Black Clover Review


This has certainly been a long time coming, but it’s time to finally review the Black Clover anime. I finished this show almost a year ago at this point but it’s a really long one which meant the review would be long too so it kept on getting pushed back on the priority list. Well, now it’s time to jump in and the series certainly earns its rep as being the next big Jump title. It’s today’s version of Naruto and quickly gets you into the mix with a lot of hype characters and storylines.

The series centers around a boy named Asta who has grown up with no magical abilities. He literally has no mana and seems to be cursed as it just won’t generate no matter what he does. In this world it is difficult to function at all without magic because society will brand you as a failure. It means you will be constantly teased and picked on, additionally Asta is a commoner which is another strike against him by the masses. Asta has sworn to get around this by honing his body to its absolute limit though to the point where he can still fight with magical users.

Asta keeps on going and is eventually selected by the Black Bulls, the worst of the magic squads and known for having a bunch of crazy members. Still, they chose Asta to be one of them so he will help transform them into the greatest squad that the world has ever seen. Asta’s goal is to eventually become the Wizard King and prove himself as the strongest of all. He can then change the world to make it more just for everyone no matter their individual status. This won’t be easy but he is determined to see this goal through to the end.

When I say there is a lot to discuss in this review, trust me it’s not an understatement. I’ll talk about the technicals first now and then we’ll jump into the story arcs and characters. You don’t see too many long running action titles like this nowadays since most anime go for the seasonal route. Aside from Boruto and One Piece, this may have been the last big Shonen ongoing like this. So in a way Black Clover was around for the end of an era. Seasonal shows certainly have their advantages and it’s always a fun debate but I was glad that Clover really got to go in with so many episodes here.

Right from the jump I thought the show looked really good. It’s by Studio Pierrot after all so I wasn’t surprised. They have animated some of the absolute best shows around. They may not be Ufotable but in my earlier animation editorial I showed why they are absolutely one of the best around. Black Clover gets a good budget. I thought it may not have looked too impressive before watching it because for some reason you see it mentioned online a lot that the show doesn’t look good but clearly they haven’t seen the fights.

Even when the animators were rushed and it was tough to meet the deadlines, they made the show look epic. There was only one fight at the end of the witch arc that I thought went too far with the experimental style. Experimenting a bit is good but go too far and it starts to look like a fan animation. I understand that was one of the fights where they really had to hurry though so that’s understandable. The series can switch between a very detailed art style one moment and then go into a streamlined one the next. Each fight is really fast paced so you can feel how powerful the characters were. I can confidently say that the animation is at a great level throughout the series. There are just many standout ones throughout so you never feel like the series is lagging behind.

Then you’ve got an excellent 5 star soundtrack up next. I did an editorial ranking all of the openings a while back because one of its particular strengths is how great those were. The openings all have a lot of life to them and just sound incredible. Whenever one is played for a big battle then you know that things are going to be epic. The themes inside of the actual series are also very good. There are a ton of great battle themes and emotional ones in there. A benefit of being such a long series is that there are really a whole lot of themes to choose from. You’ll be very familiar with all of them by the end but they really don’t hold back.

On a technical level the series is just excellent and so it helps to elevate the story. Fortunately the manga is also quite awesome so then what you have is a show that’s virtually perfect. It’s always interesting and has a great cast of characters to balance out the fun stories. The series can get serious as well and you feel a sense of danger. There also isn’t too much fanservice and the anime even cut some moments out which was really nice. I won’t say that a series like this is devoid of it, but they do a good job of avoiding it for the majority of the time.

Black Clover also has a good amount of humor to it as well. There are a lot of fun scenes throughout the show and sometimes the visual gag is what really helps seal the scene like when Asta’s eyes turn into sparkles. That’s usually a whole lot of fun and each of the characters have a fun dynamic with each other. This is a very well balanced anime that you could recommend to anyone. There’s definitely no doubt on that. This wraps up the general thoughts on the series so now it’s time to dig deep and really look at the characters and story.

The show starts off with the pre arc where we get to meet each of the Black Bulls and the team starts to form some good bonds with each other. We see how the day to day missions play out and each of the characters also gets a lot stronger. The show’s got good pacing here and while most of these original villains won’t be too memorable, they do serve their purpose in the fights. They look fairly menacing and give the heroes a run for their money. At the end of the day that’s what we’re looking for here right?

Asta is a terrific main character and one of the best leads in recent history. He works really hard and doesn’t let his lack of magic get to him. Throughout the 150+ episodes, he probably only gets down about it once or twice. The rest of the time he is busy training and getting himself fired up to be stronger and stronger. That’s exactly what you want to see in a main character here. His anti magic would not be nearly as useful if he wasn’t constantly training it so that he could be the strongest fighter around. Asta’s just an inspirational guy and he makes everyone around him that much better.

His rivalry with Yuno also has to be the healthiest that I’ve ever seen in Shonen Jump. They constantly build each other up even as they have their friendly banter. They never say something that they would regret later on or take advantage of the other one being in a bad place. Yuno never turns evil in the show and it seems unlikely at this point. That’s because the heroes aren’t jealous of each other. They respect each other’s strengths and keep is moving. That’s what it means to have a true rivalry and I feel like the show really understands that.

Yuno is a great character too of course. He fights hard to defend his friends and prove that he deserves the 4 leaf grimoire. He never backs down from a fight and he is always improving his wind abilities. Yuno wasn’t much of a team player at first but as the series goes on he gets more and more accustomed to working with others. Gone are the days where he was purely a solo act, he’s now ready to help everyone out on his road to being the Wizard King. We’ll see who makes it there first, him or Asta.

Noelle is the main heroine of the series and she is with Asta on the Black Bulls. She is a royal but has a hard time controlling her abilities which causes the other members of the family to ridicule her at all times. As a result Noelle struggles with confidence issues throughout the series but has one of the best character development arcs around. Each arc has her learn to trust in her friends as well as herself to get the job done. So while at one point she wouldn’t even shoot a single spell straight, now she can launch finishers with ease. She’s very much a tsundere so she has a hard time expressing her feelings. Usually you can find her just beating up on Asta and friends but in a pinch they know they can count on her.

Luck is another member of the Black Bulls and he’s one of those characters that really loves a good fight. He will do anything to get the fight that he has been longing for but sometimes that does mean that he will bite off more than he can chew. Considering that Luck is the kind of guy who likes to fight a lot, I wouldn’t say that he is one of the strongest members on the crew though. He does tend to get beaten out by a few of the others but he always has fun and he’s a character that you’ll probably find to be very likable. His backstory is also rather emotional so you can definitely see how things turned out the way that they did for him.

Luck’s rival is Magna who is more of a street punk kind of character. He lacks the overall talent and abilities that some of the other Black Bulls have which can end up making him feel bad but he rarely stays down for long. You feel like Magna will never actually catch up but at least he’s trying and the guy does use fire magic which I like. The problem is that there are at least 3 other characters in the same series who are better at fire magic which is not a good sign for him. Magna’s best chance to be more relevant in the future will be for him to switch attributes or go for magic techniques that are very unique from the other fire attacks.

Then we have Yami who is the captain of the Black Bulls and naturally has a very big role here. He’s a fan favorite and it’s easy to see why because he knows how to take charge of the team at any given moment and also just has a lot of pull. When he’s on the case you know that the troops are going to fall into line right away. His dark magic attacks are solid and he always makes sure to prioritize saving his comrades over following the rules. That’s the right order to do things if you ask me so that’s a very good look. He’ll always be one of the best.

Finral is another member of the Black Bulls but he is a weaker character. The guy does start to have a character arc where he won’t be flirting with all of the ladies as much and that’s good but in the meantime it’s not like his character has really been any good. He may get his moments but ultimately I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan of his. He’s just not my kind of character and the series taking that long to try and turn him into one just didn’t work out for me. Perhaps in a sequel series he will end up being really good. He’s helpful in combat at least but that still isn’t enough yet.

Vanessa is more of a support fighter on the team but she takes this to new limits as her cat of fate can allow her comrades to escape death. It’s a fate alteration technique which is incredibly helpful. It’s the kind of ability you rarely see a hero have since it can easily make it hard to write the villains into a scenario where they can win but Black Clover’s done well with this so far. She’s a fun character and while she may not stand out as much as some of the others, she gets the job done.

Gauche is a character who had some potential but his running gag sort of ruins it. He’s always talking about his sister Marie and while it’s nice that he wants to protect her, the whole thing is overplayed way too much. He’s an example of a character with a lot of comedic scenes that actually aren’t that funny. That’s not a good thing when that represents the vast majority of your character moments. He’s another character who isn’t likely to rise up all that high for me.

Finally there’s Charmy and we don’t know a whole lot about her compared to some of the other characters. She gets a lot of comedic moments as well but you can tell that she’s hiding a great power behind it all. That kind of character can work but it’s certainly a lot trickier than it would be if she was just a solid fighter all of the time. They’re always hinting at a backstory involving the elves or something similar with her but we haven’t really gotten it yet. All in all, I can’t say I’m too impressed with her.

Another character who appears early on in the pre arc is Sekke. This guy’s the Hercule/King of the series in that he’s a really big comic relief character who tends to fall upwards. Things just work out for him even though Sekke is as weak as a character can get. He does have one or two spells but just about any fighter would defeat him with ease. The only way he gets out of the situations is to be lucky. That said, I loved his character gimmick of adding a little “haha!” to the end of each of his sentences. Usually a little word at the end gets old fast but sometimes it works like in Air and now this series. So Sekke I do like in his role, he’s a better comic relief character than most.

