In Chapter 329 of Black Clover, mangaka Yūki Tabata hints that he’s about to indulge in a manga stereotype before going in the completely different direction.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Black clover Chapter 329!
Asta’s implied assassination of the Devil King Lucifero in Black clover pales in comparison to how it’s affecting manga as a whole, as the young magician has simultaneously slain another industry stereotype in the process. Best of all, it happened in the greatest way imaginable.
In the last chapter, Asta had literally ripped Lucifero apart in a matter of seconds. While still alive in chapter 329, the devil isn’t in particularly good shape, making it extremely unwise if he decides to keep fighting for the sake of his pride. Luckily for Lucifero, who at this point is basically just a floating bust with missing appendages, the devil doesn’t seem to suffer from megalomania and decides to get it out before Asta can finish the job. But before he leaves, the devil drops an important piece of information. Although he fully manifested in the human world, only half his power managed to cross the threshold with him.
And then it happens. Asta, with the help of Yuno, achieves his biggest win by landing the implied final punch. This was a perfect setup by mangaka Yūki Tabata. Manga are notorious for incorporating the now well-established trope that a villain doesn’t really display their full power despite being ridiculously strong. This realization greatly complicates the heroes’ plight, as they tend to be overwhelmed by this current, incomplete form. But more importantly, it offers an opportunity to further extend the current fight, or even the entire arc, and potentially move into a whole different story if the villain manages to escape. Black clover was clearly ready to try his hand at the latter when Lucifero announced his departure. But as mentioned, Tabata threw that possibility out the window. What makes Tabata’s execution even more brilliant is that he literally teased fans by giving the impression that this was his real intention, which made the twist all the more enjoyable and inviting.
This is just the last of many instances where Black clover has destroyed stagnant formulas in other shonen. Probably the most surprising and still greatest example happened earlier in the current arc when Magna Swing actually defeated Dante Zogratis. Besides being a supporting character, Magna is also pretty weak, and not just because Tabata unintentionally overpowered his other heroes far too quickly. Magna is a pawn and therefore unable to grow stronger than most mages. He must therefore resort to unprecedented means in combat, and in this particular case he was able to defeat one of the strongest characters that even captains fought. While other manga have attempted to break with form by increasing the utility of weaker heroes, their mangaka rarely continue by letting them win on their own. They’re just incredibly helpful. And now Tabata continues to defy all those formulas by killing a villain after basically shoving fans in the face with the possibility that he would escape and come back stronger than ever.
Of course, Tabata can still pull the rug out from under fans by letting Lucifero survive. But the fact that he didn’t do the same at Magna gives readers hope that he’ll pull through again in this particular case. There’s also another devil that fans are particularly keen to see more of: Adrammelech. Little is known about this sarcastic creature who is seemingly unfazed by status and values entertainment over loyalty. These amusing qualities have undoubtedly piqued the interest of Black clover Readers and hopefully when Lucifer is out of the picture we will learn more about Adrammelech in the next chapter.
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