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Black Clover- Sword Of The Wizard King SPOILER REVIEW: SO Worth The Wait!!

The Promise Seemed So Far Away, But Now We’ve Finally Reached The Day. The next part of that doesn’t apply to what we’re talking about; I said all that to be dramatic. Taken from “Gravity Falls” Season 2- Episode 17 “Dipper And Mabel vs The Future.” Oh my God this day seemed so far away. But we’re HERE; the very first(and more than likely only) “Black Clover” movie has finally been released on Netflix!! And after days of delays due to circumstances beyond my control that I won’t get into(one’s actually a good thing; one will not be tolerated), my brothers and I were FINALLY able to watch it. So- after posting the “Black Clover” 362 Review, finishing the My Hero 391 review, thinking I’d be able to do a Chainsaw Man 133 review, reading Four Knights 109, and looking around for Edens Zero 244– I’m FINALLY starting my review for it Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, at 6:57pm. Man, I’ve been awaiting this day for a WHILE now. 

I think I’ve said before that this was one of the films I anticipated the most this year- along with the Super Mario movie and Across The Spider-Verse. Got Super Mario Bros on DVD from Dollar Store and watched it; haven’t seen the new “Spider-Verse” yet; and this one took longer to get to than I care to admit. But me oh MY was it worth the wait. I’m actually kind of glad this movie was delayed from its original release date of March 16th earlier this year. They say “Due To Covid,” but, uh………. okay, I won’t make fun of that excuse because it’s still a concern. But I’m with everyone else in saying they had a few “production issues.” But it meant that we got a High Quality movie out of it!! Seriously, this movie is stellar to look at. So much so that Haters are now lobbing the “Carried By Animation” argument at it. Never thought I’d live to see the day “Black Clover” is “Carried By Animation.” Glad to see it; it means that this movie just looks that good!!

This movie- its story and characters- were all created by Series Creator Yuki Tabata. So there is of course the debate of “If It’s Canon.” I say “Yes” when I’m asked, but honestly- Not sure. Probably depends on the reception to the movie(Fans are LOVING it over here in the west, but- ya know- Money talks louder); if it does well, then I’m sure Tabata’s editors will give him a “slight nudge” to put them in the Manga(probably as Paladins). If NOT, then………… eh. Still a quality movie. And let’s talk about it. 

SPOILER ALERT FOR NETFLIX’ “Black Clover: Sword Of The Wizard King” UP AHEAD. Proceed At Your Own Risk.

REVIEW

It is Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 9:08 pm when I’m doing this. I wrote down an entire Overview of the movie- what happens in it from my memory, yeah? Then I remembered(ironically so) How TRASH my memory is. I mean, I watched a whole bunch of videos today from Youtubers like Broku and Anime Balls Deep talking about the movie. Can’t remember a lot of what they said, but Anime Balls Deep made a video discussing the origins of Conrad and the Wizard King’s he revived in the movie, explaining why they’re doing what they’re doing. All of this is to sayI scrapped all that stuff- looking at it, it was……….. not good. This isn’t a 8-20 something page chapter; this is a 119 Minute MOVIE- one that I’m eager to discuss with you guys. And I’ll never get it out or get people interested if I treat it like just another chapter review. I Want To Do This Right. So- rather than walk you scene by scene through a movie you’ve most assuredly watched by now(unless you’re like me and watch some review before they get the chance to watch the movie)- I’m just gonna take you through my favorite stuff in the movie. Which might actually take longer than making the Overview. 

I had something else here, but it didn’t come out the way I meant it to. So I scrapped it and I’m just gonna tell you what I thought of the movie first. And if I were to sum it up in 1 word, I’d say: “Nice.” I liked the movie, especially when we got to the latter half. It was the small bit after the Flashback that got me. That Tournament setting- seeing the Former Wizard King’s descend from on High was cool. But the structure of that portion of the movie was a little weird. I’m getting used to “Black Clover” just throwing us into the plot- this was really no different from the Heart Kingdom Joint Struggle arc(Black Bulls vs Dante; Golden Dawn vs Zenon; Vanica vs Heart Kingdom), or even the Spade Invasion. But for some reason that just felt……… a little too quick. 