Klaus is one of the Golden Dawn members who works with Yuno. You’ll realize early on that aside from the Black Bulls, most of the other squads don’t have a ton of characters with their own individual character designs and arcs. It’s fitting since the Bulls are the main team but at least the Dawn have a handful. Klaus is one of them and he’s not bad. At first he’s one of those classic royals who dislikes all commoners but he is quickly able to shed that opinion and that’s when I started liking him. It takes a good character to be able to get with the program that quickly and I thought he did really well. His magic may not be super helpful but it’s the thought that counts.

Then you have Mimosa who is the healer of the group. She can heal most injuries at a really rapid speed which comes in handy with how many dangerous missions the characters go on. That means she isn’t often on the front lines but when necessary she can scrounge up an attack spell or two. Mimosa is a decent enough character even if she is rather harsh to one of her brothers during the tournament. The Silva family tends to be rather crazy so she probably has a lot of justification for this but at least from what we see it feels like she is a bit too relentless there.

Of course we also have Bell who serves as Yuno’s nature spirit to further amp up his abilities. She’s not really my kind of character though. She tends to get jealous really quickly, almost instantly at every moment. So in a way she starts to get in Yuno’s way instead of helping and she reminds me of Tinker Bell a lot. If Bell could fight more on her own that would help but as it is, it never feels like she serves much of a role in the story.

I can’t forget about Sister Lily either. She is crucial to helping with Asta’s character development as one of his goals is to get together with her. The issue though is that she can never be with a man because of her job so this always leads Asta to be rather depressed. Lily doesn’t get to do a whole lot beyond her initial appearance but she’s a fun character and at least she does have a water spell as a last resort.

Now lets dive into the first story arc here which is the mission into the Diamond Kingdom dungeon. We get to see how the Black Bulls deal with a foreign squad here as both Yuno and Asta’s group fight off the invaders. This was a good way to show us how one of these battles would go and I thought the whole thing went rather smoothly. We had a big team up with Asta and Yuno as well as a future rival of sorts in Mars. Now, I do think Mars could have been used a lot more in the series. He ends up vanishing for pretty much the rest of it but he was a good antagonist.

Mars even gets his own backstory and everything. It should at least come across as pretty sad the whole time. His abilities also made him a true threat. There was another villain in this arc by the name of Lotus and I thought he was surprisingly really solid. The guy has a very laidback kind of vibe to him but it’s one that worked well. Lotus can absolutely fight as need be and was even overwhelming Luck the whole time in their battle. He doesn’t get to do much after this but he’s a villain who leaves a lasting impression on you.

After this we get to have Asta and friends invited to the capital to get their awards and recognition from the Wizard King. Pretty much all of the captains are here so they also get to really meet them. It turns out that a lot of these guys are just as bad as the random royals with how they all insult Noelle. It does have one of my favorite scenes in the series though when Asta steps in to defend her and even goes up against several fighters at once. It was one of many moments that propelled him to being so high tier for me. This then transitions into a mini invasion arc as Rades sends a bunch of undeads out to take down Asta and friends. The actual arc isn’t as exciting as the smaller event but it’s a good chance to see Asta taking more names.

Rades will end up being a reoccurring villain later on. He’s not the most threatening villain I’ve seen and he’s borderline comic relief at times but he works well enough. I don’t think you’ll remember him as being much more than an afterthought most of the time though. For the heroes, well we’re introduced to quite a few bad ones like Noelle’s siblings. Those two characters are just extremely petty and don’t have the strength to back it up so they’re just awful.

We meet Nozel who is the leader of the 2nd strongest guild but he’s one of the guys who really encourages everyone to be mean to Noelle so there’s no way to like him. You’d think that he would be more considerate of her since they’re siblings but if anything he ends up going after her even harder than the others. That’s not the kind of thing I can easily overlook. So he is strong and I can’t deny that but I just never liked him. Later on the series tries to walk it back a bit but it’s just way too late.

On the other hand, Fuegoleon gets to look really solid to start things off. He actually has a good honor code and even gives Noelle a good pep talk. This is a man of honor who also has great power and I was glad that he was able to stand on his own like that without having to step on someone. Unfortunately he gets written out of most of the series with something that happens to him later on so that was unfortunate.

Another one of the captains is Vangeance who gets a really big role here. He has tree magic but that’s never been one of the more impressive kind of spells to me. Give me fire or water any day. Trees just don’t feel as versatile. Either way I don’t like this guy though. He’s not decisive in his actions and ends up causing more trouble for everyone. He may be a part of the strongest guild but he certainly doesn’t feel like the strongest captain. You get the feeling that a whole lot of the others could mop him up if they wanted too.

Now the wizard king Julius actually lives up to his hype. That guy looks fantastic in all of his appearances. There were a lot of jokes about him basically being Naruto and they worked because this is how you imagine Naruto would be when he makes it to the top. Julius has created a world of peace and he’s so powerful that almost nobody dares to challenge him. His fight in the series is really intense and the kingdom can really feel safe with him at the top. I definitely liked the guy quite a lot.

While not a captain, Asta obtained a new rival in this arc in Leopold. I use the term a bit loosely because it feels like Leo never really got to do a whole lot. It’s like he’s set up to be a major player at some point but it never quite happened. I still think he has a lot of potential but he hasn’t really kept up with the power creep which hurts him a lot. If he is going to have a big moment it is going to need to happen soon or it’s all going to be over for him. Well, I guess he will still be likable even if he’s not one of the strongest but I would like to see more out of him. I have high expectations here.

After that there is an arc involving Gauche trying to save his sister. The arc is fairly low key and I don’t need to go into it much here but the big thing is that this directly leads into the leader of the midnight sun, Licht showing up. We then get a big fight with the heroes going up against him which then escalates further as the other members of the group appear and a few captains show up. The battles here were really high tier and Yami vs Licht is still brought up a lot to this day. This was when the series first started showing signs of the grander plan that would take us to the big Elf arc. There’s a lot of great setup here and one of the impressive bits may even be the fact that it was thrown into a story arc that felt like it was going to be very minor all the way through.

Licht appears in a very impressive way here. Not only can he attack at the speed of light which is crazy in itself but he also appears to care about his comrades. I always thought that was a solid trait for a villain since it makes them feel like more of a fleshed out character instead of some random villain wanting to destroy the world. His moveset is solid and he gets a lot of great fights here. I definitely don’t believe you will be disappointed at all when this fight is all over and done with and in the character either. He opens and finishes strong.

Vetto is then the most impressive member of the Midnight Sun. His big role is in the arc after this one as he gets to go up against pretty much the entire Black Bulls team on his own. The guy fights wave after wave of enemies and just keeps on going. It’s absolutely crazy how much stamina the guy has and while he does tend to ramble on and on about despair, the guy can back up the crazy talk. I ended up liking him quite a bit and he is really the reason why the underwater temple arc was so good.

Rhya is also a solid villain. He’s more the cold and calculating type but that doesn’t mean he can’t fight. He still ends up being very helpful to the villains with how his copy ability works. There aren’t too many fighters who can stand up to him and he was also the first to realize that something was up with the devil even if it was just too late by that point. In a way he doesn’t get to cut loose as much as the other two members but he also doesn’t go crazy.

Fana is like Vetto in how much she dislikes the humans. She tends to yell a lot about the whole thing and just goes in guns blazing. She certainly isn’t conflicted about the whole situation. Fana has some solid fights here and makes for a solid all around villain. Definitely not someone that you want to mess with. From the hero side, we get to see Charlotte in action here. She’s another captain with grass type powers only hers are vines instead of trees. She’s much better than Vangeance and while her crush on Yami can mean that she is often flustered, she doesn’t let this show when she goes up against the big villains. To them she is just another really powerful captain that they have to watch out for. Charlotte commands a lot of respect in a battle and I’d say that she’s solid enough.

Then there is Jack and I do like the guy but my one issue is that I don’t feel like he’s as strong as you’re meant to believe. see, he’s Yami’s rival but it feels like the gap in power between them is absolutely massive. If they are as evenly matched as the show would have you believe, then Jack should look way better during his solo moments. He is usually portrayed as either being all talk or on Yami’s level and the two versions of him are completely mutually exclusive. You can’t be both at once no matter how much this show may try to trick you otherwise.

Now we get to the underwater temple arc which is one of the highlights of the series. The heroes are finally making a move to try and get a step ahead of the Midnight Sun, but naturally those guys were ready for this. So we get to have a bunch of big fights against Vetto. This time the heroes are not leaving without taking him down for good and it’s a very tense fight all the way through. The animation is really excellent and it’s just a super memorable experience. For a lot of people this was the turning point and while the series was already amazing for me prior to this, it certainly kept on raising the bar.

We got to meet the singer Kahano who quickly hit it off with Noelle. Kahano was a very nice character along with Kiato as the two of them did their best to help out. Unfortunately the burden of trying to help out the main characters while not being a part of them is that you tend to get absolutely crushed into the dust. These two really did their best but ultimately they weren’t ready. I liked them well enough and they actually remained relevant to a much larger extent than I expected.

Also, I didn’t talk about her much before but Grey is another member of the Black Bulls and she’s around the whole time too. Her ability is seemingly to shapeshift which isn’t too handy though. As of now you could say that her role is still very minimal so she hasn’t done a whole lot yet. Grey can be way too timid for me though which keeps her from being one of the top characters. Gordon is another Black Bull member and his gimmick is that he talks so silently that nobody can hear what he is saying. It definitely gets old rather quickly. His powers are all poison based which is handy at least but that’s still not quite enough to turn him into a good character. For now he’s just too gimmicky but I’d like to see him develop into a really solid character down the line.

Then we have a small filler arc or at least it felt like filler to me where Asta helps his (novel exclusive) mentor find Dominate after she has vanished. The heroes have to deal with the traitor Mariella and figure out what’s going on. I’d say the main issue with this one is that the villains feel way too weak so the heroes should be absolutely stomping them the whole time. Instead Fanzell just doesn’t feel very impressive at all. You get the vibe that Asta surpassed him a very long time ago. It was a decent little story saga but nothing to write home about.

