Of Water and Ice: Gray Fullbuster/Juvia Lockser [Fairy Tail] - Part III
Title: Of Water and Ice: Gray Fullbuster/Juvia Lockser [Fairy Tail] - Part III
Fandom: Fairy Tail
Pairing: Gray Fullbuster x Juvia Lockser (Gruvia)
Spoilers: Chapters 1-416 (Current chapter as of 1/19/15)
This is the third installment of the Gruvia manifesto. A third post was necessary if I wanted to update, as I reached the word limit on the others. Please read the previous parts before continuing with this one.
Another note: Since I have enough room now, I plan on updating this as long as I can. Thus as more Gruvia gradually appears in the manga, expect updates for this long, monstrous essay. :)
Of Water and Ice: Gray Fullbuster/Juvia Lockser (Part III –Grand Magic Games [Part Two]/Dragon Invasion, Tartaros Arc)
Grand Magic Games [Part Two]/Dragon Invasion Arc
Everyone gets into attack mode, as the dragons appear causing chaos. Meredy stumbles upon Juvia, asking her if she has seen Ultear. Juvia replies that she hasn’t. Just then, Gray comes out of nowhere and saves the two girls by tackling them to the ground before they get hit with an attack. Lyon mentions not to lose focus, as this is a warzone. Juvia starts saying something about Gray and her butt, while Gray looks at Juvia with a serious expression. He says her name, and then says that he needs to tell her something. Juvia assumes that Gray is going to confess his love to her, and therefore goes into “fangirl chibi” mode, covering her mouth and blushing. She asks him what he needs to tell her, while he replies it’s nothing important. She thinks it could be important to her. Lyon shouts Juvia’s name because a beam is aimed right for her, and she does not have enough time to get away.
Whatever Gray needed to tell Juvia is left unsaid as he, without hesitation, pushes Juvia out of the way taking a blow right through his chest. The ice mage coughs up blood, and everyone stares in shock while Gray is shot with even more beams. Tears develop in Juvia’s eyes, while Gray can only mumble a small “heh?” right before he is hit through his head. We see a close up of Juvia’s tears and horrified face as she screams his name in agony, leaving out the “-sama” suffix for the first time since they met. Meanwhile, Ultear decides that she has no right to live. As Juvia and the others mourn over Gray’s death, we see the water mage shaking because the man she loves is now gone. Unknown to them, Ultear uses a spell she learned years ago to reverse time in exchange for her own. Time is reversed by one minute; therefore we are back to when Gray saves Juvia and Meredy before he is killed. Once again, whatever Gray was going to tell Juvia remains an unfinished sentence. This time, it’s due to him and everyone else having a vision of Gray dying. They wonder what the vision was, and Gray wonders if he will be killed. Juvia says she saw it too with a tear in her eye. Gray mentions seeing yourself dying is creepy, but because of that vision, the mages are able to defeat the remaining small dragons. They wonder if someone warned them that this would happen.
Small analysis on the whole “Gray death” scene. Here’s a fact: Gray sacrificed his life and died for Juvia. Just her and only her. Something I find ironic is how the woman Gray tried to defeat in the beginning is the woman he died protecting in the end. Gray “needing” to tell Juvia something that apparently “wasn’t important” in the middle of a warzone is left vague on purpose. We may or may not find out what he was going to tell her.
Authors don’t tend to use characters that are “just friends” in these types of situations. If anything, at least one side of the party has romantic feelings and the other side is left vague (but will most likely return those feelings at the end). It’s true that sacrifices can be used between friends, but knowing how Juvia loves Gray with all her heart… Mashima using her as the catalyst says something.
Small analysis on “Gray’s rejection”. First of all, we don’t know why Gray rejected Juvia, especially after all the development these two had (the guy did just die for her four chapters prior). He either had a good reason to, or Mashima just felt like throwing a wrench in there. It could be both. Either way, it does at least make this pairing look more realistic with bumps in the road, and that’s probably why Gruvia is my OTP of Fairy Tail.
However, the question really isn’t “why” Gray rejected Juvia, but rather “if” the rejection will actually stick. Judging by the next chapters, the answer is “no”. It’s as if the rejection never even happened. The author continues to show case Gray and Juvia in a positive way. It’s not only once either. The next moment between the pair is only two chapters later as well.
