Fandom: Fairy Tail
Pairing: Gray Fullbuster x Juvia Lockser (Gruvia)
Spoilers: Chapters 1-416 (Current chapter as of 1/19/15)
This will be in three parts, as it goes over the word limit. The continuations will be linked at the bottom.
It’s been a good 6 years since I wrote a manifesto dedicated to a pairing. The Gray and Juvia pairing (also known as “Gruvia”) perks my interest, so I decided to give it a go. Gruvia is a popular pairing in the Fairy Tail fandom, and hopefully this manifesto can show people why. I will outline the goals:
1) To show the compatibility between Gray and Juvia.
2) To show the progression of this pairing. (Every moment between them will explored)
3) To show that despite fangirling and stalking, Juvia truly and genuinely loves Gray with all her heart.
4) To show that Gray does care about Juvia.
5) Counter some of the common arguments used against this pairing.
Now there are some things I’m not trying to prove:
1) That Gray is in love with Juvia at the moment. I’m just going to prove that his feelings are developing and the possibility of him loving her sooner or later is fairly high. [with manga evidence]
2) That any other pairing that involves Gray and/or Juvia is a bad pairing.
3) I’m not trying to convert anyone/force anyone to like this pairing.
*Please Note: Some of the manga pages have weird/different spellings of Juvia’s name (and other characters). Not sure why, but oh well. It doesn’t take away the content of the scenes. Another thing is I am aware the font in this essay changes from time to time. I tried fixing that but it didn't work for me. When I figure it out, it will be fixed, haha.
I'm not going to go in depth with the plot of Fairy Tail, because people reading this essay should know the main plot already. I will give a brief introduction to each character involved in this pairing, but will not write 10 paragraphs for every arc they appear in. The essay pertains to moments they are together throughout the series, not the two characters alone. Now, let’s begin!
Of Water and Ice: Gray Fullbuster/Juvia Lockser (Part I - Phantom Lord Arc, Tower of Heaven Arc, Fighting Festival Arc, Edolas Arc, Tenrou Island Arc [Part One])
Ice Mage: Gray Fullbuster
When we first see Gray, he is in the Fairy Tail guild and is immediately marked off as Natsu’s rival. He has a laid back personality, but is serious when he has to be, especially when it concerns his comrades. Gray has a habit of stripping randomly and in battle. This is due to his training when he was a young child. He trained in extremely cold climates with his teacher, Ur, and childhood friend Lyon. Thus they were trained without much clothing to get used to the cold, in order to help aid their training in ice make magic.
Gray is from a village up in the North, but the entire village was destroyed when a demon called Deliora attacked and killed everyone, his parents as well. Ur, who could have been one of the ten great saints, found Gray while investigating the scene. Gray accepted Ur to be his teacher so he could become stronger and avenge his parents by finally killing Deliora. Unfortunately because he was reckless back then, Gray challenged Deliora when he wasn’t ready still as a young child, which led to Ur sacrificing her life (Iced Shell) to protect her students. Lyon blamed Gray for the incident and the two boys parted ways. Gray took Ur’s advice to search the west for strong mages, and joined Fairy Tail shortly after. He has made many friends in the guild since. Eventually, Gray encounters Lyon on Galuna Island and they battle. Gray was willing to use Iced Shell until he was stopped by Natsu. As a result of the battle, Lyon ends up joining a guild as well (Lamia Scale). Gray has sworn to never try and use Iced Shell again because he wants to continue to live and fight with his comrades. Another interesting thing about him is that ever since he joined Fairy Tail, Gray has never lost to the same person twice. He states this himself
Water Mage: Juvia Lockser
Juvia was first introduced in the Phantom Lord Arc as a member of the Element 4. She is described as a rain women, with a very depressing and gloomy aura. Juvia was considered an S-Class mage in Phantom Lord, and the third strongest female in the Fairy Tail guild. As a child, Juvia was mostly alone because other children disliked how it always rained around her. She was constantly teased, and as she grew older, Juvia would hear comments that adults would make regarding the gloomy rain.
