Black Clover

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Black Clover
Black Clover, volume 1.jpg
The cover of the first volume of Black Clover featuring Asta and Yuno
ブラッククローバー
(Burakku Kurōbā)
GenreAdventure, fantasy[1]
Manga
Written byYūki Tabata
Published byShueisha
English publisher
ImprintJump Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
DemographicShōnen
Original runFebruary 16, 2015 – present
Volumes26 (List of volumes)
Original animation DVD
Directed byTakashi Noto
Written byTakamitsu Kōno
Music byYūya Mori
StudioXebec Zwei
ReleasedMay 2, 2017
Runtime27 minutes
Anime television series
Directed byTatsuya Yoshihara
Produced by
  • Masahiro Sugasawa
  • Maiko Isotani
  • Naomi Komatsu
Written byKazuyuki Fudeyasu
Music byMinako Seki
StudioPierrot
Licensed by
Original networkTXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Original run October 3, 2017 – present
Episodes155[2] (List of episodes)
Manga
Asta's Journey to Wizard King
Written byYūki Tabata
Illustrated bySetta Kobayashi
Published byShueisha
MagazineSaikyō Jump
DemographicShōnen
Original runFebruary 2, 2018 – present
Volumes1
Game
Black Clover: Quartet Knights
PublisherBandai Namco Entertainment
PlatformPlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Released
  • JP: September 13, 2018
Manga
Black Clover Gaiden: Quartet Knights
Written byYūki Tabata
Illustrated byYumiya Tashiro
Published byShueisha
MagazineShōnen Jump+
DemographicShōnen
Original runOctober 7, 2018April 12, 2020
Volumes3
Original net animation
Squishy! Black Clover
Directed byTsukasa Nishiyama
Written by
  • Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
  • Kanichi Katou
StudioDLE
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Released July 1, 2019 August 19, 2019
Episodes8
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Black Clover (Japanese: ブラッククローバー, Hepburn: Burakku Kurōbā) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. The story centers around Asta, a young boy seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in. With his fellow mages from the Black Bulls, Asta plans to become the next Wizard King. It has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since February 2015, and has been collected into 25 tankōbon volumes as of July 2020.

The manga has been adapted into an original video animation produced by Xebec Zwei, which was released in 2017, as well an anime television series produced by Pierrot, which also premiered in Japan in October 2017.

The manga series has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, while the anime series is licensed by Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Plot[edit]

The series focuses on Asta, a young orphan who was raised from birth after being abandoned at the doorstep of an orphanage in Hage village along with his fellow orphan, Yuno. While everyone is born with the ability to utilize Mana in the form of Magical Power (魔力, Maryoku), Asta is the only exception. He tries to gain magical power through physical training. Conversely, Yuno was born as a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control wind magic. Motivated by a desire to become the next Wizard King, an authority figure second to the king of Clover Kingdom, the two youths developed a friendly rivalry. Yuno obtains a legendary four-leaf grimoire held by the kingdom's first Wizard King. Asta, despite his lack of magic, obtained the mysterious five-leaf grimoire (which cannot be clearly identified by others since it is worn out), which contains mysterious elf swords and rare anti-magic. Afterward, he and Yuno each join a Magic Knight squad as the first step to fulfill their ambitions. Throughout the story Asta and Yuno embark on various adventures, as they make a name for themselves throughout the Clover Kingdom. Both characters strive to one day hold the title of Wizard King.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata, Black Clover has been serialized in Shueisha's manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since February 16, 2015.[3] The manga is Tabata's second series in Weekly Shōnen Jump: his first series, Hungry Joker (ハングリー ジョーカー, Hangurī Jōkā), was launched in the magazine on November 12, 2012, where it ran for 24 chapters before being cancelled in 2013.[4][5] The chapters have been collected into tankōbon volumes by Shueisha since June 4, 2015.[6] In total, there are 259 chapters and 25 tankōbon volumes.[7]

On February 9, 2015, Viz Media announced that they would publish the first three chapters of the series in their Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine as part of their "Jump Start" program in North America.[8] On March 30, 2015, they announced that the series would join their weekly lineup, beginning with chapter 4 on April 6, and publishing at an accelerated rate until the chapters were current with Japan.[9][10] Plans to release the series in print were announced during their panel at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2015.[11] Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the app and website Manga plus in February 2019.[12]

Spin-offs[edit]

On February 2, 2018, a gag manga spin-off illustrated by Setta Kobayashi titled Asta's Journey to Wizard King (アスタくん魔法帝への道, Asta-kun Mahōtei e no Michi) launched in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump.[13] The manga has been collected in one tankōbon volume.[14]

On September 30, 2018, a manga based on the video game Black Clover: Quartet Knights launched on Shōnen Jump+ app on October 7, 2018.[15] The manga finished on April 12, 2020.[16] As of October 3, 2020, it has been collected in twenty-four tankōbon volumes.[17]

Anime[edit]

