The hit fantasy anime series Black Clover is based on the “Burakku Kurōbā” manga by Yūki Tabata and published in the Weekly Shōnen Jump. Produced by the media Pierrot studios and dubbed into English by Funimation.
Asta (Dallas Reid) and Yuno (Micah Solusod) were abandoned at a church orphanage at a young age. Not knowing their actual origins, the local priest and his nun assistant, Sister Mary, raise the boys as twins. Both boys have one dream: to become the wizard king, the magical guardian of the Clover Kingdom whose role has been passed down from the first who defeated a giant demon several hundred years ago. Though this makes them rivals, they remain steadfast friends. While Yuno seems to be a prodigy with magic, Asta has none, zero, nothing, so he trains his body while also proposing marriage to Sister Mary, who always politely declines his sweet [though overbearing] request.
When they are old enough, they join other young people at a tower where they each receive a grimoire or magical books that teach them spells. While Yuno received the highly coveted Four Leaf Clover grimoire, Asta seems to not receive any, but is afterward is given the Five Leaf Clover, which grants him two powerful swords that can deflect and cut through spells. Yuno is later chosen to join a prestigious magical knight guild, Golden Dawn. Asta, whose lack of magical ability first gets him rejected, is later selected by the lowest-rated guild the Black Bulls. Their tough, yet fair captain Yami Sukehiro (Christopher R. Sabat) is personal friends with the current Wizard King and has a knack for collecting oddballs into his guild, Noelle Silva (Jill Harris), a pretentious royal who has no control over her power. Yami sees something in Asta and throughout their journeys together teaches him how to work around his inability to use magic.
As a huge speculative fiction reader/watcher, I was excited to find season one of this epic series. Fantasy fiction can either be hit and miss, so you never know exactly what to expect. However, Black Clover proved to be a hit. It develops its world in a steady pace. I knew the rules of the game right away and found this to be refreshing. Likewise, Asta is a very intriguing character. He is in a world of magic, so he does not fit in, but through hard work and determination, he proves himself useful to his teammates. The eclectic group he works perfectly compliments him and they all, especially Noelle and Yami, are good foils for him.
I only have two issues with the show. The first is with Yuno. He is not given enough screen time. Since he is supposedly Asta’s rival, I wanted to see more from him. He does show up significantly during a few battles and we see him grow, but he is featured prominently only in one episode. Secondly, so much yelling and screaming. While I get it, these are a group of eclectic heroes and there are a lot of battles, it gets old after awhile. Every episode has someone yelling or screaming at someone else, even outside of battle. It does start to get old after awhile.
That being said, the show is fantastic. Besides the character and the plots from the episodes, the animation and the world-building are the top-notch storytelling. I cannot wait to move on to the second season and explore more from the Clover Kingdom and the Black Bulls.
Check out the “coming soon” trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of The Edge and Fruits Basket season one. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.