Continuing with Black Clover, Weekend Otaku and I our now sharing our thoughts on episode 9 as the first mission turns into more than either Asta or Noelle really counted on. If you’ve missed any of our previous posts you can check them out here.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this show?
Do I comment that we had a recap of over two minutes for the previous episode in which nothing of substance actually happened so this served no purpose other than to remind us of how lame this mission was supposed to be?
Do I mention that the first new dialogue we hear in this episode is “Ahhh!” as Asta once again runs around screaming (and that is at the four minute mark)?
Should I instead turn my focus to the incredibly blunt and obvious theme of nobles looking down on commoners that is being developed by literally just repeating it over and over and over again?
Or the equally obvious and blunt foreshadowing of the tragedy awaiting at the village?
Perhaps I was supposed to care about Noelle’s apparent revelation that when she’s asked by a teary child to help suddenly she can use magic. This seems ridiculously cheap and a way to easy way of overcoming a block that is essentially her only defining trait as a character, but why should that matter at this point?
And lastly, should I mention that Yuno has apparently vaporised from the story so the only character I was even vaguely interested in (not that he’d done anything interesting) has since ceased to even have purpose in Asta’s flashbacks?
Despite all of the above, there is one unmistakable positive from this episode. We actually get to see them use their powers for an actual purpose. Not in some assigned duel or for household chores or as a cheat or anything else. We genuinely have a magical threat, people to protect, and a real fight on our hands. Now if only the show could make me care about that.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
I’ve accepted it as a standard for Shounen Jump adaptations that up to the first half of an episode might be recap, so I’m not particularly bothered by that. I can even take the predictability of the plot, such as the first mission turning out to be more dangerous than planned. Traits like this can feel tiresome but are okay so long as there are other elements that can retain interest. As we have said time and again, however, this is a real challenge for Black Clover.
To be fair, I agree with Karandi’s last point in that I enjoyed the chance to see some more characters in action and at least an attempt at showcasing a magic battle. Though the animation doesn’t go out of its way to avoid looking generic, pitting Asta’s group against some real foes injects some much needed drive into the otherwise stale plot. Magna’s fire magic isn’t the most original power but I liked seeing him use it to do something other than throw a fireball. Noelle’s new spell might also hold some promise but we’ll have to wait and see since the show is in no hurry to actually do anything.
This is all in vain hope for a silver lining, because what Black Clover continues to suffer from is a lack of anything that could get the viewer invested in the story or characters. Asta’s unwavering will would be admirable if we see him press on in the face of failure, but without any real challenge after nine (!!) episodes, the only way this manifests is him swinging his sword at all his problems. The class divide is repeated time and again as a theme, but it feels like nothing more than a way to get Asta fired up (as if he needs it). He hasn’t changed anyone’s perception on the topic and he’s still a joke even when he does manage to break the stereotype.
I shouldn’t hope for this series to do anything more than the standard generic shounen fare, but I’m annoyed that it doesn’t even seem to be trying.
Thanks Weekend. We’ve also been covering The Ancient Magus’ Bride over on Weekend Otaku’s blog so if you’ve missed our posts you should go check them out.
Thanks for reading.
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