Title: Black Clover Vol. 19
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Volume 19 of Black Clover picks up with the fight against the members of the Golden Dawn who were possessed by the reincarnation spell. They begin to slaughter all of the royals until Noelle and Nozel show up. Noelle ends up getting a nice power-up in this battle which helps turn the tide. Meanwhile, Langris is threatening the King and that’s when Yami, Finral, and the knight captain of the Praying Mantis, Jack the Ripper, show up to battle him.
Once everything is taken care of, Asta and the other Black Bulls arrive on the scene with their base still transformed into a giant stone bull. That’s when the elves of Sephira make their move and bring forth The Shadow Palace, the door to the underworld. We learn that once the final magic stone is set, the elves will be fully reincarnated and all the souls belonging to the original bodies will be sent into the underworld, never to return. The counterattack begins but not before our cliffhanger ending. One would say it’s a “dream match.”
When you read the volume, you’ll facepalm at my pun. Simply put, this was just another volume of Black Clover that was all action as was expected with the way the previous volume ended. I would fully expect this fight to continue on in Vol. 20 but whether or not we get the conclusion remains to be seen. One thing is for certain… the final battle is pretty much next anyway but whether or not that wraps up in one volume is a bit iffy. There’s a lot of ways this new fight could go so we’ll have to wait and see.
Jack the Ripper seems a lot like Barry the Chopper from Fullmetal Alchemist. Just replace “I want to chop him up” with I want to slice him up” and you pretty much have the same character. I wonder if the character is supposed to be a homage to FMA or if it’s simply a coincidence. Having read FMA, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Jack the Ripper as even their personalities are nearly identical. Then again, I’ve said since the beginning the Yuki Tabata seemingly “borrowed” a TON of plot points from Naruto in this series, who is to say that he didn’t “borrow” another one from Fullmetal Alchemist? Or maybe I’m just looking too deeply into things.
Nevertheless, Yami and Jack the Ripper seemingly have a past together which adds him to the pile of people Yami has had a significant past with. It seems that each time a character is introduced and comes in contact with Yami, the two have a history together. Just what is Yami and just how much do we not know about him? Honestly, at this point, it just seems like a go-to plot point to add relevance to a character. It’s becoming quite annoying, to be honest.
Noelle gets a nice power upgrade. Loving the idea of the Valkyrie Armor. Wrapping your body with water to create armor (the looks really good) is pretty clever. Seemed a little too gimmicky for the situation, though. It was foreshadowed heavily once their magic space had been limited but it wasn’t completely predictable. I thought Noelle would just pull an Asta in the sense where she would charge headfirst into danger and use a close proximity spell. I didn’t think she would become her spell with water armor. That was a nice surprise but it makes me wonder if we will see this powered up in an unrestricted space in the future.
Another action-packed volume of Black Clover. Unlike the last volume, the key battles were drawn out and were given enough time to breathe. In fact, the two biggest battles were given nearly half of the volume each to play out which was a good thing. The last chapter was reserved for setting up the final battle; however, when I saw the Shadow Palace all I could think of was the trailer for the new World of Warcraft expansion Shadowlands where the Tower of Torghast looms in the sky and everyone is traveling to the death realm where spirits go when they die.
It’s just further proof that nothing is original anymore in the world and something is always a copy of something else. Although, this manga was printed in Japan before Shadowlands was even a thing so this one is just a weird coincidence. The whole Jack the Ripper/Barry the Chopper theory; however, I’m not so sure of. I think that’s either a homage or just a blatant ripoff.
Still, my gripes aside doesn’t take away from the action which was still pretty top-notch… although some of the spells were a bit plot device heavy. “OH, your magic is this? Well, I can do this to counter it!” or “He has just the right type of magic to combine with mine so we can counter this one specific magic type!” While the fights are impressive, they just seem a little bit too convenient at times.
Still, fun volume and I am interested in seeing the conclusion to it all!
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media