Manga Review: Black Clover V 11 by Yuki Tabata @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

It’s been so long since I read a volume of Black Clover that I: a – forgot what was going on, and b – forgot how much fun this series is. And that is the problem with reading a series that is still being published. You catch up with it, carry on with life, and before you know it, you’ve fallen behind and it’s fallen off of your radar. I’m going to try to not let that happen again with this one.

Asta is still embroiled in the battle between the Forest of Witches, the Eye of the Midnight Sun, and the Diamond Kingdom. Both Ladros and Fana have Asta and his friends fighting for their lives. Mars ends up fighting with Asta and  Fanzell when he realizes that Fana, his childhood friend, is being manipulated by the Eye of the Midnight Sun. Huge battles ensue! Asta finds new strengths. Vanessa finally discovers her destiny!

This was a fast-paced volume, and every moment was tense and exciting. The main theme, similar to other battle manga, is the meaning of family and how precious friendships are. This is the main reason I enjoy this genre. Following along as the underdog protagonist refuses to yield during the defense of their friends – yeah, I’m all over that trope. It doesn’t disappoint here, and both Asta and Vanessa get to dig deep in search of the power to save their friends despite the overwhelming odds against them.

The Witch Queen took the opportunity to manipulate Asta, after gaining control over his blood when she fixed his arms. A tense stand-off between mother and daughter reveals the lengths that the Witch Queen will go to to gain as much power for herself as possible. When Vanessa decides she’s not having any of that, things get weird. Her latent power manifests, and reeling from memories of her awful childhood, Vanessa makes her stand against the woman who imprisoned her. For years.

I’m not sure why Black Clover resonances so powerfully for me. The battle scenes can be chaotic and hard to follow, and the story certainly isn’t groundbreaking. But the combination of a good guy with no power in a world where magic is everything – that gets to me. Asta wants to be the Wizard King so he can protect the people he cares for, and he won’t let a little thing like the lack of magic stop him from achieving his goals. He just thinks that he has to work that much harder, and all of his dreams will come true.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

In a world of magic, Asta, a boy with anti-magic powers, will do whatever it takes to become the Wizard King!
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!
As the battle for the Forest of Witches continues, Asta goes up against a member of the Diamond Kingdom. But when a powerful mage switches sides, it may throw the whole fight into chaos.