Black Clover: What Happened?
Long-running Shonen shows are an absolute staple of an anime-watcher’s diet. If you haven’t seen at least one Shonen show, can you really consider yourself an Otaku? From Dragonball to Bleach, Naruto, Fairy Tail, to the newer My Hero Academia, these shows usually create a massive following due to their large episode count and engaging, almost addictive material. But now, there’s a new kid on the block… and it’s been nothing but controversial.
Black Clover, a Manga by Yuki Tabata, released its first volume in February of 2015. In the Fall season of 2017, it got an Anime adaptation, done by Studio Pierrot. Pretty much as soon as the first episode released, long-time fans of the Manga series were in an uproar, and it’s pretty easy to see why.
Let’s start with PACING. One of the draws of a Shonen show is, generally speaking, the fact that we get to the interesting, meat of the story very quickly. Black Clover, however, takes a full episode to give us exposition about our two main characters, and takes the second episode to give a flashback. Episode 3 is dedicated to the characters travelling from one city to another, and it just gets worse from there, with the first 5 or so minutes of each episode just being recap. Though I haven’t read the manga, personally, I do know that the first few episodes of the anime covered less than one manga chapter each, an abominable pacing for an adaptation.
The most notable flaw, however, has got to be the main character, Asta, himself. While it’s perfectly acceptable for Shonen characters to be somewhat loud and shouty, Pierrot’s interpretation of Asta is just downright annoying. Having someone be that loud, with such a grating voice, on a constant basis, is a huge turn-off for would-be watchers of the series. If you can’t even enjoy the main character, how are you supposed to enjoy the rest of the show?
Not only is the pacing rubbish and the main character annoying, Black Clover doesn’t seem to be doing anything we haven’t seen before. Main character with little-to-no power and a powerful rival ends up in a group of misfits and struggles to achieve his lofty dreams. Yeah. We’ve seen it all before, many times, only done better most of those times.
But, we can’t just talk about the bad stuff, can we? Black Clover has some pretty beautiful art, to be fair, especially some of the scenic shots. The music is quite nice, though i’m not a fan of the animation, but above all else, it’s been announced for a 50-episode release, right off the bat! So, if you’re looking to follow a relatively new, long-running Shonen anime as it simulcasts, Black Clover may be worth a look.
If you want to know more about Black Clover, there’s a great, super in-depth post by my friend Plyasm, who is a reader of the Black Clover manga, so he has some very unique insights into the Anime adaptation. Also, remember to let us know what you think of Black Clover yourself down in the comments!