I knew what I would title this one the second I finished reading the leaks. I didn’t even have an alternate title, really; this WAS my first and last choice. Feeling slightly better than when I started the “One Piece” review. In the context of me writing this, I’m starting this post Thursday, March 16th, 2023, 5:15 pm. Finished the first part of the “One Piece” review about 2 or 3 minutes ago, and I’m starting the “Black Clover” review. I don’t know what it is, but…….. I’m not as Hyped for this one as I was with One Piece. Maybe because I was expecting a little more before we got into “Judgment Day.” Honestly speaking, I felt that “Judgement Day” would the the FINAL Final arc of the manga; the last story arc, seeing Asta and his friends face off against Lucius. This, now, is making me think…………. that “Judgement Day………..” won’t be the last thing this series does.
I was expecting to see the Black Bulls looking for Asta, put the pieces together, and reunited with Asta in the Land of The Sun. Yami reconciling with Ichika, catching up with Ryuya, learning what Ichika meant when she said she’d have Asta “Take Responsibility,” Noelle inching closer to tell Asta her feelings, and all that other stuff. But I guess not.I’ll get more into why I don’t think this is “IT” just yet, but for now: Lucius Makes His Move. Black Clover Chapter 354: “Judgement Day.” Let’s begin……
Lucius and his Paladin army march forward on the Promised Day, planning to kill everyone and revive them as Paladins- “For The Sake Of True World Peace.” In the Noble Realm Clover Kingdom; Charolette, Jack, Yami, William, and Yuno stand on the frontlines. Yuno returns after confirming that each group is ready to face the enemy. All of the citizens of the Kingdom have been evacuated to the Noble Realm, and the Heart and Spade Kingdom’s have been warned and have prepared for battle. They’re ready to Throw. DOWN.
Charolette- recognizing the situation for what it is- walks up to Yami and apologizes for her keeping her distance. She put all her “personal feelings” aside for today; she just wanted to get that off of her chest. Yami doesn’t really care right now, though he admits he has something he wants to talk to her about, so they should grab some tea after this is over- since she can’t hold her liquor. Jack, however, wants to get to the Carnage. Wish Granted: Lucius Shows Up Right Behind Em. And he didn’t come alone- he brought with him a Revived Morgen!! He shows as much ripping right through Jack of all people with Light Magic.
Elswhere; Morris makes his grand return, possessing a bunch of floating hands to help with his “experiments.” Though Mereoleona is undeterred. Nozel and the Silva clan, on the other hand- RATTLED. For the Paladin that comes before them is none other than their Mother, Acier Silva. And that’s not even the worst of it, as we see over the skies of the Noble Realm- A Legion of Paladins Descending From The Sky. Lucius’ Plan to “Grace The World With Happiness” Commences, as Black Clover Chapter 354 comes to a Resounding END!! Next week, Front Cover and Lead Color Page To Celebrate The 8th Anniversary!! I wonder where he would have gotten all those dead bodies from? Ah, yes!!
I do not feel that this Judgement Day event will be the final thing that the series will do because the Elf and Spade Invasion’s weren’t the end of their own Saga’s either. The Elf Invasion didn’t see Asta and the others up against Patri in the end; they fought Zagreb. The fight didn’t stop with the Triad or with Lucifero’s Faux Worm manifestation; Lucifero Half Manifested and THREW HANDS. The main part of the saga- the Big Battle Section- is never where the story for the Arc ends. This is not the “Final” Final Arc. That said, I don’t think that there’s some “Bigger Villain” like there was for those 2 sagas; I definitely feel like Lucius is the End Goal- he’s got a Good Motivation to do what he’s doing, and- as I’ve speculated in the past- is perfectly thematically opposite one of the series core beliefs: The Value Of Life. See here for that.
I also feel like………… this happened too soon for me. The end of the last chapter told us there were still 3 Days before Judgement Day would commence. We skipped 3 whole days. I had thought that the next few days would go by a lot faster, but not just skipped over. I thought we’d see all of that stuff I talked about before, and then rapid fire towards Judgement Day once all the character stuff was done. If we skipped over those 3 days, though, then I imagine nothing we won’t see in a Mid-Battle flashback will be important. Since Yami’s here, the other Black Bull’s are either spread out in different battle fields or they’re still off looking for Asta. We still don’t have any idea how Asta and the Ryuuzen are going to return to Clover to throw down with Lucius; Fujio’s Sound Yojutsu Amps plus Finral and Nacht conjoined magic could warp them all back to the Clover Kingdom Quick. So I think we’ll be seeing them all arrive after the initial part’s of the battles take place.
