………..I honestly did not know what to title this review. This is the first time in quite a while that that’s happened to me(note that I didn’t link to the last time that happened- I can’t even remember what post it was!). So we just got this generic @$$ title to work with for now. But that shouldn’t matter right now. The only thing that matters right now…….is that H##LL has broken loose. The series will never be the same after this. And I get the feeling that we still got a lot of series left to explore(Knock On Wood Knock On Wood Knock On Wood). Black Clover Chapter 280: “Surging Disaster.” Let’s get to it, shall we?
I guess since we had a colored cover page a chapter ago; Tabata decided to forgo any sort of cover page to celebrate such a………..Momentous occasion. I would have liked a cover page- colored or not is irrelevant- to lament this pivotal point in the story. But it’s his manga; I can’t complain. Especially not when he’s been pumpin’ out 1 high quality chapter after another.
We open this weeks chapter where the last left off: Morris found a way to accelerate the “Advent of Qliphoth,” and 2 High Ranked Devils managed to make their way into the Human world. I saw some people questioning how High Ranked Devils were able to come out first, considering what Nacht said to the Captains in chapter 263 about the the Devils getting stronger and stronger the further down they go in the tree. So the ones that come out of the gate first should be the weakest ones, right? Well, there are a few ways to explain this “problem.” Well; it’s not a problem, but I need to address it because some people are kind of confuse.
For one thing; them being the “weakest” does not mean they’ll be “pushovers.” These 2- who are revealed to be named “Lillith(Owl House fans; eat your heart out)” and “Naamah-” could be the weakest Devils. It’s the “Shonen Escalation” principle. These 2 are the weakest, meaning that should only barely be able to beat them. You know how this goes; past victories over past villains is undermined by the new one- it seems like nothing. The other point– well; I’ll save that for later in the post. Not too much later, though.
The caption for the chapter reads “The Door To The Afterlife Opens- With The Surprise Attack Of Devils Of The Highest Order. What Will Nacht And The Others Do?!!” Jack- having been sent into the wall by Lillith’s attack- struggles the break free of from the wall. Not only was he hit hard and embedded deep in the wall, but he notices ice forming on his body. These twins have Ice magic. SWEET. I’ve always preferred ice powers over fire powers; there’s more versatility in using ice than there is fire. See my recent reviews of Edens Zero for details.
As Jack struggles to break out of the ice binding him in place(after having unlocked a new form; he’s reduced to a mere spectator to the events around him); Nacht notices something’s wrong with Plumede- he’s…….shaking. The poor thing is ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED seeing to of his “Devil Superiors.” Like; I imagine that all of Nacht’s Devil’s are low to Mid ranked- none of them are of a High rank. So seeing 2 High rankers must be horrible. Especially when you consider the only thing you have to do in the Underworld is pick on and beat up your lessers. In that case; Nacht’s Devils must have been beat up a lot.
As Plumede trembles before his superiors from the Underworld; Nacht thinks to himself “2 High Ranked Devils from the 1st floor of Qliphoth. I expected them to have the same level of strength with the Dark Triad, but……They’re on a whole other level!!!!” Hearing what he says hear basically confirms the fact that Nacht made a major miscalculations of their strength. MY original thought was that the Accelerated growth of Qliphoth allowed for certain Higher ranked Devils to come out before the 2 that were supposed to come out. But this means that Nacht just underestimated how strong the first 2 Devils that came out of the gate would end up being. What a grave mistake.
All of this and I’m still talking about Page 1. I really should stop going off on so many tangents and over explaining the “little details,” shouldn’t I? Oh well; maybe next time.
As Nacht begins to realize the grave mistake he just made; the twins attack once more with ice shards and fire balls sent in every direction. Dante still hasn’t moved from the same spot he was in despite that last attack, and Nacht is using Felis modes “Agility” characteristic to avoid getting hit with one of those shards. But as he’s moving around; he realizes something critical: “They’re Just Playing Around.” For One Thing: They’re stronger than everyone in this castle right now. Like; Nacht confirmed them as being stronger than the Dark Triad. And if they’re stronger than the Dark Triad, then they’re most definitely stronger than the Clover Kingdom mages who came after them. But the other point: They don’t have grimoires. And when you get a grimoire– your power sees a sharp spike. They’re not even at their max, and Nacht is sh!tting himself.
As the twins “play” inside the castle; the roots of the tree begin to reach further outside of Spade Castle. The people end up seeing the roots form, and the citizens begin stir: “The roots…..are absorbing mana from the atmosphere?!” I;m starting to get it now. William is the “seed” that will grow into a tree; Yami is the liquid(think of a generic assignment from 7th grad biology) that will help it grow into the “Tree of Qliphoth” as opposed to what it became in chapter 213(suggesting that combining World Tree Magic with different kinds of magic yields a different result); and the natural mana in the air acts as the carbon dioxide to help the tree grow. It functions just like a regular tree.
The resistance and Clover Kingdom mages see the tree growing, and begin to feel tremendous magic power emanating from the Castle. We close in on the gate to the castle, in which we see it: Demons pouring into this world like water into a cup. Demons of all sort flow into the Human world with crazed looks on their faces. And Tabata takes this opportunity to flex his art skills- again.
