Fairy Tail Manga Volume 14 Review

フェアリーテイル
Fairy Tail Volume 14 Review

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Fairy Tail Manga Volume 14Laxus’s Thunder God Tribe group continues to eliminate Fairy Tail members as Gray battles Bickslow but in the end, Gray loses. Laxus tells his grandfather, Makarov, that having Fairy Tail surrender isn’t good enough as Laxus wants control, something Makarov doesn’t want to relinquish to Laxus on the grounds that Laxus isn’t good material for being Master.  With Erza, Lucy, and other girls turned to stone and soon to become sand when the clock runs out, the trapped Makarov and Natsu discover Gajeel is still in the guild, eating metal. He agrees to enter the fray since he has a score to settle with Laxus. However, the barrier that prevents Makarov and Natsu from leaving also prevents Gajeel from leaving.

Soon, the only guild members left to fight the Thunder God Tribe are Natsu and Gajeel, leaving Makarov to wonder if this is it. Natsu decides to breath fire on Erza to try to free her. However, when her stone starts to crack, he and Gajeel panic, thinking they’ve harmed her. Erza returns to normal and immediately punches Natsu since he made her hot. It is determined that because she has a false eye, Erza only took half damage from Evergreen’s attack.  The status board reflects Erza’s return to life but then shows another addition as Mystogan comes into town.

Erza immediately goes out and is engaged by Evergreen, who’s annoyed that Erza got free in addition to Erza having the nickname, Titania. After an intense battle, Erza defeats Evergreen, who’s forced to restore the other stoned girls back to normal, thus increasing Fairy Tail’s fighting capacity again.  Laxus is furious over Evergreen’s loss and Freed finds that even though he wants to stop this conflict now that the hostages are free, he cannot go against Laxus’s wish to continue. Laxus contacts Makarov, informing him that what’s left of Fairy Tail has to beat him in 1-hour 10-minutes or he will evoke Thunder Palace, which involves a hoard of floating lacrima spheres filled with lightning magic all around the town.  The elderly Makarov collapses with the news and is put to bed.

Bisca shows off her shooting skills and takes out one of the spheres but is immediately struck down by lightning power of equivalent force. Natsu is frustrated at not being able to get into the fight, but Levy figures she can alter Freed’s barrier with her own magical abilities. Meanwhile, Lucy and Happy are engaged by Bickslow, who calls her the Cosplay Queen based on her different outfits, such as her current cheerleader outfit. Lucy summons Sagittarius, who shoots down Bickslow’s dolls, but that does nothing and Bickslow’s counterattack severely injures Sagittarius so much that he has to immediately return to the Celestial realm for an extended time. Bickslow has new dolls come to his aid and one of them snags Lucy’s keys.

However, Leo summons himself and thwarts Bickslow’s final attack, confirming to Bicklow the true nature of what Loke was. Leo-Loke keeps Bickslow occupied, allowing Lucy to get in close with her whip. Bickslow removes his mask, forcing Happy, Loke, and Lucy to close their eyes lest the become possessed. Loke has a solution for Lucy to be able to win this, but Lucy reminds Loke that her keys were stolen but that she trusts Loke completely, thus unleashing him to do what he has to do. As a result, Loke reveals his full powers as Leo and defeats Bickslow with Lucy’s assistance. Leo produces Lucy’s keys and returns and her win stuns Gajeel, who hadn’t thought much of Lucy as a fighter.

Meanwhile, Levy manages to counter the Justu-Shiki of Freed’s and allow Gajeel and Natsu to leave the guild, though any other barriers Freed may have set will still be in place. Elsewhere, Freed traps Juvia and Cana in a barrier that will force the two of them to fight each other if one wants to get out. Juvia gets assurances from Freed that as long as one of them is truly defeated and taken out, the survivor will be free to leave. As such, Juvia turns to water and attacks one of the lightning spheres, taking herself out to Freed’s disbelief, the concept of such an honorable thing not having entered his mind. Cana gets angry and turns her wrath on Freed but is defeated just the same.

