Black Clover is a manga that came out around the time Bleach and Naruto were ending. Many people dislike it because of how many elements it borrows and combines but in my eyes, that’s what makes it so great. Shounen comics are made with a formula in mind so that they can hit all the right notes. This is no exception.
The story follows a young orphan who hopes to become Magic Emperor. That’s essentially the title given to the strongest magician of the Clover kingdom. Apart from being given a title, the Emperor also has the Order of the Magic Knights at his disposal.
In this universe everyone is given a unique book that gives them spells to use kind of like Zatch Bell.
There’s one big problem with that dream though. The kid can’t use magic! In a world where class and status are determined by how much magic you can control, this puts our hero at a clear disadvantage.
Luckily he doesn’t let that hold him back as he values hard work over talent. Oh and he gains a tome that summons a sword that negates and reflects magic.
He eventually joins a Magic Knight order after impressing its leader with his physical abilities and his never give up attitude. The squad, however, is considered the worst one of the available 9 and full of problematic characters. Magic orders act like villages in Naruto where the characters have to take on missions to make money and increase their reputation across the world.
Everything is clearly stacked up against our protagonist which makes it that much more enjoyable when he succeeds.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is how fast the pace of the story is. Within 3 or 4 chapters, our character has met all of the important characters and has already developed new abilities. There’s constant action happening but the little downtime that we get is still enjoyable.
The main character is named Asta. As stated earlier, he has no mana and relies mainly on his physical abilities to make it through dangerous situations. He is ignorant to most of the finer details of the world due to being from a backwater village, being poor, and having no magic skills. What he does have is the ability to persevere, no matter the situation. He’s the comic relief character the majority of the time. His magic tome summons an anti-magic sword.
Yuno is the rival character. He has much of the same background as Asta as they are from the same orphanage. Unlike Asta, he has limitless mana and has powerful wind magic. He’s more serious and could be compared to Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto. He isn’t whiny and actually likes and respects Asta from the beginning though.
In terms of main characters that’s it. What we do get are recurring characters from the different Magic Knight squads instead. They each have their special traits and magic that I wouldn’t be able to do justice for by mentioning them here.
The art style is the typical manga art. Nothing really stands out negatively or positively in terms of style. Sometimes the artist seems to not have enough time to finish the complete chapter, but it rarely happens. It’s more of a minor inconvenience, by that point.
If you like fantasy, magic, and underdogs, this is the manga for you. All of the characters are lovable and the only thing that might grind your gears is how positive most outcomes are. It’s worth a read if only to get an idea of how combining elements from different stories can make something good. Black Clover is a good magical story that should be more popular than trash like Fairy Tail. If you insist on not reading it, I heard there’s an anime so give that a shot.