This week we actually get a fight in Black Clover and Weekend Otaku and I share our thoughts on how this show is going. Check out our previous posts if you have missed them.
All things considered this was a relatively decent episode. Not good or spectacular mind you, but decent enough. We had the fight that was promised by the end of the previous episode and each of the three characters the show seems to be trying to get us to care about had their moment, and it was all pretty standard fare with shouting protagonists and gloating villains.
A few things stopped me from really enjoying this though. Firstly, while it looked good enough, most of us have seen magic fights in a lot of anime now and visually this fight had nothing on similar sequences we’ve seen in shows like Fairy Tail or My Hero Academia. That doesn’t actually make it bad, but it does take some of the wow factor away that might have accompanied it. I guess if it was my first shounen maybe it would be more impressive.
Secondly, the villain was overall pretty lacklustre. Okay, I’m not expecting much at this stage of the story from a clearly low tier villain and I’ll admit that early on in Bleach, Ichigo only really fought the mindless hollows and we didn’t get actual antagonists until nearly the end of season 1. However, even with low expectations the main villain here was boring and I’m not even sure what the other three guys were doing because they got wiped out in the fight but did they actually contribute anything during it?
The last thing I had a real issue with was after the fight was done. Touching farewell scene with the grandchild of the guy who died and the show has to throw in what it attempts to pass off as comedy. Other shows might get away with this sequence, but they’d probably deliver it better with characters I actually liked so it might work. Here is just shatters what little mood the show had managed to construct and leaves a bad taste in my mouth as the episode closes.
Still, this episode was progress of a sorts for Black Clover and I only really hated Asta during the last few minutes as most of rest of the time even his shouting seemed vaguely justifiable given the circumstances.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
In a lot of ways, this was the sort of episode I think Black Clover needed. Thanks to the battle which took up the majority of the time, we got a break from the forced humor and drawn-out aimless scenes that dragged down a lot of the earlier episodes. It wasn’t without its flaws, but I feel some satisfaction in the show doing some of the things I expected from a shounen battle anime.
Like Karandi said, there was nothing spectacular here, but the fight gave us a few things that might have made it feel very unfulfilling otherwise. Noelle’s new spell was strong, but not in a way that made it a one sided bout. Magna likewise, for all his bluster, had to rely on his junior teammates and their ability to tactically use their powers to defeat Heath. If nothing else, it sets an early expectation that the real fights won’t come down to Asta simply swinging his sword and laying waste to any opponent he manages to surprise like he did in episodes 2 and 4. I can’t say with certainty that the rest of them will follow a similar pattern, but this fight achieved the goal of feeling like a challenge for the young mages.
Aside from these credits, the generally unimpressive magic animation and overall lack of creativity from the plot challenge enjoyment from those who aren’t new to shounen anime. The tandem attack Magna and Asta pulled off is almost right out of Naruto and the water shields are a familiar sight (from the same episode!) as well. To top it off, the few scenes that reveal the overarching plot to revive the ten tailed beast collect some magic stones suggests a rather predictable blueprint for the rest of the story.
But things have to start somewhere. If Black Clover can manage to stay on course, there’s still a lot it can do to distinguish itself by getting viewers invested in the relatively small cast of Black Bulls characters. If that goes well, maybe we’ll even see Yuno again and have hope that a decent anime can form out of the whole thing.
As always, thanks Weekend. Be sure to check out Weekend Otaku’s blog as we’ve been covering The Ancient Magus’ Bride over there. It you’ve missed our posts be sure to check them out.
Thanks for reading.
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