Same for the characters. Fanzell is okay but he’s not making my top 20 list any time soon. Dominate doesn’t appear long enough to leave much of an impression either and of course Mariella didn’t really make the best calls. All in all I would be fine if they never appear again. It’s not like they were super bad or anything but they just don’t add anything to the dynamic so you could just give their scenes to someone else.

Now the next big arc is the Witch queen one. The heroes needs to find a way to heal Asta’s arms after the events of the temple saga and this is the best place to do it. The Witch Queen is supposed to have abilities far beyond that of anyone else when it comes to reversing curses and such. Naturally she isn’t super nice though so that won’t be easy. Additionally, the diamond kingdom and midnight sun are attacking again so the heroes have to deal with that too. It’ll be a busy time for them but they’re ready for this.

The Witch Queen herself is about as shady and nefarious as you would expect. She would absolutely murder all the heroes at the drop of a hat if she got her way. I do think she’s a bit shortsighted in this since the villains would then be able to take her out really quick though. She’s confident in her defenses but shouldn’t be because they just wouldn’t hold up. So I wouldn’t really say I’m a big fan of hers at the moment. She could turn out to be good down the road but for now I’m not impressed.

Likewise, the big villain here is Ladros and there’s just not much to him. He’s super strong so he’s absolutely a threat in combat but that doesn’t translate to him being a great villain. He can absolutely decimate his opponents in combat but there’s more to being a villain than that. He doesn’t have much personality or any super likable traits so that’s game over for him.

Mereoleona gets to appear after the climax as she gets ready to train the heroes and go with them to the elf invasion. Now here’s a top tier character who has a lot of great moments throughout. Whenever she is on screen you know that the heroes are finally going to learn a lot and will be able to push their skills to the next level. She loves fighting even more than Luck and has the skills to back it up so that’s good enough for me. Any scene with her is always fun.

After that we get to the big tournament and I’d been waiting for this. After all, tournaments are always super hype. All of the big characters are in this including some that we hadn’t gotten to see much of before now. It’s mostly a friendly tournament but Langris starts to go a bit crazy here so you can expect him to make some noise. It leads into one of the most intense scenes in the series though when the Black Bulls come close to ending him. They certainly weren’t about to let anything happen and I love to see teamwork like that. You gotta look out for each other in a moment like this.

Suffice it to say, Langris never really went very high for me. Sure, mind control played a part in some of the scenes, but not all of them and that’s an important distinction to make. By and large he is still responsible for what he was doing the whole time. He just had a bad attitude, there’s no two ways about it. The guy has a tremendous amount of power too so you would think that he would be more content with what he’s got instead of always looking around. That’s definitely a lesson that he needs to learn sooner than later.

Zora is a new member to the Black Bulls and right away he becomes one of the best members. I like how this guy openly takes on the royals and doesn’t put up with any of their nonsense. To an extent he acts like a vigilante at first and never really loses his edge but by the end he’s also a team player. His trap style of magic is also very effective although I feel like by its own nature it will never make him quite as powerful as some of the other fighters. It just inherently has some limits to it but he’s shown that he can work with those so far.

Sol is Charlotte’s right hand woman and she’s a decent enough character. I like that she’s always got a fiery spirit. Unfortunately she never gets to fight all that much but I see her having some potential as a strong side character. Sol is someone who could probably shine if the series ever got a true spinoff manga. Then you have Kirsch who is Mimosa’s brother. He’s the one where I feel like she’s too harsh at times. The guy is rather vain but compared to the rest of the nobles he is a decently nice guy. His abilities are also handy especially in a team format. He’s not really my kind of character but the guy does well enough.

In the tournament Rill gets to enter and I always thought that was a bit odd since he is a captain. Well, I suppose he’s one of the younger ones but even so I would have expected him to not have been allowed. His fight against Yuno is one of the highlights of the arc and it was great to see one of the main characters finally going up against a captain. To me this cemented what I had known for a very long time which is that Yuno and Asta were already captain level. Rill’s abilities are cool but his overall personality isn’t really my thing. He tends to space out and not be as focused as he should be.

Finally you have Alecdora who was trying to be a rival to Yuno for a long while. Unfortunately for him, his abilities aren’t nearly at a level that would cause Yuno to sweat at all. Seriously, this guy just doesn’t stand any kind of chance against him. Alecdora’s also rather stuck up so it takes a while for him to acknowledge Yuno’s overall abilities. Once he does then he becomes a much better character.

This leads us to the Elf arc which is widely known as the best saga in the series. I would absolutely agree with this too. Part of what makes the arc work so well is because it was being built up since near the beginning of the series. It’s also a very long arc much like Hueco Mundo where every character gets their own fight. Even the supporting characters finally get some action and there are a lot of villains to go around. The arc also has two parts to it as you have the initial invasion where the heroes try to take the Elves out and then the counterstrike where a bunch of people end up getting mind controlled.

There are so many iconic moments in this like Yuno using his strength of will to overcome the brainwashing or actually seeing the previous wizard king get to fight. There were just so many amazing scenes here and of course the battles were all top notch. The amount of replay value here is also incredibly high. You just don’t want to peel yourself away from the episodes and can probably blast through the entire thing in an instant. That’s when you know that you’ve got a really elite show by your side.

One villain in this arc is Sally who technically has been appearing here and there but this seemed like a good time to bring her up. She’s not really my kind of villain though as she’s one of those crazy scientists who runs a ton of twisted experiments but it feels like the heroes let it slide to an extent. At this point she is practically here as an anti-hero but she should be getting big jail time right away. She’s not someone you could ever hope to trust.

Then we have another Black Bull named Henry and his gimmick is that he talks really slowly. Unfortunately that destroyed the character for me. Gimmicks like that where you talk too slowly or too quietly just hurt because then it takes forever for the character to make any points. So any scene with Henry was more on the painful side than being emotional which is really not a good idea. His ability to absorb mana is cool at least.

Next up is Dorothy who is one of the captains but unfortunately for her fans she doesn’t get to do a whole lot. Her dream powers are incredibly powerful but she always happens to fight opponents who can hard counter it. Put it this way, she should be able to beat over 80% of the cast easily but she always goes up against the final 20%. She’s a fun character though who is always relaxing because deep down she knows how strong she is. Dorothy is quirky but not in an annoying way so there’s a lot to enjoy about her.

Secre is another Black Bull and you can tell how the series keeps adding new members as it goes along. Technically she was around since the start of the series as a bird but only gets to use her human form later on. Secre is another solid character who keeps all of the others on their toes with her quick wit. Her ability to unseal things is a very specific power but one that certainly has her uses. I enjoy what she brings to the table in terms of the character dynamics.

Of course a big character in this arc is Zagred as the first devil to fight the heroes. The show goes all out with this guy as he pretty much takes on the entire cast at once. If the show was trying to prove why this guy is an absolutely huge threat then it completely succeeded. He definitely strikes fear into his opponents and it’s all well deserved. Anything he says comes true which is a really scary power to go up against. Also as a Devil he just wants to cause chaos and misfortune to everyone around him. Not exactly the kind of villain you can reason with.

Finally there is Lumiere and I liked him a lot. He’s not quite as cool as the current Wizard King but you can see how this guy once had the rank and did a lot of good with it. His abilities have a lot of versatility to them and his raw power is exceptional. Put him up against almost any other character in the series and it would be an easy win for him. I also liked his bond with Secre, they were definitely good friends.

Finally we head to the final saga in the series. First there is a bit of a court drama as the people want Asta executed for being a devil host but the Black Bulls put a stop to that really quick. I was glad that they did not entertain this notion at all and just broke in. It was another great scene to show how much unity the Black Bulls have and how they will do whatever it takes to protect each other. Of course the real final saga comes after this and we even get a time skip.

The characters now have new designs although the one that stands out the most is certainly Asta. The devils are finally making their move as the Spade Kingdom sends the Dark Triad to capture 3 fighters while also invading the Heart Kingdom. Asta and friends have to go to each of the spots to defend their allies but these villains are far more powerful than any that they have encountered before. The Elf arc previously showed how powerful one devil was so you can imagine how taking on 3 would be an incredibly difficult task. The only thing that helps the heroes a bit is that the devils are using human hosts and can’t fully manifest the way that the last one did. If they could do that then the heroes would absolutely have no shot at taking the win. It would just be completely impossible at that point.

While not quite as long or ambitious as the Elf Arc, this one certainly comes close. Once we get a sequel anime to adapt the rest of the arc it’ll get even closer as it still is a super long arc with a lot of great fights. I also always enjoy a good timeskip and getting to see how all of the heroes have grown stronger with their techniques. The new opening theme song for this saga was also excellent to the point where I put this as the best intro in the series.

Damnatio is the judge who wanted Asta executed and he certainly gets a solid role here. I liked the guy, he may not be a big fighter or some kind of super villain but his abilities are cool. I don’t think he would have lasted long against the Black Bulls in an even fight but this guy is not meant for the front lines anyway. He’s a good way to represent what the general public of the Clover Kingdom think and how they are always very ungrateful. So he’s a fun antagonist here.

We also meet the leader of the Heart Kingdom in Loropechika, but I definitely can’t say that I was really a fan of hers. She cries way too much and being a klutz is part of her whole character personality. That’s never too endearing for me, I wish she would be able to get serious a lot quicker. If you commander can’t really fight, what does that do for morale? Maybe she’ll look better right now but so far she’s one of the weakest characters for sure.

