Yeah– This Happens. It’s all over Social Media; it’s inescapable at this point. And I’m assuming you’ve read the chapter, so there’s no point in hiding it: Julius Novachrono is actually Lucius Zogratis. He is the eldest of the Zogratis Siblings, and is seemingly the Final Antagonist of the the “Black Clover” manga. Yes; after this 3 month Hiatus Tabata is going on to get his rest and plan out the story- “Black Clover” will be in it’s “Final Act.” And yes; “Black Clover” is going on a 3 month Hiatus. I’ll include that message at the end.
But first; we have to get through this chapter. It amazes me- it really does- that all the HATE and Venom that the fandom was throwing at Tabata(not the manga itself- The Actual Person making the story) for how chapter 329 ended- was all undone with the reveal at the end of this chapter. All the Hater’s that came out are now silent, and the fans are back to riding his d!ck again. Fascinating. But that’s enough of that; let’s get on with the chapter. Black Clover Chapter 331: “And The Time Starts To Move.” And so it begins………….
We start the chapter on a Mini-Flashback of Nacht telling Yuno that there’s “someone he should meet.” That someone turns out to be his mother– Queen Ciel Grinnberryall. She survived the Dark Triad’s hostile take over, and hid out with the resistance until the day she could meet with her son again- or at least that’s what I make of this. She’s very happy to see her son again, and asks if he will stay and take his rightful place as King of The Spade Kingdom. Bell swoons at the thought of “King Yuno,” but the boy says that he has several promises that he wants to keep in the Clover Kingdom- from his promise as a Magic Knight to the Clover Kingdom, to his comrades, to the vow that he made with his Rival.
Speaking of; we cut over to Asta and Liebe hanging out on top of the Clock Tower. Asta thanks Liebe for letting him meet his Mother; he was happy that she loved him in the end. But Liebe says that he should be the one thanking Asta; it’s thanks to him that he was able to fight Supreme Ranking Devils and avenge Licitia’s death. So now he wants to help Asta achieve his dream. The boys once again that they will someday become the Wizard King- with Bell and Liebe at their side.
But Asta wants to make sure that everyone knows that Liebe isn’t a “Bad Guy-” especially Damnatio. And then; something odd happens with the clock- it starts to move back. And we then cut over to Damnatio, whose going to visit “Julius.” The Wizard king has finished confirming the battle’s end with Marx, but he still feels like somethings…….. off.
Damnatio entered the room, and informs Julius of his findings when it came to Devils. Looking into the various families that had Dealings with Devils in the Clover Kingdom has revealed that the Supreme Devil Megicula was not a Devil King- she wasn’t even a Qliphoth Devil. She was simply as Strong Sumpreme Rank that muscled their way into the Devil King Trio. And this was only possible because the 3rd King- the Devil Of Time, “Astaroth-” had disappeared 20 years ago. Coincidentally; it appears that Julius is the sole person to have ever had Time Magic.
It all begins to click for the 2 of them: Julius is the Devil Nesting In The Clover Kingdom- NOT Asta. Julius- horrified by the reveal- is about to tell Damnatio what to do. But it’s far too late for him to do ANYTHING- Lucius IS here. And his first action is taking out Damnatio. Adrammelech comes through the window- with Lucifero’s heart in tow- commending Lucius for his clever calculations. And Lucius simply responds: “The Time Has Come.” Black Clover- Final Arc: “The Ultimate Wizard King.” Thus; Black Clover Chapter 331 comes to an Astonishing END!! It’s Showtime……………….
Where oh WHERE do I begin with this? Should I talk about the “Journey To The Twist?” Nah; not smart enough or have enough time for that. Should it be where the story goes next from here? Nah; we already know what Lucius’ plan is. What Lucifero’s heart has to do with their plan? How Lucius ties into the theme of the story? What Adrammelech is getting out of all of this? DECISIONS DECISIONS!! Let’s see how much traction I can get out of the point I had: “Black Clover” is the “Big 3” Redux. Hopefully I have the mental ability to pull this off?
You’re all familiar with the term “Big 3,” right? It’s a term referring to the 3 most popular series published in Weekly Shonen Jump in the 2000s- One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. It’s a term that Western anime fans used to describe these “pillars” of the magazine, and people still debate to this day what the New “Big 3” should be. Not even gonna touch on that; just gonna move on. It seems to also be of a common opinion that the vast majority of manga that came after their time- particularly “Black Clover” in it’s early years- try to mimic them to be successful.
I could go in on how “Ever Series Plays it ‘Safe’ until a certain point,” but I think you guys have heard that story over and over again. So instead; I’ll lay out a point that I think you may have heard once or twice: “Black Clover” Is “Shonen Done Right.”
