Black Clover – Season 3

Black Clover – Season 3

In a world where magic is everything, Asta and Yuno are both found abandoned at a church on the same day. While Yuno is gifted with exceptional magical powers, Asta is the only one in this world without any. At the age of fifteen, both receive grimoires, magic books that amplify their holder’s magic. Asta’s is a rare Grimoire of Anti-Magic that negates and repels his opponent’s spells. Being opposite but good rivals, Yuno and Asta are ready for the hardest of challenges to achieve their common dream: to be the Wizard King. Giving up is never an option!

The attack on the capital continues to rage, and the Magic Knights become aware of who their antagonist are: a group called Eye of the Midnight Sun whose powers are able to rival that of the Clover Kingdom’s last line of defence. With Captain Fuegoleon defeated in front of their eyes, Asta and Leopold team up together despite both of them being badly wounded. Knowing that this may be their last charge gives them a shocking amount of power, and their enemies begin to realise just how dangerous these young knights are becoming.

When Asta is unwittingly drawn to their base in his deteriorated state, he knows he’s in trouble – but he finds himself rescued by none other than the Wizard King, Julius, who was waiting for them at their base. Julius seems to use some spectacular time manipulation magic and demonstrates to the Eye of the Midnight Sun just why his reputation precedes him.

The story in this season seems segmented somewhat. Things start off by picking up where the last season left off – detailing the end of the battle in the capital. The Magic Knights are beginning to realise that they are not the unstoppable force that they once thought they were and that there a several outside influences that are making them see their limitations, especially with respectable figures such as Fuegoleon taken down so quickly. But after the battle reaches a fitting place to finish (at least for now), things begin to settle down and the focus shifts to individual supporting characters and develops their relationships with Asta. We see Finaral inviting Asta and Luck to go on a mixer with him (with Noelle following them in disguise), and Asta hits it off with a local girl named Rebecca (much to Noelle’s thinly-veiled outrage). Meanwhile, we see a short story back at Hage with Father and Sister Lily reflecting on how well Asta and Yuno have done since leaving (and generously keeping the orphans of Hage steeped in potatoes).

Then the story moves to Gauche – one of Asta’s Black Bull colleagues who has a little sister complex. On payday, he goes to visit his little sister Marie (buying out the local toy shop and getting several nosebleeds). To his surprise and fury, he arrives to find that Asta is already playing with her and, after doing so, young Marie declares that she is going to marry Asta. This short storyline showcases Gauche’s skills as a mirror mage and fleshes out his relationship with Marie as well as linking in Asta and his new friend Rebecca. As usual, there are a couple of unsavoury characters that our heroes have to put a stop to – namely some that are leading away children to absorb their mana.

I still like Black Clover, but I feel that things have slowed down this season. Storylines and pacing seem a little stilted because when a significant plot point is reached everything grinds to a halt and the story takes a completely different direction as if no one is particularly bothered about the Eye of the Midnight Sun or finding out what they want or who’s their leader. It would surely seem more realistic if they managed to combine the action with the character development instead of separating things out. Unless these forgettable subplot villains will somehow contribute to the season’s later episodes (which I can’t see happening because, to be honest, I’m having trouble keeping track of all the supporting characters as it is), I’d like things to get back to the matters at hand, please.

I don’t want to write Black Clover off completely at the moment, as technically they’re doing everything right if they want to develop a good shounen anime. There’s sure to be racing peaks and slower parts, but it doesn’t seem like things are linking up at the moment – the smaller stories just seem to be all over the place and not really joining up. But I’m hoping that the end of this season’s episodes bring a bit more action to them to make up for the lull at the beginning.