Warning: spoilers ahead~
The Grand Magic Games arc is about to end, but things are just getting more interesting after the end of the Grand Magic Games. But just let me bask in this glorious moment and share this happiness to fellow fans, if there are any who are reading this post.
So… FAIRY TAIL won the X791 Grand Magic Games! That result was rather unexpected due to the decline of the guild’s popularity and power, which was caused by the 7-year absence of majority of the members. After the time skip, the anime showed the pain of the lost time they were never going to get back. Fortunately, FAIRY TAIL is a wonderful family of optimistic and often unnecessarily but comically wild members! They joined the grand tournament not just to prove to others what their guild name is worth, but to prove to the members who were left behind for 7 years, that they did not wait for nothing.
They actually trained (but not quite) before the tournament, too, though I admit that they seem to be a bit overpowered that I somehow wasn’t easily convinced of their victories in the various mini games. There were also times that the other guilds and their members, e.g. Quatro Puppy, were just so weak and were only present to provide comical relief, which wasn’t too bad at all. In fact, the presence of that guild and the hilarious mini games (like the swimsuit competition) add a lively tone to the implied seriousness that the arc generally has.
Witnessing this victory for the second time (in anime) makes the experience sweeter. I literally got teary-eyed from joy that I felt for Fairy Tail. Now, let me compare the anime and manga versions of some of the final scenes in the Grand Magic Games and share my thoughts about them…
This Erza pic is taken after her victory (at last!) against Sabertooth’s Minerva, who was responsible for torturing quite a number of females, making her a hate-able villain. Thanks to the awakened second origin of Erza, all the previous beatings she received were just a physical decoration to her. Her strong spirit also made her remain to be one of the strongest female mages in Fiore. (I love you, Erza!) For this scene, I actually would’ve preferred if there wasn’t a background detail just like in the manga. Removing the BG (or at least using plain white BG) and slowly panning up the camera until Erza’s beaten up face would have emphasized her might and unbreakable warrior spirit. Erza in white BG = glorious moment. Just imagining that scene that way gives me goosebumps. Sadly, the real execution didn’t leave that much impact.
After defeating the other guild representatives, FAIRY TAIL remains intact with its five warriors who were all in a beaten up condition. Sabertooth’s
cowardly Sting was the only remaining opponent, but he could turn the tables if he managed to defeat all five of them. Sabertooth would emerge as the champion. Well, that’s what he thought. I think the anime did justice to this scene. FAIRY TAIL members looked beaten up but didn’t look weaklings who would tumble just by pushing them down. The white ‘wind’ adds a strong aura that surrounds them. Tsk tsk. Too bad for, Sting. This scene was just beautiful.
Recognizing the strength that the Fairy Tail members possess, Sting surrenders before even laying a finger on them. He was so proud moments earlier, but as soon as he realized their will to fight even in their physically battered state, he admitted his own weakness and attested to the superiority of Fairy Tail in terms of strength, trust for comrades, being a true family, and unwavering spirit. As a fan of the action genre, I first found this scene disappointing because I wanted to see a brawl. But when I thought of it from the POV of Mashima Hiro-sensei, it would have been too bothersome to think what the fighting scene would be like. In the end, I learned to embrace this kind of resolution. And we know that Sting really isn’t a bad person as he had been (due to brainwashing by Minerv*tch). Deep in his heart, he has respect for FAIRY TAIL, the guild he was honestly looking up to. This scene was executed differently in terms of the visuals, but it felt appropriate for me. Besides, the background was simple and blue, leading us viewers to the insecurities and inward thoughts of Sting.
Lastly, this pic is when FAIRY TAIL was officially announced as the Grand Champion! Although the anime is colorful, I prefer the details in the manga. Why? (1) The FAIRY TAIL guild mark actually appears at the center of the fireworks. (2) The details of the fireworks are prettier in the manga. Nonetheless, this scene still gave me chills and lots of dopamine. I was literally basking in happiness while watching this scene all over again (anime, of course).
This arc had ended in the manga long ago, but hasn’t yet ended in the anime, making me really look forward to the upcoming episodes. I have to mention that this is one of my favorite arcs in FAIRY TAIL. 🙂 It’s really brilliant that I can’t get enough awesomeness from the characters and their bonds as a family. Really, Fairy Tail is one of the few anime universes that are very very close to my heart.