5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 54: “Never Again”

by Sage Ashford

Asta finally goes to get his arms healed in the hopes of returning to active duty. Also, the Black Bulls reach an important milestone together! 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. “Never Again” is an episode title so absurdly ominous the only way you didn’t know they were talking about Asta’s arms is if this were your first episode of Black Clover. And if you didn’t know the episode title. And missed the intro of the episode showing the main character with a pair of broken arms.
Yami takes Asta to the best doctor in the Clover Kingdom, Owen, a guy who works directly under the Wizard King. No, that’s exactly how he’s described–a doctor who works directly under the Wizard King. You’d think he’d have a title, but Julius is probably too busy documenting the magic spells of a kid who can turn bubbles into butterflies or something.
Anyhow, Asta’s left with Owen to get healed up…but unfortunately that’s impossible. During the battle with Vetto’s, Asta’s arms were cursed, making it impossible to use magic to heal them. Worse, his strength shattered the bones, making them impossible to use at all. Besides Asta, the only person who actually hears this prognosis is Finral, newly returned from transporting the prisoners from Kiten, leaving him with a very heavy burden of responsibility on whether to tell the others.

2. Still excelling in “the most childish way to denote superiority for a military faction”, the gold star system makes a return this episode. After several arcs and fifty three episodes, the group’s successes against the Midnight Sun and Diamond Kingdom have finally helped them to climb out of the negatives! If you’ll remember, when this system was first introduced our heroes were something like thirty gold stars in the negative, thanks to their absolute garbage performance before Asta arrived. I’m going to keep making note of this, because it’s building towards a pretty great moment we’ll see a few months from now.
Anyway, for their efforts, Papa Yami has decided to throw the group a barbecue! Yes, it’s another episode where the group gets to enjoy a chance to kick back and relax…well, mostly. Asta decides to turn in early, leaving the group puzzled for awhile, until Finral comes clean about what he learned at the doctor.

3. As cliche as this moment was, I dug it. After learning Asta’s arms are wrecked, the rest of the Black Bulls go looking for him, finding he’d sneaked off to a hill atop their base. You’re expecting him to breakdown and give in to despair, but he lets out this primal scream at the skies and starts yelling about how he refuses to give in. It almost feels like Asta’s annoying, shrill yells from episode one were completely worth it for this moment of him telling fate to go screw.
Asta’s already been handed the world’s shittiest hand possible–he was born with zero control over magic. He had one moment–one–when he gave up: the night he thought he wouldn’t get a Grimoire, and would never be able to compete with Yuno to become Wizard King. But having pulled  out of that situation, he’s vowed to never give in again.
The kid’s spirit is unbreakable, and this scene goes a long way towards showing why so many of the Black Bulls and others who’ve witnessed him believe he’s got a shot at this impossible dream.

4. Inspired by Asta’s incredible willpower, the rest of the Black Bulls all decide to set off in their own way to find a way to cure Asta’s arms. Charmy and Grey head to a mysterious rainforest to find a food that can heal him, Gauche and Gordon go to a library o see if they can break the curse, and Magna and Luck somehow wind up on Black Clover’s version of the Dark Continent to investigate a dungeon to see if they can find a spell to help.
Finally, Noelle and Finral teleport to some weird place in the middle of nowhere in the quest. But…strangely, while the rest of them asked Finral to help them reach their destinations… Vanessa decided to set off on her own. Hm, I wonder if that’s why she takes up so much of the OP.
Anyway, the determination the entire group has to help Asta is heartwarming. Fairy Tail might be back, but if they aren’t careful they’ll lose the crown of best Magic Family. People complain about Black Clover for its lack of originality, but it truly excels at taking a cast of likable characters and endearing you to them by showing how much they care about one another, and how it continuously makes them better both in strength as soldiers and as actual people.

5. Next Episode: With everyone turning to different destinations in hopes of finding a solution to heal Asta, where does Noelle turn?  Is there really any hope, or are Asta’s arms finished and he has to learn how to fight with his feet now?
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation.

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