English Dub Review: Black Clover “The Victors”

Sweet, sweet victory.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

We’re approaching the final round of the tournament we’ve spent the last bunch of episodes in, and now we’re ready to face a new opponent: Yuno, who stands to fight Rill, the gifted Magic Knight Captain who looks like quite the powerful foe.

Rill, who isn’t much scared of Yuno, starts calling over Yuno to take him on, while his two teammates use their magic to run interference against the assault that’s about to take place on their team. Noelle and En both use their magic to strong defensive effect, but the two side mages, Nil and Ruben, use their fighting crystals as well as they can.

Off in other parts of the battlefield, Yuno’s wind magic can’t quite seem to hit Rill because of his incredible speed. The two go at it up in the cards for some time, but it’s ultimately Rin who makes the first move in getting this battle down the ground. Constantly trying to bring this battle down to earth, Yuno fights himself outmatched by Yuno, even though he absolutely adores the battle they’re having. Meanwhile, back in medical bay, Asta quietly hates himself for not being there in the battle, but his friends are all extremely supportive.

At the end of it all, Yuno wins the battle by destroying Rill’s crystal with his own power, which makes Yuno the undisputed champion of the Royal Knights Selection Exam.  Everyone recovers and heads out from the testing sight, but Novachrono’s students, namely Zora, are able to recover and be brought back to the mainstream fold. Zora doesn’t exactly agree to work for Nocachrono, but he admits working with him is a good idea. Movachrono explains how need Zora’s father, and how much he respects him.

Our Take:

Noelle may very well be the most obvious tsundere since the dawn of time. I don’t necessarily mind anime having tsunderes, since they’re a well established anime trope and one of those things that you just have to accept when it comes to anime, but there’s just so much more one can do with this trope than what we have with Noelle. For the longest time, her “Tsundere”-ness has stemmed for an incredulous failure to understand Asta’s feelings and her own ridiculous romanticism. If a show is going to rely on an obvious, overused trope, then they might as well do something to spice things up. But every time Noelle appears on screen, I feel like I might as well just take a quick nap and wait for the important things to start happening.

The fight between Yuno and Rill reminds me of a “Dragonball Z” fight in the worst ways possible. There should be this clash of passion or exciting trade of ideals, but the two of them just attack at each other like random enemies that have never met each other before. What’s more, it’s Rill’s side minions that take most of the stage, using their powers to fend off the invaders. All the while Yuno runs away from Rill in elaborate CGI setpieces that, while perhaps occasionally good, cause accidents and issues by their very existence.

You can’t expect much from this episode except in terms of animation volume and willingness to go to other places people won’t. This somewhat leads up into Yuno’s attempt to show up Asta with this own magical power, but it’s nothing that wouldn’t be better displayed in another way. Rill and Yuno haven’t been set up very well to fight each other, and I would definitely like to see more thematic importance in the fight between Rill and Yuno other than “Who is stronger.”

This episode is just a matter of how well-invested you are in things up to this point. If you were looking something with well-established characters and an interesting plot to oversee, then you better keep moving. This particular episode is little more than a stepping stone on the way to better things. The actual result of this fight really doesn’t matter much beyond the silly shenanigans that some contestants have had towards this contest. Of course, Yuno however, never had that much stake in this contest, making for an episode long plot threat that just falls flat on it’s foce.

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

Erich Hau has 562 posts and counting. See all posts by Erich Hau