Fairy Tail - Chapter 515 Review by Emperor Spriggan
This week’s chapter came a tad early, but that didn’t mean that it didn’t deliver. Honestly before I even begin my review, let me just say that was one of the best damn chapters I have had the pleasure of reading, and if it is indeed the last chapter of the year, then….wow. What a way to end the year, haha.
So, straight from page 1, we’re introduced to Erza’s dad, dude looks like Eraser Head I swear. Now I won’t be able to take him seriously anytime I watch Boku no Hero Academia and see him onscreen. The fact that Erza’s dad is human puts a rest to all those theories of Belserion being Erza’s dad. Speaking of the gallant dragon, it’s a shame he ended up a casualty of war, I would have loved to see his last moments with Irene, maybe he imparted some final words to her the same way that Igneel and the Parent Dragons did to Natsu and the other Dragon Slayers from 400 years ago. Not too surprised that Acnologia did end up showing up in Irene’s flashback, though I can say I am surprised he was the last one standing at the end of the war. That is one….powerful adversary. Although by the looks of it, it seems he and Irene never exactly met face to face 400 years ago, so that could explain why he didn’t recognize her in their battle on Mount Zonia.
One week after the war ended, oh boy, this is where this chapter took a turn. Erza’s dad turned on his wife, admonishing her for her draconian features, and even claiming that she was a monster. Personally, I think the guy was waiting for this chance, a chance after all the dragons was dead and Belserion was no longer by Irene’s side, quite a cowardly act. Then again a queen being usurped of her throne was customary in the Middle Ages, so this is nothing new here. Seeing him deny the fact that he had a child with Irene was cringe worthy though, like dude just chill for a few minutes and be rational about this.
So following mass hysteria from the man and his followers, Irene is detained and locked up in a dungeon, after which she is subjected to some pretty harrowing experiences. Beaten up, crucified and even paraded naked before her people, this was pretty disturbing to read. The only silver lining we had here was the fact that despite all the inhuman experiences she went through, she still had one wish; to protect her own unborn daughter. That was a really sweet gesture; Irene’s motherly instincts have been displayed from the moment she was enraged at Mirajane for defeating her ‘daughters’ Hynhe and Juliet, so this was just more showcasing of that.
A short while later, Eraser Head shows up at the prison cell, and informs Irene that her execution dates has been decided upon, referring to her as ‘Dragon woman’. Seriously bro? Anyway, putting that aside, Irene tries one last time to dissuade him from his actions, even going as far as to inform him that she was expectant with their child. Of course, the man is still blinded by his fear of her becoming something like Acnologia, so he denies having conceived any child with her. Turns out, Irene was in the cell for 3 years, and using magic to sustain her pregnancy. Unbelievable at first, but we’ve seen cases like this before where magic is used over a long period of time on a single act, in the case of Fairy Sphere holding over Tenrou Island for 7 years. Eraser Head doesn’t believe this as well, even going as far as threatening to carve open her stomach to show her that she was being delusional. He strikes at her repeatedly with his sword, and ends up jagging her on the side of her gut, which we know as the scar that Irene has on her body. So, it…didn’t end up being a C-section scar after all.
Somewhere in the middle of the beatings, Irene ends up awakening, the dragonification spreading further and reaching the point where she sprouted wings, and she seems to have finally gotten tired of being treated like dirt. She immediately lashes out at her husband, crushing him almost immediately with one of her talons. The ruckus causes a few nearby soldiers to show up at the prison cell, where they are met with a fully transformed Irene, and all semblances of human features having left her body completely. She makes quick work of the soldiers, breaks out of the prison cell, and lays waste to a good portion of her kingdom, all the time telling herself, reminding herself that she was human, and not a monster like everyone made her out to be. This scene was a little poignant to read.
Having abandoned her kingdom, she went into seclusion into an unpopular mountain, similar to what Acnologia does in his cave, and for centuries, she tried her level best to regain her human body, but to no avail. Interestingly enough, she never really attacked humans, even if she had every right to despise them, especially after all the ungratefulness she experienced after her efforts to assist them in the war. This displays an amazing mental fortitude. She could have easily become like Acnologia and decided to exact her vengeance on humans, but she didn’t. Turns out that Eraser Head and his merry little friends’ fears were unjustified after all.
