Mashima certainly likes having obvious twists, and while nobody really expected Jellal to die, his immediate control of the situation felt a bit flat. It seemed almost too grandiose for its own good, with massive explosions and swift movements that served to make Jellal look “cool” as he took out an entire party. While the proceedings were somewhat groan-worthy, they were a refreshing departure from the segmented mess last week. This chapter focused solely on Jellal and came out better for it. The action packed a punch and everything flowed naturally. This chapter also brought up the looming threat of Zeref. This arc could go down many paths, but to bring Zeref into the mix might be too much. Tartarus is being built up quite well thus far, so inserting Zeref wouldn’t be good, as he is seemingly the strongest enemy next to Acnologia.
On the bright side, Jellal seems to have been more or less removed from the current picture. Focus has been scattered lately with all the disjointed parties acting separately, Jellal sticking out the most as he had merely been shoehorned into the plot with the matter of the key he held. Crawford did everyone a favor by getting rid of that plot point and while the means he uses to get the key sound nonsensical even for Fairy Tail, the result is much appreciated.
What’s more, Kyouka’s quick removal of Crawford saves the current arc from his stupidity. Crawford’s suggestion to transfer the key into one of the captive Fairy Tail members seemed like such a cliche thing that could have actually happened. Now that the keys are all gone, the plot can move forward into the later stages of this plan and the protagonists are still relatively in peril with no signs of a reversal. Granted, this is usually when everything starts turning around for the better, but nonetheless, the plot is still moving forward nicely. Considering the series’s penchant for cliche solutions to problems, something unlikely to change this time around, at least the enemy Fairy Tail is up against actually feels like a legitimate threat.
Final Flash: This chapter avoided last week’s mistakes and also removed some nuisances from the plot for the time being, so things are looking better.