The Black Bulls face off against the mages of the Underwater Temple. If they win, they gain control of the magic stone, but can they do it before the Midnight Sun tracks them down? 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 latest bit of evidence proving Clover Kingdom’s magic rating “meritocracy” is a crock of nonsense, we have this episode’s showdown of the Black Bulls vs. the Underwater Temple’s mages. The Head Priest invites Yami to watch the matches with him because he’s too strong to participate, then starts bragging about the strength of all his mages while comparing them to the Black Bulls because of their rank standings as Junior Magic Knights.
One of the mages even points out how Black Bulls are thought to be the “weakest” Magic Knights, not realizing that their guild’s ranking isn’t based on magic power until four of the nine temple mages are knocked out in such short encounters it’s almost disappointing. Asta, Luck, Gauche, and Magna make quick work of their opponents and immediately go off searching for other people they can fight against, with Vanessa coming along not long afterwards and gaining an easy victory of her own. Turns out, Vanessa’s usually useless because she’s…y’know…drunk, but since today she’s had considerably less than usual she’s on point too. Probably a good thing, considering what else happens this episode.
2. While most of the Black Bulls don’t seem to have any problem with their first opponents, that’s not how it works out for everyone. Charmy spends her time munching on seafood rather than actually trying to win a match, and it costs her when she gets confronted by a strange woman in a mask who casts a sleeping spell on her through song. The High Priest adds a rules stating sleeping is the same as being knocked out (mostly true), and thus his side gets their first point.
Finral suffers similar indignities when he tries to escape the maze only to wind up having to run for his life to escape random traps activated by the High Priest. For whatever reason, Yami always seems especially hard on Finral. And sure he never fights, but then that’s not his job–his job is to teleport people. He’s walking Fast Travel; why would you mistreat Fast Travel?
3. After Asta easily takes out his first opponent, he goes looking for another to try and wrap things up. Doesn’t take long before he runs into his next opponent, Kiato. Kiato turns out to be the son of the High Priest, and easily one of the more talented mages the Underwater Temple has to offer. His magic is a little less straight forward than everyone else’s, as he mixes in dancing with strikes from his magic sword to keep Asta off balance.
Because of his unique fighting style Asta starts out having trouble keeping up, but eventually starts to mimic Kiato’s movements to even out the battle again. Also, despite never having met Asta before he explains his dream of traveling to the surface and becoming a popular dancer in Clover Kingdom, a dream that sounds suspiciously familiar.
4. A lot of this arc seems like it’s been devoted to Noelle’s development, and that continues with this episode. With no offensive magic, Noelle finds herself attempting to bluff her way out of her first match against one of the temple’s mages with threats about being a “mighty” noble. Unfortunately for her, the underwater mage that finds her turns out to be Kahono, the songstress she and Asta made friends with a couple episodes ago. Kahono reveals she and her brother are allowed to travel to small towns in Clover Kingdom, but never the capital city so they’ve never been able to achieve their dreams. They have however, been able to constantly gain intel on people aiming to reach the temple.
Noelle briefly feels betrayed by this, pointing out that Kahono was using her, and is in disbelief that a “real” friend would try to fight her. Kahono points out friends should be able to fight without holding hard feelings against one another afterwards, and starts to use her lullaby song to knock Noelle out. Fortunately, Noelle has her Sea Dragon’s Cradle for protection…but still can’t control her magic when it involves attacking people. Or so she thinks, until Kahono makes her realize her control is just fine–she just subconsciously doesn’t want to inflict harm…which feels kinda weird since she’s had no problem smacking people around all series, but let’s go with that.
Understanding she won’t be able to help her team out, Noelle resolves herself to break through this mental block in order to have a proper match with Kahono.
5. So the Black Bulls started with the intent to come down to the Underwater Temple to take their magic stone before the Eye of the Midnight Sun could get it, but then they wound up dragged into a dumb battle royale to impress the rubes in the city. Unsurprisingly, just as the Black Bulls have started to expend just a little too much energy the Midnight Sun arrives with an explosive entrance, laying out the enemy Luck and Magna were getting wrecked by.
I’d feel bad, except…I feel like they deserve this for goofing off and forgetting the mission in the first place. There was always a time clock on this, so they deserve to have to figure out how to fight from behind and pull this win out, if they still can. They’re up against Vetto the Despair, the creepy were-beast who by all accounts seemed stronger than a Magic Knight Captain the last time we saw him, so things are looking unfavorable for the heroes.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and YouTube.