by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 92 of
Black Clover ?
The connection between William Vangeance and Licht of the Midnight Sun has possibly been Black Clover's biggest mystery to date. I've been wondering what their deal has been for a while now, because the show was never trying to sweep the question under the rug. It wanted us to poke around and wonder if the two were one and the same, while always denying us a clear answer. This week, that mystery is (mostly) solved, as William confronts the Wizard King and reveals that he has been harboring a second personality.
The most interesting detail about this relationship is how William feels torn between Licht and the Wizard King, as he cares for and admires them both. Similarly, Licht considers William to be the only human that he loves, and William's allegiance will stay with whoever wins this upcoming battle. I wish the story had a more interesting workaround for William's cursed scar, which to this point as been the frontline piece of evidence that he couldn't possibly be Licht in disguise. The handwave for that essentially boils down to "eh, magic schmagic."
This episode's greatest moment is its fantastic climactic action scene in the final quarter. The Wizard King and Licht are the top dogs on both sides of this conflict, so their fight receives some of the best animation in the series yet. The zip-zapping around and dancing off each other's attacks looks positively rad, and it reminds me of Yami's first fight with Licht from a while back. I especially like how Licht's light magic plays into the sequence, creating all sorts of atmospheric effects as his laser whips glow off of the Wizard King's face. It's almost comical how different in tone this fight is compared to the rest of the episode, which is otherwise a succession of talking heads.
I'm thinking back to Naruto and the fight between Orochimaru and the Third Hokage; the recurring big bad versus the noble leader who represents a previous generation. I don't have high expectations for the Wizard King making it out of this fight alive (though Black Clover hasn't killed many characters in the past), however as of this episode he's the one coming out on top. His time magic makes aspects of this fight a little trippy, and the way he speaks of his own power evokes a type of sadness I didn't expect. He "steals" time from his enemy, and can use that time to heal his wounds. It's almost like he feels guilty over the immense advantage he has in battle, which is just affirmation towards what I've always found so compelling about him as a character. He knows what's up more than anybody, for good or for ill.
For as exhilarating as the last five minutes or so are, this episode is incredibly lopsided. The good stuff is only at the end, and the rest is simple exposition that doesn't tell us nearly enough at this point in the story. The William/Licht reveal is the only real piece of new information this week, and our understanding of the Midnight Sun's motivation is still vague, despite how much this episode turns our heads toward the same bread trails as always. That being said, this is a cool fight between two really important characters. The battle of attributes between time and light makes for an engaging skirmish, like this is the kind of event that the series has been building to since the beginning. Somebody has to lose this fight by next week, so the outcome is sure to change the course of this story dramatically.
Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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