Black Clover ‒ Episode 150

2 weeks ago 24

With this episode, the series returns to the boilerplate intro that it used prior to the Devil Banishers arc. That would seem to suggest that the series has fully moved on from that narrative (at least for now) and orienting itself back towards a more concentrated focus on preparing for the Spade Kingdom mission. It actually manages to do that, too, despite splitting most of its time between Grey and Charlotte and dwelling more on their specific hang-ups.

Grey's case composes the first half of the episode. Ever since her true form was revealed, she has been extremely timid about anyone looking at her in that form. Why this is the case has not, to my recollection, been explained yet in the anime (though apparently it is in a manga chapter well beyond where the anime is now), but it is still quite the problem in Grey's mind. It's not hard to sympathize with why she might want to make a breakthrough on this given what she has seen the other Black Bulls accomplish, and Noelle – on the surface at least – does seem like the ideal choice for coaching her in confidence about being herself. Gordon is also not too much of a stretch here, as he has certainly overcome his whispering thing, though he still has a bad habit of coming across much more creepily than he probably intends. A much bigger surprise is Gauche, the next person she turns to, and even more so that Gauche agrees to help her. There's still work to be done on this as the episode hits the midway point, but at least Grey is making some progress.

The second half shifts the focus to Charlotte, who has been training her Blue Rose squad to get stronger. The problem she faces is that they are not strong enough to push her, though there has been no problem with motivation since she lifted the no-fraternizing restriction. That means break time is all girl talk about romance, and that means Charlotte's possible romance with Yami is going to come up once again, as much as Charlotte would probably like to avoid the issue. (There's no way that wouldn't be a major topic among her squad members beyond Sol.) She still cannot quite bring herself to fully accept that she has fallen for beefcake, so predictably that and a later encounter with Yami lead nowhere productive. Really, she and Noelle have so much in common that there should at least be a Petit Clover installment sometime about them conversing over their struggles to deal with falling for beefy commoners. Sadly, I don't see an opportunity for that anytime soon.

The bigger development out of that part is the idea of inter-squad practice sessions, which is initially speculated to concern the Blue Rose and Black Bulls but looks like it's going to turn into a morale-building display of duels between the captains. This would explain the shots from the opener where the captains seemed to be battling, but it's more significant for another reason: in shonen series which feature squad structures, captains rarely get to go head-to-head. (Bleach is probably the most comparable example here, and the one time I can remember captains fighting each other, what was shown of the battle was very limited.) That holds big promise for next episode, which is good, because the most satisfying part of this milestone episode was merely that the artistry stabilized back to its normal level.

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Black Clover is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and FUNimation.

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