Black Clover: the perfect shonen formula | Review

If it is possible to have an artistic license when it comes to Italian grammar, the perfect way to describe, define and present the Black Clover phenomenon is IL shonen.
Serialized in the manga magazine par excellence since 2015, the work of Yuki Tabata has climbed the charts one place after another, in 2016 it received an anime adaptation that continues today and the public’s appreciation of Black Clover grows from month to month

The plot is very simple. There is a fantastic setting where everyone can use elementary magic and two orphans who grew up together in a convent who are immediately friends / rivals. One is Yuno, tall, handsome, endowed with great magical powers, intelligent and mysterious; the other, the protagonist, is Asta, short, dull and without a shred of magical power.

The dream of both is to become the Magical Emperor, the most influential, strong and prominent figure in the entire Clover kingdom in which they live. If for Yuno the way to become first the Magical Knight and then the Emperor is always simple, for a young man without magical powers like Asta it is a mountain to climb. However, Asta has the strongest magic of all, the will to never give up.

Like many excellent products that came out before him, and that will also come out later, looking at Black Clover one gets the impression that the author has managed to convey all the elements necessary to create a great shounen in his work. To be defined shounen a product must necessarily have certain characteristics, this is true, but there are many series that have tried to insert something new, innovative, just to give a personal touch to the genre.

Black Clover decides not to do it, starting from all the elements that unite a great shounen, joining them together, remodeling them and giving life to his product, limiting himself to riding the wave that the public has already traced for him. Hence the reason for the boy who never gives up (One Piece), the magic that everyone possesses (Fairy Tail), swords (Sword art online) the fights (any shounen), a boy mocked, mocked by everyone (Naruto) and without any magical power (My Hero Academia).

If so, then could anyone think? It’s not that simple, and this is where the author’s touch makes the difference.

Although everything in Black Clover has the smell of already seen: from the plot to the characters, from opponents to friends, from settings to adventures; there is always something that pleases and captures the viewer. The secondary characters are well defined and characterized, the adventures are not long and endless, but linear, flowing and full of impact.

Not to mention the constant twists and turns, many of which are predictable it must be admitted, and the determination of Asta who knows how to involve and attract the efforts of all his companions. Seeing a loser born like him fighting against enemies and insurmountable rocks and succeeding in his intent is something that is loved and passionate everywhere.

The soundtrack is noteworthy, especially as regards the opening and ending, truly remarkable.

For the moment Black Clover is certainly a remarkable animated series, interesting to see even if it is not possible to establish whether or not it will be able to rival the other big names of his generation. The prospects are there and if the anime manages to continue to involve its audience sooner or later it could make the leap forward that it still lacks.

Before moving on to the real sore point of the anime, it is necessary to make a comparison with the manga. The animated adaptation, for the moment, is faithful to the print work, which is good, except that … and here we come to the real problem of Black Clover as anime.

The qualitative standard of the manga is impeccable, really well done in every part and chapter, the same cannot be said of the anime which, especially in the transitional episodes between one saga and another, but not only, have a graphic quality often on the verge of acceptable.

Unfortunately, it is the problem of all the souls who have the weekly expiration of the episode for long periods without interruption. Somewhere, to respect the tight schedule, you have to speed up the work and this implies little attention to detail, distorted animation, lack of depth and deformed or too simple faces.

In the first episodes it is a flaw that goes unnoticed, as the viewer becomes familiar with the animations and the outlines of the characters it is an increasingly showy and annoying aspect.

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