Title: Black Clover Vol. 15 Author: Yuki Tabata Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 200 Genre: Shounen, Battle Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Volume 15 of Black Clover was all action from beginning to end. We see the conclusion of the games to determine who will be selected to become Royal Knights and then we are shifted directly into the battle against the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Slight spoilers, Asta’s match ended in a draw and then we saw the finals with Yuno’s team getting the win. Despite not winning, Asta also gets selected to be a royal knight. With the team assembled, including some last-minute additions such as Zora Ideale, we’re off to deal with the biggest threat in the series thus far.
Mereoleona ends up being the captain of the Royal Knights as she takes Zora and Asta on her team. The three of them encounter their first big test in Raia the Disloyal, a Copy Magic user who uses many familiar attacks. Despite his insane ability, Mereoleona is unphased by any of it and just ends up overpowering him in what appeared to be an anti-climatic battle. So much for one of the three top-ranking members of the Eye of the Midnight Sun!
We then see other members of the EotMS attack the headquarters of the Black Bulls. There, we meet a neeeeeew chaaaaraaaaacteeeer whooooooo speeeeeaaaaakssssss reeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly sloooooooooooooow.
Several pages later (no lie) we find out his name is Henry and he’s the one who allowed the Black Bulls to use his building as their hideout. His magic is to manipulate the building itself and the manga volume ends with him transforming the entire building into a massive black bull!!!
There was very little story here as the volume was overtaken by battle after battle after battle. The story literally was the end of the magic games right into the attack on the Eye of the Midnight Sun… nothing more, nothing less.
Henry was an interesting character. He was on his deathbed when Yami approached him, asking him to use his fortress as the Black Bulls base of operations. Henry stated he was going to die soon so to wait until he passed. Yami wouldn’t allow that and occupied the fortress anyway, helping save Henry’s life. Henry was forever grateful for that intervention so he would do anything to protect the Black Bulls! Despite none of the Bulls knowing who he was due to him always being bed-ridden and hidden away, he knew all of them and considers each one of them his closest friend. For the short time we got to know him, Henry seems like a pretty awesome character.
Raia, on the other hand, got done dirty. All of this cockiness and amazing power reduced to mere afterthoughts by overpowering Mereoleona. If she can take out one of the three officers of the EotMS, then what’s stopping her from just going all the way and ending this war herself? I’m sure their leader is going to be on an entirely new level but at this rate, the Eye of the Midnight Sun isn’t standing a chance against the Royal Knights. Was hoping to see Raia get the upper hand at least once, but no dice here.
Xerx Lugner turned out to be someone named Zora Ideale. After The Wizard King’s little one-on-one speech to him, it seems he got into Zora’s head and made him reconsider joining the Royal Knights. Outside of the true name reveal, his personality hasn’t really changed all that much. He even questions if he was really needed once he witnesses Mereoleona’s terrifying magic power.
Outside of that, everyone else kind of remained as they were with little to no development.
Another action-packed volume of Black Clover. Was surprised to see Asta’s match end in a draw but once that happened, it was pretty much guaranteed that Yuno was going to win the tournament… and he did. Now we get to sit back and enjoy the battle against the Eye of the Midnight Sun which, so far, has been a bit on the boring side. I don’t think it was wise to open up with such a one-sided victory for the Royal Knights… against a Midnight Sun leader at that. Doing so makes this arc extremely predictable. It’s a common tactic to make the heroes seem incredibly overpowered onto to run into the big bad later and end up getting owned. This is a tactic used to make the final boss seem that much more powerful. That will be the true battle of this arc and, sadly, it’s a bit too foreseeable.
Black Clover has always been a paint-by-numbers shounen battle series and it looks like Yuki Tabata hasn’t learned to experiment. He’s still playing it way too safe. In fact, he’s playing it so safe that I’ll predict what will happen!
Mereoleona will make it and confront their leader. Some of the weaker teams will have battles that will test them but they’ll win. Some teams will just have their battles skipped and when Mereoleona gets her ass handed to her, the rest of the Knights show up, marking the turn of the battle. They are all overpowered until Asta steals the spotlight and levels up once again in his black form and buys them enough time (or single-handedly ends the battle) for them to do one massive joint attack, thus bringing the Eye of the Midnight Sun’s reign to an end…
…only to have an even more powerful group waiting in the shadows.
Let’s just see how right I am with this prediction. Come on, Tabata… show me that you can deviate from the formula! Make me eat my words and prove me wrong!