The Black Bulls have one more new member that’s joined their group! But why would a member of Clover Kingdom’s royalty join the Bulls…and why’s she so cold to everyone else?? 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. I could complain about how badly Studio Pierrot is botching this adaptation, but honestly this week’s episode wasn’t that bad. While last week’s episode remained largely faithful and dragged out what went on in the manga needlessly, this episode splashed in some filler to burn some time, and the result is actually making the anime feel differently from the manga. This week we got another look at how Asta’s friend Yuno is adjusting to life in the Golden Eagles, as well as a brief return to the orphanage, as both protagonists sent letters explaining their acceptance into the Magic Knights to the folks back home.
Now at this point in the manga, pretty much all of these characters are forgotten about. Asta brings up the nun whenever someone asks about women he likes, but aside from that his past becomes a distant memory the moment he and Yuno get their grimoires. Even Yuno in the manga isn’t referenced for several chapters, to the point that when you see him again readers have all but forgotten about him. The manga enforces the idea that the story is about Asta, and Yuno’s just a wall for him to overcome. The anime’s taking a far friendlier tack, and more importantly showing that Asta’s not a jerk who completely forgot about the place he came from.
2. The anime also drags out the tour of the Black Bulls’ castle, but this actually isn’t so bad. It’s pretty cool getting a look at the home of the Black Bulls, which includes (among other things): a series of traps that activate if the guys try to peep on the girls, a torture room (!), and a pen full of ravenous beasts that Captain Yami kept for whatever reason. We don’t get to see the castle much, so this is some unnecessary but appreciated world-building. What’s simultaneously most (and least) surprising though, is that their base constantly changes shape. Given the fact that the Black Bulls are constantly wrecking their own place, it makes sense that they would need a spell like that, but given they’re all mostly battle-oriented spellcasters, who would cast it?
3. Meet the newest member of the team, Noelle Silva, the youngest child of the royal House Silva. She’s kind of a jerk, which is explained away later when we learn she’s a member of one of the most important royal houses in Clover Kingdom…and she can’t control her own power. That’s meant to make you feel sorry for her, but it’s actually hard to have sympathy for any royal person in this series; up to this point, they’ve all been total jerks who lord over their superior bloodlines and mock those that are lesser-born by viewing them as peasants. She wouldn’t even be a member of the Bulls if she could control her magic–the Silvas are the head of the Silver Eagles, the second strongest Magic Knight guild in the Kingdom, her spot there was all but guaranteed. She’s slumming it because the Silvas don’t know what the word training means, so right now you don’t feel very sorry for her, but her character growth is pretty incredible so…give it time.
4. While the Silvas have no idea how “training” works, the Black Bulls do. Every member of the group is a failure in some way, and that’s why they’re so welcoming of new recruits: they know what it’s like to be broken, and to need help that no one ever offers. After Noelle loses it and nearly kills herself through her own magic spell, the group quickly welcomes her in as a member of the team, eagerly accepting her much as they did Asta. This is somewhat reminiscent of Fairy Tail, which was more of a family than they ever were a normal “guild”, only the family metaphor isn’t as obvious or rooted in violence in Black Clover as it was in FT.
5. Next Episode: The Black Bulls go on their first major mission, and Asta learns exactly what Magic Knights do in the first place. This is going to be one of the first major tests for the show–so far we’ve been doing chapters that are slower and more story-based, but as we get further into the series we’ll be delving into a lot more action and fight scene focused scenes. Will they take advantage of how much further ahead their source material is by properly pacing all their fight scenes, or will they drag this out forever and adapt 40 chapters of the manga in 50+ episodes?
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.