Updated: Mar 21
The stage is set as the captain of the Black Bulls, Yami Sukehiro, and the Clover Kingdom’s own devil-possessed, Asta, faces the leader of the Dark Triad, Dante Zogratis and his devil Lucifero. Will they be able to hold out against Dante? This is our full review of Episode 167, “Black Oath”.
The episode also covered Chapters 258-260 of the manga.
Here’s what you’ve missed from the previous episode:
Vanica Zogratis and her devil, Megicula, managed to overpower Loropechika and the magic knights, even cursing the Water Spirit Undine.
Yami Sukehiro goes one on one with Dante Zogratis, forcing him to unleash his full power
As a last resort, Yami calls out Asta to the battlefield to try and defeat Dante
You can check out the full review of the previous episode here.
What we've all been waiting for
As the leader of the Dark Triad, the audience was made to understand the preconceived notion that Dante is the most powerful one out of the three devil-possessed characters from the Spade Kingdom. That being said, the landscape of a very fierce battle was heavily anticipated and the episode delivered exactly that. Dante had to bring out everything he had in order to secure his objective of capturing Yami Sukehiro which will then accomplish the goal of creating the Tree of Qliphoth.
From a setting standpoint, this entire battle is what everyone has been waiting for. It was a battle so intense that no secondary character was able to step in and assist whomever it was on the field. What kept everyone on the edge of their seats is the fact that the heroes were actually struggling to win. As a personal opinion, that is one vital component of a battle sequence that keeps your audience engaged. After all that talk about the 6-month long preparation, the heroes are still being pushed to the limit and the audience cannot help but cheer the guys on. A lop-sided victory will always be boring no matter the landscape.
Another interesting event that happened in this episode is the viewers’ glimpse of Asta’s Devil. It was first seen during the battle against Zagred, a high-ranking devil that escaped the underworld and possessed Patolli. Not much was understood in terms of the Devil’s background but unlike the villains, this particular Devil actually required something in-exchange for its power which can be considered as the basis of this episode’s title. This begs the question, “Do all Devils do this?” If so, the Dark Triad must have done something of the same nature and it just adds another layer of complexity when it comes to the devils.
The Price of Victory and a Foreshadowing
As the audience clung on to each scene of the epic battle, the ending brought out such an emotional sequence that might have been a foreshadowing of events to come.
It was one of those scenes that appeared in slow motion and had everyone holding their breaths. Could that specific moment be a symbolism of the mentor passing the torch to his student? Was it Yami saying, “You’ve proven yourself kid. It’s your time now”? Because that was certainly how it felt especially with how the episode ended.
Historically, we all understand what an event like that can potentially lead to - a bittersweet aftertaste and a foreshadowing of events to come.
It was an intense, action-packed episode that also delivered emotional gut punches for the viewers. “Black Oath” gave the audience a lot of reasons to root for but it also ended in a way that left the audience speechless. This gives fans more reason to cling on to the show as it approaches the arc’s ending and a break for the anime.
If there was one thing that we did not like about the episode, it will have to be the inconsistency in animation of the background during the battle which was clearly evident at the start of the episode. However, it was outweighed in terms of overall delivery. Asta and Yami’s combination was so entertaining to watch and the musical accompaniment definitely intensified the hype.
Black Clover Episode 168, “Stirrings of the Strongest”, comes out on March 16, 2021 at 6:25PM (JST).
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
The fierce battle between the Black Bulls duo, Asta and Yami, vs. Dante Zogratis kept the audience at the edge of their seats as the heroes were struggling to win against their opponents.
Asta’s Devil made an appearance which probably was the basis of the episode’s title “Black Oath” solidified by the Devil’s Deal.
Yami passing on his Katana to Asta to deliver the decisive blow can be considered a symbolism of the mentor passing on the torch to his student
Overall delivery of the episode outweighed trivial inconsistencies at the start of the episode as Asta and Yami’s combination, complemented by the musical accompaniment, was so entertaining to watch.
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