While still cooped up in the mountain, away from any and all civilization, someone shows up in her time of need. And not just any random nobody, it was….Zeref. He was probably wandering the world again in search for answers. His initial reaction upon meeting Irene was one of awe; he wasn’t exactly scared/shocked like all the humans who had encountered her before, instead, he just expressed surprise at meeting a Dragon so many years after their era was over. When he got closer, however, he realized that she was human (props to him for picking up on something that wasn’t so obvious), and offers to turn her back into a human. And just like that, Irene’s long standing wish was fulfilled. Again, Zeref barely broke a sweat while doing this; displaying again why he is at the top of the Wizarding World in this series (I don’t consider Acnologia to be a wizard).
Irene is elated, even shedding tears of joy, and you can see how relieved she is at finally going back into a human body. Zeref tries telling her that it was the best he could do, return her physique to that of human, but she’s glad either way. I wish we would see more interactions here between the two, but that little was okay.
She later on moves back into civilization, going to reside in a city full of humans, but…something is off. She can’t taste any of the food she eats. She couldn’t sleep at all. Her skin was all itchy. That meant that underneath the human physique, she still retained her draconian features. Zeref’s words ring once again in her mind, and she tries her best to deny them, but her body already displays that he was by no means lying to her. Despair washes over her, and she truly thinks all is hopeless now, but then she remembers one thing. She has a human child growing in her belly. A human. Far from what she is at the moment. She gets the idea to enchant herself into Erza, and for the first time, the words she said at the beginning of the encounter, “I am you. You are me,” finally make sense. Pretty masterfully done, I’m glad this didn’t end up being another Silver-Deliora case and opened a whole new can of worms by its own.
The story ends here, and we move back to the present, where Irene reveals the truth about her enchantment on Erza back then. It failed. The disgust on Irene’s face is evident, and she also discloses the fact that she dumped Erza off somewhere in the corner of an unknown village. This sheds more light on why she and Neinhart had initially thought Erza was dead, so another plotline finally closes up on its own. There’s no way a kid that young could realistically make it on their own, or even survive for that matter.
Interestingly enough, Erza’s face remains pensive after this whole revelation, different from the beginning where she was clearly shocked at learning Irene was her mother. Wendy is the one who is in tears, and telling Irene she shouldn’t say such things to her own daughter. I think this stems from the fact that Wendy never had someone to call a parent, orphaned as a baby, abandoned by Grandeenay and also Mystogan who she had gotten attached to, and the final nail on the coffin was the fact that her first guild/family, Caitshelter, ended up being an illusion. So on a level, she finds it a little hurtful that someone who’s supposed to be a parent is saying such things to their own child.
Of course, Irene’s words barely faze Erza, instead, she thanks Irene for giving birth to her, and even abandoning her (shocker), because due to that, she was able to meet Fairy Tail, her real family; all the while changing into a brand new armor, which, I have to say, looks completely stunning on Erza. This is her third new armor after the timeskip, the first two being WingBlade Armor, which she showcased in the Avatar Arc, the second being Armor of the Wind God, which she used earlier in the arc in her fight with Ajeel. Really curious to see what this armor does.
As for what I expect in the next chapters, I think Erza’s armor, the one she’s currently donned, is going to be an armor that dispels/counters enchantments in one way or another. Mostly because that panel where she changes into her new armor reminds me of her fight with Midnight in the Oracion Seis arc where she changed into the Robe of Yuen. That, coupled with the title of next week’s chapter, “The Truth about Enchantments,” makes me think of two things:
-A weakness in Irene’s magic, pretty much the same way Erza figured out the weaknesses to Reflector Magic.
-Her primary magic, enchantment, will be rendered null, and she’ll be forced to resort to a secondary magic of hers. Kind of like what Dimaria did when she used the Chronos Take Over after Age Seal was nullified.
All in all, this was a pretty solid chapter; I enjoyed it from start to finish. I don’t think there were any low points for me (purposefully ignoring Eraser Head here), it was a really sweet ride, and so in honor of that, I give it a 9/10
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