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

The adventure of Asta continues with a twist in Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2, which is coming to Blu-Ray and DVD in the via Manga Entertainment UK.

Synopsis:

The Queen of Witches makes Asta her puppet, but a new spell in Vanessa’s grimoire will put the strings of fate into her hands. Meanwhile, the Magic Knights let loose at the Star Festival! Can they keep it together and make it to the ceremony on time?

Our View:

The second instalment into the second season of Black Clover not only provides the least amount of episodes in a set, but it also lacks the narrative drive one would hoped to receive from a long-running shonen series. This is not filler content, but it may as well.

Initially the events of Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2 begins with the conclusion to the Queen of Witches arc; a story which sees Vanessa, Noelle, Asta and Finral venture to the Witches Forest in hopes of obtaining a cure for Asta’s arms from the Queen of Witches. As seen within the previous instalment the story unfolds with rival kingdoms doing battle with one another and the Black Bulls protecting the Witches Forest from destruction; but at the end of the battle the Queen of Witches takes control of Asta and demand she kills the survivors.

The two episodes of this second instalment focuses entirely on the conclusion of that Story Arc, with Vanessa not only unlocking a new power within her grimoire, a power of which the Queen had been trying to obtain for herself, but also understanding more about her origins and dreams. It’s an eventful few episodes and is easily the highlight to a rather interesting story arc. With the battle over the Queen of Witches, along with new allies in each of the previously attacking Kingdoms, we learn of additional plot details that further highlight the dangers of their fore; the eye of the midnight sun.

Following on from the conclusion of the previous arc the series takes a slight detour with the third episode in this set being a recap episode that reminds us of the past antics from the Black Bulls. Additional scenes, through the conversations of Klaus, Yuno and Mimosa, offer a different approach to storytelling but alas it is still a recap episode that can easily be skipped. Although this episode can be skipped (if you so desire) it just illustrate the rivalry between Yuno and Asta; with Yuno taking a great interest in Asta’s antics since joining the Black Bulls.

Finally the last seven episodes contained within this second instalment of season two give us an insight into the Star Festival and the aftermath of its results. The Star Festival is an actively discussed subjection within the kingdom, as not only is it a celebration of the Magic Knight Squads heroic efforts but it also sees the Wizard King announces the yearly results of top Star Earners from each Squad. There isn’t really a story to be found here, so it is just mindless banter between different squad members – including an interesting food stall rivalry between two of the captains – but it does illustrate some potential budding relationships between various different characters.

For instance after meeting Kahono and Kiato and restoring their damaged bodies using magic from the Queen of Witches, Kahono attempt to get Asta and Noelle together as a couple – which naturally causes Noelle to act irrational and soon starts to doubt her own feelings. Elsewhere at the festival Charlotte’s own feeling for Yami begin to surface – which naturally Yami is oblivious to.

It’s not all ‘fun and games’ at the Festival as soon enough Mereoleona of House Vermillion arranges for a training camp with the Black Bulls and all must fend for themselves while climbing the mountain to a hot springs; and of course we get the traditional hot springs element with your typical anime tropes.

The events that transpire within Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2 are varied and as such do not deliver the consistent adventure you might expect from the series. In short this a ‘stop-gap’ part that brings a conclusion to one arc, while slowly introducing other squads and building them up for the next major story arc. On paper it sounds acceptable, but in reality it doesn’t offer much other than filler type content. Magic spells destruction but you won’t find much of either here.

Extras:

My thoughts on Black Clover being a ‘mediocre’ series remain unchanged, even more so with this second instalment of season two; but once again the selection of bonus features included on this Blu-Ray disc continues to excel and outshine the intended source material.

In this particular release we have a variety of “Inside the Episode” segments,a selection of “Clover Clip” Episodes, an English Cast commentary and textless songs. Compared to other Anime releases this is an ‘exceptional’ selection of bonus content; but for a Black Clover release then this is pretty much all standard.

Once again the “Inside the Episode” segments take a closer look at the English Dub production and, for one particular episode, even sees Christopher Sabat having a bit of fun as both the voice of Yami and the Audio Director for the episode. The Inside the Episode segments each provide an insightful look into the world of dubbing and a great fun to watch.

The Clover Clip Episodes, another traditional Blu-Ray bonus feature, also provide that added alternative ‘chibi form’ storyline with characters from the main series. If you are looking for short bursts of Chibi fun, then these will offer something for you.

The final selection of bonus features are English Cast Commentary, which for once is actually both insightful and rather amusing to listen to, as well as textless opening and ending songs. As mentioned, for a Black Clover release it is all standard; but at the same time provide additional content that makes owning this release even more worthwhile than the episodic content.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 2:23:12 (Disc 1), 1:11:36 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 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:

As you would imagine Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2 is a continuation of the story that sees Asta become a Magic Knight as part of the Black Bulls team, but the only highlight from this instalment is the conclusion to the Queen of Witches story arc. The remaining elements of the instalment do provide some further insight, especially relating to the other Magic Knight Teams, and small portions of character development for Asta and Noelle; but that aside it is a rather shallow experience.

Put simply the episodes and the events within could be seen as ‘calm before the storm’ so the remaining parts should prove far more entertaining; especially when it comes to the Eye of the Midnight Sun. As a first timer watcher of Black Clover I am taking each episode ‘as they come’ and so my enjoyment of the series, overall, continues to be mediocre – with this instalment, excluding the first two episodes, being the worst of them all. Naturally those wishing to watch, or own the series to its entirety, need to watch all of the episodes; but you are not missing out on much if you opt to skip a few episodes.

Although my experience with Black Clover continues to be ‘hit and miss’ – something which I have often illustrated in other reviews – this latest instalment remains consistent with previous sets. As such fans will find a strong voice cast for both English and Japanese audio tracks (and Yes, I still find Asta annoying) alongside a wealth of bonus features that, in this particular release, far exceeds the entertainment value of the episodes they are based upon.

Overall Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2 on Blu-Ray does what it needs to do, by presenting the next batch of episodes in the best possible format. That being said the episodes do not offer that compelling narrative we’ve seen in the past and instead focus on comical banter, relationships and harsh training with some character development.

Those that are occasionally ‘dipping in and out’ of the series need not watch; but for collector’s of the entire series then it will do nicely alongside the other released instalments. Nothing new here; just a bit of story, some filler and a lot of bonus features.

Score: review-stars-2

Black Clover – Season 2 Part 2 will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 1st June 2020 within the UK via Manga Entertainment.

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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