Black Clover “The Devil-Binding Ritual” Review

***Spoiler Review***

What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Black Clover episode 169, “The Devil-Binding Ritual”! The second to last episode of the series, and so far that is all that we know about the future of Black Clover till the powers that be tell us otherwise. Either way, last week’s episode left us with a big twist to look forward to dig in as Asta now finds himself being trained by a new yet old face in Nacht. The Clover Kingdom knows what’s at stake, they know how far they are willing to go to stop what is practically the end of the world, and now it is time to see how they play this out.

This episode in particular might leave viewers with some mixed feelings. On one hand you’re going to appreciate this episode for the way that it is used to throw Asta into his three days of training to master his devil powers. If anyone is going to make the biggest impact, then as Nacht said, it is going to be the magic knight who can nullify magic. Though what you could not have expected was how Nacht planned on getting Asta to where he needed to be in order to stand against the Dark Triad. One would have thought Asta was already bonded to his devil, though apparently that was not the case. Which actually does explain a lot of why Asta struggles to use this power the same way others do more freely.

Speaking of Nacht, this episode definitely will leave you with some mixed feelings about him specifically after a certain interaction you didn’t see coming, that is unless you read the manga. Last week I know I was praising his writing because they introduced Nacht as the kind of character who is wonderfully blunt. Though there is always a line you don’t want to cross with that, and this guy jumped way over that line to make certain everyone understands what he believes in, and what he will not stand for. Then you also had to love his approach towards training Asta. His outlook on devil powers differs greatly from others, and it helps that there is finally someone who can speak knowledgeably about what it means to make a connection with a devil.

Now on the other hand, the problem is that this is all training and set-up. Which means that the last episode next week is clearly not going to be one which wraps everything up. Not unless they are planning to rush through the rest of this arc. The thought is maddening because it has to mean that they have plans for more Black Clover episodes. It would be crazy to think that they were doing anything other than changing up the episodic format of the series. If not, then I just don’t see any way that we walk away from that next episode without feeling cheated.

This brings us to the big twist that they hit us with at the end of last week’s episode. That being the fate of the elves, why they have suddenly decided to involve themselves in matters involving the rest of the world, and what purpose they will serve involving themselves now. It was all a satisfying development. And in turn created the excitement we needed to look forward to Noelle finding the power she needs to save Loropechika and beat Vanica/Megicula.

By the end of Black Clover “The Devil-Binding Ritual”, again I was left feeling a bit concerned by where this leaves us for the last episode next week. There’s just no way that you can use the second to last episode as set-up, and wrap up one of the biggest battles yet to come in one go.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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