Three Episode Rule for Black Clover?

Hah, not a chance!

Sitting among the popular titles of 2017 Fall Season, Black Cover prides itself as the sole attention of big and quick hate. I can’t blame the people hating on it, though. Studio Pierrot should know better about diving into a snake pit.

Just a few obvious things I want to reiterate here:

  • Yes, people are crying non-stop about this show being a Naruto rip-off.
  • Yes, some even claim it to be the filler gap for Boku no Hero Academia hype.
  • Yes, Asta’s voice is unbearable, just like my lawnmower.

Ah. Freedom of speech is truly a blessing. It makes whatever I have to say about anything less worthwhile of your time and energy to read because aren’t we all supposed to have that valuable thing called ‘opinion’?

I did not want to come off as half-ass either, so before writing this post out, I spent all of yesterday to:

  • Watch first 4 episode of Black Clover and read the first 10 chapters of the manga
  • Watch first 19 episodes of Naruto
  • Watch first 18 episodes of ______  😛

After having done all of the above and spending some extra time considering pretty much nearly everything around the three shows, here is what I have to say:

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Black Clover started at a horrible time, as far as anime is known by the humans of this planet (and Grape-kun—R.I.P.). Having come to know some early facts about the series, both in manga and anime, there are four immediate points I can make right here and now.

One being that if Black Clover is intended to be running within a single cour, it would be the biggest mistake Pierrot has made for the show given how they practically wasted four episodes into ‘proving’ Asta’s character when the show’s supposed association, Naruto, had only taken a single episode to do the exact same thing. Obviously, the only way I can see the show being saved is to go two cour route.

The other point is that if Black Clover is intended to be a long running show, it would be struggling uncomfortably in its first few dozens of episodes. Recently and even further into the source material, the series does indeed heavily resemble Naruto in almost every damn way when it comes to the contents: two rival main characters and a ‘female lead’ *cough*, especially with a deadbeat talentlless protagonist at that.
Actually, I took the time to read some reviews on it and no surprises, the ‘most helpful’ review literally speaks my mind right now so, at his courtesy:

Edgy rival who has lots of talent, this time based on a myth that four-leaf clovers brings luck.
Protagonist wants to be the best of his world.
Bystanders always make fun of him (and Black Clover is trying to be a little funnier with the ‘birds’).
Demon-sourced powers triggered out of luck: five-leaf grimoire vs. Nine-Tail.
An obvious hero who save the city from a demon aeons ago: Wizard King vs. The Hokage
“Never give up is my magic/ninja way!”

Last but not even the least, main characters are orphans because having parents would mean that they’d unlikely be obnoxious, right?

Right, Asta? Right?!

Props to the anime for being self-aware; this scene here is anime original!

Some of these things above are practically the essentials. If anyone doesn’t want their work to be labelled Naruto then best they avoid majority of these. The staggering amount of resemblance brings me to wonder, “who would actually, willingly watch this?”
On top of my head are two obvious possibilities; Naruto haters and (diehard) battle shounen fans who can actually appreciate the genre.
Then there is another possibility I haven’t thought about until now, at the time I’m writing out this post:
People who did not grow up with Naruto or any other battle shounen shows but are attempting to experience what makes long running anime shows in the 90’s and especially early 2000’s so endearing.

So, IF Pierrot has indeed chose Black Cover to be the next long running battle shounen show then they should be ready for many obstacles on top of the eight things I have already mentioned earlier.
Its straightforward story and characters may have a lot in common with Naruto but the more often I watch Black Clover, especially at its fourth episode, the more I think that its world-building, presentation and style of direction lean much closer to Fairy Tail (now you know what fills the blank), both having a massive name convention that is considered cheesy even among English speakers. I swear to God, battle shounen anime is home to outrageous names, conjured up by drunk creators who are over-inspired by classic English RPG but actually never studied the meaning of the words they used for their characters’ names. This is actually a good reminder for me because World of Warcraft actually makes a GREAT use of name convention for NPC’s, you should check some out here (serious names) and here (hilarious names). There is actually an NPC named Hurp’derp in WoW.

