Goblin Slayer Volume 3 Light Novel Review: It’s A Date, And Goblins

The Harvest Festival is on its way and all the female adventurers and friends suddenly have one thing on their mind. Too bad Goblin Slayer only ever has one thing on his mind – killing goblins.

Previous Reviews

Review:

Of the three volumes I’ve read so far, this one is probably the weakest. And that’s because instead of feeling like we were on some epic adventure (albeit to fight goblins), this one genuinely felt like we were reading a harem based light novel with a wishy-washy protagonist, girls who have no purpose outside of their pursuit of him, and ultimately a conflict that felt like it was thrown in at the end for the sake of having a final fight. And while none of that makes this a terrible read, it certainly wasn’t as compelling as previous entries.

However, the positive would be that Goblin Slayer is given more time to become a bit more humanised in this volume. He’s still the enigma and still has complete tunnel vision for goblin killing, but his interactions with the rest of the cast help to paint a broader picture of his overall personality when removed from blowing up goblin nests. Priestess also comes out of this volume looking reasonably good with her being able to showcase how far she’s grown since the opening of volume 1 where she was the scared little girl in need of rescue.

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Unfortunately, the rest of the cast, whether it is Guild Girl, Female Knight, Cow Girl, High Elf Archer or Witch, they all just come off looking pretty vapid and silly as they scurry about trying to attract this or that guy’s interest at the festival. Then again, it isn’t as though Dwarf Shaman or Lizard Priest come off any better. While they aren’t trying to attract a partner they seem to spend almost two thirds of the book doing nothing but taking part in various eating and drinking activities.

And that’s more or less the whole problem. Even though Goblin Slayer is preparing for something from the beginning, it is easily dismissed as his usual eccentric paranoia and doesn’t really count as foreshadowing. The disgruntled adventurer is an obvious flag early on, but it doesn’t amount to very much. So by the time things start happening and the much needed goblins arrive (needed because how can he be Goblin Slayer if there are no goblins), the reader is more or less suffering from festival fatigue and it is almost a relief to see the town plunged into danger.

The danger itself though never feels all that real. Unlike in the previous volumes where the Goblins attacked either a farm that was pretty remote or were underground, here they attack a town. There’s very little reason why our plucky adventurers seem to be fighting without back-up given how many adventurers are in the town (and I don’t care how drunk they claim they might be after the festival), and yet the book insists on having the core group take on much larger numbers by themselves. While it is an excellent showcase of their abilities, it kind of pushes plausibility and after a fairly dull set-up it isn’t really much of a payoff.

So I left this volume with mixed feelings because there are some great character moments here for Goblin Slayer and Priestess and the final fight is actually kind of exciting even if it makes little sense in context, but there’s just too much down time here and too many female characters being too cliche female character from a light novel. I’m hoping the next volume picks back up because if this is an ongoing trend with this series I may very well let this one go and that would be a shame. It has been a lot of fun up until this point.


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Karandi James

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Goblin Slayer Volume 2 Light Novel Review: It’s Always Goblins

Goblin Slayer has quite the reputation now and in this volume he’s answering a quest request from the Sword Maiden herself, a Gold-ranked adventurer who apparently fought a Demon Lord.

My review of Volume 1 can be found here.

Review:

While this second volume doesn’t quite have the drawing power of the first, it is a very decent follow up. There is an understanding that while the protagonist is cool and all, he can’t carry the story alone, and so a lot of energy has been put into the support cast. And even while many of these characters do come off a little too one-note at times, they are all quite interesting notes and the interactions between them are always kind of fun.

The reason this novel works so well is that the readers have a soft spot for this cast. We’ve watched them come together and fight off a horde of goblins with a lot of risk and very little reward. We like these characters already and we don’t want them to die. So when the story plunges them headlong into danger there’s an instant hook to make us keep reading. Because even though I know there are plenty of novels to come and therefore it is very unlikely that the main cast are going to die here, abandoning the story when they were still stranded in a sewer never really crossed my mind as a viable option.

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If I had to complain about any character in this particular volume, it would be the Sword Maiden. I’m not really sure what they were going for. At times she seems super seductive, at others she’s the fragile and damaged adventurer, and others still she just does not seem like she’s a real character. And given she’s the catalyst for the adventure in this volume that’s probably the book’s weakest link.

However, once the quest is accepted and the characters are on their way through the tunnels and facing some fairly hairy situations, using arrows, swords, slings, magic, and whatever else is handy to survive the next encounter, the story moves along beautifully. There’s some fairly tense moments in the darkness and as the characters do come under heavy fire and several of them do sustain some fairly heavy injuries considering they are the main party – a feat the book only gets away with because there’s magic around so ultimately they manage to get the cast back on their feet before the final act.