Not only that, later down the line in the Tartaros Arc (which is in detail below), Cana wonders what’s going on with Gray and Juvia because she thought Gray shot Juvia down, with a suggestive look on her face. Mirajane smiles, saying it’s the “same as always”. The purposes of these comments were clearly to show the rejection is not sticking and as usual, was meant for humor. They were pointing out how Gray and Juvia's actions were completely contradicting that rejection. You also have to consider Juvia’s reaction. This girl did not have a negative reaction whatsoever. In fact, she didn’t take it as a rejection at all (even making comments later when the fight over Yukino broke out that they don’t need anymore women leering at Gray). We have seen Gray be harsh with Juvia in the past, and each time he did, she looked a bit scared (for instance, when he yelled at her for doubting Erza) or sighed. If Juvia did not take this as a rejection that will stick, neither should we. Gray also doesn’t like it when Juvia is overly affectionate. But as we have seen in the past, he is genuinely happy when Juvia is acting normal.
One last thing I’d like to touch base on and mention is Lyon’s words. Was it really necessary for Lyon to make any comments, especially something like “don’t say that, Gray” and to give up on Juvia in the process? He is Gray’s dare I say, closest friend and rival. Even he is telling him not to say such things. Lyon knows Gray a lot better than most people, and has seen the relationship between him and Juvia. He has a good understanding of what’s going on. It leads him to back off, knowing his own relationship will remain unrequited. This would have been a good opportunity for Lyon to romance and sweep Juvia off her feet just like he did when they were going to the love slide. Instead, he gives up on her. Therefore, this scene was not killing Gray x Juvia. It was killing the one link to Lyon x Juvia, which was Lyon.
Teams are sent out to protect ex-council members, among them are Gray and Juvia paired together alone. The two communicate through the lacrima with Makarov, telling him that they were too late and the ex-council member was killed.
The duo is riding a cat like creature, and Gray says that they should head back to the guild for the time being since Fairy Tail has found more addresses since they left. Juvia is leaning her head on Gray's back with her arms wrapped around his waist as they ride. Her eyes are downcast as she calls his name, saying she has a very bad feeling. Gray tries to comfort her, giving her an explanation why it's okay to feel sad because their opponents destroyed a town. Juvia says it's something different, still feeling very bad. Gray then grips her hand and tells her that he is here with her. Juvia still looks very worried, and Gray tells her with a confident look that Fairy Tail will come out on top without fail. What's interesting about this scene is that for once, Gray's words do not cheer Juvia up at all. She is extremely worried, and this could be a foreshadow of Juvia being very involved with Gray this arc. Her “bad feeling”, and the fact that the Silver-Gray connection was confirmed in the very same chapter. And once again, Gray's actions are completely condradicting his "rejection" of her in chapter 338. He is the one holding her hand, and telling her that he's with her. He doesn't plan to leave her alone. Also take note that Gray's bangs cover his eyes and his face is not shown when speaking, which adds more significance to the gesture of holding her hand and importance of his words.
As Fairy Tail attempts to find a breach in Tartarus's base, they are ambushed by enemies. Gray is fighting one after another. Once an enemy appears behind him, Juvia jumps in and kicks the enemy away, accusing them of trying to hug Gray from behind. After Lucy defeats Jackal, she is unable to fight. Gajeel saves Lucy from Tartarus member, Torafusa. We then see Juvia protect Gajeel by using water nebula on the Tartarus member, Keith. Before she can react again, Silver appears and attempts to attack Juvia with ice, threatening the water mage. Gray suddenly comes out and tells him not a chance he would get away with that, and counters Silver's magic with his own ice in front of Juvia. She notices afterwards that Silver has the same perfume as Gray. Silver then launches himself at Gray. Juvia screams out his name, but it's too late. Once Gray gets kidnapped by Silver, Juvia in anger, yells to their enemies, asking where they have taken him.
Silver takes Gray elsewhere in order for their fight to not be interrupted. He begins by explaining to Gray the plan in regards to FACE, but the ice make mage demands to know who Silver really is, as Gray proclaims that he recognizes his face and his voice. He also asks Silver if that was his reasoning behind bringing him here, the former replying it's not. As it turns out, Silver wants to see despair on Gray's face, all the while later reveals he wants to kill him. Silver claims to be Gray’s father, but Gray says that's impossible because his father was killed before his own eyes. They start to battle. Meanwhile, Juvia is facing off against Keith, the necromancer. Once again, she has a bad feeling that something is happening to Gray. Back to Gray and Silver, the demon reveals himself to be Deliora, the monster who killed Gray’s family and caused Ur’s sacrifice; that he’s using Silver’s (corpse) body as a holder. Gray becomes enraged, attacking Silver blindly. Keith tells Juvia that today, the young boy’s story will come to an end. The angered water mage questions what he means. The necromancer continues, saying that he can see it. The power of that calamity once again brings forth despair. And so in the end, the young boy (Gray) will choose the same fate as his master.
