Asta and Fanzell have another run-in. Will the former Diamond Kingdom mage ever be able to find his wife? And what of Marielle, the student who betrayed him? Where does her true allegiance lie? 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. Fanzell’s “I get naked at weird times” gimmick has been weird from his introduction. People complain about Grey but he always kept a pair of boxers on–Fanzell’s just completely in the buff. This skeeve factor of this habit cranks up exponentially this episode though, as he greets Noelle completely in the buff while she’s out looking for herbs to heal Asta in the aftermath of his fight against Mars. Yes, things have skipped ahead several months and now this brief side story has us in the aftermath of the Dungeon arc.
Noelle (rightfully) runs away from Fanzell, leading them both directly back to the Black Bulls’ homebase. Drawing the same conclusion anyone would draw in a situation where a naked man is following a young girl, the Bulls kick the crap out of him and tie him up for questioning. It’s only Asta’s timely arrival that saves him from a much worse fate, with Fanzell explaining he’s naked for a “good” reason for once: he was beaten up and robbed of all his belongings. I’m not sure how a talented mage manages to get beaten up or robbed by ordinary crooks in a universe where guns don’t exist, but whatever. This time the run in with Asta finally gives him clues to his wife’s location.
2. If you didn’t get it during the Dungeon arc, the Diamond Kingdom is really hard up for resources. That’s why they’ve made in-roads into attacking the Clover Kingdom just twice in the past year, and why they’ve spent the last several months sending assassins after Fanzell to force him to return to their nation. But while these assassins have numbers, they aren’t terribly smart. Just as Finral is about to take Fanzell to meet his wife, their castle is attacked by a bunch of hooded mages of the Diamond Kingdom.
…Seriously? Nobody bothered to try and do research and figure out why this would be a horrible idea? Expectedly, they all wind up getting stomped, because most of the Diamond Kingdom’s forces have the effectiveness of a fusion of the Putties from Power Rangers and Star Wars’ Stormtroopers. The leader of their group wonders if Marielle led them into a trap, but honestly the first thing every commander in their army should know is the location of the eight home bases of the Magic Knight guilds.
3. In a great call back, we learn Fanzell’s fiancee has been hiding out in the black market of the royal city, and is where Noelle got her current wand from. While the rest of the Black Bulls deal with the assassins, Asta and Noelle go along with Finral and Fanzell to find Domina.
…Who promptly beats her poor fiance to a pulp for not coming to find her sooner. Still, it looks like happily ever after until Marielle appeared. The young student Fanzell helped to free, she reveals she’d been helping Domina all along, trying to protect her while also dodging the ire of the Diamond Kingdom. Things seem happily ever after at first, but then the head assassin reveals he managed to escape capture from the other Black Bulls and followed them. It’s amazing he was smart enough to think of this but not smart enough to do his research on the Black Bulls’ home base.
4. It’s a bit surreal to see one tsundere lecture another to stop being so tsun-tsun, but here we are. The head of the assasssin group is brought down with such hilarious ease it happens off camera, allowing Fanzell and Domina to ride off happily into the sunset. Marielle says she’s volunteering to go along with them, but before she leaves Noelle immediately sees through her cold facade, and tells her a bit about what it means to have a group of people who rely on and care about you. It shows how far she’d come as a character, even that early into the series she was a long way from the stuck-up royal who used a veneer of arrogance to hide how insecure she was because she couldn’t control her abilities and her family was so crappy.
5. With Fanzell’s story wrapped up, we finally come back around to a question asked several weeks ago: where did Vanessa go? As Finral and Noelle seek help from Fanzell and Dominante, they learn the one group most likely able to remove the curse from Asta’s arms are people located deep in the Witches’ Forest. While our heroes are discussing the place’s danger, Vanessa stands at its front doors demanding to be let back in, only for a mountain of bats to spirit her inside. Looks like this just became a rescue mission.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.