Weekend Otaku and I share our thoughts of Black Clover. This week we see Asta settling in as Black Bull and a two second glimpse of Yuno. If you haven’t been following along you can check out our previous posts here.
It is very hard to defend a show, even a potentially long running one, when you get seven episodes in and you still feel like you are stuck in the introduction. For all the character development and world building we’ve so far gotten in this story, we could have fit most of the things that were necessary into about two episodes. Endless repetition doesn’t make for a deeper or meaningful experience nor does dragging things out for the sake of showing every step in a journey when not every step is particularly interesting or note worthy.
This week’s example is the tour of the Black Bull’s castle. While we kind of learn a tiny bit more about Magna, this is basically a series of fairly weak punch lines as we get shown around a castle that apparently changes anyway. Prior to this we had the short clip of the church receiving Asta and Yuno’s letters, but do the reactions of those waiting back in the church mean anything to the greater narrative?
Finally the story gets to introducing the other new recruit to the Black Bulls and she’s as stereotypical as every other character we’ve met so far. Rich and snobby but with a massive chip on her shoulder which they try really hard to make us feel sorry for her and realise she isn’t such a bad person by the end. In a show with better writing and characterisation this trope can work just fine but here, like most everything else, it is serviceable at best and enough to string us along because of the possibilities of future improvements. And that’s really all this show has going for it. Currently untapped potential.
Though, in case it isn’t obvious, I’m really tired this week so my tolerance of mediocrity is a little lower than normal.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
Karandi hit the nail on the head in pointing out the pacing problems this show has. The most glaring indication of this is in how dragged out the most insignificant scenes are. Introducing Asta to the Squad’s castle, several minutes of disbelief over his letter back home, and another useless sequence with Yuno are just the latest set of a long list of scenes that could have been heavily shortened or even omitted. The titular “other recruite” actually makes her appearance quite late because of this, but given how quickly the main conflict of the episode is resolved maybe that was for the best.
Noelle’s story is decent on paper. Where Asta’s desire to prove himself against all odds is standard shounen fodder, the theme of the disgraced upper cruster (think Neji from Naruto) can often provide an interesting foil. The overly straightforward narrative style of Black Clover, however, leads it along predictable lines. It’s kind of fitting to think that Yami took her in based on her sheet power, but her backstory and characterisation lack gravity because of the show’s simplistic handling. She’s just another element that may get interesting eventually, but for now is little more than a generic piece.
More than half the season in and there isn’t yet a compelling thread to follow. If studio Pierrot is intentionally going at a snail’s pace to milk this story for all its worth, doing it like this risks losing any semblance of interest from the portion of the audience that wasn’t drawn to it by the manga.
Thanks Weekend. Be sure to check out our posts following The Ancient Magus’ Bride here.
Thanks for reading.
If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.