I’ll be honest. I forgot I was still even covering this show. It’s been that unimpressive, so far. Let’s see if we can rectify that.
So after having watched both of these episodes (technically after watching episode 15 twice), I’ve come to one solid conclusion. This show… is remarkably slow to go anywhere of value. I know, I know. It’s a major revelation. I too was shocked and appalled. But that’s the case. The entire first season of this show was basically filler. I don’t know how you manage that, but they did it. It’s an accomplishment. I don’t know whether to be impressed or what, but there it is.
And yet after taking so long to do anything, we finally get a pair of episodes that are actually pretty solid, across the board. They manage to ever-so-slightly peek above that marginally average line that’s been looming over the show from jump and be kind of… good is most certainly not the word. But… enjoyable at least. And it’s done through some nice character establishing moments, action pieces that were actually kind of cool, and a twist or two I honestly wasn’t really expecting. It doesn’t prevent them from being pretty easy to predict for someone like me, who loves the Shounen Battle genre. But upon watching this, I can easily see how someone else could check it out and walk away impressed.
Episode 15 wasn’t particularly special at all. After getting saved by Yuno in the previous episode, Asta gets into a shouting match with Klaus. Also, Noelle is Mimosa’s cousin. And evidently isn’t a fan of that fact. Either way, the interactions of the two teams aren’t really anything to write home about. Not especially funny, nothing really all that significant in terms of establishing or developing anything. Just having the two polar opposites play off of one another. Then they split up for a race to see who gets to the treasure at the center first. And guess who wins.
The main highlight is seeing Luck get into a fight with one of the enemy mages, which is actually pretty interesting. And this is where we start getting a little bit further into Luck’s character, which I already knew about in advance. But I wanted to see how they’d handle it. Suffice it to say, between here and episode 16, they actually did a pretty decent job of really setting up his character. Though I do think there may be a problem in his arc being resolved a little quickly. Not that it was rushed in the episodes, themselves. But I feel like it’ll wind up diminishing his arc over the course of the series since he’s basically overcome his one big hurdle so early. At least it seems like he did.
The difference with Asta and Noelle is that their arcs come in the form of goals. Objectives they can pursue. Luck’s comes in the form of a realization of a sort. And once the realization is made… there’s not really much farther for him to go. But that’s a big picture concern, and there are ways around the problem. Then there’s the matter of there being several more members of the Black Bulls to develop. And with only 50+ episodes to do it, I doubt they really intend to delve all that far into any of them, given how much time they have remaining. So maybe they’ll just cycle through the different members with each mission. Dunno.
The true star of episode 16 is the action. Not that it’s particularly visually amazing or had me on the edge of my seat. But the fight scene between the trio of Black Bulls and their adversary from the Diamond Kingdom was a huge step up from where this series has been with action so far. Showcasing a bit of strategy and more cool abilities. By contrast, the fight between the Golden Dawn and their adversary was… well, less than stellar. Granted, a majority of it happens off-screen. However, it’s giving me pretty bad vibes.
The guy they wind up having to go up against does make an impression by pulling something unexpected and takes out the “white mage” more or less instantly when they aren’t even aware he’s there. But following that we’re introduced to him and he’s just… he’s basically the embodiment of a lot of the core problems in Shounen battle antagonists. And I won’t get into that, here, because that’s a subject worthy of its own article. But he just doesn’t strike me as anything interesting. And the next episode has been set up as a big showdown with him. So I hope they can make this next fight shine. Because otherwise, it may end up being a textbook example of what not to do.
Overall, these episodes weren’t great, but they were miles beyond where the show has been, up to now. Better action, some pretty solid character establishment and development, less of the trite and annoying humor. Overall just a moderately enjoyable bit of Junk Food entertainment. Certainly on the low end, but still not overall bad. Didja hear? Bulletoon Weekly is returning this weekend! Hope you’re amped up for it!
If you want to see for yourself if things are actually turning around for Black Clover, it’s Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 6:25am EST. That’s all I’ve got for ya here. As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the awesome.