Black Clover – Episode 21 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
…Eh. There are worse ways to kill some time.
There’s remarkably little to say about this episode. The majority of it was just nobles yelling at Asta and each other. Nothing especially riveting, either. I sort of predicted that this would be the episode where Noelle finally admitted to herself what was going through her head. But I suppose that’d giving them too much credit. In truth, Noelle barely does or says anything in this episode. So once again any and all hopes of actual character development on that front have been staggered.
And look. I’m not advocating that she just spit it out. I don’t mind her not being able to spit it out. At least in her case, there’s actual legitimate reason for her to not want to spit it out, even when she does put it together. But we’re fast approaching the halfway point and that thread has barely seen any movement at all. The last episode would’ve been a perfect catalyst to nudge things at least a little further. Instead, we’re treated to more of her annoyingly haughty siblings trying to shut Asta up through a relatively uninspired “action scene.”
Speaking of the nobles, I’m… very unimpressed with them. Much like the Black Bulls, they seem to basically all be sentient running gags. One of Mimosa’s cousins (the only two non-arse nobles in the entire room) takes a liking to Asta and declares them rivals. But it really isn’t as funny as they think it is. And the overly hammy delivery didn’t help. I’m sure the actor was told to portray the bit that way. But it was just kind of obnoxious. Though not as obnoxious as…
The one joke they just had to run into the ground. One of the knights in the room keeps calling her captain “Nee-san.” And she’s immediately told by said captain to stop, but completely ignores it. That’s it. That’s the entirety of the joke. The incredibly one-dimensional and unfunny joke that, had they only used once, twice, maybe three times (rule of threes, after all) I’d have been fine with. But no. They beat that dead horse into a fine powder. Every time that girl opened her mouth, this joke played out. Every. Single. Time. I didn’t count but there’s at least 6 instances and they’re not spaced out, either.
The thing that saves the episode is the introduction to the new arc, involving a creepy dude with zombie magic. He was kicked out of the kingdom or something, and he’s back for revenge, attacking the capital and blah blah blah. His motivation isn’t really that interesting, but he’s at least more entertaining than the last guy on account of his actually having a personality. Albeit an unstable one. The event gives us a chance to see some cool magic on display, even before our “heroes” leave to deal with the threat. And, as I’ve been saying, that is this show’s primary strength. If they focus in on all the cool varieties of magic they can use, then they’ve got something workable on their hands.
Overall the episode is fine. The stuff with the nobles had some eye-roll moments, but a chuckle, here or there. The actual magic stuff was cool. And when the attack began, things picked up. Also, that last shot of Asta cutting through the flames of the burning city was genuinely pretty cool to look at. Credit where it’s due.
But it wasn’t really entertaining enough to call the episode anything but Harmless. The only reason I don’t say to just Pass it is that it establishes a few new character dynamics between Asta and some of the nobles, provided you care about that. I don’t, personally, but I can see the value in its inclusion. I’m also fairly certain I know who the puppetmaster is already. But I’ll wait to see if my prediction actually comes true, this time. If you’re looking for a show with far more interesting magical books, I’d recommend checking out our reviews of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card. It’s been a bit slow lately, but setting up for something pretty big, I can tell.
Or, if you’d like to stick this one out with me, then Black Clover is Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 6:25am EST. That’s all I’ve got for ya here. As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the awesome.