Sting is back. Hooray?
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Juvia and Natsu are being healed up as Brandish and Lucy watch over them. Brandish laments that despite her prior ability to shrink the tumor within Natsu before, she’s unable to do so now, which means that the Dragon Slayer is in some serious trouble. Dimaria uses this opportunity to stir up some dissent in Lucy about Natsu, but Lucy reaffirms Natsu’s loyalty to his friends. Suddenly, Natsu begins emitting steam, and no one knows why.
Deep in Natsu’s head, Natsu speaks to Zeref within his subconscious. While in this dream state, Zeref decides to explain a little bit of his relationship with his brother to Natsu. He discusses how dragons destroyed his home and killed his family. He goes on to explain Natsu’s early life with his Dragon Slayer siblings. Natsu has no memory of this time, but a dream version of Sting shows up to guide Natsu through his memories.
Back in the real world, Larcade’s pleasure magic has embarrassed everyone, especially the people who had to work on this nonsense, when Sting jumps out of nowhere and starts to fight Larcade. His ability allows him to eat Larcade’s magic because it is “White” magic. This gives him an advantage in his fight against Larcade, but the arrogant mage is able to use magic that makes Sting start to feel famished. Sting tries as hard as he can to resist his hunger, but his allies are feeling the pain as well. To that end, he knocks them out so they can’t get in the way. He then turns his starvation on Larcade, even though his punches are incredibly weak from the hunger.
Rogue then arrives and gives sting some of her power. Sting then powers himself up and gets ready to fight Larcade once more.
There are times when a show should start to take itself seriously. Though Fairy Tail is a program well known for it’s irreverent attitudes and humor, (And it’s copious amounts of fanservice) when you’re having an important battle in one of the final arcs of your show, you might want to give a little bit more to the story so that your anime doesn’t feel like a bad wrestling match. That’s exactly what we’ve got here, however. The episode alternates from being boring to being ridiculous, with plenty of hackneyed powers and convenient plot developments that don’t make a whole lot of sense but are there because “We need to move the plot along.” Sting’s whole presence in the show is completely forgettable and, since we’ve barely even seen him at all this season, having him come to save the day doesn’t carry a lot of weight. He’s barely even a character, just another powerset this show wants to throw into the mix to try and be interesting.
I was a little bit interested in Natsu’s interactions with Zeref in his dream state, until I remembered that the writing of this show isn’t good enough for a pulp magazine, let alone a flagship anime. I couldn’t care less about Zeref’s relationship with Natsu, because Zeref is a completely unrealistic and unenjoyable character. He sucks the life out of every scene he’s in, and it’s pretty clear that his fraternity with Natsu doesn’t even matter because Natsu will just “Power of friendship” his way through anything that comes up.
This is just another forgettable fight in a series of forgettable fights. We’ve seen so many of them now for so long that one has to wonder if the creators of this show like to pollute the world with this unmemorable garbage. Shounen can be a whole lot of fun, they can have great fights, memorable moments, and a sense of adventure which can inspire and fulfill even the most cynical of viewers. However, just like any other story, they take work, lots and lots of work. The act of creating a good shounen is measured in sweat, and it’s very clear that Fairy Tail isn’t even the least bit interested in being good. It would rather just take the easy road and try to score cheap points by shoving in as many characters as it can.