To backtrack a little, Fairy Tail has been following what can generally be considered a practice of giving characters their development at sporadic intervals. Considering that the rather large cast seems to be present at almost every turn, it becomes a chore to keep track of every character’s development. The fact that development seems to cycle around every arc only works to worsen this effect. Thankfully, the Tartarus arc has been a little liberal with this, and the main cast has been given time to shine in this latter half, particularly Gray.
Gray’s battle with his father was intriguing, in the sense that he finally had to deal with the demon – literally and figuratively – that has been haunting him since he was a child. From the looks of it, he seems to have come out of it a little more hardened, and his brief interaction with Gajeel showed him to be more no-nonsense. Whether this carries on remains to be seen, but it will be great if Gray gets a character arc that bleeds into the future, seeing as his character been rather stagnant for a long while now.
On the undesirable side of things, Kyouka and Sayla’s reappearance also brings with it the reintroduction of the Face bombs that were already thwarted twice. While these two were bound to be touched upon again, considering that they weren’t completely defeated yet, the threat of the Face bomb seems rather moot at this point. Yes, it is threatening to the characters, but repeating a previously unsuccessful tactic gives off the impression that these villains have little to offer. That said, this also shows how prepared the villains were as they seem to have multiple fail-safes for their bomb.
Ultimately, the reuse of this device is starting to feel like a cheap way to give this final fight some gravity, which, granted, might be needed, as most of Erza’s bouts tend to go the same way. However, the presence of Minerva and her animosity towards Kyouka at least implies that there might be some participation from her, so this hopefully won’t be the standard Erza battle.
Final Flash: The potential development for Gray looks promising, but the end of this arc does not.