What he means:
Not only is friendship as a theme nothing more than glittery gilding on a mess of tar, Fairy Tail at times seems outright dismissive of anything that celebrates friendship, family, or standing together as one. Aside from the infuriating examples like Natsu vs. the Twin Dragons and Demon Gray vs. E.N.D. Natsu, a big and rather unforgivable example is the climax of the Tartaros arc, where FACE is about to wipe out Ishgar's magic. It's down to the last few minutes, the situation is immensely dire, and while Igneel holds off Acnologia and Gray and Natsu take on Mard Geer, the magic guilds across the continent have been called together to stand as one and fight for their lives. Everyone from powerhouses like Sabertooth and Lamia Scale to the background guilds like Twilight Ogre and Quattro Cerberus are united and trying to destroy the FACE bombs. Titans like Orga, Jura, and Kagura are all uniting their power to destroy things threatening their livelihoods, along with the Magic Bomber Christina. And not only can all of these people do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, but in the very last few seconds, four dragons come along and wipe all of the bombs out. Just four. They take them out, all several THOUSAND of these three mile-tall nigh-indestructable bombs across an entire fucking continent, in a matter of seconds, maybe a minute or two. The dragons save the day, just four of them, and save an entire continent full of billions of humans, with little effort. These people, main characters included, all had no idea these dragons even existed, much less were willing to help them. This isn't a situation like in the Majora's Mask Zelda game, where a small human single-handedly slays giant monsters and frees monumentally powerful creatures that come back to return the favor and aid them in a time of apocalypse. This is charity. Humankind spectacularly fails to save itself and four incredibly powerful beings have to step in and do it for them. As Kagura and Gajeel rightly put it, humanity was helpless and without the dragons, Tartaros would have won. It's not equivalent exchange. What we take from this situation is that humanity is small and defenseless and cannot save itself, and uniting together and combining efforts to save itself won't change that. It proves that Tartaros is right to consider humanity to be small insects inferior to them. This is incredibly glaring seeing as FACE, a weapon capable of holding back Alvarez, was a weapon created by HUMAN hands. I can only say that were this truly a manga where friendship was powerful, were this truly a manga that celebrated life and love and working towards a common interest like it pretends to, this would not have been the case.
It was a cold night. You know one of the ones that gets in through the cracks in the doors and windows and sinks into your bones. Lucys breath fogged the air in front of her as she made her way to her apartment.
“Cripes it’s colder than Gray and Juvia’s house,” she moaned. She tried in vain to cover her mostly bare legs with her emerald thigh length jacket. Plue’s warm weight in her jacket did very little to alleviate the suffering of her lower extremities.
“It’s your own fault Lucy. You just had to try and catch attention. Plue, I am an idiot for even think that oblivious overeating flamebrain would ever notice something like a new skirt or hooker heels.” She cringed at the thought of the looks she got as she walked into the guild. Mirajane laughed, Levys jaw dropped (along with every guys except for the one she wanted), Erza tried to put three pairs of sweats on her the second she walked up to the bar and Juvia covered Gray’s eyes. The guy reactions were kind of funny in comparison. The old men started to drool and she had never seen Laxus and Freed blush that particular shade of scarlet. But all of that humiliation was for nothing. Natsu had been his usual self running around eating everything spewing fire. He came skidding to a halt in front of her and said, “Lucy, I got us the most awesome job ever.” he paused waiting for Lucy’s reply. She waited for him to notice how much skin she was showing while it was so cold. Nothing.
Lucy shook her head in frustration. She had walked out without answering. He chased her a bit but gave up after she told him she’d Lucy kick him if he kept it up.
“ Pluey, why I am I so dumb? I should know better.” She hopped up on the edge of the canal like always. Something about being that close to danger but being able to control the danger appealed to her. As she ambled along Lucy noticed 2 big guys sauntering the other way. She tried to ignore them as Plue disappeared from inside her jacket back to the Celestial World. As they got closer she was able to smell the alcohol on them. From the looks of their clothes they were some Twilight Ogre numskulls, visiting their old haunts from before Fairy Tail resurfaced and kicked them out.
Lucy knew they would not be friendly if they knew she was from Fairy Tail. she shoved her guild maked hand deeper into her key pocket and clutched Taurus’s key like it was a can of mace and hoped they wouldn’t notice her. She should have known better, considering her current state of dress. The men’s eyes locked on to her and roved over her body. Lucy continued to walk her head up and shoulders back like she owned the world. That tended to deter most unwanted attention. Not this time. The men split and one stepped in front of her and the other moved behind her to cut off her escape.
“Hey pretty lady,” the larger of the two (who had to be 7ft) leered at her, “Why are you walking such a dangerous path at night? You could fall, or you could freeze your sweet little ass off.”
He smiled at Lucy in a way that made her skin crawl. The other oaf started to crowd her into biggo. Then she felt the smallest flicker of warmth.
“ Hey guys,” she laughed, “I’m just trying to get home so I’d appreciate it if you would move.” She put on the biggest smile she could hoping to dazzle them and use her raw beauty to get out of it. No dice.
“ Why don’t we help you home?”
“I’d really rather you didn’t.” She started to shake realizing her beauty trick had back fired.
“We insist.” They each grabbed an arm yanking her hand out of her key pocket and scattering her keys onto the pavement. They luckily didn’t notice the guild mark but the keys caught their attention.