Animation was God Tier, of course; I know some people had some………. mixed to negative thoughts about the art and animation after the initial teaser trailer, but clearly they’ve made up for that. Though there were also fans speculating that the movie was delayed for Poor Production. The official reason was “COVID-19 concerns,” and……… LookThat name singlehandedly stopped the world from moving for a minute. So I’m not going to agree with fans and say “That’s just an excuse; the world is already moving on from it,” because it’s name still carries weight. But I’m not gonna tell you that there weren’t ANY production problems; I don’t know if there were. But I know that Studio Pierrot hasn’t always given this series the proper production time it needs to be its best. Heck; the Heart Kingdom Joint Struggle Arc- the last arc they adapted into the anime- was largely done from Animators they found off of Twitter. And that was the Best Animated Portion of The Whole Anime. And that wasn’t the first time that happened; this twitter thread shows everyone the studio’s outsourced to since episode 26. 

All Animation studios do this; it’s not like it’s a big deal. And it’s not always for production problems. I Simply Mean To Say: I wasn’t happy when it got delayed. It meant a better looking movie(the movie we got), but I was so excited to watch it March 31- had a plan all set up and everything just to make sure I got to see it and get rid of Netflix, who’se been doing a lot of its animated properties dirty. Then it was announced that it was delayed, and I just decided to get Netlix anyway- if for nothing more than my brother’s and I had very different Youtube watch histories. Then my dad revealed already got Netflix back and I cancelled my personal subscription. Yeah, that’s how THAT happened. But yes; the movie came out Great. 

The Voice Acting was as good as with the anime. I watched the dub of the anime first, up until around the Time Skip when the Dubs release was………… a little “slow” for my taste. I got impatient was the thing, and seeing clips of how well-animated the post time skip was; I jumped over to the subs not long after episode 158, and watched it right up to the end- along with the Dub episodes as they came out. Dallas Reid- Asta’s Voice Actor- has come a pretty long way in dubbing the loud muscle runt; his range in the movie conveying Asta during battle- Asta when he inspired the other Magic Knights- and when he was injured by Conrad; all of those scenes really stuck out to me. Although all the conversation during his Final Battle With Conrad threw me off a little. Though that’s more due to how the scene was composed. HIGH PACED ACTION- with Dialogue. I don’t think that scene landed that well; it would have been better if it wasn’t such close corners, fast paced movement when you’re discussing the themes of the movie and the series as a whole. 

And then there’s the theme of the movie. There was a “Volume 23.5” light novel version of the movie that fans could get when they went to theaters in Japan to see the movie. And that Light novel Adaptation expounded upon the origin stories of the other Wizard KingsThe common trend in all of themThe Royals Of The Clover Kingdom Actively Betrayed Them Because They Feared Their Power. Princia was feared so she was locked up in a remote Village in the forsaken realm- threatened with the lives of her family(who were killed anyway), and left there until the Village was attacked and she died protecting it; Jester’s goal of unifying the 4 Kingdoms gained traction with the people and began to cause problems for the Royals, so they set a trap for him and had him executed; and Edward gained the love of the weak commoners of the Forsaken Realm, so the Royals got jealous and stripped him of his title. So he gathered an army and rebelled against the Ruling Family, but he failed. Are you seeing the pattern here? 