She was in a relationship with a man named Bora, but he ended up breaking up with her due to the rain as well. One day, the master of Phantom Lord invited her to join, and she accepted because it was the first time anyone had acknowledged or accepted her. While working with Phantom Lord to capture Lucy Heartfilia, Juvia runs into Gray who changes her and makes the rain stop. She joins Fairy Tail after helping members of the guild in the Tower of Heaven Arc against Jellal. Juvia states that she loves Fairy Tail, and would rather hurt herself than a member from the guild. An example of this is when she chooses to electrocute herself instead of Cana during the Battle of Fairy Tail. Juvia fell in love with Gray when she first encountered him. For comedic purposes, she considers Lucy a “love rival” (or anyone that is close to Gray), would be shown stalking him around the guild, and fangirling him. Aside from this, Juvia is a serious fighter.
The Pairing: Taking a look at the progression
Gray and Juvia’s first encounter is an interesting one. We first see them interact in chapter 56 of the manga as enemies. Gray notices it’s raining as he approaches her. Juvia introduces herself as the women of the rain and one of the element four. Gray states that it doesn’t matter if it’s a child or women, he doesn’t go easy on anyone who hurts his nakama (comrades). Juvia takes his words in and blushes. She then states she cannot fight him and proceeds to walk away with Gray yelling after her. Her heart is beating fast, and she’s wondering what’s happening to her. Juvia then realizes she wants to make Gray hers. Meanwhile, Gray asks Juvia to stop the giant robot. Instead of answering him, she tries to capture Gray in her water rock. This is the instance where we first see that Juvia has fallen for Gray. She grew an attraction from his words about protecting his comrades, which will expand later on in the chapter and the manga. Because of her feelings, Juvia is actually conflicted on what she should do. She tells herself she must release Gray at once Before she could do that, Gray freezes the water and breaks free. She is amazed that Gray froze the water and escaped her magic. It’s evident that she’s growing more and more fond of him with every move. Gray becomes more serious as he takes off his shirt to prepare another attack. Of course, Juvia is wondering why he’s stripping as her heart continues to beat fast. He shoots his ice make lance, but it had no effect.
Juvia then confirms that her body is formed of the rain itself. Still blushing, she states to herself that this man was the enemy. With that, she launches her water slicer and says farewell to her sweet flower of love. Gray retorts with ice make: battle axe. Juvia tells Gray that there’s still time for him to be saved. She states that if he brings Lucy to her, she will speak to the master and convince him to withdraw. Gray responds that both parties came to far to quit fighting now and that Lucy is their nakama (comrade). He will not hand her over even if he dies. Upon hearing this, Juvia becomes enraged with mostly jealousy. She cannot forgive Lucy, and the water becomes boiling hot. Gray wonders why Juvia is mad at Lucy. It becomes evident that Juvia thinks Lucy is a love rival, though that’s not the case in reality. She continues to attack Gray in anger and jealousy, as she wonders what it means. His skin is boiling as he tries desperately to freeze something. Gray finally succeeds in freezing the water, however he accidently ends up groping Juvia’s chest in the process. Both Gray and Juvia are embarrassed as Gray releases her from the ice and states he wants a “do over”. Juvia thinks to herself that he released her from the ice, therefore he is kind. In response to Gray’s “do over” request, Juvia refuses and says she cannot hurt him. Gray is confused at what she means. He thinks that Juvia is admitting she can’t defeat him, but she really means that due to her feelings of love, she can’t attack him. Juvia tries to confess this, along with her feelings, but the rain gets stronger and Gray states it’s annoying. In this scene, Juvia also tells Gray she is stronger than Lucy and can protect him. She is comparing herself to Lucy due to her thinking she is a love rival. Once again, Gray is confused and asks why she would protect him. That’s when Juvia tries to confess she loves him. Unfortunately, Gray ruined her moment when he states the rain is depressing. Juvia then considers Gray to be no different from those who would tease her. She gets extremely angry, and yells out that she doesn’t need love. Gray notices that the water became even hotter. We then see flashbacks of Juvia’s life as a child. The children teasing her, adults commenting, and her breakup with Bora. Even so, Gray refuses to lose to someone like Phantom. He uses ice geyser to defeat Juvia once and for all. Juvia acknowledges her loss as she lays on the ground.
