Okay, give me a shot at defending this show before you write me off as shounen trash. And yes, you read “show”, not manga. Here’s why I think that Black Clover isn’t the problem child of anime. Alrighty then, to kick things off, what is Black Clover about?
Black Clover is about Asta, a boy without magic, who takes on the world in order to achieve his lifelong goal of becoming the wizard king. On its own, it’s a weak premise, average at best. There’s absolutely no denying that. And the characters are also pretty average. As is the overarching plot so far. The animation isn’t bad, but the pacing almost always kills any tension, bringing us back to where we started. With the large-scale growth of the anime industry and the community along with it, the expectations of anime fans only grow. Black Clover, to put things simply, has been bogged down by both this and an atrociously bad first three episodes. It didn’t help that it was being marketed the hell out of, and in turn, was set up to fail.
Simply put, the show isn’t terrible. Now you’re probably thinking, “Not terrible” isn’t enough to get me to watch it.” And I totally agree with you. On the other hand, how many average TV shows and movies have you sat through, simply turned your brain off and had a good time? Which brings me to my point. Black Clover simply does not hold up to scrutiny, but can be a jolly good ride should you find yourself just kicking back and relaxing, provided you managed to make it through the absolute abomination that is the first three episodes. There’s some top-notch action sequences in areas and some genuinely quirky moments. That said, the negatives have definitely not been counteracted, with the cardboard cut-out characters being the main issue. Oh, and there’s the issue of the “screaming” (if you don’t understand this, sit through 10 minutes of the sub), for which I would recommend the dub over the sub for Black Clover, as it’s extremely hard to sit through an episode of “Please just let this end”. Although that’s setting the benchmark pretty low, the dub is actually quite good and should satisfy you should you decide to watch it.
What’s important is that it’s definitely good stuff for a newcomer to the anime community, especially the younger audience, who would have a penchant for the classic shounen series. Yes, to us longtime viewers, the concept might seem stale and beaten to death, but Black Clover really does make for a decent gateway anime. Additionally, its easy accessibility only aids the smooth induction of these new members into the community.
In conclusion, if I had to rate Black Clover out of 10, I’d give it a 6, maybe even a 5. It’s just run of the mill, mindless fun. But Black Clover isn’t quite the failure people were making it out to be during its beginning and is currently sitting in its rightful place in the community: on the road to being forgotten. The manga gets its pacing right, but the anime, sadly just got off on the wrong foot, losing hundreds of thousands of potential viewers in this age where all it takes is a single episode for people to drop a series.
Note: But then again, how do you forget a show where the main character literally introduces himself as “I’M ASTAAAAAAAAAAAA!”?