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Recap / Fairy Tail Tartaros Arc

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The gate to hell has opened...

Chapters: 356-417, Episodes: 234-265

Short Summary

The Tartaros Guild mentioned in previous arcs finally begin to make their move, seeking to destroy humanity with a bomb that will take away all magic. Fairy Tail naturally get involved, but as the guild is made up of demons, find themselves facing their toughest opponents yet.

Long Summary

Fairy Tail Tartaros Arc provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime includes an episode featuring Oracion Seis members after they joined Jellal, as well as explains what Rustyrose was up to after the time skip. In the manga, Crime Sorciere's involvement in the arc's events pretty much ends after the battle is resolved and later only show up in the epilogue. Later, a rematch between Laxus and Tempester takes place, while in the manga Gray made short work of him. According to the Word of God, he originally planned to give Laxus a larger role, and was glad this was included in the anime.
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  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Lucy's outfit from the siege on Tartaros to her sacrifice of Aquarius. In the manga, it's damaged in her battle with Franmalth, necessitating her to change the way it's worn. Said Clothing Damage never happens in the anime, leading her outfit change to be questionable. Can cross over with Adaptational Modesty.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Erza, Natsu and Lisanna were stripped naked during their captivity in the manga, but are left with some clothing in the anime. This leads to an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole when Face's brief activation shuts off Lisanna's Animal Soul and still leaves her naked.
  • The Adventure Continues: Fairy Tail all go their separate ways, with the guild seemingly disbanding. Natsu goes off - with only Happy in tow - to go train to become strong enough to take on Acnologia... and then we see Zeref referring to E.N.D. by its true name: Etherious Natsu Dragneel.
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  • Always a Bigger Fish: The appearance of Acnologia in chapter 399 draws a Mass "Oh, Crap!" reaction from Fairy Tail and Tartaros. When they're freaking out, you know it just got real.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Tempester's Deadly Gas was noted to have killed over 100 people, though what provokes Fairy Tail into declaring war on Tartaros is the (non-lethal) poisoning of Laxus, the Raijinshuu, and Yajima. Granted, it's only because Laxus took the great personal risk of sucking up as much of the Deadly Gas as he could that they didn't join the body count and/or the kill count wasn't even higher.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Igneel doesn't just lose an arm to his opponent. Acnolgia takes Igneel's arm and his torso. That said, Igneel manages to take Acnologia's left arm in the process.
  • Arc Villain: Mard Geer, essentially the acting Guild Master of Tartaros while E.N.D. remains trapped in his Book of Zeref.
  • Back from the Dead: What, you thought you could just kill demons and they wouldn't come back? Nope.
    • Eventually stopped when Mirajane destroys Tartaros's labs.
  • Back for the Dead: Almost the entire Magic Council gets killed off by Tartaros.
  • Badass Crew: The Nine Demon Gates, even more so than past enemies. Each one gives the top Fairy Tail Mages one hell of a fight.
  • Big "NO!": Natsu lets one out when Igneel is killed by Acnologia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cana when she stumbles upon Elfman (who's being mind-controlled) setting up a bomb to destroy the guild. Elfman attacks her and she just barely manages to knock him away and turn all the guild mates into cards before the bomb destroys their headquarters.
    • Chapter 386 involves several in quick succession once The Celestial Spirit King reverses Alegria. First Gajeel tackles Torafuzar just as he is about to kill the exhausted Lucy, then Juvia intercepts Keyes's sneak attack, then Gray cancels out Silver's attempt to freeze her, and finally, Natsu consumes Tempester's firestorm.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The reunion between Dragon Slayers and their Dragons takes a grim reality as not only Igneel was killed by Acnologia, but it seems the other Dragons have to go away now. True, Tartaros minus END has been defeated, but there were casualties this time around, and Zeref is still out there. And to make matters worse? The second Magic Council is no more, Fairy Tail disbands with everyone going their separate ways, and we learn who E.N.D.'s true identity is.
