Black Clover – Season 5

Black Clover – Season 5

Black CloverAfter being taken to get his injuries looked at by the Clover Kingdom’s best physician, Asta receives some bad news: he has been cursed, and so the severe damage inflicted on his arms at his last battle with The Third Eye cannot be healed at all. Finral overhears and breaks the news to the Black Bulls after they notice something ‘off’ about Asta’s smile. But our constantly-loud protagonist refuses to let this get him down. He’ll find a way to remove the curse, keep up his rivalry with Yuno and become the next Wizard King yet (as he’s already mastered the ability to eat with his feet). The Bulls pull out all the stops to find a solution for him as none of them can stand the thought of someone so lively as Asta having such a significant piece of him taken away.

This season, we’re taken a short way into the path as we’re given an insight into what Asta was doing between receiving his grimoire and joining the Black Bulls. In order to train with his anti-magic sword, he meets a man named Fanzell in the woods, who is looking for his missing fiancee. As Asta trains with this odd-seeming man, he realises that assassins are after Fanzell and he has been spending most of his life avoiding them.

Vanessa, Noelle and FinralBack to the present day, with Asta living in the Black Bulls’ headquarters, Fanzell makes another appearance having noticed that Noelle’s staff had been created by his still-missing fiancee Domina. Unfortunately, those pesky assassins are still after him and bring more trouble to the Black Bulls’ door. When questions upon how they might find a solution for Asta’s cursed arms, Fanzell suggests going to see the Queen of Witches for a solution… but get there only to discover Vanessa has beaten them to it – the Land of the Witches having been her previous home.

Queen of the WitchesMeanwhile, the forces of the Diamond Kingdom and the Eye of the Midnight Sun are closing in on the Witches’ Forest and the pressure’s on to convince the Queen that it’s worth her time to heal Asta. Thankfully, her interest is piqued in Asta’s anti-magic and she has the magic to repair his arms. Which is good, as there’s more pressing matters to attend to on the Witches’ doorstep.

Fana the HatefulThis time it’s Fana the Hateful that’s baying for blood, particularly after what she saw the Black Bulls do to her comrade Vetto. She attacks the group with fire magic as well as being aided by her salamander fire spirit. But Asta and company soon discover that Fana is ableto use other magical attributes, also. We also see the origins of the mysterious Fanzell, who left the Diamond Kingdom because he ultimately disagreed with the methods they were using in battle. He faces off against two of his finest students – Ladros and Mars, who are keen to prove themselves to their old master, and to each other.

Asta attacks Fana's salamanderBlack Clover does well at keeping things entertaining on an episodical basis, combining the short-term battles with the long-term character development and relationships. I’m enjoying how Asta’s anti-magic is developing and how it is proving to be crucial to the victories of the Clover Kingdom and the recognition the Black Bulls are finally receiving. Strangely, I also quite enjoy how Asta and Yuno’s rivalry is slowly developing. They’re not seeing much on one another, but every time they do you know they’re checking out how much stronger one another is getting. With intense shounen rivalries such as Naruto and Sasuke, it’s refreshing to see an anime that doesn’t have to remind it’s viewers every episode that the characters are constantly competing. With such a big cast, I think that would be a mistake. It’s great to see personalities slowly showing themselves on-screen.

Fana and Mars embracingThis arc wraps up another story nicely and I’m looking forward to Black Clover continuing. The weakest part, I think, is Petit Clover, the skit that occurs after every episode. They fit quite well when the episodes take on a lighter tone, but after some heavy-hitting battles and injuries, it only seems to cheapen the whole story, or remove some of the mystique and danger from the stronger or darker characters. The Black Bulls is full of lovable idiots with strong powers – we don’t need antagonists and the more serious characters having their characters affected.