The Black Clover Season 4 anime will have Asta once again
screaming streaming out of our TV screens starting on December 8, 2020.
Some anime fans were probably wondering if the fourth season of the Black Clover anime series would come out in 2021. After all, if the third season of Black Clover is delayed due to the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic for too long, the release date for Black Clover Season 4 will certainly be impacted.
Another question is whether major filler story arcs will be enough to avoid a major broadcasting break/hiatus.
What is inevitable is that Shonen Jump will renew Black Clover Year 4. The anime is considered one of the big 3 in addition to One Piece and Boruto.
The anime has been popular on streaming platforms such as Crunchyroll, Hulu, and FUNimation Now (the Black Clover English dub), which is important since streaming revenue has become the biggest source of revenue in the last several years.
The Black Clover Season 4 anime will be produced by animation Studio Pierrot, which is well known for Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, and then its successor, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Studio Pierrot also animated the Tokyo Ghoul anime series.
Black Clover (Burakku Kuroba) director Tatsuya Yoshihara is known for directing Monster Musume. Writer Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Is The Order A Rabbit?) is writing the series composition. Character designers include Itsuko Takeda (Blue Drop) and Kumiko Tokunaga (Kingdom anime).
Musical composer Minako Seki (Kingdom, The Silver Guardian) is handling instrumental music.
Updated November 20, 2020: Added Black Clover Season 4 Episode 1 title. Confirmed 2020 release date and continuous broadcast.
Updated October 20, 2020: Added anime canon info.
Updated June 22, 2020: Black Clover Episode 133 release date confirmed.
Updated June 12, 2020: Added confirmation of Black Clover Episode 133 delays and how that impacts Black Clover Season 4.
Updated: Rumors of Black Clover Episode 132 being delayed. How that impacts the Black Clover Season 4 release date.
This article provides everything that is known about Black Clover Season 4 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
Black Clover Season 4 release date in December 2020
Starting on May 5, 2020, the Black Clover Episode 133 release date was delayed indefinitely due to the effects of COVID-19 on the anime industry. A delay was not surprising considering that multiple other major anime, even including Boruto: Next Generations and One Piece, were delayed in April 2020.
Initially, the TV schedule called for Black Clover reruns to be broadcast through at least June 9, 2020, but Weekly Shonen Jump magazine warned back then that the delay “may continue for a longer period.”
The third season did not restart broadcasting until July 7, 2020, the summer of 2020, which was a delay was about two months. The large delay pushed out Black Clover Season 3’s ending.
The renewal of the third season wasn’t officially announced until shortly before the second season ended. Even then, the first official word was from the anime director on Twitter.
The announcement of the Black Clover Season 4 anime was handled the same way, and the anime will simply roll into the fourth season without any delay.
In this case, FUNimation announced Black Clover Season 4 on Twitter in October 2020.
Black Clover Season 4 is coming soon to Funimation! What’s your favorite moment in the series so far? ? pic.twitter.com/R92HMkGSqf
— Funimation (@FUNimation) October 3, 2020
The only question is when. The first two seasons were 51 episodes each. It’s believed that the third season will be slightly longer with 52 episodes, which means the third season will end with Black Clover Episode 154: Vice-Captain Langris Vaude on December 1, 2020.
Naturally, that means the Black Clover Season 4 release date will be on December 8, 2020. The fourth season will premiere with Black Clover Episode 155: The 5 Spirit Guardians.
Black Clover Season 5 release date in 2021?
In the best-case scenario, assuming the manga writer can keep up the pace, it’s also expected that the Black Clover Season 5 release date will be set for late 2021. But could the anime go on break/hiatus during Black Clover Season 4 and make fans wait for some episode in 2021?
That possibility depends completely on Tabata’s progress rate on the manga and how much filler or anime canon content Studio Pierrot wedges into the fourth season.
Tabata recently had a child with his wife, and he’s already taken a one-week hiatus in early 2020. There were also concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and new manga chapters were delayed multiples times in 2020.
The elephant in the room is the Second Wave of the pandemic and how it affects the anime industry. COVID-19 has already delayed anime production in other studios and caused the cancellation of major anime events in Japan. Industry insiders claim it’s taking about double the time to create new episodes and three times as long to produce dubbed versions of episodes.
Black Clover 3 filler arcs and anime canon required: Anime catching up to manga
The story for the anime is based on the Black Clover manga by writer and illustrator Yuki Tabata. Published in Weekly Shonen Jump since 2015, new tankobon format volumes are released regularly every year.