  • Bowdlerise: Due to the anime airing on TV Tokyo's morning time slot, the Tartaros arc was censored to fit the time slot.
    • Several instances where characters were nude was changed to Lisanna, Erza, and Natsu having clothing on. For Mirajane and Minerva they were still nude while in Hell's Core.
    • The violence and gore is also somewhat toned down due to the airtime Fairy Tail airs. There is also a lot more humor added into the arc even with the darker elements the anime still tries to be for younger ages.
  • Break the Cutie: All the Dragon Slayers permanently lost their adoptive parents (Natsu deserves special mention for seeing Igneel brutally killed before disappearing), Gray lost his father, Lucy lost Aquarius (though she's not dead; Lucy just broke her key and prevented further summoning) and Erza relived painful memories from the Tower of Heaven during her torture (though she doesn't show it until the aftermath).
  • Breast Attack: We don't see it happening, but some of the many cuts Erza receives while under torture were on her breasts. Note that her sense of pain was maximized for all this. Poor Erza.
    • Groin Attack: The very first thing Kyoka does in her attempt to break Erza. It's drawn in a way to obscure it, but it's pretty clear from the angle Kyoka is grabbing and her claiming that she can "Turn sensation to pain" what the implication was.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: When Kyouka cuts Erza after maximizing her sense of pain, we get a panel showing only Erza's and Kyouka's lower legs, with what is heavily implied to be urine streaming down the former. The fact that the anime animated the panel while removing the stream only provides further evidence of this.
  • The Bus Came Back: Sting, Rogue, Oración Seis, Grimore Heart ( Anime-Only ) Crawford Seam, Ziemma... and Acnologia all make an appearance in this arc.
  • Call-Back: Crawford mentions the time Natsu dressed up as Erza and tried to stop her arrest back in the Lullaby arc.
  • The Cavalry: The Dragons Come Back in chapter 412 and start destroying the FACEs.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Until Albareth this was easily the darkest arc of the series.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Book of Zeref, which has been mentioned frequently throughout the series, all the way back to the Lullaby arc, is in the hands of Tartaros.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Seilah says early on she can manipulate corpses with her Macro. Guess who controls Crawford's corpse to activate Face when Keyes is killed.
  • Clone Army: Chapter 399 gives us Lamy. Lamy everywhere.
  • Clothing Damage: Lucy gets her top ripped with a minimal amount covering her breasts and she loses her shoes.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Kyôka does this to Erza for several chapters.
  • Conflict Ball: Jellal vs. Oracion Seis. While he was only supposed to keep them out of trouble, they assume that he wants to put them back in prison, ignoring his point that it would be hypocritical of a fellow prison fugitive to do so.
  • Continuity Nod: Cana used Sho's technique to turn people into cards and is implied to have learnt it from him too.
    • And then Franmalth shows off his 'most powerful soul' that he had absorbed seven years ago. It's Hades. Yes, THAT Hades.
  • Credits Montage: The final episode of the arc provides this with the ending music showing all the major events that happened.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Igneel gets his arm ripped off, a hole through his chest, and incinerated by a dragon blast. Right in front of his surrogate son Natsu too.
  • Cue the Sun: The battle with Tartaros lasts all day and night, with the next day starting after all the threats had been neutralized. However, the exact moment when the sun rises is right after Acnologia kills Igneel.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Thunder Tribe against Tempester. He practically brushes them aside before Laxus shows up. And even then, Laxus's attack hardly phases him.
    • Jackal single-handedly slaughtering the Magic Council definitely qualifies, too.
    • And then there's Silver freezing Natsu solid with one wave of his hand, though he kind of had that coming.
    • Seilah spent her entire fight with Mirajane absolutely mopping the floor with her, and that was without the use of her Curse. In fact, she was seconds away from killing her when Mirajane managed to use Take-Over to temporarily use Seilah's Curse to call in Elfman to pull a Dynamic Entry.
  • Darker and Edgier: Holy crap.
