Black Clover
Episode 160

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 160 of
Black Clover ?

Episode 158 showed the first blows of the Clover Kingdom/Spade Kingdom conflict being struck, but those were just warm-ups against lower-power foes which gave some of the Black Bulls a chance to show off a little. The latter part of this episode is where the conflict starts to get serious.

But before that, the series must finish off the last scene from last episode by explaining how, exactly, a newborn prince of the Spade Kingdom ended up in Hague Village. The magical flashback Ralph subjects Yuno to reveals the whole story: Yuno was, indeed, born to the King and Queen of Spade Kingdom. (The “Ciel” who Ralph mentioned last episode as the person Yuno strongly resembles is his mother; I misspoke on that last review.) Ralph's father was the one who fled with baby Yuno when the Zogratis siblings – now known as the Dark Triad – turned traitor. The father suspected at the time that the trio was after more than just taking over, which was probably destroying the world (as revealed in episode 158). That likely means that baby Yuno was every bit as expendable as his parents, so the father was correct in his desperate actions. He was the one who brought baby Yuno through the strong magic zone to Hague Village and deposited him at the church's doorstep while luring pursuers in a different direction.

This understandably leaves Yuno shaken, but it also brings up a question that Yuno raises himself; what about Asta? If the father deposited Yuno's basket there remotely with magic, how did the second basket with Asta end up perfectly side-by-side with Yuno's, as if both were delivered there together? How they arrived there was always a mystery, but now Asta's side, at least, is an even bigger one. The circumstances here are too perfect for there to not have been some other force at work that was deliberately trying to ride on the coattails of Ralph's father's efforts. But to what end? The mystery behind Yuno's origin lingered for almost 160 episodes, so hopefully it will not take that much longer to get to the bottom of Asta's.

But as the second part of the episode shows, there are more immediate concerns. Spade Kingdom has gone on the offensive, with Zenon of the Dark Triad (I still think he looks a lot like Yuno) and two high-powered subordinates somehow getting deep enough into Clover Kingdom undetected to launch a surprise attack on Golden Dawn HQ. They're after William because they need two arcane stage casters for some reason, which would seem to indicate that they either don't know about Yuno or know that someone in the Golden Dawn is that classification and assume that it's William. Guess they're going to find out quickly, as I don't think Yuno has ever been shown as that expressively angry before. This is someone who has stood in battle against a real, full-powered devil, so I don't think their 40% gimmick is going to be enough.

These revelations also raise one other interesting point: the ages of the Dark Triad members. Asta and Yuno were 15 at the start of the story, and more than a year and a half has passed since then, so they are either 17 or close to it by now. That means that 17 years have passed since the Dark Triad take-over. All three of the siblings looked to be at least older teenagers in the flashback, so they would have to be in their mid-30s now, yet the sister at least did not look or act any older than a teenager in the scene in episode 158. Is the devil's power keeping them young?

As a final thought, Yuno being revealed to have been royal by birth does explain the incongruency in his magic level compared to other commoners, but it also undermines the notion that even a commoner by birth could have enough magic to stand alongside nobles as equals. That may hurt the underlying message of the show: that even a person of humble origin can rise to greatness.

Rating:

Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and FUNimation.


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