Liam’s Loyalty Mission is really one of the best for giving Liam such a great character development and also for the humor and little easter-eggs. But not only are Ryder and Liam funny as hell, but also August Bradley and his people, they are so awesome and I’m so glad they are on our side. xD
If you know anything about me then you know how much I love NBC’s Chuck. Ever since I was a little kid and it was airing on TV I loved it, and it has still after all these years remained my favorite show of all time, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The series is about an “average computer-whiz-next-door” named Chuck Bartowski, who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend now working for the CIA. The message embeds the only remaining copy of a software program containing the United States’ greatest spy secrets into Chuck’s brain, leading the CIA and the NSA to assign him handlers and use him on top-secret missions. It has action, comedy, romance, and a ton of geeky music and movie references that I love. It’s a great all around show with perfect casting, and it will pull at your heartstrings, especially in the last season. Please find a way to watch it so I’m not the only one (I’ve seen it all the way through like ten times).
(Edit: The soundtrack is also excellent throughout the entire series if you like indie rock.)
do you think we will have to witness the death/sacrifice of a fairy tail member in this arc ?
Ah, anon. You might regret asking that question, because this is going to be a long-winded, typically-Jhayni post.
I’m going to start off talking about promises. (Bear with me, this will be relevant in a moment).
Every writer makes promises to his readers. And every reader, whether or not they can articulate it, understands this.
Let me give you an example.
You’re in a bookstore and you’re scanning the shelves in the romance section. A book catches your eye. Even before you pick it up, you know that the writer is promising that you’re going to fall in love with two people falling in love. So you get the book with the expectation that Brooding Brad and Perky Penny, after a rocky first meeting, an awesome first date, complications caused by a jealous ex-gf and an evil boss, are going to declare undying love and live happily ever after.
Except when you get to the last chapter, Brooding Brad decides to up and go photograph lions in Africa and Perky Penny elopes with the mailman.
At which point, you’ll hurl the book against the wall, because the author just broke about a dozen promises to you—and wasted your time.
You’d feel cheated if you opened a shounen manga and got people having tea parties and talking about their stamp collections instead of battles and adventures. And you’d feel the same if, at the end of the mystery, the police say, “We don’t know” and shove the murder case into the cold case file.
But writers make even more promises beyond genre expectations.
A mystery whose first chapter dumps you into the deranged mind of a serial killer makes very different promises from a mystery whose first chapter has a Miss Marple-type entering the drawing room at a house party to find the host stretched out dead in front of the fireplace.
The tone and style of the opening sets readers’ expectations.
What does all of this have to do with Fairy Tail?
I’m glad you asked!
Think back to the early chapters of Fairy Tail. What we were promised in those early arcs was this: young wizards go on missions, with comedy, some danger, a little fanservice, and NO DEATH.
Except for Simon, who’s the exception that proves the rule.
Mashima went to great lengths to keep characters alive. Natsu prevented both Gray at Galuna and Erza at ToH from sacrificing themselves. Characters who should’ve died—Jellal, Makarov, and Lisanna—lived.
Heck, even villains were either hauled off to jail or redeemed or both. And even after attempting to BBQ all of Magnolia, all Laxus got was a scolding and exile.
And even that exile was too harsh a punishment, according to some people (*cough*Natsu*cough*).
All this worked for the early arcs, because Mashima wanted to do something more light-hearted and fun, and he was playing with the concept of Fairy Tail. (You can tell that from some of his afterwords in the early volumes).
But then Tenrou came around, and Mashima decided to get serious about the main plot. Fairy Tail went from “Young wizards have fun adventures” to “Young wizards save the world”.
But when you change the goal of the story like that, you also change its tone, the readers’ expectations, and the promises you make.
From Tenrou onwards, Mashima has been slowly and subtly shifting the tone of Fairy Tail. At Tenrou he gave us two villain deaths—Zeref kills both Zancrow and Hades. And he gave us the time-skip, which was emotionally rough on everyone. Lucy had to come to terms with the fact her father died before she could be properly reconciled with him.
