Title: Black Clover Vol. 11
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Volume 11 of Black Clover continues the battle between Asta, The Eye of the Midnight Sun and the Diamond Kingdom. At the end of the last volume, Mars defected from the Diamond Kingdom and stood against Ladros who has the power to absorb and reflect magic, making him almost invincible. They decide to overload Ladros with power to cause him to short out, which temporarily works. Having Ladros at bay, they turn their attention to the girl from the Eye of the Midnight Sun who Mars instantly recognizes as his childhood friend Fana. Together, Mars and Asta work to bring Fana down and release the spell the Midnight Sun had over her.
This happens right in time for Ladros to recover and he coaxes Mars into using his Phoenix magic, which he absorbs and becomes incredibly powerful. Asta is on the verge of defeat when the Witch Queen begins to manipulate Asta. A new power awakens within Asta that allows him to become bathed in a magic negation aura. He uses this new power to cut down Ladros and free him from the Diamond Kingdom’s control.
With the battle over, The Witch Queen appears and things seem to be under control… until the Witch Queen turns on everyone and seals them all inside blood prisons. She manipulates Asta once again, claiming it was destiny that Vanessa would return with a gift… in this case, Asta’s anti-magic swords and grimoire. She wants them for herself, but a new power awakens within Vanessa and our volume comes to an end.
It was another volume of nothing but action, but the action was quite good. There were some good story elements told, but it was mainly from a character development standpoint. Still, this series is getting better and better although the dormant “beast” inside Atsa (which is the fuel for his new power) just kind of feels like the Nine-Tails inside of Naruto. It doesn’t surprise me because this series has borrowed so many plot devices from Naruto already that what’s another one at this point?
Almost everyone got some character development this time around, but the main focus for much of the volume was on Mars and Fana.
Mars and Fana are childhood friends, but Mars is completely shocked to see her because he believed that he accidentally killed her during a training exercise. It turned out that her body was recovered and experimented on with magic stones. When the experiments were a failure, she was just tossed aside before being discovered by the Eye of the Midnight Sun who mind controlled her. It was an emotional reunion and one big enough for Mars to turn his back on the Diamond Kingdom! It’ll be interesting to see where these two end up after this story arc is over.
Vanessa’s powers received a pretty huge upgrade here. We learned more about her backstory with the Witch Queen and how she was able to escape with her. I won’t spoil it, but it is a rather humorous reason! The Witch taught her thread magic but she couldn’t get the hang of it. With Asta on the verge of killing her by way of the Witch Queen’s manipulation, her true power awakened and it is very powerful indeed. She has the ability to summon red threads of destiny and, alongside that, a red cat made of these threads. Whatever the cat touches, she can change that person’s destiny… aka… rewrite time and/or history. It’s very similar to Danzo Shimura’s Inazagi ability from Naruto where he can turn reality into an illusion. Still, it’s pretty powerful, but we’ll see next volume just how effective it is against The Witch Queen.
Asta’s new Magic Negation Aura is pretty powerful as well. The Queen noted that Asta was wrong about not being able to use magic power… it was a simple fact that the gates which allowed him to use magic were blocked. During her healing process of Asta, she unlocked those gates and it allowed whatever entity that was residing within him to break free which, in turn, allowed Asta to become bathed in the Magic Negation Aura. While in this aura, all magic is nothing to him, which makes it incredibly powerful; however, even that power didn’t stand a chance against The Witch Queen’s manipulation showing that it does, indeed, have its weaknesses.
All in all, we got some pretty good power-ups for two characters alongside some nice backstory on another two. It was good to see this mixed in amongst the action in this volume!
Another solid volume of Black Clover. Like most shonen manga, it relies a bit too heavily on the “Nakama” aspect as the sole reason to keep fighting and/or as the decision to a battle. It’s another reason why I feel this is just a simple “paint-by-the-numbers” shonen series. Despite that, I stated numerous times since beginning my reviews of this series that there is something intangible about it that keeps you reading and keeps you interested. There is an indescribable charm about this series that kind of makes you forget how generic it really is and makes you enjoy it for what it is.
I’m actually more interested in Mars and Fana and where they will go from here rather than Asta, Vanessa, and The Queen. Mainly because in almost all shonen battle series, you already know the main character is going to win so Asta’s victory is all but assured at this point. The uncertainty of Mars and Fana’s future is more interesting because you can’t really predict what is going to happen. Although, since they are not main characters they will probably go off to live their lives somewhere and will be written off until the exact moment where they are needed to come into a battle from out of nowhere to repay the debt they owe to Asta. That’s how the typical formula works and given Black Clover’s track record thus far, I wouldn’t be shocked if that’s what happens here as well.
Even still, looking forward to Volume 12 where I hope this Witch arc is put to bed so Asta and Vanessa can move on with their new powers!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media