Black Clover Review

In a world where magic is everything and everybody can use it to some degree, a boy named Asta is born without the ability to use magic at all. Despite this immense hurdle and constant ridicule, he still dreams of becoming the Wizard King. Through harsh training and a vocabulary without the word quit, he works his way up the Magic Knights ladder with his anti-magic swords, saving the kingdom time and time again.

Despite having a handful of minor problems in the beginning, Black Clover had me literally on the edge of my seat at numerous points throughout the series. This show is simply amazing. It’s so good that it’s possibly better than the shows it emulates. The growth shown by the members of the Black Bulls (Asta’s Magic Knight squad), individually and as a family is incredibly inspiring. The unwavering resolve of the main and supporting characters is unmatched. If you get invested and get past the kind of rough parts, Black Clover will be one of your favorites, guaranteed. The action is always awesome and the comedic relief is great. All the jokes are really funny and perfectly timed.

I want to note something that may be overlooked while watching the show: Asta and Yuno’s determination to be the Wizard King actually makes a lot of sense. They’re dirt poor peasants who grew up in a church because they are orphans. Even though they were very happy growing up, pretty much the only thing they had to eat was potatoes. I know the “tatoes” thing is mostly used as comedic relief in the show, but I think it can be seen as serious as well.

Another important thing to remember while watching this show is that classism is a major recurring theme. In Black Clover, there are royals, nobles, commoners, and peasants. The higher you are among the classes, the stronger your innate magic potential is. By a wide margin as well. For this reason, royals and nobles look down on peasants and treat them as though they are lower lifeforms. Asta and Yuno want to become the Wizard King in order to create a world where classism does not exist. This also happens to be the dream of the first Wizard King, Lemiel Silvamillion, and the current Wizard King, Julius Novachrono.

The hardest thing to get past is the main character (MC). Asta is really annoying, AT FIRST. He’s just constantly shouting and yelling. However, as the show progresses he will really grow on you. He’s a really you guy with strong morals and his sheer determination is unrivaled by any other anime MC. Black Clover is home to loads of character development.

My main criticism is this: Black Clover is not very original. They aren’t really reimagining the wheel or anthing, but I honestly don’t mind that. Pretty much all of the Shonen type anime follow the same general format. I have two very specific examples of this in Black Clover.

First, Black Clover isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything. Although Black Clover is somewhat unoriginal, I don’t believe that’s necessarily a bad thing. I might have seen most of these themes the show is built upon in other popular anime, but it’s done rather well and it’s very enjoyable to watch. I should close this statement by saying the show isn’t completely unoriginal. There are still several original aspects in the show, from characters, abilities, lore, and even more.

Something that actually kind of really annoyed me was all the filler mini-arcs and stories that came after the Elves Resurrection Arc finally ended (what an amazing arc by the way). Seeing filler in this show was particularly disappointing because there had not been a single episode of filler in Black Clover before this. I understand that we were in between arcs and getting ready for the Spade Kingdom Arc (which is amazing btw), but I still didn’t appreciate essentially 30+ episodes of straight filler. It was quite reminiscent of Naruto as that anime is basically only filler with some cool fights mixed in. Other than this, Black Clover is all story all the time, and a really amazing story too.

Another issue for me, albeit a small one, was the early animation (literally only the 30ish episodes). This is the biggest complaint I see about this show, but the people who say this obviously have not watched very much of the show at all. A very small percentage of the animation in the beginning is admittedly kinda wonky. Then it gets a little better, and then gets a bit worse again. But generally, as the show progresses the animation gets steadily better. If you really want to know, it gets considerably better after the Witches Forest Arc. They more than make up for the early animation in all the large scale fights afterwards as well as the overall quality. All of the fights are genuinely stunning and really awesome. The animation for the Spade Kingdom Arc is damn near perfect.

Finally, there’s a lot of yelling in this show, mostly in the beginning. That doesn’t really bother me because I’m used to it as I watch a ton of anime. However, if you’re new to anime or just don’t like lots of yelling, then that might be understand l understandably difficult to overlook.

Now for the things I loved.

I absolutely frickin adore how the Black Bulls become a family and grow together. It’s incredibly heart warming at times. We see this family really start to take shape during the Underwater Temple Arc. As the show progresses they continue to developed even more as a family. They’re progress is displayed exceptionally during the Royal Nights Arc when the Black Bulls save Finral from death.

The magic fights are simply awesome. Like, really awesome. Once Asta learns his anti-magic form (sorry, mild spoiler), all the fights are super sick because they are on a much larger scale. The fights before were great too, but they keep getting better and better as the show progresses. The animation is especially great during the Spade Kingdom Arc. The Dante fight at the end is honestly one of the coolest fights in all of anime.

The Wizard King’s character is so great. The fact the he’s a humongous magic nerd is hilarious. It’s almost unbelievable such a kind and wholesome individual could possess such awesome strength. On the outside he seems like he could never even hurt a fly, but his magical power is peerless.

Interesting fact: the title is not actually Wizard King. It’s an incorrect but interchangeably used translation. The literal translation, and the one that is used in the manga, is actually Magic Emperor. The anime’s subtitles say Wizard King, which is the title I actually prefer as Black Clover is a medieval fantasy anime with Kings and Knights that use magic. Wizard King seems more fitting with that setting, in my opinion at least.

(Above is my favorite Black Clover OST, Pentagram). Another thing that I love about Black Clover is the music. From the OPs and endings (ending 2, Amazing Dream, is amazing btw) to the OSTs. All of it is great. The musical score fits the anime PERFECTLY. I honestly love the soundtrack so much. Much of the show’s music is rather intense and makes the fight scenes that much more amazing. And the funny, calm parts are accompanied by equally fitting tracks. Whether it’s a TV show, movie, anime, or videogame, the music is one of the most important factors in making it good. The creators of the Black Clover anime understood this because they really went all out. The music for this show matches with the overall themes and action in a way I’ve not seen in anything else to date. Except for maybe Star Wars. God I love Star Wars’ music…

Some might find the individual characters’ little quirks annoying, but I’m super cheesy and I love them. I think it’s really funny that a lot of the characters have their own little running jokes and I don’t really mind that they kind of stay the same. No matter how many times Luck asks someone to fight him, Charmy drools over food, or Yami literally picks Asta up by the head, I will giggle. These little quirks add to the characters as well as help form your connection to them. Honestly, the show would not be the same without each character having their own little quirk.

My favorite genre of anime is probably fantasy, and Black Clover is easily my #1 favorite fantasy anime. My other top 3 include Seven Deadly Sins and Fairy Tail, but I like Black Clover a lot more than the other two. Seven Deadly Sins started strong and got worse over time and Fairy Tail is just fun to watch but not objectively great whereas Black Clover got consistently better and is objectively great.

Black Clover is probably my favorite anime. I don’t think I’ve genuinely enjoyed watching an anime as much as I enjoyed watching this one. Not only is it incredibly fun to watch, several moments had me literally (yes literally I’m not exaggerating) on the edge of my seat. I don’t deny any of the show’s flaws, but once you get past them the good and great parts really start to shine. I’m not saying you’ll like the show as much as I do, but if you really give it a try, there’s no way you won’t like it. Black Clover is truly an amazing show, I highly recommend watching it.

Published by SFjello

Bay Area nerd with an overactive brain and too much free time...

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