5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 81: “The Life Of A Certain Man”
by Sage Ashford
With one of the Black Bulls’ teammates in a precarious position, Asta challenges the man who injured them in the semi-final match of the Royal Magic Knight Exam. 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. From the moment they mentioned there would be some actual medics on scene, we probably should’ve known they’d actually be required–it’s the law of Chekhov’s health care. Coming out of last episode, Finral is seriously damaged in his fight against Langris, and it’s only the timely appearance of Dr. Owen (the special doctor who saw Asta about his arms) that stops him from dying. It’s this episode that makes me realize maybe Vanessa should cultivate a better relationship with her mother–she fixed Asta’s arms in seconds, and likely could’ve healed Finral in about the same amount of time. If nothing else, Dr. Owen could stand to study under her a bit so maybe people aren’t hovering on the verge of death when they put their lives on the line for good reasons.
2. Well, at least they didn’t forget Sekke. After the Black Bulls showdown with Langris last episode, Langris and Asta decide to square off with one another. Of course, Julius realizes this fight has no point if it isn’t for the tournament, leading to him summoning their teammates to the scene to prepare for the next match. Sekke got teleported to Yami’s toilet last episode, and since they left him he’s apparently gotten beaten unmercifully for interrupting Yami’s “golden time”. Man, for a guy who started out as a giant jerk for his role in bullying Asta at the start of the series, I think we’ve long reached the point where I feel more pity for him than self-righteous satisfaction when he takes another
3. This is a busy episode, with the Wizard King introducing the idea that someone might be unknowingly spying on them for the Eye of the Midnight Sun. One of the reasons the tournament even exists is in the hopes of drawing whoever it could be, as Julius has his suspicions that whoever it is will have unusual chakra which will react differently in the presence of strong, overwhelming power like what’s displayed here. For what it’s worth, Langris did seem to be exuding the same kind of mana that Vetto and Fana did when they snapped and allowed those alien powers to take them over, so Julius might be on to something. And much like me, his assistant is surprised he can even pull himself away from zipping around doing whatever he wants to even notice something like this.
That said, there has to be a better way of figuring out who’s the traitor than just “challenge everyone to potential life or death battles, let’s see what happens”.
4. Y’know, we talk about how Asta is overpowered because in a world of mages he’s got an anti-magic sword, but this episode exposed how often he just seems overpowered because every opponent on this show’s an imbecile. In Asta’s showdown with Langris, we quickly see his limitations, as he’s forced to try and deflect a large number of long-range energy attacks with only his sword and quick reflexes. Mid-battle, he regains the ability to go into his power-up form, but he doesn’t even have the time to initiate it. A smarter strategist could’ve easily taken advantage of both of these facts, but no–Langris decides he can take the entire team down on his own, while Asta–even though he’s infuriated–relies on his entire squad implicitly.
5. Another surprise bit for this episode is learning Zora’s origins. In the middle of their battle, Zora flashes back to his time as a child with his father Zara. His father was the very first peasant who managed to make his way into the Magic Knights. Unlike Asta, Yuno, or the many others who’ve done the same since–Zara took years to achieve his goal. He failed time and time again before finally managing to pass their Magic Knight trails, where he joined the Purple Orcas. He even got to serve alongside the Wizard King back when he was merely Julius Chrono, spending most of his time helping civilians while his more powerful teammates fought their enemies.
….At least, until he was killed by some of his teammates who were insulted a commoner would even join their ranks. Zora learned of this by chance, witnessing some other Purple Orca mocking his father while at his gravestone, which seems like it should be a new low point…except some of Zora’s other flashbacks show Magic Knights doing everything from harassing civilians to trying to kidnapping them. It’s been a consistent theme with Tabata that Clover Kingdom’s authorities spend more time abusing their powers than protecting the populace, and Zora seems like the person to get justice for all his fellow commoner citizens.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.