Gray smiles and asks Juvia how she feels and if she’s cooled off. It’s then that they realize the rain has finally stopped. Juvia stares at the clear sky and is in awe. She finds it beautiful. Gray looks over at her again with a handsome smile as the sun shines on his face and asks if she wants to continue their battle. Juvia simply has hearts in her eyes and faints. This is the real reason she fell for Gray. He was the one to make the rain stop. That depressing rain that loamed over her for years, and caused her so much misery. He showed her kindness that no one else did, despite being enemies. Her stalking, fainting, and fangirling add comic relief, but it does not negate the genuine feelings she holds. She lost, but with a happy expression on her face.
Phantom Lord was disbanded after losing against Fairy Tail, and Juvia became an independent mage. Of course, that did not stop her from watching Gray. As Fairy Tail rebuilds, Gray tries to act tougher than Natsu by carrying more wood than him. But he hears something (which was Juvia hiding) and drops all the wood on top of himself. He then states he’s hungry. Right on cue, Juvia quickly runs past Gray and drops a lunch box in his hands. Gray is confused as he discovers the lunch in his hands with a heart shape in it. Juvia was quick, and thus he could not make the connection to her. Gray refuses to eat the lunch, which makes Juvia sad. However, Gray hears the noise again and is suspicious. He’s realizing that someone is watching him, but chooses to ignore it. The author is reminding us of Juvia’s feelings, even though the Phantom Lord stuff has been resolved. He does this again when Juvia is hiding, watching Natsu and Gray fight about who won a pillow fight during the Loke Arc. She hopes that Gray is alright.
The Tower of Heaven Arc
This arc focuses on Erza’s past, but of course other characters are involved. In the beginning, we see Juvia followed the gang to the beach, watching “Gray-sama”. It’s evident that her “stalking” is for comedy, and she does ease up on it later on when she joins. We see that Juvia has followed Fairy Tail on vacation. She is still an independent mage at this point, but shows herself and tells Gray that she tagged along. Gray remembers who she is, and assumes she wants to join Fairy Tail. Juvia agrees with him, and Gray doesn’t mind her joining despite what happened with Phantom Lord. He wonders what the master would say. It’s a good sign that personally, Gray wouldn’t mind her joining. Juvia states that she would do anything, Gray is responding when all of a sudden they are attacked by Simon. Gray screams Juvia’s name and asks if the attacker is trying to pick a fight.
Simon asks where Erza is, while Juvia protects Gray. She states to Simon that she will not let him lay a finger on Gray, and that she will be his opponent. Juvia tells Gray to find Erza, but Simon used magic to darken the entire room, making it impossible to find her or move. Before it becomes dark, you can see both Gray and Juvia protecting each other. Gray leaves an icy dummy for Simon to attack while Juvia really hides Gray inside of her water body. She explains to her “love rival” Lucy that Gray was “inside” Juvia’s body and not hers. She tells Gray that she protected him from the enemy, in which Gray replies it wasn’t necessary because she let him get away. Juvia seems a bit discouraged, but that’s how he treats her right now.
Determined to find out what’s going on, Juvia accompanies Team Natsu as they head towards the Tower of Heaven. As they travel, she is thinking about Gray’s hopes. They finally find the tower, and it’s Juvia who finds a way in. Gray praises her for it. These two are constantly seen next to each other, especially when they are ambushed by enemies. While inside, the group meets Simon again, who is actually on their side. Juvia realizes this and tells Gray he attacked the ice dummy on purpose. She wanted to confirm this, so it was another reason she came along. Simon acknowledges this and says it’s no wonder Juvia was one of the element four. In this scene, we see her touching Gray’s back rather gently, and him not pushing her away. When Shou traps Erza in his card, Juvia tells Lucy to go a different way to find Natsu while her and Gray stay together. She wanted to be with him alone. However, it’s confirmed in her flashback that Gray tells Juvia to go with Lucy while he searches for Erza. Juvia could not disobey his order, thus she decides to team up with her “love rival”. Lucy tells Juvia she really doesn’t want to get involved with that, and looks confused as she sweat drops. This further indicates that Lucy is not a love rival, and it’s only her imagination. Lucy and Juvia fight with Vidaldus Taka. When Juvia gets taken over, the voice inside of her states how she has come to love Fairy Tail. With that said, she cannot bring herself to harm her nakama, despite Lucy being a “love rival”. Lucy replies “Not really…” to the love rival part. Lucy and Juvia perform a unison raid to defeat Taka, while Gray finds Simon, and Happy. He discovers Natsu was eaten by Fukuro, and ends up saving him/defeating Fukuro himself.
