With the Black Bulls and Asta’s Diamond Kingdom friends decimated, what new power will emerge from the boy without magic? 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. From the beginning, my thing with Black Clover has been to talk about how a show which can often feel like a rip off of more popular series isn’t as much of a rip-off as we think, but…yeah. I can’t save this. This is just Naruto talking to Kurama. The only difference is we still don’t know what the story is behind this power dwelling in Asta. After Ladros gets his power-up and attacks Asta, he passes out and meets the anti-magic demon inside of him.
As if the narration beating you over the head every episode for the last fifteen months isn’t enough, this episode goes a step further and explains the significance of Asta’s five-clover book. It’s incredibly ham-fisted; the first three clovers symbolize faith, hope, and love to give us some oddly Christian symbolism. The fourth clover is meant to represent good luck, while the fifth clover has a demon…which is kinda like going chicken, beef, pork, house in terms of relations, but whatever. The point is Asta got in touch with the anti-magic demon inside him and he’s ready to beat down his enemy. Boy I sure hope this fight scene is awesome.
2. Well, I’m going to go ahead and drop the anime hot take of the year: I really, really hated the animation for this episode. There was a lot of hype beforehand from the community about how this episode was jaw-dropping, but the fight for this week was weak. A lot of squiggly lines and the kind of mushy faces and body design which have always been a turn off for me. Asta and Ladros’ fight is supposed to be a fast, DBZ-esque battle between two powerful but physical mages…and I guess they got that across through the wanton destruction they inflict on the forest itself, because I could barely follow what was happening for most of the battle.
You don’t know who’s who, which conveys speed I guess but doesn’t really draw you in with the intensity like they needed to. The only lasting scene is Ladros trying to fire off a fire blast only to get it completely consumed by Asta’s anti-magic and wind up lying in a crater, rekt. A fine image, but this episode should’ve had Black Clover’s crowning fight scene achievement. A shonen character’s first transformation is meant to be a big deal, after all, and this should’ve put BC in the same class as the big boys.
3. If the fact that I’m covering three of the biggest currently running ones didn’t tip you off, I love battle shonen series. The intensity of the fight scenes, the camaraderie of the characters, the bold idealism–it’s all addicting, and every author approaches it a different way. But man, the one thing I wish I could lay to bed forever is this whole “not being special makes you special” deal. Naruto spent a third of its run trying to pretend its lead was trash aside from the monster inside it only to reveal his dad was the freaking Hokage. Bleach had Ichigo turn out to be every kind of important thing you could be in that realm. Now here’s the Queen talking about how Asta’s not special “in the slightest”. In a world full of mages he can nullify all magic–he’s a walking WMD, let’s quit it with the humility.
4. For those wondering if Asta was lost in the power recently bestowed him, after finally defeating Ladros he dispels any reason to be even slightly concerned. Instead of going for the kill, he calls Ladros an idiot and tells him he’s going to go save everyone else. Generally power like this would result in the main character being out of control and needing to be brought back to consciousness, but Asta’s such a stubborn dork he maintains his sense of self in spite of his power up. Plus, well…losing control comes later.
5. The Queen proving to be the final boss of this arc is the least surprising thing of this episode. Right as Asta wins the fight, she appears and reveals her plan was gaining control of his anti-magic abilities all along. Explaining her power involves controlling blood, she suspends all of Asta’s friends in the air, then takes over Asta’s body. The episode ends with her commanding him to take the lives of his friends as the first order after being her toy once more.
Black Clover is available on Crunchyroll and Funimation.