Title: Black Clover Vol. 9
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Volume 9 of Black Clover wraps up the Underwater Temple arc. With Vetto’s defeat, the Black Bulls return home and receive praise from Julius, the Wizard King. While they are being showered with praise, their outer most city, Kitan, which acts like their last line of defense, comes under attack by three of the eight Shining Generals from the Diamond Kingdom. They heard a rumor that the Eye of the Midnight Sun attacked them which would leave the Clover Kingdom in a state of weakness. Their aim was to take advantage of that and launch an attack.
The Golden Dawn, including Yuno, showed up and took the fight to them. Yuno, along with his wind spirit, showed off his newly found strength while Captain Vangance used his World Tree magic to nearly wipe out all of their forces. Yami, along with Asta, Charmy and Finral arrive on the scene, but there really isn’t much to do. Yami’s true purpose was to confront Vangance because he stated that he resembled the leader of the Eye of the Midnight Sun. He made him remove his mask to unveil a hideous scar.
After the Diamond Kingdom was repelled, Asta gets looked at by the Clover Kingdom’s top magical doctor. He receives the grave news that there is a curse on his arms and the bones are shattered. Asta will never swing a sword ever again. Despite this news, Asta is still determined to push forward.
Compared to the length of the Underwater Temple arc, the battle with the Diamond Kingdom felt like complete filler with little to no purpose. They initially talked them up to be a big threat, but they ended up being nothing more than jokes. Other than setting up the possible link between Vangance and the Eye of the Midngiht Sun, I don’t understand why there had to be a battle. I guess Yuno got to show off his growth, though, but there were other ways to go about doing that.
We got a small tidbit of backstory with Finral as he is the big brother of Langris, one of the elite of the Golden Dawn. Langris still looks down on Finral since he is a member of the Black Bulls and inferior to him in every way… at least in his eyes. While it isn’t much development, it’s nice to see the tie-in there. I wonder if this will get fleshed out in future volumes.
The other big development went to Vangance. We got to learn about his backstory and how the scar is a birthmark and that not even medical magic could remove it. He was considered an outcast until the Wizard King gave him his mask and invited him to become a magic knight. So far, it cleared him of suspicion, but Yami still has a nagging feeling about his Ki and the Midnight Sun leader’s Ki being eerily similar. I expect this will get fleshed out in future volumes as well.
Finally, Asta received a setback, but I’m sure that this will end up giving him a power up in the end. It’s typical of shonen stories to set the main character back a few steps before boosting their strength and since this series is following the formula down to the crossed t’s and dotted I’s, I would assume Asta will overcome this after the next big threat is established.
The action remained at a quick pace here in volume nine of Black Clover. Even though the battle seemed pretty pointless, it did accomplish a bit of world building. It does give a sense that there are other kingdoms out there and any kingdom can make a move at any given time. This adds a bit of unpredictability to the world of Black Clover and keeps things interesting. I just wish the battle lasted a little bit longer as it seemed rather rushed.
Outside of that, there really wasn’t anything special except for the main hero in peril story point which, again, I’m assuming will get resolved and result in Asta getting more powerful. I’m assuming he will learn how to control magic negation without the use of the sword. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how all of this unfolds.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media