The Queen has taken control of Asta, and is determined to take advantage of his powers to kill the other Black Bull members. Can Vanessa stop him? 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. To Asta’s credit, despite being asked to murder everyone there, he manages to resist a bit. It speaks to his iron clad will that he was able to stop his sword just short of cutting anything on Noelle. But now the story isn’t about him, and he’s being controlled by magic infecting his very blood–on a cellular level, basically. So fortunately he doesn’t just somehow “find” a way to escape from this. Instead, the Black Bulls have to look elsewhere for their help.
2. Up until the Seabed Temple arc, the only personality traits we had for Vanessa were “wears no clothes, drinks a lot”. I’m still in the dark on the first part, but this episode went into a bit more detail on all the alcohol consumption. Believing Vanessa’s abilities were going to become something special, the Queen of Witches kept the closest possible eye on her…by keeping her trapped in a literal cage. She wasn’t allowed to leave or interact with any of the other witches in the village on the chance she might leave, so she spent what seems like at least a solid decade trapped inside. We saw a glimpse of this before, but here we see her much younger, barely able to control her thread magic at all–and it’s only out of sheer loneliness she learns how to invent friends who can talk to her. No wonder she knocks back more alcohol than a college freshman at a house party–who wants to remember being locked up for the majority of their lives?
3. Vanessa’s saving grace as a young teen came when a young man came barrelling into the Forest of Witches on accident. Blessed with an awful sense of direction, Yami wanders into the forest and finds himself under attack by everyone from a bunch of witches to the Queen herself, and as always to his credit never seems particularly frustrated or even pushed beyond his limits. He happens onto Vanessa’s tower on accident, destroying a piece of it while fending off some attacks. While there, he has a conversation with Vanessa, who explains it’s her destiny to be trapped and in the Queen’s grasp forever. Yami tells her that’s a rough burden to hold, then goes on to say that’s why he doesn’t believe in destiny at all, and chooses to live his life doing as he pleases, even if it means fighting destiny the entire way.
Unconvinced by his words, Yami breaks her out of her cage, but doesn’t really do anything else. He starts to leave to avoid having to fight the Queen again, when Vanessa asks what she should do going forward, and Yami gives her the words she needs to hear the most: “do whatever you want”. And just like that, the Black Bulls gain another stray. Also, shouts out to the animators for including a shot of the Black Bulls that includes one of the members who’s going to be introduced much further down the line.
4. Well, by now we should all know the rules: if you have a flashback, you’re getting a power-up. As the Queen starts to order Asta to attack again, Vanessa’s book gains a brand new spell, and we’re confronted with her latest power: a cat. Wait. *checks notes* Really?
Yeah, if you’re a kitty lover this episode’s for you, as Vanessa conjures up the most adorable looking kitten just in time. Vanessa’s still tied up, but that doesn’t matter with her new spell. When Asta’s commanded to kill Noelle, the cat touches his shoulder, causing Asta to swing and miss, cutting her down from the cross instead. The Queen sees him kill Noelle at first, but reality “replays” to give Vanessa the result she wants instead. She tries again and again, learning not only can the cat not even be attacked, but in multiple attempts eventually Asta hits himself with his own sword, breaking the curse magic altogether. Who knew adding a cat would take the situation from tense to comical.
5. I think this might have been my favorite moment of the series, even though it absolutely won’t stick. Witnessing the cat’s incredible power, the Queen seeks to control it herself by taking over Vanessa’s mind. Instead, the attempt to attack winds up canceling all of her spells, including the binding magic on Vanessa and the others. Granting her the unique power to alter reality to protect those who are members of the Black Bulls, Vanessa claims the Queen could never have controlled it because the two of them have no bond.
I’m sure they’ll go back on this because anime is notorious for forgiving parents of all their sins, no matter how horrible. The Queen kept Vanessa in a cage for her childhood–there really shouldn’t be any forgiving that, but somehow the show will find a way. Something like “you can’t turn your back on the person who raised you”, even if they treated you like a literal prisoner.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.