Okay let me start by saying that was one of the best fairy tail episodes i have seen in some time, so lets retrace our steps back to episode 97 and do a short recap where where guild leader gramps (Makarov) announced the S class wizard Advancement Exam. There would be 8 participants (each allowed one partner) and only one would pass and be the next S-class wizard. Here we have our 8 along with their selected partners. GO NATSU!
# ps. sorry for the bad image quality here (the things we do for transparancy), will upload a better HQ png in the gallery.
Ok so they meet at the dock and ship off to Tenroujima (the island where the exam will be performed and also the resting place of fairy tails very first master Moebius Vermillion) and here we have a prime case of Fairy Tail fanservice at its best, due to *says very sarcastically* ‘currents’ , everyone is hot and decided to wear as little clothes as non hentai-ly possible, well except Juvia because as usually she is too preoccupied fawning over Grey who (heres a development) is completely naked.
A few close up teaser shots later the island was in sight, but before docking on shore gramps commenced the beginning of the exam where they needed to get to a particular spot where there were 8 doors. With one door per person 3 of the pathways would lead to a fight with one of the current S class members of the guild who were taking part in the exam (namely Erza, Mira and Gildarts). Two others would lead to a 2 on 2 battle where only the winning team could continue and the last would be a ‘safe’ route. A few magic and transformation spells later everyone was inside a doorway, and this is where the first battle went down with Cana Alberona and her partner Lucy VS Freed and his partner Bickslow. A few embarrassing haremlike moments later including one ‘lucy kick’ (dont even try to imagine what that is), Cana and Lucy defeated their opponents and moved on. (we then find out that the other team only pretended to loose because they somehow felt they were in debt to the two.. shrugs). Then we move on to Natsu who hoped that he could get to fight Erza but lo and behold. >< Its not Erza but Gildarts himself, Natsu being well.. Natsu gets all fired up and excited about the fight. Your guess about who will win this is a good as mine as for Natsu vs Gildarts we can only eagerly wait until the ext episode to see what happens!