Asta and the Black Bulls work to battle against Ice Mages to save an innocent village. But with Asta and Magna both exhausted, is there any hope? 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. This (actually decent) episode of Black Clover features a lot of sharp objects treated more like blunt instruments. Asta’s carrying a gigantic Zanbato sword and we’ve been shown he’s got more than enough strength to use it, yet it only ever does roughly the same damage a bat would. Ironically, that’s actually semi-realistic given how swords like that were typically used, but that doesn’t excuse the ice mage hitting Asta with several spiky ice attacks and not piercing skin even once. Everyone just coughs up blood and gets up like it’s not a problem. Ah well, I guess it’s better than Bleach where everyone’s basically just human-sized sacks of blood and nothing else.
In any case, Asta escapes Noelle’s water aura in order to help defend the city before Noelle’s magic runs out, putting up his best attempt to take down the leader of this group of mysterious mages, but largely to no avail. His initial attack sees him ruin his momentum by slipping on a patch of ice made at the last second, and from there the trauma he suffers from multiple attacks make it more and more difficult to put up a proper offense against his opponent.
2. This probably could have been portrayed a little better, but it’s a really cute moment nonetheless. Noelle’s usually a cold-hearted jerk due to her royal upbringing, but after successfully protecting Magna from another ice attack she can’t help being excited that she’s learned to properly control her magic. As much as we make fun of Black Clover for being tropey and derivative, it manages to execute those tropes really well–in what’s actually a fairly quick arc, each member of this team has had a compelling development arc, with Asta gaining more resolve towards achieving his goal, Magna learning what it means to risk his life as a Magic Knight, and Noelle learning to control her magic.
3. Though all hope seems lost at first, the exhausted Magna and Asta work together to defeat the Ice Mages by utilizing a trick from several episodes ago, when Asta reflected one of Magna’s fast-fireballs back at him. This time, Magna manages to scatter several that Asta bounces back at once, hitting the entire group and taking them out in a single shot. It’s something of an easy win, but it’s still (surprisingly) early days yet.
This episode is mostly flawless in its execution, and a lot of that comes from being the first episode to adapt more than a single chapter per episode. The pacing is much better, bringing this entire mini-arc to a close quickly so we can move on to the next story. The one flaw Episode 10 does have however, is this moment. In the manga, the kid here is actually talking to Asta instead of Magna, and it’s meant to show off Asta’s ability to inspire and change people for the better, a quality that’s absolutely necessary for someone with such lofty goals as helping to make over an entire kingdom. But here, thanks to the fake backstory they give Magna tying him to Saussy Village, they replace Asta with Magna for half the speech, sadly weakening the overall importance.
4. The annoying thing about anime that have definite end points is when they tease something that they can’t pay off. Like this moment here: nearly 140 chapters in I have no idea what it’s referencing. After the ice mages are defeated they all sacrifice themselves so they can’t be dragged back to the royal capital for questioning, leading Magna and Asta to wonder who could inspire such fierce devotion in such a large group of people. At that point they flash over to another hooded mage in a mysterious room and we get this bit, one that arguably could have been taken out since there’s zero chance of us getting anything from it…but nope. Here it is. Hope people like this series enough for a sequel!
5. Next Episode: Despite speeding things up long enough to get us through this arc, expect things to slow back down with episode 11. The chapter it’s named after is a one-shot before getting into the next major arc, so its actually even understandable they’d try to stretch this out in order to make sure they start the new arc at the beginning of the following episode. Still, don’t expect next episode to be completely worthless, as a rather…important individual makes their first appearance next week. See you then!
Black Clover is available for streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll.
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