Welcome to the first 200 Word Anime post where Weekend Otaku and I will be sharing our thoughts on the episode. Be sure to check out Weekend’s blog as we’ll be reviewing The Ancient Magus’ Bride over there (hopefully – assuming we both get access and have time).
In a world where magic is everything, Asta and Yuno are both found abandoned at a church on the same day. While Yuno is gifted with exceptional magical powers, Asta is the only one in this world without any. At the age of fifteen, both receive grimoires, magic books that amplify their holder’s magic. Asta’s is a rare Grimoire of Anti-Magic that negates and repels his opponent’s spells. Being opposite but good rivals, Yuno and Asta are ready for the hardest of challenges to achieve their common dream: to be the Wizard King. Giving up is never an option!
– from Crunchyroll
I knew before I started this (from the thousand promotions around the internet) that I was about to watch a standard shounen which meant I was expecting characters who shouted a lot and the whole never giving up thing because being gritty and determined apparently makes you stronger. What I wasn’t expecting was that to be all this first episode delivered. I’m pretty sure Asta doesn’t actually speak until the 18th minute in this episode because nearly every line of dialogue prior to that (and there’s a lot) is shouted. Kind of made me want the chain guy just to pull the chain around his middle a little bit tighter and call it a day (okay, I shouldn’t wish death on the protagonist in episode 1, and he isn’t actually that bad).
However, if I ignore Asta for a moment and focus on the other characters and the story set up, while it still isn’t exactly winning points for originality, by the end of the episode it has actually set up what should be a pretty interesting if obvious fantasy story. More importantly, it made me really want to learn more about Yuno, his relationship with Asta and the world as a whole. It kind of reminded me of Attack on Titan where Eren drove me absolutely crazy for a lot of the first season because I cannot stand him as a character but I really liked the concept, the world, and some of the support cast so I stuck with it and now I really like Attack on Titan even though I still can’t stand the main character.
So I am on the fence with this one. This episode improved as it went and the episode climax was pretty on point and I’m kind of hoping now that we’ve gotten over the super generic introduction it can show us something interesting next episode.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
As Karandi mentioned, this show doesn’t deviate much from other shounen fantasy stories. The characters are actually quite reminiscent of Naruto, leading to an introductory act that plays out in much the same way: the spirited underdog (Asta) feels overshadowed by the gifted savant (Yuno), with Asta’s ambition checked by his severe lack of talent while his rival effortlessly outshines him. It sounds formulaic, but the setting of Black Clover gives it some potential.
While there has been sparse world building thus far, what little we learn about the clovers hints that Asta may be privy to a power that is unique even in a world rife with magic. Though it’s a given that his dogged attitude will see him through his initial setbacks, the nature of the grimoires offers some possibilities. To become a more compelling series that distinguishes itself from other shounen stories, I would like to see how the “black” clover influences Asta’s journey apart from his goal of becoming the Wizard King and some more depth to the characters through their shared backstory.
Thanks Weekend and be sure to check out Weekend’s blog as they have some fantastic posts. I’ll let you know when our next post is out.
Thanks for reading.
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