Hey guys! BOY THIS HIATUS HAS BEEN KILLER. But Tabta needs his rest, and he’s probably still ironing out the details of the Final arc to make it the best it can be. But it isn’t easy waking up Thursday mornings and going to twitter and NOT seeing spoilers for the next chapter. And reading Jump just………… it just doesn’t feel right. Which is making me wonder how I’m going to feel about this magazine once the series ends- this, and My Hero Academia. And PARTICULARLY One Piece. Oh man are they gonna lose a lot of money from that.
But enough about Weekly Shonen Jump’s grim future; I HAVE “BLACK CLOVER” CONTENT I WANT TO SHARE!! I started writing this post Thursday, June 23rd, 2022, at 6:14pm(in case future people are reading this and want to come back in time and thank me personally for the Quality Content), and I’m writing this because I’ve had something on my mind for a minute now.
For the past few days; I was thinking about my review for chapter 329 of the manga- about what I said in that post. It just didn’t sit right with me. Or rather; the way that I presented it didn’t come out the way that I wanted it to. I should probably stop saying “I won’t put things out til they’re perfect” if they don’t come out how I want. But that’s besides the point; I wanted to properly explain what I mean when I call Lucifero the “Central Thesis” of the story.
Now………….. I keep on looking for the interview that says this, but I can’t seem to find it. But it’s brought up in several of Anime Balls Deep‘s “Black Clover” videos that Asta is supposed to be the “Antithesis-” the person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else- to the story itself. He nullifies the main power source in the story, so there’s that. But to look a little deeper: He Opposes The Caste System Of The World. The world is set up so that Royals- no matter how weak- are on top, and Commoners- no matter how strong– will never be able to rise out of their position in the world. But there aren’t many cases like that– the Royals are typically on the stronger end, and Commoners aren’t always that strong.
But that has more to do with how these people perceive the world; they never thought that they could become strong enough to rise out of villages like Hage- that Defeatist mentality is just something that everyone will tell you from birth. Asta never gave into that mindset, though; he worked his @$$ off to try and prove that anyone- no matter how weak- could achieve whatever goal they set their mind to. All that without the thing that makes the world go ’round. So he came into this world with a handicap. But he never stopped working, even after getting the thing that would naturally trump whatever threat came his way.
And because of the example he set; everyone he interacts with has learned to “Never Give Up,” and push far past their limits until they can succeed. The Royals who originally belittled him for his lack of magic have grown to respect him as a Magic Knight. Just ask Nozel.
But now that I got across how Asta is the Antithesis of the story; How is Lucifero the “Thesis-“ the statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved? Look at his character: The Devil King; Has the Most Magic Power of any Devil in existence; his magic is the power to suppress everyone around him- Gravity itself. He is the concept that Asta has been fighting against the entire story; the idea that you can’t rise out of the position you’re born into- that you could never fight against someone “higher on the Totem Pole” than you.
The Underworld is the most extreme example of the Human World of this Universe: Devils are born in specific ranks in specific spots in the Underworld, which determine how you live your life. And by that; I mean if you’re the one who’s picked on, or the one who picks on others. Royals and Nobles do this, too, but to a less volatile extent(in most cases). Low Ranks Devils are picked on by the Mid Ranks; Mids by the Highs; and Highs by the Supremes. And as Megicula said in chapter 300: Devils do not believe in- or even understand– the point of defying those who are above you. They just role over and “take it.”
And in this case; Lucifero would be the “Apex” Bully- the one who picks on EVERYONE; the BOSS of everyone. You cannot defy the Devil King. His mere presence is enough to crush anyone and anything near him. It’s a whole metaphor for “Everything Should Bow Down Before Me!” But Asta was able to stand up to him. He and Liebe utilized Anti magic to negate his Gravity Magic, and stood up to him- while everyone else got b!tch made.
It’s symbolic of how Asta sees the world: With hard work, perseverance, and help from your friends; you can overcome any obstacle. Which he did; he overcame the being who was toted as “Unbeatable-” the Highest Ranked Devil of All. That means something.
In Defense Of The Devil King
With all of that being said; I can now get into the Defense for him. Was he the Most Entertaining, Engaging, Complex Villain in the World? No. But I don’t think that he necessarily needed to be. Because of what and who Asta is. Would you call Asta an “Interesting Protagonist?” What can you honestly, earnestly tell me about him that I can’t say about protagonists such as Luffy, or Naruto, Ichigo, Goku, Deku(that’s a Big One), Natsu, Saitama, Mash Burnedead, Ash Ketchum, and likely more that you’re going to point to in the comments? Nothin’, right? But we still Love ‘Em!! I can’t tell you how many people I saw saying that Asta was “Their Main Character” after chapter 321– all just because he got back up!!
Asta is……. “simple-” there isn’t all that much to his character that we haven’t seen in any other characters. In fact; his development has made him a “quieter” version of them……… relatively speaking. He doesn’t really seem to “enjoy” battle, but he’s always up for a competition, giving it his all out of respect for whatever opponent he’s facing. His beliefs are as straight forward as they come; he believes in “Hard Work Overcoming Everything,” “Friends Are There To Help Each Other Up,” “Treat People With Kindness,” “Respect Those Who Came Before-” very easy character to understand.
