Weekend Otaku and I continue our thoughts on Black Clover as Yuno and Asta take the exam to become magic knights. If you missed them, please check out our previous posts.
Asta’s presence was somewhat diluted this week through the addition of other candidates for the magic knights and the captains. That, and Asta didn’t shriek every single line of dialogue. He actually had conversations with people and when he is speaking his voice is actually tolerable. So, with my ears momentarily spared, what did I actually think of the episode?
Pretty standard entrance exam stuff to be honest. I felt there was a wasted opportunity here as they focused so much on Asta without giving us much more of Yuno. They keep telling us Yuno is talented but other than showing him flying on a broom standing up (something we saw in the opening credits) he doesn’t really get seen at all during this exam. They might address this next week, but it feels like they could have done more with this than just showing Asta failing over and over again.
What they did get right was Asta’s opponent for the fight at the end. It wasn’t a surprise the guy was playing Asta the whole time, and they really made you enjoy it when Asta finally got to fight him.
Weekend Otaku’s Review:
Black Clover has something of a running trend of trying to find new ways to say Asta has no magical talent. Whereas these “entrance exam” type episodes in other shounen series are a good opportunity to showcase some of the other new and interesting characters, this one basically neglected even Yuno to focus on Asta’s shortcomings. From the anti-birds swarming him to every magical test except the last one, the same gag that has persisted through three episodes takes up the bulk of this one as well. Asta can’t do magic. We get it.
From a story framing perspective though, this episode is a bit better than the others so far. Making the audience care about Asta isnt’ the easiest thing at this point, but it was satisfying to see him basically ace the combat test against a guy who rivaled his level of annoyance with that dumb laugh. The introduction of the Black Bull captain (and the explanation about how his squad doesn’t have a single decent mage) is a huge giveaway as to Asta’s destination though. Rather than wonder about his passing the exam, the show will need to find tension elsewhere next week.
With some more world building going on and a small view into how the nobles view the rest of the country, this show may yet have some interesting directions it can go.
Thanks for reading.
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