Black Clover has quickly proven itself to be another hit shonen anime when it began airing in 2017, starting off a 51-episode run, as fans got together to watch the incredibly loud Asta on his journey to become the Wizard King. There’s one problem, though – Asta has no magic power.
It sounds fairly generic, and it doesn’t break any new ground, but that doesn’t mean it’s poorly executed. Those looking for a new long-running shounen to sink their teeth into will be satisfied, but those who are yearning for more than the usual shounen underdog story of an aspiring hero with no powers to speak of working their way to the top, thanks to their determination and access to a lucky, exclusive power, will not find that here.
What does bring Black Clover to life is the explosive action and likeable characters, and despite having seen it all before, I’m looking forward to seeing Asta and Yuno’s journey of growth. Who knows how things will end, and there’s still plenty of room for twists and turns!
The magic group that Asta is a part of, the Black Bulls, are recognised as the weakest and most unstable of all magic groups, and so it’s entertaining to see the entire group evolve and move up the ranks, as opposed to just Asta. He and and Noelle are the ones to motivate them more, though. It’s a fun ride, and if you can look past the tropes of the genre, then you’ll have plenty of fun with Black Clover.
Black Clover comes to life with Studio Pierrot at the helm, and they do a great job in capturing the art style of the manga. Black Clover has a notably distinct art style, particularly when it comes to faces, and I’m happy to see that the sharp, angular eyes have remained here.
The older European-style world is brimming with rich fantasy, and I’m a fan of the setting, and it’s a perfect fit for magic and guild-like groups. There’s a fair bit of fan-service, especially where Vanessa is concerned, but it didn’t bother me too greatly. Made me a little self-conscious when watching it, maybe!
Black Clover Season One Part One is a solid start but it doesn’t break any new ground, and I found myself a little underwhelmed by how many of the story beats I’ve come across countless times before. Those hoping that it would do a little more for the genre, like My Hero Academia has, will be disappointed to find that Black Clover seemingly has no intention of straying far from the typical shounen formula. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not particularly exciting, either. Fortunately, there’s plenty of room for the series to grow, so here’s hoping it only gets better.
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