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!
Now we’re in the second series of Black Clover, this is when we start to be given insights into the backgrounds of supporting characters such as the Black Bulls, which I’ve been looking forward to. Whilst meant to be supervising Asta and Noelle on a trip into a dungeon, Luck senses a very strong presence and, overcome with the urge to fight this opponent, dashes off and leaves the newbies on their own to fend for themselves. He soon discovers Lotus, a mage of the neighbouring Diamond Kingdom, and we finally see his fighting style – that of a powerful and disturbed young man. We find that his personality is from being ostracised by other children and losing his mother when he was very young, and now he is determined to be strong, keep on winning, and dedicate those victories to his mother. However, he may have his hands full when dealing with Lotus. Meanwhile, Asta and Noelle discover representatives of the Golden Dawn, and Yuno is one of them. Both Asta and Yuno are determined to reach the treasure chamber first but Lotus – and the mysterious and stoic mage Mars – are getting in their way.
Asta still very much remains the typical shounen protagonist. He’s determined, says what’s on his mind and is always willing to fight for those important to him. This is great and all, but does make him seem rather one-dimensional amidst the varied and interesting misfits that make up the Black Bulls. The one things he has going for him is his ability to negate magic, but I hope this isn’t always the most intriguing thing about him. By comparison, the aloof Yuno seems more complex and mysterious. As a shounen protagonist’s rival, there is more of a scope for development and individuality. He’s a rival, but not an antagonist (as yet) and I wouldn’t compare him to Sasuke as I would draw comparisons between Asta and Naruto. Along with Yuno, we see some of his allies within the Golden Dawn who initially appear like we would expect them to: talented and elitist mages of noble class that look down on a commoner joining their ranks. Although different to Asta, and the Golden Dawn different to the Black Bulls, Yuno faces similar stigmas and discrimination but has his own way of proving himself.
I would think that maybe this season is steering itself to a magical war between the Clover Kingdom and the Diamond Kingdon, causing the mage factions to stop bickering amongst themselves and unite against this outside threat. Perhaps Yuno’s natural magical prowess and Asta’s unusual skill of negating magic, alongside their friendly rivalry, may have them rise to the forefront here. I don’t want to make too many comparisons to Naruto here, but I can see an equivalent of the Fourth Ninja War arising here.
Black Clover also uses 3D elements sparingly, but they look good. In the scenes where we see Marks attacking the group in his giant diamond-esque armour, he occasionally moves directly towards the camera and these elements do make him seem rather impressive and really draw the eye to the detail in the shards that surround him. This also helps to complement the overall art style that applies a sort of roughness and depth to things like faces, weapons and walls that isn’t particularly shounen and helps the overall aesthetic production become more eye-catching.
I continue to enjoy Black Clover as it starts to do a bit more world-building and develop supporting characters alongside the main ones. Although I consider Asta’s stereotypical development a weakness, it happens that I do enjoy most of the personality traits that make a good shounen protagonist e.g a refusal to give up in the face of adversity, having the power and the inclination to always protect their friends and that silly/clumsy accessibility of character they maintain. But I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again – is it necessary for him to be so loud all the time?