Good merciful heaven, is this seriously still not over?
Genre: Shounen, Action, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure
Mars. Seriously. Stay down. Your tenacity doesn’t make me want you to go away any less. And in case you missed it, yes. This is a bad thing. As much as I appreciate this series actually giving us some decent action for a change and even some actual character development, there’s one thing looming over this entire arc. I should not want the villain of it to just go away. And yet here we are. See, there’s a certain art to creating a captivating villain. The best villains have personality. There’s a charisma to them that makes you want to keep seeing more of them. You don’t want the fight to be over because you don’t want the villain to be gone, just yet. I can list off examples all day. The Joker, Doctor Doom, Megatron… but since we’re talking anime, let’s just go with one of the pivotal examples.
As villains go, Dragon Ball Z struck gold with Frieza. His background isn’t especially interesting, but for as much of a prick as the character is, there’s an undeniable charisma about him. He’s fun to watch so you want to see more of him. This is why the fight with Frieza in the initial arc of Dragon Ball Z can get away with being a whopping 30+ episodes (or just under 20, in Kai’s case).
Mars doesn’t have that advantage. He’s a fairly boring character with hardly any emotional range beyond “completely emotionless” and “raging lunatic.” His powers aren’t especially impressive and the visuals of the show aren’t anything to marvel at. So there’s just nothing about him or this fight that’s worth dragging it out over three episodes. The one good thing to come of this is getting to see Yuno’s new spell, which apparently lets him freeze time and summon a wind fairy or something. But really this entire fight could be summed up as “Mars wants to kill weak thing. He can’t. He has a flashback. He gets mad and tries harder to kill weak thing.”
And yes, I understand that the point of the episode, aside from that, is to further inform Mars’s character. They subtlely implied in an earlier episode that his friend betrayed him in the end when, in actuality, she was martyring herself so he could live and carry on. Intentionally throwing herself at him so he’d defend himself. But the fact of the matter is that this really just doesn’t make the character any more interesting. Yes, the net result is a Mars that’s maybe a little more sympathetic. But it doesn’t make him less boring. So his refusal to just go away becomes more tiring than anything else. This added onto the fact that I find his particular kind of backstory annoying in the extreme and I’m not exactly feeling thrilled to see more of him.
The resolution of Klaus’s arc between Asta and Yuno was nice as well, but that and Yuno’s new power are more or less the only reasons to watch the episode. The rest of it just feels like a bit of a chore as they feel the need to beat us over the head with Mars’s backstory in a bid to make us feel bad for him. It just barely scrapes the edge of Harmlessness as it does further Asta, Yuno, and Klaus’s characters a bit. And I suppose it does develop Mars’s character, even if I’ve seen his arc handled better and in far more interesting fashion before. But that’s about all I can really give it. If you’d rather something a bit more engaging, try out our reviews of Dagashi Kashi 2. A show that somehow manages to have put more thought into the depth of the characters.
Or, if you’re not tired of Black Clover’s pattern yet, then feel free to keep with it as 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.
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