Black Clover-Chapter 196 Review by Emperor Spriggan
This week's chapter starts with a brief flashback from Liar. He was well aware that the humans never betrayed the Elves. But because he wanted the reincarnation magic to succeed to meet all his deceased friends, he lied to everyone. It was important for the elves to retain their feelings of hatred and disdain towards humans so that his plan would come to fruition. That was the one lie he had ever told in his life.
Back to the present, he collapses to the ground after having a hole blown through his gut. Liar is perplexed as to who downed him. Patri is shocked, and questions why Ronne did that. Ronne responds cryptically and says that the devil resides in the five leaf clover. He adds on that he will finally gain what he should have acquired the day the grimoire of despair was formed.
Using the magic stone he had acquired from Yuno, he summons a black apparition from the ground. Something leaves Ronne's body, and moves to inhabit the black apparition that ascended from the ground. Yuno is shocked at how cold the mana feels, while Licht realizes who the black apparition is moments later.
It's the devil. Okay, that was an unexpected twist. Reaching this part in the chapter did give me mixed feelings, mostly because I thought this whole time that Licht would be the final villain. Introducing the devil reeks of Kaguya in the last Naruto arc all over again. That, plus he looks like a poor man's Ulquiorra Schiffer.
The devil relishes in the fact that this is the first body he has had in centuries. Yuno and Patri are both scared, and the Devil addresses Licht as the one who was chosen by the Grimoire of the Clover. The look of despair on his face is the same one that was on Licht's face all those years ago. He then admits that he was the one who deceived the humans into destroying the elves. He manipulated both the Elves and the Humans into destroying each other, something that shocks Licht.
Patri is enraged, and he sends a barrage of light magic at the Devil. The attack has no effect, since the devil simply sends it right back at Licht. This is similar to the ability Full Counter by Meliodas from the Seven Deadly Sins. Yuno uses Mana Zone to defend Patri from the attack. Explaining afterwards that Patri's body belongs to Captain Vengeance, so he won't let Patri do whatever he wants with it.
Yuno then launches his own attack at the devil, intending on ending the whole feud between Elves and Humans. This time, the Devil uses a vacuum to negate Yuno's attack. He explains that his magic is called Power Word Magic, which means that anything he speaks into existence will come true. Meaning the trick in defeating him lies in rendering him unable to talk? Just a prediction, but that would be pretty neat to see in practice. Yuno is stunned at how strong the devil is, and realizes that he cannot beat him by himself.
At that point, both Asta and Mimosa come barging into the room. Yuno berates Asta for being late, and the chapter caps off there.
Honestly, I am not satisfied with how this chapter developed. Introducing the devil as the actual enemy basically just shifts the blame from one party and heaps all the blame onto someone else. Plus I think it is an incredibly lame way of calling off all the battles that were set up when they entered this fortress. Admittedly the arc had dragged on too far and the fights were growing tiring to read, but still. At least see everything through right to the end. It was a little obvious Yuno would team up with Asta to fight the Devil. But at this point you know Patri will join both of them, and he will probably call all the Elves from their battles to come help out. Ah well, let's see how it turns out. Maybe it won't have such a bad ending after all. 4 chapters left till the landmark 200, hopefully there is a pleasant surprise waiting for us then.To discuss the manga, please visit our Black Clover forum!