Reinforcements arrive for the Black Bulls, leading to a battle of the Clover Kingdom Captains against the Third Eye of the Midnight Sun! Who will be the winner? 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. This arc has been the strongest one of the series thus far, which is incredible when you consider how simplistic the plot’s been. It’s just been a series of oneupsmanship by way of reinforcements. First Sally shows up after Asta knocks Baro out. Then Gauche comes back as Asta and Theresa get overwhelmed. Then Licht and Valtos rescue Sally. Then Finral and Yami save Gauche and Asta from getting killed. Then the Third Eye show up right as Licht loses. Now the Captains have shown up to put the Third Eye down.
Still, “Your trap couldn’t hope to compare to my counter trap!” has worked pretty well as a plot point, and now we’re finally down to the last round. It’s pretty awesome to see older mages who don’t exhausted by just a few spells show up, even if there’s not much to the fight scene itself–there’s a bit of repetition in the animation, likely because this wasn’t meant to be a serious match and more of a skirmish between two seemingly equal powers.
2. After having time to recharge his mana, Finral is finally strong enough to use his spatial magic again. But instead of going home, Yami decides to attack the Midnight Sun’s leader Licht, who’s been healing up all this time thanks to Fana’s Phoenix Robe. It’s hard to express how happy it makes me someone realized the leader of the group had been spending all this time healing and was about to get away.
Yami appears from the sky through a portal, but Licht’s waiting for him with a charged up spell. It almost looks like Yami’s about to get punished for being the smart one in the show, but fortunately Yami’s several steps ahead and has a back up plan. Since Asta has no mana, Licht has no way of detecting him, and gets himself smacked with Asta’s anti-magic sword. It’s satisfying, and it allows Asta to show he’s still pulling his own weight, even though he’s done more than enough having rescued the children and put down both Baro and Valtos earlier.
3. But hitting people with an anti-magic sword does come with consequences. Licht kept a seal on him containing an absurd amount of magic energy, leaving both the Captains and the rest of the Black Bulls in serious danger after Asta’s attack de-activates it. It seems like more than enough energy to lay waste to the surrounding area, and even the Third Eye considers it dangerous enough to stop fighting the Captains and use their energy to re-seal Licht’s power.
Seeing how easily the Midnight Sun’s generals were able to stop an attack of such magnitude, the Captains realize they were being toyed with as the Third Eye teleports away with Licht, Sally, and Valtos. Guess they really were stronger than the Captains. On the one hand, this couldn’t have happened to a haughtier group of jerks..but on the other, they are the only people stopping Clover Kingdom from being wrecked. That’s probably going to make this an issue.
4. In an alternate universe, there’s another version of Black Clover where Yami is the main character, and I’m not certain it’s not the better show. Shonen anime has a bad habit of making a lead out of such an underdog the author has to give them some deus ex machina-level powers just to allow them to keep up with everyone else at first, but once they figure out how to use it without killing themselves, it inevitably allows them to become Better Than Everyone Else. Yami isn’t that–he’s powerful, he can keep up with those around him, but he has limits–even though he’s constantly talking about surpassing those limits and easily beating people who’ve already clearly pushed him as far as he can go.
He’s also charismatic–when the Captains arrive he’s able to joke with them all, showing off a rapport and a basic level of respect and friendly rivalry with them all. Plus he’s got his own tsundere would-be girlfriend in Charlotte, who’s spent so much time running a guild of lesbian androphobes she can’t admit to anyone except herself she’s madly in love with Yami. Watching an older character try to balance running a guild of misfits while keeping his country from being conquered by a terrorist sect would have definitely let this show stand out a lot more.
5. Next Episode: The threat’s finally subsided, but there’s still a lot of clean-up left. The Midnight Sun’s goals are more mysterious than ever, as the Magic Knights of Clover Kingdom have learned Licht might not even be their leader. And that’s to say nothing of the dozens of kids who’ve been stripped of their magic! And their machinations might not even be done–not when they’ve got two of their own still in captivity who could give their plan away before it’s time.
We’re down to the last 14 episodes–so expect an extension to the show, or for things to get paced much faster very soon. Hopefully the latter, since they’ve adapted enough of the manga that this show couldn’t take another full year of properly pacing the manga, and I can’t take another full year of this series moving at the pace it did for the first twenty episodes.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.