Gray and Juvia, along with a few others watch the events of the tower from a boat. Once it’s all over, Erza asks about that “element four girl”. Gray immediately replies, stating Juvia’s name and how she went to find the master regarding joining the guild. Apparently, Gray was the one Juvia spoke to about it.
Fighting Festival Arc
The guild has been rebuilt ever since Phantom Lord destroyed it. Gray and the others step inside and realize it’s a bit different. When the master shows up with Juvia at his side, Gray is the first one to turn around and realize it. Makarov introduces Juvia as the newest member of Fairy Tail. Gray gives a huge smile (the biggest in the group) while speaking to Juvia about how she really joined up. She tells them she will do her best, even to her “rival in love”. Lucy, once again, tells her she is not her love rival. Gajeel is also a member. Gray and some others protest, but Juvia insists that she invited Gajeel. She tells them that Gajeel was always lonely so she could not leave him. In order not to apparently give Gray the wrong idea, she also adds she doesn’t like him in that way.
A reporter asks Gray why he always takes off his clothes. This annoys Gray as he yells at the reporter telling him that he’s not a pervert. Juvia is laughing and pointing at Gray’s underwear. This shows the light and fun side of the pairing. It also appears that Gray and Juvia went on a mission alone. Of course, Juvia was very happy about that. Makarov also had Gray be the one to accompany/take care of her so she would get used to Fairy Tail. Interesting that it was Gray of all people. Either the master sensed something between the two, or he realized Juvia liked Gray at the very least. During the festival, Juvia wants to enter the Miss Fairy Tail contest. Gray asks her if she’s really going to participate, as she says she will not lose to Lucy. And when it’s her turn in the contest, Juvia wonders if Gray is watching her.
After the defeat of Laxus, the festival resumes. During the fantasia parade, Gray and Juvia are together and have created a castle made of ice and water. It’s no coincidence that these two are drawn together so frequently. Juvia was unable to participate in the next arc, Oración Seis because she was on another mission with Gajeel. Gray went on, and when he returns, the Edolas Arc begins. Though, she is in a special chapter (139.5) of the manga with the rest of the guild. Juvia creates somewhat a water slide for Lucy, but is distracted by Gray’s body. In another special chapter (161.5) we see her room in Fairy Hills. Juvia has a Gray doll, and she makes tea with the name “Gray” in it.
Following the events of Oración Seis, Gray and co. return to the guild. Juvia is happy that he is back because she was worried about him. Her tears start to drown the guild, and Warren tells Gray to stop her. Gray asks why him, but it’s evident members of the guild notice the bond between the two. They are also next to each other, as Juvia pours Gray a drink while celebrating Wendy becoming a member of Fairy Tail. While the group is partying, multiple conversations are shown. Juvia asks Gray "you haven't done anything unfaithful, have you?" All he replies with is "What's with that all of a sudden!?" So once again, he's not denying the implication of their relationship.
Gray and Juvia are eating caramade franks together at the table. Gray tells Juvia she’s way too sticky with it. So he tries to teach her how to eat it the right way. Al and Bisca observe the two, and have the thought bubble referring to Gray and Juvia acting “lovey-dovey” with each other. Ironically, these are the two characters that end up being confirmed canon. Al and Bisca end up married, and have a child. Referring back to this scene, both parties in the future couple have thoughts about being together. Bisca wonders how she could be active like Juvia. So one of the canon pairings consider Gray and Juvia to be “cute together” and “lovey-dovey”.
