Fairy Tail Manga Volume 25 Review

フェアリーテイル
Fairy Tail Volume 25 Review

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***SPOILERS***

Highlights from this volume start with Natsu facing Gildarts, where Natsu’s normal bravado is smacked with a dose of reality and fear when Natsu’s eyes are opened to how weak he still compared to Gildarts. Gildarts passes him because of this lesson Natsu has learned and gives him some fatherly advice. Erza defeats Lisanna and Juvia while Elfman and Evergreen defeat Mirajane by shocking her with the (false) announcement that they are getting married.  Gray and Loke easily best Mest and Wendy, though the two have difficulties remembering Mest prior to the current times. Mest gets Wendy to help him look for the secret of Tenrou (Sirius) Island, so when they are delayed in coming, Juvia and Erza go to look for them.

The S-class trials continue as Elfman and Evergreen encounter a stranger on the island, who pleads with them to stay away as his power of death is out of control. The depressed man seems pleased to see Natsu, but realizes Natsu isn’t strong enough to help him. Another release of death magic causes Natsu’s scarf to go black as the dark guild Grimoire Heart arrives, having id’d the man as Zeref. Yomazu and Kawazu are the first team to land and they attack Gajeel and Levy. They are outmatched, so Gajeel has Levy warn the others, but not before she leaves him a large present of iron to consume and power up with. Levy is found my Erza and Juvia, who race to find Gajeel down, but not before he took down his opponents. Erza sends up the signal to alert Fairy Tail that they are under attack. Erza learns what Grimoire Heart is after as Panther Lilly and Carla arrive to challenge Mest. Mest saves Wendy from an attack by Grimoire Heart member Azuma, so Panther Lilly, in humanoid cat form, faces him.

Well, after disappointing me last volume, Mashima-sensei knows how to get folks passed his massive retconning by rapidly pushing the next arc forward and making it an interesting one with a twist of lemon. ^_^

Natsu’s battle with Gildarts was a good one, not for the action, but because the headstrong Natsu lost by surrendering rather than doing something foolish that would only cause himself harm. In doing so, he’s showing wisdom and maturity.  It is like Sun Tzu said, “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.” I loved how Gildarts gave the encouragement and advice to Natsu at the end of their encounter.

Mashima-sensei didn’t spend any time on Erza defeating Juvia and Lisanna, nor on Elfman and Evergreen’s fight with Mirajane. I am disappointed that Juvia, a former S-class, was not able to overcome Erza, even with help. I’m not sure why Mashima-sensei wants to keep her as a weaker mage, but oh well. I did like how Elfman and Evergreen overcame Mirajane through pure guile. Whatever it takes to get the win works for me. ^_^

Introducing Zeref (or at least the latest person deluded into thinking they are Zeref) and having Grimoire Heart come in was unexpected. In some ways, I’m a tiny bit disappointed because it interrupts the S-class trials.  I was curious to see whom it was that Mashima-sensei would promote to S-class. I suppose that after Fairy Tail ultimately triumphs over Grimoire Heart, more than one person could be promoted to S-class.

Regardless, I have to admit that I like seeing Ultear brought back into the manga. It makes sense seeing as how her whole purpose in life has been Zeref.

We find out whom Mest truly was in this volume, which as a commenter said in the last volume, wasn’t a retcon. I’ll give Mashima-sensei credit for using his massive number of retcons to sneak one over on me. *lol*

Finally, there’s the Levy-Gajeel team.  Levy is like Lucy, in that she’s never seemed to be anything that great in terms of battle prowess, but she’s cute and sweet, so she’s forgiven, as it were.  During Laxus’s antics prior to getting kicked out of the guild, Levy’s magic just seemed like a convenient way for Mashima-sensei to get his trapped people out of Fried’s trap. Here, she actually is able to show that she has worth in battle, primarily in a supporting role. After all, Gajeel is the tank, and Levy did things to make it easier for him to fight, including creating a massive block of iron for him to consume.

It seems more and more apparent that Levy has feelings for Gajeel, and though he might not admit it, I think Gajeel has feelings for Levy that go above and beyond trying to make up for the damage he did to her during the Phantom Lord incident.

Speaking of Gajeel, I loved the flashback to Master Makarov recruiting Gajeel. Makarov making a point of saying he’d never forgive Gajeel for what he did to Levy and her team made a strong point, but Makarov’s reasons for recruiting Gajeel struck a chord with me, one that I liked. I kinda get the feeling that I know why Makarov was willing to take so many kids into Fairy Tail back in the day.

On the Kodansha side, it is pretty standard fare with the normal honorifics included, translator notes, and the like.

In the end, I have to say this volume puts away my retcon disappointment of the previous volume. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

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6 Responses to “Fairy Tail Manga Volume 25 Review”

  1. Gyt Kaliba says:

    I only recently got into Fairy Tail and got caught up on it, so now it’s fun to go back and read your own reviews on the series. Especially since I’d never have pegged it to be your sort of series, being a long-running shonen and all (one not by Akamatsu). 😛

    This was definitely a fun volume, and things are slowly but surely getting to the nitty gritty of this particular arc. And if the retcons you’re talking about are the ones I’m thinking of (specifically with a certain younger sister), then I wholeheartedly agree.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >>Especially since I’d never have pegged it to be your sort of series…

      *lol* You know, it was more of an impulse thing more than anything. The first volume had a lot of unexpected fun, such as Natsu suffering from motion sickness. Later, I loved how Natsu got around an opponent by the use of guile rather than brawn. So I’ve hung around as it has just been a fun ride.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy. Mashima really stepped up his game in the Tenrou Island arc and the arc after that which is still ongoing.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Fortunately, Kodansha Comics is releasing a volume a month, so they’ll be pretty close to Japan in the not too distant future. I’m looking forward to things.

  3. NoLastName says:

    Yea one thing you notice in this arc and next is that Mashima keeps setting up Juvia to be awesome and then she fails because she’s thinking about Gray

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Juvia was awesome in her introduction, when she decided to give up after seeing (and falling for) Gray. Battle-wise, she’s been shown to be powerful. So yeah, I’m not a fan of her being weakened so much.

      I would have preferred Juvia be so revved up to face Gray for that hot one-on-one, that she found a way to overcome Erza. Oh well.

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