5 Point Discussions – Black Clover Episode 5: “The Path To the Wizard King”

by Sage Ashford

Asta and Yuno finish up the last of their trials to become Magic Knights.  But will either of them make it, or will their journey to become Wizard King stop before it’s even begun!?  Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter!  It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. Somehow, we burned through roughly something like a fifth of this episode on recapping the end of the previous one. The pacing of this series is still unsettling to me, but the longer it goes on the easier it’s becoming to adapt to it. I’m guessing within a few more weeks I’ll even know just how far to skip ahead to start from the new bits. In any case, we get to see Asta’s decisive win over his opponent Sekke, while everyone else watches in absolute awe. …For all of five seconds.

I love how shonen anime is always so willing to show humanity at its most noble and absolute worst. In most pieces of Western media, once a character proves themselves as strongly as Asta did here, praise rains down from the skies as everyone backpedals to proclaim just how wrong they were and how awesome the person is. Think Rocky IV. But here? Nope, even after one-hit KO’ing an opponent that was clearly supposed to be leagues ahead of him the entire crowd just assumes Sekke got caught off-guard. Gotta admire the consistency, even if they are stupid.

2. The rest of the episode manages to cover only a single chapter of the manga again, but in their defense they’re doing so pretty artfully. The manga just kind of glazes over the remaining fights in the tournament because even up to now most of those recruits didn’t matter–they’re just scrubs that are there to watch Asta and Yuno ascend. But Yuno gets dragged into battle with another “noble”, who misunderstands that being born to a royal family doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be the most talented magician. The fight that plays out is rather lazy though–Yuno’s opponent Salim summons his “ultimate technique”, a very slow ball of lightning–and it’s immediately eaten up by Yuno’s tornado. Pretty standard stuff, especially in comparison with what comes later, but at least they tried?

In any case, Yuno easily dispatches with his opponent, and winds up being asked to join up by every guild’s captain. He accepts entry into the best of the best, the Golden Eagles, and suddenly I’m reminded that while Yuno certainly should wind up being the Wizard King, that’s not a story anyone wants to see. I mean, a magically gifted guy works hard but gets accepted into the best magical guild, eventually becomes best magician. There’s no struggle to that story, no conflict; it’s boring. Still, though…

3. If we’re being serious about this, there should be no way that Asta becomes Wizard King. Asta has his own shonen “King of the Pirates/Ninjas/Fairies” speech that’s admirable enough to get him into the Black Bulls guild, but ultimately Yami was right. Asta’s strong, but that strength is mysterious and definitely NOT magic. The Wizard King should actually possess some manner of magical ability, and unless we’re going for a Naruto twist where the anti-magic inside is constantly eating up Asta’a mana and they figure out a way to stop that, he’s simply never going to possess the abilities the leader of a group called the Magic Knights should have.

4. It’s difficult to believe that we based one of Yuno’s best scenes entirely around a poop joke, but here we are. Sometimes I feel like anime is just so great and storytelling-wise leagues above most action-based cartoons in America…and then I watch something like having Asta explain that it took him so long to catch up to his guild and captain because his poop was soooo long. I actually even appreciated Yami threatening him with death again for subjecting us all to such a stupid set of dialogue.

5. Next Episode: It’s taken us five episodes, but finally Asta and Yuno are at the starting line of their path towards becoming Magic Knights. Yuno’s going to fade out for now, while we follow Asta while he gets to know his guild members in the “Worst of the Magic Guilds in Clover Kingdom”. They’re a wacky cast of characters, and surprisingly not very much like the Fairy Tail cast, so be sure to be back next week!