Fairy Tail: Final Season
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 300 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
This is one of those episodes where a lot of important things are said, a few major things happen, but all of it goes by just a little too quickly for us to really appreciate it. That said, it's hard to miss the significance of Neinhart's powers. With his Historia of Corpses, he can reach into peoples' minds and pull out the enemies they've fought against, only to revive them and force the battle to happen all over again. Given that in Fairy Tail's world battles are often life-and-death affairs, this means that wizards are forced to relive their most terrifying moments. Even if the Historias couldn't physical harm their targets (which they absolutely can), the psychological impact is immense. Neinhart's smart enough to be fully aware of that fact, as we can see in the first Historia he summons to use against Erza, Jellal, and Kagura: Simon, who was at the Tower with Jellal and Erza and who in life was Kagura's older brother. Honestly, I think that makes him a very special kind of evil, even for the Spriggan 12 – yes, the others delight in causing physical harm, but Neinhart sees other people's emotional pain as a fun little show to watch. That's a whole other level of disturbed.
Naturally because he's one of Zeref's toadies, he's also stupidly powerful, which means that not only is he able to torment the three who physically came after him, but he's also perfectly capable of extending his powers across the continent to infect others fighting in far-flung locales. Apart from the fact that he's now torturing dozens of people, it also means that he's taking them away from the real, in-the-moment fight to torment them with physical manifestations of their nightmares. The Historias can and do hurt people, but most of those people are already wounded (Wendy, Shelia, and Carla) or exhausted (Laxus) or actually fighting other Alvarez forces (Gray and Lyon), so Neinhart really is kicking them while they're down. We should probably just be grateful that he either assumes Kagura and Jellal are dead or has temporarily forgotten about them, because that means that Erza at least has a chance for some surprise backup. Either way, it adds an emotional component to next week's fight.
And it will be mostly tackled next week, because Neinhart is really just the coda to what this week was setting out to do, which was get rid of Jason. As I said before, this happens a teense too fast for it to really work in terms of storytelling, although it does give Lucy a great moment. While Lucy's magic is important and strong, what's more of a factor for her is which spirit to summon when. Sometimes that's easy (Water? Aquarius.), but others it's more of a gamble, and that's what makes her ploy this week so good. She has to take into account which spirit to summon and who to use it on in order to best defeat Jason, and if she's wrong, it will all be for exactly nothing. Gemini and Brandish's little minion do the trick, but it's one that has to be accomplished quickly and largely without the grandstanding that usually accompanies anything Fairy Tail wizards do. In a great show of teamwork, Natsu (via Makarov) then is able to take Jason out, reminding us again of why they're such a good team.
It's a positive moment in an otherwise largely grim episode. August is coming, and that's not a good thing for a variety of reasons (some known to manga readers and not yet revealed here), Neinhart is working his evil ways on a lot of people, and Gajeel, Levy, Elfman, Lisana, and Mira find out that they are the only ones left to take on the army in the north. Add to that Mavis' request to Cana to destroy her spirit projection in hopes of also removing the lacrima around her real body, and stakes are definitely growing higher. If the next episodes can do those stakes justice by not flying through them, we should be in for some very tense moments in the weeks ahead.
Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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