Black Clover is a fairly new Shonen Jump manga that’s achieved surprisingly large success. So much so that it’s now receiving the obligatory Jump anime adaptation, with the first episode just airing. Studio Pierrot have produced a gorgeous first episode of the anime, but can Asta be toned down just a notch?
As you’d expect from your typical “hot-blooded shonen anime” protagonist, Asta is a powerful young man with a lot to prove (well, not quite so powerful at this point in the story, though he is ripped AF). In the manga he spends a lot of time shouting and yelling.
Gakuto Kajiwara voices Asta in the anime. And he does a pretty good job at putting that shouting style into action. However, fans watching the subtitled version on Crunchyroll have already expressed finding listening to Asta to be a bit painful. Admittedly, it is noticeably a bit grating. Though hopefully as the story progresses it’ll get a bit smoother.
Being Asta’s voice actor is actually Kajiwara’s first major role, having won an audition competition specifically for the role of Asta. He’s fresh talent, and from the sounds of it is putting his all into voice acting Asta, even if that’s a little bit too much. With that said, hopefully the studio will allow Kajiwara to tone it down a couple of notches.
It’s also important to consider voice actor direction is not just down to the voice actors themselves. Hopefully we will see Kajiwara give even more roles his all in future!
As for the first episode, it’s great! It’s really well animated, and adds a tonne of fluidity and depth. I’m not actually a huge fan of the manga (it’s okay), but I really loved watching Studio Pierrot’s take on the story. There are some really great animation sequences. Of course, it ends on a cliffhanger as shonen fighting anime is wont to do.
If you’ve never tried Black Clover before, this is a great opportunity. And maybe if you thought it wasn’t for you before, this anime might change your mind.