200 Word Anime: Black Clover Episode 1

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).

Overview:

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

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Karandi’s Review:

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.

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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.

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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.


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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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19 thoughts on “200 Word Anime: Black Clover Episode 1

  1. This collab was a treat to read. Wish I could say Asta’s voice was similarly nice to listen to. Well, guess we’ll have to see how the series develops. Thanks for the short and sweet episode review.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Really digging this collaboration piece idea, I look forward to more!

    I’m glad that despite being fairly generic and shout-y, that both of you managed to get something’s out of this first episode.

    My ears were definitely sore afterwards though. Listening to Asta through headphones is… ouch!

    I can assure that it eventually breaks the mould and does its own things, but whether or not we’ll get there’s is a whole other story (as usual)

    Thanks for sharing guys! I look forward to more of these!

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I kind of hope it ends up at least 2 cour because I’m thinking we’re not getting much story otherwise. Not because I have any idea what happens in the source, but just this kind of show usually takes awhile to get going.

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  3. As mentioned before, so cool to see a collaboration between you guys!. This is the second time this morning that I have come across this anime (the first time was on Lethargic’s blog). I have not yet seen this series, but seeing as you are reviewing it now by episode, I think I am going to do a watch a long now so I can follow along with your reviews. Love the title by the way: 200 word anime 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yep. Basically boils down to “Generic Shounen with potential, once it drags itself out of Naruto’s shadow.” It could go SO many interesting directions. Though I swear my eardrums will be bleeding before long if he doesn’t cool it with the yelling. I’m normally pretty tolerant of Shounen protag yelling, but something about his specific voice when doing it just grates on my ears something fierce @_@

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a particularly unique voice in terms of being truly horrific to listen to for the majority of the episode. The few lines he didn’t shout though were pretty good so more of that would be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

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