There’s a video comparing and contrasting the differing aspects of Chainsaw Man and Demon Slayer that lays out what I’m trying to say better. But essence; there are 2 kinds of series: “Innovators” that try subvert the common tropes of their genre in unique ways(to the point of subversion being a trope to itself), and “Adaptors” that take those tropes and “evolve” them. My Hero Academia and “Black Clover” would be examples of “Adaptors,” but whereas My Hero tries to progress the common parts of the genre(Tomura was not overpowered at the start- he actually had to grow into what he is now)- “Black Clover” is just “Remixing” the genre. It’s simply taking what worked before and retooled it so that the problems that came before don’t come to pass.
The perfect example of this would be the Elf Invasion Arc vs The 4th Great Ninja War Arc of Naruto. The culmination of everything built up by the story; the bad guy is pretending to be this important figure from the past; Villain brings a number of powerful people back to life to enact his plans; turns out the bad guy was just the pawn of a being from another dimension; that beings entire race become the central problem going forward. On that base level– It’s the Same Sh!t. But where Naruto failed that “Black Clover” didn’t is that it wasn’t the final arc.
Because the 4th Great Ninja War was the final arc of Naruto; introducing Kaguya at the last minute fell flat and left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths. So Tabata just used that arc- condensed the H#ll out of it– and used it as a “Launching Pad” or whatever you wanna call for the rest of the story. And the reveal of Zagreb vs Kaguya is that Devils were always foreshadowed to exist in the story because Anti magic’s a thing. The 5th leaf; Asta’s powers; and likely more if you comb through the story like you’re doing trying to find all the signs of this betrayal!! This isn’t a swipe at “Naruto” or “Boruto,” or to say which is better- I’m saying that “Black Clover” remixed it, and the reveal was objectively better.
The next point with Aizen vs Lucius- same thing. Except Aizen was pretty well done to start with(even if his ultimate plan was……….not as good)(Oh I am SO gonna get attacked for this). The only difference is HOW the Traitor plot was executed; Aizen being a “snake” vs Julius not even knowing who he was. Both are fine tropes– I don’t feel very strongly one way or the other about either so long as it’s executed well. Which they were. So let’s just focus on Lucius right now.
Now……….. we knew something had to be up with this guy? From the time of his introduction of chapter 10, to when the 4th Zogratis was revealed to even be a thing– people have had their speculations on Julius. I’ve heard theories from the likes of him being A Hybrid like Charmy to the more recent “Julius Zogratis” theories(that were proven to be right). But the general consensus was that he had 2 kinds of Magic: His Time Magic, and the Magic he used to become an old lady- let’s just say “Transformation Magic.” The only cases in which we see someone with 2 kinds of Magic:
- Experimentation(ala Morris And The Diamond Kingdom)
- Hybrids like Charmy
- Devil Possession
Although, in defense of the other 2 theories: We can’t say for certain that he’s “Devil Possessed.“ Like Damnatio told us: Astaroth disappeared from the Underworld- we don’t know what happened. Lucifero and the others were still stuck in the Underworld when they were connected to the Triad. If it was mere possession, then Astaroth wouldn’t have left. Something else is going on here. And I think this little gimmick with Lucifero’s heart is very telling of what happened. Was he still working with Adrammelech when that happened? Possibly.
His line of dialogue in this chapter indicates that they’ve been working together the whole time. So they probably worked together to deal with Astaroth- taking his heart and bestowing his Time Magic to Lucius some how. Oh there is SO MUCH THEORY FUEL in this one segment of a 331 chapter story. I could go on and on and ON for days talking about what could have happened to Astaroth, but I think that it’s clear that the Devil of Time is no longer(at least in the way that other Devils knew him). And we have Lucius and Adrammelech to thank for that.
It was while writing the last paragraph that I actually realized that I could make a whole theory post about this chapter. I mean; I have 3 months to work on it, and I don’t want to include all of my speculation in 1 post because then we’d be here until the series comes back! I’m joking about something that’s probably more serious than Tabata’s letting on. But hey; maybe it’s nothing to worry about. Maybe this’ll be the new standard going forward- giving Mangaka a break before the Final Arc of the story. Either way; I hope Tabata’s okay, and I hope he gets the rest he deserves.
I also hope his mental health is okay, because the SLANDER following last chapter was just atrocious; the worst the series has faced since the series started. It was honestly sickening seeing some of the same haters on Twitter come back and say how “great the series was for this.” Ugh…… the further we get away from that the better.
But that’s all I got for the lot of ya today, my lovely duckies. Until the next post, everyone; have a Magically Wonderful Day. Rest well, Tabata Sensei; you’ve earned it! Laters!!