Manga Review: Black Clover V 2 by Yuki Tabata @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

I’m giving the sports manga a little break and diving into a fantasy series. Black Clover is a shonen fighting manga with magic, ridiculous spell names, and my favorite character type – the underdog who never gives up. Count me in!

Asta has found a home with the Black Bulls, the band of delinquent Magic Knights. Yuno has moved up in the world and is a member of the Golden Dawn, a group of gifted, well-respected mages. Guess who’s having more fun? It’s not Yuno.

Fresh off a couple of victories, Asta, Noelle, and Luck are sent to explore a dungeon. The treasure halls often have powerful magical items, and the kingdom of Clover doesn’t want any of them to fall into enemy hands. The dungeon straddles the borders of Clover and the kingdom of Diamond, so Diamond sends a crack troop of mages to get to the treasure room first. Who will be victorious?

This is a fun series. There’s not a lot of depth so far, but I love Asta and his never say die attitude. He totally listened when he heard the phrase, “Carry a big stick.” He didn’t listen so well to the part about talking softly. One of the things I love about fighting manga –the silly attack names! Ice Magic: Heavenly Ice Fang! Flame Magic: Prison Death Scattershot!! I love that we learn the character’s elemental powers by the spell names, and more importantly, that the spells are nullified by Asta’s grimoire. Asta has absolutely no magic, and that, for him, is a power in and of itself. His lack of magic meant that he had to work even harder training himself to fight, and gave him an inability to quit.

The art is a huge bonus in Black Clover. I love the bold illustrations. The fight scenes convey a barely contained energy, and the spell effects accurately transmit a sense of the elemental power and the strength of the spells. It’s easy to follow the action, and facial expressions clearly telegraph the emotions of the heroes and the villains.

So far this is a fun series, and I’m eager to read more.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Asta is a young boy who dreams of becoming the greatest mage in the kingdom. Only one problem-he can’t use any magic! Luckily for Asta, he receives the incredibly rare five-leaf clover grimoire that gives him the power of anti-magic. Can someone who can’t use magic really become the Wizard King? One thing’s for sure-Asta will never give up!
On the orders of the Wizard King, Asta and his allies head to a mysterious dungeon to retrieve a powerful relic. However, when mages from a rival country show up, this mission turns into an all-out battle. Can Asta lead his team to victory?