Take note bad guys; reducing Gray Fullbuster to a child only makes him more devious! So far with Erza and Natsu we’ve only seen the disadvantages of age regression; weaker bodies, disorientation, lower magic power, and so on, so I’m glad Gray has received a buff of sorts to help balance out the debuffs of his kid-form. Having less physical strength and magic power means he has to rely more on his imagination, and who has a better imagination than a child? This leads to some pretty clever moves on Gray’s part, though you have to question how a guy would miss the fact that he’s walking across solid ice when there should have been grass and soil beneath his feet. I suppose Doriarte was too occupied being angry to notice little details like that. Rage seems to be one of his major characteristics, after all. Speaking of rage, I’d probably be pretty mad in Erza’s shoes at this point, being smacked around by Minerva with no way of fighting back. What started as a fight just turned into child abuse! Erza doesn’t lose her cool, though. Even reduced to a defenceless child with a sword pointed at her throat, wearing nothing more than a shirt, she still stares Minerva in the eye to tell her it’s not too late to change her ways. Come to the light-side, Minerva… actually, I’m glad this only makes Minerva angrier. I don’t know about you, but Minerva seems like the kind of villain who can’t (and shouldn’t) change her ways. She’s pure evil, right to the core. Besides, we already have Flare turning a new leaf, and she’s a much better choice.
Of course, Erza reverts to her older, more shapely self just in time to save her neck and deliver a swift heel-kick to Minerva’s jaw (ouch!) and a follow-up roundhouse to the face. I suppose I could complain about the convenient timing here and say ERZA SHOULD BE DEAD — but come on, we don’t read shōnen battle manga to see the main characters lose. We read it to see them take a beating and then make the most kick-ass comebacks imaginable by the author. Though what isn’t normally part and parcel of the genre are the ecchi antics thrown in by Hiro Mashima; like Erza spending the remainder of the chapter nude from the waste down. I mean, she could requip into any one of her hundreds of different outfits instantly… but where’s the fun in that, right? Back to the raging demon to explain Erza’s sudden change in dress size. It seems the regression magic breaks when Doriarte loses his cool, quite inconvenient for such a ferocious character. He hulks-out into a monstrous beast and I’m suddenly having weird Bleach flashbacks, anyone else? Just me? Okay. Anyway, looks like Gray will be facing his biggest fear after all!
- I kind of wish Natsu, Gray, and Erza had stayed miniaturized for the rest of this arc. Gray and Natsu were deviants and Erza was adorable!
- She claimed otherwise, but we all know Erza really ripped off Minerva’s clothes on purpose, right?
- Yeah, monster-Doriarte is somewhere between The Incredible Hulk and Ayon, I think.
- Gray, please don’t try to sacrifice yourself to kill a giant demon again. Please?
- …is that a power symbol on Doriarte’s forehead?
Have any thoughts on this chapter or theories on what’s to come? Be sure to leave a comment below!