When we first hear Black Clover, we think of a typical shounen manga that’s weekly publicized on Weekly Shonen Jump alongside other various manga. Black Clover comes from a very prestigious area, where the famous Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fairy Tail, and all sorts of popular manga series that have gone on to receive anime adaptations and build their own legacy. Just freshly graduated its announcement, many of us might have thought it would just be a typical shounen with no redeeming qualities/natures whatsoever. Today, the first episode proved us wrong.
The episode adapts directly from the first chapter of the manga, and pacing is perfect for this one. The episode takes its time to briefly explain the origins of Asta and Yuno who were orphaned at a young age. We then timeskip to 15 years later where the brothers are now full-grown teenagers with two very distinct personalities. Asta is loudmouthed and persistent, while Yuno is the quiet and mature one. We find out that Asta (even at age 15) has not yet developed magical powers when he should have long ago, compared to his brother Yuno who’s already fully mastered his magical powers and his seen as the hope of the village. At first glance, both brothers (who grew up in the same environment) have very different personalities. It was a great move to make Asta the main character, because otherwise Yuno would be too powerful for his (or our) own good.
Asta’s status as main character stands pretty firm at the moment. He wishes to become the Wizard King and gains rivalry with Yuno. Initially his inability to wield magic pushed him to keep trying, and its’ fruits do not bloom during the ceremony. That helps push his determination to the max and allow him to finally unlock his magic. From this point on, only one obstacle has been broken down and he has plenty more to cross. This sort of origin matches quite similarly with Izuku/Deku from My Hero Academia. Both grew up without powers until their determination to never give up eventually gave them powers, and now they’re on track to be what they had always dreamed of being.
While a bit early, the episode does introduce the grimoires to the story which is a bit weird due to the fact that everyone has magic naturally. Most likely the grimoire just allows the user to execute magic that would otherwise be undoable without it such as long memorization sequences or weapon summoning as Asta performed.
Black Clover’s premiere most certainly had it’s moments where it kept me (as a viewer) hooked. The story is interesting, the pacing was good, and character development was great. I’m most certainly looking forward to the next one.