Random observation: I’ve done my research and know where this whole series winds up going, by now. I can see no way in the world this is gonna wrap up in 19 episodes. Suffice it to say, there’s probably gonna be a sequel series. Hooray. Or something.
Nooot a lot to say about these two. Black Clover is weird like that. It can somehow manage to crank out entire arcs and produce barely anything worth talking about. Episode 31 picked up right where episode 30 left off. The kids have been taken and it’s on the present members of the Black Bulls to diffuse the situation. That includes Asta, Gauche, and yes, Noelle. However, Noelle once again gets shafted and is made to stay behind with Rebecca. In her place, the nun from the previous episode tags along to help. So that’ll be useful. And boy will it.
Turns out the kids were taken as a part of some sleazy operation to drain them of their magic. The kid who did it isn’t so much evil as he’s unstable and manipulable. That isn’t to say he isn’t dangerous. When Marie snaps out of it, he hits her in a panic. But the real guy behind it is just some scumbag who’s taking advantage of the kid’s power for the sake of making a quick buck.
So let’s talk about Gauche. A pity they wasted such cool magic on such a one-note, uninteresting character. The man’s only characteristic is that he has a sister complex. And yes, they go out of their way to explain why he has it, but here’s the thing. That still doesn’t remove the problem of him being a one-note character. Even Asta, as simple as he is, is a multi-faceted character once you start to break things down. Yes, the majority of his character can be traced back to a single source, but he has more than one defining characteristic. Gauche is just a punk who loves his baby sister a little too much and that’s… it. But hey. Cool mirror magic. So there’s that.
Of course, Asta and the Sister manage to eventually catch up after finding a child discarded by the scumbag in the snow. They heal him up and Asta has a genuinely nice moment where he gives the kid his robe. Conveniently it’s Rebecca’s little brother. The moment’s somewhat undercut by a lame gag, though it’s admittedly in-character for Asta, so I can’t be too upset about it. They eventually find the operation in time to save the kids and Asta goes off once he learns what’s going on. The guy has some sort of monacle that lets him view a person’s magical power. It’s basically a scouter. Asta, of course, has a power level of 0. So he laughs and figures he can take the boy on. Yeah. Jokes on him.
Then it’s on to episode 32, which is basically just a continuation of the action sequence. The snow kid is beaten by Gauche pretty easily. But while they’re distracted, the sleaze-ball has a tiny mud minion trigger a device to call his accomplice. And who should it be but Psycho Sally? She shows up and her power seems to be giving them some trouble. Also, apparently she’s a vampire. That or she’s just completely insane. And, frankly, I’ll actually lean towards the latter. Either way, the action scene’s… meh. Gauche and Asta not being able to hit her makes sense, at least. I wish it’d been at least a little more visually impressive, but whatever.
The reveal that the Sister was once a Magic Knight was something I already knew, based on my aforementioned research. So I wasn’t surprised they let her play a larger role in this fight, helping disable Sally and whatnot. And the next bit was… odd, really. If only because I still don’t really get how it’s supposed to work. But the sleaze-ball trying to dupe Sally into paying him money and freeing him so he can “help” goes about as well as one might expect. Her method of setting him free wound up mutating him… somehow. Not really sure how that works, but whatever. Episode 33’s gonna feature a fight with a big, mud golem guy. Neat.
Overall, these episodes are Harmless. Nothing about them really stands out. The bit with Sekke in the Black Bulls HQ after being sent by Noelle isn’t really as funny as the show seems to think it is, based on how long that scene went on for. Gauche continues to be the most underwhelming Black Bull, frankly. Charmy’s similarly one-note, but at least she’s occasionally actually funny. Luck’s at least moderately engaging. Gauche is just… meh. The action was fine. Not stellar, but fine. There were actually a few really nice shots of animation, though none of them were actually connected to action scenes. They were more or less all on Asta being pissed. When Asta’s genuinely serious, for whatever reason, the show just takes a bump in quality. Unfortunately, these moments seldom last long. As I’ve said, this series has basically stabilized. There’ll be a fun episode now and then. But I wouldn’t expect it to get much better or worse. For something that very suddenly got much better, I’d say to check out Cutie Honey Universe. Episode 6 is great. Even if the rest of the show doesn’t maintain that quality.
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.