Title: Black Clover Vol. 10
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Volume 10 of Black Clover begins an arc where the Black Bulls take to the world in search for a cure for Asta’s curse. Vanessa heads to the Forest of Witches to pay a visit to her old teacher as she is rumored to be able to dispel ancient curse magic. When Vanessa returns, The Witch Queen agrees to teach her ancient curse magic in exchange for her unending servitude and her inability to leave the forest ever again. Vanessa agrees, but Asta is brought to the forest by Franz Kruger in order to stop Vanessa from throwing her life away.
A combination of the Eye of the Midnight Sun and the Diamond Nation arrive and an all-out war begins. The Witch Queen is backed into a corner and has no choice, but to dispel Asta’s curse in exchange for him defending the forest. Not only is his curse broken, but his arms are strengthened beyond what they were before. While Asta handles one of the members of the Third Eye, whom I’ve dubbed the “I Hate You Girl”, Kruger ends up taking on two of his former students as he is a former commander and instructor of the Diamond Nation that turned his back on them. One of those students is Mars who appears to shield Kruger to end the chapter.
The story here was pretty straight-forward. Find a cure for Asta’s curse… go to a forest… fight some people and that’s it. Asta’s little chat with Miz Vanessa was your typical shonen banter. “I can’t let my friends do this, blah blah blah.” If you’ve seen that speech before in series such as Naruto and Fairy Tail, then you know what kind of pep talk Asta gave Vanessa without even having to read it.
The battle itself was pretty fun, but it seems a bit too predictable. Noelle learned to control the Water Dragon’s Roar spell on the fly, even after casting it, which ended up turning the tide (pun intended) of the battle. While it should show how far she came with controlling her magic, it just seemed like an obvious out to end the battle against a formidable foe. Asta’s Black Thrust “special move” was kind of weak in theory, but what do you really expect from somebody who has no affinity to magic? Can’t really do much with that except make basic attacks look cool, I guess.
The Witch Queen was an okay character. Just someone who has really powerful magic and a terrible attitude to match it. She doesn’t come off as a high and mighty character like most people in royal positions would, but she had this air about her that gave you the impression that she’s a bit of a control freak and is used to getting her way because of it. She does show a bit of heart when her back was up against the wall and it even caused her to self-reflect and realize that even with her immense power, she needed the help. You could practically hear her pride being swallowed when she agreed to heal Asta’s arms. Wonder how she will react once her precious forest is saved?
Outside of that, Noelle got a little development as she seemed a little more confident in herself. She was reminded of the times she was referred to as a failure and then remembered Asta’s words of encouragement. The romance between the two is building nicely because Tabata is throwing a lot of subtle steps for them to climb, but with this being one of the most generic shonen series I’ve read, expect the typical paint-by-numbers development for the two of them. By that, I mean I expect the two of them to give slight hints to the fact that they like each other without it ever going anywhere. Nobody in shonen series are allowed to fall in love and if they do, it’s usually in an epilogue that takes place years later and all of the boinking happens off camera. (I’m looking at you Naruto.)
The little history with Kruger and his students was just fluff in my opinion. Unless Mars is going to end up sticking around after his so-called revelation to protect Kruger, then it might be worth it, but if he’s just going to be a supporting character that’s going to disappear after this arc and then show up later in a “HEY! I remember you!” moment, then I would have saved the backstory for when that resurgence of his character takes place. Otherwise, it just feels like a moot point. Have him make the turn, make people ask why, keep them asking, then give it to them much later when it’s appropriate. That’s a better formula, in my opinion.
Not a bad volume. The action was what it was and the battle seemingly came out of nowhere. I’m a bit confused about the reason behind the battle. On one hand, they said “The one who stole the magic stone is there,” but they never really went into HOW they knew they were there. On the other hand, they stated that the witches there would make great slaves so they came for them. Well, which is it? I understand that it was the Eye of the Midnight Sun and the Diamond Kingdom each having their own reasons, but where was the story showing how or why the pact to attack together came about? This really was an out of left field battle. It really felt like it was thrown in there for the sake of adding action to the story which was already semi-interesting on its own. It didn’t really need it.
At least it’s better than listening to Asta scream for 20 minutes on tv every week. I’ll give the series that.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media