Monday, 20 August 2018

Asylum Reviews; Black Clover Season One, Part One [Bluray].


We recently received Black Clover Season One Part One to review (sadly it arrived whilst we were on holiday, hence the delay!), and were intrigued by what we'd see. We went into it with very little knowledge of what the show would entail (aside from a vague notion of "magic" but even at that we weren't entirely sure what to expect). It's got the classic anime building blocks making up its foundation: the underdog with nothing - that nobody expects anything from - succeeding, and showing you that anything is possible with hard work. So many animes follow this same (or very similar) formula, but they all do it in such a way that it doesn't feel repetitive or boring, and we were glad to see that Black Clover successfully achieves this, too.

The story follows two young orphans, Yuno (voiced by Micah Solusod) and Asta (Dallas Reid) - taken in by the Priest at a church in a run-down village after finding them abandoned on his doorstep - as they grow up in a world where magic is commonplace. Both strive to become the Wizard King, but there's just one problem... Whilst Yuno is adept at utilizing his magic powers, Asta doesn't seem to have any at all.

Asta is just such a relatable character, which is why these underdog stories are so common, we see a lot of ourselves in these "types" of characters, and it allows us to believe - if even for a small while - that we can succeed too. His struggles with being magic-less, in a world where that is almost unheard of - and subsequently training his body's physical power to compensate for his lack of magical power, his wishing to become the Wizard King despite his lack of magic, and his competitiveness against Yuno, even though he knows Yuno's power far surpasses him. But on the day of the Grimoire Acceptance Ceremony - Asta receives one too, giving him access to a whopper of a sword that can block and deflect spells, as well as cut right through them.

To become the Wizard King, the boys must first undertake the Magic Knight's Entrance Exam, which takes place months after they receive their Grimoires, to see if they are skilled enough with their magic to qualify to join the ranks of the Magic Knights. There are many different groups within the Magic Knights, each with their own moral compasses and ways of going about things. It's interesting to see the way these groups are made up, and the characters among them. One of the Magic Knights, Magna - of the Black Bulls - had such a familiar voice, and we just couldn't quite place him. We realised he was voiced by the talented Ian Sinclair, and that instantly told us that the voice is the same (or at least, insanely similar) to Space Dandy - another of our favourite animes. There's a wide variety of talented voice actors amongst the cast, including Christopher R. Sabat (a household favourite of ours), Jill Harris, Colleen Clinkenbeard, J. Michael Tatum, Justin Briner, as well as the aforementioned voices of Asta and Yuno.

Season One Part One seems to focus more intently on Asta's story, and whilst we really enjoyed everything we got to see, we felt a little robbed of seeing the goings on from Yuno's side - although we're hoping that this might be the focus of Season One Part Two. Noelle, another newbie who goes to the same Magic Knights squad as Asta is an interesting, yet slightly irritating character. She has a lot of stuff going on in her life, in her head, etc. and as a result, tends to switch rapidly between being an absolute bitch, and having small glimmers of kindness shine through. It's an understandable state for her character to be in currently, especially given her past, however it really rubs us up the wrong way at times.

Overall, we were really happy with how Black Clover Season One Part One played out, and we're just really excited to see more. * Sidenote, when are animes going to stop with this whole S1 Part One thing... I hate waiting! *
In the end, we decided to give it a Collecting Asylum rating of:

Gie it a Go!

Have you seen Black Clover yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

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