Fairy Tail: Final Season
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 292 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
Don't you just hate it when you find the enemy hanging out in your bathtub in the middle of an all-out battle for your city? At the very least, it's just terrible manners! Granted, manners may be the last thing on Lucy's mind when she discovers Brandish (and her shrunken minion Marin) in her tub, but it's definitely an issue for the celestial wizard, especially since her water spirit's key is broken. That means that Lucy's going to have to outsmart her opponent, something she'd normally be more than capable of, but Brandish presents a couple of unusual challenges. The first is simply that she's a little scattered – her thoughts seem to be all over the place, one minute insisting Lucy wear cat ears in the tub with her and the next telling her to take them off. The second is the much more dangerous reason – somehow Brandish knew Lucy's late mother, Layla – and it doesn't appear to have been an amicable relationship. Given Lucy's emotionally fraught relationship with her deceased parents, bringing Layla up is the best way to throw her off-balance, and it's a testament to Lucy's quick thinking that she escapes the bathroom at all.
She's not the only Fairy Tail member in dire straits, though. Erza's still facing off against Ajeel (whose greatest power may actually be his enormous ego), Mirajane and her siblings are taking on Wall's forces, and Natsu, Wendy, and Gajeel are fighting Ajeel's own underlings, with one very important revelation: Natsu has learned how to think ahead. (Honestly, this may be the single biggest character detail in the whole episode.) As we see in the final moments of the episode, Natsu could have taken out Bakel (the big guy who looks like he cut off his lips with pinking shears) at any time; instead he's only using a portion of his power to both preserve his strength for the bigger fight to come and to give Erza time to get Ajeel under control, thus permitting Bisca to take his airship out. Natsu's devotion to his teammates hasn't always been matched with excellent teamwork, so this is a major shift for him, and it shows not only how serious the situation is, but also how he's grown as a character.
Fairy Tail's teamwork is one of the factors that may ultimately lead to their triumph over the forces of Empire. We see numerous examples of it this week, not just in the Erza/Natsu/Bisca chain of events, but also in sillier moments like Max and Warren trying to calm each other down (via crotch kicks and butt pokes, but still) and in Mira's transformation in Seilah in order to use her power, a move she acquired because she couldn't bear to just let the demon die, speaking to her inherently caring nature. Gray and Juvia have also perfected their teamwork, but by far the most exciting and impressive moment is when Cana rushes to Lucy's rescue, flinging her cards at Brandish and buying Lucy the time to take Marin out of the action so that spatial magic will work once again. It's Cana's entrance that really wins this battle, because without her, Erza wouldn't have been able to requip and triumph over Ajeel. It's the sort of move that drives home why this guild is so powerful – they can anticipate what needs to be done and work in concert to allow it to happen.
Of course, even with their impressive skills and teamwork they're not going to be enough to truly save Magnolia. Even with Ajeel out of the game (presumably) and Brandish at least a little cornered, Wall is moving on Kardia Cathedral, where Fried is struggling to maintain his barrier. Fortunately they've engendered enough goodwill with other guilds that help is clearly on the way, reminding us to never send to know for whom the parfum blows – it blows for thee.
Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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