Title:Black Clover Vol. 30 Author: Yuki Tabata Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 187 Genre: Shounen, Battle Publication Date: September 6, 2022
Thirty volumes of Black Clover and this one ends up being a banger! As I predicted, the battle did, indeed, continue with Magna taking on Dante; however, that wasn’t the main attraction of this volume. While Dante did predictably fall, we discover that Vanica had taken over Lolopechka’s body. Noel shows up and we get a little bit of a background of how she acquired the power of Saint Stage magic which is the stage above Arcane Stage.
Using this power, she goes to battle with Vani-Pechka, and, as predicted, Noel wins… or does she? Just like any shonen manga, there’s always a plot twist during big battles but this one was quite surprising. Manifesting into the world is the supreme devil Megicula… the one that has been built up for quite some time now. It was thought that the gates had to be opened so that she could manifest but, apparently, Megicula had a contingency plan and with Dante’s downfall, that plan had been activated.
Drained of her Saint Stage power, Noel looks to be helpless… until help arrives. What feels like the final battle of this arc begins!
Magna commanded the spotlight in the opening chapters of the volume with his battle with Dante. He even recalls his time coming into the Black Bulls and why Captain Yami accepted him. Yami recognized that he had more guts than anyone in the Black Bulls and that fueled his onslaught against Dante. It was cool to see a background character like Magna step up and have a major moment such as this but now I wonder if he will become more prominent or he’ll just go back to being in the background again. I guess time will tell.
The same could be said for Noel when it was explained how she was deemed to be a suitable host for the water spirit by Undine which granted her Saint Stage magic and her ultimate Valkyrie Armor ability. Although, I know it was to get across the fact that Megicula is insanely powerful, talking about how Saint Stage magic could take on a supreme devil and then needing backup was a bit contrived but, then again, she did use up a lot of that power fighting Vani-Pechka. Just seemed a bit odd to build it up and then do the typical weakened state to allow other characters to come in and save the day.
As for Megicula… there really isn’t anything special. If you’ve seen any over-confident powerful god-like character from any other series, then you know what to expect with her. She’s just your typical “haha, I’m strong, you can’t beat me so give up” big evil character. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Big battles that stretch over multiple volumes make for quick but entertaining reading and volume 30 of Black Clover was no exception. While the villain tropes continue to get piled on and the magic spells keep getting more and more absurd, I often wonder how the world hasn’t exploded by now. Despite the entertainment value from the fights, they still follow the same shonen formula of finding stronger and stronger enemies, getting some sort of power-up, and then beating said enemies. No matter how perilous the situation is, something will happen to save the day… whether it’s an unexpected power-up, your friends arriving at just the right time, the big bad suddenly getting a chink in their armor, etc.
To be honest, it kind of takes the fun out of the fight. Sure, we get some big flashy moments, some motivating speeches, and the whole “I can do this” attitude, but we all know, in the end, the big bad is going to fall and the heroes will triumph. In a series like Black Clover, even those who fail end up coming back so there really isn’t much of a drama aspect to these fights. The sudden plot twists of using Valhalla to… well… you’ll read it… was just the “oh, there’s the plot device” moment that the big battle eventually needed.
Again, the fights were good but shonen series like this need to switch it up a bit. Even when everything is made to look hopeless, we still know the heroes will win.
Next volume, we get to look at the aftermath of the fight and, possibly, bring this arc to a close.