On the other end; you have Lucifero. What is he saying that we haven’t heard the other snobs of the story say? “Magicless Trash,” Peasant,” “Commoner,” “I Am The Elite” and all. He’s just them streamlined. The only difference is that he was a much bigger threat with power backing up what he said. Though he didn’t really display that; he just seemed to be throwing regular haymakers at everyone that came at him. I’m not even joking about that- he just decked everyone that tried running his fade. Which was pretty fun to see for a while. But I guess that didn’t cut it, huh?
I think one of the problems that people had with Lucifero was that he was so plain; that we already saw Asta fight to overcome the guys who were saying the exact same sh!t already, so seeing it against just felt………. repetitive and unnecessary. Especially when- again– all he did was throw hands; there was no unique grimoire design to dissect and pick apart to find symbolism in, or cool attack names that may imply something for the lore of the world, or even used the full potential of his Gravity magic like those he had a contract with(Dante and Morris- despite being treated as “Sub Par Villains-” used Gravity Magic in more interesting ways). He was toted as this “World Ending Calamity Given Form,” but he didn’t live up to that hype at all.
But like I said in regards to Asta; he’s also very “plain.” You guys can’t even imagine my disappointment when Demon Slasher’s main feature was revealed; he “only cuts what he wants to and won’t cut his friends.” That was kind of lame; Zoro learned to do that back in Alabasta- IN THE 200S. He has the ability to do what Zoro was able to do YEARS ago!! He’s already borrowed the multiple sword gimmick; might as well, I guess!
I know it’s probably unfair for me to say that we should “Love Lucifero like we Love Asta,” and I wouldn’t go that far in defending him. But I WILL say that we should give him a fairer shake. “Black Clover” is a Shonen Battle Manga- Lucifero is a Villain In Said Manga- It can only be so diverse. I could take a swipe at “My Hero,” but……….. No. Let’s just move on to the Final Part.
The Point Of The Fight And Lucius Zogratis
I’ve laid out how Asta and Lucifero serve a similar purpose for the story, so you can all gather the point of Asta defeating Lucifero. But there is still a larger question: Why Did Tabata Set It Up This Way? You would think that a Villain like Lucifero- The LEADER of the Central Antagonizing Force and most powerful being in this World, who also ties into the core theme of the story- would be the Final Villain for Asta to overcome before he becomes the Wizard King. He would the the perfect round off the narrative both in terms threat and relevance, so………… why is it Lucius? What could Lucius offer to the story that Lucifero didn’t? Well get to that in a minute. First; I wanted to what this fight is to the story: A Summary.
This fight was meant as a pay off to the primary themes of the story- as I said- but not a “Finale” type of way. It was more like a “You Get It Yet? Good– Moving On.” It was made to end off that narrative throughline so that, in the Final Part of the story- we can focus on something else. Another theme that the story tried to convey to us, but got pushed back because of X Y and Z reasons. Kind of like how Steven Universe The Movie reaffirmed the character arcs of everyone in the series, so that going into Future we had to focus on Steven and his demons. All that said; What Ideal Is This Finale Going To Push?
The entirety of the Spade Invasion arc was the theme of “Friendship(for better or worse depending on who you ask),” and the series up to this point has had the “High Class vs Low Class” motif. But the Elf Arc pushed other ideas, like William’s choice between Patri and Julius, how Anger and Revenge corrupted Patri, Forgiveness, and I think a few other themes at play. But I think there might be one more theme at play– one that’s made its way through the entire story and seemed to go under the radar. I, like, LITTERALY have not seen someone else talk about this. “Black Clover’s” Underlying Message: The Importance And Value Of Life.
The “Importance of Life” has been a present theme in the story- more often than not being brought up by Asta. There are several instances in the story in which he pushes people to continue to leave- be it to achieve their own goals or so that they can atone for the actions that they’ve committed. He showed great respect for life after fighting Vetto, or choosing to save Mars rather than leave him in the Dungeon to die. And even through other characters Lotus and Nacht we find reasons and meaning in life; Lotus refusing to die so he can come back to his family, and Nacht finding a reason to live instead of trying to die to atone for his brother’s death. Very prevalent message of the story. So that brings up the question: How does Lucius tie into this theme?
Lucius is an interesting case in that he doesn’t oppose this point. In fact; he seems to agree with it to an extent- that “All Life Is Precious,” even trying to enact his plan to help those he deems “weak,” unlike other Villains who’d rather pick on them or completely disregard them. PROBLEM: He’s trying to force these “Undying Bodies” on everyone, killing them because in his mind; they’ll “be revived later.” Not only that, but he messed with people lives- his siblings lives- to achieve that goal. That’s messed up, man. But when you consider everything done since as far back as the First Mission arc; he did save Asta and the others a lot– ultimately making it possible For Asta to defeat the “Ultimate Calamity” that was supposed to be Lucifero.
