My reactions while reading this chapter, in 5 easy steps:
1. No fair!
2. Yes! No more hostage!
3. Awesome! Counterattack!
4. It's that spell from the Oracion Seis arc! Go Lucy! YES!
5. WTF? BS.
It's been so long since Lucy actually got to take some huge role. Aside from her part in the final battle on Edolas and against that mad doctor, she's mostly part of the "cheer squad" that encourages Natsu to find his real power.
This time, she actually got a chance to shine, and it felt like it was just ripped away.
On one hand, it's interesting that the friendship and "nakama" theme buildup didn't go anywhere; it broke the shounen cliche just a little.
On the other hand, this saga is steadily headed towards another Natsu-show.
I was really looking forward to Lucy kicking that other girl's ass. Not just for the guild's standing in the tournament, but because it's rare that Lucy gets any major role since the Edolas arc.
Honestly, I couldn't care less that her winning would have avenged Gray's loss and put Fairy Tail on the board. I just wanted to see her get some "screentime" and kick butt in doing so.
Instead, Raven Tail cheats and wins due to it. It looks like that Yajima guy realized what happened by his expression, and a lot of others in the crowd know that some cheating went on, but nobody called it.
So, not only did Lucy lose, but it was due to cheating. Ultimate low blow and a letdown after such a nice buildup with the Urano Metria.
The quality of the story of FT has been slowly going downhill and falling into typical anime cliches (though, the seven year time skip was interesting) that I wouldn't expect from Mashima-sensei. If this turns into another Natsu-show, I'm giving up on this manga.
What's with manga these days, anyway? It's like nobody can hold down a decent storyline anymore. I look forward to Natsume Yuujinchou, which I believe is actually classified as shoujo. Detective Conan isn't BAD, per say, but the storyline really needs to get on track and start towards some sort of conclusion. Negima is pretty good, but still has plotholes from the magical world arc. No.6 is interesting, but I know how it's going to end
Every other manga, I've dropped by now due to the story degrading. What happened to the quality of the story that was in 90's anime/manga? Or Fullmetal Alchemist? Is this what the shounen genre is, now? One-man shows, desperate power ups, and simplistic storylines?
It's either oversimplified and predictable, or failed attempts at making a deeper (and sometimes darker) story, like Hunter x Hunter tried and failed.
I really expected more from Fairy Tail. The last couple arcs were completely disappointing in that aspect.
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