If I were to describe this episode of Black Clover in a short phrase, it’d be, ‘so much pressure!’ The fighting was brought to the next level, there was a new set of people who didn’t want to break Asta’s trust in them, and most of all, one small mistake could spell the end! Definitely a lot of pressure right there. Good thing this stress allowed us to know a bit more about two Black Bulls members!
Japanese Title: 絶望VS希望
Following their strategy that seemed to be based on a hit-and-run, Vanessa and Finral were doing everything in their power to make sure Vetto’s attacks never land on Asta. However, even if they got to set up a fast-paced battle, Vetto easily figured out their tempo to do a counterattack! The stress levels rose with this shocking development, of course. So, to keep themselves motivated, Vanessa and Finral each took a trip down memory lane, to before they became Magic Knights.
Battle of speed: I had an inkling that this current Black Bulls trio was going to have a hard time keeping up with their strategy, but I wasn’t expecting it to be because Vetto managed to figure out their pattern and pace! Though, thinking about it, a beast like that wouldn’t just sit back and let himself get annoyed until they tired themselves out, huh? Now the part I really never expected was that, instead of thinking of an improved strategy, the trio just amped up the speed some more! Watching them go so fast was insane! I don’t even know how their brains, eyes, and limbs could process what was happening. It’d definitely be impossible for me if I was in their shoes, more so with the looming dread that going that fast meant more room for errors, resulting in death. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers! But, I guess that only goes to show how awesome Asta, Vanessa, and Finral are, with their level of concentration, coordination, and amount of mana/energy! Plus, they dealt a few injuries to Vetto, so that’s even more awesome.
Vanessa’s backstory: I thought Vanessa wears a witch’s hat for fashion; turns out she’s an actual witch! I wonder what the difference between the witches and the mages is. Why do they have their own forest? More importantly, why was Vanessa locked up in a cage? And who was the one who broke her out of her prison? Guess this flashback just made us ask a lot of questions instead. What’s clear, though, is that she’s totally different now than who she used to be, in a lot of ways! She was quite timid before, never even hoping to get out of her cage. But now, look at what a carefree drunkard she’s become! You can’t deny that she’s finally enjoying life, especially with the Black Bulls.
Finral’s backstory: Finral changed so much, as well, from being a timid boy to a huge flirt! However, one thing remained the same. Who knew that the reason he’s such a scaredy-cat stemmed from being a pacifist! While his family saw this as a weakness, I think he actually has a kind heart! It’s just sad that it resulted to him believing he’s weak, making him run away from battles even more. Also, since I love trying to read between the lines, I think his flirtatious attitude became a way for him to get the acceptance that his family never gave him. I mean, they just took away his birthright; they might as well have rejected him! It’s a good thing Yami took him in, and even gave him a new perspective on his fighting style. Heck, they could fight against Vetto right now partly because of how he uses his spatial magic! He may not be an offensive mage, but he’s definitely great at supporting the ones who are!
More reinforcements: I got super excited when Gauche, Charmy, and Grey entered the scene! Aside from the fact that the others now know what Grey really looks like, we can also now say that all the Black Bulls members (except Gordon) contributed in defeating Vetto! As they say, there’s power in numbers. What more when everyone’s got their own tricks up their sleeves! All their combined efforts successfully distracted Vetto enough for Asta to stab the guy right through the stomach!
Themes & Trivia
Red thread of fate: Vanessa’s talk about the threads of fate is most likely a reference to the popular belief that there’s a red string tying people who are destined to meet. In Chinese folklore, this thread is tied to the ankle, while in Japan and Korea, it’s on the pinky finger. To think that the girl who used to believe she’s fated to stay inside the cage has power over threads, symbolizing that she had the power to determine her fate all along!
Daruma-san ga koronda: As you might’ve figured from how Gordon and Asta were playing, this is what the Red Light, Green Light/Grandmother’s Footsteps game is called in Japan. Daruma-san ga koronda literally means ‘The daruma doll fell over.’ (だるまさんがころんだ)
Either I’m overreaching or it wasn’t made as clear, but I actually liked how the concepts of hope and despair were present in this whole episode, from the battle with Vetto to the backstories of Vanessa and Finral, and even when Gauche wanted to help them out! The theme was seasoned real nicely all throughout. The aspect that wasn’t as naturally conveyed, however, was this new batch of ‘We can’t break Asta’s trust!’ I’m all for it, sure! I absolutely love the sentiment. I just feel like it could’ve been handled better. Finral suddenly yelling for Asta to trust in him even when the boy’s already gone through a hundred of his portals is odd, don’t you think? Funny, but odd.
On another note, I also like that the surpassing limits theme is even more highlighted in this episode! I was just laughing at certain drawings that looked like they also surpassed their limits, so they broke anatomy altogether. I’m sure you’ve seen them even if you didn’t look too hard.
Great teamwork, guys!
We were left at yet another cliffhanger, but judging by the preview, it seems the battle’s STILL not over! Worse is that everybody looked shocked, but by what? Also, there was a part where Asta got a weird tattoo on his face… That’s certainly interesting.
Feel free to explode your comments and thoughts in the comments section! And maybe even check out our other Summer 2018 reviews, too!
NEXT: Beyond Limits (限界の先)
Fall 2017–Winter 2018–Spring 2018 – Summer 2018 | Anime Info Page