Demons of all shapes and sizes begins to leak out of the gate- from a generic “Oni” shaped monster to a Gremlin to even a Sea Monster. Octopi; Bird men; Porcupines; Cyclops’; Goat men; all of these low ranking Demon’s rush out to mess with and torture the closest humans they can find. And yes; I do believe that these are low ranking Demons. Simply because the Higher Ranked one’s tend to have more “Human” traits-2 eye; 2 legs; 2 arms; hair rather than fur; and mysteriously enough- Wings. I say all this because all of these traits describe Zagreb(who is implied to be a of High rank), and….Liebe. What doe these traits imply for Liebe? Is he a higher ranked Devil than he realizes? Nacht did state that “they would be the strongest” if they master Anti Magic. So……..
The poor, unfortunate souls just outside of Spade Castle are the first to be targeted by the bored Devils of the underworld. They begin to panic and run at the sight of the monsters coming after them. Anyone who can get those 2 references I just made gets 10 Billion points. Mereoleona sees them coming out in boatloads, thinking back to the mana she sensed in the Shadow Palace at the time. She looks down excitedly at all the strong foes she’s going to have to fight, but then……she notices: The Ancient Demon Ain’t Ash As She Once Thought. The Beast gets back up, ready to continue the fight. Mereoleona: “So…….The REAL Fight Starts Now?” Almost as if to say “So am I.” And I would believe something like that if it turned out to be true.
I would believe that Mereoleona was holding back against the thing just to gauge what it was capable of. She likes to fight, so she would hold back in the beginning to make sure she can enjoy the fight as long as possible- if she certain the opponent she’s up against is strong. Which I’m pretty sure is why she only used 2 spells over the course of the battle. She probably thought the Ancient Demon would be more of a challenge……which it is now, but that might be because of the Tree.
I think the reason it’s able to get back up again despite seemingly burning to ash last chapter is due to the fact that the “Advent Of Qliphoth” is happening. Like Dante said to Yami in chapter 256; “Those using the power of Devil’s can only use 80% of that worlds power without the Tree of Qliphoth.” So whatever magic was used to create this Ancient Demon was somewhat incomplete. As such, when the gate opened; this Demon saw a massive boost in power, and is now able to keep on fighting. Though I doubt that matters much to Leona; it just makes her want to fight it even more.
Back at Spade Castle; the roots of the Tree continue to engulf the castle to make a full on Tree(at least; I imagine why that continues grow). Inside the castle; we catch up with Boreas Spirit Yuno and his fight against Zenon- who took his Devil power all the way up to 70%! But even after kicking his power to a higher level; Yuno just ends up blasting yet another hole in Zenon’s torso- even after it’s padded by more of his bones. Yuno thinks that this attack is the thing that will end the battle…….but Zenon can sense it. Charolette can sense it in the cocoon she left Vanica in in chapter 277. She begins to ponder “I’m sure I sealed the Curse power- but this magic….is rising?!”
Dante can FEEL it, realizing what’s going on: “The First Door- The Barrier That Makes the Devil Contracts Incomplete- Has Been BROKEN!!” And with that “barrier” gone; the Zogratis siblings up their Devil possession to the max: 100%!!!!
Starting with the Ladies; Lady Vanica’s Devil possession sees her blood take over most of her body, and the black flowing goo that Devils tend to have makes up the black parts. Both horns fully form, and her right eye is completely covered. I looks into it, and the symbol on her chest seems to represent “Warding,” as in “Protection.” “Curse Warding magic,” get it? As for Dante; the upper part of his face is draped in a mask, and his horns that are usually pitch black gain a “glow” effect to them- as does the rest of his body. The symbol on his represent Gravity- for Lucifero’s magic. But it still has the slash mark to it.
Zenon’s transformation is the most “expressive” of the 3, as his has more features to it because of his bone magic. The bones become more like chest plates, and more form around his wrist. Heck; bones end up making a sort of helmet that coats the horns and part of his face. The dark goo of the Devil starts to coat more of his skin. It’s probably my favorite of the 3 because of how much detail there is to it in comparison to the others. Lady Vanica naturally comes in a close 2nd because……come on! And Dante……..I think his 60% form was actually the coolest. Those forms he used while fighting the Black Bulls were much cooler. Though that’s not to say this form is lame. Just not as cool.
With their Devil power now at its peak; the Triad strike back at the Clover Kingdom(who came to strike back at them, ironically enough), starting with Jack. Now able to access the full power of Lucifero’s Gravity magic; Dante is eager to put it to use. And seeing as Jack was so “entertaining” before; he pulls him towards him and tells Jack “Sorry for for disturbing you when you’re lying down, but- YOU will have to fight with me a little bit longer!!” He starts blasting Jack with Gravity attacks, breaking his blades and ending his power up. What a F*cking waste. We got that whole flashback and saw him “cut” through Dante’s gravity magic- only for him to get pushed back by Lillith, and now become Dante’s “punching bag.” Gah!
