The Black Bulls finally break into the strong magic region and find the underwater temple! What awaits them inside this strange new location? 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. The Black Bulls have slowly turned into one of my favorite families in anime. They manage to keep extraneous romances to a minimum, keeping the group from ever feeling weirdly incestual like other groups that claim familial relations (*coughs*Titans*coughcough*), and just stick to being a bunch of supportive weirdos. As the adoptive father of the group, Yami has never shown anything less than absolute trust in them–from telling Noelle she won’t fail to get them into the Underwater Temple to having confidence in Asta and his abilities to break through the magic barriers they reach one they get there.
Granted, it comes with the occasional threat and/or disregard for their lives, but their job as it is inherently dangerous so he’s just preparing them for life, right?
2. You’d expect natives of an underwater society that rarely ever interacts with the people top side to be incredibly xenophobic, but in a surprising twist they wind up being more friendly to the Black Bulls than actual citizens of the Clover Kingdom. They go right beyond nice into almost fanboyish, excitedly asking about the topside and even imitating Yami’s weird Yakuza accent. It’s nice to be reminded there are places in the Clover Kingdom which are actually worth saving, since most of the time we just meet jerky nobles and arrogant Magic Knights.
In fact, even this area in general which is supposed to be this super dangerous dungeon…isn’t bad at all. In the original dungeon arc they couldn’t even step foot inside the place without having to work to dodge traps and needing a map (or someone who could sniff out magic) just to avoid getting killed. Here things are so beautiful and peaceful Vanessa complains no one’s trying to kill them yet, which feels a little like asking for trouble, but maybe her missions really are too easy and she’s finally looking for something to shake things up.
3. On a frustratingly large number of other series, if a pervy old man decided the only way the heroes would get something they needed was to have a strip contest, a boob-grabbing contest, or something equally stupid…I wouldn’t have even had a chance to grumble about it before some character had stripped down.
Fortunately, Black Clover is (generally) above such things, and so instead when the high priest tries to get the Black Bulls to trade the magic stone for a chance to feel up Noelle and Vanessa, Noelle does her best Junk Dog impersonation and hits him with a beautiful right cross…and stomps on him for good measure. It’s always nice when stupid fanservice moments aren’t just denied, but denied with authority.
4. Of course, there was literally no way these guys were going to get something they worked so hard to reach without a fight, so the high priest of the temple reveals what they actually have to do: win a tournament! He summons his nine best mages and explains the Black Bulls will have to beat them in order to get a shot at taking the magic stone back with them. The rules are simple–it’s a nine on nine match, with each of the Black Bulls teleported to a different part of the underwater temple to face one of their mages. They’re given the freedom to run away if they want and choose to team up with other members, or beat them in one on one matches.
Being an action shonen, all this lines up with expectations, so that just leaves one problem–there’s actually ten mages present. Despite all the work the Black Bulls did trying to reach the temple first, it seems like a traitor has already infiltrated the ranks of high priests’ closest confidants.
5. Next Episode: Y’know, you’d think you would get tired of watching Asta easily stomp people who don’t take him seriously because they don’t detect any magic, but it never really happens. Something about watching a cocky schmuck be incapable of backing up their words is always entertaining.
Black Clover is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and Hulu.
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