You’d think Brandish would put on a jacket or something.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Brandish, who had previously nearly been killed by her manservant, Marin, wakes up in Fairy Tail handcuffed, though very much alive. Lucy and Cana explain what happened, how Marin betrayed her before Lucy stepped in and stopped him. Despite this act of kindness, however, Brandish immediately jumps Lucy after hearing what happened and wrestles her to the ground with intent to kill. She explains that Lucy’s Aquarias spirit key was her mothers when she was young, and Lucy’s mother must have killed hers and taken it from her to have passed it on to Lucy.
Surprisingly, its the Aquarius spirit that arrives from nowhere and yanks Brandish off of Lucy. She completely dominates the situation, taking all the fight out of Brandish and getting her to the ground. Lucy is baffled by this, but Aquarius is more than happy to explain what’s happened. Transforming Lucy and Brandish into mermaids and taken them to the spirit realm, Aquarius shows them a vision of what happened between their mothers.
Many years ago, both Lucy’s mom was a celestial mage and Brandish’s mom, Grammie, was her servant. Lucy’s family was needed to open the Eclipse gate created by the dragons so long ago. To do this, all 12 Zodiac Spirit Keys would be necessary to complete the ritual, in addition to one of them sacrificing their life force as well. Lucy gives up her life force, and dies with Grammie by her side. Grammie then gets assassinated by Zordio, who blames Grammie for Lucy’s mother’s death.
Back in the present, Lucy and Brandish embrace each other as their mothers once did, becoming fast friends. Their touching moment is interrupted, however, when Natsu is brought into the guild hall, dying from a tumor gained from his fight with Zeref. Brandish offers to shrink his tumor down to a negligible size so that it can’t hurt him, which the mages of Fairy Tail are thankful for. With their new ally, Brandish, they have a distinct new advantage against the forces of Alvarez, though there are more Imperial forces on the way.
This is a questionable episode, to be certain. We’ve already had problems with pacing in the war for Alvarez and this episode completely derails whatever tension the combat of the last few episodes had. Having this long, dragged out backstory with Brandish and Lucy is completely out of sync with the rest of the arc and should have been saved for a time when the fighting was over or there was just a better opportunity for an emotional moment with these two. Furthermore, their backstory is completely rushed through, even though it is somewhat emotional. The problem is, I can’t develop much interest in Lucy and Brandish’s mothers because we hardly spend any time with them apart from seeing them die. It’s sad, yes, but the time needed to develop empathy for them is not used here.
Whether or not you’ll like this episode depends entirely on how you feel about Lucy and Brandish as characters. While Lucy is alright, Brandish hasn’t done anything except walk around in lingerie since she’s showed up, which really undercuts whatever plot the show-runners may be trying to bring out, here. It’s just hard to take someone seriously when the show finds every excuse to put them in a lewd position, especially when they’re already wearing one of the skimpiest outfits imaginable. If the show wanted me to shed a tear for Brandish and Lucy, then it should have presented them as more legitimate characters instead of just being sexy buffoons.
I have a particular gripe with the way the fight with the Wizard Saints was done; that is to say, not done at all. Not showing the audience a fight can be a good way to build tension if the parties in question have something mysterious or hidden that would be better revealed later, but why waste time showing us the prelude to that fight last episode if you’re not going to give us the whole thing? It’s lazy animating to try and save on budget that way by just not showing a fight that could be entertaining but difficult to animate. So much of this arc is suffering from that same problem, right now. From the combat to the characters to the plot, the show is rushing through everything without taking the time to make the ride to the end enjoyable. It’s as if Fairy Tail is in a rush to get viewership and close up so it can make a quick buck of the dedicated fans who are here to see how one of their favorite stories ends.
This is clumsy and frustrating to watch, especially since this is the time in the show to be wrapping up plots, not shoving in new ones with characters we don’t care about.