The True Definition of It Gets Better
- Episodes : 51
- Genre : Shounen, Fantasy, Action
- Airing Date : October 2017 - September 2018
- Studios : Studio Pierrot
Black Clover Introduction
Hey everyone, this is a quick look at how Black Clover has been so far and our impressions. Don’t worry though as a full review will be released after it finishes. For now, we will look at the first three cours.
Asta and Yuno are two orphans raised by a church. In a world overflowing with magic, it only makes sense that these two would inherit magical abilities. Both swore to each other as children that they would become the next Wizard King of the Clover Empire. It seemed feasible… until Asta failed to develop magical powers. On the other hand, Yuno grew rapidly and was able to demonstrate fantastic magic from a young age. Asta was not able to and trained his body daily to do anything and everything in hopes that when they were given their magical grimoires, his efforts would be rewarded. At the ceremony, Yuno is bestowed an incredibly powerful four-leaf clover grimoire and is considered both blessed and skilled. Asta gets nothing. Dejected, he leaves, but on his way home, Yuno is about to be killed when Asta is able to summon a special five-leaf cursed grimoire which allows him to sports a massive weapon that cancels out all magic that it touches. Asta is confused but goes with it. Now the boy with no magical powers has one of the most powerful forms of magic that is still technically not magic in the kingdom. Can he become the next wizard king or will it be Asta?
1. Asta Is Not Overpowered
One of the biggest pitfalls of shounen anime is that we get a protagonist who is beyond overpowered and always manages to always scrape by by the skin of their teeth. It’s redundant and annoying if we are being perfectly honest. Asta, however, doesn’t. He gets a powerful grimoire, but has no idea how to use it. He’s physically powerful, but he is not skilled with magic. More often than not too, he has to be helped by his allies and sometimes even those he does not want as his allies, in order to win. Asta hasn’t, at least not yet, pulled a miracle out of his pocket. Rather than starting at 100, he starts at 0 and has to be taught which actually makes for a good story.
2. A Variety of Grimoires & Magical Powers
Another great point about Black Clover is that we meet characters who have all sorts of magical abilities different from Asta and Yuno. They aren’t all ninjas, fighters, or shinigami. True, they are all magical knights, but that’s only in name. Everyone has different battle capabilities and is unique according to the Squad that they belong to. The grimoires are so different, that every episode almost introduces you into something new. Yami’s strange power too is something that is unique as we see no one else using it, and the same goes for the 3rd cours antagonist who commands a strange form of light magic from another kingdom.
1. It Is Classic Shounen
Black Clover hold no punches and says it is shounen from the get-go. Sure the story may be different for this shounen anime, but it still ends up following the shounen anime Hero’s Journey. There’s a problem or trial, the main character faces it, they somehow get by with some sort of help or divine intervention, there’s a smug conversation, and then they move on to the next area. There’s a few episodes of peace, and then the next problem or trial starts. Shounen is aimed at kids and it’s been a tried and true formula, so why change? Know that this is something you will be facing by watching this anime.
2. The Screeching
If you have heard anything about Black Clover, you know that the first cour and part of the second are almost audibly unbearable to consume. In fact, we tried watching the DUB to get around it and give us the story that we wanted. We learned from that mistake and went back to the original Japanese, but it’s just plain awful. The seiyuu for Asta, Gakuto Fujiwara, makes his debut in Black Clover, and it’s beyond an assault on your sense of hearing. The sound, the flow, the pitch, and the screeching of his voice is something that will go down in the annals of anime history for being catastrophically bad. Combine that with all of the important plot points brought up in the first 18 episodes or so where it is prominent, and most viewers just give up. Rather than power through, it’s just easier to give up and move on to another series. The upside is that the story improves DRAMATICALLY as more characters are introduced and Asta gets less opportunities to screech. That is though, if you make it that far.
All in all, we like Black Clover. It makes for a good shounen anime and not going into it too seriously has rewarded us with a story that gets better with time on all fronts. The characterization is good, and the series does a fantastic job of teasing that a lot more is coming if you keep watching. Resolutions may happen, but often there are a couple hints hidden that leave you with nagging questions. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode! What are your thoughts on Black Clover so far? Are you watching it? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! Till next time!