This was one of those fairy tail chapters that is somewhat hard to rate because technically, Hiro, just like last week, managed to create content that avoided the sort of pitfalls most shonen manga are known to fall into by applying some logic to his execution of events, yet the level of predictability and over all 'fairy tail-ishness' of the entire chapter left a lot to be desired, in the end producing a weekly chapter that was nothing more than meh.
In other words, not bad, yet not actually good enough to be excited.
Following Ultear's sacrifice last week, the fairy tail team are able to use their brief one minute preview of the future to turn the tide of battle and begin their counter attack, with many avoiding previously fatal attacks and making headway against the enemy.
Natsu and Rogue are still going at it, with Natsu, despite acquiring new flames, making little headway against the shadowy attacks. In between taking punishment, Natsu tries to reason with rogue,but the future man is hell bent on saving the world by making it his. Natsu attempts to reach him via Frosch, his cat and the damage he could be causing to him as well as his present self. Future rogue however expects his past self and future self to eventually fade into each other with time. Frosch does not move him, as future rogue explains that he is not longer the man that plays with kitties. Besides, in his time line Frosch had died, and would die one year from then. His presence makes waves no within Rogue.
So Natsu continues to push against his much more superior enemy. At that point Atlas Flame unleashes a powerful flaming attack against Mother glare, which engulfs the entire dragon in a powerful wave of explosions.
Natsu being a fire dragon slayer, uses these explosions to his advantage, amplifying them and focusing them against both Rogue and the dragon and sending both flying to the earth.
Elsewhere, Wendy with Laxus' assistance is fighting Zirconis. However Lucy has discovered a secret in the diary she discovered from her future self. Apparently destroying the eclipse gate is key to defeating the dragons. Based on future Lucy's theory, destroying the gate would affect the flow of events in time as they had happened so far and make it so that Rogue and his dragons never came through time, hence leading them to disappear.
However no amount of power delivered by Lucy is even able to dent the gate. It is then that the giant fireball that is Natsu, rogue and mother glare fall from the sky and slam into the gate, smashing it into pieces
I didn't bother reviewing last week's chapter because i was somewhat annoyed by the result. Even though Ultear's action followed a logical pattern, without breaking any of the rules of magic Hiro had set up (as i expected him to), and the whole one minute thing was an interesting addition to the plot, i was still irritated by how predictable the result was, that no matter how devastating the battle has been, fairy tail will come out unscathed.
This chapter followed a similar route. Rogue vs.. Natsu was more logical than i expected it to be, no nakama power ups and the like. Natsu was clearly on the losing end of the battle and it was the power of Atlas flame's attack that brought the future mage down. IN a way you can give this to Natsu's ingenuity, in realizing that he could use the explosion to his advantage. None the less, the predictability of it irritated me, that i knew that Rogue would lose and it happened so soon it is hard to criticize the end of this fight. In fact it is the one thing i liked about this chapter. It was an unexpected end, yet something was simply lacking. I wasn't nearly as blown away or impressed as i hoped to be.
Maybe the battle should have ran a little longer. I for one will be pissed off if all those dragons disappear along with rogue. I do not think Hiro handled them well; he didn't highlight each battle as much as he should have. Something has been missing from this war ever since the beginning. We didn't see enough fairy tail vs. dragons fights, merely snapshots.
Anyway, my quarrel with this chapter comes in the form of Lucy. three things stood out as far as Hiro's misshapen story telling is concerned:
1. What the hell did Lucy mean by her future diary. Last time i checked it was Levy who had the diary and was chronicling everything that had happened during the dragon festival, not Lucy; at least not according to the visions of the future we were shown.
2. I am sure Lucy had a diary but where in the story was it hinted upon that there was anything worth reading, at least as far as the dragons are concerned, that Lucy wrote down in her diary. We know that future Lucy woke up four days after the dragon incident and immediately leaped back into time four days in the past. So she pretty much missed most of what happened, so she couldn't have known anything of use, not unless Hiro had told us somewhere that she took an extra day after waking to sit down and analyze everything which she then chronicled. The future Lucy we know leaped back in time immediately after waking, which means she couldn't have written anything down and even if she could have, she didn't know anything. Really, Hiro.
3. Exactly how does any of that mumble jumble she said about destroying the gate make sense. From what i understood, the idea was to destroy the gate so that it wouldn't have existed in the future where rogue came from which meant that Rogue would disappear and nothing that he had done would have ever happened, including the dragons. How does that work, all that will have changed inHistory is that rogue came through and then the gate was destroyed, stranding him in the past. There is no way destroying the gate AFTER ROGUE HAD ALREADY COME THROUGH changes the time line.
I know the science of time travel is complicated and all that but that part isn't. If they went back to the past and destroyed the gate days before future rogue came through, then that would make sense in cancelling everything rogue had done in the present because he wouldn't have come through in the first place, but really i do not get what Hiro is playing at but none of what was said makes any sense.
I also think that if Lucy is right then the dragon problem was solved a little too easily. There can't always be a magic weakness which, once used, solves everything. That's what made the dragon incursion so exciting in the beginning; because i couldn't see how they were going to solve the problem of 7 giant lizards with such a weak force. It wasn't the conundrum i thought it should have been and which would have made this arc all the more epic.
Anyway, i await next week's chapter with baited breath; despite all my complaints, i am still fighting to hold onto my faith in Hiro, even if its barely none existent, to surprise me (even though i doubt he can, with the predictable paths that he has been taking)
RATING: 2/5, really, this chapter was lackluster; almost good would be a better description in that Hiro executed a lot of the events skillfully, basically doing the same old thing but in a fresh way. yet he simply didn't go the extra mile, something prevented this chapter and the last from achieving greatness and instead stranded them in slightly below average territory. I just wasn't entertained and i am starting to worry about the future of fairy tail. Instead of looking forward to next week's chapter i am worried and anxious about how bad it will be. On the plus side, if it turns out to be good, i will be that much more blown away.
HIGHLIGHTS: That natsu attack against rogue was kind of impressive, and the fight itself atop the dragon was pretty dynamic and interesting to watch.