Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fairy Tail Chapter 519 Review - Show Me Your Smile

Written by Shiggins

It was worse than I thought it would be...

After saying that, I've pretty much set the tone for this review. While it doesn't top the "because she's Erza" disaster of 2014, back in Chapter 404, this is still a piss-taker. And the sad part is that it would have been so easy to fix this and give us a modest yet satisfying chapter. Instead, we got something that had me literally calling Irene a liar.

Irene's screams matching my own.
Our chapter resumes exactly where we left off last week with Erza charging through the air to crush the meteor with her big-ass sword. And... she does. It explodes. The meteor goes up to that big meteor storm in the sky... and probably rained down and killed tons of citizens but that's not Erza's problem.

Both meteors should probably have ended up basically the same, really. (Also, like fuck I wasn't going to put in this gif!)
Erza isn't finished though, because instead she turns in the air and starts to crash down towards her mother. It's pointed out that Erza's sword can't damage dragon scales, so Wendy just happens to step up right at this second to enchant Erza with Dragon Slayer magic and this destroys Irene's dragon form, reverting her back to human.

So... Is Erza suicidal? She's smiling, but she's about to die. She doesn't know Irene is about to do a 180 so hard it causes whiplash, as shown later on in this chapter, which means her smile is because... Yeah, she's suicidal. Best excuse I can think of really.
Erza is on the floor while Irene remains standing, and so Irene picks up Erza's discarded sword, staggering over to give the finishing blow. However, that suddenly changes when Irene sees Erza with a weird random smile on her face, and so we get a flashback where Irene was about to make the swap with the newborn child that is Erza, but she in fact didn't do anything because Erza was a happy baby.

Back to present day, and Erza stands up yet again, while also taking her own sword through her gut, and proceeds to headbutt Irene. Once again, Erza collapses and Irene takes out her sword and... stabs herself instead. Yes, she has decided she now cannot kill her own daughter and she falls down, with everyone in shock, especially the readers.

Opinion: ...At least it isn't Chapter 404?

That sadly is the best thing I can say about this chapter, as it's most certainly insulting. While it's good that we don't have to deal with a quarter-assed excuse like "because she's Erza", that doesn't mean we should have nothing at all. I keep having to remind myself that this is a fantasy and it's meant to be fun, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out some sort of justification for how Erza could do all this. Hell, I almost had it at first but then the defeat of Irene just sent me over the edge.

Want to hear something that'll piss you off? This arc isn't over yet, so there's a good chance that Erza will stand back up later on, and fight whoever else is left without a single hint of trauma or fear or anything that says this battle had an effect on her.
In fact, I'm done talking about Erza. Let's talk about Irene and the absolute expunging of one of the arc's best villains, since I actually find that much more worthy of my anger. What made Irene so interesting compared to other Fairy Tail villains, and actually a lot of other anime villains in general, was her total disregard for her own daughter and clear hostility for her just existing. There hadn't been one sign that she cared about Erza since her inception and it seemed like she was going to stick to this manner until her inevitable defeat. It's actually almost fascinating to see someone go from a true hero and devolve into such a monster, unable to even retain a human form and filled with nothing for contempt for someone that almost every other manga out there tries to have be beloved by their own parents.

Unfortunately, this chapter officially wussed out. What could have been seen as a bittersweet ending for a character, where Erza had to accept that her own blood hated her but she always had the Guild, has instead resulted in a complete reversal of a character to keep the story "safe". Instead of a painful lesson, Erza gets everything. Even if Irene dies now, she still got everything. Lots of love that feels completely unearned, especially since I have no fucking idea why Erza was even smiling in the first place!

Any Bleach readers remember this guy's death and the horrid 180 he gave us? Because I got the same vibes this week... The same infuriating vibes.
Erza constantly being able to attack Irene after everything? That's bullshit. Wendy able to enchant Erza's swords so she can fight dragons now, despite Wendy already pulling one enchantment out her butt earlier and being super-weak? That's bullshit as well, but I can forgive these two because it's something we've seen before and doesn't ruin the difficult themes or risky choices a write can make. Irene suddenly becoming nice and loving Erza all along? That's weak. That's pure weak. It came out of nowhere, doesn't feel earned or justified in the slightest, and it ignores all the opportunities that having a hateful mother like Irene could have brought about. Out of every choice made in this arc so far, it's easily my least favourite.

Have I been overly harsh? Has this week just been a bad one so I'm taking it out on Irene and Erza? Maybe... Maybe.

Manga Rating: 1/5

Character of the Week: The meteor. Why? Because fuck it.

Best Part: The meteor's explosion was kinda cool.

Worst Part: Irene the quitter.

Oh Erza... You're lucky you're pretty.
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. Yeah gonna have to agree with you on this one. Kinda lame this chapter. I would have kept Irene as an enemy till the bitter end, or at least write it such that Erza had a legitimate, decisive loss.

    1. Keep Irene as an enemy until she's defeated, yeah. If you want her to become good, make that actual development! I'd love to watch Irene change over time, it'd be great.

  2. My hopes of this arc are on the shoulders of Zeref and Acnologia, this chapter for me was a symbol of the worst of fairy tail and somehow ruined one of its best parts.Thanks for the review it's the only reason I bother to read on when chapters this dreadful happen.

    1. And August and Brandish. Give them credit where it's due.

      And thank you! If I can make your pain easier, I fully accept.

  3. It's funny, but I find this chapter very controversial. I liked the Irene and Erza bit, but I didn't like the slightly bullshit Erza attacks. Like, if at least Irene in her Dragon form wasn't hurt enough to revert back to human, then it would be a lot more acceptable for me.
    As for the Irene quitting part... Actually I reread the fight, and noticed that Irene's "quitting" is justifiable. When she first found out Erza is alive, she aked Neinhart to kill her. Why? Because she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to hurt her, so she asked another person to do the job for her.
    Afterwards, when Neinhart failed, she actually came to Erza. She herself wasn't sure if she loves Erza or not. That's why she told Erza her backstory. And after that - she said that "she doesn't love her a bit", but yet, she got mad for some reason. I think she was mad, because she continued to try to prove to herself that she still hates Erza. That's why she kept insulting her, and showing how she hates her. This was her persuading herself about her hatred. If you think about it, it's the only reason that makes sense why she got so mad so suddenly.
    But in the end, she wasn't able to hate Erza. After all her tries, she realizes that she still can't hate Erza, and decides to commit suicide, because she isn't able to deal with herself at all.
    That's how I see this situation. So to be completely honest, I know that this is an unpopular opinion, but I liked the Erza/Irene Plotline. I will agree, that some Erza parts were.... bullshit, and I agree that Irene's real feelings could be potrayed better. But in the end, I enjoyed this plotline. The execution was shaky, but in the end, it worked out for me. I know people don't think this way, and I completely understand their points of hating it - and their opinion is justified. I myself though, really liked this fight/moment.