She has a group of warriors who fight below her but the only one with actual development is Gaja. The others are around but you can’t take them too seriously and feel like they are going to get absolutely dominated the whole time. At least Gaja can actually fight the whole time and his abilities are the real deal. He gets to train the heroes and he is very devoted to protecting the queen. So I’d give that guy a thumbs up even while the rest of the group did not seem very impressive.

Then we get to the Dark Triad and they are all powerful fighters. That said, Dante is not really my kind of character. For starters, the guy is one of those villains who is obsessed with women and distracts him from the actual fight at hand. He’s also one of those proud villains who feels like he shouldn’t have to fight commoners and all that. He’s the kind of villain you’ve seen a million times before but who doesn’t really leave an impact. As a villain to be fought he lives up to the hype and looks great but as a character he wasn’t my kind of villain.

The second member Vanica was a lot more interesting. She is on the insane side at times which isn’t always my thing but at least she loves a good fight and is all about the action. Vanica likes to insult her opponents while fighting them as well but isn’t getting distracted from her core purpose. Now she’s a villain who you don’t want to mess with at all and she has personal ties to Noelle and the queen which adds a personal dynamic to the whole mix.

Finally there is Zenon who is easily the best member of the trio. This guy is very serious and down to business as he attacks Yuno and the squad. His bone magic is cool to watch and the guy just feels unbeatable. It’s clear from the jump that he is the strongest member of the triad by far. He doesn’t show any moments of weakness or even come close to appearing to be on the losing side. He dominates his fights from start to finish and that’s the kind of villain you want to see the heroes go up against.

Then as we end the series and get the setup for the next arc, two more characters show up. First is Liebe who is the devil that has been residing inside of Asta. We’ve been waiting for this guy to show up for so long that it was surreal to finally see him appear. Of course as luck would have it, he’s considerably weaker than all of the other devils who have appeared. So don’t expect him to be showing up to take names immediately but he does have a lot of character development. We even get to see his backstory which was very emotional. I’m excited to have him become a main character now since his dynamic with Asta is really going to be intense. Their battle was also a fitting way to end the series because of how emotional it was and all of the callbacks that got to be included.

Finally there is Nacht, the final Black Bull. He’s not as happy go lucky as the rest and even tends to insult Yami which is something that Asta and the others don’t like. He has several devils at his disposal though and is currently a very mysterious character. We don’t know a lot about him yet but I can say that he is starting the series off strong. I would say the mystique works really well here and you definitely want to see what he can do in a fight.

Overall, Well there’s always more to say about a series like this but I’d say that’s good for now. Naturally there are more characters and events out there but you should watch the series yourself to see all the extra details. Black Clover is a super all around show and I definitely recommend checking it out when you have the time. It is over 150 episodes long so you will need a lot of time but the episodes really blend together with how quick the pacing is. Hopefully they hurry up with the movie and the sequel show because it feels like we’ve been waiting for a long while. The post time skip events were just getting started after all so we need to see how it all ends. It’ll be tough for another title to top this one but we’ll see how it goes.

Overall 9/10

Hungry Joker Review


Before Tabata created the all star manga title Black Clover, he had another manga which was quickly cancelled known as Hungry Joker. It was a very ambitious project with more of an “A Certain Magical Index” element to it as all powers are based on relics from different religions, cultures, and special events. There’s a lot that could have been done with this, but alas the series was cancelled really quickly.

The series starts off by introducing us to Haiji who is a genius. He has complete amnesia except he remembers waking up amidst a lot of fire and everyone was dead as well as glowing in an odd color. His only clue is an Apple that had one bite in it. He now works on crazy experiments with the apple along with his sidekick Toriiooji. (That’s a hard name to remember) She’s not crazy about this but a job’s a job so she puts up with it. Unfortunately Haiji can barely even be bothered to remember her name half the time which is rough. One day, a new corpse appears while glowing and just as Haiji starts to investigate this, he is attacked by a mysterious being who may not be of this world. Haiji is barely able to fight him off with his apple.

The villains belong to a group named Mavro and they hint/imply they are gods or possibly aliens from another planet. They don’t think humans deserve to use these supernatural powers and are going around the world to steal the relics. Haiji will have to work with the hero group known as White Joker in order to stop them but he’s not exactly a team player. Will he learn how to work well with this group or will they simply be overwhelmed by the villains?

Now why does this apple have powers? Well, it is explained that this is the apple that Isaac Newton drank the juice from when he learned about the science knowledge that made him famous. In this world, we learn that he only learned this knowledge because he drank from the apple. The apple itself is a divine relic and only the chosen are able to live through such an experience. If a normal person bites into such an object then he/she will die without a doubt. Well, fortunately Haiji is a chosen one and since he ate quite a lot of the apple, he is able to manipulate gravity. This ability is temporary so he has to take a bite out of the apple whenever he wants to use his powers more. It means that he is at a bit of a disadvantage in a long fight though so he has to try and take care of business quickly.

The pre arc was handled well. It was a good introduction to the characters and it even had some horror vibes to it. Hungry Joker’s first chapters all take place at night which helps for the atmosphere and the hospital scene with the nurse turning into a monster is like something straight out of D Gray Man. I don’t think you will be forgetting that anytime soon. Throw in the artwork which can be a bit rough at times and you have all the elements of a horror manga in here. That said, this manga is far from being a horror title but it has the kind of visuals that would give you pause. Once the plot starts to get going though it’s much more of a classic Shonen.

The first main arc has the heroes travel to a museum as one of the legendary artifacts is on display there. It appears to be a trap but Haiji points out that they can’t afford to be cautious on this. This is the arc where we first learn about White Joker and get quite a bit of information on the world at large. You could say it sets up a lot of what would be important for the future if the series had kept on going a bit more. We get some good fights and meet new characters so it’s a fun way to kick things off. The arc has a good mix of humor and action as it introduces Alan and Mira.

Alan’s a fairly unique character as he acts very gruff and tough like any good rival but on the inside he is extremely scared of everything. The guy is timid but can’t show it and I like this character type. Usually characters act like Shaggy Rogers with how afraid they are and everyone can notice this immediately. The fact that Alan hides this so well is incredibly impressive. Not many characters would be able to pull that off. I liked him right away.

As for Mira, she doesn’t get quite as much to do but she’s nice enough. She’s the brains of the group as she plans things through while Alan just acts. She’s always cheerful and adds a lot of energy to every scene. Mira isn’t really a big fighter like the others but she’s good as a support player and gives a lot of the info dumps in the series. She’s also key to getting Haiji to join the group.

In the next arc, the group heads to a village where a witch has seemingly thrown up a smokescreen around the place. Naturally this is a job for White Joker. This time Haiji is accompanied by one of the senior members known as Vivi. You can quickly see her as the inspiration for Noelle Silva as their personalities and abilities are rather similar. Vivi’s a lot of fun and has to be one of the most powerful members. She has super speed, strength, and every kind of ability you could want. She can blow her lid quite easily but considering how Haiji can be rather rude, you can see how this would occur. There isn’t actually a witch in this arc and it ends up having more of an emotional climax but it’s a decent follow up. The first adventure was more fun but this one introduced Vivi so it had more fun scenes.

The dungeon exploring feels like classic Black Clover but the villain is the weakest one in the series. His name is Dodomekis and effectively he wants to build a harem of maids. That’s one of the worst villain motivations you can have so you’ll be rolling your eyes at this guy when he’s on screen and will just be waiting for him to be taken out already.

Nils is the other big character introduced in this arc but I didn’t like him. He’s one of those characters who is always depressed and super nervous. He lets the townsfolk get to him and so he hasn’t really had a fun time. Things just don’t go well for him and his origin story is quite tragic. You feel bad for him but I don’t feel like he would really do anything for the team dynamic. He definitely won’t be having any solid banter or anything like that.

As we approach the end of the series, the heroes head to Austria next. After learning the truth behind Haiji’s origins, the heroes hope to learn more about his blood using the next artifact. This time they travel with another member of White Joker known as Lise. He’s a doctor who uses questionable methods to get his patients to loosen up. I can’t say I found him to be all that solid. He’s another support type rather than primarily being a fighter so the Joker org seems to have quite a few of those. Naturally the adventure is quickly turned into a battle as Mavro sends in their next fighter. This time Toriiooji has to step up to help out.

The villain here is decent. He calls himself god so we don’t get to learn his true name but he does seem quite formidable and leaves more of an impact compared to the previous villains. His laser abilities are useful and the fight goes on for quite a bit. It’s more of a low key arc compared to the others but the artwork is always great for fight scenes and that carries this adventure well enough.

So after this we just jump to the end of the series. The villains suddenly launch attacks on every country in the world, the heroes all get super forms that they obtained off screen, we get a big time skip, etc. You can tell that the series was cancelled by this point so the author was having a bit of fun. The “Hungry Joker” term is even used as the super form that everyone obtains. I can’t complain though, it was a really epic way to end things off. There are of course a lot of open plot lines and such still going on as the series ends, but it ends with a bang. Now lets talk about some of the other characters.

As a main character Haiji is decent. He really isn’t all that interesting though. As a scientist he is usually very absent minded when it comes to talking to the other characters. He’s only focused on discoveries and learning about his past which can make him appear rather selfish at times. Haiji’s not a very hot headed main character nor is he a comedic one or a nervous type. In a way I would say he’s one of the most unique Shonen Jump main characters. The closest personality to him I can think of is Muhyo from Muhyo and Roji. I think Haiji would have improved with more time but he just isn’t very interesting here.

His sidekick Toriiooji is also not great but she doesn’t get powers until we’re at the very end of the series which is an unfortunate coincidence for her. I’m confident she would have had more to do now that she could fight but it was just too little too late. By that point the series was already ending. She’s a loyal ally and will always do what she can but she just didn’t get any real big moments here.

