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EP. REVIEW: Black Clover


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Kokuryu Daimao



Joined: 04 Sep 2017
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:45 pm Reply with quote
NeverConvex wrote:
If you acknowledge "that the series has been generally middling and derivative," Kokuryu Daimao, then why does the reviewer's consistent dislike of it indicate a "bias?" Maybe they just correctly have identified it as generally of not particular high quality or strong execution.


It becomes a bias if not just the work in question, but all other similar works are consistently compared to another, more specific, work.
The focus then becomes a measuring contest of who did it better, when 'It" is probably some trope or cliche that has been done dozens of times before.
At that point it becomes an argument of favorites where sides are taken and any thing that could be viewed as a novel new twist or variation is sidelined.

I just feels that it stifles creativity when we focus on the similarities rather than highlight the differences
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GoldCrusader



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:00 pm Reply with quote
Yea even if Sam praised this episode, his super negative bias showed all thorough even this one. He starts saying he think Clover will never be great and that he already goes in negatively in the future. I am anticipating more *One piece does this so well, this can't do it again*. I'd really wish he stopped having such an outright negative outlook on the series. But I am not anticipating anything better from him with how he writes right now.

I thought this episode showed just how great BC his as a shonen. Tabata always has amazing paneling and crazy good battle choreography, and the anime did this so much justice. This was easily the best TV anime episode this year. Surpassing even AM vs AFO and Boruto for me. The staff's passion for BC is truly amazing.

I'd say only the All Might and Deku tag team surpassed it, but that is Yutaka Nakamura on a movie schedule.
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Scion Drake



Joined: 25 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:26 pm Reply with quote
GoldCrusader wrote:
Yea even if Sam praised this episode, his super negative bias showed all thorough even this one. He starts saying he think Clover will never be great and that he already goes in negatively in the future. I am anticipating more *One piece does this so well, this can't do it again*. I'd really wish he stopped having such an outright negative outlook on the series. But I am not anticipating anything better from him with how he writes right now.

I thought this episode showed just how great BC his as a shonen. Tabata always has amazing paneling and crazy good battle choreography, and the anime did this so much justice. This was easily the best TV anime episode this year. Surpassing even AM vs AFO and Boruto for me. The staff's passion for BC is truly amazing.

I'd say only the All Might and Deku tag team surpassed it, but that is Yutaka Nakamura on a movie schedule.


Ya know its funny reading that sakuga article shows that this fight is basically a rough and messy version of the Naruto & Sasuke vs Momoshiki fight.

And having watched both fights I can say I prefer Boruto's fight. Like I can respect the intent behind the BC devs but that doesn't mean I like everything they did. Cause wow this fight did look ugly as hell during several points. It was like watching the Naruto vs Pain fight. Sure the art here never got as ugly as the art there but it certainly detracted from the experience.

Then there's the inherent jank in how the scenes are cut. There's just something not quite right at several moments especially which harms the fight choegraphy because the blows keep spazzing out and becomes hard to follow, at one point burning my eyes. there's this one moment where Ladros is on the floor he fires at Asta who's apparently flying away then it cuts back to him again the first doing appearing to have not happened and launches a whip against Asta who weirdly blocks with his wing. That whole scene weirded me out, it was like an even trippier attempt at the gae Bolg attack from fat/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.

There's also something funny that the debut of Asta's super mode is used on what is basically a narrative nobody. Cause Ladros is pretty much the most shallow-ass character (arrogant jerk who steps on people) imaginable with the most boring kind of magic (energy absorption) used to justify why he has to be the arcs big climax boss. I mean he literally becomes a DBZ character, even doing beam-spams at several points during the fight. It rather detracts from the emotional part of the battle having to deal with such a loser of an antagonist who comes across as a DBZ knock-off. The fact Licht can easily replicate all his stunts because how Ladros uses his magic to attack his nearly identical to how Licht attacks with his light magic is an absolute strike as to why Ladros is both a poor character and a poor antagonist.