Basically, if you enjoyed the first story, and you are up for another adventure fighting off a horde of goblins who may have learned a couple of new tricks, then this story will work for you. The writing style remains much the same and is quite enjoyable, the characters are still pretty fun, and the fight sequences manage to be exciting without getting too hectic. I had a lot of fun with this second volume and I’ll be reviewing volume 3 very soon.


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Karandi James

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Children of the Whales Series Review: Youthful Cast, Pastel Colours, and Genocide

I will get back to my ongoing reviews of the original Sailor Moon seasons in the near future but I decided I needed a short break from blonde pig-tailed heroines who fight for justice. And so I found myself eyeing off this title in my review list.

Review:

I should probably admit I watched the first episode of this back when it first became available on Netflix and decided to pass. on the back of having watched Made in Abyss and Girls’ Last Tour, I wasn’t really in the mood for another anime that relied on a juxtaposition between adorable art and dark themes to hit my emotional resonance buttons so that I would ooh and ah and gush over another modern master-piece (not that Made in Abyss got all that much gushing being an incomplete story). And it isn’t that there is anything wrong with that particular ideal, it just feels like we’re getting a lot of these kinds of anime recently and to be honest the emotional payoff goes way down when you are waiting for the tragedy to strike.

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Anyway, after I got over my preconceptions and comparisons to other series, I finally sat down and binged watched this anime in two sessions. That would make you think I was seriously into the story but that actually wasn’t the case. The reason I finished it during the second viewing session was I knew I would never go back and finish it if I stopped the viewing. I would find something else to watch and that would be the end of knowing what happened to the children on the Mud Whale and so I pushed forward through dialogue that never quite landed its mark and cheap emotional ploys that felt like they would have much greater weight on paper then they ever did on the screen.

What made this worse was the sequel-bait ending leaving huge chunks of the character journey and world-building as yet undone and yet I can’t really bring myself to care. We know the secret of how the Mud Whale came to be and how such a clearly flawed social structure formed and the immediate threat has been dealt with, kind of. For me, that’s enough and I certainly am not attached enough to any of the characters to care what happens next on their journey.

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While this might make Children of the Whales sound dreadful, that is hardly the case. Visually it hits its mark with both character designs and the settings. At times it is remarkably beautiful and the fight sequences where characters use a mixture of weapons and magic power are usually very fluid and pretty to watch. The musical score is fairly on point and the narrative, what we get of it, is functional with no glaring issues other than the lack of an ending and unanswered questions. Yet from start to finish I was not drawn into the wonder that was the Mud Whale and those who inhabited it. As I went  to draft this review I had to seriously ask myself why. Yes, the story doesn’t end, but I was disengaged long before I got to that point. What actually wasn’t working here that made me want this show to end?

The conclusion I came to was that this story feels very much like it was written by committee and tested by crowd preferences. It’s dystopian because dystopians are popular. The main character is male and an underdog. The coolest character is a bit of a rebel who ultimately wants to help his people. Female characters get cool powers but don’t ever do anything in fight sequences (trust me, it doesn’t matter how cool they seem, they don’t do anything in the fights). We have an attempted genocide of an island where the population is almost entirely made up of children because that will be dramatic. Oh, and the main character has a cool nickname. He’s known as the ‘destroyer’ because he has little control over his powers. Sounds important, but it never amounts to anything in the course of this first season.

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And, the thing is, not one of those ideas is bad. Except the whole female characters being sidelined at every possible turn for no apparent reason given some of them are more trained and more powerful than the boy who seems to run through the heart of every conflict, that’s a pretty poor idea. But they are all just thrown in without any real heart behind them. Despite the circumstances of the Mud Whale, it never really feels like a real place. It’s just a setting for a fight to occur on. A location where characters are stranded. As much as the Mud Whale should feel like an actual character in this story and the setting needs to feel genuine, it never achieves that. Its a pretty play piece that has been beautifully built, but no real life has been breathed into it.

Each of the characters suffers the same fate. They have everything they need to be a real character. They have relationships and ties with others, frequently they have back stories, they have motives and desires. These characters should feel vibrant and alive, at least until they die tragically or watch others die tragically. And yet, you can’t help but feel that each one of these characters lacks any real presence outside of the script they’ve been given. While they all have character, that character feels so tightly controlled that they cease to feel real. Whether it is is Suou’s hand clenching, Ouni’s petulant desire for escape, or Sami’s hopeless love, it always feels scripted and calculated rather than genuine.