I will leave you to decide on who wins the outrageous name contest: Black Clover or Fairy Tail?

Black Clover even has Jack the Ripper, OMG!

The two shows revolve around the ideal of a world where magic is (almost) everything—you really can’t ignore the fact that in Fairy Tail, friendship is above all and there is no telling if Black Clover would lean that way three hundred episodes later. Speaking of a world of magic; when the protagonist Asta has a magic nullifying ability embedded right into his main weapon, Black Clover once again is reaching out to mess with another show. This time it heavily borrows what makes Toaru Majutsu no Index a cheesy but great comedy based action…

Kamijou Touma is calling; he wants his ability back to his right hand—back to 2008!

Both shows also employ hype mechanics for the plots and have constant, overwhelming finisher in fights, no matter how significant.
Geeez, the list just goes on.

I have only talked about two of the four immediate points and I will apologize for having the second point being extremely long, because my rambling is not over just yet. It is now 2017 and Black Clover cannot get away for just being a battle shounen anime; like every shows coming out within the same season and after, it HAS to meet visual and audio standards. And for sure, the bar gets set higher year after year. More than just stories and characters, I think that the visuals standard is a bar Black Clover has to constantly overcome.

Let us not talk about Asta’s voi-
-scream; you know as much as I do about what to say regarding it.
For a standard fare to battle shounen anime, Black Clover has really baited me with over-the-top Sakuga and digital works used in their promotional video. Its debut episode followed up to exactly that, which had me felt great about the show.

Then whatever the hell happened to the second and third episodes? The fourth wasn’t even considered a visual upgrade by Pierrot’s standards. Though, Asta’s short battle was sure full of keen efforts. I have no complaints but I will not praise the battle show based on a single battle, not at least until I see more of the same thing so I can be sure that they aren’t doing it just for once.
The opening was nice, too. It easily captured the characters’ portraits—how we will mostly see them in the show (not so much on hearing because Asta lol)—something I actually love Pierrot for. And I don’t even think it is coincidence; I told you that I have watched some of Naruto, haven’t I?

The very first opening for Naruto really felt that way to me as well, so I’m happy that the studio still know its roots after more than a decade. There was clearly some Sakuga at work and some seriously great arts for a 2002 show.

And to prove similarities, for the last damn time: both openings have the rivalry ‘fists’.

The final point I want to make is how (I’ll say it again that) Black Clover has really started at a horrible time. Anime has come extremely far from the medium’s origins, it even managed to form a subculture, having a massive industry that works its way around. Today we have plethora of methods to access anime, which puts Black Clover in a massive initial disadvantage when it relies heavily on the things that make early 2000’s long running battle shounen anime successful. Unlike the times of Bleach of Naruto, when a lot of anime watchers had little to no choice even if they switch TV channels in hopes of finding something fitting their tastes, in the current time where Black Clover is sitting: most of us have the luxury to avoid the show because there are over thirty-and-a-half-thousand shows we can be watching instead.

This is where I will watch over the show and its audience to see how they will overcome the situation—to see if a classic can still be made.

To conclude this ramble/rant of mine: Instead of being a full on rip-off, I do believe that Black Clover is actually extremely over-inspired. There are so many ways you can animate three boring pages of the manga; who knows what talents in direction can do to source material alteration. We do not know the future so until it is over, keep the shit talk about the show to yourself, likewise I will keep mine to myself from now on (unless you ask me for it). Shall the show truly deserve to be shit on, the end may be worth blocking up the sewage pipe.
Yes, I am far from feeling like hailing this show as a battle shounen classic because it has a long way to go in achieving just that. But like many of you who still hold some kind of expectations, I will probably ride this one out with you. Even if it will take 50 episodes to separate from its associates, be grateful that there is even another show which has the potential of being a long running classic.

