Studio: Studio Pierrot
Anime Info Page
Black Clover takes place in a world where everybody possesses magical abilities, except for Asta, who was abandoned by his parents at a young age and raised by the church. That doesn’t stop him from aiming to become the Magic King, who is said to be the strongest of all magicians.
I am sure that shonen and Jump fans can’t wait to jump on this particular action bandwagon. Black Clover has everything a fan of action anime wants: fantasy, magic, slapstick comedy, and a protagonist who rises from zero to hero. Just name a genre cliche and you will probably see it in this first episode. The protagonist duo are orphans who are raised as brothers in a church (Christianity seems to be present in many fantasy anime settings) that moonlights as an orphanage. In their world, having magic powers is a given that has its own ritual of passage. At 15 years of age, everyone gets their own personal grimoire that enhances their powers and somehow gives a hint to the fate of the receiver. Most grimoires have a three-leaf clover on them but there are also variations with four and five leaves. Yuno and Asta, the two orphans, have a dream to rise to the highest rank of magic hierarchy. Yuno is a magical prodigy while Asta has no inch of magical power in him. Can you see the underdog theme here?
The first episode played on known grounds. The protagonist is a rowdy kid who ‘will never give up’ until he achieves his dreams. He is full of energy and stubborn. On the other hand, Yuno is placid and cold. He knows he has a talent for magic and he will use it to rise to the top. After 24 minutes of ‘Never Give Up – Never Surrender’ moments from the irritating voice of Asta and a great rock soundtrack accompanying the impressive action scenes, my verdict is this: I am not keen on watching cheesy Jump stories but I can tell why people who like this kind of anime are excited. If you are a shonen fan, then you are already watching this. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you have to give this a try and see if it’s your cup of tea.
The newest Shonen Jump anime adaptation is here and it’s Black Clover. It is FULL of Shonen Jump cliches, from an overly-energetic and positive protagonist to his cool, beautiful rival-slash-childhood friend. Again, in true Shonen Jump fashion, the protagonist is determined to be the best, but lacks the typical power or talent needed….until a certain revelation comes to light. Rather than knocking the series for these cliches and not particularly fantastic use of comedy, it seems worth it to keep going for a few more episodes (I admit I’m a sucker for Yuno already). Unfortunately, there has already been a lot of backlash against Asta’s voice actor Gakuto Kajiwara which I feel is completely unjustified. Yes, Asta’s shouting IS indeed very annoying, but it is ASTA’S shouting, not Kajiwara’s that is grinding my gears. We still need to wait to see what this VA newbie can do, and look forward to his progression.
Anybody looking for a fresh spin on Shonen Jump fantasy series may be a little disappointed in this episode, but it could be worth a watch for though who live by ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
That main character really does scream a lot, hm? There was very little energy in me to focus on anything besides his voice. Except maybe the coolness of Yuno. Yuno is a precious character and if I watch more, it will be because of him and because of the ending. The story itself seems really nice, so I want to give it another chance. I am sure you get used to the voice. At points, I had a good laugh, as he reminded me of a cute baby lion trying to roar. Like Simba. ‘This bastrawrd…!’ I would also like to push the fault on those who made him scream that much. As far as I know, the voice actor is freshly plucked from voice actor garden and he has to learn stuff. So their direction is probably why he is facing so much criticism now.
But let’s not talk about the voice anymore, there were other things that were great. I liked the animation (but as I said before, I am no one to measure because I don’t really know much about animation), and there is a certain mystery that makes me want to see what will happen. I am a bit scared that it will be another Naruto – which means endless episodes – because the vibe it gives off certainly goes in that direction. But I guess I will have to see where it is going before I drop it! That said, I would suggest those who like Naruto and similar series to give this a chance. Maybe people who like to watch anime without sound or who are tolerant when it comes to loud noises will also really like it. It seems promising.