  • Day In The Lime Light: For Lucy, Wendy, Gray and the Strauss siblings. All of them play pivotal roles in the story and in the case of the first two, get some amazingly epic moments.
  • Demonic Possession: Hey, guess who's Not Quite Dead? Deliora. Yes, that Deliora. Turns out not only was Deliora revived after Galuna Island by Tartaros's Resurrective Immortality technology, he also uses Gray's father Silver Fullbuster's body as his human shell.
    • Subverted, Silver was just acting as a ploy to get Gray to kill him and Take Up His Sword in destroying Tartarous. Deliora is still very, very dead.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Mirajane vs. Seilah and Erza vs. Kyôka.
  • Deus ex Machina: Face is ultimately stopped not by Fairy Tail, but when The Dragons Come Back.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Arguably part of the reason Laxus got poisoned by Tempester's "suicide" attack, considering that he beat the demon without working up a sweat.
    • The arc is currently one of the greatest examples of the series as the Thunder God Tribe is also poisoned at the moment. Gildarts is still Walking the Earth. Natsu, Erza and Mirajane (and Lisanna) have been captured and neutralized by the enemy. Elfman seems to be under Mind Control. This leaves all the S-Class wizards and most of the strongest non-S-Classes unable to fight for the moment. Master Makarov is still left, but as he is the most frequent victim of Deus Exit Machina in Fairy Tail, it wasn't long before he, himself pulled one of these, in order to activate Lumen Histoire.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: He's baaaack... Acnologia reappears in Chapter 399, and even Mard Geer looks nervous.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Crawford probably should have realized that announcing to a room full of genocidal demons that he had made himself the last Living MacGuffin key to Face was a really, really bad idea. Granted, he was still the only person who was capable of activating Face remotely, but he definitely should have mentioned that sooner.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Kyôka says wants to 'take care' of Seilah for a job well done. Next time we see Seilah, she's smiling in a bed, giggling, her Minidress of Power replaced with a Modesty Bedsheet. Mashima didn't even try to be subtle.
  • Eldritch Location: Cube, Tartaros's headquarters. Insert 'Alegria,' receive Giant Flyer Eldritch Abomination that can absorb everything on its 'back' and assimilate them into the architecture of the guild headquarters.
  • Electric Torture: Kyôka does this to Erza with the use of the frog-octopus demon, Yakdoriga.
  • Eureka Moment: After the battle with Jackal, Natsu suddenly realizes that there was no way for Tartaros to know about the bomb weapon unless someone from the magic council had told them about it, since only the former council members knew of its location. To which he figures out Erza and Mirajane are walking into a trap by the council member they're protecting.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Igneel. Right in front of Natsu, too. Keyes' death was rather gorny, too (or at least it would be if he had any flesh to splatter).
  • Fantastic Racism: The Nine Demon Gates look down upon humanity.
  • From Bad to Worse: Progressively as the arc continues (mostly from chapters 1 and 2 of the story). The Magic Council is wiped out, the previous ones are killed to unlock a weapon with one of them having turned traitor and sided with the demons, and Fairy Tail's strongest is systematically put out of commission (Laxus and the Thunder Tribe are poisoned, Erza and Mirajane are captured and set to be converted to demons, Elfman is brainwashed to attack the guild, and Natsu likewise is captured). Then the guild hall is destroyed... again. And now we have Face about to detonate until Wendy and Charle stop it. The third chapter of the arc has Tartaros deciding to cross their equivalent of the Godzilla Threshold, however, and are now looking to summon E.N.D.. To top it off, their Eldritch Abomination Guild Hall absorbs every member of Fairy Tail (except one) into it's being. The only one left is Lucy. Lucy is then told by Aquarius to shatter her key in order to summon the Celestial Spirit King. While summoning him turns the tide, it also effectively means that (barring a miracle)Lucy and Aquarius may never see each other again. And if that's not enough, despite the King freeing all the other members of Fairy Tail, Doranbolt reveals to Wendy that even though that one Face was destroyed, there are at least 3000 more Face bombs all around the landscape waiting to go off. With just thirty minutes left to go until they do, a loud, piercing roar rings out across the entire landscape, causing Wendy to faint, Natsu to start shaking, and even Mard Geer to slightly panic. What's the one thing that could cause a Mass "Oh, Crap!" reaction of this magnitude? Who else but Acnologia?