Thank you for reading. This is me NOT adhering to the Three Episode Rule for Black Clover and I am now signing out!

Have a safe trip going into and out from the show.  |^_^|

Farewell, church!

15 thoughts on “Three Episode Rule for Black Clover?

  1. The three episode rule really can’t be applied to anything that intends to be a long running series. It only kind of works as a rule for twelve episode shows because you have literally seen 1/4 of the show at that point and if you aren’t into it by then there’s little chance the next 3/4’s are going to change your mind. However, if you applied teh three episode rule to Bleach or Fairy Tail or One Piece, how much have you actually viewed?
    While Black Clover hasn’t really wowed me in any way shape or form yet, I kind of want it to get better because I’d love for something to fill that gap that has kind of been there since Bleach wrapped up. My gut feeling is that this probably won’t be that show because it is taking a long time to get around to doing anything, but at the same time I’m willing to give this longer to set up its story given the type of story it is than I might give to other shows. It will be interesting in a few more weeks where viewers are with this show and seeing how many dropped it, how many are enjoying it, and how many are still gritting their teeth and hoping it gets better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As opposed to what ice written, I got to episode 35 if Naruto by the time I finished writing this post. Yes, I was heavily distracted by the show—says a lot about how much impact the show still holds despite being old.
      But hear this out, even Naruto has unnecessary scenes and visual techniques in its first dozen episodes, enough to make anime fans today hard drop the show. Unlike Black Clover right now, I had the luxury to SKIP to the next entertaining part in line.
      I guess all of this would go under my fourth point Haha!

      This is also where we give Black Clover its time to become a thing, legit.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah pure coincidence rofl.
        He took more time to research and produced his content, though.
        The real difference between he and I is that he’s down right shitting on it, I am not.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well….I have never seen Naruto (except for one or two episodes). I never started on it, because of the enormous amount of episodes, that quite frankly put me off for ever watching this. I know it’s a classic, and I know how much praise it’s gotten, but I simply don’t have the time to watch 500 plus episodes. So…the only argument I have for this series is Asta’s scream erm voice. But since enough has been said about that already, I am not going to do that anymore. I actually liked this weeks episode. There were a couple of jokes that worked (for instance that remark that Asta said about the guy not being able to see with that hair in front of him), and overall I just thought it was much more entertaining. Is this now a show that I enjoy though? Hmm…it’s become bearable. I think if it continues to head in this direction it might actually become a fun show. So not giving up on it 😀 Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well there it is, a great insight from yours truly!

      Now that you’ve enlightened me a little, I feel like adding a little more under the fourth point that I have made:
      Unlike the big three in their early days, Black Clover is heavily competing for viewership and the most they can do is apparently create a living, walking lawnmower.
      It happens that Mother’s Basement pumped out his video just a moment before I finish writing this post. He has made a point about Asta’ s scream being one of the least serious issues for the show, let alone his character.

      What the long running battle shounen (especially the forbidden four) did well is to start small. So don’t fear getting into Naruto. Like me who has forgotten almost all of it, dive into a few first episodes. There will be ancient techniques and quirks for the characters that make you feel lie dropping. But remember, I’ve told Karandi this:
      We have the luxury to SKIP; use it to your heart’s content!
      That said, it got Good force from the 8th episode, so Black Clover in relation has more than enough reason to make mistakes now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm, okay, I will try and get into Naruto at some point. I know that I can’t stop my curiosity getting the better of me anyway with things like this. But I will keep your advice for skipping things in mind though 😀 Thanks! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thing is, I never liked Naruto. CN had Naruto running the same time as Yu Yu Hakusho in Animax, and between the two, what would you choose? Later, way later I picked up on the series again and 80 episode in, I lost interest. Like you said, it’s much easier to drop things in this day and age. Even if I skipped fillers, it’s still way to long and slow.
    I really want to like Black Clover now. It’s probably going to end up as one of those long series and this time at least, maybe I can stay here from the start. In some ways, I’m trying to understand what made Naruto so amazing for others through Black Clover. Is Black Clover going to do something that’s worth sticking around for long, is something to be seen though. I do feel they have improvement with the 4th episode and who knows, maybe it will get better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right! Anime has come so damn far to the point that the fans are able to even have tastes lol
      And with that in mind, Black Clover has more obstacles than just criticism towards itself; the quality of other shows (competitors) will forever put it in a tight spot, no matter how great it will become in later years…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can understand why people view Black Clover as a Naruto clone and thus move away from it. It doesn’t help that this season has some really great anime’s out.

