Recap / Fairy Tail Grand Magic Games Arc

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Eight guilds enter, but who will be The One?

Chapters: 258-340, Episodes: 151-203

Short Summary

Wanting to the regain their status which has dropped over the years, Fairy Tail enters the yearly Grand Magic Games in hopes of doing so, but face stiff competition against other competing guilds including rival guild, Raven Tail and the current number one guild, Sabertooth. All the while, a dark conspiracy lurks in the background.

Main Summary


Grand Magic Games Arc has the following tropes:

  • Amazon Brigade: The all women guild, Mermaid Heel.
  • And This Is For...: Laxus names off all of the Fairy Tail members who suffered due to Raven Tail's cheating as he beats them down.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Almost all of Sabertooth.
  • Asshole Victim: Jiemma
  • The Atoner: Jellal, Ultear, and Meredy who form a secret crime fighting guild, Crime Sorcière. As of chapter 298 possibly Flare
  • Bad Boss: Ziemma is a dreadful master leading Sabretooth.
  • Bad Future: There's two!! We get a glimpse of it as Levy is writing a letter to Lucy.
    • To be specific, Future Lucy says that Fiore will be completely decimated by 10,000 dragons. The anime even gives us glimpse of it with Natsu and Lucy the only survivors after the dragons are unleashed on the world and Natsu fighting a hopeless battle against them.
    • Future Rogue says in his timeline, Acnologia will Take Over the World.
  • Beach Episode: A training chapter takes place on a beach.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Future Rogue tries to justify killing Lucy this way, by arguing how time already establishes everyone's fate.
  • The Bet: All of the battles on the second day:
    • Toby vs. Kurohebi: If Toby wins, Kurohebi has to reveal his real name. If Kurohebi wins, Toby has to reveal his "super secret". Kurohebi wins, and the secret is that Toby has spent 3 months looking for a missing sock that's on his necklace, which Kurohebi rips right after showing it to him.
    • Bacchus vs. Elfman: If Bacchus wins, he gets Mirajane and Lisanna for one night. If Elfman wins, Quatro Cerebus is renamed Quatro Puppy. Elfman wins.
    • Mirajane vs. Jenny: The loser has to pose naked for Sorcerer Magazine. Mirajane wins.
    • Yukino vs. Kagura: The two bet their lives. Kagura wins, only to simply tell Yukino that she now owns her life.
  • Big Bad: Future!Rogue is ultimately revealed to be the real villain near the end.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: You'd be surprised at how many times the focus on the main villain switches to reveal that there is actually an eviler antagonist yet to come.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Raven Tail and Sabretooth are nothing compared to Future!Rogue.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Fairy Tail wins the games and once more recognized as the strongest guild and the Bad Future with the dragons is seemingly averted. But the final battle with the dragons leaves a sour taste in everyone mouth as none of the Dragon Slayers were able to defeat one, and these ones aren't even as strong as Acnologia, who according to Future Rogue will take over the world in time. So it doesn't bode too well for the future. What's more, Ultear sacrifices her youth to help the heroes with only Gray, Jellal and Meldy the only one aware of it.
  • Boom, Headshot: Gray suffers one from a dragon. However, thanks to Ultear reversing time he's dodges it.
  • Break the Haughty: Sabretooth ends up having all its guild members get their egos seriously deflated throughout the competition.
  • Brick Joke: When trapped in the Kingdom's Underground Dungeon, Natsu's plan to escape is to simply beat up guards and force them to tell them the way out. The others shoot down this idea as being silly. This is what ends up happening.
  • Call Back: Natsu using his flames to spell "Come On" to taunt the Twin Dragons calls back to him doing the same for the Vanish Brother in Chapter 7.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: All of the battles between different wizards could qualify.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Many of the minor battles but the most notable: Rufus to everyone during the Hidden game, Mirajane vs. Jenny, Kagura vs. Yukino, and Laxus against the entirety of Raven Tail.
    • And don't forget, the climax of the Battle of the Dragon Slayers. Natsu defeats Sting and Rogue, both using Dragon Force, without using Dragon Force himself. He even overpowers their Unison Raid.
  • Dark Messiah: Future Rogue returns to the past as an alleged hero trying to save the world, but it's revealed that he truly desires its destruction.
  • Defeat by Modesty: A dragon dispatches an entire army and Lucy by making their clothes vanish.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sabertooth accepts Fairy Tail after losing badly to them.
  • Designated Girl Fight:
    • Lucy vs. Flare and Wendy vs. Chelia. More humorously, Mirajane vs. Jenny. Later Juvia vs. Chelia and Erza vs. Kagura vs. Minerva.
    • This arc is a particular offender of this trope. In fact, the only official opposite-sex match ups in the entire game were the incredibly minor Millianna vs Semmes and Lyon & Yuka vs Kagura and Millianna, both of which got expanded in the anime. Could be justified since the king picks most of the match-ups, but later on when the battles become real there is another aversion in the Lucy & Yukino vs. Uosuke fight.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Future Lucy does in the arms of her present self.
  • Disc One Final Boss:
    • Ivan is taken down almost effortlessly after being built up as a serious villain.
    • Ziemma is dispatched by Sting halfway through the arc.
  • Disney Death:
    • Lector when it seemed Jimena had disintegrated him. Minerva, however, revealed she saved him at the last second.
