For those who don’t know much about manga, there’s this little magazine called Shonen Jump. In Shonen Jump, they have published some of the most popular/successful manga of all time. They are also the home to the highest selling manga of all time, One Piece. Since the fall of Bleach and the conclusion of Naruto, there’s room for two manga to fill their places and become the new big three of manga. One Piece will forever sit at number one until it ends… whenever that is. Who are the other two? One is the new shining star of shonen, My Hero Academia. Sitting at third with a new anime is Black Clover. Can this series live up the hype of its predecessors? Let’s find out!
Black Clover takes place in a world of magic. Like MHA and their quirks, a high percentage of the population has the ability to use magic. Instead of having a number one hero like All Might, they have the Wizard king. The story is centered around Asta and Yuno who were abandoned together and left at a church. As they’ve grown, Yuno becomes a powerful wizard while Asta, on the other hand, can’t use magic at all. Each wizard receives a grimoire at the age of 15 if they are chosen by the grimoire, deeming them worthy. Asta’s only hope in using any magic was to get his grimoire, expecting it to bring his magical abilities to fruition. Though he doesn’t receive one. When Yuno is attacked after receiving a rare grimoire sporting a four leaf clover, Asta’s grimoire appears at the last moment to aide him in saving Yuno. Asta’s grimoire sporting none other than a five-leaf black clover.
Before I jump into this with my first impressions of this anime, I want to address what everyone’s initial impression of this anime is. I feel that everyone is just completely shitting on Asta’s voice actor. He is new. This is his first appearance as a voice actor but because he is the main character of a potential monumental series, you have to wonder why he was chosen. Well, I say he was a great choice. If you’ve read the manga at all, it’s the exact same dialogue with Asta. He’s consistently yelling all the time. I feel like his voice fits him well BUT I don’t know why he does this rolling thing at the end of the yell. This is something that can easily be corrected by the director. Maybe he likes it? Who knows.
One issue I do have with this series is its pacing. It’s odd. The whole second episode was flashbacks. FLASHBACKS?! This early in the series and you are making an entire episode of flashbacks? It’s really unfortunate because the world this anime is built upon isn’t interesting enough to keep me. If the pacing is bad and the world the story lives in isn’t grabbing my attention, why bother? It doesn’t help that they are rumored to have a 51 episode season. It just doesn’t seem like Studio Perriot can really make the right judgment calls to show that they care dearly for source material like Studio Bones does for My Hero Academia.
Black Clover is nothing special. Like every new shounen series usually begins, you are welcomed with a traditional formula that is accompanied by its tropes. Being safe is one thing and attempting the break the mold is another but isn’t there another option? My Hero Academia has shown that they do not live under shonen restrictions. What lead to it being so unique? I only wish Black Clover would follow the path of MHA over every other cookie-cutter shounen series.
Overall, Black Clover is looking extremely plain, as of my three episode test, but I know very well that there’s much more to come. I believe that it has potential to be something extraordinary. I just wonder what steps they will take to get there. If you are a big fan of shounen anime, give it a shot. If you are expecting a series that will fulfill your desires for more My Hero, look elsewhere. Thank you for taking the time to read my first impressions of Black Clover. Please leave a like down below if you would like more content like this. Also, leave a comment below with your thoughts of Black Clover. Did you like it? Why? I’m Curious.