Put that together with Conrad’s origin and what happened to Elves, and you start to realize that the Royalty of the Clover Kingdom is……… Corrupt and Power Mad. You see it first hand when we meet Augustus that he’s……………. not a good leader; he wants the love of the people simple because he’s the King– the same King perpetuating the current system where the amount of magic you have determines your worth. And that he’s not keen on Julius who earned the trust of the people through his actions. Who knows; maybe he planned to betray Julius just as his predecessors had to the previous Wizard Kings! Though I don’t think he’d have any ground to stand on. The other 4 were actively trying to make a change to the Clover Kingdom- actively doing something about the classism and prejudice around them, protecting and aiding the weak rather than protecting the “High And Mighty, All Powerful” Royalty. Julius- from what we’ve seen and based on dialogue with Zora– only installed the Star System after becoming the Wizard King, as a way of 1)Rewarding the success of a mission and 2)To show the people who they can trust. Or something to that effect. 

I think that these origins stories are meant to show another problem that Tabata never got the chance to tackle in the manga: An Enemy That Asta can’t just “fight and defeat-” an “Homeborn Threat.” He did this a little bit Post Elf Saga with Damnatio and that court case, but that ended almost as quickly as it began with little consequence going forward(that we get to see, anyway). “Black Clover” isn’t the type of manga to do stuff like that– at least not without a fight validating the protagonists way of thinking and getting people on their side. “It’s about Results.” 

Naturally, the character designs don’t miss; Tabata knows how to make characters look good and their transformations look cool. Just looking at them, I was expecting to like Jester the most, and Edward the least. I like Princia more, but we’ll get to that. Though I didn’t expect to see Nacht and Liebe so early, or see Asta get his Devil arm in this movie. Well, a “Proto” version of it, anyway. We didn’t have a lot of time in the movie to talk about that, but I would like some more information on what that was. Was Liebe just “trickling” more power out to the point where the Regular “Black Asta(Post Limit Break Against Zagreb with the second horn)” form to the point where the arm “mutated” to look like the arm he would get sooner? That honestly isn’t the worst idea I had; I mean, that’s essentially what Berserk Black Asta was. I kind of wonder how much of that “trickling” Asta is able to control. I don’t think this state is stronger than Berserk Black Asta, cause that power drove him crazy. But’s certainly a higher powered form. 

Seeing Nacht get involved was also something I didn’t anticipate because of this movie’s placement in the timeline. Though he and the Black Bulls never met in person, so it’s not like it breaks any sort of rules. This movie is in that………… “Secondary-ish” canon state- nothing happened in the movie that breaks the canon of the manga, and nothing thus far in the manga alludes to the vents of this movie; nothing contradicts its existence, but nothing confirms it, either. Such is the fate of movies that come out after the fact. If the movie is popular, then I think a certain Faux God will be reviving these 4 some time in the near future…………

Like I said earlier: I went in expecting to like Jester the most; something about his design, and then getting to hear the voice performance of Ben Diskin only warmed me up to him furtherThen I Princia started to show herself off, and come the halfway point of her fight with Mereoleona- She was my favorite of the Wizard King’s introduced. Her magic and actions conflicted with her goal; she wanted a “World Free of Oppression-” through the domination of her Iron Soldiers.Irony,” get it? Her magic was the “simple” kind where she spawns NPCs to fight, but she was so powerful that they came off as, well– Let’s say your average Magic Knight is meant to be Level 35. Her Soldier were level 55, and her personal power level 96. She was……… H#lluva powerful. And her backstory was probably the one that interested me the most. 

Her power- the ability to make an army all by herself- made her feel isolated- that she’s strong enough to handle any problem that comes her way, meaning she didn’t need allies at her side. She could make them, so why does she need help from anyone else? Though that also made the Royals of her era frightened of what she was capable of; at the drop of a hat, she could raise and army of her own and take the seat of power from them with little opposition. And if she managed to take her Mana Zone as far as any of the Heart Queens, then she could almost be Omnipresent with her soldiers everywhere at all times. She could become the Despot of a nation if she wanted to. But she only wanted to protect the land she called home. And she was locked away in a village in the Forsaken Realm for it. I don’t recall by whom, though; from seeing how strong she is and based on dialogue during her fight with Mereoleona- you’d think her unbeatable during her time………

She said that Armor spell she used in her battle was the first time she had ever used it against an opponent, so who could challenge her to the point where they killed her. Like…………. they had to have sniped her, right? That part needs to be explored more. And if Lucius revives them all as Paladins, then we may just get the full backstory drawn out. 