    • Gray when he's actually killed Taking the Bullet for Juvia against the smaller dragon spawn. Thankfully Ultear's Reset Button fixes that so they can avoid the attack in time.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Sting takes over Sabretooth after rebelling against Jiemma.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: After Elfman wins against Bacchus, as per the conditions of their bet, Quatro Cerberus changed their name to Quatro Puppy for the duration of the games.
  • Evil Counterpart: Many of the guild members of Sabretooth serve as darker versions to Fairy Tail members during the Tournament Arc.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Raven Tail and Sabertooth enjoy making others suffer.
  • Fanservice: Some of the Beach / Training chapter, Mirajane and Jenny's battle, and the Naval Battle. As well as all of Chapter 298. The first two gets expanded in the anime. Also when Zirconis strips Lucy during the climax with the dragons to show his perverted side.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Future Rogue pulled one a long time ago and grew from the Token Good Teammate into the arc's Big Bad.
  • Faux Action Girl:
    • A rare male example. Ichiya's exceed counterpart from Edolas is built up to be a great badass warrior for Blue Pegasus, only for him to suffer a One-Hit KO.
    • Future Lucy travelled back in time to save the world from an impending disaster by herself, but the only amazing thing she accomplishes in her mission is pulling a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Five-Bad Band: Numerous guilds form teams of five combating other guild, some of which are villainous.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Every so often we get quips from Levy taking about the current events as if looking into the past. Not to mention Carla's vision of Mercurius Castle, the King of Fiore's castle, falling to the ground.
    • The hooded woman makes several of them as she predict she know what will happen on certain day.
    • Cobra vowing to free the rest of Oracien Seis from prison.
    • Future Rogue warns Natsu that something will happen in a year, resulting in Frosche's death.
  • Future Badass: Future Rogue is lot more intimidating compared to his younger self.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Throughout the whole arc, it's Fairy Tail as the good, Sabertooth as the bad, and Raven Tail as the evil. After Raven Tail is disqualified, Sabertooth, particularly Minerva, shifts toward being more evil. A smaller example exists in the Mêlée à Trois fight between Erza as the Good, Kagura as the Bad, and Minerva as the Evil.
  • Good Versus Good: The heroic guilds also combat each other in the tournament.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Several characters are gruesomely murdered by dragons, slightly out of view. Thankfully, Ultear reverses time so none of these deaths occur.
  • Government Conspiracy: There's one going on with the staff of the Fiore Kingdom.
  • Graceful Loser: Sting comes to grips with the fact that he's not fighting for the right reasons and admits defeat to Fairy Tail.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The entire guild of Sabretooth changes for the better after losing the tournament.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Future!Lucy ends up taking Future!Rogue's attack to save her younger self.
    • In using her ultimate magic to save everyone, Ultear undergoes Rapid Aging as the price for doing so.
  • Humiliation Conga: Quatro Cerberus really goes downhill during the tournament.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kagura and Future!Lucy. The latter suffering a fatal one.
  • It's Personal:
    • Fairy Tail to Raven Tail for attacking Wendy before the games even start. It only gets more personal as the games go on.
    • Fairy Tail to Sabertooth for Minerva's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Lucy.
    • Natsu to Future Rogue when he (unintentionally) kills Future Lucy while trying to take out the present one.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Raven Tail attacking Wendy before the games officially even begin.
    • Flare taking Asca hostage.
    • The audience in the coliseum mock and belittle Fairy Tail despite the fact that Raven Tail cheated against them the first day.
    • Jiemma excommunicating Yukino for losing her match.
    • Kurohebi destroying Toby's sock.
    • Minerva beating down Lucy and Sabertooth's general reaction to it.
    • Jiemma beating up Sting and Rogue for losing and then killing Lector.
    • Minerva again in final event of tournament by kidnapping Millianna to get Erza and Kagura to fight each other. Then once they've weaken themselves doing so and start to reconcile, she stabs Kagura from behind to gain a point and then throws Millianna, who has wounds on her back from Minerva torturing her to pass the time, to Erza.
    • Future Rogue tries to kill Present Lucy but kills her future self.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Ivan brutally beating Flare for nearly costing their team the match.
    • Sting possibly killing Jiemma for seemingly killing Lector.
    • Laxus epically crushing Raven tail.
  • Kill the Cutie: Future!Lucy ends up horrifically murdered by Future!Rogue.
  • Manly Tears: All the males in Fairy Tail break down crying upon hearing that their guild has won the tournament.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The audience witnessing the tournament has many of these while watching the wizards duke it out.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Erza, Kagura, and Minerva engage in one in the final round of the Grand Magic Games.
  • Mirror Match: Wendy against Chelia as both use sky magic.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Minerva gives one to Lucy in the Naval Battle. She even prevents her from being knocked out of the ring early just to prolong it. As you can imagine, Fairy Tail isn't amused.
