Black Clover
Episode 153

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 153 of
Black Clover ?

While I would not go as far as calling this a throwaway episode, episode 153 is nonetheless firmly part of a stall between major arcs. The episode essentially comes down to two major scenes: the meeting wherein the Magic Knights Squad Captains have to decide who is going to the special training in the Heart Kingdom and the newest edition of the awards and promotion ceremony. The former scene in particular could have been done much faster – it was presented in the kind of methodical way which suggests that the director was deliberately trying to kill time – but hey, at least it gives each Captain a chance to speak up and voice recommendations on the training issue. Contrarily, the latter scene was kept shorter by limiting those getting specific awards to only four (unlike the equivalent scene back in episode 20, where ten or more were awarded) and then giving a blanket award to everyone else.

Most of the selections for training with the Heart Kingdom's Spirit Guardians were not surprising in either a practical or meta sense. Asta and Nero were obvious picks, since the Heart Queen also regarded them as vital to the mission, as were Noelle and Luck, for their powers match closely with the elementalists among the Spirit Guardians. Finral also makes sense, both for transport purposes and the way his magic can readily combo with others. Mimosa was not a big surprise, both in a meta sense (she's worked with the others several times and is part of what I call the Asta Network) and because she's the current embodiment of the merits of support magic among the Magic Knights' youth movement. Leopold makes a certain amount of sense as well; he has the elemental powers, he is regarded as a future leader of the Crimson Lions, and he's part of the Asta Network. That Charlotte decides to go herself is slightly surprising but still understandable, especially because her discovering how to re-harness the power she had when possessed would be a worthwhile experiment. The biggest surprise is that Rill, the spacey Aqua Deer captain, is also going, although it is amusing that Charmy in her adult form is what inspired him. The other surprise is that Yuno isn't going, but hey, at least that will keep his dull personality out of the picture for a while.

The second part was somewhat interesting for who did and did not get honors. Mimosa absolutely deserved it for her vital support role, as did Yuno for his critical role in the final defeat of the devil. Leopold arguably did as well, and he certainly does not give himself enough credit for the way he rallied the Crimson Lions in the absence of its leaders (and with the second-in-command turned). The least deserving was Sol, and she knows it, though she is not giving herself enough credit for how important her role of preserving the Wizard King's body was. Sekke is a more interesting case. He does deserve credit for staying with and technically protecting the king (even if that was accidental) and it's not his fault that the king thinks inordinately highly of him. He at least has the wit to realize he doesn't deserve that grand an honor. Asta being left out is understandable given his legal situation, though he arguably deserves it even more than Yuno; he was key to not only defeating the devil but also undoing the elf possession.

As for the follow-up, Magnus is probably the least deserving person to go, but in a meta sense he has had limited attention for quite a while now so him being added one is logical in that regard. Also, Langris popping up at the end has interesting potential consequences; his arrogance has been decidedly more muted in his most recent appearances, but Yuno equaling him in rank seems unlikely to go over well. But we'll get to find out more about that next episode.

So yeah, not much story movement here, but I guess this was a necessary step to take. The story is dragging at this point, though, so hopefully we will see things liven up again soon.

Rating:

Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and FUNimation.


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