Black Clover – 29 – “Path”

Black Clover is a currently airing anime series that I’ve yet to discuss on the blog. This is something of a shame, because it’s perhaps the show I look forward to the most each week, and one of the few series to survive my ruthless seasonal dropping process.

The latest episode – 29 – is titled “Path” and is unmistakably a series recap, which just so happens to make it the perfect checkpoint for me to get involved in the conversation. But before I cover the highlight reel for Black Clover, I want to make a few things clear:

  1. All my reactions to the series thus far are based off the anime series. This is how I chose to enjoy my time with Black Clover.
  2. I have not read the manga and have no plans to in the foreseeable future beyond what has already been show in the anime.
  3. Please, do not spoil anything for me. Not even vague warnings.

Now my intention form here onward is to simply write-up my weekly reactions to the anime, with the occasional focused discussion on a particular character should I have the time and space to allow for it. For the latter I’ll be answering questions like “What do I think about this character?”, “How have they progressed so far?” and “What would I like to see from them in the future?”.

Since I don’t see enough conversation around this show (at least not in my social circles) I’ll largely just be gushing at length about certain aspects that catch my attention. I might be more critical at points since like many shounen it’s far from perfect, however given that I want to foster an environment wherein people feel excited to discuss Black Clover, that part will likely be the least important detail.

You can also expect to see me take quite an informal approach to my writing here, as my usual self-important rambling style probably won’t gel with the aims I set out above. That isn’t to say I’ll be writing without passion, but that if you come here for deeply analytic stuff then you might want to skip this.

With all that in mind, I don’t want this to just be an announcement post, so let’s have a quick talk on good recap episodes.

Episode 29 is told through the perspective of a number of different characters outside of the main cast. From the wizard who assigned magic tomes at the tower, to Black Bull member Marilyn Manson Gordon, we’re invited to view old scenes through a new lens.

I personally love any series that puts in the effort to reframe a recap beyond the standard ‘show scenes in sequential order’ format. By getting us to view these events as something other than the camera, it suddenly builds an opportunity to further characterize those who were directly or indirectly involved at the time.

For example Gordon is show to have a dairy of Asta’s accomplishments, a book that he prematurely titles after his “Best Friend”. It’s a gag of course, and unlikely to influence anything further along in the story, but it illustrates Gordon’s fascination with Asta, how invested he is in other’s successes, his ability to go unnoticed and also his skeevy boundary pushing attitude towards friendship. His inability to speak up has undoubtedly left him feeling isolated from the wider camaraderie the Black Bulls share, and that is reflected sympathetically here, but how he has chosen to remedy this character flaw requires us to balance our sympathy with equal parts condemnation.

The fact that the show then actually goes through the effort of drawing him into each scene shows not only dedication but much needed cohesion with the narration. Ultimately what Black Clover creates here is a recap episode that serves its intended purpose, while still offering meaningful insight and development whenever it is able.

That’s the basis of a damn good recap episode, and I hope you agree.

Thanks for reading!


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