Kild is the first villain to show up and fight Haiji. This was a good way to introduce these evil gods and it was a good fight. The downside of being the first villain is of course that this fighter is having a tough time against a main character who hasn’t fought before. Since Haiji is a genius I suppose you can let that slide a bit but the fight was rather even. Kild would have won I’m sure but the fight was abruptly ended. I liked Kild as a villain, he’s easily the most memorable one at the very least and I liked his confidence.

Rosary is one of the big villains but she doesn’t really get to fight much until the end. I like her confidence though and she certainly had a high position within the villain group. As such you can say that she definitely had ability far beyond most. Meanwhile Ragins is okay as a villain but there isn’t a lot to him. He puts up a good fight against the heroes and talks about destruction and all that but you will forget him really quickly. He’s not the kind of villain that leaves an impact on you and so he fades into obscurity right away.

Nasyasu is the leader of the villains and it turns out that he is Haiji’s brother so of course there is a lot of drama there. I liked him well enough. We don’t know a ton about his goals beyond the guy just being ultra evil but he has a good design and solid teleportation abilities. I could see a lot of good potential with battle scenes for him. I’m sure we’d also meet more villains if the series had kept on going.

It’s definitely a shame that the series was cancelled so quickly. It’s definitely one of the stronger titles that I’ve read among the cancelled lineup. The characters were good, the stories were fun, and the action scenes were epic. You can see so many elements from Black Clover in here so I’m glad the author was able to utilize these concepts again in a different franchise. So what would I have done to keep the series from being cancelled? Well, it’s tough since I didn’t think the series did a bad job leading up to everything.

The series was very episodic from the start so it seems like that may have been the issue given how quickly it ended. I guess what I would do different is after the museum arc, we cut straight to the first big war battle arc against the villains. Have them attack different parts of the world which allows us to meet more members from White Joker. This could help show how useful the group is and also introduce more characters to keep the readers engaged. The leaders of White Joker seem very suspicious but they don’t show up until the series is ending. Have them appear earlier and hopefully you hook readers that way. It’s no guarantee but I think it’s a good start. Those are my ideas.

As mentioned, the art is great here. The fight scenes are epic and they’re also quite long. The series wasn’t afraid to have big battles right out of the gate and that was a good move. The abilities are also fun as there is so much you can do with elemental attacks like gravity or concepts like sound. The heroes would have a lot of room to grow their abilities so the power management of the series was in a good place. It’s also just a fun read, you’ll be dashing through the series from chapter to chapter. There’s a lot of replay value to be had here. If we’re lucky then maybe some of these characters will show up in Black Clover as part of a crossover or something.

Overall, Hungry Joker is a series that I would definitely recommend. At the end of the day it’s a really good action story and a title that you won’t be forgetting any time soon. The art is good and while Haiji isn’t really a main character that I can get behind, the supporting cast is good enough to carry him. The series had a lot of potential so it’s sad to see it go but at least the author ends it in a way where maybe we could get a sequel someday. At the very least there are still a lot of open plots left out there.

Overall 7/10

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?


All right, Noelle’s been making a lot of waves in the anime/manga community for a while now. I would say this really began to ramp up in the current Spade arc with her multiple battles against Vanica, but even as early as the Undersea Temple arc people started to really see her in a new light. I’ve had this editorial in the backburner for a while but it was buried under a bunch of others. (I’ve got around 20 ideas just hanging out in drafts) When I saw that Noelle won the top spot in the latest Black Clover popularity poll, I knew it was time to push this up and explain exactly why she is such a character. I’ll also answer the question of if she is the greatest main heroine of all time. Naturally this editorial will have spoilers for Black Clover so unless you are caught up through her most recent fight from around 2 months ago then you will want to skip it for now. This was written before the last 10+ chapters though so those won’t be covered here.

So first lets define the terms here. So who counts in the main heroine category? Well, typically there is only be one main heroine in a series so you have to choose carefully who reps the series. For example, characters like Rukia, Yamato, and Hinata may be very well liked but none of those 3 are really the main heroines of their series in my eyes. They would be Orihime, Nami, and Sakura respectively. Rukia would have the strongest case for being a dual main heroine in which case she is a big upgrade from Orihime but won’t affect the outcome here. There are a lot of big characters in any long running series but then you’re going too far into the weeds if you pick out someone who isn’t prominently the main character of importance. Just like how a series can have two rivals although its rare, you can also have two heroines though. Off the top of my head the only action title I can think of with really clear cut dual heroines would be A Certain Magical Index with Index and Misaka. (If you count non-action then there are a bunch) It gets very debatable on who the main heroine is. Misaka has much more story importance while Index has more screen time. If it is really debatable like that were people have discussions online then it’s fair game to count both, but you don’t want to be counting everyone just because they have a decent role as well.

After all there are a lot of categories to rank characters with. Best lead, Best main guy, Best rival, Best healer, etc. So for example, I would have to give it a lot of thought if Slur may be ahead of Noelle. It’s certainly possible since that character is fantastic and would still be around if not for the unfortunate fate of having to face off against Bass Exe 1 on 1. Her character was short lived but I liked her a lot. Still, she would not count in this ranking as that spot would belong to Roll on the Navi side or Maylu from the human side and Noelle stomps both of those.

Now, a big character you may be thinking about here is Medaka Kurokami. Sure enough, she is a character I would put above Noelle. That said, she’s the main character of her adventure which isn’t applicable for the main heroine title. If we were talking about who the greatest main character is then that would be a different story but of course Noelle wouldn’t count in that case. We could ask who the greatest female character of all time is in which case they would both count but that isn’t the prompt here. The best main heroine of all time is the mirror of the best main guy of all time so that would be characters like Tuxedo Mask, The Blue Knight, Syaoran from Cardcaptors, Ray from Neverland, etc. You could use the term “Best hero of all time” but that term is used often for main characters, so I would typically avoid it.

That’s why it’s good to spell out the definitions at least how I understand them to be for the editorial itself. This way you can see how I get to the conclusion of if Noelle is the greatest main heroine of all time. Next, before actually going into if she has earned the title or not, lets quickly talk about what makes her such a great character. Why exactly does Noelle stand out as being a particularly strong character? There have been thousands of main heroines out there after all so clearly she is doing something right.

Keeping up with the other leads in strength

This is a pretty big one. Put it this way, is there any heroine you can think of who actually caught up to and debatably surpassed the rival? Even for the people who say Yuno is currently stronger (And it’s fair to say since we haven’t see much of what Yuno can do post time skip. Perhaps he can match Noelle and I suspect we will learn if this is the case within the next few chapters.) the fact that it is even a debate is impressive. For most series there is not a single point where the heroine ever surpassed the rival or even got close. At no point did you think Sakura was a threat to Sasuke or that perhaps Lenalee surpassed Kanda. Lenalee’s a good example though because I would say she kept up with the main two for a longer period than most characters. She just ended up getting sidelined for pretty much the whole second half of the manga so far but hopefully she will go back to fighting later on.

Take a look at that clip from the opening I put above. See how Noelle is treated with the same level of screen time and power as Asta and Yuno’s battles? The 3 Devil Triad members are introduced, then we see the 3 fighters battling it out equally. Noelle isn’t fighting a weaker member or losing here, she’s having a battle with highly personal stakes and a lot of intensity just like the other two. The fact that one of the Triad turned out to be her family’s sworn enemy that ties into her origin story is great. That’s the kind of thing you’d see for the main character and rival in a lot of things. Noelle really has her own story here.

Noelle’s water creation magic has really come a long way from how it was when she first started. She can control her abilities really well now and has the offensive might to back the spells up. She is even compared to her mother who was a top tier fighter in the Clover kingdom. It’s impressive and a testament to the many months of practice she put in. Strength isn’t everything but the fact that we see her putting in the kind of effort you would usually only see the lead and other characters get is great.
Keeping up with the others in story

What I mean by this is that Noelle actually has a main character development arc. In fact, you could make a strong case for her having more of a full character arc than Yuno and maybe even Asta. Yuno is relatively unchanged from the start of the series. He’s gotten stronger but his only real change in development is from learning how to be more of a team player within the Golden Dawn and that doesn’t actually get almost any screen time.

For Asta, well he’s the main character so naturally he gets a whole lot of focus. He has to be content with himself not knowing magic, enduring the feeling of powerlessness when he got cursed, etc. Nobody’s got more screen time and plot emphasis than Asta but Noelle still has him beat in development. She had to deal with a family that were all completely antagonistic to her and constantly mocking her efforts. Only Mimosa doesn’t appear downright evil but it also doesn’t seem like she was ever there for Noelle. Noelle didn’t get true friends until she was with the Black Bulls and even then it took a while to actually trust them. Part of what helped get her close to Asta is that he was one of the first to really support her. One of my favorite scenes showing their friendship is when Asta spoke up on her behalf when the magic knights were mocking her. Asta didn’t waste a second to go to her defense.

This ultimately resulted in her big moment in the Undersea Temple arc where she was able to land her first big attack in the series. Not only was it enough to break through Vetto’s defenses but it was a decisive moment in the climax that started to turn the tides for the heroes. It was really impressive and a powerful way to solidify her transition into being one of the team powerhouses. It was a long and careful character arc that didn’t happen overnight. It would still be some time before she would awaken her abilities even further but she kept growing with the rest of the cast.

Tsundere with an end point

Black Clover’s not really a title with a whole lot of romance and that’s a good thing since the series is already filled with so many action scenes to go through. There isn’t a whole lot of time to stay back and relax but another aspect of Noelle’s character that helps her break out is that she isn’t trapped in the eternal cycle of not knowing if she really likes Asta or not and constantly smacking him. Certainly she still does go into full tsundere mode a lot but she has finally come to terms with her feelings in a way that you don’t often see. It’s a complete confirmation to herself that leaves no room for doubt and she didn’t wait until Asta came to this realization. It’s all her at this point and it’s another data point showing that her character is not one that will stay stagnant at all. She is constantly changing and developing.

