It all comes down to this final match! Ace rookie of the Golden Dawn, Yuno, versus the youngest Magic Knight Captain, Rill of the Aqua Deer. 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. I complained a lot last week about the quality of the animation for Asta vs. Langris. It felt like such a vital moment in Asta’s growth that it was weird they wouldn’t properly animate it. However, the realities of “endless” production is that sometimes one show has to be let go to make room for another, and this episode made up for the last one several times over with Yuno vs. Rill.
Unsurprisingly, the most talented rookie in the Magic Knights and the youngest Magic Knight Captain ever put on a show for the “finals”, with Yuno leveling up his magic by fusing with his Wind elemental, Bell. This is easily the best Black Clover has ever looked, having Yuno flit about the screen like a DBZ character, dodging Rill’s increasingly versatile paint attacks while making his own. While it’s frustrating that last week had to suffer, this episode had far more potential, and it got the attention it deserved.
2. The best part of this episode’s fight scene is the victor wasn’t decided by who was the strongest, but who had the more sound strategy. Reminiscent of Naruto’s Chuunin Exams, Rill’s team members realize their performances haven’t really shown they were worthy of the promotion to Royal Magic Knights. Because of this, they attempt to make a name for themselves in the finals by shutting down En and Noelle and destroying their team’s crystal. This leaves Rill in charge of protecting his team’s crystal while also fighting the most powerful member on the opposing team, Yuno. After a spectacle of a battle, it breaks down to a straight up DBZ beam struggle battle…and that’s where Yuno grabs the W. Rill can’t protect his crystal from his own magical energy, and it shatters during the battle, leading to his team’s loss.
It’s a great way to leave it up in the air as to whether a newbie who’s been around all of a single year can actually beat a Magic Knight Captain, while also awarding the final victory to Yuno as a bit of a feather in his cap and adding to his growing legacy.
3. Another thing worth congratulating Tabata on is how he’s kept our two protagonists not only separate, but continually giving them moments of success to match one another. Yuno’s watched Asta accomplish the impossible time and again, including helping to pull the Black Bulls from last place with negative stars to second place. He’s seen him gain new weapons and abilities, improving at a rate that even he has to keep up with, with all his natural abilities. And so now, after having Asta take down the Vice Captain of the Golden Dawn in one move, Tabata finally allows everyone to see why Yuno deserves to be Asta’s rival. It’s not only Yuno’s strategy, but his absurd levels of power that allow him to stand against Rill long enough to snatch a key W and be the winner of this tournament.
Having Asta be forced to watch from the sidelines while his broken body recovers from two uses of his power-up form in one day works, because–despite having a really good reason–he simply wasn’t powerful enough to get to stand on the same stage as his rival. That’s a pain he’ll have to take with him, and from that he’ll grow more powerful.
4. This week’s episode ends with the Wizard King confronting Zora, and revealing what we’ve known all along: that it was Julius who worked alongside Zora’s father. It’s Zara’s existence which led to Julius creating the Star system, to give credit to those who perform well no matter what their class and status are. Of course, as we’ve already seen, it’s a system which has been abused almost since the very start, so it hasn’t necessarily been the best move to me.
This conversation helps us understand why the Wizard King didn’t just take Zora off the squad–he was one of the people responsible for him joining. He also mentions Zora putting on his own robe, which given the character’s trouble-making nature almost guarantees he’ll be a member of the Black Bulls.
5. Next Episode: With this arc over, a new storm is coming, as our heroes must soon prepare for their attack on the Eye of the Midnight Sun! However, for now they can enjoy a few brief moments of calm, celebrate their successes…and cope with their defeats.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.