black clover

Is Black Clover really that bad?

Today I’m going to be talking about a very controversial topic in the anime community as of late. The notorious Black Clover.

So, Black Clover, is it worth watching? Although I have seen the first 15 episodes of the anime, I’m going to be taking an unbiased approach to the topic. I haven’t settled on whether I like the show or not. But I think that we need is to let the series develop more. Then, and only then, can we carve our opinion in stone.

Over Hyped?

Crunchyroll - Black Clover
Crunchyroll – Black Clover

So in the days leading up to the release of the Black Clover anime, Crunchyroll’s headlines stated, “Come see the Shonen everyone is talking about”. And this was the first issue viewers had with the show – it was way over hyped. I mean, this show was advertised as being the next Naruto. I don’t know if you know this Crunchyroll, but that’s kind of a big statement to make.

To fill the shoes of a giant like Naruto in the anime world is no easy feat. Naruto displayed some of the best forms of storytelling, animation and action scenes in recent years. It had anime fans by the strands of their hairs begging for more. So stating that Black Clover was going to replace Naruto was definitely a mistake.

Asta - Black Clover
Asta – Black Clover

General Opinion

Okay so let’s dive into the actually show, and straight out of the gate anime fans went berserk. “What the hell is this?” and “Is this it?” I heard Otaku’s screaming. After reading through so many Reddit threads and viewer opinions, the general opinion of the first few episodes were…

“I didn’t think the episode itself was bad, pretty predictable but not bad. But whenever the protagonist said anything it was headache inducing.”

In that quote, ladies and gentlemen, lie two points of argument against this show. First let’s summarise the story and talk about the screaming, irritating elephant in the room, the lead hero, Asta.

The Story So Far

Main protagonist Asta
Main protagonist Asta

For any anime fan reading this that hasn’t seen Black Clover, firstly, how did you get this far into the article? And secondly, let me break it down for you.

The story is about a kind-hearted boy with no special abilities, no talents and no parents. His best friend and rival, Yuno, is the exact opposite: smart, talented and full of potential. He too has no parents by the way. Sound familiar? No? Okay let’s continue.

In a world where people are born with a magical power that allows them to use magics, Asta, our lead, was born without any of them. Additionally, in their coming of age ceremony, Yuno receives a rare grimoire in which it is similar to the grimoire possessed by the original Magic Emperor. Asta on the other hand was gifted in different way; having no magic within him, he received a demon grimoire.

Asta and his Five Leaf Clover Grimoire
Asta and his Five Leaf Clover Grimoire

Lead Character

I would say that the first thing that drove viewers away from Black Clover was the voice acting. Some viewers stated that the voice of Asta in the Japanese dub of the show was so repulsive that they didn’t consider watching past the second episode. I mean seriously, this fool screamed at every damn thing.

For those who did watch further, they had to observe the beginning of a journey of a young man who dreams of being the powerful king/leader. We see him chasing a powerful rival, having nothing but strength, determination and screaming.

Asta Screaming
Asta Screaming

And if you don’t get what I’m saying right now then I doubt your love for anime kind sir/madam. Think about it for a second. Boy with no special abilities or talents, yet is determined to become the leader and protector of his people. He has a monster within him, granting him powers that rival his best friend.

This brings us to the second point of the argument. What the show really is when you dig a little deeper.

A Rip Off?

This show, from our perspective, is what we call a Naruto rip off, my dear friends. Fans hating on it because when the show was advertised as the next Naruto, we didn’t expect the show to take the Naruto franchise and gift wrap it in magic.

BC-vs-Naruto. Source: YouTube

Now let me throw my opinion into the mix. I think that it’s not as bad as people are saying. The main voice acting can be brushed off and you get used to it relatively quickly. The problem is it’s pretty much just a generic Shonen. It does little new and you literally know everything that’s going to happen before it happens. It’s like they went down a check list and ticked things off one by one.

So again, it’s not that the show is BAD, it just isn’t anything new from what we’ve seen from a Shonen anime. BUT(daga)…. I think it is what we need right now.

The state of anime right now

Anime right now are pretty weird. I’m not saying that the shows are weird, but rather the state of anime. Putting aside shows like One Piece and Dragon Ball, what show is binge-worthy? What anime aren’t only 12 episodes a year right now. Even some shows that I looked forward to and loved in 2017 (UQ Holder and Shokugeki), were only 12 episodes and over too fast.

Black Clover Banner Source: Funimation

If you think about it, the Big 3 were epic Shonen series that kept us tuned in for years. They were building and growing as we did. As of now, Bleach has been done for years, Naruto is finally concluded. Never mind One Piece, because we all know that our grandchildren are still going to be watching that. #OnePieceWillNeverEnd

Naruto left a hole in our lives that we expected anime creators to fill with the next big thing. Boruto is another topic that I kinda don’t want to talk about and Dragon Ball Super is doing an epic job satisfying us Shonen fans. But is that enough?

My Opinion

BC - Asta
BC – Asta Source: Crunchyroll

In my opinion, Black Clover isn’t a big blockbuster, record breaking show. It isn’t and will never be the next Naruto. It is here to try and fill the gap that shorter anime cannot. We know that every week for at least a year there will be an episode of Black Clover for us to watch. It will take us on a journey for longer than 12 episodes. It will make us involved and invested in the story as time goes on. And that’s what I think the community needs right now.

I think people made up their minds too fast about this show. I might just give it the chance it deserves and watch it. And when all 51 episodes are released, then can we justify calling it a Naruto rip off.

Anyway guys, that’s all from us here at Digital fox. If you have any points to make, hit me up on Twitter @raees_kariem and we’ll talk about it.

If you enjoy reading all about anime content, here are a few articles you might like: Vegeta’s New Form Explained, Top Anime of 2017 and Top Anime Sequels to be released in 2018. That’s right, we’re all about the anime here.

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Aspiring Multimedia Production Manager (Graphic Design and Motion Graphics). 20 years old. Small time YouTuber by day, Anime watcher by night and I game and write in between.