Title: Black Clover Vol. 3
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
The third volume of Black Clover wraps up the treasure hunt story from volume two and begins a brand new arc where the royal capital comes under attack. The story is pretty straight-forward here as there is more character development than there is story. The first half of the volume consisted of a battle and, because as such, it flew by pretty quickly. We got a nice calming down period with Asta getting to meet the Wizard King and then being invited to a banquet to commemorate magic knights who have earned a high amount of stars. This small bridge then builds into the new story where the capital comes under an attack from a new threat.
This manga is following the typical shounen formula; almost to the letter. Asta seemed to get beaten, only to get a new power (Already? That escalated quickly) which helped him overcome his enemy. Then we get a little bit of filler content to bridge into the next story arc and Asta’s new enemy and trial is laid out before him. It’s about as by-the-numbers as you can get, but still, it was a pretty entertaining read, even if the Asta character isn’t completely growing on me. It did bother me a little bit that that the battle was (Slight Spoiler) decided via Nakama Power, but shounen battle stories typically use the same plot armor for just about all their main heroes. Look at Naruto and Fairy Tail if you don’t believe me.
Asta got next to no development directly, but he did develop the characters around him. Klaus from the Golden Dawn Knights looked down upon Asta this entire time until he saw Asta’s burning determination and willingness to protect those who he considered his friends. Klaus then felt ashamed and instantly turned into a joke of a character. You’ve seen it before where a super serious snob gets broken and all of a sudden, they turn into a gag character. Klaus fell right into this slot and couldn’t fit any better if the best architects in the world designed a housing molded to his frame right down to the molecular level.
In typical shounen fashion, the villain from the story arc, Mars, received some backstory during the battle. Whenever this happens, you know defeat is imminent. Even though Mars was spared the death flag, it seems as if this battle reformed his thoughts and ambitions. Perhaps we will see him come to…. No… we WILL see him come to Asta’s aid in the future… probably as soon as this royal capital invasion story. I know… that’s a bold strategy, Cotton, to be so certain of a character’s future, but the way he was depicted, it’s most likely going to happen.
Outside of this, we didn’t really learn any more about the Wizard King, but we were introduced to a plethora of new characters, all of which are magic knights of high nobility. I’m assuming they will witness Asta bust his tail in this battle and all come to respect him much like Klaus has, but that’s just my guess.
First off, congratulations to Black Clover for getting a television anime. This kind of formula would probably do well on tv. I’m foreseeing lots of action figures, merchandise and other stuff coming out of this franchise because it seems like it was written with an anime series in mind. The only sad part is that the anime series will not be adapting the manga, but instead, going with an original story. Maybe I’ll watch it to see how it compares to what I have read so far.
As for the manga itself, it’s pretty standard fare when it comes to shounen battle stories. Black Clover is trying so hard to be Naruto in almost every facet, but it has its own little nuances about it that sets it apart and makes it different. It still has a certain intangible charm to it and if you’re the kind of person who just wants a by-the-numbers shounen battle series, then Black Clover should satisfy you just fine.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media