Gray and Juvia continue to be connected throughout this entire part of the arc from start to finish. As she is still being fed information by Keith, she asks why a wizard who defeats demons would join a guild full of them. Keith answers it’s because Silver was recognized by the dark king, and Juvia can only think of Gray. Despite continuously being struck by her enemy, Juvia ponders Keith’s words about Gray making the same choice as his teacher, concluding that he will use iced shell. Back to the other battle, Silver appears to have the upper hand as he sends Gray flying into the ground. The man taunts him, asking what’s wrong because he was all fired up a second ago. Gray exclaims he has one option left, iced shell, which is the magic that took away his teacher’s life. Silver thinks Gray is bluffing, however he sees Gray get into position to use it. Memories of his friends and important people flash through his mind, such as Natsu, Lucy, Wendy, Erza, Elfman, Mirajane, Gajeel, Cana, Lyon, and Ur. The last person Gray sees before closing his eyes and apologizing is Juvia, calling his name lovingly. This is how Gray sees Juvia; a caring, beautiful woman that loves him. Not an irritating fangirl. The panel placement, size, and dialogue is telling. The author even added the heart in there as Juvia calls his name. This page is meant to show where Juvia stands amongst Gray’s comrades. We now know officially that she is on a whole different level than the rest.
Remembering Ultear's sacrifice and the fact that he doesn't want to see his friend's tears, Gray halts his attack and does not go through with iced shell. Regardless, Silver seemingly negates the attack by freezing Gray's ice dummies, canceling it out. The real Gray appears behind Silver, subsequently creating a weapon of ice to dramatically boost his throwing power. Utilizing it to throw a steel ball, it rips a hole through Silver's chest, enough to cause him to collapse on the ground. As he lays there, Gray reveals that he knows he is not Deliora, and is aware of his father's presence. Silver starts to explain his story, beginning with the fact he is just a corpse. Juvia is also being told the same information by Keith. Gray is informed that the necromancer Keith revived him for the purpose of experimentation, and Silver tells him that he used his new life to exact revenge on all demons for taking his family away from him, that is until he discovered during the Grand Magic Games that his son was alive. Ultimately, he begs Gray to kill him, and just as Gray is about to, he breaks down crying, exclaiming that he can’t do it. Silver and Gray share a loving embrace, to which Silver says Gray has become a good man; that he and his mother are proud of him.
Using telepathy, Silver contacts Juvia, surprising the water mage. He instantly asks her if she is Gray’s woman, to which she honestly declines, despite steam raising from her head due to embarrassment. Silver responds with a “whatever”, getting down to business. He explains to Juvia that her opponent is the necromancer that is controlling the dead chairman. In order to stop FACE, he must be defeated. Juvia questions him, because she knows what that would mean for Silver. With a sad expression and his eyes downcast, Silver understands that Juvia can tell what the consequences are, but it doesn’t matter. That she must do this... For Gray. The task entrusted to Juvia will bring forth the tears of her loved one.
Juvia is attacked yet again by Keith. Despite this, she tries to continue her talk with Silver, asking if he can hear her. Concluding he is now unreachable, she decides that she doesn't have a choice regarding Keith, but wonders if it's really for Gray's benefit. While thinking to herself, there is a panel of Gray and Silver continuing to hug each other. Keith states that they all knew that Silver was acting against them, and his reasons for it. They recognized that his anger and burning desire for revenge are what allowed him to extend his life for so long. Calling Silver a wonderful puppet, Juvia comments that’s disgusting. He continues on to say that father and son, one dead and the other living, shall now cut each other's throats. It will be a story that creates an even more perfect corpse. Juvia calls Keith a monster; that humans are not his play things. However, the necromancer responds by saying they are research tools. Angered, Juvia shouts that humans don't exist to acquiesce to his whims. As Juvia attacks him again, Keith claims that he will kill her, and then use her corpse to slaughter all of her friends. She screams that she won’t let him do that, as something catches her wrists. Keith ensnares her in his body, and dares her to destroy him. He adds that without his master, Silver will also disappear. Tormenting her, the demon asks what’s wrong, telling her to sever the bond between father and son; to erase the boy’s father’s spirit from this earth. With her lips trembling and shedding tears, Juvia says she can’t do it. Keith replies that is human foolishness; such is the nature of humans. That emotions are but impediments of reason.