Elfman and Mirajane come on the scene as Cana is taken out. Elfman attempts to engage Freed, but Freed inflicts massive pain on Elfman, so much so that Mirajane snaps as she recalls how her little sister died.  Mirajane takes on demonic form and begins beating Freed and threatening his life. Freed uses magic to assume a demonic form of his own, but it pales to the superior Mirajane, who continues to thrash Freed and attacks him so intensely that Freed’s fake demonic form is dispelled.  Mirajane stops short of killing Freed, again remembering her little sister and understanding that deep down, Freed didn’t want to fight the Fairy Tail folks.

Thus, only Gajeel, Natsu, Erza, and Mystogan remain active to fight Laxus. However, Gajeel is in contact with a Master Iwan, who has no objection to Gajeel fighting Laxus since it will help Gajeel further gain Fairy Tail’s trust.

Thoughts/Review:

As much as I love Erza, her method of restoration, while humorous for what Natsu did and her reaction to it, was kinda weak to me.  I understand the notion of Erza’s fake eye causing her to only take half-damage, but she was still stoned so how’d she get free?  Was it Natsu’s fire ministrations that were the catalyst?  It seems to me that Mashima-sensei needed an out to get Erza back into the fight and so came up with this method, hoping no one would complain too much.  Still, I loved Erza’s final attack on Evergreen.  Sometimes, bluffing is the best strategy and it paid off for Erza.

Lucy is still worthless as a fighter. I know Mashima-sensei wants to get her involved and I like Lucy as a character. However, she’s still worthless and only good for supporting roles.  Had it not been for Loke’s unique abilities to come and go as he likes from the Celestial realm, Lucy would have been taken out because she can’t keep her keys safe to save her life.  I appreciate her desire to fight alongside her Celestial companions, but she sucks.  She needs to learn another ability if she wants to fight alongside her Celestial Spirits.

Juvia rules, as usual.  As an S-Class wizard, she would be more capable of taking on Freed, but she sacrifices herself for Cana’s sake (and thus Fairy Tail).  Well, there’s no doubt in my mind that Juvia has a friend for life in the form of Cana, who’s also a seemingly pretty weak fighter (though to be fair, we haven’t seen enough of her in action).

Levy showed some worth with her ability to crack Freed’s barriers.  Still, she doesn’t seem much in front-line combat, but a supporting role like she had here works fine.

Then, there’s the awesome reveal of why sweet Mirajane is a feared S-Class wizard.  Wow! When Mirajane transformed, I immediately thought back to early on in the manga when Mirajane gave Laxus a glare that caused him to remark on how he hadn’t seen that look from her in a while. Suddenly, it made sense to me why that look would provoke a response from Laxus.  She’s literally a monster in terms of power and fighting ability when she transforms and thus her S-Class status within Fairy Tail is well earned, even if tragedy from the past temporarily caused her to lose her abilities for a while. Man, it seems like Mirajane could take down Erza in a one-on-one fight.

Finally, there’s Gajeel and his unsurprising betrayal of Fairy Tail.  Well, let’s face it, after what Gajeel did to Levy and company as well as his actions during Phantom Lord’s war against Fairy Tail, his entrance into Fairy Tail was always odd to me.  Having an endorsement from another former Phantom Lord member (Juvia) didn’t cut it with me, though it was looking like Gajeel might be trying to make himself more of a team player after taking a beating for Levy, but that now looks to have just been for show.  Question is, what’s the end game here? Is there another guild that wants to take Fairy Tail down?  Well, I guess we’ll see how long it takes before Gajeel is unmasked as a traitor, though maybe Makarov already suspects and that’s why he let Gajeel in.  Just a thought.

On the Kodansha side of things, normal honorific usage so all’s well there. Ditto the translator notes. Although it is stupid to have the Fairy Tail Mysteries Explained section completely switch reading styles (left page –> right page, left to right vs. right page –> left page, right to left),  I’m informed that this is how the Japanese did it so I guess I can’t complain. ^_^;

So, a really fun volume here. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Laxus is eventually taken down and what happens with him after that.