We then cut over to the ever-eager Vanica getting right down to business. She ends up knocking off Char’s helmet, and pinning her to the ground with her blood magic. She seems to have made spider legs with her Blood, and attack Char. She manages to defend from one of the legs, until Vanica says “You’re So Me~~~~an; even though I Like you SOOOOOO So mu~ch!” He teeth- having been sharpened by her transformation- are bared as she says “ALRI~~~~GHT LET’S GO~~~~~~!!!” From there; we cut back to Yuno fighting Zenon. The fights almost become a like their first encounter– by which Zenon’s bones are regenerating faster than Yuno can cut through them. As he pushes back on his foe; Zenon tells him “You’re ‘victory-‘ was just a fragile, fleeting dream.” This man has the most Savage lines in the whole series- Swear to God.
Nacht is watching all of these events play out with his “Heaven’s Shadow Second Sight” trick- thinking “D@mmit!! Here and there…….If we just leave Morris alone, then the situation will only become worse!! I have to leave immediately and defeat him!” He wants to go an remove Morris from the circle, but the problem is Lillith and Naamah. “The actions of High Ranked Devils is unpredictable- somebody has to keep them occupied!!” As he tries to think of the best way to deal with these 2 very serious problems; he begins to think of only 1 person: Asta.
He thinks about what he said about Asta becoming “The Strongest,” and realizes: He can’t win. So he thinks of an alternate plan- one that……..one that’ll cost him his life. So he tells the trembling, terrified Plumede: “Die With Me, Please.” No one wants to die alone, I suppose. Though it’s also plausible that “Agility” is not Plumede’s only characteristic. It’s implied that Gilmedelo has more than just “Pack” as a characteristic. It’s entirely possible that one of Plumede’s characteristics is “9 Lives.” You know; cause he’s a cat? Maybe he plans to “die” here and and keep doing so to keep Lillith and Nahama occupied until Asta gets here. And when he does; they can fight back these Devils and either send them back to the Underworld or kill them off.
Elsewhere in the castle; the fight between Yuno and Zenon(oh; and Langris is there, too) becomes quite difficult for the Golden Dawn. Zenon begins to berate Yuno once more, by saying “As I Said: Your side Will Be The Ones To Die. But don’t worry- you guys wouldn’t have a place to go back to in any case.” Yuno- sweating bullets now- asks his foe what he means by that. Which leads us into the Clover Kingdom for the final part of the chapter. Not good. Very Not Good.
The clouds cloak the Skies above the Noble realm- extending to even the likes of Hage Village. Recca and Nash see from the outskirts of the Kingdom something beginning to descend from the sky. 2 gigantic pillars begin to drop from the clouds. And it is revealed: An Ancient Demon has arrived- courtesy of the Spade Kingdom. They’ve sent a monster to begin the destruction of the Clover Kingdom. 1)Where in the H#LL did they get 2 of these thing? From what it seems; you need to use Forbidden magic to become and Ancient Demon………wait a minute. In chapter 277; Vanica was using 2 of the “8 Shining Generals” as her pawns. What of the other 6? They had 6 months to do this, so…….yeah; that’s probably what happened. And now one of the Ancient Demon’s they made is here to finish what the unwilling Licht started.
The Purple Orca’s captain and the real Xercs; Julius and Marx; Scarlett and her family are all seen looking up at the goliath come to terrorize them and destroy their home. Meanwhile- in the “Dark Garden-” we see Asta and Liebe, down on their knees in exhaustion. We then zoom in on Asta- huffing as if to say “…….Got it.” The scene of the Anti Magic brothers getting the hang of their own unique Devil union brings Black Clover Chapter 280 to a resounding END! Where have I seen this before?
An Ancient Demon descending on the Clover Kingdom to cause destruction? And someone that can make a Huge Sword rising up to defeat it? THAT’S RIGHT- that was how Lumiere became the First Wizard King!! Now- equipped with a much stronger “Black Divider” and greater control over his Anti Magic power- Asta can fight against the Ancient Demon in…….pretty much the same way that Lumiere did. It would help to cement that Asta will one day become the Wizard King. And help to earn back the faith of the Clover Kingdom following the Elf Invasion and that trial.
It seems like Asta and Liebe; it seems like their union training is just about complete. You can see it in the tiny panel on the last page above Asta’s face that Anti magic is coming off of Asta. So that means whatever Devil Union mode they discovered COUGH COUGH*Devil Fusion*COUGH COUGH is ready to go. Or well; not ready, but there’s no time like the present to test it out. Sorry about the cough; I’ve been having this really soar throat lately. I need to stop staying up and shootin’ the sh!t with my brother so much. I’m not even actually joking about that; I legit have a soar throat in real life.
This chapter was a REALLY GOOD ONE. A lot of “meat and potatoes” to it, with a lot of set up for the immediate future. Asta’s gonna look like Lumiere to the masses of the Clover Kingdom when he defeats this Ancient Demon, and then he’s gonna have to get over to the Spade Kingdom somehow. I’m guessing that’s where Finral and the other Black Bulls come in, huh? But that all comes- NEXT WEEK! So until then, my loyal readers; have a magically wonderful day! Later!