As Keith calls humans unsightly impedimentary bundles of ego, he swallows Juvia into his magical barrier particle body. Her friends look on in shock as she is engulfed by his curse, completely vanishing. Keith then feels a sudden throbbing inside of him, realizing that Juvia had turned into water. He is horrified that he could be done in by human magic. He hears Juvia say that he cannot sever the bond between humans; that Gray and father’s feelings will surely reach each other. She bursts from his body, utterly destroying him from the inside out. Screaming at the top of her lungs, Juvia says that even if they change form, feelings always remain in the heart. Because that’s what she believes to be the strength of human love. As his skull cracks, the other Fairy Tail members express proud looks; meanwhile the demons of Tartaros are in shock. Even though the water mage won, she doesn’t feel very victorious. Juvia is still crying, begging for Gray to forgive her. Silver then speaks to Juvia once more, showing gratitude. She is surprised to hear his voice, but he thanks her again, because it’s thanks to her that his soul is finally able to find peace. She tries to form a sentence through her tears, but Silver interrupts her, telling her not to say anything. He tells her to take care of Gray. Bringing her hands to her face, Juvia promises she will, as Gray watches his father disappear, saying he can rest now.
Silver leaves the rest to Gray, as power is passed from father to son. Gray vows as an ice devil slayer, he will crush E.N.D. It’s important to realize that Gray and Juvia are completely intertwined throughout this entire battle, and that Juvia did something for Gray that he could not do; Silver handed her that task. The entire battle between Gray and Silver is extremely emotional, and for “some reason”, he assumes that Juvia is Gray’s woman. She just gives off that vibe. Authors don’t tend to use these deep connections for characters that are only friends or will remain friends forever. On another note, it’s interesting how Juvia calls Silver “father”, referring to him as if Gray’s dad is her own or father-in-law. And of course, the fact Silver tells Juvia to take care of Gray/leaves Gray to her. There’s a reason he left his son in Juvia’s care specifically; why he chose her. Gray’s father was able to sense Gray and Juvia’s strong bond. Juvia will be the one that lives for Gray; his warmth.
Following the battle, Juvia all of a sudden coughs up blood, confirming that she’s been poisoned. Before she hits the ground, Lucy catches her, telling her to hang in there. Juvia says that she wants to see Gray, and her friend can only hug her, assuring her that she will see him soon. After Gajeel defeats Torafusa, Gray briefly shows up to slay Tempesta. Unfortunately he does not stick around for too long, leaving before Juvia wakes up. Once awake, Juvia asks if Gray was there, followed by her guilt stricken face. Gajeel tells her that he headed somewhere, as she looks towards the floor. Gajeel, Levy, and Juvia head to Porlyusica’s place in order to deliver the blood for the antidote to cure the poisoned members. Juvia appears weak, mumbling Gray’s name as Gajeel carries her on his back. Therefore, the author is constantly reminding his readers that there will be a resolution; that Gray and Juvia will talk. Juvia wants to speak with Gray.
A week has passed since the defeat of Tartaros and the dragon’s farewell. Gray is sitting in front of a tombstone in the northern continent (most likely his hometown). He blankly stares at the grave he made/fixed with his parent’s names written on it, not at all minding that it’s snowing. Juvia hesitantly comes up behind him, calling his name. He’s startled, because he realizes that Juvia followed him all the way there; even questioning her. The water mage immediately apologizes, not wanting Gray to get the wrong idea about why she followed him. She then continues to say she has something that she has to and wanted to tell him. Juvia admits that the person who took down the necromancer that was controlling Silver was herself. Gray’s eyes widen, muttering the word “you”. Juvia is shaking, hiccupping, and sobbing while she explains that she believes she has no right to love Gray anymore, because she killed his father. Gray’s eyes are hidden, and will remain hidden for the rest of the scene. He makes his way over to Juvia, grabbing her by the front of her coat as tears continue to spill down the sides of her face. There are close ups of Gray’s mouth, as he tries to utter something but instead, he starts to shake uncontrollably. Unable to contain his feelings any longer, Gray breaks down and lets his head fall on Juvia’s chest, still holding his grip on her coat. She is still crying, but also looks a bit surprised at his action. In Juvia’s arms, tears are now running down Gray’s face as well, as he thanks her. They both then fall to their knees, with Gray telling her that he’s sorry, over and over again. The ice mage is hysterical; he cannot stop sobbing. Visibly shaking, Gray wraps his arms around Juvia’s waist, while she also holds him. The blue haired woman makes a comment that he’s warm. After the fact, we see the pair standing together confidently. Gray once again vows to take down E.N.D. By his side, Juvia agrees with him.
