Black Clover: Asta and Yuno and The Boys’ Promise review S1 Ep. 1 and Ep. 2

In a world where everyone has magical abilities, don’t be like Asta; the only one without magic. Asta is an orphaned boy whose determination to be the greatest Wizard King doesn’t seem to be getting him much of anywhere. Especially not when paired alongside his childhood friend, Yuno, who is showing signs of advanced magical abilities. His friends make fun of him and other magic users look down on him but his determination is absolute and his dream to become Wizard King will not burn out.

Episode 1 Asta and Yuno follows the villagers as they receive their grimoire and, (surprise, surprise), Yuno gets a rare grimoire while Asta doesn’t get one at all. Soon locked in battle with a mage who wants Yuno’s powerful Four Leaf grimoire, Asta shows up to save the day…or will it be another distraction?

Black Clover seems to borrow typical elements from a lot of other anime like Naruto and My Hero Academia where a protagonist is thrown in a world that’s against them because they’re not like everyone else. Then suddenly in a battle with a random foe, their true potential awakens and they might be loads stronger than what they initially appeared so the once strong foe is immediately defeated.

In Asta’s case, he receives a grimoire with a dark aura and a large black sword appears from the pages. It becomes known that this power is known as Anti- Magic and his grimoire has a link to a demon.

So what makes Black Clover stand out as a series?

Black Clover - Astor and Yune review

Unlike My Hero Academia, there appears to be no heavy amounts of bullying. Asta isn’t always fully validated as a person, but there’s no characters so far that have established a violent history against him early in his life unlike Midoriya, (My Hero Academia). Asta and Yuno’s friendship is also driven by their rivalry, but it appears to be healthy one thus far.

Yuno isn’t targeting Asta at every turn with a potentially deadly streak, (I’m looking at you, Bakugo), but instead is kind to him even though he doesn’t fully believe he can become the next Wizard King. In Episode 2 — The Boys’ Promise — there’s a flashback where we learn that Asta has a fierce desire to protect his friends and Yuno has never been an exception. His efforts to save Yuno are nearly instinctual now and by the end of the episode, their bond is stronger. But will the sword he uses to destroy the enemy from his new grimoire change his reputation as a ‘try hard’ in his town?

Episode 3 shows Asta and Yuno preparing for a Magic Knights Entrance Exam and the narrator explains the history of the Wizard King and the Magic Knights from nine different factions of magic that aid him in protecting the kingdom. The man who raised Asta and Yuno doesn’t see the point in Asta even attempting the exam, but also will miss them being gone away from home in general.

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Later, Asta’s childhood friend Nash reveals the truth behind his reasons for not believing in Asta. He doesn’t believe orphans like them have the potential to rise that high in society. Asta aims to inspire Nash to change his perspective and soon leaves with Yuno to head to the Royal Capital where the exam awaits.

Black Clover is an anime I’ve been waiting to be made for a little while. The animation and production in general is superb with a great opening song and great writing. I’ve read Volume 1 of the manga it’s adapted from and the anime is pretty much the same as the manga thus far. I recommend this anime to fans of the manga and fans of fantasy anime or anime like My Hero Academia, Naruto and Little Witch Academia.

I’ll be reviewing this title weekly along with a few others. New episodes are available on Tuesdays and Episodes 1 thru 3 are streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles with an English Dub on Funimation to follow soon.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: Anime News Network

By Pierre Brown