5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 71: “The Uncrowned, Undefeated Lioness”

by Sage Ashford

Mereoleona, the new Captain of the Crimson Lions arrives. Is anyone safe from her wrath? 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. Ah, she’s finally here. Introducing a new crucial character this far in is no easy trick, but I think that both Tabata and the episode directors accomplished it well enough that you not only understand who Mereoleona is, but you could walk away from this with a new favorite character. She commands every scene that she’s in, immediately establishing herself as an important character who won’t be brushed aside. Not by Yuno’s cool bishounen “character”, not by Yami and Charlotte being of the same rank, and definitely not by Noelle’s tsundere attitude. She drags them all with her to a…hot springs training camp?

2. Y’know, you gotta give Black Clover this.  Most series would introduce the concept of a hot springs and get straight to an onsen scene.  To be sure, that’s definitely coming, but first? They’ve got to hike their way through a volcano range.  Mereoleona wasn’t kidding about the training, and we immediately see she’s a lot smarter than she looks–everyone who’s been dragged along into training alongside her and the Crimson Lions is there for a reason. Yami and Charlotte are there to display a new technique she wants all the lower level Magic Knights to learn: Mana Skin, an ability which allows mages to cover themselves in mana to enhance their physical capabilities. Yuno and Asta are there to motivate the younger Crimson Lions into keeping up with the “top two rookies”.  The Crimson Lions have fallen to a lower rank thanks to the absence of their captain, but Mereoleona seems to understand exactly what’s necessary to elevate them to the next level.

3. While there was an obvious reason for bringing along the other four idiots, it’s not clear at first how Noelle gets dragged into things until later. As it turns out, Mereoleona was friends with Noelle’s mother Acier, and was even present with her not long before Noelle was born. Seeing Noelle having grown into a strong enough mage that she’s starting to resemble her mother, Mereoleona decides to help continue Noelle’s growth.
Also, “There is nothing stronger than a determined woman” is just a really awesome line. Women in shonen often wind up in two roles: they’re either already awesome and surrounded by other men (Genkai, Olivier Armstrong) or they’re kinda trash and never climb too far beyond that (Sakura). Tabata’s said he sees Noelle more as a deuteragonist than as a supporting cast member, and again we see that here, with her getting her own mentor helping to guide her on her path to standing alongside her mother.

4. Unfortunately for Asta, surviving in a region releasing this much magic energy without magic is impossible, nevermind climbing it. And unlike the rest of the people she brought, Mereoleona actually doesn’t have any words of encouragement or special lessons to teach him.  She simply assumes this to be the limits of the abilities of someone born without magic, and even gives him the opportunity to go home. But then again, this might just be some 4D chess in play. Again and again he’s responded to two things: threats to the people he cares about, and being told he can’t do something.
So of course, being told he CAN’T, he resolves within himself that he has to. But how’s that play out for a man who has no mana, no matter how much determination he’s got?

5, Next Episode: Not even shonen these days can escape the dreaded onsen episode, but at least they’ll have learned a new technique before they get there. But what about that whole…Royal Knight exam thing? Ah, guess we’ll get to it in two weeks. In the meantime, how’s Asta getting up a volcano?
Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

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