Vetto seems unstoppable. In the face of such incredible power, the last hope is…Noelle?! But she can’t even use her magic properly. 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. A bard and a dancer teaming up to take on a frighteningly powerful enemy sounds like the end of some obscure J-RPG. After Kahono and Noelle arrive, they realize they don’t stand a chance with their support-based skills. Noelle asks if Kahono can heal everyone, but unfortunately with no one to block for her that winds up being a non-starter. Instead, she uses her voice to awaken her brother Kiato. Having spent years together, the two of them use a combination of their song and dance magic to boost Kiato’s abilities enough to get a nifty magic aura.
While Vetto is holding him off, Kiato and Kahono flash back to their childhoods. During that time, they trained their magic while paying homage to their sea god, promising they would one day make it to the surface and become popular with their song and dance. It’s that training they’ve carried with them into the present, becoming perfectly synchronized mages who are stronger together than apart, and they look strong enough to beat Vetto, for a time. They certainly injure him more than anyone else has.
2. Ah, life as a shonen character: one moment you’re getting glancing blows on a guy who’s torn through an entire magic knight guild, then the next that same guy is pulling a DBZ-esque disppearance, reappearing to destroying your dreams of dancing forever by cutting your leg off with his claws. Then right after that slicing the vocal cords of your sister so she can’t sing anymore. I’m pretty sure there’s a “going for the throat” joke I could make here, but we’ll skip that.
It’s one thing to have a guy call himself “Vetto the Despair”, but it’s another thing to show your work. It felt more meaningless going up against Asta, because as the protagonist of a battle shonen he’s not even allowed to quit. But these two side characters who are much less protected, and may not have the same indomitable spirit? That’s a different story. Vetto listened to these two siblings say they wanted to become a song and dance team, then immediately attacked in a way to specifically destroy that dream. That’s not petty, that’s a level of hatred that has to come from somewhere, but more on that later.
3. We’ve been building up to this since Noelle’s introduction. At the start of this series, Noelle’s powers were slapstick: she’d mean to attack one person who ticked her off, then slip and hit someone completely different for a joke. Then eventually she figured out how to use defensive magic to protect herself and her friends. She was sidelined for a bit because she couldn’t fight, but this arc brought her back and made her crucial to the Black Bulls even reaching the Underwater Temple to begin with.
Gradually, she’s been pushing herself to her limits and surpassing them, over and over. Now here, she’s backed into a crucial moment where she’s got no other choice but to stand up for herself: the Black Bulls have been soundly defeated, and the only thing standing between Kahono living and dying is Noelle. So in true battle shonen fashion, she finally gains the strength to break past her limits and ignore her subconscious desire not to hurt anyone. Not only that, but she fully throws off her the expectations of her as a noble and fully embraces who she is as a member of the Black Bulls. She’s so ridiculously powerful her first attack spell is a giant water dragon. Now in most situations I’d be complaining about how talking was very much a free action during this scene and Vetto was an idiot for taking the attack head on…but they’ve gone out of their way to make that his thing. He wants everyone to try their best shot at defeating him, because he loves watching the hope drain out of their eyes when he walks away completely unscathed.
4. If you keep asking people to punch you in the face ’cause you’re so sure you can block it though, eventually you’re going to wind up with a bloody nose. Vetto tries to block Noelle’s attack, but fails–it lands pretty squarely on him and obliterates his right arm and side, leaving him even more destroyed than everyone else.
But of course, he’s able to recover, casting some strange spell that doesn’t just heal him, it completely regenerates his destroyed limbs. And while you’d think that was something possible in a magic universe, Yami and the High Priest point out this is actually meant to be impossible. Briefly he flashes back to a different time, with him and Licht in another city before they get attacked by “the humans”. This will become important later, but for now the only thing it means is Noelle almost gets obliterated by his next attack…until a battered Asta wakes up and blocks with his sword.
5. Next Episode: Just when you think it can’t get any worse, somehow the bad guy winds up getting a power-up. It’s not looking good for Asta and Noelle, nevermind all the other people Vetto’s already torn through. Fortunately, it looks like help is on the way in the form of Vanessa and Finral! Their last hope is a drunk and a cowardly playboy. Hm. Maybe the series doesn’t run fifty one episodes after all..
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.