Blu-Ray Review: Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5

The black bulls return for the final instalment of the first season but what escapades can we expect to see from them? Let’s take a look with our Blu-Ray review of Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5.

Synopsis:

A trip to the beach isn’t fun in the sun for Asta and the Black Bulls—they’re on a mission to recover a magic stone! Deep in the Underwater Temple lies new danger and mages with extraordinary powers. But getting in is the first challenge!

Luckily, Noelle receives help from a mysterious girl with song magic to master a new spell to help her team. But real danger makes a splash when, Vetto of the Third Eye, storms the temple! He takes out Asta’s friends and allies, with unimaginable strength, like they’re nothing. Can the magicless mage face all odds and take on the beastly villain?

Our View:

The anime adaptation of Yūki Tabata’s manga series Black Clover may have gotten off to an unexpected slow and shaky start, but this fifth instalment into the first season builds upon its foundations to deliver one of the best presented story arcs that brings the characters together. In hindsight the first four parts acted as the long-winded introduction to the world of Black Clover, and the characters within the Black Bulls Magic Guild, but here we get to see the team working as a unit; but more importantly than that it is animated to a higher standard than in previous parts – well mostly at least.

Taking place, naturally, after the events of the fourth instalment, we find that the Black Bulls team are preparing to take a visit to the beach. At first this glance this seems like the usual “fan-service” themed episode, as we get to see the female cast in their bikini’s as well as shop for them in earnest, but in actuality it is the beginning of a new story arc. In this case the Black Bulls have been requested by the Wizard King to retrieve a magic stone located in an underwater temple, but before that Noelle must learn how to use her abilities as a water mage so that they can reach the temple itself.

This change of pace puts Noelle’s abilities at the forefront of the story and as such we learn further about her upbringing in a noble family and the difficulties she has had to overcome, but more importantly than that Noelle makes a new friend in the form of kahono from the underwater temple. Through this friendship, and the relationship she has had with the Black Bulls, she learns how to use her magic more effectively in both attack and defence. Training aside the focus within this Story Arc is a game between the Head Priest of the underwater Temple and the Black Bulls, which provides its own source of comedy and intensity.

In this scenario the priest of the Underwater temple challenges his children to attack the black bull members one and one – with the team left standing being awarded the magic stone. To some, such as Lucky, this sound like a great challenge; but to others, such as Noelle and Finral – who do not know how to fight one-on-one – it provides some problems that they must overcome. Regardless these handful of episodes proceed forward with Mages doing battle amongst themselves, with each managing to put up a decent fight; that is until a real threat appears.

Just like with previous story arcs, especially those within the third and fourth parts, a member of the Eye of the Midnight Sun interrupts the events taking place and as such the two groups team up in order to defeat him. As far as battles go then this battle is easily one of the best seen, both in pacing and animation quality, as firstly we see characters do battle one-on-one with Vetto, who in turn is a beast of some kind, before we see members of the black bulls team-up for explosive combination attacks.

In true Shonen form this battle lasts several episodes and each episode sees the battles intensity rise up until it reaches its conclusion, which also comes about in a rather dramatic fashion from Captain Yami. It is later revealed that the Eye of the Midnight Sun are attempting to collect all of the Magic Stones in order to use a Magic Stone tablet for global destruction, but alas the Wizard King and the Black Bulls (along with other magic guilds) are now working together to stop this from occurring.

Speaking of which this fifth instalment ends with the border of the Clover Kingdom being attacked and the threat of war looming in the background. Difficult times lie ahead for the characters but at least the entertainment and pacing is starting to act more familiar and in line with a traditional Shonen series – especially this fifth, and last, instalment into the first season.

Extras:

As with previous Black Clover releases viewers will find an extensive selection of supplementary content that range from English created content, such as interviews with the English Dub cast, to Japanese promotional materials and textless songs.

All of the supplementary content can be found on the Bonus Disc with “Inside Studio J” and “Inside the Episodes” providing some insightful thoughts and opinions from the English voice cast, as well as an audio commentary for the final episode of the season. In each of these segments the English Voice actors, usually with the director, will discuss their experiences with the show and how it is produced. The “Inside the Episode” segments meanwhile see English voice cast members related to those specific episodes answering questions that were asked from the FUNimation and Black Clover social media channels.

In addition to this selection of “insightful” content we also have the inclusion of even more Clover Clips, of which are different to those included at the end of each episode, and feature an alternate story of sorts related to the episodes included on the disc. Finally we then have the original Japanese Promotional Materials and textless songs related to those featured within this set. In short it is another well-rounded selection of bonus features; especially if you are a fan of the English Dub cast and how it is produced.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 2:47:04 (Disc 1),  1:59:20 (Disc 2),
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby  TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The fifth, and final, instalment for Season One of Black Clover delivers an entertaining storyline combined with a unique enemy and it seems that the overall story of Black Clover is starting to bare fruit. Of course at fifty-one episodes this isn’t anything to be ‘overly’ excited for but if you have been paitiently waiting like I have for something interesting and entertaining to happen then the wait is finally over. A strong cast of characters, an oddly balanced team with a common objective combined with a well presented animation makes Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5 a thoroughly entertaining watch.

As a short summary the events within Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5 see the Black Bulls tasked with retrieving the magic stone from an underwater temple but in order to reach this temple Noelle must be able to control her magic. Through rigorous training, and some helpful advice, Noelle manages to guide them to the underwater temple but upon arriving its declared that the Black Bulls must fight against the priests sons and daughters in a winner take all match. These fights proceed, with each character showing off their highlights, but it all changes once Vetto, a member of the Eye of the Sun, arrives to claim the prize. An intense battle ensues with the winners of the fight taking the spoils.

It’s a simplistic shonen adventure but behind the punches and violence we see dreams being forged, whether it be Noelle and Asta wanting to better themselves or the members of the underwater temple reaching for the surface, they all add a bit of backbone to what (even by its own) is a decent enough story. In terms of this Blu-Ray release by Manga Entertainment UK then it offers the same consistency as with previous releases of the series backed up with an impressive selection of bonus features. Audio and Subtitle quality also remain consistent as does the overall picture quality; so no complaints here.

Overall Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5 is just a continuation of the overall story where sees Asta wanting to become the Wizard King and in doing so becoming a stronger knight but in this scenario we see an entertaining story filled with fan-service, comedy and intense fights. Ironically the episodic presentation is eerily similar to that of the fourth part but the difference is that this time the whole team works together. Regardless of its content, the Blu-Ray release remains consistent with previous parts and continues to deliver the story to UK fans on physical media. Naturally this release is one for the Black Clover fans.

Score: review-stars-4

Black Clover – Season 1 Part 5 will be available on Blu-Ray (and DVD) from the 14th October 2019 via Manga Entertainment UK.

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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