Fairy Tail: Final Season
Episode 294

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 294 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?

This episode of Fairy Tail is an interesting blend of gearing up for the big fight while a different big fight goes down at the same time. The latter only involves Zeref and Natsu, but it's arguably more significant than any number of impressive cameos of who's about to show up to help kick ass next week. That's because Natsu may very well be able to fulfill Zeref's long-held wish of dying and putting an end to his interminable existence.

There's definitely something bittersweet about that, especially since we can see that Zeref has had to push his feelings for his younger brother – the very thing that started him on this path in the first place – down so deep in his soul. It does make sense: if Zeref expresses love for Natsu, even while they're in the midst of battle, it could result in Natsu's death rather than Zeref's, and that would just compound the overall issue. But that Zeref's reunion with his brother is planned to end with Zeref's death at that brother's hands is definitely its own special tragedy.

Not that Natsu, or anyone else, is remotely aware of this right now. Natsu finally gets to unleash his new power, the last fragments of Igneel within him, so he's focused on using this chance to hopefully put an end to both Zeref's depredations and the war itself. If he can pull this off, it won't matter if all of the other guilds are assembling to help Fairy Tail, and honestly that feels like very Natsu reasoning. It's not that he doesn't want help or has trouble accepting it, but rather that he sees himself as being able to resolve things more quickly and therefore save more lives if he just gets this done. He's got a very good understanding of his own immense power, and if he can use it to save everyone, then he'll do it. I'd bet he'd even put on the magical girl outfit that usually comes with that philosophy if he thought it would wrap this up. (Who wants to draw that picture for me?)

The only real place where this could go wrong (apart from Natsu not actually being powerful enough) is if Zeref gives in to the villain's desire to monologue next week. Given Natsu's feelings about family, finding out that Zeref is his brother and did all of this for him (at least initially) could make him hold back, if not desist entirely. Blood ties may pale in the face of what he has with his Fairy Tail family, but knowing they exist could still derail his plans – as could the whole E.N.D. revelation. If nothing else, it'll probably make Natsu (and the plot) glad that only Happy accompanied him to this particular epic battle.

And speaking of Happy, it was really nice to see Carla stand up for him this week when everyone else was fussing over where Natsu had run off to. Happy's not as capable as Carla, Panther Lily, or most of the other Exceeds (except maybe Frosch), but he's also not totally useless, and Carla pointing that out is a good affirmation of his worth as more than just a mascot character. He was Natsu's main support before Lucy, and even with Lucy's entry on the scene, the two have maintained a great friendship. Seeing it given validity by one of Happy's chief detractors is confirmation of this.

As the fights rage on in the coming weeks, it's worth taking a moment to mention that we should probably be paying more attention to Brandish's mention of Lucy's mother Layla, something echoed by Zeref at the end of this week's episode. Layla (and Anna) have clearly been a bigger part of Lucy's life in their absence than she's been aware, and they were also bigger players in the whole Alvarez saga as well. How this will come to affect Lucy as more things become clear is going to be worth keeping an eye on, if only because parallels between how women in her family interacted with Zeref may either foreshadow or parallel her relationship with Natsu.

Rating: B

Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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