You know the parts: Bad Guys Kick @$$; flashback occurs and the Heroes get a power up/ display a power they learned in preparation for battle; Bad Guys look to be down but not really; cut away to another battle and repeat. At least that’s how the battles in the Heart Kingdom were structured. And given the Paladin’s regenerative abilities, I’m fairly certain that’s how these battles are about to go.
The of course you have Spade and Heart’s preparations. Guess Diamond still hasn’t recovered from what Zenon did. SPEAKING OF: Those were a lot of Dead bodies on the ground there. Sure would be a shame if the last thing the Diamond Kingdom did in the story- after being such a problem back when they started attacking the Clover Kingdom- was get offscreened like that. You know what I’m getting at? Those Paladin’s coming down from the sky- are former members of the Diamon Kingdom. Where else would he get that many corpses on such short notice? Maybe that was part of his plan in the first place; let Zenon and the others wrack up body after body and use them all as the first wave of Paladins. Smart, Lucius- SMART.
We speculated that Morgen would be a Paladin; Damnatio is more than likely one; Zenon slaughtered a bunch of people in the Diamond Kingdom, including the 8 Shining Generals(so we’ll probably finally learn what that guy is all about); and I’m not sure who else is we’ve got. But we’ve got a lot to pick from Luck’s Mom and Licita. Knew I could think of more. I mean, we’ve brought back Acier, so why not? Speaking of; would it be too easy to say that her powers are coming from a Purified Megicula? Or is that “too easy” for Lucius? But no matter what you say- Morgen has Purified Lucifugus. The horns match up way too much for that NOT to be the case. Looking at Lily on the other hand tell us that the horns on the Paladins and the horns for the Devils don’t always have to match up; Beelzebub has 4 horns to Liliy’s 2 Looping horns. That said; her horns are in the same position, with the back horns looping to the front.
Actually, this doubles as a chance for Tabata to make up for last time with Morris; him getting offscreened like that was……… honestly kind of disappointing. I mean; Having All The Black Bull’s there after MONTHS of training(on top of the prep they did leading up to the Invasion) made that fight obvious. That’s not the problem. For someone like Morris, who’s had this unspoken influence in the series through characters like Mars and Ladros- and even then through the Dark Triad and Spade Kingdom; we should have seen that. If for nothing more than the catharsis of seeing them get out some of their aggression.
In that same regard; I think that Morgen will extend the same hand to Nacht that he did way back then– Morgen still wanting to fight with his brother on the side of “Righteousness,” but that path now being what Lucius say it is. The question is whether or not Nacht will end up taking that hand this time, after everything that’s happened. It’s would be simple for Tabata to have Nact hesitate and have one of the Black Bull’s pull him out of it(probably one of the more “Sincere” one’s like Magna), but what I think would be LOADS more interesting and impactful is seeing Nacht tell him Morgen that Lucius’ path isn’t the “right one.” And maybe his isn’t exactly “right” either. But he- with the help of the Black Bull’s- will bring Morgen back to his senses, and they’ll “Find The Right Path Together” or something to that effect.
And then you have Revival Of Acier Silva- Matriarch of the Silva Clan and the Only Woman that Mereoleona Vermillion was never able to defeat. Kind of surprising that she’s not at that battlefield; it would be nice to see more of why Mereo is like this. She was probably always a battle fiend, and Acier being as strong as she was probably got her all excited. Then she died. But she’s BACK now- stronger than she has ever been. And Mereo has likely been working on H#llfire Incarnate’s drawback. No better time to test it out than seeing if you can melt Acier’s Steel Magic. But not before she gets the chance to speak with her 4th and first children again. You know; the Good ones. I imagine Lucius’ programming is going to make her act very “Un-Mother-Like” towards Noelle, prompting some sort of development in Nebra and Solid(or not; I don’t care either way), or maybe something in Nozel or Noelle herself.
Though………. if Asta’s Zetten can undo the Paladinification(?), then……… He Could Give Noelle her Mother back. And that…… will be a thing. Heck; he’ll probably find some way to turn all the Paladin’s back to normal without killing them, allowing everybody their loved one’s back. Or– in the same vein as with the Elf Invasion- undoing Lucius’ magic will let these people all leave in peace, and allow their loved one’s a proper “Goodbye.” Either way, really.
I rewrote the last little bit of that. As you can imagine. I think where I decided to stop and how I reached that point is a LOT better this time around. But I still don’t really have any “Closing Thoughts.” All I can say is that Judgement Day has arrived. Tabata’s about to bring his A-Game of art and writing, having these characters clash like this after so long. The stakes are high and the emotions are bound to be even HIGHER. I’m psyched to see what these Paladin’s are capable of. Let me know what you guys think in the comments, and Until the Next Post– Laters.