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Fairy Tail 202

[scanlation by Binktopia]

I hope the cover page’s claim of “The strongest cat in all of FT history!!” is intended to imply that Pantherlily is the strongest cat in the entire series universe, rather than simply the strongest one yet in the series timeline, or the strongest we’ve seen. Him being the strongest overall lessens the chance of future cat introductions.

Natsu choosing Happy as his partner is such a boring choice. This is a rare chance for Mashima to explore chemistry between characters who rarely interact, and instead we’re given the most obvious choice right from the start. Often, series with side characters more interesting than the protagonist translate to praise for the author, for creating such interesting diversions; in Fairy Tail, unfortunately, the side characters are more interesting than Natsu because Natsu is boring.

It may only be conjecture, but an explicit mention of Igneel after so long is pleasing.

Gray’s choice of Loke is an excellent one. That’s exactly the kind of surprise choice that I wanted from Natsu.

Lisanna pairing with Lluvia hopefully means that Lluvia will play a major role in this arc, considering how immediately relevant Lisanna is.

Elfman with Evergreen! Levy and Gazille! Mest and Wendy! With each choice, I’m more incredulous as to how Mashima can mess up Natsu so badly, given how well he’s pairing up everyone else.

Partner contrast is vital

Cana will obviously be integral to the upcoming plot. Whenever we finally do get to learn her backstory, I hope it’s convincingly sad. Natsu bears obvious rooting interest, whether relying on the crutch of being the protagonist or in hope that attaining S-Class really will facilitate a meeting with Igneel; others such as Lluvia are personal choices at best, with little established reason for success; Cana’s plot will need to be important enough to strongly rival Natsu meeting Igneel for the arc to carry real tension (again, as with last chapter, assuming that only one person will be promoted, which isn’t the kind of super-happy arc ending that Fairy Tail tends to provide).

Final Flash: Mostly exciting choices (save for Natsu), thus another promising chapter. That’s enough promise, though; it’s now time to start delivering.

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