5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 87: “Formation Of The Royal Knights”

by Sage Ashford

The results of the Royal Knight Exam are in! Which mages will be added to the assault of the Midnight Sun’s headquarters? 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. After a series of essentially glorified filler episodes to help fill out the episode count, we’ve finally gotten back on track.  As we’re getting interesting again we’ve brought back one of the show’s best characters, Mereoleona.  She storms into the Black Bulls’ castle to drag Luck, Noelle, and Asta back with her to the royal capital. Yes, much like Naruto’s Chuunin Exam, despite most of them failing before they could reach the final test, they’ve been recruited into the Royal Knights to help attack the Eye of the Midnight Sun.
She also shows Yami a bit of mutual respect for visiting her brother by bringing him some wine, though Yami points out that if someone as violent as her can enjoy it it’s probably too deadly for human consumption. It’s a sick burn, even if Yami’s immediate reaction to any slight from his subordinates is responded to with death threats. In any case, one thing I appreciate since Black Clover settled into its groove is establishing relations between as many characters as possible, so we’re never left wondering how any two different characters feel about one another. Tabata could’ve easily ignored how the Captains relate to one another until we were 100 episodes in and then hastily filled in a backstory, but instead characters and their relationships are defined shortly after introduction or when it logically makes sense.

2. We learned at the end of the Royal Knights tournament that Zora was a member of the Magic Knights…and finally this episode shows all the relevant Magic Knights that he’s actually a member of the Black Bulls, joining the Royal Knights as the fourth representative from the Black Bulls. This is probably the least surprising bit of information we’ve gotten in a while–who else would take a mage who despises all royals? It’s been Yami’s thing from the beginning to take the outcasts of the mage world and offer them a home, and to his credit it’s worked out rather well for him. The backstory for how he wound up joining is also exactly what you would’ve expected: Zora ran into some mages who were (presumably) being jerks, started beating on them. Yami showed up and picked a fight with him, kicked Zora’s butt easy, then offered him a Black Bull mage robe because he found the fight entertaining.

3. As the Royal Knights are introduced to one another, Mereoleona reveals they’ve had a few extra members join at the last second, including the Captain of the Silver Eagles, Nozelle Silva. This answers a question that’s been up in the air since the Royal Knight Exam began: why was a Magic Knight Captain taking part in the exam?  It felt like either an oversight or a purposeful addition–the Captains are supposed to be the most powerful members of the Magic Knight forces besides the Wizard King, so why would one of them be in the tournament? Was it because Rill was a younger Magic Knight who could relate to these young troops? Or was it to offer a challenge they theoretically couldn’t overcome, just to see how they would face a superior opponent?
….Nah, turns out he was just there because he thought that was the only way to join the Royal Knights. Rill asks Nozelle how he managed to join without taking the Exam, only for Nozelle to point out that of course captains could just join the Royal Knights, because why wouldn’t they? Ultimately, this was Tabata’s way of putting the Yuno/Asta fight off for a bit, but it’s good he was willing to cover up this minor plot hole.

4. Asta winds up being the only member of the Royal Knights who doesn’t get a robe capable of fitting him, thanks to the addition of more members than they thought would be joining, and the lack of special fabric for the Royal Knight robes, which offer additional magic protection. It’s a running gag, but at this point it does feel more than a little over the top. There’s a brief recap here where we’re reminded that Asta and the Black Bulls are responsible for taking down not one, but two of the Third Eye, the collection of Eye of the Midnight Sun mages who were said to have powers exceeding that of a Captain.
It’s the kind of showing that should demand respect, and actually have made Asta an automatic shoe-in for the Royal Knights regardless of any exam. Both he and Noelle have the most experience fighting and winning against Midnight Sun forces. It’s one of those things where the underdog theme is a bit unrealistic to keep up after a while, because the underdog’s accomplishments have become too big to ignore.

5. This is our first clear glimpse at ancient elven society.  As the heroes prep for an attack on the Midnight Sun’s HQ, Raia starts to have memories of their life in the path. It seems at one point one of their own was dating a noble human woman, and were even engaged to be wed and have a child before they were all brutally struck down.  This is our first clue that there’s something wrong with the way things are being remembered.  This attack seems to have occurred after the humans and elves had already made peace with one another, for no reason other than “jealousy”.   That doesn’t even make sense, so if we’re finally getting into taking down the Midnight Sun the bigger story will have to be revealed sooner rather than later.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.

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