Okay, so now that we’ve establishes why Noelle has really risen in popularity and why she is a great character, lets dive into the actual question here.

Is Noelle is the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time?

Yes After a lot of thought and consideration this one is an absolute yes. There are no Shonen Jump main heroines in the history of the magazine that can take her down here. I consider her to be much cooler and more interesting than Sakura, Orihime, Nami, Urvaity, Nezuko, Kohaku, Anna, Ran, Tokiko, etc. Shonen Jump has certainly had a lot of fantastic main heroines over the years but none have been quite as consistently amazing as Noelle. Even the best of those fighters weren’t actually on the front lines against the big villains in a serious context this late in the game. It’s really at the point where Noelle is becoming like a second rival for Asta.

The closest would be Tokiko in terms of how close to the final boss was but the series wasn’t very long running so that’s more of a by default kind of thing. Orihime, Nami, and Uravity were outmatched before the first arc was over and never caught up. Anna and Ran aren’t primarily main fighters even if they can offer support. Sakura and Kohaku made reasonable gains but ultimately you wouldn’t put them very high up in a typical ranking. This isn’t something that’s purely about power but it certainly doesn’t hurt when looking at what a main heroine can do. I haven’t read every Jump title but I’ve certainly read most of the big ones by this point and am familiar with most of the main heroines. To dethrone Noelle we’d probably need a new ongoing title. Nobara is off to a great start for example so lets see how that goes.

Now we’re lets go for the extra credit assignment.

Is Noelle The Greatest Main Heroine of all time?

As you can imagine, this multiplies the potential characters hundreds of times over. There are numerous options to choose from and this gets to be a much more difficult challenge. Even just making sure you think of everyone is difficult although you can make the case that if you don’t remember someone in time then maybe they didn’t leave as much of an impact. There are also some quick characters I’ll think of like Alice from Sword Art Online as an instant win but I have to remind myself that she is not the actual main heroine.

Ultimately Noelle will lose this battle.

That’s because Misaka exists. No, not Mikasa from Attack on Titan, but Misaka Mikoto from Railgun. Yes, she has her own series where she is the main character so she doesn’t count as a Railgun character but she does count as the main heroine from the Index title which is where her eligibility comes from. I like Noelle quite a bit but she’s not touching Misaka. Misaka cemented herself as one of the all time greats when she broke into a facility and essentially took down the entire villain group known as ITEM by herself. To date I consider that to be the single best episode in the whole Index multi franchise. It’s not a one off kind of scene either, she consistently has a lot of great moments throughout the series. Another such moment is in the clip below where she effortlessly took down one of the enemy mechs and really put the fear into her opponent. There’s a reason why nobody messes with the Level 5 Espers in Academy City and Misaka is a big part of that.

Since I was mainly here to answer the question of if Noelle was the greatest of all time, I won’t go any further than that. Whether she is 2nd or 10th, it doesn’t matter since she’s not first. Can she really defeat Asuna? Does Noelle get defeated by Ciel? Would Kuroyukihime just be too great to lose? I’ll leave that to the imagination or for another ranking list in the future. So to recap, Noelle is indeed the greatest Shonen Jump main heroine of all time and lives up to her rep. I’m not able to take that one step further to call her the greatest main heroine of all time though. That is a title that will ultimately serve as a roadblock for now but who knows. If she continues to take opponents down and make a name for herself then she can only go up from here.

Asta and Yuno have the healthiest rivalry


Notice that I’m using the term “healthiest” here as opposed to greatest. It’s a little nuance that is worth pointing out because it’s different. The greatest rivalry would definitely need to be Goku and Vegeta followed by Yugi and Kaiba, Tyson and Kai, Aichi and Kai, Naruto and Sasuke, Yusuke and Hiei, etc. I would put those rivalries higher than Asta and Yuno’s if I were to rank them all.

However, while those rivalries are a lot of fun, part of the intensity there is with how toxic and antagonistic the characters were for a time. Vegeta literally started out as a genocidal monster who would blow up monsters and torture his opponents. He’s tried to murder Goku on more than one occasion and hasn’t always stayed the path of a hero. The banter is top tier but you couldn’t always say the rivalry was on good terms. (Well, Goku would probably say it was positive throughout) It’s a great rivalry but I wouldn’t call it a healthy one in the sense that you wouldn’t want this rivalry in real life prior to when it finally mellows out more in the end of Z to Super era.

Meanwhile Asta and Yuno is the kind of rivalry that you would absolutely love to have in real life. Both of them clearly respect each other and encourage themselves to do better. When Asta was having a hard time, Yuno gave him a pep talk. When Yuno was mind controlled Asta talked him back up. You never see these two characters getting really jealous of each other to the point of turning evil or giving each other the cold shoulder.

There were several times it seemed like the manga may be about to turn Yuno over to the dark side but it hasn’t happened. Now it still could at some point but we’re fairly deep into the series without that happening so the chances continue to decrease. He just takes his losses as an opportunity to get stronger without resenting Asta for it. They may get jealous at times but nothing very serious. One such moment is when Asta’s chances of fighting Yuno are sabotaged and he’s upset since now Yuno is in the finals but Asta won’t get to be there. It makes sense as being a very frustrating moment though because that’s something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. So let’s specifically look at the reasons why I call it a great rivalry.

The origin of the rivalry

So rivalries can start in a lot of different ways. It could be due to an inferiority complex from the rival himself who sees that he will ultimately be surpassed by the lead as with Bakugo. Deku just rubbed him the wrong way and the guy never looked back. He went after Deku at every turn but make no mistake he was a bully through be through. For Asta and Yuno, they became rivals after Asta saved Yuno from a bandit. Yuno saw Asta’s power and vowed to be strong. Not to rub it in Asta’s face or to destroy him but because that was a new ideal for him. From that point on Yuno was a changed man and never cried like that again. It was a positive start though as Yuno saw Asta at his best and it helped him improve himself. It’s a rivalry based on making each other better as opposed to breaking each other down and that’s a common theme throughout the series.

Clear Communication

A lot of rivals can barely manage to acknowledge each other without throwing in some kind of insult. You’ll come to see that a lot especially with Sasuke as he continually badmouths Naruto. He is definitely an extreme rival given how he completely turned evil and all but it does show how far some rivals are willing to go. Compare that to Asta who is able to awaken Yuno from the mind control by talking about his dreams or Yuno saying that he knew Asta would he selected by the magic knights and get a book. A proper rivalry should be one where you acknowledge the other side as an equal and that’s exactly what they did. Not just in a power sense but even just acknowledging that they respect each other.

Asta and Yuno always do that and even in front of villains so it’s not like this is a private thing. They don’t care who’s listening and will still praise the other. Particularly in Yuno’s case this is a big deal since in the series there is a big stigma against those who cannot use magic like Asta. This can also mean that Asta is susceptible to surprise attacks since his durability is that of a normal human’s. Once Asta learns how to use ki it becomes difficult to launch a sneak attack on him but there’s one time prior to that where a villain tries to land a sneak attack and Yuno quickly foils the attempt. It was a good way to show how they still watch each other’s back. The clip I linked above showed Asta at his lowest moment in the series and Yuno was able to bring him out of that depression. There were no insults, barbs, or any of that. Yuno just talked him up and it was a powerful moment.

Finally, it’s a rivalry not an obsession

When there’s an actual villain to defeat you don’t see any kind of bickering between them. There’s no pretense about being the one to stop the villains or anything like that. They just run in and get the job done. They’ll team up and coordinate attacks in an instant without looking back. They did this to fight Licht, the Devils, Mars, etc. their rivalry takes a backseat to the actual threats which is very realistic and just makes sense. They are heroes first and rivals second after all.

Personally I love the kind of banter we get from say Goku and Vegeta when a villain shows up. In their case the rivalry takes first dibs mainly thanks to Vegeta insisting on it. It’s a lot of fun to watch of course which is why they have the best rivalry of all time but in real life you’re probably hoping you can get help from your rival if something serious happens. Make no mistake Asta and Yuno still have a lot of great banter throughout the series and take shots at each other but it’s all in good fun. You never feel any kind of malice between the characters, serious resentment or anything like that. They’re just good friends who make each other even better.

So those are the main reasons why I put Asta and Yuno at the top in this category. It’s a really nice change of pace and it also makes this a very unique rivalry. As mentioned there is still time for things to change though. I’ve always been in the camp that believes Yuno will probably turn evil at some point but I wouldn’t mind being incorrect on this one. I should also say this isn’t the only healthy rivalry. There are certainly more of them out there particularly if you go more into different demographics. For Shonen the closest might be fighters like Ichigo and Renji or Luffy and Zoro but both rivalries are less of a focus to the point where you can debate if they really are rivalries. Then you have Ash and Gary where there are a lot of insults from Gary but I would put it more on the good fun side. It might be straddling the line just a tad but I have no doubt that if Ash was in serious trouble Gary would step in without letting Ash get beat up. Still, those are all runner ups in the end. Asta & Yuno’s rivalry is unmatched.

Ranking all of the Black Clover openings


It’s time to rank all of the Black Clover openings. I recently made it up to the final ending from the Toonami broadcasts and it was quite excellent. It made me think, could this be the best opening? From there I figured if I was going to check out the rest of them anyway that I might as well make a quick editorial/rankings out of it. Typically it can be very tough for an ongoing show to keep churning out consistently great openings. You’re bound to hit a snag at some point or some shows just start keeping the same song for a while but Clover was always good about changing it a lot. Some of these openings I totally forgot about while others are as clear as they’ve ever been.

