Black Clover Graphic Novel Volume 12 cover image
Rated “T” for “Teen”
There is a young boy named Asta, who, along with his friend, Yuno, is found abandoned in the village of Hage of the Clover Kingdom. Asta dreams of one day being the “Wizard King,” the greatest mage in the land. He has one big problem; he can't use magic. When he is 15-years-old, Asta receives the rare “five-leaf-clover grimoire” (a book of magic), which gives him the power of anti-magic. Can Asta become the Wizard King without being able to use magic, and is he worthy of being in the “Magic Knights” squad, “the Black Bulls?”
As Black Clover, Vol. 12 (Chapters 101 to 110; entitled “The Briar Maiden's Melancholy”) opens, Asta and his friends finish their adventures in “the Forest of Witches.” So what does the vanquished Witch Queen have to say and to whom does she hand out gifts?
Then, the Wizard Knights assemble in the capital for a special festival, “the Star Festival.” It is the Clover Kingdom's biggest festival of the year, and it is there that the Wizard King announces the top brigade for that year. Which brigade has won the most stars, and where do the Black Bulls, who rank last every year, place after this, their best year ever? And who are the top rookies?
Plus, meet Augustus Kira Clover XIII, the royal king of the Clover King. And a bossy female knight in the Crimson Lions poses a challenge to her knights and... to members of the Black Bulls!
[This volume includes the illustrated text pages, “The Blank Page Brigade” and “Afterword;” a Black Clover side story, “Royal Clover Academy;” and the sketchbook section, “Special Bonus Materials.”]
THE LOWDOWN: I am still back in the groove with the Black Clover manga. After not reading it for about a year or so, I have read three volumes in the past month and a half.
Black Clover Graphic Novel Volume 12 is kind of laid back... kind of. Vols 9 to 11 were quite intense, but creator Yuki Tabata uses the aftermath of the adventure in the Forest of Witches to push levity to the forefront of the series in Vol. 12. Tabata also introduces more interaction between the Black Bulls, the focus of the series because of Asta, and other Magic Knights brigades – in this case, the Crimson Lions. Tabata also injects the Clover Kingdom's king into the narrative; this is the first time that I have seen him. I think that in Vol. 12, he plays his largest role in the action, via a contest that will be depicted in an upcoming volume.
This volume has a lot of dialogue, so Taylor Engel works overtime on the translation, delivering sparkling dialogue. Annaliese Christman's lettering captures the variety of dialogue and conversation in a volume that emphasizes dialogue shaping the flow of the narrative.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of everything from Naruto to Harry Potter will definitely want to try the “Shonen Jump” series, Black Clover.
10 out of 10