  • The Ghost: E.N.D., despite being mentioned and referred to several times in the arc, doesn't make a single appearance.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Crossed several times in the arc:
    • First, Doranbolt frees the entire Oracion Seis dark guild in exchange for intel on Tartaros. As a backup, he sends Jellal and Meredy after them.
    • Second, Lucy uses her absolute last resort by summoning the Celestial Spirit King at the cost of losing Aquarius' key.
    • Later, Makarov heads off to activate Lumen Histoire, but it gets subverted when he ends up choking under pressure and couldn't flip the switch. Luckily...
    • The Dragons Come Back, but this also means permanent death as they've been half dead the entire time. They've been Living on Borrowed Time by sealing themselves inside their children. Now that they've come out...
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Most of the council members Tartaros has killed have been subject to this.
    • While Acnologia tearing off half of Igneel's body is clearly shown, the end result of getting nuked by Acnologia's roar is obscured by smoke.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: E.N.D., the real Guild Master of Tartaros.
    • Also, Zeref. Even moreso than in previous arcs.
    • Worst of all is Acnologia.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The arc ends with Minerva rejoining Sabertooth, and Cobra, Racer, Angel, Hoteye, and Midnight joining Crime Sorcière.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted by Laxus to contain Tempester's poison attack. It's enough to get the tribe and Yajima out of there so they can be heal but the rest of the town winds up infected as a result with a massive body count.
    • Also attempted by Happy when Jackal intends to blow up the town. He survives.
    • Again by Wendy and Charle, when they decide to detonate Face, and be blown up with it. Doranbolt rescues them from the blast.
  • Hope Spot: The climax of the arc. You've managed to stop Face, E.N.D. won't be resurrected, Mard Geer has been defeated, and now it's time for a heart to heart with the dragons now that they're back! ... wait, where did E.N.D.'s book go? ... Oh, Crap!.
  • Idiot Ball: Seriously Natsu, it's good you figured out what was going on with Erza and Mirajane. But you couldn't be bothered to tell your guild mates about it first before rushing off to Tartaros's headquarters?
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Shows up several times throughout the arc due to the number of emotional episodes, including Elfman as he begs Sayla to stop making him strangle Lisanna, Erza during her torture (there's no mucus, but she's drooling quite a bit), Lucy after breaking Aquarius' key, Gray when he can't bring himself to kill Silver, and Natsu during his final words with Igneel.
  • It's Personal: Not surprisingly Tartaros had to target a former council member who is a close friend of Fairy Tail. After Laxus and the Thunder Tribe get poisoned fighting one of their members, Fairy Tail have it out for Tartaros.
  • Karma Houdini: Just like last time, Zeref and Acnologia get away completely scott-free for their atrocious actions in the arc, though the latter has at least lost an arm.
  • Karmic Death: Jackal: Killed by the girl he was torturing directly after he kills Lamy, his guild's annoying but reliable Mad Scientist and Medic.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Nearly all the Magic Council members as well as Lahar.
    • Several members of Tartaros after Mira destroys their revival chamber.
    • Igneel
    • As well as the rest of the Dragon Slayer's dragons, though they were Dead All Along.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Upon hearing that Tartaros is targeting former Magic Council members. Fairy Tail decide to split up to guard them. Unfortunately, a few of them are too late when they reach their targets.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Silver to Gray. Only Silver is no longer Silver Fullbuster: He's Deliora, possessing Silver's body.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Fairy Tail and Tartaros have one due to the appearance of Acnologia.
  • Mood Whiplash: From the destruction of the Magic Council and Doranbolt in tears to Fairy Tail having a party.
