5 Point Discussions – Black Clover 79: “Mister Delinquent Vs. Muscle Brains”

by Sage Ashford

Asta goes up against the man who welcomed him into the Black Bulls, Magna. Meanwhile, Mimosa tries to teach her brother the beauty of commoners. 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. Having followed this series back when it was only a manga, I’d been waiting for the Royal Magic Knights arc for quite some time, because Tabata really manages to bring it all together, and it’s moments like this that do it. Still trapped in the thick of the first second round match, we come to a showdown between Magna and Asta. Magna’s been sent to take out the crystal on the opposing team while Mimosa protects their own, and he runs into Asta, the only one available to play defense for his team. People can often overlook tournament arcs in shonen anime because they’ve been done so often and the outcome is always “obvious”, but often some of the best moments in character development and action tend to happen in those arcs.

In this instance, having Magna and Asta face off against each other works on so many levels. Magna was the person who welcomed Asta into the guild, the person responsible for his “initiation”, and the person who took Asta on his very first mission. The two have so much in common they could almost be brothers–they’re both loud and boisterous, they both come from non-royal backgrounds, and while Asta has no mana at all, Magna isn’t exactly overly gifted either. Instead, both of them have gotten to where they are through training and battle after battle where they were forced to put their lives on the line. This isn’t the rivalry Asta has with Yuno, which can occasionally turn cruel thanks to Yuno’s constant cold shoulder routine. This isn’t yet another royal who looks down on Asta or Magna for their upbringing. It isn’t even some weird familial blood feud like what exists between Noelle and her family, or Mimosa and her brother Kirsche to a lesser extent. These are just two friends and guildmates who want to show each other how much they’ve grown since they first met.

2. Up until this episode, Sol’s been a one-note character with the same running gag: she follows her captain Charlotte around, says “Yes, Sister!” to everything Charlotte says, only to be corrected about proper protocol…and just say “Yes, Sister!” anyway. This episode finally explains where she came from, as well as her obsession with the Captain of the Blue Rose Knights, Charlotte Roselei.

Much like Asta and Magna, Sol was a commoner living in the outskirts of the Clover Kingdom, which had begun to be targeted by thieves for potential slaves (!?!) and valuables. When the men of her village left on business, Sol vowed to protect the village…only to be laughed off by a bunch of younger boys who claimed she couldn’t protect anything because she was “just a girl”. So naturally the village gets attacked, and Sol is one of the only people who even attempts to push the thieves away…though with no grimoire, an attempt is all she can manage. She gets captured easily, and one of the boys who promised to protect the city (and her) confronts the thief…but runs off in terror at the last moment. Fortunately, before Sol is abandoned to her fate, Charlotte and the Blue Rose Knights appear and capture all of the thieves with ease.

There’s a lot to this, but probably most noteworthy is how Sol isn’t swallowed up by her weakness. There’s a moment where she loses hope because she’s abandoned by someone she wanted to help her, but after being saved she rebukes the idea of being scared, instead claiming she was just angry because she couldn’t do anything. She doesn’t even hold it against the guy who ran off, which works because it’s not like she expected anything from him in the first place. Charlotte challenges her to become stronger, then one day join the Blue Rose Knights. What I like about all this is that in contrast to…almost everyone else, Sol is actually living her dream: she’s the right-hand woman to Charlotte. Not every character has to chase something impossible like being the Wizard King or taking over as head of a household of a legendary family–Sol set a respectable goal and achieved it.

3. Much of this arc has been about showing the struggles that the aristocratic Magic Knights go through to gain validation from their own family. But lest anyone think Tabata has strayed too far from showing how the royals tend to be terrible people, this episode randomly features Kirsch trying to show his sister Mimosa how “ugly” all peasants are because of their poverty…by showing an orphan child stealing bread from a shop owner out of need. And if you didn’t need reason enough to know who was in the “wrong” here, they later show more of this flashback, where Mimosa witnesses the child losing the loaf and having nothing to bring to their (even younger) sister, only for a third child to help them both later. It’s meant to show how Mimosa is able to see the admirable spirit of the lower-class people (and perhaps explain some of her attraction to Asta), though admittedly it’s hard not to wonder why she couldn’t just…y’know, go buy them some food. I mean, c’mon. You live in a castle–how hard is it to find bread money?

4. While Zora does a bit of work in this fight, coming up with a way to trap Kirsch and keep him down when he tries to attack again, the majority of the work this time is again accomplished by Mimosa. She spends most of the match struggling against Sol, who’s hiding their team’s crystal inside a giant golem. Using her plant magic, she implants some seeds inside of Sol’s clay golem, leaving it frozen in place long enough for Asta to destroy the crystal and win the second round match. This entire time, Mimosa has been thinking tactically while also putting her surprisingly versatile magic skills to use, leading her team to victory after victory. Maybe she should be the Wizard King.

5. In the aftermath of their victory, Zora reveals himself to be more of a prickly anti-hero than the villain we thought he was. He verbally berates the entire other team, but only for the purposes of helping them improve. Whatever his backstory is, it’s obvious he’s a proper member of the Magic Knights rather than just being some guy who assaulted one and is pretending to be one for laughs.

Black Clover is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

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