Given the series’ popularity, the Black Clover anime coming to an end probably caught many of its fans off guard.
Though it was catching up fast to its source material manga – and would have had to either go on hiatus or start producing filler arcs as a result – one would have thought that there was plenty enough steam to keep the production going. It’s still one of the biggest properties owned by Shonen Jump, and its fanbase’s size is nothing to sneeze at.
Instead, it was decided that the anime would end, and that the next piece of media tied to the franchise would be a movie. It saw a finale drop right at the start of a new story arc, and several important plot threads were left dangling in the wind.
As a result, fans have been left wondering where the series as a whole stands after the movie comes out. Will it go the way of Bleach, with an anime adaptation coming years after the manga concludes? Or, has it begun to decline in popularity, resulting in it losing its viability for a full adaptation?
Fortunately, neither scenario seems to be the case for now. Instead, Black Clover’s anime ending could very well mark a shift toward adaptations that take full advantage of the series’ strengths and address its biggest weaknesses.
Since its inception, Black Clover has never been a series with groundbreaking new concepts. Asta is just like a thousand other loud, dream-pursuing protagonists, its magic power system is flexible enough for characters to continually get stronger, and its villains frequently make way for bigger, more evil-obsessed adversaries. It’s a shonen that opts for doing the genre’s tropes well instead of reinventing them.
However, it’s thanks to this that the series has been able to succeed. By using well-established tropes and story points, it has streamlined itself in a way that allows it to get to fights quickly and ensure a steady stream of character growth toward pre-established goals.
Asta and his friends get stronger, fight a villain, and start training to rise further through the ranks of the Magic Knights. Asta and Yuno compete with each other to become the Wizard King, defeat an incarnation of evil that threatens the Clover Kingdom, and then continue training to outdo each other.
It’s a simple, yet effective means of tackling the worn stories and tropes of the shonen genre.
And yet, this also comes with a drawback: Because it features a story and character archetypes that have been seen a million times, it’s difficult to make this strategy work long-term via a regularly airing anime adaptation. For all of the flashy fights and striking story moments it could offer, it would still eventually feel overdone and have long stretches of episodes full of fluff and cliches that shonen fans have seen enough of.
Things like filler arcs or episodes which draw out content to make time for more chapters to release would only exacerbate the problem, drawing even more attention to these integral flaws.
This was one of the biggest problems the anime was starting to face. For every amazing fight featuring Asta and a comrade against an over-powered baddie, there would be more stretches of pointless, boring, or drawn-out content which would drag down the experience overall.
As such, it’s little wonder its creators at Pierrot opted for ending the anime on a general high note and shifted to producing films.
However, the announcement of a film offers an unexpected boon for the series. While an anime adaptation would reveal Black Clover’s weaknesses after a certain point, film adaptations could bolster its strengths considerably. The story would be condensed and focused, and the fights could receive even better treatment thanks to having a bigger budget.
It’s something that Demon Slayer proved most recently with its film adaptation, as the Mugen Train arc was told quickly and succinctly, boasting stellar animation and perfect pacing. Audiences turned out in droves to watch it too, with it currently standing as the highest-grossing anime film in Japan’s history.
To be sure, it’s not likely that Black Clover will reach the same financial heights. All the same though, it could easily see similar success with its upcoming film in terms of animation and storytelling. Not only that but if it adapts the next arc of the manga, then it could open the door to adapting the rest of the story in the same manner.
While Black Clover’s anime ending is bittersweet, it was for the best, and with any luck, it has set the franchise up to reach even greater heights in the near future.
[Featured Image Source: Pierrot]