Were they… saving the entire animation budget for this one episode? What’s with the sudden quality boost?
It’s fairly apparent that this show is just going to be like this, from this point forward. It’s just going to remain something of a quality roller coaster. But it’s one of those weird roller coasters where the first hill isn’t the tallest one, so every single one of them has that chain to slowly drag the cars to the top. Then, once you finally reach that high point, you drop suddenly to the depths of mediocrity.
The show took an entire season to reach a relative high point before dipping in quality. And these past three episodes, in particular, have been much more solid. But by now the ride’s gotten a bit tiresome. This episode more or less delivers on what I’d been wanting – a relatively solid action sequence. And that’s the bulk of the episode. An extended fight between Mars and all of the Clover Kingdom’s forces on the mission.
Of course, what would a Shonen be without a recap at the beginning? However, one thing I’m noticing is that Black Clover‘s recaps last a pretty significant amount of time. Almost as if they just haven’t planned enough for the episode to fill the full runtime. Really, if you’d just trimmed that bit, you could’ve ended the episode in a less awkward place or maybe had time to do some other character-building stuff.
However, I’ll give credit where it’s due. The action scenes were handled pretty well, overall. In fact there a few pretty cool visuals. Though I do think the final fight seemed a bit one-sided. Asta didn’t appear to struggle at any point, really. He did take a bad hit, but just the one bad hit. I understand that his non-magic is supposed to be exceptionally powerful. But, frankly, the smoke guy from last time honestly seems like he’d have been even more of a fight than Mars. Mars got one hit in, fighting Asta directly. But if Luck weren’t there for the fight against the smoke user, Asta probably would’ve just suffocated.
I appreciate them trying to set up a hero moment for Noelle and all, but we never really get anything out of it. We see her cast a water shield around Mimosa like she did back in the last major arc. However, nothing ever hits it. In fact, for the remainder of the episode, all she really does is point out to Klaus how awesome Asta is and all that. She pretty much just stands there. I’m not expecting her to go duel Mars or anything. Just would’ve been nice for something to actually hit that barrier and make her struggle a bit to keep it up. And that really just brings is to Mars, Lord of Edge.
And yes, as far as I’m concerned, that is his genuine title. He’s even doing that covering an eye thing. Because… edgy or something. His backstory is fairly run-of-the-mill child experimentation territory. Forced to fight a bunch of other children in a battle royale, fight to the death after having his magic enhanced and blah blah blah. Honestly, he’s just not very interesting. The nearest it gets to any real level of complexity is the narrative about him just doing all of this for his country or some crap because that’s what he was born to do and… honestly I’ve seen this done better in so many things.
So yeah. This week’s episode was a marked improvement over where things have been. It involved a fight scene that was genuinely interesting to watch. Though it could’ve involved a little more of an actual struggle for Asta – some back-and-forth. It gave Noelle a shine moment, though wasn’t really keen on letting it amount to much. And the villain was just not that interesting. In all honesty, the smoke mage was cooler, even if he was sort of a coward. This is definitely a Junk Food episode. It can be enjoyed for what it is. Nothing stellar, but a step above the usual mediocrity of the series. To at least a higher form of mediocrity. If that makes sense. Though I don’t expect it to through the next episode. If you’d prefer something more consistently enjoyable, try checking out our recent reviews of Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card.
Or, if you wanna see if Black Clover can finally win you over, 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.