Fairy Tail: Final Season
Episode 322

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 322 of
Fairy Tail (TV 3/2018) ?

I think a lot of us figured out in middle school that the old saw “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a load of garbage. Words are, arguably, the most powerful tool humans possess, and their ability to cut you to the bone can't be underestimated. Fairy Tail has used that idea in some interesting ways from the start (probably playing on “kotodama,” a word-based magic) with Levy's particular brand of power, but Lucy's authorial aspirations are a part of it too. Later when demons from the Book of Zeref were revealed to be actual written creations from a literal book we saw the melding, so to speak, of Lucy's ambitions and Levy's magic. Now that combination of skill and magic is the only thing standing between Zeref and his plans to remake (or maybe “unmake” would be the better word) the world in the physical form of the boy born from a book: Natsu.

Although it really only plays a small part this week, at least in terms of time devoted to its plot thread, Lucy's successful rewriting of parts of the Book of E.N.D. is the single most significant event in the story's endgame. That's not just because she's reviving Natsu after Zeref killed him, but because it's the culmination of Lucy's power as a character. She's been a stabilizing influence on Natsu since the two met and bonded, yes, but it really goes beyond that. Her taking up her pen to write Natsu back to life also recalls when she saved Loke's existence, her long-held dream of being a writer, and the time she spent as a journalist when Fairy Tail disbanded. It's also the product of her friendship with Levy, because in a sense she's now using the same type of magic – using the power of words to reshape something. If she didn't know or want any of these things, Lucy would not have been able to bring Natsu back to life; this is truly the culmination of her growth as a character over the entire series. It's also a reminder that she's been the quiet driving force behind the story as a whole – Lucy's the character we came into the series with, the person whose perspective introduced us to most of the main cast. It's only fitting that she use all of that to now help the people who gave her the chance to become the first Heartfilia woman in hundreds of years to strike out on her own without Eclipse hanging over her head.

It's also an interesting statement on the difference between Zeref and everyone else. Zeref is so lost in his own misery (and to be fair, his life does suck) that he can't fathom any solution but a total destruction of the world so that he can start over. While that does technically mean that everyone else gets a fresh start too, assuming too much doesn't change with a past where Zeref doesn't become immortal, it's still ultimately a selfish plan. By restarting his life, Natsu won't meet Lucy, Zeref and Mavis will live hundreds of years apart, and there's no guarantee that Fairy Tail as we know it will exist. Would it be better for all of them if the events of the past never take place? Maybe. But that's not Zeref's call to make alone. He's all decked out in hearts like a Lisa Frank version of John Travolta's disco suit in Saturday Night Fever, but “heart” is the one thing he's missing from his plan.

Guilt, on the other hand, definitely seems to be present. I've sometimes thought that guilt is the most powerful human emotion, and there certainly do seem to be plenty of characters in Fairy Tail who bear that out. Zeref's unhappy, yes, but a lot of that comes from the guilt of his past actions. Mavis is driven by the guilt of what she did to Zeref and Rita, and Jellal's willingness to sacrifice himself getting rid of Acnologia could be said to be part of the guilt he feels about failing Erza. Lucy's one of the few not operating on a base of that particular emotion right now, and it will be worth paying attention to see if in the end warmer feelings can triumph over a self-imposed guilt trip.

Rating:

Fairy Tail: Final Season is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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