An original video animation produced by Xebec Zwei that is based on the series was shown at the 2016 Jump Festa between November 27 and December 18, 2016.[18][19][20] It was bundled with the 11th volume of the manga, which was released on May 2, 2017.[21] A second original video animation was shown at the 2018 Jump Festa.[22]

At the Black Clover Jump Festa event on December 18, 2016, an anime television series adaptation by Pierrot was announced.[21] It is directed by Tatsuya Yoshihara, with Kazuyuki Fudeyasu writing scripts, Itsuko Takeda doing character designs, and Minako Seki composing the music.[23] The series premiered on October 3, 2017,[24][25] with the first two seasons each consisted of 51 episodes.[26][27] Season 3 premiered on October 1, 2019.[28]

Crunchyroll is simulcasting the series,[29] while Funimation is producing an English dub as part of its Simuldub program as it airs.[30][31] Adult Swim's Toonami programming block premiered the English dub on December 2, 2017.[32] Sony Pictures UK and Funimation released the first part of the series on home video in the United Kingdom and Ireland,[33] with subsequent parts released by Manga Entertainment.[34] Universal Sony classified the first part of the series for release in Australia and New Zealand, on behalf of Funimation,[35] with Madman Entertainment releasing subsequent parts.[36]

The anime has been broadcast without any major interruption until late April 2020, when it was announced that future episodes would be postponed based on studio production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The broadcasting and distribution of episode 133 onward was delayed and in its place, the first episode of the series was rebroadcast on May 5, 2020.[37] The series resumed on July 7, 2020.[38]

A short original net animation titled Squishy! Black Clover (むぎゅっと!ブラッククローバー, Mugyutto! Burakku Kurōbā), produced by DLE and directed by Tsukasa Nishiyama, began airing on dTV on July 1, 2019. The opening theme song for the short is "POSSIBLE" by Gakuto Kajiwara and Nobunaga Shimazaki, under the name "Clover×Clover".[39] Crunchyroll made the short available internationally on December 31, 2019.[40]

Video games[edit]

At Jump Festa 2017, a video game, titled Black Clover: Quartet Knights, was announced for a 2018 release on PlayStation 4 and PC.[41] It was developed by Ilinx and published by Bandai Namco.[42] It was released in Japan on September 13, 2018,[43] while the western release was on September 14, 2018.[44] A mobile game called Black Clover: Phantom Knights (ブラッククローバー 夢幻の騎士団, Burakku Kurōbā: Mugen no Kishidan) has been announced.[45] It was released in Japan on November 14, 2018.[46] On December 6, 2019, Bandai Namco Entertainment announced that the game would be released on January 16, 2020.[47]

Asta is featured as a playable character in the Weekly Shōnen Jump crossover game Jump Force.[48]

Reception[edit]

Manga[edit]

Sales[edit]

Volume 1 reached 23rd place on the weekly Oricon manga charts, with 38,128 copies sold;[49] volume 2 reached 17th place, with 61,918 copies;[50] volume 3 also reached 17th place, with 80,462 copies;[51][52] volume 4 reached 13th place, with 93,866 copies;[53][54] volume 5 reached 15th place, with 108,503 copies;[55][56] and volume 6 reached 11th place, with 118,783 copies.[57][58] As of January 2019, the manga had 7 million copies in circulation,[59] 9 million copies in circulation as of October 2019,[60] and over 10 million copies in circulation as of August 2020.[61]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing the series for ComicsAlliance, Tom Speelman described the premise as "what if Harry Potter was a knight and also kinda dumb?" He recommended it for fans of Naruto and Fairy Tail, noting its similarities to the former series as well as to Bleach. He praised the author's ability to invigorate stock characters.[4] Henry Ma of Ka Leo O Hawaii praised the series' humor and art, noting that the latter was "very nice" and was similar to Fairy Tail.[62] However, not all critics were positive, with a board of comic book writers at San Diego Comic-Con listing the manga as one of the worst from 2016.[63]

Anime[edit]