As of October 2, 2020, the Black Clover manga will be up to Black Clover Volume 26, which includes up through Chapter 261. Volume 27 should include Chapters 262 through 272.
The official English translation of the Black Clover manga was licensed by North American publisher VIZ Media. Fortunately, they are not too far behind the Japanese release.
The English Black Clover Volume 23 released on November 3, 2020, while Volume 24 is scheduled for January 5, 2020. The publisher also provides free chapters on the official website.
Except for any delays or hiatus, Tabata releases new content weekly. By the time the third season’s finale airs in Japan, the manga will be up to Chapter 272 at the least.
At first, Studio Pierrot was adapting the manga’s story with a slow pacing in order to maintain an annual release schedule. Most of the earlier anime episodes rely on manga canon, although there is often some extra filler content in episodes.
The first season had entire episodes that were filler, including episodes 3 and 29.
In addition to the original content in episodes 66, 68, and 82, the second season even adapted author Johnny Onda’s light novel The Book Of The Black Bulls by introducing the character Fanzell in Episodes 55 and 56.
As of late April 2020, Season 3 was mostly manga canon with the exception of Black Clover Episode 123, 124, 130, 131, 134, and 135. But multiple filler story arcs are likely to be forthcoming based on the pacing of the anime series thus far.
The first season adapted 75 chapters, while the second season increased the pacing slightly by adapting up through Chapter 159 of Volume 17. The action-filled Season 3 pumped up the pacing, adapting three to five chapters per episode.
By Episode 129, the third season had adapted all the way up through Volume 23: Chapter 228 out of 253, the latest chapter adapted as of this story’s last update.
Considering that the third season was quickly catching up with the latest manga chapters and that Season 3 has been confirmed to have 51 episodes, Studio Pierrot was forced to introduce original content in addition to filler episodes.
Fortunately, rather than being entirely a filler arc, the studio turned to manga creator Tabata, who created a Black Clover anime canon arc based on the 6-month training arc in Heart Kingdom. The manga’s story provides the perfect setup, so the anime canon episodes didn’t feel unnatural.
In the coming story arcs, Asta and the Black Bulls are exploring the Heart Kingdom. There, they hear about a threat pertaining to the Spade Kingdom, so everyone begins training for an upcoming battle for several months.
In the manga, there is a time gap since the training is not depicted at all. Black Clover Episode 123 through 25 started a multi-part filler arc. Then Black Clover Episode 130, 132, 133, and 136 through 155 introduced Tabat’s anime canon arc that fleshed out the characters.
The last manga canon episode was Episode 129. That should mean that when the Black Clover Season 4 begins adapting the manga again it should pick up the story again somewhere around Chapter 229. That means the anime canon arc will likely find a stopping point in the story arc revolving around the Spade Kingdom fighting against the Clover and Heart Kingdoms’ alliance.
Even based on the many filler/anime canon episodes, the bad news is that when the Black Clover Season 4 release date comes the anime will only be around 40 chapters ahead of the manga series. The good news is that we can expect Black Clover Season 5, 6, 7, and beyond.
Black Clover manga’s ending not coming any time soon
In recent times, various plot points have had manga fans speculating about the Black Clover manga’s ending. Yet manga creator Tabata has not indicated how far long the overall story is or hinted at plans for an ending or climax (presumably, Asta becomes the Wizard King at the ending).
Shonen Jump certainly is not going to cancel the manga. Even though Demon Slayer has dominated the manga sales charts next to One Piece, Black Clover manga volumes tend to make the top 5 when they release.
The only thing Tabata has said is that he’d like to match the long-running Naruto manga series, which ran for over 700 chapters. That means Black Clover’s ending is at least 10 years away, never mind if Tabata goes the Fairy Tail: 100 Year Quest route with a direct Black Clover sequel.
In a March 2019 interview, Tabata had reached the milestone of 200 chapters, and he was asked how he maintained his motivation.
“Well, there are a lot of people looking forward to the next chapter, I hope, so that motivates me. Plus there’s a lot of stories that I still want to tell, so that keeps me going,” Tabata replied. “Oh, and my wife wants me to keep it up. She wants me to keep working.”
The manga still has a lot of ground to cover… literally. The Heart and Spade Kingdoms have only just begun being explored by the story. In addition to the kingdoms, there is also the Otherworld and different magic zones just waiting to be turned into future chapters.