Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King has made its long awaited world premiere on Netflix. The film was initially set to be released on March 2023, but was postponed due to production delays caused by a coronavirus outbreak. The film marks the first animated feature film in Yūki Tabata’s fantasy action series. Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King is directed by Ayataka Tanemura, screenplay written by Johnny Onda and Ai Orii, and produced by Studio Pierrot. The voice cast includes Gakuto Kajiwara, Toshihiko Seki, Fumiya Takahashi, Miyuki Sawashiro and other returning cast members.
In Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King, the Clover Kingdom celebrates with a fighting tournament held every ten years. Just as Yuno and a poorly disguised Asta are about to start the first fight, their match is cut short by the return of Conrad Leto, the 27th Wizard King who was sealed away by the current Wizard King, Julius Novachrono, for rebelling against the kingdom. Conrad uses the power of the legendary sword, Elsdocia, to revive three dead Wizard Kings, Princia Funnybunny, Jester Garandros, and Edward Avalaché, to help him enact his plan to recreate the world. Asta and the other Magic Knights must find a way to stop the Wizard Kings from destroying the Clover Kingdom.
The animation in Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King does not disappoint and sets a high bar for animated combat sequences, delivering a visual spectacle that captivates viewers. From the swift and precise movements to the awe-inspiring magical abilities, every punch, slash, and spell is beautifully animated.
In every clash between the heroes and their adversaries, the audience is treated to a breathtaking display of power, skill, and sheer excitement. Although Asta and Conrad’s final battle is visually stunning, I was blown away by Mereoleona and Prince Funnybunny’s fight.
Outside of the fighting and action scenes, the film has beautiful visuals. The film’s artistic direction extends beyond the environments, magic, and character designs. The magical spells and abilities showcased throughout the movie are visually stunning, featuring dazzling and elaborate effects. The combination of fluid animation, imaginative visual designs, and meticulous attention to detail ensures that each frame is visually striking.
Newcomers to the Black Clover franchise can dive into the film without worrying about fully catching up with the manga or anime series. While knowing the series does offer a slightly different perspective on certain aspects of the film, it is not a prerequisite for enjoyment. The movie seamlessly follows the established lore of the series and takes place toward the end of the anime, providing a familiar setting for fans.
Moreover, the film includes concise expositions that help newcomers understand and follow the characters and story. It is worth noting that the film is not considered canon, as its story and new characters do not impact the ongoing manga series. Thus, fans and newcomers alike can appreciate this self-contained story without worrying about its implications on the larger Black Clover narrative.
Conrad Leto makes for an excellent main villain and offers an interesting parallel to Asta’s protagonist in the film. Asta’s beliefs and ideals of what a Wizard King is supposed to be is challenged by former Wizard King Conrad’s ideals and crimes. Asta briefly struggles to understand how the person believed to be the realm’s protector turns out to be its destroyer, leaving him with conflicting emotions.
Asta’s unwavering principles, ability to never give up, and desire to change the world for a better place are just a few characteristics and ideals he shares with Conrad. Originally Conrad’s ideals and goals were just as altruistic as Asta’s, but something happened that made him choose a path of betrayal which caused him to lose sight of what it truly means to be the Wizard King. The clash of Asta and Conrad’s ideals and parallel traits captures the heart of this series by chasing after one’s dreams and never giving up on
Black Clover’s first film, Sword of the Wizard King, is nearly perfect. However, there’s room for improvement in the development of Conrad and the other Wizard Kings’ characters and backstories. While the film provides fleeting references and flashbacks to their pasts, hinting at pivotal events that shaped and changed their ideals, it would have been even more satisfying to witness a more comprehensive exploration of their backstories, particularly Conrad’s. Understandably, with a runtime of 112 minutes, the film may have been constrained in its ability to delve deeper into these additional details without compromising the pacing and overall narrative.
After nearly two years since the end of the anime series, Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King successfully delivers everything fans love about Black Clover with its stunning visuals and fantastical action sequences. The film is great for newcomers and existing fans alike as it seamlessly builds upon established lore but still takes the time to provide the necessary information. I can honestly say this film was well worth the wait and a must-watch for any fans of Black Clover or action fantasy anime in general.
Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King is now available on Netflix.
Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King
After nearly two years since the end of the anime series, Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King successfully delivers everything fans love about Black Clover with its stunning visuals and fantastical action sequences.