  • No Sell: Nothing the guilds throw at the dragons has any effect on them and even when the Dragon Slayers take them on, they barely even put a dent on them let alone cause any major damage. Everyone's only saved due to Ultear's rewinding time for a few minutes and the Eclipse Gate being destroyed which sends the dragons back to the past. But the Dragon Slayers are dejected with the results due to not even managing to defeat even one of them. Making them realize if they can't beat any of the "minor" ones, then there's no chance they'll be able to take Acnologia.
  • One Woman Army: Erza challenging all 100 monsters during the Pandemonium game.
  • Put on a Bus: Ultear at the end due to her magic causing her to rapidly age.
  • Red Herring:
    • The latter part of the arc goes out of it's way to tease the idea that Yukino would become a member of Fairy Tail after getting kicked out of Sabertooth. She specifically bonds with Lucy, Natsu, and Mirajane. She ultimately ends up rejoining Sabertooth.
    • At first it seems that the captain of the royal guard is being built up as a doomsday villain planning to destroy the world with project eclipse, only for him to be revealed as Good All Along.
    • Then, it seems as if Ivan and his guild are going to be the main villains of the Tournament Arc, only for Laxus to effortlessly defeat them all.
    • Ziemma is also made out as a possible candidate for the arc's Big Bad, only for him to end up dispatched by Sting.
  • Reset Button: Ultear uses the ultimate form of her magic to turn back time a few minutes when the battle against the dragons takes a turn for the worst. While she intended to try and go back a few days and thinks she's failed. The magic allows everyone to see the enemies moves in advance once time is rewound, allowing them to make pre-emptive strikes and ultimately save the world.
  • The Reveal: The person inside of the blue bunny suit working for Blue Pegasus is Ichiya's Edolas counterpart.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: A rare heroic example. When Milliana takes on Lyon by herself he tricks her into running away from his ice tiger and straight into a brick wall, knocking herself out.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Eclipse Plan as well as Future Lucy's motive.
  • She's All Grown Up: Several characters that Fairy Tail encountered in the past return more mature than before.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Natsu collides with Lucy while she's naked and accidentally gropes her breasts.
    • Gray teams up with Juvia to take on Lyon and Chellia.
    • Several characters are seen dancing with one another at the grand ball.
  • Taking the Bullet: Future Lucy does this when Future Rogue tries to kill the present Lucy. Also Gray does the same for Juvia when the dragon tries to blindside her.
  • Tears of Joy: Yukino's reaction, who a few days previous had nowhere to go, when the best guilds in Fiore start fighting over her.
  • Tickle Torture: Jellal loses his fight when Ultear does this to him through Meredy's Psychic Link.
  • Time Travel: Ultear saves multiple people by sacrificing her life to rewind time temporarily.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Sabretooth becomes a much more noble guild after Sting chooses to reform it.
    • Kagura grows into Erza's friend and admits that she wants her as a sister.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: How Raven Tail fights.
  • Tomato Surprise:
    • Porlyusica being the human Edolas counterpart of Grandine.
    • All Dragon Slayers suffer from motion sickness. It just varies depending on the user.
    • Chelia using Sky God Slayer magic.
    • Princess Hisui is the one behind the Eclipse Project
    • Kagura is Simon's little sister. Also they came from the same village Erza once lived in. In fact Erza was the one who had save her from being kidnapped by Zeref's forces at the cost of getting caught herself.
    • The hooded woman turns out to be a future Lucy.
    • There turns out to be another from the future, Rogue. He came back to kill Lucy and stop her from closing the Eclipse Door as he claims she was the reason the attack on the dragons failed.
    • Future Rogue is actually evil and the Eclipse Gate is actually connected 400 years into the past where dragons were once alive.
  • Tournament Arc: As the name of the arc suggests, this arc focues on the Olympic style Magic Games where the top six guilds fight to be named the strongest guild in the country...
  • Wham Episode:
    • The reveal not one but two people came from the future. And the one who warned Princess Hisui about the upcoming danger was actually a man.
    • Future Lucy being killed by Future Rogue.
    • What's more Future Rogue is actually evil and the whole plot surrounding the Eclipse Gate was a gambit by him to have dragons enter into the current timeline and take over the world!
    • Gray takes multiple shots (Even one going through his HEAD) from the mini-dragons pushing Juvia out of the way of them..
    • Ultear, who has been part of the series since chapter 1, has become an elderly woman effectively taking her out of the series.
    • Fairy Tail returns to Magnolia to find a cheering town and a rebuilt guild hall, having finally earned their happy ending... oh, is that Obra running away? and he's meeting up with Zeref who effectively declares war on Fairy Tail
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Ziemma disappears after Sting stabs him and takes over the guild.
    • Minerva mysteriously disappears when the dragons invade.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Quatro Cerberus gets hit with this pretty hard. They start out as one of the most challenging guild entering the tournament, but ultimately end up losing at every turn.
    • Mermaid Heel suffers this in the final battle royale. When Minerva tries to force Erza and Kagura to duel to the death, she tortures Milliana and takes out Kagura the minute her back is turned, perfectly orchestrating their powerful guild to lose badly.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: A minor one as after the group come from the Celestial Spirit World, they find that time moves about three months faster in the real world. This winds up costing the group precious training time.
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