    But I’ve watched a good amount of Naruto and read the manga, and the similarities between the two don’t really hold much weight, because both are just following Shounen tropes. Since Black Clover looks like it will be more than 12 episodes, I also agree that three episodes isn’t enough to fully judge it. It’s getting better and looks like it’s following its own path at the moment, so I’m enjoying it, which is weird since episode one wasn’t good at all.

    It kind of reminds me of Battle Royale and the Hunger Games (the first book only). At face value, they look the exact same, but once you look inside they have enough differences to be unique. I kind of feel, or at least hope, that is the same with Black Clover.

    Ps. I’ve also come to like Asta’s voice and self awareness. I can’t picture him sounding any different and it seems to suit the character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My question regarding three episode rule is almost rhetorical.
      The overall message I just wanted to lay out is that we have to let Black Clover do its thing over time. People are quick to throw the towel on it; they aren’t doing it as a sign of giving up but rather to literally cover/deter the show from being seen by its potential fans.

      It goes up with my idea about insecurity among anime fans when Eromanga-sensei exposed their lewd fantasies and brought it to light.
      What Black Clover is doing right now is emerging as, you can say it, ‘the next Naruto/Bleach/Fairy Tail’. And naturally, battle shounen fans (not just for Naruto but every other ones out there in general) are enraged as they continue to deny something which exists to embody many things that make their ‘favorite show’ great. That’s really it when you look at the big picture: fanboys defending their favorite show by putting down another. It’s the same degrading application you see in real life, especially at school and work places. Just horrible.
      I won’t ask you to trust me but yes, I have just made a bold claim after having randomly checked thirty profiles on MAL who have given Black Clover a rating of 1-3. The results did not surprise me at all:

      – 14 were people who voted their ‘favorite battle shounen show (you can actually tell which one when you finish looking at it)’ highly while rating everything else average and below. The most incomprehensible type of fanboy.
      – 6 were edge lords, ‘because they are cliche therefore they are a 2 (horrible)’ yet Boku no Hero Academia is a masterpiece (10). I can understand BnHA being a 10 but if that automatically means Black Clover is a 1, let alone a 3? All of my what.
      Just a personal message to all edge lords out there: If every show is close to or is exactly the same quality as Boku no Hero Academia, it would make the latter average at best. This is why we cannot have nice things.
      – 5 were people who just downright loathe battle shounen, 5 and below for every. single. damn. battle shounen shows out there, even the ones considered great by edge lords above.
      – 3 were the braves trying to defend Black Clover to death. Poor them.
      – 2 were the optimistic battle shounen fans who probably just want to see anything riding on these tropes. No question.

      I know it was a bit of work but I have only done that to get a little idea on what is going on with battle shounen anime and its fanbase, I couldn’t care less if they rated Boku no Pico a 10.
      The rough answer I came out with is, ‘a bunch of adolescent people showing off their testosterone levels’.

      Sorry for the long reply but hey, freedom of speech!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No need to apologize, I enjoyed reading it and agree with you.

        Fandoms are like that though, which is why I view it as almost religious because in order to prove that their favourites are the best thing they’ll put down everything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have to give a show a chance… Though I have only ever given Nana a chance and nothing else, I am a stupid hypocrite. Most other shows I don’t bother to watch. I think a good general rule is about halfway through a series before you decide to go HAM on how much you don’t like it… But my opinions are bad and wrong. Anywho that is what I think.


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