Magnolia disappears. Natsu and Wendy find themselves in another world; Edolas. They arrive at the Edolas Fairy Tail, where many things are different (not exactly reversed). In this world, Gray loves Juvia and tries to get her attention. Meanwhile, Juvia doesn’t like Gray that way and evidently finds him annoying. The author is still, one way or another, showing us Gray and Juvia together no matter which world they’re in. There are a couple instances where Edo-Gray is trying to get Edo-Juvia to agree with him or notice him. There is also a point in the manga where the real Gray (Earthland) meets Edo-Gray in the end of the arc. We see Edo-Gray staring at Edo-Juvia, jealous she is “close” with a male enemy. The real Gray is confused.
Following the events of Edolas, everything in the guild is back to normal. Juvia, like the rest of the group, hears of Natsu’s adventures in the other world. Happy tells her that the Gray from Edolas was in love with Juvia. Thinking it was her hairstyle that helped Gray love her in Edolas, Juvia changes her hair back to her old style. Lucy sees Juvia’s hair and realizes the reason why she changed it back was that reason. As the guild awaits the announcement of who made the list to participate in the S-Class exam, Juvia states she’s excited when she looks at Gray. Both Gray and Juvia were chosen to participate in the exam with the potential to become S-Class. The first part of the exam requires the participants to choose a partner. Juvia then thinks about dropping out the exam, because she would rather be partners with Gray than fight against him. Lucy tells Gray that Juvia wants to be his partner. Of course, Juvia being who she is assumes Lucy is after Gray, in which once again, Lucy exclaims she isn’t. Though Gray already has Loke as his partner, and turns to Juvia telling her he wants to have a heated battle (fight him seriously). Hearing the word “heated”, Juvia goes off into her own world and instantly imagines an intimate moment between her and Gray. Lisanna then becomes Juvia’s partner.
The setting for the exam is on Tenrou Island, Fairy Tail’s holy ground. The contestants and their partners head there by boat, sweating due to
the heat. Gray is naked, while Juvia stares at him stating his naked body is hot. They make it to the island, and choose a path with their partners. Only some of them passed the first round. Gray and Loke defeated Mest and Wendy. Gray wonders about how Juvia did, while Loke gives him a knowing/suspicious smirk in the background. So right at the very beginning of this arc, Juvia makes her way into Gray’s thoughts. As Makarov tells Gray that Juvia unfortunately ran into Erza, as Gray gives an “Awww…” look. Back where Juvia is, she is about to go find Gray to cheer him on, using finding Wendy and Mest as an excuse. Erza decides to accompany her, and Juvia looks to be disappointed.
Erza and Juvia run into Meredy, one of the Seven Kin of Purgatory from the dark guild Grimoire Heart. Juvia is being thrown around easily, until Meredy states her number one target is Gray. Despite being knocked on the ground, Juvia’s ears perk up at the sound of her love’s name. Erza is about to be attacked when a huge wave of water protects her. Juvia mutters the words “can’t forgive” when referring to Meredy. She becomes enraged, and orders Meredy to repeat the name of the person she aims to kill. Erza tells Juvia to calm down, as Meredy wonders what’s going on and where all the power is coming from. Juvia yells out that this women is after Gray, so she will not calm down and will never forgive her. Erza watches in awe, and thinks to herself that this Juvia is different. This is not the same Juvia she fought with in the exam. She is like a completely different person. Erza then continues to confirm that Juvia’s strength is coming from her feelings for her loved one, and that this is her true power. It’s emphasized many times throughout this fight that Juvia’s love for Gray makes her stronger. Therefore, the arguments that state she has a fangirl crush that makes her weak are invalid and false. Juvia tells Erza to leave Meredy to her and to find Wendy/Gray. Erza understands and leaves the battle to her. Juvia uses her water slicer on Meredy, as we see Gray on another side of the island. Meredy speaks to Juvia with thought. She tells her how mysterious it is that the same person (Gray) could be hated (Meredy) and loved (Juvia) by two different people. Juvia tells Meredy that’s what it is to be human. Meredy thinks its good luck to have killing Gray as an objective and meeting someone with strong feelings for him. Juvia doesn’t understand what that means, though Meredy is about to show her by using her lost magic. She makes Juvia imagine her loved one, and by doing that, creates a sensory link between them.
CONTINUED IN PART II
PART III ADDED ON 12/19/13
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