All in all I respect the intent behind this episode but I cannot in good conscious say it was a positively fantastic viewing experience. It was an "interesting" viewing experience I'll give it that.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:22 pm Reply with quote
I have to say, after going through the numbers, the line of argument that Sam is somehow "biased" against or even "super negative" towards Black Clover doesn't hold water, even before this episode. The most common rating Sam has given Black Clover, by far: B, 22 out of 63 episodes. The next most common: B+, 12 out of 63 episodes. Right there you have over half the episodes rated B or B+ (34 out of 63), which I think anyone would agree are positive ratings. Throw in the the A+'s, A's and A-, and you're up to a little over 60% of the episodes rated B or above (39 out of 63). Tell me where this super negative, biased hatred against Black Clover is, because I just can't see it. Check my math if you'd like. If anything, I think he has given Black Clover as fair a shake as any critic I've seen, and I don't think you will find a more positive one on this site. Yes, he has criticized the show, and if you disagree with the criticism, by all means explain why you disagree. But don't just dismiss him and his criticisms out of hand (and try to get him removed as its reviewer!) just because he criticized it in a way that you disagree with. Frankly, I'm not sure that Sam is the one that needs to be more "objective" in this case.

On the comparisons to One Piece (or any other shonen series), I do think it is fair to compare how BC does versus others in its genre. Yes, it is important to see how it is different, but with a well worn genre as this, it is important to assess how a series executes upon those tropes, and on that measure, Black Clover has often been...middling, to me and and a number of others. I don't think it's a bad show and I don't hate it (I wouldn't have kept watching it up through now if I did), but it is very much not the new king of shonen. Now you are free to disagree with me or anyone else on this, but I like to see more of what those criticizing Sam see in it that the rest of us don't, rather than flippant dismissals and mischaracterizations of him and his opinions. That does us no good.

On to this episode:

GoldCrusader wrote:
The staff's passion for BC is truly amazing.


While I do think this episode lived up to the hype (most of it, at least), I would have liked to see more of that passion in more than a few of the episodes of the series, especially in this past cours or so. No, no, that's not fair to the staff to put it that way. I'm sure the production schedule has not let them put out as good of work as they would have liked, but the point is that their passion has not been able to show through as the production has gotten rougher. And I do mean rough. While Boruto (and Naruto before it) has had similar peaks and valleys in terms of production, it seems to me that Black Clover's valleys have gone deeper than Boruto's - beneath workmanlike to...rough - especially in the last cours or so. While it's nice to get episodes like this, I'd rather their production was on a healthier schedule, so they could make some more consistently good work, as with the first cours or so.
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NeverConvex



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:08 pm Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
I have to say, after going through the numbers, the line of argument that Sam is somehow "biased" against or even "super negative" towards Black Clover doesn't hold water, even before this episode. The most common rating Sam has given Black Clover, by far: B, 22 out of 63 episodes. The next most common: B+, 12 out of 63 episodes. Right there you have over half the episodes rated B or B+ (34 out of 63), which I think anyone would agree are positive ratings.


To be fair (or otherwise?), I think the reviewers differ in how they use the rating system; some think of it as an attempt to place all possible shows on a single continuum, others view it as more an attempt to rate the show relative to what it normally is, and others as a way to rate a show relative to what it wants to be, so it can be difficult to gauge whether the ratings tell us much about "bias" (a term I must say I absolutely loathe, as people seem to have decided using it excuses them from thinking about what they're saying). Or, more to the point, whether they can tell us anything about the reviewer's average sentiment about the show, in some purportedly absolute scale, without further information.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:00 am Reply with quote
^Yeah, without more information, we can’t be very precise about a reviewer’s opinion of the series at a whole, generally speaking. I don’t think I could say with confidence that he would rate it as a B overall. However, in this case, I don’t think one could interpret the data in a way that is consistent with the idea that he is biased against it, hates it, or is even negative on the series as a whole (negative on the current arc, maybe), given the frequency of more positive ratings in general and the very high frequency of one particular positive rating.
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NeverConvex



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:05 am Reply with quote
I think the issue is less that it's unclear whether he "on average" considers it a B (although these are technically, surely non-independent draws from any reasonable reference distribution and so are not especially well covered by major asymptotic theorems and so... OK, nevermind.. no, no, no, I can totally stop myself... maybe..), and more that it's just not clear (unless Sam has said somewhere) what exactly he means by a B. If he clarifies that, then I think your earlier analysis is perfectly on point.
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Sam Leach



Joined: 09 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:38 am Reply with quote
There's just no winning, is the thing you learn. The same post can accuse me of hating the genre while at the same time complaining about me comparing it to other shows of the genre. I gradually compared My Hero Academia to other shows a lot less as it became clear it was more of its own thing, and settled for simply "comparing" Black Clover to One Piece when what I actually meant was that it was basically ripping a scene off almost word-for-word.