  • Myth Arc: The Tartaros arc answers literally about 80% of the entire series' Myth Arc, if not less, starting from the Dragons' dissapearance, Zeref's demons, and Lumen Histoire. From this point on, the series is clearly heading into endgame territory.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: By the end of it all, Igneel is killed by Acnologia and the Dragon Spirits disappear; the Magic Council has bit the dust; Fairy Tail is disbanded and the guildmates go their separate ways. As for Natsu, not only does he have to train for a year to avenge Igneel's death, but his true identity as E.N.D. is revealed.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Fairy Tail fails to stop Tartaros from activating Face, and magic starts disappearing, before The Dragons Come Back and save the day.
  • One-Man Army: Jellal vs the Oración Seis. The only trouble he runs into is Midnight trying to pull another Daydream Surprise on him. He manages to break free and easily mops the floor with them.
    • Intentionally invoked when it comes to each individual member of Tartaros. Franmalth says that the demons that make up the guild were designed by Zeref to be living weapons of war, each one being capable of taking on the entire army of a country by themselves. And indeed, they're tough as nails, even when compared to previous Dark Guilds.
  • One-Winged Angel: So far, almost every member of Tartaros has been shown to have an 'Etherious Forme' that is essentially this.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Nine Demon Gates, albeit a much more dangerous and Darker and Edgier example of this than in previous arcs.
  • Race Against the Clock: Soon becomes this when Face is activated. Giving the guild 40 minutes to stop it before the cannon fires.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Minerva and Ziemma are turned into demon soldiers.
  • The Reveal: Silver is Gray's biological father, Igneel was hiding inside of Natsu all this time, and Mavis Vermilion's physical body is Lumen Histoire. This arc is chock-full of these.
  • Rousing Speech: Makarov gives one to his guild to encourage them to defeat Tartaros.
  • Sadistic Choice: Jackal pulls this on Lucy forcing her to pick who to blow up between the council member they're protecting or a pregnant woman. Thankfully Natsu recovers and tackles him before she can decide.
  • Satanic Archetype: Mard Geer, especially in his One-Winged Angel form. E.N.D. is implied to be one as well.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Lahar. Pretty much everything he's done in the series so far was for nothing by the beginning of the first chapter of the arc.
  • Smart Ball: Natsu figures out before anyone else that Crawford is The Mole for Tartaros, and this was while he was recovering from his explosive battle with Jackal.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Tartaros is by far the most dangerous Dark Guild in the series so far. There are many reasons why.
  • Story Arc: Each Mini-Arc of Tartaros deals with a certain theme in the current events.
    • Prologue: The final dark guild makes it's move.The beginning introduces the threat of the demons from Zeref's books and why Fairy Tail has to stop them from killing the rest of the magic council. Erza and Mira go to protect the chairman only he's a traitor revealing FACE to Tartaros.
    • Part 1: Sins and corruption are made.Showing the cruelty of the demons, and reintroduces Oración Seis into the story. Minerva has been transformed into a demon. A few of the mages get captured in Tartaros' HQ plus the guild is destroyed thanks to Elfman having made a deal with a devil.
    • Part 2: A Dragon Slayer flies.The comeback Fairy Tail makes, Zeref returns to tell Natsu more about E.N.D and Igneel, the fights against the demons begin, and Wendy tries to stop FACE from activating. She is able to defeat Ezel and nearly sacrifices herself along with her friend, but Doranbalt comes in at the nick of time.
    • Part 3: The head of the demons is revealed.The Underworld King Mard Geer is running Tartaros for E.N.D, and he entraps Fairy Tail in a curse. Lucy being the only survivor has to save Fairy Tail by sacrificing one of her celestial spirits. The CSK is able to free the mages while stopping Mard Geer for a moment.
    • Part 4: The truth is revealed.Sabertooth returns to save Minerva and engage Mard Geer. The battles with the remaining Demon Gates press on as Gray learns the truth about Silver. He is his father but not really it's Deliora the demon that took away Ul. This however was a bluff by Silver trying to force Gray to kill him as he is truly a corpse being used by Keyes. Juvia finishes him off as Silver gives Gray his Devil Slayer Magic to stop E.N.D.