This is my summed up analysis of the scene: It’s huge for Gruvia. It was extremely emotional; they needed each other more than anything. There's a great deal of symbolism in using a snowy atmosphere. Juvia followed Gray all the way to another continent in order to tell him something that could make him hate her forever. She was willing to risk that, because it was just so important that he knew the truth. This once again showcases that Juvia’s feelings for Gray are real. He was taken back when he saw her, because he expected to be alone. Right away she apologized and explained the reason why. At first it seems like Gray could not even comprehend what she was saying, hence the “you” he states twice. That’s when Juvia tells Gray that she doesn’t think she has the right to love him anymore because she killed his father. She was prepared to take whatever Gray threw at her, and that’s why she did not budge when he grabbed her coat. In her mind, she deserved his hatred. However, that hatred never came. Gray lets his cool/tough façade fall and completely breaks down in front of the woman who loves him. Juvia sees Gray at his most vulnerable; she’s never seen this side of him before. In fact, hardly anyone has. Gray is a very closed up character; he doesn’t like to show emotions.
Juvia also indirectly told Gray that she loves him again. When you compare this to the Grand Magic Games comedic confession/rejection, the difference is incredible. Here’s Juvia, about to basically give up on Gray. But Gray doesn’t allow that to happen. He may not have said it through words, but he does not want Juvia to stop loving him. His actions prove it. Gray’s eyes being hidden throughout the majority of the scene is a device that has been used many times regarding Gruvia. It emphasizes the gesture and feelings. It’s not clear why or what Gray is apologizing for. It’s vague, but he’s sincere and the apology is stressed (he says he’s sorry three times) while he’s crying in her arms. Instead of trying to guess exactly what he’s apologizing for, I’m just going to assume it’s for everything. Everything she has gone through because of him, including events of the past as well (physically, mentally, emotionally), and his current break down. Now, Juvia is getting the hug from Gray she didn’t at the end of the Grand Magic Games. In actuality, the embrace between them is completely mutual. This can also parallel Silver and Gray's embrace, except back then it was Silver who hugged Gray first. It's the opposite this time; he is reaching out to her. For once, Gray is seeking comfort in Juvia. Looking at his apology, it’s obvious Gray wants to “start over” with Juvia.
There’s a debate on who actually said the “warmth” comment. Until it’s animated, we won’t have a clear cut answer, but for now I’m going to say it was Juvia. While it makes more sense for Gray to have said it (especially when you take the 413 Days special into consideration), the RAW indicates polite/formal speech. Gray is never formal with Juvia; she is the one who is respectful. It doesn’t matter who said it anyway, because they are each other’s warmth.
I’ll write up a more detailed, in depth analysis of this scene at some point in the future. For now, I think this is fine. Readers can form their own thoughts and opinions too. And thus concludes the Tartaros arc. Now the question is, what’s next? We will just have to wait and see! The last panel of them together hints that they might travel, and get stronger together until the showdown with E.N.D. (who is Natsu, by the way). Juvia has taken the hint that Gray doesn’t want her to give up on him, hence her determined look and support. This arc has been a major benefit to Gray and Juvia’s development, as a pairing and as individual characters. I believe their relationship just took a huge turning point, and wonder if the dynamic will be different from this point on. Not completely, but perhaps Gray will be more open, and Juvia will be more serious. Either way, I expect them to continue to grow closer together, eventually leading to them becoming an official couple.
