by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 155 of
Black Clover ?
A mere 25 episodes after it was first proposed, the training that the Clover Kingdom Magic Knights will have with the Spirit Guardians of Heart Kingdom finally commences. Granted, one of the series' best arcs played out during that time and other segments contributed significantly on character growth, but still, the series has strung this along for half a year (more, with COVID downtime figured in) just to set up a training arc. Think about that.
At least the series does not waste much further time, as after letting pass the shock of seeing Charmy lying on Loropechika's lap getting fed by her (how did Charmy even get there?), the episode gets right down to the business of assigning Magic Knights to Spirit Guardians and beginning the training. Since this involves introducing several new characters and pairing one or two Magic Knights up with each, I made the following chart to reflect the initial assignments. (Note: SG stands for “Spirit Guardian.”)
(Edit: An inaccuracy has been pointed out in the chart. Gaja is a SG of Lightning, not Water.)
Conspicuously, Asta is not on that chart, because who exactly he will be working with is uncertain. Unlike the others, training in accessing natural mana will not benefit him, and Gaja's test battle with Asta shows that Asta needs a different kind of training. Gaja exposes Asta's over-reliance on how naturally tough he is, and tough will not always be enough. Asta needs to learn to be more evasive on his own, to take hits only when he needs to rather than as standard practice, and to be able to support his teammates instead of just acting with their support. (In American football, he would be the running back. He must understand when to power through, when to block for teammates, when to allow teammates to clear a path for him, and when to dodge and weave.) Who will he end up working with, then? Someone we have not seen yet?
Of the pairings, Noelle and Nero working with the Queen and Undine to directly go after the female wizard who hosts Megicula is the most interesting. (As is Megicula's host being a woman. So the guy seen standing over the defeated Diamond Kingdom forces many episodes back was not Megicula's host?) Nero makes total sense there, as would Noelle if the business with her mother was known – but it's not, so why her? Not that I am complaining; Noelle getting to do more is always a good thing in my book. And since she does have water magic affinity, she probably pairs up best with the Queen and Undine anyway.
Other pairings vary. Potrof is going to have his hands full with keeping Rill and Charmy on task, even if they are both enormously talented. Leopold is a natural fit with Floga, and the way Smurik is training Finral – by pushing him to be more offensive with his powers instead of always supporting – is probably what Finral needs; if his brother can use spatial magic offensively, he should be able to as well. Luck also seems to have the right person to manage him in Gaja. The problem pairing is Sarado with Mimosa and Charlotte, as the former, though nice of disposition, is clearly not cut out to be a teacher. (I am actually glad to see this, since all of the Spirit Guardians turning out to be excellent teachers would have been credibility-straining.) But what will poor Magnus do? He is the one who fits least well in this scenario, since his mana is not on par with the others and, unlike Asta, he has nothing to compensate. This seems like the biggest complication so far.
In all, the training is off to a pretty good and surprisingly balanced start. Jumping around and touching on everyone helps keep this from bogging down.
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