Black Clover – Episode 11 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
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There’s remarkably little to report about this episode. Following the events of last week, the Black Bulls receive an honor from the Wizard King (no, you never get to see him). Asta and Noelle get their first payday, so it’s off to town, where they can properly spend that money. The episode’s little more than a collection of gags as the plot isn’t advanced at all. And I generally don’t have a problem with that. However, the episode does have one noteworthy issue.
As with some of the earlier episodes… there is no beginning, middle, or end. It’s just a collection of things happening. Many of which are gags we’ve seen before. Charmy eats a lot, Yami’s intimidating, Finral’s an unsuccessful Casanova, Gauche is obsessed with his little sister, Asta is convinced he’ll marry Sister Lily, Noelle has an unwitting crush on him, we get it. Doing the same joke over and over doesn’t make it any funnier.
The fact of the matter is that a running gag is only funny if you A) space out the uses of it and B) alter the execution in some manner every time. Or at least address that you haven’t. Thus making it ironic in a way (because humor is fundamentally a subversion of expectations). As such, some of the jokes are funnier because they’re not as violently drilled into our skulls. And in an episode that doesn’t have much of a point beyond more world-building, you’d better be able to at least deliver on the humor, or whatever element you introduce as a distraction from that fact.
I was briefly intrigued by the idea that we’d get a little more out of Vanessa. And to the episode’s credit, we… kind of did? She didn’t touch a glass of booze in the entire thing, so she was sober throughout. That said, she was basically just relegated to chaperone duty, showing Asta and Noelle around the castle town. We didn’t get much else out of her. Though I do appreciate the sort of big sis/little sis vibe they seem to be building between her and Noelle. Still, it’s not really made anything of in this episode.
The end of the episode reintroduces that guy from the Magic Knight Exam with the annoying laugh. You know. The one that Asta one-offed. Sekke or whatever. And yes, it’s just as annoying now as it was then. But at least this time they’ve actively decided to make a joke of it instead of playing it straight? …which they did in the Petit Clover segment after the credits following the Magic Knight Exams, so… yeah…
I’d say this is an episode you’re just better off giving a Pass. It doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen from the show so far. There are a small handful of decent chuckles to find in it (unsurprisingly all coming from Noelle, who is still somehow the best character in this thing, and this is a pitifully low bar). However, a lot of it is just one long exercise of patience. Easily the best thing about the episode is actually the very last shot. Someone steals a purse, and Asta wordlessly takes off to deal with the problem. No “Aaauuuuugh!”, no stopping to needlessly speechify, he just goes. It’s the one scene that proves no matter how annoying Asta is (and oh boy, is he), he’s still ultimately got it in him to be a hero. It’d seem this week generally is doing what it can to try our patience if Bob’s recap of the latest RWBY episode is to be believed. Check that out if you wanna see for yourself.
Or, if maybe you’re enthralled by this show’s… “pacing,” then Black Clover is Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 6:25am EST