All of that being said; Jester’s Magic was the most creative and visually stunning. How the h#ll did he manage to get a laser beam out of Barrier magic? And how was he able to make constructs so “detailed” that it begins to look like a scouter? The barriers were tough, and- of the 4- he’s the only one who didn’t lose. Princia ran out of power against Mereoleona; Edward legitimately lost to Noelle and the Black Bulls; and Conrad lost by virtue of being the central antagonist of the film. But Jester never once went down fighting Yuno and the Magic Knight Captains; he fought them evenly the whole battle- spouting his philosophies at them and having the power to back it up. His backstory is that he was a Noble with a talent for Magic; enough to join the Magic Knights. 

There, he would meet with 2 people who would become his closest friends: Tenor, who hails from a small village bordering the Diamond Kingdom, and Raid from the Common Realm. Some “Hard Work” later, Jester would become a Magic Knight Captain. Tenor’s village would later be attacked by the Diamond Kingdom, but due to certain laws, the Clover Kingdom could not send any forces to stop the onslaught, so the 3 of them went out to stand against them on their own. Tenor would die in the battle, pushing Jester to become the Wizard King and prevent such a tragedy from happening again. But after finally becoming the 16th Wizard King, Tenor’s village would be attacked again. But he had the authority to do something about it this time. But the attack was revealed to be a trap set up by the Diamond Kingdom- through their spy Raid. Jester would survive this, and begin to make plans to Unify the 4 Kingdoms- the entire Continent- under 1 banner. His ideals touched the hearts of the people affected by the bordering nations, which did not sit well with the Rulers of the Clover Kingdom. It would also earn him the moniker of “Mad King.”

……………….. He might have been a bit of a Villain in the truest sense. “The Road to H#ll is Paved With Good Intentions;” he meant for this conquest to bring Peace And Unity to this continent- no longer would border villages be assaulted by neighboring, warring factions. But those other countries wouldn’t let themselves fall under the thumb of the Clover Kingdom. So his idea likely would have lead to a Full Scale Continental War, doing more harm than good to those same towns he wants to protect and getting more people killed in the process. Though considering what the Royalty of Clover would be getting out of it- more land and more people to tax and rule over, not to mention a buff in their military power- you would think he’d have gotten their full support. Though I think he might have snapped out of it once he realized that he and these Fat F*cks were on the same page. 

Seeing him in this light, I’m starting to think Lucius would have to do much “rewriting” with him to get him over to his side. Like I saidHe did not lose his fight- wasn’t even really on the back foot. Had the fight kept going, he might have even won. Meaning that his ideology was never invalidated, and thus meaning that he still believes that “Unity of The 4 Nations” is the proper Mindset to have. Lucius wants to do that same on a Global scale. And it’s not like Jester was ever aiming to be the Ruler of this Unified Nation; he was probably content being the Wizard King- a “General” type of Figure. He might just help out Julius because their of “Like Minds-“ if he can get passed the part of people lacking wills of their own and the ability to die. I think that would be were Jester jumps ship and joins the side of the Magic Knights. And considering how powerful he was as just a regular Revived Wizard King- I’m willing to bet a Paladin Amp would make him downright unstoppable. 

And then you have Edward– a Man of Faith with little desire in life beyond preaching the Good Word. Then the Orphanage he managed was attacked- the children he treated as his own slaughtered in an attack from the Diamond Kingdom. He fought back, and worked his way through the Magic Knights until he became the 20th Wizard King, using his position and resources to help the poor villages of the Common and Forsaken Realms, gaining the support and love of the people- and the scorn and hatred of the Envious Royalists. He was stripped of his title, meaning everything would go back to normal in the Clover Kingdom. And he didn’t want that to happen. So he raised a Rebellion with those who followed him. But they were weak commoners with little power, and he had to pick up the slack for them- ultimately ending in his capture and immediate execution. 