Fairies Punishment Game
Hiro Mashima created a side story that takes place after the Grand Magic Games. Fairy Tail Teams A and B settle their “bet” from the beginning of the games (whichever team loses has to do whatever the other team says). Since no one technically “won”, it ends with Fairy Tail B victorious in a game of rock, paper, scissors. Juvia thinks to herself that the day has come to make Gray fall for her. She picks Gray as her victim, naturally. His “punishment” seems to be Juvia feeding him with a spoon. She tells him to open up and say “ah”, to which he does what she says with a blush on his face. Unfortunately, Juvia ends up choking Gray because she is too nervous. Gray isn’t very happy, asking her what that was for. She then offers him water from her body, and Gray refuses to drink it. At the end, Gray says he can’t look Juvia in the eye anymore. The water mage exclaims “no way!” with a bummed expression on her face. Of course, the entire chapter was meant to be funny. Humor is the main genre in this specific event.
Welcome Home Frosch
This special chapter is centered around Sabertooth's exceed, Frosch, as he embarks on his journy to return to his guild. Gray and Juvia appear to be spending time together, casually walking around when they come across Frosch. Gray notices that he is Sabertooth's little guy, while Juvia replies it's Frosch. Meanwhile, Yukino,Sting, and Rogue watch them from afar, taking notice of the duo's presence. Gray asks the exceed what he's doing there, and Frosch says that he is shopping. Juvia gives him a warm smile, tell him he is a big boy to do that all by himself. All of a sudden, Frosch starts to cry, startling the two. They ask him what's wrong, and Frosch says he's actually lost. Gray offers to walk him back to his guild, earning a compliment from Juvia about how he is so sweet. Frosch declines Gray's offer, as he wants to make it home by himself. He continues on to say that he is always getting lost like this, but is a member of Sabertooth too. Gray grins and pats Frosch on the head, telling him to do his best. Juvia is holding Gray's clothes in her arms that he stripped off, also smiling at Frosch.
*Note: For a more in depth review of this special chapter with my analysis, please visit this link.
This special chapter is known as the "Gruvia special". It revolves around Gray and Juvia; as Juvia wants to celebrate her and Gray's 413th day anniversary of the first time they met. The chapter starts off with Juvia in the shower in her room at the Fairy Hills girl's dormatory. She's washing herself with a "Gray" like sponge as she talks to herself about how he is touching every nook and cranny of her body, with a flustered and dream like face. Juvia gets out of the shower and uses a towel with the words "Gray-sama love" on it and a picture of him with a thumbs up. She starts to get dressed and we see all of her Gray merchandise she owns. The side text of this page also states that Juvia is in peach-colored happiness everyday, because she has Gray by her side. She finishes getting dressed and is about to head to the guild. Before she leaves, Juvia kisses her big Gray doll goodbye and says she needs to go.
When Juvia reaches the guild, Erza notices she's in a good mood. Therefore, the requip mage asks what's going on and if anything pleasant has happened. Juvia puts her hands on her blushing face, saying today she is going to meet Gray, and it's the 413th day anniversary of when they met. Carla makes a comment saying that's an odd number for an anniversary, while Erza comments that she must be excited. Juvia confirms that it is a happy day, and she is excited. Wendy also chimes in, saying she knew something seemed special about her today. And so Erza asks Juvia how she will celebrate the occasion to which Juvia replies she's doing nothing because she is fine with it being simply a happy day. Erza tells Juvia that isn't right and she should make Gray a happy man (put him in high spirits) by giving him a present because it's an anniversary. Juvia then imagines herself giving Gray an anniversary cake with Gray's happy reaction, telling her to get married. Juvia pictures herself and Gray getting married, while Wendy says that escalted quickly.
It's starting to get late, and Juvia wonders if Gray is still in the guild. The water mage starts looking around with a scarf hidden behind her back. While doing so, she starts to have halluncinations of Natsu and Lucy talking dirty to each other and Gajeel and Levy kissing. When she snaps back to reality, Gajeel tells Juvia that the ice prick is outside. Juvia sets outside and calls Gray's name. He looks over with a bottle of alcohol in his hand, but still greets her casually. Juvia starts blushing and shows Gray the scarf she made him, telling him it was rushed so it probably isn't very good but it's handmade for him. Gray attempts to walk off, bidding her goodnight, but Juvia latches onto him telling him to wait. They start to go back and forth; She tells him she made this scarf just for him, he says he doesn't need one, and she says it's cute. He tells her not to make him look like that flame-brain (Natsu), while Juvia says it's getting cold outside. Gray looks directly at her and says the cold doesn't bother him because he is an ice mage. Juvia falls to the ground mumbling that today is their anniversary, and that he doesn't have to wear but keep it to remember. This makes Gray stop walking away, and he questions her. She explains that today is the 413th day since they met, and Gray says he has never heard of anyone celebrate that anniversary. Juvia says it doesn't matter as long as today is a happy day. Gray says sorry, maybe next time, leaving Juvia wide eyed.
