Updated: Jan 8
Written by: Karlo Cervantes | Published on: January 6, 2021
BakAsta? More like BuffAsta!
The wait is finally over as Black Clover returns from its winter break with the highly-anticipated opening to the Spade Kingdom Arc. The episode covers chapters 229 – 231 of the manga.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
We understand that some of the mages are still in their training and might not have the time to go through this entire review. If you’re one of those mages, then the crash-course TL;DR(Too Long; Didn’t Read) program is definitely for you. Please be warned though, the bullets below contain spoilers about the episode. Otherwise, feel free to skip this section for the full experience.
Smooth transition from the filler arc as it allowed the audience to appreciate what transpired during the six-month training at the Heart Kingdom with a tease of the characters’ much improved abilities
Studio Pierrot gave characters a great upgrade in character design and aesthetics
Opening and Ending Themes paid great homage to past chapters as it depicted character growth and development along with some Easter Eggs for characters yet to be revealed
A small hint of symbolism was shown to reflect a societal problem
Before the production went on break, the show was on its filler arc which covered the rigorous six-month preparation of the chosen mages as they train with Princess Loropechika, ruler of the Heart Kingdom, Undine, the Water Spirit, and the Five Spirit Guardians.
Unlike other filler arcs (or episodes), this was a well-thought segment of the anime as it helped the show to have a smooth transition as it enters the new arc. It helped viewers appreciate what transpired within half a year of preparation by the main characters and served as an introduction for them to show the fruits of their labor.
Black Clover always had upbeat opening themes which kind of foreshadows a show packed with intense action. Snow Man’s “Grandeur” is no different as it follows the same formula for the new opening theme. Fans, especially those who also read the manga, are in for a treat as scenes from the opening theme paid great homage to the characters’ growth and also showed some little Easter eggs about additional characters yet to be revealed. The same can also be said with Treasure’s “Beautiful”, albeit a more emotional approach, as viewers can’t help but feel nostalgic with how the scenes were shown during the ending theme.
Studio Pierrot did a great job with the new designs of the characters. The new modification transitioned well given the events from both the previous and filler arcs. BakAsta? More like BuffAsta! How do you like Asta now, Noelle?!
This was also accompanied by a small display in the characters’ much improved abilities. A bit disappointing, to be honest, as fans of the show have eagerly waited for this exciting new chapter only to be teased with minimal combat scenes. Despite this, however, the episode did well in capturing the audience as it hints of much more action to come in the later episodes. The ending is also definitely something to watch out for as viewers will be introduced to new characters.
A small hint of symbolism was also shown that reflected a societal problem which started ages ago but people still continue to face today. There are people in power that take advantage of those who are weaker for the benefit and preservation of their own self-interest. A great scene, with an impactful message that hopes to enlighten its audience.
“The Beginning of Hope and Despair” was a great opener as it clearly sets the foundation for the Spade Kingdom Arc, drawing great connection set forth by the previous episodes with little to no deviation from its manga counterpart. The landscape was clear, backgrounds were explained, and the hype is definitely real.
It’s quite exciting to think about how the story will unfold. How powerful did the other mages become? When will Megicula appear? How will Asta and the rest of the mages defeat their new enemies? We can only speculate and wait for the next episodes.
Episode 159 of Black Clover comes out on January 12, 2021 at 6:25PM (JST). Surpass your limits!
Official Anime Website: Black Clover
Official Anime Twitter: @blackclover_PR
What did you think about this episode? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.