5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 69: “The Briar Maiden’s Melancholy”
by Sage Ashford
The Star Festival is graced by a mysterious, gorgeous woman. But who is she, and why does she look so familiar? 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. While Fairy Tail’s busy having its dirty old men threaten prisoners of war with sexual harassment, Black Clover’s over here letting women in a medieval society drag a rich man for his undeserved sense of male privilege and entitlement. Much as I love Fairy Tail, Your my fave could never. Charlotte’s not in the wrong here on any level, either. She goes to the Star Festival dressed up because it’s a fancy event, and some royal dude with no military standing just decides she’s “deserving” enough to accompany him for the night.
Except…she’s a royal too. From what seems to be a higher house. And she’s a part of the country’s magic knights. And a Captain at that, having defended the country again and again. Who’s this guy (or anyone, really) to decide whether or not she’s deserving? She traps him in a mass of vines and his inability to get free merely proves her point.
It’s a low bar to clear here but Black Clover might be the shonen with the best representation for women. Whether it’s women like the Queen of Witches or Charlotte here, Tabata has no problem placing them in positions of power. Meanwhile Noelle is basically the second main character, with character development equal to or greater than Asta in several episodes–she’s had just as many key moments where she learns new spells or grows as a person. And we haven’t even gotten to the coolest woman in the series (and my favorite BC character) yet.
2. I say all that, so of course this episode has to feature a cosplay contest between Vanessa and Charlotte. It’s a big deal for the two because they’re both trying to impress Yami, a man who appeared at crucial moments and changed the direction of their lives for the better irrevocably…but that only means all this winds up being about some guy. Still though, I gotta give it this: for a costume off, they kept things remarkably low key. Vanessa and Charlotte both remained fully clothed (which is even more impressive given Vanessa is…y’know…usually half naked), and when the suggestion was made to turn it into a swimming contest the guy who made it got chucked by Charlotte.
3. This show down between Vanessa and Charlotte could only end one way: a drinking contest. You’d assume Vanessa has this in the bag since the only thing she knows is ingesting large amounts of alcohol and dealing with oppressive immortal parental figures, but that’s leaving out her having spent the last two episodes since the festival began getting wasted. But instead of that leaving the way clear for Charlotte to have an easy win, she’s the lightest of lightweights, leaving them both having passed out after a single sip of alcohol. In short…
4. For the longest time, Charlotte’s had a high school-level crush on Yami, and we haven’t really known why. It was a cute gag to offset her ice princess attitude, but never actually doing anything beyond that left her character pretty two-dimensional. But this episode finally details why, showing her family from House Roselei being placed under a curse by a witch. The curse would eventually lead to her house being encased in thorns on her eighteenth birthday, and Charlotte set out to become powerful enough to avoid the curse and save her family.
But while Charlotte searched as best she could for a way to save herself and family, eventually the curse activated and she found herself trapped, unable to do anything until Yami arrived. His words of encouragement, telling her it was okay if she relied on her comrades in the Magic Knights instead of doing everything on her own, caused her to fall in love with him, which was what it took to resolve the curse. It’s pretty shallow reasoning, but at least we’ve evolved the bit beyond it just being ice princess with schoolgirl crush. It’s the small victories, sometimes.
5. Next Episode: It’s finally time for the big point behind the Star Festival: announcing the rankings of the Magic Knight squads! Gee, I wonder who got the number one spot? This arc has been jogging in place for a while now, so it’s good we’re finally at least making an attempt to get back on the path of telling stories again.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.