    • Part 5: The final battles with the Nine Demon Gates begin. Erza finds the control room that is being used to activate FACE. She is able to defeat Kyôka with help from Minerva and Mirajane but it's too late as FACE countdown reaches zero.
    • Part 6: The final mini arc is set for the Tartaros Arc.Mard Geer is trying to speed up the FACE countdown thanks to Igneel and Acnologia's sudden arrival. Natsu meets his father as he tells him to take E.N.D back from Mard Geer. Natsu, Sting, Rogue, and Gray face Mard Geer and finally the Underworld King falls. Before they can decide what to do with E.N.D Zeref shows up and takes the book back while killing Mard Geer. FACE is stopped thanks to the other dragons. Acnologia manages to gain the upper hand and kills Igneel in front of Natsu. The dragons are forced to leave as they had been dead for some time now as Natsu gives a promise to crush Acnologia.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Acnologia speaks for the first time.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In the first act, Tartaros's attacks kill off many of the past and present Magic Council members (sans Doranbolt and Yajima).
  • Survivor Guilt: Doranbolt, again.
  • The Legions of Hell: Tartaros is made up almost exclusively of demons from the Book of Zeref.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Tartaros's goal. The reason they're targeting former Magic Council members is because they're living keys to a weapon that can fire out a bomb that'll wipe out all magic in the continent. Leaving humans defenseless against the demons whose curses will not be affected by it.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Igneel suffers one of the harshest deaths in the entire series thanks to Acnologia.
  • This Means War!: Natsu declares as such after The Thunder Tribe, Laxus and Yajima are severely poisoned after Tempester's attack.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Crawford inserts the key to Face within himself and informs his murderous allies of this. Apparently, it never occurred to him that they would simply kill him to finish unlocking the project.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A recurring theme with characters in desperate need of one.
  • Total Party Kill: The Magic Council (except Doranbolt) are wiped out by a single demon.
  • Underestimating Badassery: As usual, most of the antagonists underestimate Fairy Tail.
  • Villain Ball: Jackal torturing Lucy instead of killing her when she's outnumbered and killing Lamy for annoying him despite her general usefulness to him. There's no excuse for any of these actions other than he's a raging dick and they cost him dearly.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Zeref is this to the demons of Tartaros. Despite being demons that Zeref created, they've never actually met him in person, and they desperately want to be able to do so and earn his favor. In fact, Kyôka pretty much states outright that their entire motivation for what they are doing is because they think Zeref would approve.
  • Wham Episode: The arc doesn't take long to hit the ground running as it begins with the Magic Council completely decimated by a surprise attack from one of the Tartaros members. Doranbolt is the Sole Survivor.
    • The Ex-Council Member whom Erza and Mirajane were supposed to protect betrays them and is revealed to have allied with the demons.
    • Elfman is forced to make a deal with one of the demons in order to save Lisanna from being strangled. After which he is then ordered to carry a bomb into the Fairy Tail guild to which it explodes before anyone realizes.
    • Zeref returns, and appears to Natsu. He explains that even though he created the demons that make up Tartaros, he didn't form the guild itself, and he confirms Kyôka's insinuation that Tartaros has never actually met Zeref in person, and they're just trying to wipe out humanity because they think it's what he wants from them. And to make things even more complicated? Zeref cryptically says that Natsu will have to choose whether to let E.N.D. 'live or die,' because only one of them will 'get to him.' Not both.
    • Franmalth's most powerful soul that he absorbed? It's Master Hades.
    • Chapt. 382: Most of Tartaros's Demons have been defeated by Fairy Tail or died when Mirajane destroyed Hell's Core. How does Marde Guile take this? He casts Alegria which absorbs all but roughly five Demons and one womannote  into the Plutogrim, the Cube that the Dark Guild is stationed. No, Guile did NOT hesitate for even a second to kill nearly everyone in his guild to take out Fairy Tail. Even Kyôka is horrified.
