Blu-Ray Review: Black Clover – Season 1 Part 2

The adventure to become the Wizard King returns and this time the Blu-Ray (and DVD) sets are being released by Manga Entertainment UK. So what can one expect? Not much but at least the discs themselves are replications of those mastered by FUNimation so we receive all of the same supplementary content.

Synopsis:

Asta’s hard work is gaining him recognition from the Wizard King and he’s given a new task—investigate a magical dungeon!

Together with Noelle and Luck, he’ll learn they weren’t the only ones sent to explore. Yuno and his Golden Dawn teammates are also after the secrets. But their race to the treasure takes a dangerous turn when they come up against mages from the Diamond Kingdom.

Our View:

The ‘slow’ journey to become the Wizard King continues in this second instalment of Black Clover’s first season and despite a few interesting magical duels, and revelations of a potential bigger threat lurking in the background, it remains an unimaginative series filled with loud shouting, grunts and mediocre animated magic battles. The traits of a Shonen anime are strong within Black Clover but with such a drawn out story, and only a handful of episodes presented, it’s nothing short of being over all too soon.

Picking up directly where the first part ended, of which saw Asta and Noelle as newcomers of the Black Bull guild protect a village from evil mages, we find the Black Bulls awarded a star from the Magic Emperor as well as the Magic Investigation Department beginning to investigate the numerous sinister events that are occurring within the world. This singular episode acts as a ‘stop-gap’ to the next arc and as such sees Asta and Noelle go shopping after being paid for their services as guild members. It’s a singular episode that serves no real purpose other than illustrating the world of Black Clover; and in my mind at least it looks very similar to the world of Harry Potter – especially Diagon Alley.

Regardless of the similarities it does highlight that the Wizard King is keeping an eye on those within the world. The next selection of episodes meanwhile moves the focus away from the Black Bulls and instead puts it on on Asta’s childhood friend, and rival, Yuno. Yuno, along with new guild mates Klaus Lunettes and Mimosa Vermillion, are in the process of escorting a noble known as Salim Hapshass; but this is nothing but a rouse in order for Salim to test Yuno’s magical abilities and skills. Once again it is a slow moving story, albeit paced over two episodes; but it does act as a way of reintroduction characters and the abilities they wield.

The remaining episodes meanwhile focus on the arrival of a new dungeon; with both the Black Bulls and Golden Dawn venturing into the dungeon in order to earn the rewards it may hold. Although the Black Bulls and Golden Dawn compete against each other in order to reach the centre they find themselves suddenly attacked by mysterious magic wielders and in turn team-up in order to defeat this common threat. It is a rather interesting battle and sees some interesting magic being wielded; but more importantly it allows Asta to demonstrate his unique abilities to that of Yuno. Naturally this latter selection of episodes delivers the better storyline; even if it does feel slightly long-winded.

Extras:

Once again FUNimation delivers a strong-collection of supplementary content with this Season 1 Part 2 release of Black Clover; but sadly it is mostly catered to those who are fans of the English Dub. I must stress that I have no issues with the English dub, as it is a strong dub by FUNimation, but it would be nice to see Japanese centric content being included alongside this English produced content.

In this case fans will find an Interview with the Production Cast, which takes place inside the New Studio J within FUNimations recording studio, three epiode breakdown events and a special selection of Black Clover Clips. These are in addition to the usual inclusion of textless opening and closing songs.

Naturally this selection of supplementary content caters to the fans of the English Dub, especially the “Interview inside Studio J” and “Black Clover Highlights” as these both feature the production cast and English voice over cast provide details on what it is like working on the English Dub production of the show as well as their experiences within the characters in those episodes. If you enjoy both the show and the English Dub then you might find some insightful and entertaining aspects; but for me it did feel like a slightly tedious experience with giggles and laughter rather than informative insights.

In my mind the highlight of these bonus features is the Clover Clips Special Edition. Available in both English and Japanese this features characters from Black Clover in chibi form taking part in various activities. More importantly these are different to the Clover Clips that appear at the end of each episode, which surprisingly are not available to watch in separately from the episodes themselves.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 2:47:04 (Disc 1), 47:44 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby True HD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Black Clover – Season 1 Part 2 continues the magic-fuelled shonen story and caters to those who wish to continue the story of Asta wanting to become the Wizard King. Usually I enjoy a shonen styled series (One Piece and Dragon Ball Z for instance); but I am finding it difficult to enjoy Black Clover. Whether this is the drawn-out approach to story events, the lacklustre approach to creating a common threat or just the fact that Asta is consistently annoying with his constant shouting.

Regardless this second instalment of Black Clover delivers another nine episodes, in a set we would usually expect twelve or thirteen episodes, of which we see Asta, Noelle and Luck explore the Dungeon and team-up with another Magic Knights Guild known as Golden Dawn in order to stop an enemy with an alternate agenda. This is the main focal point of this part and helps demonstrate the magical strengths of the different characters in this world. In addition to this story we have three episodes which explore Juno’s adventures within the world of his new guild as well as a shopping trip with Asta and Noelle; all of which act as a brief ‘calm before the storm’ type of scenario.

Naturally my complaints with the first part continue in this second part; a small selection of episodes that seemingly go nowhere other than a single fight. It reminds me of the ‘volume’ days of Dragon Ball Z; but much worse as at least those episodes had some kind of progression. Despite my consistent complaints of disappointment we do receive a selection of supplementary content including cast interviews, documentary videos which explore the world of Black Clover and Black Clover Shorts; of which are also presented in either English and Japanese. Naturally we do not receive any Japanese related supplementary content; but we do receive a lot of English produced content that will cater to those who like the English dub.

Once again Black Clover – Season 1 Part 2 remains consistent with other FUNimation produced releases, with white (clearly readable subtitles) that translate text, dialogue and songs in addition to a strong English dub that is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound. Overall this release of Black Clover – Season 1 Part 2 is consistent, as one would expect, with other FUNimation authored releases and has a strong selection of supplementary content; but the selection of episodic content – and the events that transpire – leave more than what is desired. If you enjoyed the first part then you’ll enjoy what this second half has to offer; other than that you might find yourself being just as disappointed as me.

Score: review-stars-2

Black Clover – Season 1 Part 2 will be available on the 27th May 2019 within the UK as separate Blu-Ray and DVD sets.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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