What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Black Clover! Did I really watch all 128 episodes of Black Clover during this time off? You bet your ass I did! I will admit, for the longest time I was not the biggest fan of Black Clover. The first time I watched this series, everything about Asta felt like a complete turn-off. Then one day I decided I would try watching it with English dub (judge me later), and somehow ended up enjoying much about his voice and mannerisms which bothered me at first. After that, this was a series I came to love quickly because every arc was met with momentum, action, and always found room for growth. There wasn’t even that many filler episodes that I could complain about.
After last week’s episode, I was amazed that at the start of this episode they wasted no time getting ready for the next big thing. In most anime series they would try to milk out the set-up. This would have probably been an episode where there was more talking than anything actually getting done. It’s impressive that they were able to do the talking, but also get everyone where they needed to be in order to set off for the Heart Kingdom. Didn’t hurt either that they don’t fail to accomplish this without a bit of entertainment thrown in.
When it came to the group chosen for this journey to the Heart Kingdom, at first I did have my reservations about Finral going with them. Sometimes his need to flirt with girls can be a bit much when it happens at the most inconvenient times for everyone. Though with that said, there’s nothing to overlook about the convenience in what he offers. When Finral gets serious, he can turn the tides of a battle or obstacle in creative ways. Now obviously, I should also address the moment he had before setting off on this new journey. It was cool that they found the room to create a moment between Finral and Langris. His brother is just one of a number of people who have gone through some changes after being host to Elves. A memorable character moment when in that one scene we could genuinely acknowledge the progress Finral has made towards becoming a stronger and more confident individual.
As for Noelle, this was a character who I truly came to attach myself to over time. When this series first started, I thought that this character was going to be problematic. How could she not? Constantly worrying about a love interest, a lack of confidence in herself, relying on the same retorts about being royal. All of that could have gotten old very fast. Yet, all it took was patience for this character to become one of the most well-developed among this cast. And after all of the progress made towards her power, confidence, and usefulness, now she actually has a mission of her own. I can’t wait to see where this takes her. Though for now I am thrilled that if someone like Asta isn’t in the picture, she can step up to the plate.
On the flipside, I was very happy to see Mimosa join-up with them. Just like Finral, she is another mage you simply can’t overlook for her abilities. Between the mapping, healing, and offensive power, even being able to use all three at the same time. She is a force to be reckoned with. I actually appreciated seeing how her power and Finral’s was gauged.
By the end of the episode, again the momentum and pacing did not disappoint one bit. I’m sure that some would have probably loved a little exploration of the Heart Kingdom. In times like this I normally would promote exploration for the sake of world-building and immersion. However, this is also supposed to be a story arc where Asta and company are in a race against the lock with their investigation. It wouldn’t make much sense if they spent too much time with distractions when you can simply jump right into what the source of the curse could be. I mean, would you have guessed the source would come to them first? Not at all, which made the execution excellent.
Overall, Black Clover “To the Heart Kingdom!” was an exciting and action-packed start to the new arc. The Heart Kingdom is a new frontier, and with that they pulled no punches showing what this new land has in store for outsiders. Especially those like Asta who has now made a habit out of attracting the wrong kind of attention for his connection to Devils.