Juvia is sitting alone by a river with her face pressed to her knees when Erza walks by, stating this is unlike her because she is usually so optimistic. In response, Juvia starts to wail and clings to Erza's leg saying she didn't know that today was such a sad day for Gray. There is a flashback of Lyon passing by Juvia right after Gray left and telling her today is the anniversary of his teacher's (Ur's) death. In the flashback, Lyon tells her it's best to leave Gray be. Once he mentions Ur's death, we see Juvia with a serious and shocked expression. Juvia speaks her feelings to Erza, saying she told Gray it should be a happy day and yet she hadn't a clue of what today really is. She wonders what she should do now, and Erza apologies because she pushed her to do it (get a present for Gray). Juvia disagrees and says that it's her own fault, while the scarlet haired mage tells her that Gray probably won't take it to heart as it's just a date. Even so, Juvia feels terrible. Before we go on, I must make something clear. The first panel of Juvia crying would give many people the wrong impression if they did not read the text. Gray did not make Juvia cry. Period. Juvia is NOT upset because he did not accept her scarf. Here is when we learn what went down. Juvia is crying because she felt like she was being inconsiderate. It’s Gray’s day of mourning and she felt like she ruined it. This shows how much Gray’s feelings mean to Juvia. She genuinely loves him with all of her heart.
Erza sits down, comforting Juvia, telling her that if their are those who lost their lives on this date, then surely some are born on this date as well and that each day carries different weight to each individual. She continues and highlights what's important is how you feel on this day called today. Hearing that speech, Juvia continues to cry into Erza's shoulder.
Gray is walking alone around Magnolia looking down with a sad look on his face. He notices it's starting to snow, and instantly remembers a time when he was a little boy training with his teacher. In the flashback, Ur asks Gray if he's cold. She wraps a scarf around his body, telling him it will keep him a bit warm. The ice mage then looks back, and starts to run. He's frantically looking for the scarf Juvia made for him. Juvia is seen looking up and touching the snow with a tear in her eye, as Gray is digging and digging through the snow to find the scarf. When he finally locates the item, Gray picks it up and stares at it before putting it around his neck with a blush on his face. He states that the scarf is actually pretty warm as he starts to walk again with his bangs covering his eyes. But unlike how he was walking before, Gray has a smile on his face this time. Unbeknownst to Gray, Erza sees him with the scarf on, and his smile, making her smile knowingly too.
The following day, Juvia apologies directly to Gray for yesterday. Gray is blushing and looking away, saying he was the one out of it then (that it's his fault), and he's sorry. Juvia then pulls out an apology gift which is actually a hug pillow of herself in lingerie which freaks Gray out. Erza comments while sweatdroppin... there they go again. Slowly but surely, Juvia is melting the ice around Gray’s heart, just like Gray took Juvia’s rain away. She needs him and we are beginning to see that he really does need her as well. Juvia is the catalyst used in most of the deep events centered around Gray (saving her from Ultear, his “death”, post-Grand Magic Games, and now in the upcoming confrontation with Silver). I love Gruvia because they balance each other. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for them. This chapter supports the point even more that Juvia has become Gray's source of warmth.
OTHER GREAT READS
A master post containing a collection of pro-Gruvia essays/analysis posts. Topics differ (defense against anti-arguments and Juvia, interesting facts, chapter reviews, many posts centering around Gray and Juvia’s development, etc), but all pertain to the pairing.
I decided to leave the fandom stuff, color spreads/pages, and chapter covers in the second post as is. So for the fun stuff on here, I’ll just talk about Hiro Mashima’s twitter in the post above.
Gruvia: Poplarity and aspects of the pairing
Personally, I really believe Juvia can make Gray happy and vice versa. We continue to receive moments that further entangle Gray and Juvia’s development as a couple. All this progression, and major hints from the author solidified them as a romantic pairing in my opinion. I can’t see anything but a happy ending for the two of them, even it if doesn’t happen until the last chapter of Fairy Tail.
Here's something I found very helpful/useful and interesting. squisherific (MizWrite @ fanfiction.net) created a chart in regards to Gruvia's relationship.
I wanted to add this into the manifesto because of how organized and well thought out it is. Thank you for creating such an awesome graph! :)