Finral’s set up a mixer to help the Black Bulls meet some women. …But are any of the Bulls “normal” enough to even go to a mixer? 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. With the Invasion arc in the rearview, this arc begins with Finral trying to go out on an arranged date/mixer. The only trouble is, he needs two other guys in the Black Bulls and…they’re all idiots. Magna’s a perpetual pre-teen who’s too impressed with his own abilities and things like motorcycles with flaming skulls on them. Yami’s apparently a judgmental prick who gets uptight about any woman that doesn’t meet his standards. Gauche is so obsessed with his kid sister that in any normal series someone absolutely would’ve called the cops by now. And because the Bulls are surprisingly into gender parity, the rest of the team is all women*: Grey, Noelle, Vanessa, and Charmy.
His only options left are Luck and Asta. They’re both cute enough to be brought along…except like everyone else in the Black Bulls, they’re both weirdos. They tag along and Luck spends most of his time talking about beating dudes up while Asta is…well, an idiot. We get the most awkward arranged date I’ve seen in an anime, but it’s actually pretty endearing. You expect pretty boys like Finral to succeed with any girl he approaches, but this sees him definitely failing miserably and that’s kinda cool. No one hits a home run every time, right?
*There’s also Gordon, but he’s so quiet no one ever notices him even if he’s easily the sweetest guy on the team.
2. Because there’s no way you’d be able to turn a single chapter into a full episode without some added elements, we get the return of Mr. “Bah-ha!” himself, Sekke. He’s on an arranged date as well with a group of scrubs from his team, and he spends the majority of his time talking about how amazing he is. Unsurprisingly, he manages to turn off all three girls because he’s so busy bragging about his awesomeness he makes it obvious he’s an inconsiderate jerk.
People complain about Tabata’s writing, but he’s pretty great at making you feel sympathy for characters you shouldn’t care about at all. It’s hard not to want Sekke to succeed, but you know he’s going to keep falling on his face until he realizes everything isn’t about him.
3. As a cool down between last arc and the one coming up, this week’s episode is mostly about the laughs–even Noelle gets in on the act. She gets pretty nervous about Asta going off to meet girls for some reason that she can’t figure out, so she decides to follow him and do some spying. She chooses to become a waitress there while she watches, and while she’s there, people ask her to do…y’know…the job of a waitress, and she reacts with disgusted annoyance at every request. It’s hilarious, but it left me with quite a few thoughts:
– Wow, it’s really easy to get a job in medieval times. All she did was walk up to the manager and she was hired that night. No questions about taxes, no interview, she just tossed on a waitress outfit and that’s that.
– Wouldn’t it have been easier to just order something? It’s not like she’s broke–she makes money as a Magic Knight and she’s a noble. There’s no way she could’ve gotten close enough to hear what they’re saying without getting noticed, so why not watch from afar?
– Did Noelle create the existence of tsundere cafes on her planet? Guess she’s a trendsetter.
4. Asta’s managed to create a miniature harem. Despite the date initially going terribly for everyone–Luck and Asta ’cause they’re idiots, Finral because everyone else was ruining things–they eventually all manage to make meaningful connections. Asta’s date Rebecca is a young woman taking care of a half dozen little rugrats, and Asta grew up in a home where he had to do the same thing, so they bond pretty quickly over it.
Unfortunately, it gets ruined when some drunken prick comes over and interrupts their date by hitting on Rebecca. Asta holds his tongue for as long as possible, but eventually just tosses the jerk into a wall. And since starting a fight (even if it ends in one blow) usually ends the night, the two of them rush out into the night to avoid having to explain anything. Impressed by the responsibility he has in taking care of his adopted family and that he defended her so willingly, Rebecca winds up with a bit of a crush on our hero.
…But since he’s still obsessed with the nun he hasn’t seen since the second episode or so, when asked he flatly turns her down. Way to go, Asta. That’s the third girl so far, and he’s still chasing someone who took a vow of chastity. Well, no one ever said you had to be smart to be the protagonist.
5. Next Episode: Somehow. Impossibly. This looks very much like a filler episode that has absolutely nothing to do with the next arc of the manga. Worse, it looks like a mix between a clip show and a filler episode. But there’s no way, right? Because the series is already drastically behind the manga by several arcs and won’t ever catch up by the time it hits the last episode in October. That’s not what we’re seeing, so this is clearly some kind of blooper reel because they couldn’t get the real Next Episode Preview out in time this week. Right? Right.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.