5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 73: “The Royal Knights’ Selection Test”
by Sage Ashford
Deciding who will become members of the Royal Magic Knights begins now! 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. Given Tabata’s penchant for making royalty and the Magic Knights be mocked and/or humiliated for their elitism, it’s shocking it’s taken this long for us to introduce a character like this. Rather than begin with any of our usual cast, this episode starts with a showdown between a creepy, bandaged mage and Lex Luger Xerx Lugner, Vice Captain of the Purple Orcas. We don’t see what starts the argument, but we do see the masked figure rile Xerx up enough to make him attack him, which reveals the nameless mage’s own abilities. Gifted with trap magic, he can redirect the force of an attack sent at him with double the force, which leaves Xerx unconscious. Guess he should’ve avoided the magic and stuck to the Torture Racks.
From the looks of things, we finally have someone with both the power and the resolve to take down Magic Knights instead of putting up with their bullying. We don’t know what Xerx and his sycophant was up to before the masked mage shows up, but given there was an old woman hiding behind the mage, there’s a good chance it was nothing good.
2. It was a given when they announced the Royal Knights exam we’d be looking at a tournament, but who would’ve guessed the rules would basically be Capture the Flag? Designed to test the Knight’s ability to function in teams they aren’t normally used to, the applicants have split up into groups of three and are meant to guard a magic crystal of their own while trying to destroy the opposing team’s. What’s a shonen series without a tournament? Still, at least with team-based ones there’s an additional element of strategy–and an element of unpredictability, since none of the teams we see are particularly used to working together. Speaking of…
3. With most shonen series, the argument is always about the early parts of the show being the series’ best, with fans finding the universe less interesting as the show drags on. While that’s not an assertion I agree with, I do think that Black Clover has actually worked for the inverse. The series began very stripped down, focusing on Asta and his dream to be the next Wizard King, which sounded identical to a certain shinobi’s dream almost twenty years ago. Even the Magic Knights bore more than a slight resemblance to Magnolia’s freelance magical guilds.
But over time, series creator Yuki Tabata has built on to this universe and made it distinctly into it’s own thing thanks primarily to the development of these characters. They aren’t the deepest characters, but it’s hard not to get excited about the first time Yuno and Noelle meet–they have such immense importance in Asta’s life, yet they’ve hardly ever spent any time together until now. Pairing these guys off into teams we’re unfamiliar with presents viewers with an opportunity to see how these characters react around new personalities–Noelle and Yuno are basically the same person. Will sparks fly, or will they find a way to get along and turn into a dangerous combination? What about Luck and Klaus–two total opposites in personalities, but they both care about protecting their friends?
4. Noelle’s story has largely been about coming out of her shell and learning to embrace her powers and accept the friendship, love, and respect of her fellow guildmates. Last week though, Mereoleona gave her a new goal: surpassing her mother, one of the strongest Magic Knights ever. If that’s really the path she’s on, then to do so she’ll also have to surpass her family members in the Silver Eagles. Fortunately, the tournament throws her right at her older brother Solid Silva, who’s still trashing her abilities even in this episode. The eventual victory she gets over Solid is going to be gratifying. Because at this point, it can’t even be that Solid doesn’t believe in her power; he’s just so used to trashing her he doesn’t know how to give her the respect she earned after she saved an entire village and stopped a terrorist threat.
5. Next Episode: Asta’s somehow paired with the mysterious mage now pretending to be Xerx Lugner–that’s an explosive combination, so hopefully they can make something of it? Though presumably someone with trap based magic will need to actually…lay some traps? Between that and Mimosa as a healer, Asta’s stuck in the Tank role again, but at least he’s got a balanced party for the newest raid.
Also, what’s going on with Charmy? How is it she literally can get away with sitting in the lap of the Wizard King? Is she that disarming?
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.