5 Point Discussions – Black Clover Episode 6: “The Black Bulls”

by Sage Ashford

Asta comes face to face with the rest of the people in his guild, the Black Bulls!  Will they accept him? 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. After keeping us waiting for…five episodes? That can’t be right. *checks notes* Ugh, Studio Pierrot could make a full episode out of a newspaper strip. Anyway, finally here in episode six we get to meet Asta’s guild, the mages of the Black Bulls. The Black Bulls’ captain, Yami Sukehiro, has recruited a bunch of weirdos: a womanizer, a delinquent/”yankee” who tries to solve everything with violence, a woman who probably loves alcohol more than protecting Clover Kingdom, a kid battle-maniac, a guy obsessed with his kid sister, and a couple scary guys who don’t even talk. They’re our main cast, but as Yami’s second Finral explains–they’re all good people. This is your usual cast of ragtag idiots, and the journey we get with them from now until a certain point that will probably take 100 episodes to get to (somehow) is pretty inspiring. Despite their obvious skill the Black Bulls are the lowest ranked group of magic knights in Clover Kingdom, and whether or not they can rise above the perception society has of them is just as much a part of the story as Asta’s quest to become Wizard King.

2. There’s a couple of scene-extending techniques being abused in this episode, like dialogue repetition and stretching out introductions, but one thing that was pretty important here was the moment where Asta accepts an initiation…to a group he’s already joined. It feels stupid, because Asta’s technically already been accepted INTO the Magic Knights, so initially you think it’s happening because Asta’s stupid. But then again, Asta already mentioned in the last episode that he didn’t want to become a Magic Knight for things to be easy. His desire to become Wizard King has left him zealously taking to any task that might lead him closer to his goal, which would include befriending those in his guild.

So we wind up with Asta facing down Magna Swing, the yankee mage with fire abilities, who challenges Asta to everything from physical challenges that would make One Punch Man blush (five thousand sit-ups and push-ups??) to dealing with a barrage of flame attacks. It’s all easily dealt with because Asta’s a musclehead, and it’s not until Magna tosses out a fast-fireball that our protagonist is challenged. Then we discover a new ability of his: Asta’s sword doesn’t just attack magic, it can block it entirely. Over time we’ll learn just what’s allowing Asta to do this, but at the moment the guy just seems like anti-magic, which in theory could be the most broken thing in this world.

3. This episode is pretty flawed from a pacing standpoint, but one thing it does cover quite well is Asta’s acceptance into the Black Bulls. Earlier I talked about how the Black Bulls are these weirdos who have impressive magical abilities but major character flaws…but the key is they like each other quite a bit, and operate more like a family would than most of the other guilds. Though the filler would have you believe otherwise, Asta’s home life was still packed with people who didn’t believe in him and just “tolerated” his silly dream more than encouraged it. But the moment that he dons the Black Bull robe, the realization dawns both upon the viewer and Asta himself that this is the first time where his strength and abilities have been acknowledged by peers aside from Yuno, and he finally finds a place where he belongs.

4. In the shadows, there’s another new member, a young girl, that joined the Black Bulls not long before Asta. Too aloof to join the festivities surrounding Asta’s initiation, she watches from afar and comments that Asta seems like an “insect”. Gee, I wonder if we’ll see her next episode!

5. Next Episode: Hey look, a focus on the “quiet” new recruit! If you remember the episode of her first appearance, then her relationship with Asta is frustrating to watch. She’s looked down upon by royalty and her own family for even existing, so her antagonistic relationship with Asta always feels a bit…unnecessary? Still, its not permanent, and watching their friendship develop is a highlight of the series.

Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.