In my review of last episode I said that things were looking good for this episode. Little did I know at the time how wrong my predictions were.
Things aren’t just looking good, they’re looking excellent! We still have one episode left, so my skepticism will stick around for a little longer, but it’s slowly wilting away. I can honestly say that it looks like this filler story is not only as good as anything Mashima thought of, but just might go down as the only example of good filler in anime ever.
The episode starts with some much needed background into Daphne. She explains how she tested her artificial dragons on her home town, but all the people knew magic that could make themselves invisible and hide from the dragons. Daphne casts a spell on them that makes them unable to remove the invisibility. While she is telling her back story it is very cleverly interwoven with Natsu’s own memories of finding the City without sound.
Now we have important back ground information about Daphne, but no motivation yet. So we’ll need a bit more before she becomes a properly developed character and villain.
As Daphne checks the Dragonoid’s movements; Elfman, Macao, and Wakaba show up and knock Gray out. They were told by the master to bring him back in for questioning. The only question I have is, how did anyone else know about Gray’s betrayal? Lucy and Erza had only just discovered it. A loose end, but one in an otherwise well told story, so I for one can let it slip.
The Dragonoid heads for Magnolia, Erza goes after it; while Lucy, Happy, Wendy, and Charle go to start evacuating the citizens from Magnolia. Elfman’s group are attacked by several of the Lizardman, and while the two older mages don’t do so well, Elfman actually gets to be remarkably epic during his fight.
Natsu has another flashback to when he visited the city without sound, and remembers how he met the invisible people there and promised to defeat the one who controls dragons in order to break the spell. He of course forgets immediately after wards. He decides to try and overload the Dragonoid, and for a while it looks like it will work, but Daphne manages to absorb all the energy and her artificial dragon is left that much stronger.
Elfman and the others manage to get back, badly beaten, but they bring Gray with them. Elfman gets his own flashback to when I assume he and Natsu first talked after Lisanna died. Natsu tells Elfman that Lisanna wouldn’t want him to cry so much, and that being strong after loved ones die is what men do. Interesting that the filler gave Elfman a flash back that explains his obsession with being manly. It may not be official canon, but it’s good enough for me. It’s only something little, but this is a case of filler breaking one of the main reasons I don’t like filler, that none of it matters since it won’t ever be brought up again. Even if this flashback is never brought up again, it fits so well that it’s a piece of filler that affects the rest of the story, even if only a little bit.
When Gray wakes up the rest of the guild turns on him for betraying them; except for Juvia, who defends him, saying no matter what she’ll believe in him. I liked this scene a lot because, sad to say, it shows a more serious side to Juvia’s character and her feelings than the manga does. This episode has heart, it’s taking itself seriously, and doing it well! Juvia is acting true to her character in a very serious situation, and all the characters are acting very much in character.
With Natsu trapped the other characters have to rise to the occasion, and get their time to shine. All of them defend Magnolia as best they can, but no one can go all out against the Dragonoid with their friend trapped inside.
Makarov interrogates Gray, and finds out that Gray believes Natsu is the only one who can stop the Dragonoid.
Erza and the rest of the guild manage to get in contact with Natsu, and tell him that the master told them to defend Magnolia at any cost. He tells them to destroy the Dragonoid, along with him inside it.
This episode was great, and I can honestly say that I have no doubt the entire mini arc will be great. There are some specific reasons why I say this, but I’ll save that for when I review the last episode of this story, which should be the next episode. I’ll go over exactly what the writer of these episodes did right in detail then.
Until then, if you haven’t already watched them then you need to go and start this from episode 69! Go! Now!
If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!