After having watched the first episode of Black Clover, I can admit at least that I wasn’t entirely correct in dismissing the hype around the show. The criticism of Black Clover being similar in setup to Naruto is in some way merited, but I get the feeling this show will be able to escape that stigma around it.
As of right now; however, the show is very much caught up in those cliches. Asta and Yuno come off as Naruto and Sasuke clones but with magic, and even how they explain the main characters new found powers is the same. Naruto invoked the power of the nine tails, and Asta unlocks the five leave clover, and the fifth leaf represents a demon. Asta and Naruto are also both orphans that want to become the rulers of their respective kingdoms.
It is interesting to note that Black Clover seems a lot more concerned, at least as of the first episode, with the fact that Asta and Yuno both came out of poverty, and the idea that your beginnings don’t have to define who you are. If that is going to be a theme throughout the show, then it is wholly welcome. A show focusing on poverty and not held back by where you were born, in this case, a rural village, would be a great addition to shonen genre.
Of course, I couldn’t write this reaction without mentioning Asta’s voice actor. For whatever reason, the director of this show decided that Asta’s voice needed to be as annoying as possible, and he found Gakuto Kajiwara, who then internalized that request and gave us the ear scraping noise that is the main character’s voice. I can certainly understand why people would stop watching because of it. We’ll just have to wait and see if it improves, but as of right now, I think this comment on MyAnimeList perfectly summarizes my feelings.
Overall, I’m still excited for this show. The animation looks comparable to other Pierrot productions, and the music that we did hear in this episode was, for lack of a better term, hype. I do hope that the show comes into its own more as time goes on because it would be a shame to see all this potential wasted.