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Black Clover Reminds Shonen Jump Why Action Manga Still Need Romance
09/11/2022

Warning! Spoilers ahead for 332!

The highly anticipated return of  to features quite a few major gems that many readers have been waiting a long time for. So, it's definitely saying something that the best moments are fueled by romance, proving just how much Shonen Jump's other action manga would benefit from incorporating these romantic elements.

Romance eludes most Shonen Jump titles, and many of these stories that have gone on hiatus would never waste precious space on the subject in their comeback chapter. After a one-month break, the majority of One Piece 1054 introduced a whole new enemy who immediately starts attacking the poor inhabitants of Wano after having just gotten rid of Kaido. include any romance after nearly one year of no new chapters, though that was because Rin and Shiemi are in completely different places.

But in 332 by mangaka Yūki Tabata, three major moments are all driven by romantic elements. Mimosa and Noelle separately fret over their feelings for Asta but are drawn together to watch as and gets rejected. Meanwhile, Yami finally learns that Charlotte likes him romantically and begins to rationalize why Charlotte has been acting the way that she has for years.

These moments beat some of the other bombshells of the chapter including when Asta is recognized in an important ceremony, the confusing opening scene that creates the impression that there are somehow two Luciferos, and the cliffhanger where the next big bad just walks up behind Asta. The scenes with Mimosa and Noelle, while adorable, continue to haunt fans who are invested in both characters as only one of them can ever end up with their shared love interest, Asta. They also remind fans about a moment of growth and self-awareness for Noelle when she finally admitted that she had feelings for Asta. This is the first time in months that readers finally see her wrestle with this new information about herself. , Yami finally being forced to put two and two together about Charlotte is almost as big a deal as Asta learning about Noelle and Mimosa's emotions for him. It's surreal for those who have watched as Charlotte has tried so desperately to keep her true feelings a secret from him to now witness Yami sit by himself as he defines what moments with Charlotte actually meant to her. Meanwhile, Asta's obsession with Sister Lily has been a presence in the story since the beginning, so the fact that this will be his final proposal is truly the end of an era.

While the non-romantic moments in chapter 332 were massive in their own way, none of them can hold a candle to the actual romance that transpired therein. The scenes showing what could have possibly been the second Lucifero heart and when Lucius Zogratis appears behind Asta are exciting, but their implications don't reach as far enough back into the past to truly grasp readers as effectively. And Asta's ceremony, while momentous, just reminds fans that one of the greatest conflicts in the manga is over. He now has as opposed to both them and allies who didn't respect him because now all of these supposed good guys do. Romance should be here to stay in all action Shonen Jump titles just like it is in .

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