As for ratings, I always try to compare a show to itself more than anything. The problem comes when I have a dissatisfied and/or middling opinion of an episode. Sometimes that means a B if I'm feeling nice or at least still willing to go with the flow of an arc, sometimes that means a C if I'm feeling more curt about it. The only score I have a set-in-stone personal criteria for is an A—which is that I have to enjoy the episode on a gut, visceral level. But worst case scenario, its baffling to me that a reviewer frequently thinking that a show is a C (the most middle-of-the-road average rating you could possibly have) isn't good enough. Nevermind the fact that the entire reason I'm reviewing Black Clover in the first place is that I was the only person on staff willing to give it the shot that I have.

I don't hate Black Clover. I'm pretty endeared to its characters at this point, episodes that I really enjoy are fairly frequent (I've given like five As at this point, which I never would have expected from the beginning), and at the very least I'm fascinated by its clunkiness and flaws, however exacerbating they are sometimes. I'm not looking for things to complain about, I've just recognized a pattern in my enjoyment that's been true for many, many arcs now. I think I'm being as fair as I possibly can with this show and still maintain my honest point of view while writing.
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GoldCrusader



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:30 pm Reply with quote
Sam if you paid attention during the end of the fight with Ladros the stone on his head broke which undone the brainwashing diamond kingdom did. He said it himself. I don't see how it is just friendship power or whatever like you said. Fanzel knew it was weird of him to act that way, Mars too. Mars even knows himself what the diamond kingdom does, since he broke out of a similar brainwashing. Ladros switching side isn't weird and makes sense. The story makes it pretty clear.

I thought it was a great ending. That small moment when Yami said *Yo, welcome home* had me in tears. Beautiful.

Shame you didn't like this arc. It's such a good one imo.
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Sam Leach



Joined: 09 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:30 pm Reply with quote
GoldCrusader wrote:
Sam if you paid attention during the end of the fight with Ladros the stone on his head broke which undone the brainwashing diamond kingdom did. He said it himself. I don't see how it is just friendship power or whatever like you said. Fanzel knew it was weird of him to act that way, Mars too. Mars even knows himself what the diamond kingdom does, since he broke out of a similar brainwashing. Ladros switching side isn't weird and makes sense. The story makes it pretty clear.

I thought it was a great ending. That small moment when Yami said *Yo, welcome home* had me in tears. Beautiful.

Shame you didn't like this arc. It's such a good one imo.


Okay. I'll own up to not catching that.
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lossthief



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:30 pm Reply with quote
GoldCrusader wrote:
Sam if you paid attention during the end of the fight with Ladros the stone on his head broke which undone the brainwashing diamond kingdom did. He said it himself. I don't see how it is just friendship power or whatever like you said. Fanzel knew it was weird of him to act that way, Mars too. Mars even knows himself what the diamond kingdom does, since he broke out of a similar brainwashing. Ladros switching side isn't weird and makes sense. The story makes it pretty clear..


Sam wasn't questioning the concrete plot devices that led to Ladros turning into a good guy, he was questioning the emotional trajectory of that resolution. As-is, we spend all of 15 seconds with a non-brainwashed Ladros in one of Fannel's flashbacks, and the rest of his screen time before this episode is him being the most cackling, mustache-twirling villain since the random chain magic guy from the introduction. To suddenly have him on their side now is weird because it doesn't feel earned. He didn't have a change of heart or see the error of his ways, they hit the Fix Him button.
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Tuor_of_Gondolin
Team GurrenTeam Gurren


Joined: 20 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:18 am Reply with quote
^ Pacing has been one of the major banes of this series. It's not that the stories are necessarily bad, but they're handled in such a way that they seem disjointed. Every once in a while, the story hits its stride and we can see something pretty good, but then they add something here, or drop something there, and suddenly it loses its luster. It still has potential, IMO, but I'm increasingly convinced that it'll never make good on it, which is a shame. The world-building seems interesting, and the characters aren't bad. But the story pacing is just killing it, as far as I'm concerned.
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aaa1e2r3



Joined: 16 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:36 pm Reply with quote
So is the Queen Witch going to be their White Mage going forward?
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Brack



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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Location: UK
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Checking back in for the first time since the opening episode due to my favourite characters from the comic now appearing in the OP, and I'm finding Gakuto Kajiwara less grating as Asta now.
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
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Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:16 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Oh, I had been wondering if they would be animating the LNs so that unlike the manga only readers, viewers would actually know who these characters are.

Well, even if it isn't done well, at least they'll be better informed Laughing


not happening.!

if every shonen series did that, their wouldnt be much funding for the tv series. which would more or less explains why attack of titan: before the fall never got a tv series release despite being the prequel to AoT!
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