Fairy Tail – Chapter 261
Here we find ourselves in the middle of a training arc. It’s something we haven’t actually seen from Fairy Tail yet, which is more than a little surprising. You would have expected a series that’s primarily about the daily lives of an adventurer guild to spend some time on their combat preparation. Hell, the last arc dealt with the S-Class Exam, which sounds like something you’d do a little training for. But now everyone has been warped into the future, and they need to get their strength back up to compete with the other guilds. I would spend some time talking about the bizarre choice of splitting up the time skip and the training arc when they could have been done simultaneously, but I think everyone who reads this series already knows all about that. Moving seven years ahead was a poor choice in general, and while a part of me still thinks there was a point to it, it hasn’t done a good job at proving that.
What I would like to talk about, though, is the training itself. Just from this chapter, I’ve gotten a good idea of how many of the characters intend to get stronger, but not everyone. A lot of people are going on their own, personalized training sessions, such as Gajeel, Team Elfman, and Team Laxus. Everyone else, though, decided to go to a beach to train, and that devolved into light humour and fanservice pretty quickly. I understand how characters like Natsu and Grey want to get stronger in a hurry, but they don’t seem to have any real idea how to go about that. Maybe they’ll get better training in the chapters to come, but for now I don’t see how pulling tires around will help Natsu control his flames any better. And maybe it’s just me, but I think practicing ice magic on a beach would be counter-intuitive.
Then there’s Lucy’s training, which makes a little more sense to me. Since she specializes in summon magic, the big thing she would need to focus on is her magic capacity. However, this brings up an interesting thought. Lucy may have lost those seven years with the other guild members, but did her summon spirits lose time as well? I was under the impression that they existed in some other plane and were not physically tied to the key that summons them. If that’s the case, then wouldn’t they have still been around during those seven years? And if we assume that they’ve gotten any stronger during that time, then maybe Lucy is already one of the stronger guild members. Or, you know, the story is just gonna ignore that. I wouldn’t put it past Mashima at this point.
We also got some information about Wendy’s training not long ago. Apparently, she picked up two new techniques from the guild’s doctor, and now she just has to learn them. Presumably the practice will heighten the rest of her abilities as well. What this makes me think of, though, is how Natsu and Gajeel will be getting stronger. Gajeel himself went off on a private training session with only Pantherlily, and I’m wondering how that will progress. The more I think about it, the less we know about him, and the last few chapters have been implying that the dragons and Dragon Slayers will become more important soon. Natsu may not be as serious about it right now, but who knows. If I know shonen, he’ll probably be getting a quick visit from one of the new Dragon Slayers from earlier that will spur him into action.
I’m really hoping this training arc will be a short one, because not only is training not usually that interesting, but I’m really curious as to how the tournament arc will go. There was a message in this chapter that said most of the characters from the past will be coming back for this, and we’ll get to see what seven years of practice have done to them. It’s something I’m looking forward to, and I’d rather not have to wait any longer than is necessary.