    • Just when you thought the Serial Escalation couldn't possibly get any worse, Chapter 384 has Jackal killing Lamy, followed immediately by Lucy having to break Aquarius's Key to summon the Celestial Spirit King, which requires the destruction of a Gold Key Spirit that has a very close relationship with its summoner. While this does result in Plutogrim being destroyed, it means that, barring a miracle, Aquarius and Lucy might never see each other again.
    • And then comes 387, where it turns out there isn't just one Face. There's 30 of them scattered among the continent. Oh, and Mard Geer comes back, with his curse backfiring being subverted wholesale.
    • Then there's 388 where Minerva reveals why she's so damn evil. Ziemma abused her a lot as a child and forced her into many a public humiliation, so she shut off the humanity part of her and focused all her life on becoming more powerful. Realizing how weak-willed she truly is for giving into the darkness, she requests that Erza kills her, but Erza declines, telling her that she does have people who cared about her for who she is. It's here that the Sabertooth Guild returns to bring her back to her original company and thus frees her from Tartaros.
    • Chapter 390. Might just be the biggest one yet. Silver is indeed Gray's father... only it's not Silver anymore. It's Deliora, having been taken over his body and was later revived by Tartaros after Galuna Island. Deliora's waited all of those years for a chance to settle the score with Ur's disciples, starting with Gray. And as if that weren't bad enough, the ending of the chapter foreshadows Gray possibly using Iced Shell himself.
    • Except that's all a lie. Silver IS really Gray's father in flesh, blood and soul. He's also a zombie resurrected by Keyes and powered by The Power of Hate for demons. The real reason he does all he does is he's a Death Seeker who no longer feels worthy of being Gray's father and so takes his frustrations out on the things that resurrected via being a Demon Slayer. On the plus side he wants to help Gray and Fairy Tail kill Keyes and end FACE. On the minus side, doing either of those ends with Silver's permanent death.
    • And just when you think it can't get any worse... here comes Acnologia''' in Chapter 399.
    • Chapter 400 Igneel vs Acnologia begins that says it all really...
    • Chapter 404 The leader of the Nine Demon Gates is killed by Minerva yet it's all in vain Face countdown reaches 00:00...
    • Chapter 406: The Lumen Histoire is actually Mavis's body frozen in crystal
    • Chapter 407: Mard reveals the purpose of E.N.D and Tartaros is to kill Zeref himself to stop his immortal existence.
    • Chapter 412: Four words: The Dragons Come Back.
    • Chapter 413: Zeref has the book of END.
    • Chapter 414. Zeref basically confirms that he's stepped down from Greater-Scope Villain to Big Bad, and kills Mard Geer for failing him, and leaves with the Book of E.N.D. And then, Acnologia kills Igneel. very graphically, and right in front of Natsu. Talk about a Downer Ending.
    • Chapter 416 Marakov disbands the Fairy Tail guild and we get the full name of E.N.D: Etherious Natsu Dragneel.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: While antagonists have died before, this is the first arc in which the heroes are directly killing them. Special mention goes to Juvia, who told Meredy that FT mages never take their opponents' lives, but gave Keyes one of the most brutal deaths in the series.
  • The Worf Effect: Igneel returns only to be brutally dispatched by Acnologia.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Zeref shows up to do this right at the end of the arc by swiping E.N.D.'s book right out of Gray's hand. He leaves, having acquired exactly what he came for. Then Acnologia kills Igneel.
  • You Are Too Late: Kyôka to Minerva and Erza. Face has reached 00:00 in its countdown, and its activation is all but inevitable now.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Mard Geer wasn't kidding when he said Face being destroyed was All According to Plan. One down, thiry left to go before they all detonate.
  • You Have Failed Me: Zeref murders Mard Geer for failing to resurrect END.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Crawford is killed after he finishes unlocking Face.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Juvia kills Keyes by blowing him up from the inside. The first part of him to burst is his skull.

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