The only franchises that I would say have been able to maintain a similar level of quality for so long would be the Railleratordex franchise (Railgun, Index, and Accelerator) and Sword Art Online but they would be firmly fighting for second place. Black Clover has 1st in the bag. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the 13 openings from worst to best. I’m ranking them based both on the music as well as the animation contained in them. For any openings that may have more than one version, I’m using version 1 as a reference. Click here for a link to all of the openings in case you want to check them out for yourselves

13. Opening 11

So my least favorite opening is 11. It’s certainly more of a happy opening compared to the others as an arc just finished so the characters are finally getting to relax a bit. The main reason why it loses to the others is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s calm which is nice and all but I would have still liked to have seen some more quality animation here. It just felt more like an opening that was thrown together without any style to it.

12. Opening 12

Next up is 12 so I suppose you can say the ending started to weaken for the series. Following up on 11, we’re still in an era of peace so the opening is more about the characters working out and just having fun. I’ve never been a big fan of that as the action for the openings. Give me some extra fights or something. I do like that part of the music has a very Kingdom Hearts feeling that appears now and again. It’s not quite enough to put this one higher though.

11. Opening 7

I really liked the opening animation here showing the contrast with Asta and Yuno. Both of them have come a long way by this point and still see each other as rivals in the center ring. It’s a great start but the opening starts to lose steam as we get a lot of stills after that. On the flip side, the music really turns up in the second half so this one just didn’t find the right balance to go higher.

10. Opening 5

This opening’s going for full sad vibes. The characters are all dealing with a lot at this point and the music reflects that. It all pairs up well and that helps this opening join the top 10. It’s still not quite energized enough to go higher up but it does serve as a nice change of pace from some of the other openings.

9. Opening 9

Cool that the 9th opening is in 9th place right? This one feels a lot different from the others with how much of a focus the elves get. This almost feels like a story opening as it takes place with Asta and Yuno beginning their counter attack after showing the Elves off. It’s a pretty high quality opening and my favorite part is definitely near the end with the fire fights for the Fuego siblings and Noelle. It was a very strong opening to be sure.

8. Opening 8

This opening really shows how differently the past was for Asta and Yuno compared to the Elves. They didn’t have a care in the world while things were not going quite so well on the rest of the planet. The climax has some big fights as well. What gives it the edge over 9 really comes down to the song. The images are fairly close but this one did have the Asta and Yuno fight and the music just had more energy.

7. Opening 3

It’s really great seeing all of the Black Bulls hanging out and then fighting together. The song itself is also one of the strongest ones from all 13. While the images may not have quite as much weight as some of the ones coming up, this was a good example of how to do a more laidback opening for several sections while still keeping up the tempo and a lot of energy.

6. Opening 6

They went all out with the animation here as we see the various tournament battles. The music works perfectly here and it’s why this opening is so high. It’s got really strong fundamentals with the opening tunes and starts out incredibly strong. The art style effects at the beginning are also pretty unique. Not something you want to see long term but it works for short bursts.

5. Opening 4

This may have the best intro animation to an opening aside from 13. The first shots look amazing and the music has a solid intro. Sadly it seems like they spent the animation budget on the opening so the majority of this one is all stills. It’s why despite having such an amazing song, I have to bump it down a few slots. It’s an opening that’s more fun to listen too than to watch.

4. Opening 1

This one’s an excellent mix of happy and sad moments. You get a nice sense of adventure here but with things not going very well for the heroes on multiple fronts. It’s a very classic opening though and one I’ve heard many times. The song is very strong and I like the dynamic with Asta and Yuno in the opening moments. Age has not held this one back at all.

3. Opening 10

As I mentioned I’m looking at the first version of the opening for ones that have multiple. Version 2 of opening 10 actually looks very happy which shows what a quick background change can do. The original version is incredibly sad and somber though. The opening did a great job of showing how tough things were getting on the heroes. The music follows along with slow beats before speeding up. It works exceptionally well and is definitely one of the best openings.

2. Opening 2

This was the first opening to really go all in with the action scenes. It had a lot more intensity than the first opening. It loses the more somber elements for the most part and focuses on the heroes claiming victory and decimating their opponents. I was really close to putting this one in the number 1 spot but ultimately it has a slower intro than the 1st place intro which never misses a beat.

1. Opening 13

What can I say, the series ended on an absolute high note with this opening. The beginning is a perfect homage to the first one. It’s cool to see how far Asta has come over the years. The music has a very consistent beat and the animation has never looked better. The shots with the Dark Triad are great and the animation even seems to have a bit of a different style with Zenon vs Yuno that worked very well. Yeah this opening could not be defeated and I’ve already heard it dozens of times at this point.

So those are the rankings for Black Clover. Once we get a sequel anime it’ll be fun to hear how those openings turn out. There are several videos that merge all of the openings on Youtube so just put that on loop for a while and you’re set. I probably won’t be doing another opening list for a while but I’ve definitely got a bunch of completely different editorial ideas I’ll throw around here and there. So I’ll see you on the next one!

Black Clover 2016 OVA Review


It’s time to take a look at a Black Clover OVA/pilot that came out a while back. It’s pretty fun to see the series going with a different studio/artstyle. Naturally almost nobody is going to be able to touch Studio Pierrot but these guys do a solid job as well. At the end of the day this is still Black Clover so it’s pretty much inevitable that it’ll be good. It’s a fun little special that adapts the first chapter of the series and also gives us a quick flash forward to the ice arc. The characters are cool and the whole thing feels pretty nostalgic.

The special starts with Asta and Yuno fighting off an enemy mage. We then cut away to their humble beginnings. Asta hopes to be the Wizard King someday but unfortunately he was born without magic so there isn’t a whole lot that he can do. Meanwhile his childhood friend Yuno is quite exceptional with magic. They were supposed to be rivals but the gap continues to grow. Yuno then receives a 4 leaf Grimoire while Asta doesn’t receive anything. His dreams may be at an end but when Yuno is attacked by a mage Asta steps in to help. Will he be able to defy his destiny and become a true Wizard King? It won’t be easy, but Asta is ready to do whatever he can in order to succeed. It’s a pretty noble calling and Asta’s determination is part of what makes him a solid character.

So for the main differences here, Asta’s hair is drawn as more of a grey so he looks rather old at times. His change in design is definitely the most noticeable of the characters but it still works decently well. It would take some getting used to, but it’s not a bad design. Everyone else looks pretty normal. While the animation is not up to Pierrot’s level it’s still fairly good. Some shots seem to have less animation and we get some stills but I’m thinking that these Festa OVAs are probably made really quick to come out on time. The important aspects are naturally the fights and I still liked the fight with the chain user. I was also glad to actually see the demon a little more in this version. It felt like we got to see more of his design. The soundtrack is fairly standard but one theme that stood out was a rock theme for when Asta’s fight began. That one was definitely hitting the right notes.

Beyond that this is basically episode 1 as you would expect. We get to see why Asta drives himself so hard. The deck has really been stacked against him. Not having magic in this world is like having an incredible curse be put on your shoulders. You can only do so much without it and you have to give Asta a lot of credit for fighting despite all of this. He doesn’t let the other kids and characters get him down. Then you have Yuno who is a fun rival. He definitely rides Asta quite a lot with all the insults and such, but deep down he still respects their rivalry. He was also willing to defend Asta at the end which is more than most rivals will do. I really like the dynamic between Asta and Yuno. It’s definitely one of the most wholesome main character to rival dynamics out there.

It was a good idea for the series to give us a brief glimpse of the fight that wouldn’t show up for a little while. It helps to spice things up and throwing in an extra action scene is always a good idea in my book. It helps give you something to look forward to instead of just watching the origin story. By starting and ending that way it shows you that big things are coming up and that’s an understatement.

Overall, The Black Clover OVA is a lot of fun. I’d definitely recommend checking it out and then you should watch the full fledged series. It’s only around 30 minutes so it’s not like it’ll take you all that long either. Ideally you should watch the main series first and then go back to this one for some nostalgia. If you don’t really have time to be watching a full anime now though then watching this one works well enough. It definitely holds up well as a mini movie of sorts and you can at least tell people that you’ve seen Black Clover. It’s definitely a lot of fun and currently the best Shounen Jump series going. You really don’t want to miss out on this.

Overall 7/10

Why Black Clover is the best weekly manga/ongoing anime right now


It’s time to take a look at why Black Clover is the best weekly manga on the block and also why the anime is so amazing. Clover started out with humble beginnings. I only knew one person who was with it from the very start and recommended it quite highly. Initially there was a good amount of push back against the series as fans of the big titles of yesteryear feared its coming. Black Clover was mixing together a lot of ideas from older titles like Naruto and giving them a new spin. Make no mistake though, Black Clover had a great start right from the jump.

For the anime it was clear that it would be amazing from the first episode which looked spectacular and still holds up. The characters were engaging and the whole thing was interesting. The pacing and directing was on point so you were excited to see what would happen next. The world setup is excellent and the cast of characters have gotten better and better as time went on. The series isn’t literally perfect as it still loses out on best manga of all time to Megaman NT Warrior and then One Punch Man, but it is quickly cementing itself as one of the biggest titles. It’s certainly the best of the modern big 3 of Shounen Jump.

Quality rivalry

One area that really works out well in Black Clover is the rival dynamic between Yuno and Asta. Unlike some Shounen rivalries there aren’t any bitter feelings between the two. They both want to be the Wizard King and see each other as worthy rivals in this quest. Both of them continue to get more and more power ups as they rise through the charts to the point where I would consider both of them to be stronger than the Captains at this point in time. Given how powerful the latest villains are I see more power ups in the near future as well. It’s a great rivalry and both of them have gotten to save the other a few times at this point so it’s pretty balanced. For the record, I’d pick Asta to beat Yuno right now if they were to fight.