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This isn’t helped by the presence of the villains who just seem like a bunch of psychos. And given they are supposed to have had their emotions eaten (and I know they come up with a bunch of babble as to why some retain emotions, but still), these characters are literally just war crazy, blood-thirsty murderers and it does nothing to aid the suspension of disbelief about the reality we are plunged into.

Nor does it help when the villains declare one of the Mud Whales kids to have some super special power that had never been mentioned prior and then suddenly he has some super special power. Props at least for not giving this to the main character, but still, then his nickname might have made sense.

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So what I was left with was the hollow shell of an anime with a story that should work, characters who sound like they would be awesome on paper, and visually looks impressive, but ultimately it failed to reach me at all. And as the Mud Whale continues on its journey I can’t help but wonder about how much better things might have been with this idea if the story had narrowed its focus down or just really found its own sense of identity which is something I felt over and over again that this anime lacked.

What did you think of the Children of the Whales?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Series Review: Magic Feels, Mundane Plot

The Ancient Magus’ Bride was a highly anticipated anime when it came out in the Autumn 2017 season. Now completed in Winter 2018, what are your final thoughts?

Review:

Having never read the source material for this one, I still managed to read an abundance of spoilers before going in and while watching it there were the inevitable comparisons between events in the anime and the manga. It is always an interesting experience watching an anime that comes from such a well known source and is so widely viewed as it means there are a lot of people covering it and expectations versus reality definitely play a huge role in those discussions.

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For me, I reviewed this anime with Weekend Otaku on his blog week to week as part of our 200 Word Anime collaboration. It was a lot of fun getting to discuss our favourite and least favourite parts of the episodes and because we were reviewing it together I had a chance to consider what I wanted to focus on with each episode and whether I wanted to discuss something similar to Weekend or focus on a different aspect of the show. It means that for me I was a lot more observant and critical while viewing episodes because I needed to make sure I had something to add to Weekend’s thoughts rather than just echoing them.

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Yet sitting back at the end of the season, I have to wonder what I thought of this anime overall. Despite so many of the issues I highlighted during weekly reviews, as a whole, I still think I really enjoyed watching this show.

The plot itself is pretty ordinary. Okay, only ordinary if you accept buying and selling people as ordinary and a land where dragons can live in a sanctuary and so on, but that is more setting and background for the story. The story really is Chise learning who she is and who Elias is and their relationship growing over the course of the season as they both reflect on who they have been and who they want to be. Pretty straight forward girl meets guy, realises she’s been putting herself down for too long and suddenly finds new lease on life; meanwhile, guy realises he’s a bit of a possessive jerk and promises to change. Just add in that the girl is probably going to die if she doesn’t learn to control her magic and the guy isn’t really a human or fairy but seems to be something in between.

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But while the plot is average, and the pacing goes from too slow in the early half to way too rushed in the final arc, this show excels at creating its visual aesthetic and hitting the viewer with its emotions. While sometimes these are cheap ploys to draw out an emotional response, for the most part the emotional aspects of the show play true and really do resonate with the viewer. This is built through that slow pacing early on, through those fantastic visuals, and through a sound track that while it might not be the most memorable, manages to fit almost every scene (there’s one sequence where I found the sound missed its mark but otherwise I usually found the music very fitting to what I was watching and quite affective).

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It also helps that Chise and Elias are such dynamic characters who are both growing throughout the course of the series. While neither one is going to end up on my ‘best character ever’ list, they are a pleasure to watch and their interactions are fairly magical, if you’ll excuse the pun.

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The magic in the show is also a shining highlight for the series. It is truly beautiful and there is some really interesting magical lore being explored over the course of the season. While it isn’t as explained as it could have been, there’s clearly been a lot of love and research behind the magic in this story.

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The support cast are also reasonably decent. Okay, they are fantastic, however the anime ultimately doesn’t have the time to give them all enough to do and some characters feel like they are introduced only for events that will come after this season is already over. While there’s nothing wrong with setting up future events, it kind of needed to feel like they had some purpose in this season other than waving at the audience and being acknowledge for existing.

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Still, I would recommend giving this one a try. Some people found the slow pace early on a bit of a put off and let the series go, and that is fair enough. I certainly found the pacing to be an irritation early in the series, and the anime’s penchant for cliff-hanger endings was definitely not something I appreciated. However, give it a go. See what you think.

