Enter the heart of darkness.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Mavis continues the tale of her past and how she ended up locked in the basement of Fairy Tail. She explains that Zeref dropped her body off with Precht, her friend who would later become the 2nd guild master of Fairy Tail. Zeref, heartbroken, returns to his fledgling kingdom to find a distraction from his endless depression. From there, time passes, and Mavis is kept underneath Fairy Tail in a crystal cocoon that preserves her body and keeps her from truly dying.
As time goes on, a mysterious convergence of forces within Mavis creates the “Fairy Heart”, a magic of endless power that can be wielded by members of Fairy Tail. Though it hasn’t been used yet, due to the possible unforeseen consequences of its use, the magic is surely the guild’s trump card in the battle to come. Hearing Mavis’s tale, Natsu and the others get everyone fired up to stop Zeref and his empire from hurting their guild founder and destroying the land they love.
Makarov explains some of the challenges that await them in the war to come, namely Spriggan’s council of elite mages, the Spriggan 12. He goes through all of them and their individual powers, explaining most notably the strength of August, the “Wizard King” who is said to use all magic and has power that rivals Zeref’s.
Meanwhile, off in an unknown cave, the dark dragon Acnologia gets ready to emerge to the world for the Dragon King Festival, and wreak havoc across the land.
Fairy Tail continues to be a series of ups and downs this week, with its scattershot levels of quality making each episode a bit of a crapshoot in determining its quality. This is certainly what might be called an “In-between” episode, mostly used to explain what’s to come and set up the pieces in play for future battles and story developments. An episode like this requires a certain patience, since it will probably do better as an episode in the longer story than it does as a weekly piece of entertainment. That being said, there are plenty of things an episode can do to make exposition episodes exciting, but Fairy Tail falls a bit short, getting bogged down in its exposition instead of using it to create motion and excitement in the episode.
Mavis’s flashback finishes things up to start the episode out. It hits the right emotional notes and drives home the tragedy of Zeref’s curse, the fate that makes him into such an evil bastard in the first place. However, I thought the episode hand waved just exactly what Fairy Heart is, and is rather vague in saying its a source of “Limitless magical power.” It’s useful, to be sure, but not very well fleshed out.
From there, the episode just follows a standard string of dialogue that slowly but surely reveals the members of the Spriggan 12 and gives us a nice emotional moment with the members of Fairy Tail. Your enjoyment of this episode will most likely depend on how much you find the writing entertaining. The dialogue, while written well enough to develop out the new characters introduced in this episode, is just a bit too excessive. Without some kind of action or tension to keep the episode interesting, the exposition can get to be a bit too much. A better framing device or scenario could have been used to explain to us who these characters are in a more interesting way.
This is an acceptable episode, to be sure; nothing about it is stupid or insulting, but it doesn’t shoot for greatness, and therefore doesn’t achieve it. While enjoyable, I couldn’t help but feel like the episode was something of a waste, and could have moved onto something more interesting without losing much of the information presented here. Its not bad, but there is a whole lot of room for improvement.