What happens to Asta and Noelle on their first trip into the capital city of Clover Kingdom? Now if you read these, you know normally I tend to prefer giving five points to a single episode. But since I’m behind and Studio Pierrot thought it was completely acceptable to adapt a single chapter breather into two complete episodes, I figured it’d be equally acceptable to put this into a single 5 Point Discussion. 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. In the aftermath of Asta and Noelle’s first real mission, the Black Bulls are honored by Clover Kingdom for their actions in Saussy Village. It’s here we’re introduced to the star concept, the way in which the Kingdom distinguishes exceptional behavior for each guild as well as deciding which guild is the most dominant. I really didn’t think much on this until I remembered where I first received gold stars. It’s hard to refute shonen anime being for small children when one of the biggest series of the genre is using a reward system that I dealt with in kindergarten.
That aside, this was a good moment to give viewers an idea of just what it means for the Black Bulls to be the worst of all the magic guilds. Asta’s rival Yuno wound up in the Golden Dawn, which has the most stars of any guild with an impressive 70, while the Black Bulls…?
Yeah. Exactly. Ultimately, despite containing some of the most powerful Magic Knights in the Clover Kingdom, the Black Bulls’ penchant for destruction often leads to them being awarded no stars or even being docked. It seems Asta has a very long way to go in more than one respect!
2. The first half of this episode is mostly devoted to wrapping up the loose ends of the mission from the prior arc–being awarded stars, discovering exactly where this group of ice mages came from and so forth, while the second half sees our heroes enter into the castle town to go shopping for a bit of de-stressing after the big mission they finished. While there, they run into a character that we hadn’t seen in awhile: Sekke!
Sekke was the mage who teamed up with Asta in the Magic Knight Exam out of the belief that a match against Asta would be an easy win since he clearly had no magic. His crushing defeat at the hands of a kid who seemingly has zero magic talent led to him being recruited by the Green Mantis’, a middle-of-the-road guild with a leader even more insane than the Black Bulls’ Yami. Clearly, he’s fallen upon hard times–relegated to the same sort of menial tasks as Asta, his belief that life as a Magic Knight should be easy is clashing against reality. It’s been a short period of time and he’s gone through so much that he doesn’t even look the same anymore, and his confident facade has mostly been cracked.
3. Robbery: Episode eleven ends with a poker-playing old woman being robbed by a random thief, while episode twelve picks up with the chase scene. Of course, since we’re in a world of mages he’s a magic thief, so after attempting to make a standard escape on foot he hops onto a magic cloud after noticing that Asta is chasing him. But since Asta’s a freak of nature thanks to an absurd amount of physical training, he’s easily capable of keeping up, and even eliminating the cloud…
We’re still establishing rules for Asta’s anti-magic ability, but we technically already established that he could use his sword to cut through stuff like this, since he was able to break into the ice mage’s mist when they were attacking Saussy Village. But without his mode of transporation, it’s actually easy for Sekke to catch up to him, putting an end to the would-be thief.
This is probably Sekke’s first major success as a magic knight, considering up until now the one time he actually tried to go on a mission he almost got killed. Now technically, Asta also managed to get killed as well; but unlike Sekke, he was an active part of his mission instead of being used as a decoy. So, this victory for him gives him a bit of a confidence boost, but more on that later.
This reveal really should’ve happened in episode 11. (Or really, in episode 5 if this series was paced, better but never mind.) As both Sekke and the Black Bulls head out after having captured the thief, the woman who’d been robbed appears and reveals their true identity as the Wizard King! He’s a bit of an eccentric, frequently avoiding paperwork and the bureaucracy that comes with a job like his to go exploring, constantly trying to take in as much magic as possible.
I’ve got a feeling he can either copy magic or knows how to counter whatever spell he sees, but for now we haven’t really seen him in battle much.
4. Just when Sekke thinks he’s stopped the criminal, he winds up getting stabbed by the thief and incapacitated. Then, just as he’s watching Asta he starts to come to himself, inspired by our protagonist’s boundless belief in himself, and even encourages Asta before passing away, unfortunately.
…Or not, as we quickly learn, it’s not even a particularly dangerous poison, and Vanessa is quickly able to heal him with a salve so he doesn’t take too much damage. Still, with this victory under his belt, hopefully his character will change some going forward, and Asta will obtain a new friend/rival? Time will tell.
5. The second half of episode twelve centers around some filler detailing Yuno’s first mission in the Golden Dawn. Smartly, rather than creating any new characters for this (so far) they bring back Yuno’s opponent from the Magic Knight exams as well, Salim de Hapsass, forcing Yuno to play bodyguard to him alongside two of his fellow Golden Dawn members. The team is attacked by some random mages while escorting Salim, who needles information about Yuno’s past out of him before the group is ambushed by some mages. Yuno deals with them all with ease, and Salim convinces them all to stop in Yuno’s old town for the night in order to rest before they reach their destination.
Now, without having looked up spoilers for the next episode I would guess that this whole thing is a trap and Salim’s got some kind of absurd plan to embarrass Yuno for daring to be a commoner who was better than him. Am I right? Well, we’ll know soon enough…
Black Clover isn’t back with new episodes until January 9th, so I’ll be have the 13th episode’s recap up before then so we can jump right into episode 14, which hopefully starts on the next major arc of the manga series.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu.