The Black Bulls have finished their business in the Witches’ Forest. But there’s still a lot left to learn about the origins of their biggest enemy, the Midnight Sun. 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 my recap for episode 64, I predicted they wouldn’t be able to stick with Vanessa’s rage with her mother. She kept her locked in a cage so long she started talking to herself through funny little thread animals, but of course this episode wants to show all the happy memories from when she wasn’t locked in the cage. The show can’t just commit to the Queen being a bad person, even if she’s gradually realizing how horrible she was, because we need to offer her that forgiveness.
It’s frustrating, but a theme which is all too common not just in anime, but in all of fiction. Somehow parents will almost always eventually be portrayed as sympathetic. The story will zero in on the five percent of the time they aren’t garbage to overlook the ninety five percent of garbage. The one thing I’ll give them is at least here when the Queen says she’s invited back whenever she wants, Vanessa isn’t ready to forgive her yet and doesn’t say anything…verbally. She still looks back wistfully and thinks she’ll one day return, but at least she wasn’t able to vocalize those feelings just yet.
2. It’s hard to blame Asta for looking this confused–this episode dumps a lot of exposition on our heroes at once. After Asta’s bird locates yet another magic stone, the Queen goes down a path of explaining a lot at once. She explains the magic stones are meant to give massive boosts of energy to the ancient elves, a race of people who was wiped out by the humans. On that note, it’s beginning to look like the royals really are guilty of killing the elves. The reasoning has yet to be explained, but it’s not a good sign when Noelle points out the royals started telling their children the elves were monsters who summoned an evil demon on them–you generally resort to propaganda when you’re in the wrong, after all.
In any case, the Queen goes on to explain Asta’s swords are actually the remains of the elven leader’s blade weapons from centuries ago. She continues to talk afterwards, but eventually Asta simply can’t take the overwhelming information. It’s fair, everything she answered only leaves more questions asked, specifically about Asta. How did Asta get a book containing weapons belonging to someone else?
3. For some reason I really thought Fanzell, Mars, and the others would all go back to Diamond Kingdom and start putting in the hard work to liberate their kingdom. But instead Fanzell takes his wife Domina, his student Marielle, and Mars’ friend Fana and decides to go back home. Meanwhile, Mars and Ladros decide to go back and peacefully reform things. It’s hard not to be a bit confused at how this turned out. Aren’t they all competent mages? What’s to gain by losing two thirds of your potential forces when you could go there with back-up?
Still, Mars makes the point he’ll come to help Asta any time he needs it, so presumably he’ll show up to aid the Black Bulls further down the line when things get hopeless.
4. What it looks like when the crew has a training arc without you. Asta and the others return home, but the others aren’t back yet. Shortly after he gets there though, they all make it back as well, and they’ve all been…changed. Grey and Charmy had a comical adventure which led to them getting infected by some magic mushroom parasites. Gauche and Gordon come back as total nerds after spending so much time reading. But the best part is Magna and Luck having survived the Dungeon and experiencing massive power ups after defeating whatever was inside. Magna even briefly changes personality, turning into a cool, pretty boy type a la Asta’s rival Yuno, before Asta explains he’s healed and they immediately go back to normal.
5. This is a little too stock footage-y, but it gets the point across. After being out of action for several episodes, and nearly losing all of his comrades and becoming a puppet to be healed, our group finally returns to normal. Asta’s sent back to work because he doesn’t know what else to do if he’s not working, Magna and Luck are kicking the crap out of each other, Vanessa’s getting drunk still, and Yami…still spends way too much time in the bathroom.
This actually wouldn’t have been a bad way to end this series all things considered, but instead we’re only a fifth through the second season’s episode count. The opening this episode hinted at a lot of cool stuff to come, including the arrival of the coolest character in the series.
Black Clover is available on Funimation and Crunchyroll.