Fairy Tail: Final Season
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 312 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?
It would be nice if an episode of Fairy Tail not dealing with the past could focus on one plotline at a time. While that might slow the pace down a bit, the past episodes (another of which we'll be getting next week) have proven that the series is more than capable of holding our attention on a single plot thread for twenty-three minutes, and that might actually allow for us to get more invested in some of the individual battles than the current format allows. But that doesn't seem to be in the cards for this season, or at least this part of this season, and the result is that each fight is broken up in ways that can backfire.
The conclusion of the Sting vs Larcade altercation is a good example of this. Larcade was much more frightening (or at least alarming) last week, when there was more focus on him, and his ability to manipulate peoples' base desires is worthy of a decent fight scene. Likewise Sting ingesting Rogue's powers was impressive, and therefore the final showdown between these two should have been equally so. And it was…in parts. But it also felt like an anticlimactic conclusion to what was much more exciting last week, with Kagura showing up at the last minute and Sting just sort of Spidermaning his way to a hasty conclusion. Yes, he took out the bad guy and it was neat that he did so by using two conflicting magics, but maybe we could have seen a little more of him trying to use them before he just does so? If this is meant to be a foil to the Natsu/Gray fight – also opposite powers but in that case attacking each other – then it deserved more development to help get the point across. Natsu and Gray needed Erza to come in and tell them that they're stronger together; Sting and Rogue (and Kagura) all figured that out on their own. That they all reached the same conclusion through such different means, and that the conclusion they reached is so central to Fairy Tail's overall theme, means that the lack of development or appreciation for these fights is a little disappointing.
More of a let-down, however, are the minutes spent in flashback about the last time Minerva and Kagura were together. That's important information, because there's no way Kagura can just trust Minerva after her past actions, but given the way that the show has been scrambling to allot time for each important development while not having an extra hundred episodes, the flashback feels like wasted time. A shorter one would have worked better, especially since that time could then have been put into the Sting/Larcade fight while still allowing for the scenes inside Natsu's mind and Irene's revelation about who she is. (The Lucy scene probably could have been saved for later, but it was a good idea to check in with her.)
That's the real meat of this episode, although I'm sure many of you saw it coming: the Irene is, in fact, Erza's long-lost mother. I'll restrain myself from making the nearly inevitable Darth Vader jokes (even though I've been thinking of her as Darth Moeder since I read the manga), because there are two much more important takeaways here: that Erza is amazingly unimpressed and still ready to destroy Irene and that Irene was, four hundred years ago, the Queen of Dragons. (Great, now I have to stop myself from making a Game of Thrones joke, too.)
Apart from the fact that this feels like link number 457 to dragons by characters in this show, that has some very interesting implications for Erza herself. Does that mean that Irene is a dragon or that Erza's dad was one? She doesn't use Dragon-anything magic, so what does that mean? And is this why Natsu (almost) always listens to her? If she has control over dragons, that could be very important going forward. Then there's that “four hundred years ago” bit that Irene let drop – is Erza also only currently a member of Fairy Tail because of time travel? If that's so, then she has a connection to the Heartfilia family as well, something we're reminded of with the dragon slayers when Natsu is told (reminded) that his scarf wasn't knit by Igneel himself, but by Anna.
At least a few of these questions will be answered next week when we get Irene's history. Like those people whose DNA tests reveal things they'd rather not have known, Erza may be in for some unpleasant surprises.
Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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