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Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King – A Perfect Return

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Thomas Richards
| June 22, 2023
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Since Black Clover wrapped up its TV series in 2021, fans have eagerly waited for it to return. The series was put on an indefinite hiatus while the manga’s author, Yuki Tabata, continued to create the story. While this allowed the author to get ahead of the anime and avoid filler, it still hurt. Even for someone like me, who binged all 170 episodes at the beginning of 2022, this drought of anime content has been unbearable. But there was something we could look forward to, an all-new film being supervised by Tabata himself!

Titled Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King, the film centers around the return of four previous Wizard Kings as they seek to remake the world using the Imperial Sword (classic anime villain). This film isn’t based on any content from the manga and is instead considered anime cannon. Despite this, Sword of the Wizard King was an adrenaline-fuelled thrill ride from beginning to end. Everything from the action-packed story to the fantastic characters and the breathtaking animation, this movie was everything I could’ve wanted from a Black Clover film.

That’s a fancy-looking sword. (Studio Pierrot/Netflix/Tabata)

The film never states when it takes place in the timeline, but judging by certain characters’ appearances, I’d say it takes place between season 3 and season 4. The film follows Asta, The Black Bulls, and various other magic knights as they attempt to stop the four returning Wizard Kings from destroying the Clover Kingdom. I enjoyed this premise, even if it was just an excuse to have four awesome fights to fill the entire second half of the film. The plot never really slows down, jumping from fight scene to fight scene with only a few small reprieves for you to catch your breath, and I absolutely loved it.

It’s not all action; some excellent character moments peppered throughout add emotional weight to the film. None of these moments are new to Black Clover, but they still hit the same here. A standout to me was when the big bad of the film Conrad compares his views to Asta’s. He tries to convince Asta that they share the same goal and should work together. It was never going to work because Asta is stubborn and will always do what’s right, but it was interesting seeing how the same idea can lead to wildly different outcomes. These small moments help to elevate the plot, but none of it would be possible without the fantastic characters.

Now it’s a party. (Studio Pierrot/Netflix/Tabata)

Most of the characters from the main series are present in Sword of the Wizard King, and they all get their chance to shine. Asta receives the most screen time (he is the main character, after all) and is the same old Asta. His almost constant yelling and never give up attitude are here in full force and are as enjoyable as ever. Yuno and Noelle also get their moments to shine, showcasing how far they’ve come from the start of the series. Characters like Luck, Finral, Zora, and the rest of The Black Bulls do the best with their limited screen time (Finral also said, “I am your superior,” which always makes me laugh).

And then there are the captains who are as powerful as ever. I do want to draw attention to the best captain, Mereoleona. She was always one of my favorites, but this film cemented her as THE BEST magic knight captain. Not only can she go toe to toe with some of the strongest enemies in the film, but she’s also downright crazy, casually bathing in lava. She also sports a new hairstyle, which looks rather nice.

God she’s hot. Because of the fire, obviously. (Studio Pierrot/Netflix/Tabata)

Enough of the old characters; let’s talk about the newcomers. I’ve already mentioned Conrad Leto and his goal, but I didn’t touch on how broken this guy is. Conrad uses key magic, which sounds lame at first, but when he starts summoning doors to blast Asta with multiple types of magic at once, I was in awe. He’s not the only newcomer with OP magic; the other three Wizard Kings are strong in their own right. There’s Edward Avalaché, who controls ice magic and can create giant ice structures. Then there’s Jester Garandaros, who can create barriers and shape them into various weapons. And finally, we have Princia Funnybunny, who can control a never-ending legion of artificial soldiers.

I enjoyed Conrad and Princia the most. Conrad’s reasoning was intriguing, and his fight scenes were incredible. Princia had one of the most unique magic types I’ve seen, and at one point, she decided to start throwing hands, which looked stunning. Her fight with Mereoleona was one of the highlights of the entire film (two powerful women beating the shit out of each other, sign me up). My only gripe was that we don’t see the end of it, maybe in a deleted scene.

They just look evil. (Studio Pierrot/Netflix/Tabata)

The production quality of this film is top-notch. Everything, from the animation to the soundtrack and the voice acting, was excellent. The entire English dub cast reprised their roles, which is always good. Dallas Reid embodies everything that Asta is, screaming included. Micah Solusod and Jill Harris return as Yuno and Noelle, and they haven’t missed a beat. Other returning cast members include Justin Briner as Luck, Brandon McInnis as Finral, Johnny Yong Bosch as Zora, and Monica Rial as Mereoleona (can you tell she’s one of my favorites yet). The cast all do a stellar job, which isn’t surprising because they were also great in the series. Newcomers Chris Niosi as Conrad, Mara Junot as Princia, Ben Diskin as Jester, and the legendary Steve Blum as Edward also performed excellently (I haven’t heard Steve Blum in an anime in ages).

The animation is also outstanding throughout the entire film. Each character looks amazing with fluid movements and facial features. The backgrounds are also fantastic, creating some of the most picturesque shots in the whole series, and the soundtrack is terrific. The show’s main star, however, is the jaw-dropping fight animation.

After halfway through the film, it becomes a non-stop showcase of amazing fight scenes. Each fight looks like it had the budget of a whole anime season, with the amount of detail and impact some of these moves have. Seeing Asta use his devil form to rip through the enemies or watching Mereoleona and Princia have one of the best fistfights in recent memory, it all looks amazing. And that final fight is just something else, pure perfection. I won’t spoil it here because I feel like it’s something you need to experience first-hand.

Devil Asta will always be cool. (Studio Pierrot/Netflix/Tabata)

Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King is everything I could’ve asked for. The plot is engaging, the characters are enjoyable, and the whole thing is gorgeous. I have minor gripes, such as not seeing some of the fights conclude, but with a runtime of just under 2 hours, there wasn’t much they could’ve done. Ultimately, I still had a blast with this film and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. Even if you’ve never seen Black Clover, you’ll have a fun time. This film, indeed, was a perfect return for the series. Now announce the next season already.

Have you seen Black Clover: Sword of the Wizard King? What did you think? Which fight was your favorite? Let us know in the comments where we can all agree that Mereoleona is the best captain.

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