Title: Black Clover Vol. 14
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Volume 14 of Black Clover continues the Royal Knight Selection test arc. Asta, Zora, and Mimosa are up against Magna, Sol, and Kirsch. Kirsch starts off everything with his barrage of cherry blossom leaves. Zora laid magic traps the night before due to gathering intel on the location of the battlefield. Asta felt that was cheating and decided to take them head-on, unleashing his Black Hurricane and nullifying all of the cherry blossom petals…. And Zora’s traps much to his chagrin. The battle continues to rage on despite this but in predictable fashion, Team Asta wins.
We shift to the next round which is Team G vs Team E. While the members here are listed, the only two that took the majority of the spotlight were Langris and Finral, who are brothers. Langris defeats Finral and their team breaks the crystal, moving on but it is the state that Langris leaves Finral in that becomes a cause for concern. Finral is heavily injured and something comes over Langris and he attempts to kill his own brother right then and there! This is when Asta, Magna, and Luck steps in. The Wizard King also intervenes but states that he will allow the fight to happen! It goes from Asta vs Langris into Team B vs Team G with an impromptu match! The final page shows Asta barreling towards Langris with his Black Meteorite attack.
Since this is a continuation of a tournament arc, not much story is being told here. It’s simply about magic knights fighting for a chance to assemble the strongest team to take down the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Rather than just stick to action, Tabata-san chose to focus on Langris and Finral to help build up their characters.
Even though Langris won the match, it wasn’t enough for him. He remembered everything that Finral does to infuriate him. Asta accuses Langris of not being a real magic knight and this really sends Langris off the deep end. They’re about to fight when Julius freezes the two of them and prepares the battlefield, sending this into a Team B vs Team G fight. Even though this turned into a regular match, Langris’ goal of wrecking Asta’s life was his sole driving purpose. You can definitely sense pure anger and madness driving him. He seems very hot-headed like Bakugo from My Hero Academia but his anger is way more irrational than his.
We also received some backstory on Zora as well. Zora had a father named Zara who gave him a doll and encouraged him to talk more. Zara ended up dying on a mission and Zora overhears that he was stabbed in the back by one of his so-called comrades all because he was a peasant. Clutching his doll, it’s pretty obvious how Zora ended up looking the way he does and why he prefers fighting alone.
Another action-packed volume of Black Clover. The tournament is proceeding well and the impromptu match thanks to Langris’ actions turned out to be unexpected, yet, interesting at the same time. With arcs like these, it is best to focus on character development and that is what they did with Langris, Finral, and Zora taking center stage this volume. The only thing that would be super predictable that hasn’t happened yet is if the Eye of the Midnight Sun launched an attack during the tournament. Don’t worry, there is still time but I pray it doesn’t happen because Tabata has been writing this series in a paint-by-the-numbers fashion. I wouldn’t really want to see him continue that by doing something so obvious.
I’m hoping he sticks to the original plan and just has the tournament complete and then have a few chapters of preparation and then launch the all-out attack on the rogue faction. This will allow him to use this time to really build up a big fight feel and draw even more importance to it. Having the Eye of the Midnight Sun do an attack will feel a bit cheap but it would also allow them to stave off the big “final battle” (barring any misdirection or emergence of a more powerful supergroup) and extend the series for a while longer. Either route could be taken but I hope it is the former than the latter.
On to volume 15 where we will see the outcome of Asta’s Black Meteorite attack!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media