Black Clover Manga: An Overview of Black Clover by Yuki Tabata
Manga, or comics and graphic novels originating from Japan, have been gaining rapid traction for a while now. As the literary versions of the legendary anime, they have a huge deal of popularity in the global market. To break down the etymology of manga, it is a combination of words that mean ‘whimsical’ and ‘art’, referring to weird and surreal narratives embellished by traditional Japanese art. One such whimsical narrative that is on everyone’s tongues right now is the Black Clover Manga series by Japanese writer and artist Yuki Tabata.
Black Clover Manga combines the genres of action and adventure with comedy, drama and fantasy. And thus this supernatural action drama is a treat for manga readers. At the heart of this series is Asta. Asta is basically an orphan who grows up in an orphanage along with a friend, Yuno. Contrary to popular fantasy narratives, Asta is born without any magical powers to helm him. In a world where magic is mundane and everyone possesses magical powers harnessed through mana, Asta is different because of his lack of magical prowess. His companion Yuno, conversely, is prodigious at manipulating magic for his purposes. However, Asta’s lack of magical powers does not in any way signal his lack of ambition. He has a singular goal. This is to become the next Wizard King, the second most powerful person in the land, next only to the king.
For their purposes, the healthily competitive friends begin their search for magic grimoires. Yuno finds a very powerful, four leafed one through his magical prowess. However, by a stroke of luck akin to a miracle, Asta finds a five leafed one – it contains elf swords and a bodiless member of the Devil race who uses anti-magic. Following this discovery, Asta joins the Black Bulls, a Magic Knight Squad. Yuno also becomes the member of another Magic Knight Squad, Golden Dawn. Together they rival the Eye of the Midnight, which the Devil heads. The Magic Knights thus face the Dark Triads (headed by the Devil) and try to defeat their purpose of manifesting devils in the kingdom.
One of the many reasons Black Clover manga is so popular is that it is a light and breezy read. It is not full of heavy, serious themes that weigh readers down. Plus, it has a humorous edge to it that elevates the adventure and action aspect of the manga. But despite this, the manga does not have a languorous pace. In fact, it is quite fast paced, with things happening all the time. The comic timing in this case provides relief. Additionally, the supporting characters are not just props in advancing the story. They are real, fleshed out characters who add value to the story. The artwork is also fine and detailed, which adds to the mood of the story itself. With a brilliant play of light and shadow, the illustrations are entirely in black and while, which elevates the book to a whole new level.
Most criticisms against the manga say that it is not original enough and borrows elements from hyperreal fantastical books and manga. This might have a little bit of truth, considering that the series includes a lot of stereotypical and cliché elements, but it’s fun regardless. It might not be ground-breaking in terms of its plot or worldbuilding, but it’s easily enjoyable and very fun. It also keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The hugely popular franchise has several adaptations already existing or in the works. An anime film is going to roll soon, while a video game with the same title already exists on PS4s and PCs. A mobile game is also in the works currently, and might launch later this year. A video animation obviously exists, with Xebec Zwei as the producer. But before you get to any of these, the Black Clover Manga deserves all your attention and devotion.