As we move onto week 2 Weekend Otaku and I are sharing our thoughts on the second episode of Black Clover. It kind of seems at the moment like we are both feeling the same way about this show, and that is that Black Clover is still a ‘wait and see’. If you missed it, here is our post on episode 1.
I have three things I want to say about this episode. Firstly, that fight sequence was dragged out way to long. It is a five minute fight and it was nearly the nearly the end of the episode before it was resolved. It isn’t Bleach level dragged out, because at least we didn’t get a whole filler season mid-sword-swing, but it was still unnecessarily dragged out.
Secondly, Asta’s motivation is more or less that Asta wants to be strong (which I guess cuts through all the usual bull that shounen protagonists cover their self- interest over with, but leaves him somewhat lacking as a character). It might seem touching that Asta wants the orphanage to have nice food, but basically he wants to be strong so he can declare himself strong. (Yeah, I know there are hints of a more meaningful story but it hasn’t eventuated yet.)
Finally, Yuno and Asta’s relationship makes more sense after this episode. Particularly as it became clear that even Yuno isn’t immune from the idiocy that hits some of us when we are around our childhood friend. It made him more human, and I kind of liked this aspect of the episode.
Honestly, as an individual episode, this is not great. The overly long flashback sequence, the repetition of dialogue both from last episode and in the flashback, the stylised look as we finally get to see Asta do something with the fancy sword he gained last episode, it all just seems really unpolished. But… I kind of like Asta a little more this week than last week. I’m curious about the Wizard King. I kind of like Yuno and Asta’s relationship and would like to see more. So while I’m not going to sing the praises of this show just yet, I think it is laying the foundation of something that could be quite entertaining. Whether it gets there or not remains to be seen.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
On the one hand I’m glad we got a little insight into Asta and Yuno’s relationship after the brief glances we saw in the first episode. As hinted, Asta’s refusal to ever give up was a source of inspiration for Yuno, whose meeker portrayal in the scenes depicting their youth adds some definition to his character. Far from the haughty genius that Asta always struggled against, Yuno is very much a product of the hope Asta instilled in him when they were young.
On the other hand, this episode didn’t do much to sell Asta’s motivations. Wanting to become the wizard king simply because it sounds cool and strong, based on the simple story that was read to him, is as childish as his incessant shouting. I expect his understanding of his place in the world will mature as time goes on, but for now his aims are rather simplistic.
This mirrors what I think is the main issue with the series so far, in that it hasn’t given the viewer anything to really be invested in. I realize it’s still early, but it feels like we’re asked to keep watching with little more than some cool powers to tide us over until the show provides something more. I am interested in Asta’s new anti-magic abilities and just what the Magic Knights are about, but I hope there’s more to this than just that surface story.
So if you missed it, you should definitely check out our first thoughts on The Ancient Magus’ Bride over on WeekendOtaku’s blog and keep your eye out for episode 2.
Thanks for reading.
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