I think that Princia stood out the most to me because her fight with Mereoleona just pit a Battle Fiend against a Closet Battle Fiend; Mereoleona never questioned or even really cared about what Princia wanted- she just wanted a good fight. And Princia just needed to cut loose for once. Meanwhile, you have Jester who had this Radical idea for peace, and Edward actually being somewhat validated. And you can see in his fight with the Black bulls that he doesn’t want to hurt people clearly harmed by the Caste System. But then he saw Noelle- how kind she was; how strong she was; the care she has for people “beneath” her- and saw that- somewhere in the time after his era- SOMETHING began to change. So- rather than continue to fight when he probably could and may have even won– he decided to back down, and see how the whole situation played out. Which resulted in Conrad’s Reincarnation Spell breaking and he and his fellow Wizard King’s returning to the Afterlife. 

And then there’s the 27th Wizard King Himself- Conrad Leto. I think they were trying to hard to make him a parallel to Asta. He was born a Noble; Asta’s mom was a Commoner who left him at a Church in the Common Realm. Even if Conrad was persecuted for what his magic was capable of, it’s different from what Asta experienced. What Asta and all commoners go through with the Prejudice is was being viewed lesser than everyone else- like they weren’t even people worth the time of day, let alone giving them the chance to be something; Conrad was Powerful, and thus feared by those who are supposed to be seen as “More powerful.” Conrad had people running when he walked by; Asta made them laugh if they bothered to look his way. But he acted as though what they experienced was the “exact same thing,” and tried to use it to bring Asta over to his side. Which I think is part of why he failed at it. From Noelle, Asta knew that even the strong people could be pushed around by the people who are supposed to be their peers. And he knows from Leopold that those same people still have to work hard towards their goals. And Conrad is what happens when someone who started with power and still worked hard tried to change the system: The System Fought Back. 

…………………. What am I trying to say? I think what I’m trying to say is that Asta understood Conrad- how hard he worked to become the Wizard; how much work went into planning this coup; what he lost along the way- and was trying to bring him back to his senses and remind him who he was- who Asta believed him to be: The Wizard King. But Conrad didn’t understand Asta as well as he thought, and………. forgot why he became the Wizard King. So the fight was “What the Wizard King Should Be vs The One Who Lost Sight Of That.” Something to that effect, I guess. And when Asta won, Conrad realized how wrong he was, and decided entrust the future of the Clover Kingdom to Asta and the people who gave him the power to defeat him- the power to make a great change. Huh………….. you know, this movies most important scene in the long run ties into events recently revealed in the manga. 

When Asta motivate all of those Magic Knights to stay and continue to fight on, it reminded a lot of fans chapter 360 when Lucius found out why he can’t see the future of this world. Asta’s influence on everyone he meets pushes them to defy Fate’s expectations of them; be it Yuno choosing to grow stronger, becoming stronger than he was ever supposed to be- Noelle learning to control her magic and become strong enough to become the vessel for the Leviathan– Mereoleona refusing to die against Morris- Fuegoleon choosing to latch on to life- all of these characters are stronger than Lucius ever thought possible. Heck, a lot of them were supposed to have died by now. But Asta’s influence on them spurred them to keep living- keep fighting. And so they’ve all lived to return the favor in this movie and took that lesson into Judgement DayBut let’s focus on the “Returning The Favor” part for a minute. 

That’s something else that I think Asta has over Conrad; Conrad just had “sway” with the people- Asta rallied them together. Kind of like a certain Sun God from another Manga. Asta Rallied the people behind them- earned their trust through his actions and his success. But he wouldn’t have the success rate he does without people there to “lift him up.” The same people who would put their power into the Imperial Sword and allowed him to- for even the briefest of moments- utilize Magic in addition to his Anti Magic. Without them, Asta would have died a thousand times over by now to FAR weaker threats. But he spurred them on. And they help him to fight.Infinite Synergy” as Nacht put it. And this kind of “synergy” is what makes Miracles happen. 

