Fairy Tail: Final Season
Episode 303

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 303 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?

So that's twice now that a member of Fairy Tail has prevented someone from ending this war. First was Happy when he stopped Natsu from killing Zeref, which was a dumb thing to do, but understandable to a degree – he didn't want Natsu to die as well. While that hardly showed much thinking things through, it was in line with Happy's character. This week, though, this week, Mest pulls something that's far less understandable or acceptable. Happy's actions may have been selfish, but Mest flat-out sabotages Brandish's Makarov-sanctioned negotiations with August. Fairy Tail as a guild may not put a lot of stock in power structures, but that's mutiny by anyone's reckoning, and Makarov's no Captain Bligh. It was also an awful thing to do to Brandish – she'd decided to help Fairy Tail, turning her back on her own country in order to end Zeref's war, and not only did Mest make light of that sacrifice, he also demonstrated his lack of respect for someone willing to help his guild by making hers the hands that held the knife. It's just a low blow all around.

It also may be one that gets Natsu and Lucy hurt, because the consequences of his actions aren't only that he screwed over Brandish's negotiations, but that he triggered August into using his powers. Granted, those may be cancelled out by Irene's use of Universe One at the end of the episode, because her spell rearranges the very land and she cast it on all of Fiore, but someone's still going to get a taste of whatever it is August did. The chances that it's Mest feel quite slim.

August's spell may have a slightly better effect on the other major moment of emotional frustration this week, the apparent death of Gajeel. I freely admit that Gajevy is my favorite couple in the show, despite how they started (followed closely by Jerza; aren't portmanteaux fun?), but even if they aren't yours, this week does a really good job of making their parting heartbreaking. It goes back to the idea I discussed last time, about how in fiction partners often make a big deal out of sacrificing themselves for the other to go on living. Levy and Gajeel have both made it clear that that's not acceptable to them, but it doesn't stop either of them from trying. Of course, Gajeel wasn't planning to die – he perhaps was banking on shortening his lifespan in a similar way to Levy's via massive Bane Particle ingestion, but he certainly didn't expect Bloodman to just drag him to hell like that. When he then stops Levy from following him (and Lily ensures that she can't), though, he's just doing the same thing he was upset that she did – sacrifices himself and leaves her behind. The hope I'm selling here is that Irene cast her spell while Gajeel and Bloodman were in transit between Fiore and the underworld, meaning that they'll pop out somewhere very much alive. Even if that happens, though, Gajeel and Levy's parting is very effective, making use of flashbacks to show how they grew to love each other and one heart-rending image of the family Gajeel hoped to have with her. It's all enhanced by some truly great scream-crying from Levy's VA, Mariya Ise, who strikes just the right note of heartbroken desperation.

All in all, things really look bad for our heroes right now. But there's one potential game changer in the wings for the next episode: Cana has finally brought herself to eliminate the lacrima holding Mavis' physical body. That means that the First Master is back on the scene, and while her being in her real body could reactivate the curse she carries, it also gives Fairy Tail an edge against Zeref. He's never had a chance to really deal with his feelings for Mavis, and those are in large part what's driving him, brother be damned. How will he react coming face-to-face with her again? How will she? The name Mavis is one that she shares with the heroine of Marie Corelli's (totally bizarre) 1895 novel The Sorrows of Satan - perhaps she can bring those same sorrows to the man trying to destroy her people.

Rating:

Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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