A Powerful Heroine

Next up, a strong point in the series is how Noelle has remained relevant. In a lot of these big action titles the heroine is quickly left in the dust when it comes to power levels. Sakura Haruno in Naruto was left in the dust as early as the Zabuza arc where she was unable to do anything against Haku while the other two put up pretty big fights. Her first real big fight wouldn’t be until her match-up with Sasori but even there she had a ton of help. Fiddletwix of Anime Madhouse recently wrote a great article depicting what I mean with this. Then in the final battle of the series with the trio fighting once more she did put up a reasonable fight but you never really got the feeling that she caught the others. I’ll give her some props regardless, but that’s 72 volumes in.

Then you have Nami in One Piece who isn’t really meant to be a fighter. That doesn’t take away from the fact that she is significantly weaker than Zoro and Luffy. Finally you have Bleach which is an amazing title but you have to admit that Orihime doesn’t fight much. You could make the case that Rukia should be counted in which case she does put up a better effort. Kubo gave her a fair shake as she had her own share of battles and even took down an Espada. That series is the closest to Clover in this regard. Clover still stands on its own though by giving Noelle quite a few super forms keeping her in league with Yuno and Asta. While she may not be quite as powerful as those two, she has handled her share of battles flawlessly and even saved Asta on occasion. In her Valkyrie armor we don’t yet know how powerful she is, but she can hold her own in a fight. Right now if she were to team up with Asta and Yuno she could do so proudly and fight as an equal.

Humor is on point

While you’re likely here for the fight scenes humor is also very important in any series. You want the humor to be on point so you can laugh along with the characters and I’m happy to report that Black Clover pulls this off as well. The “Haha” character is great and Asta is always the best character for comic relief scenes. I like the way he is drawn with stars for eyes in various scenes and a lot of his humor comes from the fact that he never lets things to get to him and can be a bit oblivious. He just wants to keep on training through everything and even uses these moves to get villains to submit to him. This is easily one of the funniest titles out there which works as a great contrast to the epic action scenes as well. I guess what I’m getting at here is that Black Clover is a very versatile series and one that succeeds at everything it does. It’s an easy 9/10 series.

Now, does Black Clover have any weaknesses? Sure, no series is completely perfect right? In the most literal sense nothing can ever be perfect because if you look hard enough everything has flaws. For Clover, I’m not a fan of quite a few of the Black Bulls. I don’t really care for Charmy, Gordon, Grey, or Finral. Finral has gotten a little better as the series has gone on, but the others haven’t really worked for me. That being said, all of the latest members of the Bulls have been quite solid and each new addition makes the team that much better. Maybe those other characters will rise up for me soon and even if they don’t we have enough great characters to hold things up rather well.

So if you haven’t started Black Clover yet then you really need to change that. Whether you pick up the manga or the anime you’re in for a blast. It’s quite impressive how far the series has come and I’m ready to say that it is one of the best Shounen Jump titles out there. The action scenes are incredible both in the manga in the anime. A standout for sure is the Yuna and Asta vs Licht battle which goes all out. The animators in the series aren’t afraid to go all out and be a bit experimental with the battles as well. While Asta vs Ladros is the only one that didn’t work for me as it got too experimental, it’s still cool how the series is able to change styles so readily. Different episodes look like they’re done by completely different studios which takes a lot of talent. At its best this is one of the best animated titles out there. Things can only continue to go up from here. I could keep on gushing about how awesome Black Clover is, but you get the idea. It’s a series that you have to experience first hand.

Black Clover Quartet Knights Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 7/38
Challenges Completes 2/17

Story Stats Missions Completed

Episode 1 1/2
Episode 2 1/3
Episode 3 1/4
Episode 4 0/3
Episode 5 0/3
Episode 6 1/4
Episode 7 1/4
Episode 8 1/4
Episode 9 1/4
Episode 10 1/3
Episode 1A 1/2
Episode 2A 1/3
Episode 3A 1/3
Episode 4A 1/3
Episode 5A 1/4
Episode 6A 1/3
Episode 7A 1/3
Episode 8A 1/2
Episode EX1 1/4
Episode EX2 1/4

Character Stats

Asta
Outfits 7/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 6/9

Yami -Maxed
Outfits 7/8
Voices 45/45
Decks 3/3
Cards 9/9

Lucky
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 3/3
Cards 0/9

Vetto
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 3/3
Cards 0/9

Yami (Young)
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 3/3
Cards 0/9

Yuno
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 3/3
Cards 0/9

Magna
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 2/3
Cards 0/9

Gauche
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Licht
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Mimosa
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Charmy
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Mars
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Fana
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Noelle
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Klaus
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Vanessa
Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Karna

Outfits 4/8
Voices 5/45
Decks 1/3
Cards 0/9

Black Clover Quartet Knights Review


It’s rare that I pre order games. Honestly there are probably only around 10 or so that I can think of at the moment. I’m only counting games that I actually paid for so pre orders for Christmas or my Birthday don’t count. Off the top the games that I can think of are Super Smash Bros 3DS, Super Smash Bros Wii U, Pokken, Street Fighter V, Star Fox Zero, Black Clover Quartet Knights, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Sonic Forces, and Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet. There may be a few more that I’m missing but that’s basically it. Considering that this spans a time frame of around 10 years, you can see that I basically only started pre-ordering recently. It’s definitely fun to get a game at launch, but it’s also risky if the game ends up being underwhelming or just not worth the money. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I actively regret any of these or anything like that, but some were certainly more rewarding than others. I’d probably say that (not counting Super Smash since those would be the easy answers) Pokken was probably my favorite one. I definitely spent a lot of time with that game and the PVP was just a lot of fun. Definitely good times remembering when you didn’t have to pay to go online. Getting off topic though, lets talk about Black Clover.

The story has our heroes head to a cavern after stopping a villain named Mars when they are split up from Captian Yami. Asta and Noelle break through the rounds of enemies and find him, but now he has de-aged 14 years. What could have happened to him in the moments it took them to find him? They don’t have much time to rest though as a group of terrorists known as the Eye of the Morning Star have decided to team up with a mysterious lady from Yami’s past. Asta doesn’t have time to worry about the specifics here as he has a kingdom to save.

The story is extremely short as it is just 10 battles long and you’ll clear it in around 2 hours. I was a little dubious after finishing up the story. Naturally I know that the main point of this game is the online play so I wasn’t going to harsh on it too much, but only 10 levels? Fortunately by beating the game you unlock an alternate route with Yami which adds 8 more levels. After that you also get 2 “extra” levels so in total the game is a little closer to 4 hours which is nice. That definitely makes a difference. There are also other offline modes to play which extends the length. Each character has a challenge tutorial which is fairly easy and lets you get used to the characters. I’ll definitely try doing all of them at some point, but that may not happen for a while yet. Still, it does extend the game’s length.

Of course, this may go without saying, but you will enjoy the game a lot more if you have online play activated. After all, this game’s not exactly as mainstream as Naruto or DBZ so if you want to fight a bunch of people online you’ll want to do it right away. If you want until everyone is gone then it will certainly be way too late at that point. The offline content may last you around 6 hours and a little more if you decide to beat every level on hard mode. That may not seem like enough for your $60 dollar purchase, but the quality of the game is high so I don’t think you’ll feel bad about it afterwards.

For example, this game does have fully animated cutscenes which was definitely a blast. Not many games do that so I can only imagine how difficult it must be. We also get a bunch of CGI cutscenes and still illustrations as well. I definitely think that quite a bit of care was put into this game. The story is short but memorable. The graphics are definitely quite solid and are in the familiar Bandai style. If you like how the Naruto/Seven Deadly Sins game looks then you’ll enjoy this one as well. The soundtrack is a little less impressive though as there is only one really rocking theme. The lyrical song for the final boss is all kinds of hype. The other themes are all very forgettable. I think the game should have just brought in a bunch of themes from the anime, that would have certainly worked out well.

I haven’t even talked about the gameplay yet so I should get on that. It’s a pretty fast paced fighting game. It’s in squads format so you go 3 v 3. You want to construct your team carefully as you have mages, fighters, healers, and a different kind of fighter. My favorite characters to play as are definitely fighters and healers are the worst, but naturally you want a balanced squad. It plays a bit like a beat em up I’d say or Dissidia if you are familiar with that game. You have roughly 4-5 attack options so there isn’t a crazy amount of options to use, but this’ll help you memorize them quickly. The game is easy to start while being difficult to master which is definitely a good balance. I definitely enjoyed the gameplay a lot although I am definitely a sucker for fighters. They always just manage to hit the right notes which is why I always try to snag them right away.

Overall, Black Clover Quartet Knights is definitely a great game. It is on the short side which is unfortunate, but it’s a short game that really excelled in its presentation and pacing. For example, I’d say that a lot more effort was put into the actual story than Blazblue. It’s around the same length but ends up feeling a lot more like a complete adventure. I’d still be pretty hyped for a sequel after playing this one. It’s a shame that there isn’t a local multiplayer though. It seems like that would have been really easy to program in even if it would be tough to keep track of everything on only half a screen. Better a crunched option than none at all right? (Well, I guess critics would take shots at it anyway, but the devs can ignore those) If you don’t have the game yet then I definitely recommend checking it out. If you don’t have online and feel that the length is too short, then I get that and you should probably go get a different fighting game. Any of the old Naruto Ninja Storms would work in that case and will be cheaper by now.

Overall 8/10

Black Clover


Well, I have started the Black Clover anime alongside the Toonami viewers. It had a pretty solid start with the first episode. The animation and music appear to be on point and as the series goes on we should get many more fights and characters added to the mix. It’ll be a while before this series finishes, but I shall have a review up when it does.

Overall 7/10