Black Clover Vol. 20 Review

Title: Black Clover Vol. 19
Author: Yuki Tabata
Publisher: Viz Media
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: March 3, 2020

The Story

Volume 20 of Black Clover, once again, continues the battle between everyone and the reincarnated elves. This is like the third or fourth volume in and we’re not even done yet, although the final battle is approaching! Stretching this battle out over so many volumes is really giving off the size and scope of it. This feels almost like the final battle of the series but it’s still continuing on in Japan which makes me wonder… just what is the final battle and how huge is that going to be!?

For now, this volume focuses on a few battles, one at a time. We start off with them being in the dream world up against the elf that is inhabiting Dorothy Unsworth’s body. In here, they realize that anything they can think of, they can manifest into reality. They try to imagine exits from the world but elf Dorothy simply seals them up. Then, they use a combination of magic to create an illusion… an illusion of the real Dorothy which causes the battle to end pretty quickly after that which felt a bit sudden and disappointing, to be honest.

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Next, we get to see Asta in action as he and his team take on elf Gauche and elf Marie. Yes… I know the elf versions have their own names… like Marie is Eclat, for example, but it’s just easier for me to remember this way. This cast is too large as it is… replacing half of them with their elven names is just overwhelming, to be honest. Still, the combination of the mirrors/sharing…I mean eye magic with Guache’s beams is pretty intense. Henry gets involved and attempts to sacrifice himself but Asta ends up defeating them and returning their bodies to normal.

The final arc of this volume has them realize that time is running out before the final magic stone is placed. Everyone heads into the Shadow Palace and gets split up. Here, we have more battles heating up before the final one starts. I’ll let you guys read to see who they fight but I will say one battle will paint a pretty picture while another one will see a certain someone show up to fight in the name of protein and carbs! I guess I’m not really being so subtle, am I?

Characters

In a volume where it was all action, character development takes a backseat unless it’s in the form of a power-up and not many people powered up here. I mean, people found creative ways to end their fights but it was using whatever magic was at their disposal… despite at one point, Captain Yami yelling at them to surpass their limits.

If anything, Charmy got her chance to shine throughout this entire volume. I think I lost count of the number of times that their low magic was solved just simply by eating… and just when you think she’s gone, there she is in the Shadow Palace fighting… They really did kind of shove her down our throats (terrible pun) this volume but at least she got some spotlight.

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Final Thoughts

More action. That’s pretty much the summation of this volume. There really wasn’t anything deep or pressing about it. The only real tension was the portal closing to the Shadow Palace so they needed to get inside fast in order to stop the final stone from being placed. Of course, there are obstacles in the way but you didn’t think it would just be a straight shot to the end, did you?

Still, for what we got, the action was pretty good although fights in this series really lack a super definitive moment. They seem to follow the same formula of put the characters at an overwhelming odd, find a creative solution, have the enemy say “oh no! how could they?” then use a super attack, joint attack, or what have you to finish the fight in an instant. I like battles that are drawn out. These battles don’t feel like they have much meaning behind them. It almost feels like these fights are there just for the sake of having action. They could just end a lot of these battles off-screen and dedicate more time and length to one certain battle to give it more impact. The fact that most battles are over in the course of one to one and a half chapters is pretty sad. While the whole overall war is taking several volumes, the battles themselves need a bit of work, in my opinion.

Still, fun read and it looks like the end will be coming either next volume or in volume 22. It all depends on how much time these next few battles are given. I would expect Volume 21 to follow the same formula… dedicate most of the volume to each individual battle and then set up the final encounter which SHOULD encompass all of Volume 22 (or hopefully longer!). We’ll see.

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This item was provided for review by Viz Media

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture.Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.