And if you’ve already watched it, I’d love to know your thoughts, so leave me a comment below.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Goblin Slayer Volume 1 Light Novel Review: A True Specialist

Overview:

In a world where the gods grew bored of playing games and so created men and demons and dwarves and elves and goblins in order to play an even better game, adventurers know that they might die on a quest. Priestess knows this as she joins her first party and they venture out to hunt some goblins, but the reality is something else again. The whole party are wiped out save for the Priestess who is saved by a man known only as Goblin Slayer.

Review:

Now this was a great read from start to finish. Admittedly, the prologue about the gods and rolling the dice had me worried I was in for another fantasy world based on game mechanics (not that I dislike those but I really am growing a little weary of them), but then the story got started for real and I pretty much devoured this book. It is a great adventure story with plenty of action but it doesn’t hesitate to plunge the reader into the truly yucky parts of adventuring (and that includes covering your armour in goblin blood to avoid detection – ugh).

A few minor criticisms to get out of the way and then I will get back to raving about why I had so much fun reading this one.

Firstly, the names. None of the characters have them. They are Warrior, Goblin Slayer, Guild Girl, Lizard Priest, etc, etc. Admittedly, you don’t get confused as each character is distinct enough in personality and role, and the majority of the time you are following Goblin Slayer and Priestess, but really names are not that difficult.

Secondly, midway along in the book there’s some huge world ending threat that gets mentioned and is dealt with almost entirely off-screen so to speak. We get a few updates of bits and pieces about it, but because Goblin Slayer only cares about slaying goblins, he has no interest in that aspect of what is going on and so there’s this whole grand adventure that was probably pretty cool that we will never see. As much as  I enjoyed Goblin Slayer’s adventures, I kind of wanted to know more about the demons and the what-not that were causing havoc elsewhere.

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However, outside of that, Goblin Slayer is a great read. The tone of the narration worked really well for me as it kind of had a knowing and tongue in cheek approach to sending new adventurers off, most likely to their deaths. The way the goblins are described with a mix of both fear and disdain works perfectly in the narrative. Even Goblin Slayer is built up enough even as his faults are paraded around. It was just immense fun the way the story was delivered and how the characters were set up.

I also really enjoyed the battles within the various goblin nests. Each one had a similar feel and yet became distinct as they moved from caves, to old fortresses to an ancient ruin before the final battle sequence at the farm. Each of these environments changed the approach to battle and made each fight feel really fresh and unique. Plus, Goblin Slayer is not above dirty tactics as he is certainly more about success than looking good, which lends itself to more imaginative fight sequences then you might otherwise find.

Priestess was a character I was worried about early on being a little bit pathetic. However, other than inexperience, she’s actually a pretty decent party member and she grows in leaps and bounds once she is taken under Goblin Slayer’s wing. By the end of the story she is also acting as a voice of reason, reigning him in from some of his more extreme acts that push him to the brink of collapse.

Magic is nicely integrated into the story with some real power, but real limitations. You never feel like magic is just going to save the day, but it does add some useful twists at times and again just makes the fights feel that little bit fresher. The sheer toll it takes on the characters, even someone like Priestess that essentially has no other protection save the few spells she’s able to cast in a day, really adds a sense of danger to each of the sequences.

To sum up, this story was really entertaining. Okay, those who really don’t like blood or the thought of prisoners being raped and mistreated should probably avoid (the goblins are pretty nasty to those unfortunate enough not to die when they lose), but otherwise if you like fantasy adventure stories this one is pretty entertaining.


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Karandi James

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Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Episode 3: Did We Want To See Some Magic In Our Magical Girl Show?

Review:

While I will admit I liked this a great deal more than episode 2, I also have to admit this one isn’t a must watch for me this season. While the nostalgia is still there to an extent and I could happily watch Sakura and Syaoran blush at each other all day, if I missed an episode of this I’d be fairly fine with that.

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While last week the focus was on the normal everyday before a card showed up at the end, this episode hits us hard and fast with weird things as the school day starts and rain appears out of nowhere. It continues until the afternoon and Sakura is attacked by water on her way home from school. Fortunately, Tomoyo once again packed necessities including a new outfit for the capture.

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Toya and Yukito get a brief moment before we get back to Sakura cheerleading at school and then yet another card appears.

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There’s a few things that are going to need answers such as what is Syaoran actually doing after school that he never seems to be around and what is Toya up to? Also, does the fact that the cloaked figure is the same height as Sakura mean it’s just Sakura projecting herself or was I reading too much into that comment?

