Yuki Tabata is a genius. Yes, that’s a small sample of what you’re about to get if you keep going with this article. In the last few weeks, I’ve gone through 170 episodes of the Black Clover anime–sans some of the filler, because who has time for that–and I’ve managed to catch up on all 315 chapters of the manga that are currently available through the VIZ Media app.
Side note, I definitely do not mess with scans and fan translation and all of that garbage. Official sources only to support the mangaka. Seriously, people, it’s not that hard. The Jump subscription to read chapters is like three bucks.
Anyway, Black Clover.
Black Clover is something that I wasn’t sure about at first. I mean, a magicless kid trying to become something called a Wizard King? Wasn’t really sure where that was going to go or how it was going to play out or, honestly, what to expect. I think, for some reason, that Black Clover tends to be underrated or overlooked when compared next to some, say, the Big Three (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece–and no, there’s no debating that. It’s an undeniable fact.) or even with the advent of what some of calling the Sinister Six. Though, the Sinister Six, as it were, seems to be more fluid than the concrete Big Three.
Some common series that I’ve seen put into this include My Hero Academia, Attack On Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, Tokyo Revengers, Boruto, and Fire Force. Sometimes I see Black Clover, but not as often. Now, disregarding the whole “sinister six” discussion here, because that’s something for another time, I always found it odd that Black Clover wasn’t an automatic choice here. I understand that the sinister six is more subjective than what the Big Three were, but after absorbing every chapter available currently, in English anyway, the fact that some people would leave it off the list is just downright criminal.
See, Black Clover truly has it all. It was awesome power scaling, it has art that will make you stop and stare at a single page for longer than you realize, it has fantastic world-building and, honestly, most of all it has an absolutely stellar cast of characters that you can’t help but root for and fall in love with. The growth of these characters, and not just the main character Asta, is phenomenal. Everybody seemingly gets their chance to shine and, as Black Bulls Magic Knights Captain Yami Sukehiro likes to say, push past their limits.
(Sidebar, he’s voiced by Christopher Sabat (Vegeta, All Might) in the anime dub and it’s fantastic.)
Tabata even manages to make newly introduced characters, like ones in the more recent chapters, instantly likable even without 275 chapters of backstory. It feels like he just has natural a talent for creating a character that people can connect with but a character that is also unique and different from the dozens of other excellent characters roaming around the Clover Kingdom.
Black Clover started are relatively small in scope and then grew exponentially as the chapters flew by. Asta is still a focal point, for sure, as is his rival Yuno, but from the rest of the Black Bulls to the other Clover Kingdom magic knights to the other Kingdoms in general it’s just such an amazing cast of supporting characters that, honestly, sometimes you forget that this all started with Asta and the fact that he had no magic but still declared–shouted, really–that he was going to be the Wizard King someday. In my humble opinion, Black Clover is easily a pillar of the anime/manga world right now and will likely be for years to come.
Are there familiar tropes and gags? Sure. But it’s still something magnificent and special and will likely remain that way for years to come. Yuki Tabata is going on a well-earned break, with new chapters coming in the new year and they’ve announced a Black Clover movie is on the horizon. The anime is currently on hiatus to let the manga build up some backlog again and there couldn’t be a more perfect time to check this out and get caught up in anticipation for all the awesome things that are to come. I really cannot recommend this enough to anybody and everybody that will listen. Buy the volumes, check out the anime, get a VIZ subscription, or all of the above.
Black Clover is a can’t miss series. Period.