Black Clover – Episode 14 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
All right, I’m just gonna say it. That bird is my spirit animal.
All right, let’s just get the housecleaning out of the way. The new OP and ED are just… no. Compared to last season’s, that is. On their own merit, they’re… fine? The new OP really just isn’t my thing in general. The ED is okay, but not quite as good as last time’s. And now that the actual interest subject of the episode is out of the way, let’s talk about what actually happens. So, a dungeon appears in the kingdom, near the border they share with enemy territory. Yami decides to send Asta, Noelle, and Luck (the one that likes to fight) off on a mission to explore it. Or I should say, Yami sends Noelle and Luck. Asta was personally requested by none other than the Wizard King.
Prior to that, there’s a slightly amusing scene of the group trying to come up with a name for the bird that follows Asta around. Unfortunately, the scene’s humor is quashed by stretching it out and making it exceptionally overlong. They settle on Nero, a name that Luck comes up with. Is this important? Maybe later. But it sure isn’t of value at all in this episode. That’d just be silly. So it otherwise comes off as just a scene dedicated to wasting time until things start happening.
Yami puts Luck in charge, so he winds up leading them through the dungeon for a while, explaining it to them and all that. He proceeds to intentionally trigger several magical traps, scaring the daylights out of Noelle and forcing Asta to neutralize them with his sword. Following this, he straight up abandons them to go and find a few people who he senses are there with him. He says something cryptic to himself about being near his limit, though I’m not entirely certain if he means his magic or his ability to restrain himself. Either one seems fairly viable. Given my research, I do know a fair amount about the direction Luck ends up taking. There’s plenty of room to really do something with this character and delve into what makes him tick. That’s the hope, anyway. Will they? Eh. Doubt it.
Now that they’re left alone, there’s yet more chance for them to beat us over the head with Noelle’s crush on Asta. But it’s interrupted by her stepping on a trap that spawns a giant man-eating plant that prevents her from using her grimoire. Asta tries to help, but it restrains him with vines, leaving them to be saved by Yuno and company.
So yeah. That’s basically it. And I’d be lying if I said I had anything meaningful to say about it. I’d hoped that with the last season being all about setting up for what’s to come, this one would rein it in. But I was clearly getting my hopes too high. Overlong, repetitive jokes continue. Characters are paper thin. Subtlety is little more than a myth. And the one and only bit of interest in the episode, the fact that the dungeon appeared on the border, isn’t really dealt with. So once again we fall into the trap of the episodes promising good things from the next one, only for the next one to likely be average at best and do the same thing. Yet I can’t really call is anything less than Harmless, because that’s all it manages to be. Not offensive enough to warrant anything less, and not good enough to warrant anything more. It could certainly be worse. It could be an episode that consists of 90% talking, like the premiere of Overlord II. Though in fairness, this show could actually probably pull that off if it would just allow the characters to really have a conversation without it devolving into pure tropese and gags.
Are you thinking of following Black Clover into the Winter Season? If you think it might be able to keep you satisfied, more power to you. It’s Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 6:25am EST