Title: Black Clover Vol. 7
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Volume 7 of Black Clover served as a set up chapter for the next main story arc, which ended up concluding the volume. After the events of the Eye of the Midnight Sun in the cave, Asta returns back to the palace and is asked by the Wizard King to use his anti magic on two mages they captured. They learn the information that one of the captains was a traitor and fed the Eye of the Midnight Sun information. His identity is revealed (which I will save due to spoiler reasons) and he makes his escape, but is eventually captured and interrogated.
The other information they learn is that the Eye of the Midnight Sun is looking to gather certain magic stones, believing that if they collect them all, they will be reborn in their true forms, closer to that of pure mana, thus gaining untold power. So, in other words, they’re pretty much a suicide cult. Okay.
There are only three stones that remain and one of them is in a perilous underwater temple. We’re about to head to that destination when suddenly… FANSERVICE BEACH CHAPTER! Okay, I wasn’t really excited about all of that. I know this manga has been a paint-by-the-numbers shonen action series, but to go the distance and just throw your typical beach chapter in there… can you get any more generic than this? It’s like Yuki Tabata was given a checklist of all the cheap, generic things you can do in a series to generate money and he’s just going down the list one by one.
In fact, it took them two full chapters just to get to their mission. One of which I’ll talk about in the characters section because it did focus on Noelle, which gave us some character development with her. Once they get to the temple, though, they meet an insane man who wants to play a game of boob groping… yes… you read that correctly. However, it ends up being a battle royale-type game where he splits up the Black Bulls and makes them try and find their way back, all while encountering different battles and challenges. Then the not-so-shocking cliffhanger happens where a member of the Eye of the Midnight Sun shows up. Like we couldn’t see this coming from an ocean’s distance away. Get it? Because it’s an underwater temple?
Noelle meets Kahono, a girl who is practicing her singing in order to become an idol. The two of them become friends and she ends up practicing how to use and control her magic. After some trial and error, she’s able to make a Sea Dragon’s Cradle spell and control it, showing her growth. While the chapter wasn’t all that impactful, it’s a nice step in Noelle’s growth as a character. She hadn’t been able to control her magic all that well up until this point so even though it was just one spell, it shows that she can, actually, control her own power. Seeing this happened before entering the temple, it can also be seen as a bit of foreshadowing. Noelle will probably end up saving them when they’re in a pinch. Calling it now.
Outside of this, we caught a glimpse of Gauche again, who seems to have reverted back to his old self. He did seem a bit more respectful to the “old hag” in his own way so you know that there is some respect there now. He still wants to kill Asta for being the center of Marie’s world, though. Even after their battle, some things don’t really change.
The rest of the volume heavily involved the Captains of the Magic Knights, but we don’t really get much development out of them except for the one who betrayed them and, even still, we don’t really spend that much time on the betrayal. We did get some background information on the betraying captain, but it wasn’t really anything to write home about. In fact, the way that they presented it didn’t really seem like he truly betrayed them. It was just him being greedy and looking to make some money without thinking about the consequences.
Volume 7 of Black Clover was a bit of a lull. It picked up in the end when they began their game inside of the underwater temple and even still, it felt like the manga was just wasting time. We knew that the Eye of the Midnight would show up, especially when they stated that they wanted to get there before them to take the stone for themselves. The cliffhanger really felt flat because of that. Tt was just way too obvious that the Eye of the Midnight Sun would show up in some capacity. The random fanservice chapter was a very low point in the series as it’s just a cheap cop out tactic in order to increase certain demographics among readers of the series, but I guess it works because Black Clover is getting a television anime… even if it’s going to be an original story that doesn’t follow the manga.
While Noelle’s development was much-needed, it seemed a bit out of place. I get that training will help her control magic, but it would have been nice to see her learn to control it on the fly in order to save everyone and then note that she did some secret training. It would have made it a more impactful, but now that we’ve seen her train, it’s just an obvious foreshadow.
Hopefully Volume 8 will be better, but this volume of Black Clover wasn’t exactly one of the best ones in this series.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media