And then you get to Eclipse and Mashima kills off two main characters. Now, one is a future counterpart, and the other death he reverses almost immediately, but they die.
Here comes the Tartarus arc. For the first time we see collateral damage and a big body count. Jackal takes out almost the entire Magic Council, including a minor, named character we’ve seen several times. Over a hundred people die when Tempesta turns himself into a cloud of poisonous particles. And who knows how many people died when Jackal bombed half the town?
This is followed by pages of Erza stripped naked and brutally tortured. And yes, there has been a lot more nudity lately than there was prior to Tenrou.
Even the animation style of Fairy Tail has changed. And think about the movie: in order to kill the phoenix, a character had to die.
And all of these changes are Mashima signalling the shift from a “Have Fun Adventures” story to a “Save the World” story.
But the problem he runs into is that people entered Fairy Tail through the “Fun Adventures” part. Pretty much everything he did up to Tenrou proved to us that we could safely fall in love with any one of his large cast of characters. We could be confident that our beloved character would survive to the end.
But a “Save the World” story has to show that yes, the world really is in grave danger, the villains are both evil and competent, and the heroes must be tested and pushed to their limits in order to win.
Otherwise, you just can’t take it seriously.
And this often means a character death. If not this arc, then the next one.
I think Mashima has to balance the promises he made pre-Tenrou, and the promises he’s making now. The fact that he’s developed Gruvia so much before the Silver-Gray showdown makes me nervous for Juvia’s sake.
But, imo, if a FT guild member has to die, the best candidate would be someone from the older generation: either Makarov or Gildarts. That way he can have a meaningful character death, while keeping the younger generation safe. It’s the best solution I can think of, considering the two sets of promises.
Greetings, friends. Here’s Round 2 of the TEA Newbie Spotlights! Enjoy the stories, artwork, and blogs of these lovely Rumbellers. Thanks to all who are supporting this initiative. Continue to reblog and spread the word, please.
@thefabfxndoms: I met this lovely lady the other day. Emilie de Ravin is her spirit animal and she co-writes with her bestie @beneathamoonlessnight. Check out The Lord and His Lady: Princess Belle has reached the age where she must pick a husband. Many princes vie to win her hand, but she has eyes for only one. Golden Lace fans should try A Lacey Gold Negligee: Lacey refuses to clean the rafters at Gold’s home…which leads to a shouting match…which leads to smut…which leads to plot.
@rumbellelives: This positive and sweet friend brings so much light to the Rumbelle fandom! I love her #Fight For Rumbelle tag and the writing events she hosts. Check out her one-shot Light in the Darkness: Rumple wakes up and he and Belle work together to get a newly Dark Emma under control. Phantom of the Opera meets Rumbelle in new WIP Once Upon an Opera. Opera house resident Rumple falls in love with Belle, a ballet dancer who wants to sing.
@rumpledspinster: My sweet Tumblr sister! This talented artist and author is an actual ray of sunshine. Two of my favorite fics are Love by Design, where Rumple Gold’s android wife must be replaced, and he learns that “Gwen” was modeled on her engineer, Belle French. Daring rescue mission ensues! In comedy, try TEA Nominee A Case of the Giggles: Mr. Gold is a little loopy after dental work and Belle finds her grumpy 3-year-old husband adorable.
@rumples-leather-emporium: Love this droll and witty innocent who angsts so good! In The More Things Change Belle returns to Storybrooke after 18 months to reconcile with Rumple, but he’s seeing someone else. A TEA nominated story about finding each other again. Also try fluff-fest Meet Me at Stardusk (WIP) written with me, @mariequitecontrarie. Pragmatic Darach Gold and romantic Belle French decide to spend the 5-day Sky Fire Festival together so neither one will be alone. But what starts out as keeping each other company soon grows into something more.