So. I haven’t covered this in a while. Honestly, I’d been debating whether I should keep this one going or not. Guess I will be. But I’ll spare you the 4-episode catch-up, and break this down into two parts. You’re welcome.
So. Charmy’s basically horrifying. I mean, I saw that bit coming (both through research and this show’s general application of “beware the silly ones”), but still. Wasn’t entirely sure how they planned to illustrate it with her. I’m a little confused as to how her whole “mascot form” thing works. It doesn’t appear to be a part of her magic (cotton creation). She just seems to physically grow to normal proportions whenever she gets serious. So she’s actually physically like that, somehow. It’s not a case of comedic artistic simplicity, like with One-Punch Man, or whatever. Also: They did it AGAIN!
Anyway, my other concern was basically addressed. That witch lady didn’t actually kill anyone (Though it’s likely the prolonged effect would’ve resulted in their death, regardless). After she’s defeated by Charmy, all of the mana returns to the rightful owners. Though I now have to question how that even works. If it just returns to the proper people once she’s unconscious, would it have gone away when she went to sleep? Would she have had to do all this again? I’m not saying I’m not glad this was undone. But… how?
Anyway, Yuno catches up to figure out who defeated that witch. After discovering it was Charmy, he passes out due to the toll his own battle took on him. Oh. Charmy develops a crush on him. So there’s that. Actually, she’s so stunned by him that it shocks her out of her chibi form again. Except this time they do treat it as comedically simplistic art as there’s no real transition between the two forms, like last time. So yeah. It’s weird. But, hey, whatever.
Anyway, turns out I was right. If the bad guys had their way, Fuegoleon would be dead. The spatial magic user among them teleports him back and he’s mortally wounded. Dude’s even missing a whole arm. Not sure about the ‘why’ of it, once you realize what they were after in a later episode. But the point is, this demi-mentor guy is now in critical condition.
One thing it’s nice to see throughout this episode’s “action” is the extent to which Asta’s developing. It’s fairly clear the boy isn’t a total moron. He just doesn’t tend to think about things much, having gotten by, all his life, purely on typical Shounen hot blood and determination. But after what he picked up from Fuegoleon, he’s showing that he does have the ability to be pretty smart. This is shown all throughout his continued fight with Rades and Rade’s allies. He uses his swords to prevent the spatial magic user from escaping and later he actually strikes himself with his own swords to get rid of the curse Rades puts on him. It’s all pretty clever.
Some other enemies show up, placing a not-insignificant amount of emphasis on this twisted girl who wants to dissect everyone. For a while, things are going pretty well for the good guys, despite being outnumbered. Leopold steps in to help, pissed that they maimed his brother, Noelle protects them with her defensive magic, they’re pushing the bad guys back, everything’s fine. But then things shift around when Noelle’s defensive spell is absorbed and these guys start using their actual grimoires to fight. At which point Asta and Leopold are pretty quickly dealt with.
They’re rescued only by the intervention of the other Magic Knights. How did they get back? Pretty simple, really. They worked together. And that’s about as much explanation as we get. They compounded their magic into some sort of flying… thing, and returned just in time. Asta and company bought so much time that it allowed the veteran knights to return.
With that, the bad guys decide to head for the hills, but not without taking Asta along. The one girl really wants to cut him open and see how he works. She actually has pretty interesting “Gel” magic and even uses some sort of dark magic item (basically a big syringe) to power it up so it can protect them from Noelle’s big brother’s attack. They announce themselves as the “Eye of the Midnight Sun,” which I’m sure sounds more poetic than it actually is. Then they’re out.
Immediately following this, Noelle insists that they try to track them down to get Asta back. Because, duh. But Klaus tells her it’s not something they can do. Her brother then proceeds to keep with tradition and is a complete a total arse about it, stating that they don’t have time to spare the magic on “someone like him.” Dude. F–k you. And no, I don’t care about him scolding his little brother for also being a brat because he insulted Fuegoleon. Nobility is not a trait that discriminates. Yes, Asta can be annoying at times, but if the entirety of your reason for not sparing resources on him is “he’s a peasant,” you don’t deserve your title. Klaus’s reasons I can get. Nozel’s are just pomposity. Honestly, that would’ve been an excellent time for Noelle to speak up and say anything. Even if it she did concede to needing to prioritize something else first, at least she could denounce that ridiculous claim.
So. Next up we focus back on the bad guys for a bit. The crazy one’s name is Sally, by the way. The guy seemingly in charge of this little group berates Rades for stepping out of line. Meanwhile, the spatial magic guy suggests that Sally kill Asta instead of bringing him. They spend a bit debating this when they encounter someone… honestly rather unexpected – the Wizard King. So here’s where I’ve gotta eat a little crow. I fully expected him to be the big bad of this situation. Everything lined up pretty conveniently. He wasn’t around, there was apparently a spy in the ranks of the Magic Knights, the villains knew about Asta’s anti-magic, it just made a lot of sense. But it turns out I was wrong. Or, if I wasn’t, then these writers are going to have to pull a golden rabbit out of their hat.
There is one other candidate to have been the spy. But I’ll be saving that theory, for now. It turns out the actual big bad was someone entirely different, showing up at the end of the episode. The Wizard King evidently uses time magic and made pretty quick work of the bad guys. He even seems to instantly vaporize the two nameless ones. Asta, having woken up, witnesses all of this and is in awe. But right when Julius (the Wizard King) asks a question about a stone slab the bad guys have in their evil lair, their boss shows up in a blinding light.
In short, these two episodes are fine. Nothing overwhelmingly great for wrapping up the Winter season. But they’re far from awful. In fact, there wasn’t even anything about them I found especially annoying. They’re perfectly serviceable. The one notable gripe I have is the animation. If this is how you’re planning to wrap up your arc, visually, then I’m just extremely unimpressed. We’ve already seen that this show can produce some really nice visuals. So the animation being this lackluster for most of the action is disappointing. But the episodes did feature some decent character growth and interesting magic. So overall, I’d say it’s about worthy of just barely being called Junk Food. For an objectively better show, just check out My Hero Academia 3.
If you want to see how they resolve the climax for yourself, Black Clover streams 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.