Overview (Spoilers Below):
Natsu’s fight against Zeref continues, as they block, parry, and jab while Gray, Lucy, and Happy look on. Then the First Master summons Natsu’s friends away in order to perform some kind of secret task for her. That’s when one of Zeref’s sons shows up and attempts to interfere in their fight, but Zeref isn’t having it.
Meanwhile, at August’s battle against Gildarts and Cana, he can’t stop questioning the reason for their close connection. It seems hopeless for them until Gildarts works out the reason for August’s super survival abilities. Together, Cana and Gildarts are able to overpower him.
This was the first time in a while that I actually didn’t have too many negative things to bring up about a Fairy Tail episode. My Name Is… was entertaining, had a solid emotional core to it, and wasn’t bogged down by issues with poor pacing for the most part. Natsu’s fight with Zeref was the least interesting part of this week’s episode, and they wisely kept the screen time to a minimum on that front. Most of the episode is occupied by Cana and Gildarts fighting with August.
August is one skeevy looking wizard, and he’s super powerful. Cana and her father are having a tough time taking him down until they bring their familial love into the ring. August has daddy issues, and after hearing Gildarts monologue about how much he cares about Cana, he keeps asking himself why Zeref didn’t love him. This development wasn’t the most original or exciting thing that I’ve ever seen, but it was a fine emotional core to base the conflict around, and it ended up tying in with Natsu and Zeref’s fight, too, which was a good bit of symmetry. I’m not entirely sure about the timing of Gildarts’ realization about August’s limitation, but it was a sweet moment to see father and daughter working together to take him down. The reveal about Zeref being August’s father was a little strange, and I do question some of the choices made about how to present the information in the episode.
There’s definitely a large amount of monologuing dubbed over flashbacks. I don’t think it’s the most engaging way for viewers to find out what happened in the past, but I suppose it helps fill space in the episode without requiring too much animation or new voice acting. I was a little confused about the differences between Larcade’s flashbacks and August’s, although that was cleared up by the end of the episode.
This episode really highlighted the differences in parenting between Zeref and Gildarts, which I’m not sure was intended but is kind of an interesting comparison to draw. On one hand, Zeref is a pretty poor father, treating his children like experiments and playing favorites. Gildarts, however, isn’t perfect, either. He wasn’t necessarily there for Cana every time she needed him. But the difference is that he still loves her and tries his best to be there for her.
The dub this week had a few noteworthy mentions. “It’s so very fun,” Zeref says as he’s battling Natsu head-on. I pegged him as more of a cool, calculating guy, but this week Zeref is more in it for fun, it seems. I also enjoyed Gildarts’ answer to August’s exclamation “Are you insane?’: “I’m a father!”
To sum things up, My Name Is… is one of the better episodes of Fairy Tail that I’ve watched so far. It had some cool shots when it came to the actual combat scenes, and I thought the dynamic between August and Gildarts/Cana was pretty neat. Plus, the theme of the episode carried over between the two storylines in a cohesive and natural way. Sure, I could’ve done without the over-reliance on flashbacks, but when that’s the only real complaint I have, it must’ve been an okay episode.