FT. 374, Natsu Dragneel Appreciation Post!
Can we please get a petition goin’ to keep Natsu’s hair down for the rest of this arc?
We finally meet again, eyeball bastard!!
"You always show up at the right time."
Better scan of the Bessatsu Shonen Magazine cover.
Posted this along with my review of chapter 373, but I thought I’d post it separate to get this off my chest. ^_^
Everyone has been talking about the theory that Natsu is E.N.D. I can agree to some extent. However, I feel it is not Natsu himself, but an alter-ego/counterpart of sorts. Zeref says…
I think Evil Natsu Dragneel was either a huge stretch, or more of a joke, even. xD
Whoever E.N.D. turns out to be, he has to have a physical form apart from Natsu’s. Why do I say that?
Because every arc has ended with Natsu physically battling it out with an enemy.
E.N.D. could be Natsu from a different timeline: we’ve already seen f!Rogue and f!Lucy.
E.N.D. could be the evil part of Natsu given its own form: in RM (and I just read this yesterday), Haru (the hero) jumped into a spring that magically split his evil self off. That evil self then went around attacking others until Haru killed(?) it.
We know that Rogue has some kind of “shadow” self that he would merge with and become evil if Frosch died.
It’s possible that E.N.D. was split off from Natsu when he was child and demonified by Zeref. E.N.D. then went off and created Tartarus etc., while Natsu was sent 400 yrs ahead in time (yes, I’m pretty certain that’s what happened to him and Gajeel, and probably Wendy).
We’ve already seen an Erza vs. Erza battle in which she fought her evil Edo, counterpart.
Natsu having to fight his own evil counterpart would fit the pattern that’s Mashima’s already established with having evil edo-Erza and evil f!Rogue.
And it makes sense for the hero to have a struggle with himself and learn about himself before he meets the final villains (Zeref, maybe, definitely Acnologia).
fearlessaim answered: I’ve heard alot of arguments about Natsu being OP, what’s your take on that?
Sometimes he is, and sometimes he isn’t.
Against fodder and small fry, Natsu is absolutely OP-ed and that’s a-okay. He’s the hero of the story; if we’re going to believe in his power, he shouldn’t be struggling against the Boras and Tobys of the FT-verse.
Heck, it was great fun to see him be OP-ed against Sting & Rogue. Natsu’s going to be up against Zeref & Acnologia in another couple of arcs. So, yeah, he should show he can take down tough opponents without getting hungry or needing to go into special magical-amplification modes.
But most of Natsu’s battles have been a challenge for him.
People see Natsu throw the last punch at the bad guy and start screaming “Natsu is OP-ed!” without considering how much help and rescuing he’s needed to get to that point in the first place.
Natsu has outright lost battles. In Phantom Lord, Aria had him trapped in a deathspace spell. He’d have died if Erza hadn’t saved him and taken Aria out. At the Tower of Heaven,Natsu was swallowed by the owl-headed dude. Gray had to rescue him. Jellal’s Abyss Break would’ve taken Natsu and Erza out if Simon hadn’t sacrificed his life to save them. At Nirvana, he and the rest of the alliance were ambushed by the Oracion Seis and pretty much got their butts kicked. The entire cream of the Fairy Tail guild couldn’t put so much as a scratch on Acnologia.
Then there are the battles which he’s won with help. He’d have lost against Gajeel if Sagittarius hadn’t provided him with fire. He needed a power up from Etherion to have a chance against Jellal; in Nirvana he needed all of Jellal’s power to go into DF and defeat Zero. During Fantasia, Gajeel saved him from Laxus’ life-ending attacks twice.
Fighting against Hades was a joint Team Natsu and Laxus operation. And even then, they wouldn’t have won if a) the Exceeds hadn’t destroyed Hades’ heart and b) if Ultear hadn’t restored the Tenrou tree and given Natsu and the others back their magic power.
Several of his opponents have given him a lot of trouble.
He got really lucky in his fight with Cobra, with the dragon roar that affected Cobra’s sensitive hearing. Even so, Cobra was the first on his feet and he’d have killed Natsu if Brain hadn’t stabbed him in the back.
Zancrow was burning Natsu alive, and if Natsu hadn’t figured out how to eat his flames, he would’ve died. And, he pretty much collapsed after that fight. Wendy’s healing got him back up.
F!Rogue badly wounded Natsu. He’d have died like f!Lucy in the palace dungeons if Ultear hadn’t saved him.
And in the next round of his fight with f!Rogue, Natsu couldn’t do much at all until he powered up on Atlas Flame’s fire.
His last big fight was against Jackal. And while Natsu learned the trick of eating Jackal’s explosions, at one point he was completely down. If Wendy hadn’t been there to heal him, I doubt he’d have gotten up so soon. It’s a testament to Wendy’s healing abilities that she was able to get him on his feet that quickly.
I like that in many of his fights, Natsu’s showed out-of-the-box thinking rather than overwhelming his opponents with sheer brute force. I giggle every time I see/read his fight against Yuka and Toby. Same with his use of Mr. Cursey in the fight against Kain.
I think Mashima has done a great job with the progression of Natsu’s power and skill. You can definitely see how Natsu’s base level power has increased. And he learns by doing, mostly right in the middle of battle. I squee every time Natsu figures out a new technique, like the fire dragon’s grip strike he used against Franmalth or when he combined lightning and flame, and later when he was able to call it up at will.
And I’m glad that Mashima has been very sparing with the use of dragonforce. I’m excited to see Natsu figure out how to go into DF on his own and do something spectacular with it towards the end of FT. And he’s never done a unison raid, either. That’s yet another thing to look forward to!
"You hurt Lucy... I'm gonna make you Pay!"
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Fairy Tail chapter 359