So yes, plenty of fun to be had here even if I’m not quite as caught up in it as I may have been once upon a time.


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Karandi James.

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Maerchen Maedchen Episode 2: Putting This One On Notice

Review:

Things kind of went downhill for this second episode once the opening song started. The song itself is fine is forgettable, but the visuals are for the most part taken straight from episode 1 (one or two seemed to be from this episode, with very few scenes of new material at all). While that in itself isn’t really an issue, I would have to wonder why they felt the need to show the scene of Hazuki running naked with the book three times during that opening. It was not that impressive a scene and it is one that most people would have preferred hadn’t been in the episode and then this opening pushes it into your face making you wonder if this really is the tone they would like to set for the show.

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The second issue I had was that Hazuki is enrolled in a magic school and yet it really isn’t all that interesting. There’s potentially interesting ideas behind magic and the books, but the actual process of going to class, seeing magic demonstrated, failing at using magic, finally succeeding, etc, is pretty ordinary to say the least. Add to that we finally hear about the competition coming up and I had an instant Juni Taisen flashback.

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While I’m going to give this one more episode because there are elements in this story I’m kind of interested in, another episode like this will see this one disappear from my watch list.


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Maerchen Maedchen Episode 1: I’m Curious

Overview:

This is a story about girls (called “Maedchen”) who are selected by “Origin”. They attend school of witchcraft located all over the world to wield their magic and become first-rate “Origin Masters”. Their goal is to win at the annual Hexennacht competition, where representatives of each school compete in their abilities to wield their magic. The winner gets to have one wish magically granted.

– From Crunchyroll

Review:

If the synopsis hadn’t told me about the whole magic competition thing this first episode certainly didn’t tell me anything about it. So I’m kind of on the fence whether I’ll end up sticking this one out or not because I actually really had fun watching this episode, even as it walked through about a million cliché plot developments including a chase sequence with a naked girl.

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But, I kind of liked the set up for this. Okay, it won me over right from the start with the respect the main character has for books. More importantly, I found Hazuki an instantly relatable character after she fled dealing with her new sister to escape into a book.

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So while all the usual girl travels to magic world standards seem to be at play here, the first episode made me curious about the world and the books and the main character. Which means it more or less did its job. Do I think this will be amazing? Probably not. But it did make me want to give it a go.


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Karandi James.

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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.


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Karandi James.

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200 Word Anime: Black Clover Episode 12

This week we see the conclusion of Asta’s shopping trip and we finally find out what Yuno is up to. Weekend Otaku and I share our thoughts on episode 12. Check out our previous posts if you have missed them.

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Karandi’s Review:

I actually didn’t mind this episode. Okay, it wasn’t a brilliant episode and it hasn’t changed my opinion of Black Clover overall, but it was kind of okay to watch. 

Asta chases down the purse-snatcher and we see the arrogant Praying Mantis guy get what he deserves before a kind of interesting reveal occurs. Then we transition (almost easily) over to Yuno’s current mission which ends up leading us back to Hage village. 

Nothing particularly exceptional and yet it felt like there was movement in the story and that there was some purpose to what was going on. Also, the minimal use of what Black Clover classes as humour certainly helped this episode out.

I’m fairly convinced that Yuno’s mission is going to end badly otherwise I don’t see the point in this interlude, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. However, the promise of less Asta is kind of nice.

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Weekend Otaku’s Review:

Neither I nor Karandi (nor the rest of the anime community, really) have had any lack of criticism against this show. That’s why, like with episode 10, it’s nice when I can find something to enjoy about it. There isn’t a lot this show has offered over the course of twelve episodes, but it has some charming moments every now and again.

In particular I’m talking about the entire sequence with Sekke. From him calling Asta to a “bah-hastard” last week to his comical apparent last words before his mortified realization that he’s not dying, Black Clover utilizes an otherwise potentially annoying character for some decent comedy that worked a lot better for me than the forced situations this show most often goes for.

Aside from the comedy, it was nice to see Yuno getting a chance to do something more than a three second cameo. I can’t exactly place what I like about him, but not being Asta probably has a lot to do with it. His fight was entertaining enough regardless, though I would have liked to see Mimosa (really?) do something as well.

Covering something other than Asta does show some movement as Karandi said, but I won’t hold my breath on his side trip to Hage providing much of interest. I have to reiterate how much of a shame it is that this show’s pace is so unbearably slow, because at this rate even 51 episodes may not be enough to provide solid depth.

 Thank-you Weekend. Be sure to check out Weekend Otaku’s blog for our reviews of The Ancient Magus’ Bride.


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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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