“Black Clover” is………… okay; it’s not a straight up “Naruto” clone. To say that Naruto had “0 Influence” is like denying that Dragon Ball has no influence on any Battle Shonen Series; Naruto was/IS Ridiculously popular, and thus most battle series are going get a “slight nudge” to be like it. But that’s not it’s primary source of influence. Bleach has had a visual impact on it; Tabata has described the series as “Berserk but a Shonen;” it and Fairy Tail share more similarities than it and Naruto; and One Piece I feel has a little bit of an influence on the series, too- specifically how Asta and Luffy interact with their worlds. They bring about “Great Change” everywhere they go. And the world is left to react to the change that’s brought about. But without their friends their to move them when they can’t- without people who dare to dream of better there to save them in a desperate situation- without someone there who’s willing to stand by their side- they’d never have reached this point. Something to think about, I guess………

Closing Thoughts

I think I want to close off the post here. Though I feel like I missed something important. I could talk about how Asta being given Magic by the Magic Knights is similar to how Izuku “defied fate” and survived the battle with Overhaul, and then that could spin off into a discussion about One Piece and “The Power Of Miracles” and how they’re made when one man stands up against impossible odds and spurs everyone around him to do the same and how those connections are the “true Miracle,” but………. That feels like it’ll take up more than half the post- connecting those 3 series through a similar plot point. Also I don’t think I’m smart enough to tackle a topic like that. Though………. it’s a thing. I’ll also so that- after writing the post- I might have ended up liking Jester more by the end of it. Conrad and Edward were great, and got pretty solid development. But Jester and Princia didn’t. Well, Princia DID, but not like a whole “change of heart-“ her development was just in finally getting to fight her heart out. Jester didn’t change AT ALL. His delusions were never shattered, leaving the door open for him to come back and see if his ideology was really the wrong choice. 

I also think that Elsdocia will come back in the future- or at least the “sheath” that Secre and Lumiere were working on 500 years ago. Hm………… its purpose is to contain Elsdocia’s power, meaning it’s strong enough on its own to handle a ton of magic power. Which Lucius and his Paladins have. Maybe it’ll come back into the story to seal away Lucius or someone else until they can figure out how to fix the Paladification. Or perhaps Asta can do to IT what he did to Yami’s katana. That…….. I don’t know; it might just end up doing the same thing. So maybe just bring in the sheath and be done with it. Though that could easily just become a “Chekov’s Gun” and done for the sake of “pay off.” Not everything needs pay off, I guess- at least something as small and inconsequential as the Sheath to a movie that’s Secondarily Canon(till further information is revealed). 

Conclusion

Okay; that’s everything, folks. This didn’t take as long as I was expecting- the only reason I think this came out so late is because I had to stop a few times and rewrite it. Yeah; that’s the reason. I think that I’m gonna use this format to review movies from now on. Now I only need to be able to watch more movies and I’ll be Golden. All jokes aside; I’m glad I was able to watch this movie. Heck; I’m glad I even got to see it. Or that it even EXISTS. It means that- for letting the Anime End and getting Tabata to go ahead and make the Final Saga- Jump still has some sort of faith in the series. They’re not making money off those Volume Sales(though recent sales have gone up), but they’re making money off of it. So there’s hope. 

All in all; this was a nice, fun movie to watch- whether or not it matters to the actual story of the manga. I liked it, and will certainly be watching again. Let me know what you guys are thinking in the comments, and until Next Time, all- Have A Wonderful Day. Laters. 

Anime, Black Clover, Discussion, Manga, Miscellaneous, Movies, Posts, Shows I Enjoy, Stroytime, Uncategorized

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