Black Clover
Episode 27

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 27 of
Black Clover ?

You know how the saying goes. "All unexceptional things must come to an end."

To be completely fair, this episode manages to be genuinely sweet, offering a strong send-off between Asta and Yuno, as well as being successfully funny and interesting where the previous episodes were lacking. It's a solid denouement, and it makes me wish the arc's lead-up had felt like more of a journey. I look back at the Royal Capital arc now that it's finished and my memories are mostly filled with boredom, which could have been the product of many factors. This arc started fairly cogent and introduced us to at least two stand-out heroes in Fuegoleon and the Wizard King, but all that time spent in the streets of the capital fighting Rades and his friends really drained me.

So last week transitioned us away from the fight within the capital just in time for us to get a glimpse of the villain group's leader. It's only once the villains have all escaped and reconvened that I start to find them a tad more interesting. They're a gang of outcasts looking to start a country of their own, and on their way out, their leader got a taste of the Wizard King's time magic and now has a mummified-looking arm. As of now, we can only pinpoint a couple memorable personalities from the bunch, but seeing Rades and the crazy scientist girl bicker gives you a much greater sense of how they bounce off each other than any of the arc's fighting did.

Heading back to the base of the Black Bulls, we get introduced to the Magic Knights ranking system. The fact that this hasn't come up yet in the story is tied into a joke where it turns out a surprising number of the Black Bulls had no idea there even was a ranking system. For his noble deeds, Asta has gone from a fifth rank junior to a third rank, and Charmy, who's been given credit for the woman that Yuno defeated, has gone up to a first rank. Just often enough, I find myself won over by a character in this show, because Charmy's newfound superiority over her teammates is crazy adorable. Her shtick is that she looks and acts like a little kid, but there's a sense that she might be playing games with the audience and understand her surroundings much more than she's letting on. Or maybe I'm just going crazy.

So I ended up having a healthy number of positive things to say about this episode. The curse of these long-running Shonen Jump arcs is that they tend to start and end high, while the middle is much more dubious. Even taking that curve into consideration, I still think the Royal Capital arc could have been much stronger—if not an episode or two shorter. This installment on its own is good, making me wish I wasn't only latching onto these characters now that their adventure is concluding. We've got broader mysteries in the works as we wait for Fuegoleon to awaken from his coma and spill the beans on what he saw in the villains' realm, and we've got the promise of new story arcs on the horizon that are hopefully raring to go so we won't have to endure a filler break.

Oh no. There's going to be filler, isn't there?

Rating: B+

Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Sam Leach records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter @LuckyChainsaw

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