I’m not even making that up; someone on twitter pointed out a little not in the first handful of chapters, revealing that Lucius and Astaroth may have been messing with time from the get-go. Look at Heath’s clock from chapters 8 and 9. Pay close attention to the little hand.
How much time could have realistically passed between Heath’s defeat and captured them all? And I mean just the 3 Magic Knights present- Asta, Noelle, and Magna- took 2 WHOLE HOURS to tie them up? Just those 3 Midnight Sun Grunts? Uh-Huh. Something very strange happened that day, and it has ties to what Lucius was doing in this last arc. But that’s a topic for another day. More examples being when Julius saved Asta from the Eye Of The Midnight Sun, or all the times in this arc when time got rewound to prevent certain deaths. And I’m sure you’ll find a few more examples when you look through the story. Thinking about it; now everything that Julius has done is in question- but you see my point, right? A Lot Of Good Was Done.
But the negatives of what he means to achieve out way the means he used to get here(a “reversal” of the phrase “The Ends Don’t Justify The Means-“ “The Means Don’t Justify The End!”). Because what he’s means to do leads to Mass Murder, and ultimately strips life of that “purpose” that Asta seems to push. “Why try to achieve your goals now? Why Work Hard every single day when you have infinite time? You’ll get around to it?” You know what I mean? There’s no real “Agency” to do anything because you have “All The Time In The World……….” if you see it that way.
Which just brings us to the Moral Debate of the arc: “The Value Of Life vs A Longer One.” If you live longer, then you can work hard everyday knowing that you’ll achieve your dreams- which you will before you’re too old to enjoy it. But that’s the thing; you have more time than you know what to do with, so there’s no “agency” to go for it. Which is what Asta is all about; he won’t just “sit around” doing nothing- he’s going to get up and GO. Because he knows that life is too short not to. But Lucius is making it too long, so………….. What’s The Point? Is it coming across right?
I’ve re-written this part of the post like 3 or 4 times trying to avoid using this word(and trying to get the point across right), but: He’s making life Trivial. You can abuse those weaker than you because they can’t die, so “No Harm, No Foul;” there’s no real reason to spend time with the people that you care about because you’ll “see them eventually;” that “Get Up And Go” mentality looks real stupid when you have all the time in the world to do it; it just feels so………………….. empty and meaningless.
And as we detailed earlier; Asta has a great respect for life, whereas Lucius is probably more looking out for himself than anyone else. He wants the people he cares about back, but……… that’s not what they want. I think that………. this arc will deal with how one choses to view it. It may be short, but……….. that’s what makes it “worth living?” Something like that? This comin’ through right?
……….. WELL………… THAT fell apart on me, huh? I kind of took a 3 day break from this post because 1)Work 2)Bad internet and 3)Cr@ppy Sleep Schedule. One that I hope to fix. I know that I should probably write down my ideas when I get them, but…….. I find my BEST work is done “unscripted.” Like this post; I came up with the “Value Of Life” message as I was writing the portion about Asta! I was thinking this post was a bit too “short” for my liking, so combed through the story a little; took a look at Lucius and his motivations; and sh@t that message. But when you comb through the story; you start to see that I’m right-at least in SOME capacity.
But it definitely hurts my posts after a few days of not working on them. It’s why I try to work on my reviews all at once, get them done, and then touch them up a little JUST BEFORE I post them. Been doin’ this for 3 years, and it’s been working so far. Why mess with success? He says like he didn’t admit to not liking the end of some of his posts. I mean; I do go in to posts with a “Basic Outline” of what I want to say, but I DO adlib a lot of stuff.
Although there was something that I wasn’t able to include in this post because of how many times I had to rewrite everything past the Big “Value Of Life” collage above. It was a quote that my mom shared with me when my Lizard, Congo, died 2 years ago(yet another reason why I hate 2020): “Death Is A Part Of Life.” Don’t know where she got that one; pretty sure whoever told her doesn’t either. I just know that it’s an older quote- one that I think that Tabata might include in the story………. assuming he’s heard it.
But………. Yeah, guys!! Feels Good To Be Talking About “Black Clover” again. I can’t wait for the series to come back! Part of the reason I was working so hard on this post, and why I wanted to get it out on time, was because I wanted to get this out before the series returns in…….. 24 days from the time of me writing this(Thursday, June 30, 2021, 9:05 pm). Not bad timing. Let me know your own thoughts, everyone. And until the next post; Have A Magically Wonderful Day!! By~~~~e!!!
Comments on “In Defense Of Lucifero: The Central Thesis Of Black Clover- DISCUSSION”
I do think Lucifero was a fun villain even if I joined in with the crew poking fun at him for a while. At least weekly it was fun to take the shots because much like the Shadow King from Seven Deadly Sins, it felt like every chapter would end with someone really taking it to this guy. His nickname of Bullyfero quickly vanished as the characters began laying down the pain.
Still, he was a good villain and I look forward to seeing more of him soon. This hiatus has definitely felt super long, Jump isn’t the same without Black Clover