took all of its continent's 730 guilds and consolidated them. That mega-guild has made threatening verbal gestures towards Lumen Histoire, Fairy Tail's most powerful spell which is comprised of Master Mavis' body locked in a crystal. Given that Makarov is leery of the Empire – and that in fiction anyplace given the designation of “Empire” is rarely good news – this implies that exactly zero good could come of them taking Mavis and activating the spell. Also, who wants the body of a friend stolen by a probably evil empire, nefarious purposes or not?
That, then, is the real reason Makarov disbanded the guild. After Tartaros ripped through, he didn't think that there could be any feasible defense should Alvarez come knocking, and therefore the best way to protect his family was to send them away. In part the information Mest brought him helped him to come to this conclusion, but the fact that Makarov immediately departed for the Empire with his own research as well means that there are many layers of secrecy here that probably aren't concealing anything positive. Since that was a year ago and Makarov remains missing (i.e. in Alvarez), it seems safe to assume that whatever he set out to do did not get done, if he's even still alive.
So that sets us up for our next adventure with the guild: infiltrating the Alvarez Empire in order to retrieve Master Makarov. Or rather, former Master Makarov, because before Mest takes Erza down to see Lumen Histoire, she gets nominated to be the newest guild master. It's a very Fairy Tail process: basically Levy just writes her name down on the new guild registration forms because it's clear that she's the only person who can keep Natsu and co. in line. Since she can't really argue with that, Erza ends up taking the job, whether she wants it or not. She does seem keen on getting rid of it as soon as possible, however, although she proves her worth for the position by strategically deciding to take only Team Natsu and Mest into the Empire to rescue Makarov; bringing the whole gang would just be asking for even more trouble.
All of that does make this one of the show's more serious episodes. There is still room for humor, of course, with the brawl Natsu and Elfman start filling that role, as well as Juvia's jealous panicking over Gray, assuming you find that funnier than I do. The guild rumor mill has also churned out a good one about Gray's supposed romantic activities over the past year, which is probably the humor highlight. We also get a little nod to the cathartic feeling of being back home that we saw last week when Mira comments that Elfman started the fight in order to feel punished for his perceived role in the Tartaros debacle, which is a nice thread to pull through.
It does look like humor and bikinis will play a bigger role next week, but hopefully the series can keep that emotional line alive. Remembering why the guild is so important to everyone is part of what makes this series good.
Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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