Black Clover Episode 1: Thoughts & Review

‘Black Clover’ is the newest Shonen anime to hit screens this season. Prior to the release of the first episode this past Tuesday, the anime managed to garner an immense amount of hype. Mainly due to the fact that Studio Pierrot (responsible for the animation in Naruto) are the people behind the animation. Like all anime, Black Clover is a manga to anime adaptation so it already has a pretty decent following. Some are even beginning to say that this is next big thing for Shonen anime. That statement alone is what attracted me to take a look.

Over the years Shonen has produced some of the world’s most beloved anime, such as Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia and many more. So for anyone to say, especially popular anime distributor Crunchyroll, that Black Clover is the next “king of Shonen” must mean that this new work has a lot of potential going forward. As I sat and watched the first episode, titled ‘Asta and Yuno’, I felt a sense of nostalgia and familiarity. The main characters Asta and Yuno are two orphans, abandoned at birth in world where magic is everything. You’re either born with magic like most people are or you’re born without it, which is very rare. Asta happens to born without it, unlike his best friend Yuno who is a born prodigy.

Throughout the episode I could see blatant similarities to past Shonen anime. Take for instance Asta. He is a loud, obnoxious and talentless 15 year old at the start of this anime. reminding me a lot of how Naruto was in part one of that series. Always shouting that he’s going to become Hokage. Asta is bent on becoming the Wizard King, even though he has no magic. Yuno has the same dream but he is the polar opposite of Asta. He’s calm, cool and collected, the most gifted magic user in his village. Reminding me of Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto as well. As the episode progresses we see the two boys go through some trouble and both receive some interesting character development as they attempt to obtain their grimoires and embark on their journey to enlist in the Magic Knights. I’m not going to spoil anything here but the animation in these scenes are top notch. Exactly what you’d expect from the studio the brought us all of the Naruto fights and movies as well.

Black Clover caught my attention with a story with tons of potential, characters that are familiar but also completely different in their own ways and animation that is pleasing to the eyes. I usually give each new season anime at least 5 episodes to pull me in and keep me watching. I just hope that Black Clover lives up to the hype that comes with Shonen and holds up. If you’re looking for something new to watch this season or are new to anime, I would definitely recommend that you give this anime a try. For the veterans that grew up reading Shonen Jump Magazine and watching the classics on TV in your youth, then this anime is definitely for you as well.

Black Clover is now available to stream every Tuesday on Crunchyroll and VRV through a $6 subscription. Remember, never pirate your anime. ALWAYS pay and support the industry. Piracy is slowly killing the industry and causing studios to not be able to fund multiple seasons of our favorite anime, simply because they aren’t making any money due to piracy. So please, pay for your anime and support as much as you are able. Thank you!

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