At the beginning of this episode we get to see the Caite Shelter guild for the first time. The guild knows that Nirvana is coming for them, and while the scene should be tense and foreboding we instead are treated to another example of misplaced comedy. The chief has a strange way of starting a drink and then talking with his mouth full, spilling drink everywhere. The gag isn’t even really that funny, but the way it is used in the middle of a scene where we should be fearing for these characters makes it all the worse. I’ve noticed this tendency to have comedy where no comedy should be in several anime, and it’s a real shame. Because when a scene like this is interrupted for bad comedy then the audience is dragged out from the narrative and can’t possibly feel the urgency and worry that they should be feeling.
Hot Eye contacts Natsu’s group telepathically and tells them that the only way to stop Nirvana is that if they beat Midnight, as his magic is the only thing powering the moving city. Unfortunately this turns out to be a trap, as Brain pretended to be Hot Eye. Natsu and his group go to where Brain told them to, and are met by an explosion as they open the door to the main control room. Natsu and the rest are saved by Jura, who uses up the last of his stamina defending the other four against the blast.
Erza and Jellal meet Midnight. Jellal starts fighting Midnight, but none of his spells hit and he immediately gets his butt kicked. Erza steps in and, in a rare case of a woman saving the man, fights Midnight herself. Just like Jellal’s attacks none of her swords hit her target.
Natsu and group come across Brain’s staff, which turns out to be alive, and surprisingly enough has a really threatening voice. And in a well placed comedic scene Natsu grabs it and starts beating it against the floor to find out how to stop Nirvana. Mashima’s sense of humor can be real hit and miss sometimes.
Midnight reveals that Caite Shelter are the descendants of the Nirvit, the original creators of Nirvana. And that since they are the only ones who know how to stop Nirvana, Oracion Seis made them their first target. By using Nirvana they will force Caite Shelter to destroy themselves.
Erza gets back up, the background music reminds me of Dragonheart, and changes into a new armor, that is actually just a kind of robe/kimono deal. Either way it’s sexy.
This episode featured some new music. While the entire arc has had new music throughout, this episode was the first in a while that had some really noticeable new music. Overall I’m thinking that the next OST will be sufficiently epic to blow the last two out of the water.
Other than the misplaced comedy at the beginning this episode was really great. It switches between the groups of characters fairly regularly, just enough to keep things interesting, and the fight between Erza and Midnight promises to be pretty spectacular. Even better is the fact that Erza is the one doing the fighting, and not Jellal. This breaks shonen tropes pretty hard, as far too many series have the bad habit of resorting to damsel-in-distress syndrome with even their most capable female characters. If nothing else, complain about whatever you want, Mashima is in my good books simply because he’s created one of the rare consistent strong female characters in anime.