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6 Responses to “Fairy Tail Manga Volume 14 Review”

  1. Derek Bown says:

    I can’t wait to see your review of the next two books, whenever they finally come out.

  2. This is one of my favorite FT volumes mainly because it breaks out of the more formulaicness that shows up a bit too often in the manga. In particular, I really like how Team Natsu takes a bit of a backseat and we get to see some of the other cool characters who don’t have the spotlight quite as much. This is especially true for Mirajane which I believe was handled really well.

    With the minor exception of Erza’s eye (my guess is that Evergreen’s stone eyes only work for a set period of time which was cut in half by Erza only having one real eye, leading to her revival way earlier) Mashima also manages to avoid the illogical plot elements which tend to show up for an author who tends to make things up as he goes along (Mashima doesn’t have too many of these for the most part, but there a couple of annoying moments down the line that should have been handled much better).

    Its worth noting that Mashima LOVES to have old villains eventually redeem themselves and become good guys (which arguably occurs to an even greater degree in Rave).

    As a side note, Juvia is actually not a Fairy Tail S-Class mage something which I was kind of hoping would be made clear here. The comments suggesting she was were were later semi-retconned to be referring to her status as an S-Class Phantom Lord mage, but it appears Fairy Tail has higher standards.

    Look forward to volume 15 which should include a great Omake about the guild several years ago.

  3. Sacul says:

    I’m still wondering about that age barrier.exactly how old are the dragon slayers?

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I can’t wait to see your review of the next two books, whenever they finally come out.

    I believe volume 15 is out at the end of the month. I’m certainly looking forward to reading it.

    I really like how Team Natsu takes a bit of a backseat and we get to see some of the other cool characters who don’t have the spotlight quite as much. This is especially true for Mirajane which I believe was handled really well.

    Yeah, that’s true. Even in the Phantom Lord arc, Natsu and company took most of the focus while here, the love is spread around more.

    Its worth noting that Mashima LOVES to have old villains eventually redeem themselves and become good guys (which arguably occurs to an even greater degree in Rave).

    Well, he has had that for sure with Juvia, though her opposition to Fairy Tail was rather limited to capturing Lucy and then having that unique battle with Gray. *lol* I’m having a hard time remembering, but I do seem to recall that team with the giant rat showing up in splash page art. Oh, and there’s Lucy’s Celestial Spirit who changed appearances to work for Lucy. I’m guessing there will be others down the road.

    As a side note, Juvia is actually not a Fairy Tail S-Class mage something which I was kind of hoping would be made clear here. The comments suggesting she was were were later semi-retconned to be referring to her status as an S-Class Phantom Lord mage, but it appears Fairy Tail has higher standards.

    Oh. Hmmmm. I didn’t know that. :-/ Well, that’s a bummer to learn she’s not S-Class in Fairy Tail but I suppose I can buy the idea of the guild having its own requirements for officially becoming S-Class within Fairy Tail. If she were S-Class before, it shouldn’t be that difficult to become so again.

    Look forward to volume 15 which should include a great Omake about the guild several years ago.

    I am. ^_^

    I’m still wondering about that age barrier.exactly how old are the dragon slayers?

    Oh yeah. I forgot to comment on that. I had speculated in volume 13 that maybe Natsu’s scarf was the reason he couldn’t leave but with Gajeel also being trapped, then there’s obviously something more to it.

  5. SL from MH says:

    Nice review you got there for this volume.

    I would not say much in here since i might end up spoiling things to you (as i am following the scanlations and i know everything that happened till presently released chapter).

    But i think it would be safe for me to say that “Levy” is going to get more focus later on in the series (around starting from volume 24 and 25).

    Also i think you would be surprised when you read the next volume which contains interesting things regarding Gajeel, Laxus & Iwan, also the Omake in that volume should be a good background story too read as well.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    But i think it would be safe for me to say that “Levy” is going to get more focus later on in the series (around starting from volume 24 and 25).

    Something to look forward to.

    Also i think you would be surprised when you read the next volume which contains interesting things regarding Gajeel, Laxus & Iwan, also the Omake in that volume should be a good background story too read as well.

    I’m looking forward to it. ^_^

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