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Black Clover
Episode 164

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 164 of
Black Clover ?
Community score: 4.0

This episode picks up right where the last episode left off, continuing (though, frustratingly, not finishing) the confrontation between Dante and Yami while also spending much of its time looking in at additional Heart Kingdom battles. Before getting into that, though, let's look at two mystical/mythological references that the series throws out in this episode.

In explaining his grand plan to Yami, Dante mentions the Tree of Qliphoth as the means for using both William and Yami to open the gate to the underworld. This is not the first time that the series has dabbled in Jewish mysticism; the configuration used to assemble the jewels and reincarnate the elves was clearly based on the holy Sephirot, as was the configuration of the Shadow Palace. Qliphoth is its opposite: the representation of evil or impure spiritual forces. Hence its use here as a gateway to allow devils to rampage into the world makes a certain amount of sense, and explains why William and Yami are needed to make it: William's tree magic provides the structure, while Yami's dark magic – with its ability to interfere with the otherworld – provides the channel. That just leaves the question of who or what will comprise the ten spheres of the Tree.

The other reference – the Eyes of Catoblepas used by the Dark Disciple Sivoir – is a less involved but also more random-seeming one. The catoblepas is a legendary Ethiopian creature similar in appearance to a wildebeest (which is likely its source). Its abilities vary, but it is often assigned a gaze that can either kill or turn a victim to stone. None of that is in play here, so I wonder about the logic behind this choice.

As for the actual action in the episode, Dante's reveal of his ultimate motivations is as generic as nihilistic boss villains get. Can we get back to beating him down, please? Asta's vision of the devil this time isn't the cool and composed one we saw back in episode 118, so not sure what's going on there. On the Heart Kingdom front, both Charmy and Leo get their turns to shine. Charmy reminds us once again that getting her riled up is a really bad idea, even if the way she goes about expressing her immense power is rather corny. Leo, meanwhile, takes the more standard tough-guy approach in enduring long enough to set up the magic to swat down his sniper-like foe. Meanwhile, Gaja taking out another Dark Disciple does not even warrant details. That just leaves the big set-up for next episode: Vanica paying a visit to Loropechika, with Noelle and Mimosa (now with offensive capability!) as guards.

While seeing Charmy in action was welcome, this episode is, on the whole, a bit of a disappointment. Too little happens on the Black Bulls HQ front, and even as disposable villains go, the personalities of the Disciples were all eye-rollers. (And that tongue guy – who I thought was mercifully taken out quickly – apparently isn't down for the count.) Even Petit Clover was weak on humor value this time around. Hopefully we'll see better-quality excitement next episode.

Random Tidbit: Other than Noelle's mother's pregnancy, Dante's flashback to things that didn't satisfy him was, I think, this series' first real implication that characters in this setting actually do engage in sex.


Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and FUNimation.

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