Black Clover: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Asta and Yuno” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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The title card of Black Clover
100% (3)

The title card of Black Clover

For those who missed the high energy of a protagonist like Naruto, but weren’t fond of the ninja angle and prefer wizards, Black Clover might be for you.

Creator: Pierrot

The Introduction

Asta and Yuno are two orphans paired and raised together for over 15 years. Yuno basically is a heartthrob and perhaps one of the most powerful wizards in Hage, maybe even the whole country. As for Asta? Well, he is the rare being to have no magical abilities at all. On top of that, at the grimoire ceremony, he is the sole 15 year old to not receive a book. But, Yuno on the other hand, he receives a book with a four leaf clover. A rare book last seen to be in the possession of the Wizard King.

Leading to Revchi, a disgraced knight, wanting to steal the book for money. However, while Asta may not have magic powers and at first may seem without a grimoire, things change. He gets a five leaf clover grimoire and in it contains a demon. Something which may even the scales in the battle for Yuno’s book and in Asta’s life in general.

Highlights

When Asta Discovered The Five Leaf Clover

Asta discovering his grimoire and becoming a demon

For most of the episode, Asta seems like Naruto’s distant cousin (I’m talking early on Naruto). The hairstyle isn’t that different, the high energy is very similar, and you can pretty much tell this is a Pierrot production. Especially as the episode comes to a close and Asta gets his grimoire and we see him slowly convert into a demon. In that moment, you begin to see a melding of the company’s two most popular properties and it perhaps might be the first time you really get excited watching this.

Low Points

Asta Being So Over The Top and Yuno So Subdued

The reason I say that? Asta is so over the top he will, not can, will become annoying in no time. Be it him chasing after a nun for her love, his consistent proclamation about becoming a Wizard King, or just him overplaying the underdog hand, he wears out his welcome quick. To the point, you don’t even feel bad when you see him not get a grimoire. If anything, it leads you to hope that will humble him and perhaps make it so this seriousness he shows in his training may lead to him, as I’m told happened in Naruto Shuppiden, becoming more mature, a bit calmer, but still maintain some of his unique traits.

As for Yuno? He and Asta are so night and day it hurts. For as hyped up on sugar as Asta is, Yuno damn near seems like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Not in terms of being a depressing and indifferent character. More so, his lack of mania makes him seem boring in comparison. Making it where, even when he is using magic and showing off how powerful he is, all you can think of is “That’s nice.” For his muted personality, even with his proclamation that he will be king and this pendant which hints there is more to him than what we see, just pushes away all interest.

On The Fence

The Comedy

Asta trying to save Yuno
See those marks on his face? That’s from jumping into a situation, trying to be cool, and hitting a wall.

Between Asta, the priest who took care of him and Yuno, alongside the watcher of the grimoire library, there are attempts at comedy throughout the episode. Keyword: attempts. In my mind, for the younger crowd, it might be funny watching Asta fly into a wall or the librarian seemingly go off script and be out of character. For me though, it just seemed like this show was trying too hard to be capture what made Naruto a long-running series and Tokyo Ghoul perhaps one of the most talked about of the 2010s, thus far.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

Asta's dreams

As of now, there isn’t some 20, 30, 50, or more episode count. According to anilist.com, it is only 13 episodes. So with that in mind, despite only seeming like it may have potential toward the last few minutes of the episode, I’d say to stick around. The series premiere of Black Clover certainly doesn’t live up to the hype that many are giving it, but there are only a handful of shows, anime especially, which really have overwhelmingly good first episodes. Much less maintain that momentum through the end of the season. The majority start off just like Black Clover. Interesting, something a bit divisive, but by episode 3 – 5 its potential is finally reached and you know whether you’re watching a gem or looking at costume jewelry.

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