Recently, a good friend of mine turned me on to Black Clover. I have heard of the show, and seen maybe a fight or two on YouTube, but had never given it a serious watch until recently. My friend was talking about how cool Asta gets later, and told me some of the basics of the plot so I thought I would try it. The first 5 or 6 episodes were a tad bit slow, but I still enjoyed them. Asta yelled a bunch and it got on my nerves a little, but I kept on and I am so pleased that I did because over the past three days I have made it to about episode 50, I really couldn’t put it down.
A quick plot synopsis if you don’t already know: Black Clover follows orphans Asta and Yuno (Brothers but not by blood) who are born into a small church village in a very poor part of the country. The world is ruled by a King, but also near him in power is the current “Wizard King” who presides over magical affairs and helps keep the world safe. Magic is everything in the land of Clover, pretty much anyone can do it to some degree, but some join the Magic Knights to become warriors, and the strongest of them all becomes the wizard king. Becoming the wizard king is the goal of Asta and Yuno, but ironically, Asta has absolutely zero magical power. (Yuno on the other hand is very gifted in magic). I thought this would just be some little trope, like in MHA when Deku doesn’t have a quirk but gets one from All Might, but no, so far where I am in the series Asta still is hopelessly a muggle, but he’s so bad ass haha.
I am LOVING Black Clover. It does everything right. Asta is a little loud at first but eventually he becomes a very cool character, The relationship between Asta and Yuno is more complicated than your average protagonist and rival. Once Asta makes it into the Magical Knights (He becomes a Black Bull), we are introduced to a HEAP of characters, and each one of them manages to be unique and interesting.
The pacing of the show is I personally believe where it shines the most, I think it has this down better than any longer running anime. One arc seamlessly flows into the next without the abrupt feeling that, you know, you just started a new arc. Everything feels fluid going forward, the characters grow and progress naturally. The little banter between the members of the Black Bulls is spot on, and you will fall for almost all of the “main” characters you meet (Reminds me a lot of One Piece in this way). The fights are absolutely awesome and the art is pretty high caliber. Even the opening and ending themes are pretty great! I’m very excited to continue the series (I plan on catching up hopefully before the next episode or two airs). If I had to rank it so far against anime of it’s type, I would say I like it better than Hunter X Hunter and Fairy Tale. I think overall it might be a better anime than Bleach, but I still love and have a special place in my heart for Bleach. I will be recommending Black Clover to all of my friends and anyone else looking for an awesome anime that has flown under the radar for awhile.
EXTRA CONTENT BELOW!
Normally, I keep my First Impression articles fairly short, but I have became so invested with Black Clover that I would like to add a few extra things.
- Asta and Yuno’s Relationship: We’re fairly used to the Protagonist and Rival relationship in Shounen Anime. Like many Shounen tropes, it oftentimes seems copied and pasted from past successful shows. Asta and Yuno’s relationship is a bit different. They grew up together as brothers, so they have that whole familial bond of love. Although Yuno developed magic and Asta didn’t, growing up it is often Asta taking up for Yuno in real world scenarios instead of vice versa. Yuno fits more of the older brother role (He’s bigger/taller, more responsible, level headed) while Asta is small, loud, and reckless. Both have a desire to be the best and it’s shown in their rivalry. They care for each other and want the best for one another, but they are driven to constantly stay ahead of the other. I just found that refreshing instead of the sulky or pissy rival we are often accustomed to (Sasuke Dammit).
- Asta’s Character Growth: Asta exhibits some phenomenal character growth pretty early in the series and then continues to become more and more awesome. At the beginning he is fairly annoying, he doesn’t know when to quit, and worst of all HE’S SO DAMN LOUD. Even his Japanese voice is loud and yells way too much. I wanted to smack him a couple times, but as he goes forward, especially after becoming a member of the Black Bulls and being recognized by his comrades, he mellows out somewhat. He becomes more sure of himself and before you know it, you love him to death.
- The Lore of the Magic Knights: Black Clover does a great job at giving you “inclusive” lore pretty early on. I’m actually working on an article all about this, should be up pretty soon, but the basic premise is it’s that kind of lore that a show introduces that really expands on the organization of the show and it’s characters. For example, the villages in Naruto, or the Bankai and Zanpakuto in Bleach. It’s the kind of lore that you and friends can discuss for hours ( X village is better than Y, etc.) Black Clover does it with it’s magic system and also with the Magic Knight Squads. The magic system follows a normal 4 element system, with variation of magic stemming from each element (Ex. Water magic might also include ice or snow magic, there are some crazy ones like sleep magic, mirror magic, and even cotton magic). The Magic Knights are divided into 7 squads (Much akin to Naruto villages or Bleach Squadrons) and each one has it’s own unique feel, outlook, and characters. The Magic Knight Squads are as follows: Golden Dawn, Black Bull, Silver Eagle,Crimson Lion, Green Mantis, Coral Peacock, Purple Orca, and Azure Deer.
- Most of the People in Clover are Assholes: Yeah, it just be like that. Almost everyone ridicules Asta for having no magic (in a world where magic is everything). Even his own father doesn’t much believe in him. When he goes to take the entrance exam people be straight up doggin’ him. Yami accepts him into the Black Bulls and even there he faces some trepidation until he proves himself. Also, almost everyone in Black Clover hates poor people with a passion. The royals are obviously the worst, but it seems even normal type civilians hate peasants. So yeah Asta, being a muggle peasant gets no love.
- The Fight Scenes Are Great: I can’t stress this enough, the fight scenes are top tier. I can look almost any fight up on YouTube and it’s gonna be great. With so many different characters, you are almost always seeing some new magic or something cool. They almost always give you then “HELL YES” hair-standing-up kind of rush like when All Might fights. So far Yami vs. Licht is one of my all time favorites.
So that about wraps it up, didn’t mean to go off for awhile, I just had a lot to say about the show. Let me know what you think of it in the comments, and if you have never seen it then give it a shot!