“OOOOhhh a celestial wizard. Must be our lucky day.”
They started to pull her off the pavement and into an alley. At this point Lucy was getting panicked And started to fight.
“ Get off me!!”
“Now now little wizard we just want to keep you company.” the shorter one Put his arms around her writhing body. She felt tears starting to pool in her eyes but then she felt the heat growing, coming from the direction of the guild. So she decided to scream his name.
The shriek startled the Ogres just long enough for the one and only Natsu Dragneel to come roaring into the filth covered alley. Literally roaring.
He didn’t even use his flames. Sure he was glowing with heat, but he beat them with his bare hands. Lucy crawled over to a dumpster while the carnage continued.
Happy shot out of the sky and wrapped his wings around her.
“Don’t worry Lucy, we have you.” Happy told her. He wrapped his little paws under her arms and shot into the sky with her.
“NATSU,” Happy shouted, “I HAVE HER!”
Lucy saw through her tears that Natsu had thrown the idiots into the middle of the street and was heading to her apartment.
“Hold on Lucy,” Happy said. He hadn’t even commented on her weight the entire time they were in the air. It was a nice change. Happy dive bombed into Lucy’s window right as Natsu opened it. Happy let go and she fell into Natsu’s arms and he fell with her onto her bed.
“Sorry,” she gasped. She scrambled off the bed and out of the warmth of his arms.and stood in front of him awkwardly. He looked at her a moment before deciding what to say.
“You called me. How did you know I’d be there?”
“I felt the heat. I was cold but I could feel you coming because I was getting warm.”
They stared at eachother for a moment before Natsu stood and once again wrapped her in his arms. She stood stiff for a moment but then melted against him.she put her hands around his waist and breathed him in. He smelt like charcoal and the sun.
“Thank you Natsu,” she breathed, “I have never had anyone I can call before aside from….MY KEYS!!” Her eyes grew wide in horror and she stumbled away from Natsu as she realized she had no idea where her keys were.
Natsu suddenly held up his hand and she saw her gate keys glittering in his hand. He smiled at her and held them out to her. She looked at them and then at his face then she zeroed in on his lips. She found herself leaning in and planting her lips firmly on his. He was surprised and stiffened at first but then he pulled her close and held her as gentle as if she was made of fine china. His lips were very warm and she moved her mouth against his forcing his lips open. Not that he was resisting. He suddenly clutched her to him. She felt as though she had swallowed fire as his toungue tentivly touched hers. Then he abruptly pushed her away.
“You are freaking out and we cannot do that if you are freaking out.” he said.
Lucy laughed softly. “I have been wanting to do that for weeks.”
Natsu smiled derisively. “I’ve wanted to do that since I met you.”
“Yeah but you were very focused on the guild and the jobs. Plus I could never tell you how I felt without sounding stupid. Then Mira told me you freaked out when she said something about you and me being cute together so I gave up. But I never stopped wanting to kiss you. I will not kiss you when you are freaked out and scared though.”
Lucy stood in shock. This dumbass, she thought.
“Ok Natsu, How about this? Tomorrow when I am less freaked out, can you kiss me again? Because I would really like that. There is no one else I would rather kiss because you are my best friend and you are always there for me and you are very warm and I hat e the cold and no matter how much I complain I really love it when you and Happy break in because then I am not alone Like i have been for most of my-”
He interupts her with a quick kiss.
“Yes I will kiss you again tomorrow.”
He kissed her when she walked through the guild doors. Alot more jaws dropped than when Lucy dressed like a hooker.
So when Mashima did that 7-year timeskip. We missed a very important event:
Alzack and Bisca’s wedding.
They’re a minor ship as opposed to the Big 4, but their relationship was hinted a fair bit:
Not to mention they both wanted to go to Edolas (an anime only moment too, I found), because we know what occurred with the couple there, HUEHUEHUE~
Erza seems close with Bisca (but she’s close with all the girls in FT really), and seems to know what’s going on between the two the longest:
How did they become good friends (and eventually lovers)? Did Bisca or Alzack join FT earlier than the other? So many questions, and so little answers.
They studied (?) and observed the Gruvia dynamic during the end of the Oracion Seis-start of Edolas:
which I find hilarious by the way XD Here’s Albis, who’ve known each other for years (?) maybe, and they BOTH know they like each other but are just very shy to admit it. Yet they’re taking “how to become closer” tips from Gray and Juvia? LMAO, too funny XD Especially considering the fact that Juvia had only joined the guild for a few months, Gray still considered her a nakama more than anything, so she and Gray were at best just friends at this point.
Their lack of screentime didn’t stop them though, they are the first couple to have gotten married and have a child (!!!):
Bisca’s surname even became Connell, THEY’RE CANON!
it was all off-canon so their wedding and Asuka came as a shock for us readers as much as it was for Team Tenrou.
As for how all this ties back to the prompt “laughter”, my reasoning (or more like headcanon) is that Albis’s wedding and their daughter Asuka was probably Fairy Tail’s happier and brighter moments in that seven years when they lost their core, strongest members. I mean, look at Asuka:
ISN’T SHE THE CUTEST!?
I want to believe that despite all of them grasping at straws, hoping beyond hope that Team Tenrou were alive, not to mention Twilight Ogre on their backs, the times Albis took Asuka to the guild helped bring a little joy and laughter :)