Just as all hope seems lost, Captain Yami arrives to protect his teammates from the leader of the Eye of the Midnight Sun! 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. If there’s anything the last two years have taught us, it’s that real life villains generally aren’t relatable. But what is necessary is a villain who’s motivations are understandable, even if infuriating. That’s what Licht, leader of the Eye of the Midnight Sun, gives us with this episode. After Sister Theresa is put down for the count thanks to Licht’s attacks, she asks Gauche to watch over the children, revealing the reason she left the Knights and became a nun was because after seeing so much war she realized it was always the innocent, the weak, and the children who suffered the most.
….To which Licht responds it’s actually not the weak who suffer, but the strong. The strong are constantly abused by the weak because of jealousy and fear. He goes on to tell a story about a village of powerful magic users, loved by mana, who lived peacefully and in harmony with humans…until humans destroyed them all out of jealousy. Since then, he’s held an intense hatred for all of the Clover Kingdom for destroying his village. Though Tabata kinda stumbled into this, what we have here, is a one percenter (in the world of magic) waging war on the weak and helpless for having “stolen” from him. And though it’ll doubtless be revealed things didn’t happen anywhere near how he thought, this is both surprisingly topical given our current political climate…and it provides a position he can argue (and because this is anime, kill) from for the remainder of the series.
2. It took an absurd amount of time, but hey, Yami’s here! So while Licht is arrogantly talking down on the children who’s mana he stole, Asta decides to get revenge for his friends and the children of Nean by using his sword as a shield to block Licht’s attacks until he gets close enough to do damage. Unfortunately for him, Licht is way too smart for this strategy, and simply uses his superior speed to basically flash step behind Asta. He nearly dies then and there, but Yami arrives courtesy of Finral’s teleporting abilities.
He claims the rest of the team was basically worthless after getting drunk of their ass, and it’s at this point you realize if team teleporter and professional girlchaser Finral hadn’t likely struck out on his latest date, Asta would be dead right now. Still, Yami shows up in time to save our hero and keep him from getting skewered, and now we finally get to see two Captains (or Captain-class mages) do battle with one another.
3. There really isn’t much to Yami and Licht’s battle, much as I wish there was. Licht doesn’t take Yami seriously, so he just keeps tossing out his light lances in the hopes Yami will go down, while Yami smacks them away with ease ’cause he’s not a chump like Gauche or Asta, and he’s not working on less than half his mana like Theresa. Still, while they battle Licht and Yami talk about their origins and we learn how Yami became a Magic Knight.
Turns out, Yami’s from a completely different country–one resembling a version of Japan instead of the fantastical, European-inspired Clover Kingdom. Yami was a fisherman, until the ocean got wild one night, sending him way off course until he landed onto Clover Kingdom. He didn’t speak their language so people laughed at him at first…and then he beat them up. And he apparently kept beating people up until the Wizard King recruited him to be a Magic Knight Captain. His origin isn’t nearly as fascinating as Licht’s, but then he tells it in a comedic fashion, so there’s probably a lot more than we think and he skipped it because it’d be “boring”. Hopefully he’ll go into it another time.
4. So since Yami was always strong but didn’t always know about mana, just how was he able to beat down on a world of magic users as a muggle? Through Dragon Ball Z powers, of course! Yami the power of ki–natural energy apparently much less elitist than mana, because it lies in everything in the world rather than being unevenly distributed to people based on bloodlines. With his ki, he can predict and react to attacks easily, giving him a sixth sense. With ki and mana being so different from one another, it makes me wonder just how much different other continents are in terms of how they use magic or magic-like abilities. There could be much more to the world and the way magic works, if the Tabata chose to develop it.
In any case, once Asta figures out how to react with ki, deflecting Licht’s blows become simple and he’s finally able to stand at Yami’s side a little bit. ….At least until Licht snaps and uses whips made of pure light to bring down part of the cave on both of them.
5. Next Episode: Licht starts to step things up with his battle against Yami, and all I can think is how much different this series would be if Yami were the main character. Nevertheless, both Asta and Valtos are about to take the stage so things are about to get even more chaotic. We’ve got at least a month before this arc wraps up, but this is easily one of Black Clover’s better storylines. With 17 episodes left to go, we should be able to cover this and the next arc before Pierrot decides whether they want to continue this or not, though I suspect the pacing is about to become that much more aching if they don’t to get us to 51 episodes.
Black Clover is available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.