In November 2019, Crunchyroll listed Black Clover in their "Top 100 best anime of the 2010s".[64]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Official Website for Black Clover". Viz Media. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  2. ^ ブラッククローバー Chapter XV*Blu-ray. Amazon (in Japanese). Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  3. ^ Valdez, Kiara (January 29, 2015). "Shonen Jump to Launch 4 Manga, Including Detective Story by Psyren's Iwashiro". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Speelman, Tom (March 17, 2016). "Big Spells, Bigger Swords: Should You Be Reading 'Black Clover'?". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Shonen Jump to Launch 3 New Manga Series in November". Anime News Network. October 21, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  6. ^ ブラッククローバー 1 [Black Clover 1]. Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  7. ^ ブラッククローバー 24 [Black Clover 24]. Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Viz's Shonen Jump to Add Yūki Tabata's Black Clover Fantasy Manga (Update)". Anime News Network. February 9, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  9. ^ "Viz's Shonen Jump Adds Yūki Tabata's Black Clover Fantasy Manga to Regular Line-Up". Anime News Network. March 30, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  10. ^ Green, Scott (March 31, 2015). ""Black Clover" to Join English "Shonen Jump"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Viz Media Adds Kuroko's Basketball, Haikyu!!, Yona of the Dawn Manga". Anime News Network. October 9, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Shueisha Launches Free Global MANGA Plus Service". Anime News Network. January 27, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  13. ^ "Black Clover Gets Gag Manga Spinoff". Anime News Network. January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  14. ^ アスタくん魔法帝への道 1 [Asta's Journey to Wizard King 1]. Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  15. ^ "Black Clover: Quartet Knights Game Gets Manga Adaptation". Anime News Network. September 30, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (April 5, 2020). "Black Clover Gaiden: Quartet Knights Manga Ends on April 12". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  17. ^ ブラッククローバー外伝 カルテットナイツ 3 [Black Clover Gaiden: Quartet Knights 3]. Shueisha (in Japanese). Retrieved October 4, 2019.
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  20. ^ "XEBEC Animates Black Clover Manga's Event Anime". Anime News Network. October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Yūki Tabata's Black Clover Manga Gets TV Anime by Studio Pierrot (Updated)". Anime News Network. December 18, 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
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  24. ^ "Black Clover TV Anime Premieres This Year". Anime News Network. July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
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  26. ^ "Black Clover Anime Unveils Visual for New Season". Anime News Network. September 21, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  27. ^ "'Black Clover' Revises Initial Episode Order". Comicbook. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "Black Clover Anime Reveals New Theme Song Artists". Anime News Network. September 29, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  29. ^ "Crunchyroll to Stream Black Clover Anime Series Starting in October". Anime News Network. July 15, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  30. ^ "Funimation to Simuldub Black Clover Anime This Fall". Anime News Network. September 1, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  31. ^ "Funimation Reveals Black Clover English Dub Cast, October 29 Premiere". Anime News Network. October 26, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  32. ^ "Toonami to Air Black Clover Anime Starting December 2". Anime News Network. November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  33. ^ "Sony Pictures UK to release Black Clover anime series for home video release!". Anime UK News. June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  34. ^ Stevens, Josh A. (February 15, 2019). "Manga UK's Spring Slate Adds DARLING in the FRANXX, Black Clover & More!". Anime UK News. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  35. ^ "BLACK CLOVER SEASON 1 PART 1". Australian Classification Board. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  36. ^ "Black Clover Season 1 Part 2 DVD / Blu-Ray Combo". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  37. ^ "Black Clover Episode 133 release date delayed: Black Clover Chapter 249 also on hiatus due to coronavirus". Monsters and Critics. April 28, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  38. ^ Hazra, Adriana (June 21, 2020). "Black Clover Anime Resumed on July 7". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  39. ^ 「ブラクロ」がショートアニメに、主題歌は梶原岳人×島崎信長の限定ユニット. Comic Natalie. July 1, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  40. ^ Luster, Joseph (December 31, 2019). "Squishy! Black Clover Anime Spinoff Hits Crunchyroll Today". Crunchyroll News. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
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  44. ^ "Black Clover: Quartet Knights Game Heads West on September 14". Anime News Network. May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  45. ^ "Black Clover Manga Gets Smartphone Game this Year". Anime News Network. April 22, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  46. ^ "Black Clover: Mugen no Kishidan Smartphone Game Launches in Japan". Anime News Network. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  47. ^ "Black Clover Phantom Knights Smartphone Game Launches in English". Anime News Network. January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  48. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (December 14, 2018). "Black Clover's Asta Joins Jump Force Game's Lineup". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
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  50. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, August 3–9". Anime News Network. August 12, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  51. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, September 28-October 4". Anime News Network. October 7, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  52. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, October 5–11". Anime News Network. October 14, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  53. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, November 30-December 6". Anime News Network. December 9, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  54. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, December 7–13". Anime News Network. December 16, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  55. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, February 29-March 6". Anime News Network. March 9, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  56. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, March 7–13". Anime News Network. March 16, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  57. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, May 2–8". Anime News Network. May 11, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  58. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, May 9–15". Anime News Network. May 18, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  59. ^ "Roundup of Newly Revealed Print Counts for Manga, Light Novel Series - January 2019". Anime News Network. February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  60. ^ 安斉かれん、新曲「人生は戦場だ」とアニメ『ブラッククローバー』のコラボCMが話題に. ExciteJapan (in Japanese). October 24, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  61. ^ Snow Man 佐久間大介、声優デビューで話題 『ブラクロ』オリキャラ役でトレンド入り. Oricon (in Japanese). August 25, 2020. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  62. ^ Ma, Henry (April 20, 2015). "Manga Mondays: 'Black Clover' special review". Ka Leo O Hawaii. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  63. ^ Ellard, Amanda (July 25, 2017). "Best and Worst Manga of 2016 Results - Comic-Con International". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  64. ^ Wolf, Ian (November 27, 2019). "Crunchyroll Names The Top 100 Anime of the 2010s". Anime UK News. Retrieved November 27, 2019.

External links[edit]