200 Word Anime: Black Clover Episode 13

Welcome to the final post for Black Clover that Weekend Otaku and I will be writing together. We’ve mutually agreed to end our joint coverage of Black Clover here. While I don’t think either one of us have fully committed to dropping the show, we both know we aren’t really enjoying it and there’s only so many ways you can say that before it becomes repetitive. However, we will be continuing joint coverage of The Ancient Magus Bride over on Weekend Otaku’s site (link at the end of the post if you haven’t checked those out). Meanwhile, you can check out our previous posts of Black Clover if you have missed them.

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Karandi’s Review:

This week brings us some more brilliantly nuanced character performances as the noble characters subtly display their disdain for Hage and its residents before valiantly offering to protect those beneath them who are in need. Oh wait. No, that isn’t right.

Okay, we get Salim play acting as the nice noble though due to the poor writing quality and the absolute lack of subtlety in this show it is quite obvious where this whole mission with Yuno is going before we actually get there. As such the audience is asked to endure a fairly painful meal in the church where Klaus continues an internal monologue of disdain while Salim plasts false smiles across his obnoxious face. It is almost a relief when the sister gets kidnapped.

What made this scene worse was Yuno’s reaction to Asta sending money. Yuno, due to lack of screen time and contrast with Asta, is about the only character I haven’t actively disliked in this show and then we get the scene this week where he reveals clearly he is every bit as stupid as Asta, he’s just quieter about it.

Then, just in case you were still hoping for something from this story, we get a standard sequence of Yuno flying/walking toward the very cleverly chosen location where Sister Lily is being kept captive and facing off with one bad guy at a time. Because of course, when facing someone really strong your best option is to individually take him on and spread you forces out so they can’t back each other up.

This show is just kind of painfully stupid to watch. The story does do what most other shounen shows would do and you could almost write out the plots of several stories that would use this exact sequence and yet here there is nothing fun or interesting to distract from the poor quality or simple nature of the story. I honestly can’t see me getting to the end of this show.

 

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Weekend Otaku’s Review:

I half expected the detour in Hage to be simply that, given this show’s propensity for drawing out unnecessary sequences. With that said, I can appreciate the attempt to draw intrigue into some of the things going on in Clover Kingdom outside of Asta’s small point of view. As is usually the case with Black Clover though, the execution fails to impress.

The plot being more or less predictable isn’t too much of a disappointment, given that it led toward some more magic battling – something I’ve been wanting more of from this show since the end of the first episode. The problem here is in the lackluster experience, stemming from the gauntlet style one on one fights that Yuno spends about ten seconds on for each. Like every fight thus far (except maybe the one against Heath), there is no flash, no sense of the stakes, and no real tension. It’s just another set of scenes to get through on the way toward wherever this show is going.

On that point: with this episode coming in at the end of the winter season I had dared to hope that it would lay some groundwork for what’s to come. The most I could take away from the last couple episodes was that the Wizard King is interested in the brothers. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I missed any other major point among the tedium in between.

In the end there just isn’t enough to justify the time spent, at least in writing about it if not watching. I’ve enjoyed parts of this show more than I probably should have (I could be tempted to watch an entire season of Petit Clover), there isn’t much more I can say about it that I haven’t already. While the show may deliver something over the course of many episodes, one of the few reasons I may continue to watch, there simply isn’t enough substance to it on an episode by episode basis. Even for viewers who love shounen, Black Clover’s superficial approach to the genre’s tropes and lack of narrative leaves too much to be desired.

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 Thank-you Weekend, it has been a pleasure covering this show with you (and that was probably the best thing about the show). Be sure to check out Weekend Otaku’s blog for our reviews of The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Karandi’s Random Reflection:

It has been so great following Black Clover and The Ancient Magus Bride this season with Weekend Otaku. I have a lot of respect for Weekend Otaku and his opinion so just knowing that he were going to read my random thoughts on episodes made me think about what I really wanted to say and saved me from just writing ‘Make it stop’ over and over again during the early episodes of Black Clover.

I’ll admit, the first half of this season was particularly challenging for me due to my work situation but having this ongoing project really helped and I want to thank Weekend for offering to work on an extended collaboration. I know both of us had weeks where viewing the shows and getting a draft of the post to the other and then reviewing was quite the effort and yet for 13 weeks we’ve both been there for the other.

However, this project has also made me shift my focus a few times because I would realise both Weekend and I had picked up identical points so then we’d have to think about what else could be said about the episode or whether there was anything else to be said (and sometimes we’d come up empty). I’m really glad we did this 200 Word Anime project during Autumn and I’m really happy that Weekend Otaku was the one I started this project with. It is definitely something I’d like to do in future seasons though one thing I have definitely learned is to not over-commit myself because it isn’t that unusual for my work situation to go crazy and I was really struggling some weeks. When I review by myself I just shift my post order around at will if I fall behind as there’s always something scheduled later I could move up (that’s a necessity if you are going to keep daily posting long term), but even with the couple of days we left as a buffer between the episode airing and when we wanted to have our post out sometimes it was a push.

Basically, a huge thank you to Weekend Otaku and everyone who has followed along with this series of posts.


Thanks for reading.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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