English Dub Review: Black Clover “The Secret of the Eye of the Midnight Sun”

Spoiler: There is no secret.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

This recap episode follows Klaus, Yuno and Mimosa studying the Eye of the Midnight Sun in a library and reiterating all that they’ve seen of them so far in order to prepare for what comes next.

The recaps take us all the way from the attack on the Capital City by Rades, all the way to the defeat of Vetto at the Underwater Temple. They even recap the discover of the Magic Stone possessed by the Queen of Witches, who speculated that its origin may be from the race of elves that once populated the the land before they were wiped out by humanity.

Once they’re done with that, we go to Captain Yami, who’s meeting with the Wizard King to discuss what just happened. Novachrono explains that new information about The Eye of the Midnight Sun has emerged, and that even though our heroes have had some recent successes, it looks like the Eye is planning to move again.

Our Take:

Recap episodes are a peculiar breed of anime story. Done well, they can be a fun or powerful way of reflecting on what’s come before in the story. Furthermore, that reflection can be used to frame events to come and build up tension for what story is to come. Done poorly, however, as they so often are, they can be a complete waste of time that serves as little more than a filler episode used to be more time for the completion of later episodes. Rest assured, it is an absolute miracle when there’s a recap episode that doesn’t feel like a complete waste, and sadly, this is not one of them. Yet, special attention should be made to note that even for a recap episode, this is completely lacking. Little to no effort is made to give context to the recaps, and because of that, there is no reason for anyone to watch this episode. It offers absolutely nothing.

The setup is the most crucial thing for a recap episode, because it explains why the episode even exists in the first place. Usually, there is some scenario or challenge set up in an episode that justifies our cast taking a trip down memory lane. It doesn’t need to be complex, but having that structure in place makes the episode that much more palatable. However, here the setup is literally just three characters talking to each other in a room about things that have already happened. It’s framed as a “Study session”, but there is no information that is brought to light that would yield from any real study. Furthermore, the sequences where Yuno, Klaus and Mimosa are talking to each other are so bare-bones its ridiculous. It’s plain and obvious to see that the show-runners just reused the same few clips of them talking from the waist up to save money and time, barely even animating their facial expressions and head movements.

It’s not as if sticking around to the end of the episode even offers a new development in the story, as some recap episodes tend to do. Novachrono’s “Announcement” to Yami that the Eye of the Midnight Sun is still dangerous and preparing to attack is nothing unexpected, and so totally vague that it doesn’t even hint about what’s going to happen. If you really want to waste 20 minutes watching a garbage recap for a show that’s already inconsequential, be my guest, but even fans of this series should spend their precious time elsewhere.

Score
3/10

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

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