Mashima tweeted that he went to the FT cafe today. And obviously he was spotted by some fans. ^^
He drew Natsu, Lucy and Happy around the cafe, but I think he let fans also request some characters for him to draw, and the fans apparently were gruvia fans, because one requested Gray and the other requested Juvia. And he drew them both right on the spot! I think the drawings he made are actually going to decorate the cafe. But it’s nice to see Gray and Juvia drawn again by Mashima for the first time since the series ended.
And it’s great to see the Japanese gruvia fans are still quite passionate about their ship. I would so be the girl dying beside him while he drew them haha! ^__^
“Even if we walk on different paths, one must always live on as you are able! You must never treat your own life as something insignificant! You must never forget the friends you love for as long as you live! Let bloom the flowers of light within your hearts.”
Keep in mind that the official translation will appear on Wednesday but Gray and Juvia’s somewhat confusing conversation becomes clearer once you piece all the rough translations out there to get the following:
A year has passed since the war and the celebration we see is a party dedicated to Lucy winning a prize for her novel. Juvia gets drunk and starts to strip which attracts Gildarts’s unwanted attention
At which point Gray openly gets jealous and drags her away to a more private area.
He suggests she asks Wendy to take care of her scar. Juvia points out that he has one too, and Gray replies that it’s different for men and women (as in “for men scar tissue ain’t an issue”) and then he hesitatingly says that her body is now “his” body.
With all this it seems as though Gray and Juvia have been in an intimate relationship for this time after the war, and Gray’s comment that her body is now “his” is a way of saying that he has to take care of her as though he was taking care of himself, as couples usually do in a relationship. His embarrassment also suggests that his words are not “possessive” but rather intimate and are said with love and care. Therefore confirming their canonisation.
The Fairy Tail fandom is in a sensitive place right now. Some people are happy, some are disappointed, and others are somewhere in the middle. That is the case with the Gruvia scene as well, since many of us expected something more. However, the thing that most people agree on is that Gruvia is indeed canon. Lets take a look at the breakdown.
We see a drunk Juvia attempting to take off her clothes, in a manor very reminiscent of Gray stripping. As we all know, Juvia adopted this habit while they were living together back in the Avatar arc. Gray’s reaction to her stripping now strongly contrasts his reaction back then. He used to have NO reaction. But since it was confirmed Gray does have feelings for Juvia back in chapter 499, his reaction to her showing her body off now is very profound. We first see Gray blushing while exclaiming that she needs to stop this act. Adding fuel to the fire, Gildarts visibly ogles the increasingly naked Juvia. Gray was not having that. Not. One. Bit.
Then Gray continues to physically drag Juvia somewhere else privately, criticizing her for publicly stripping. It’s ironic because Juvia has scolded Gray for stripping in the past on numerous occasions, but now the shoe is on the other foot. Gray has taken on Juvia’s previous role, acting protective, and embarrassed, implying that Gray’s feelings are mirroring Juvia’s once again.Gray also dragged Juvia off, just as Juvia had once done to him when she wanted to be alone with him before the GMG. Back on topic, Juvia apologizes to Gray, as he inspects her body, which leads into a conversation about their respective scars. This is important because, since the beginning of Fairy Tail, Mashima-sensei has highlighted how significant scars are when it comes to Gray. Not only that, but these scars are proof of how far the two are willing to go for one another. A symbol of their love for each other.
Gray asks if Juvia can have Wendy remove the scar, but Juvia doesn’t mind it and points out the fact that he still has his, too. Gray immediately retorts back saying it’s different because he’s a man and she’s a woman. Scrambling to justify himself, Gray mentions Juvia’s body, and is cut off by her questioning him.
Gray is now the one ogling her body with a huge blush as she sits in a seductive pose staring up at him. Unable to come up with a good response, he embarrassingly states that she is his. Still having elements of a tsundere, Gray tries to play the situation off while being heavily flustered. Despite this, Juvia understands him and becomes love struck. In the Japanese raw, Gray says “ore no mono da”, which is translated as “you belong to me” or “you are mine”. However it’s a line that only implies the subject, so when taking context into consideration, Gray could also be saying that Juvia’s body is his as well. Meaning Gray is actually asking for/suggesting sex. That’s a big deal for a character like him.
Regardless of translation, Gray is into Juvia, and they have most likely been in a relationship for quite some time considering this is a year after the war. Gray wouldn’t be saying something so blatantly sexual to her if they weren’t already together, and Gray is also so comfortable stating something this openly to her. He would not have waited a year to answer her, so either the answer we have all been waiting for was off paneled (which still makes no sense), or it was chapter 499 as a whole.
In Mashima-sensei’s mind, 499 was an answer. Gray stated that Juvia wasn’t a friend, that he wanted to protect her no matter what, and Juvia said Gray’s words made her happy. Juvia understood at that point that their feelings were mutual. 453 was just the same. Gray was grateful to her for always being by his side, and asked her to wait until after the war for his answer. She smiled knowingly there, aware even then what Gray meant, and what his answer would be.
Smooth Gray smooth
In addition, in the Harvest Festival art book, Mashima-sensei commented under the Gruvia postcard, which was labeled autumn of romantic love, that he went on the attack with this specific drawing, and he drew it when the main story was about Gruvia. Coupled with the most recent twitter sketches, including the one which showed an intimate moment between a blushy Gray and Juvia, their foreheads touching and both smiling happily, showcases that he had already given us the answer long ago.
Also, after Wendy overheard Gray’s words to Juvia, she had the exact same, flustered reaction to what Gray said, as she did when she overheard Levy mention a “baby” to Gajeel. Thus, Mashima-sensei is implying that Gray and Juvia are also in an adult relationship. Lucy had been narrating about other couples, and what had happened in the year. She states that Gray and Juvia have also gotten close/along, which parallels Gajeel and Levy (who are explicitly canon with the same “getting along” line). In official English translations in anime and manga, the phrase “getting along well” often is used as a comment on a couples romantic relationship.Their relationship over the year timeskip has likely been slowly progressing in a private but known manner. When talking about relationships, it is clear Lucy sees Gray and Juvia as a couple.
Another common concern that has been raised, is about Gray going out on a hundred year quest. Bear in mind, the 100 year quest is not a quest that lasts for a hundred years. It is a quest that has been available for a hundred years and not been completed, which indicates the difficulty of the quest. It was something Gildarts could not do alone. However, we have five incredibly powerful mages embarking on the quest. We see Juvia in the guild interacting with her fellow guild mates without concern. This indicates a secure status in their relationship.
Not to mention, Mashima-sensei clearly wanted to end the series on Team Natsu for nostalgic reasons. A couple does not always have to go on a mission together.
In conclusion, it is possible we might receive extra content in the future, as Mashima-sensei tweeted that he was still working on further FT-related projects. Also, canon is not defined by babies and marriage alone. Canon is defined by whatever is official in the story. And it is official that Gray and Juvia share mutual feelings, Gray himself states in this very chapter that Juvia is his.