One of the most anticipated anime of the fall season has arrived. "Black Clover" is yet another anime based off a manga from the famous "Weekly Shonen Jump" magazine that has brought us "Naruto" and "My Hero Academia," among plenty of other famous titles. "Black Clover" follows the story of Asta, a 15-year-old boy who lives in a world where magic is everything, but he can't use it. Instead, he is given a powerful grimoire that allows him to use anti-magic and he joins a brigade of Magic Knights to achieve his ultimate goal of becoming the Wizard King.

A world of magic

The episode starts with a priest finding a pair of babies on his doorstep. These babies are Asta and Yuno. Fast-forward 15 years and we find a teenage Asta trying to propose to a nun and getting rejected.


This scene shows Asta's dogged determination as he keeps trying, despite the object of his affections using her grimoire to summon a giant fist of water that smashes Asta into the ground. He keeps going despite this and despite another character mentioning that he's been turned down countless times before. This side character also demonstrates Asta's childish nature. Despite being several years younger, he's more mature than Asta. We also meet 15-year-old Yuno who is Asta's opposite - cool and collected, and a powerful mage. It also shows how Asta stands out; even young children can use magic. This is an explosive scene that handles a lot of exposition efficiently and teaches us a lot about our main characters and how they can grow.

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Later in the episode, we come to the Awarding Ceremony, where all the fifteen-year-olds in the area gather at a grimoire tower where they are chosen by their grimoires. Everybody, that is, but Asta. While Asta doesn't get a grimoire, Yuno is chosen by an incredibly rare grimoire with a four-leaf clover on the cover that is more powerful than the average grimoire, which have three-leaf clovers. Asta declares that he's Yuno's rival for obtaining the title of Wizard King, but Yuno dismisses him and Asta is laughed at by everybody else at the ceremony. This scene also introduces the idea of class being important in the world of "Black Clover." A pair of noble-born boys see Asta and Yuno standing together and make comments about how they think peasants shouldn't have to be given grimoires.


The black clover

Shortly after the Awarding Ceremony, Yuno is walking alone when the two noble-born boys from the ceremony ambush him. One of them, wielding fire magic, tries to burn Yuno's grimoire to ash with a spell from his grimoire that Yuno easily dispels without opening his. All three are set upon by a man who introduces himself as Revchi, a former Magic Knight who became a thief. He uses a form of creation magic that allows him to summon chains that bind all three, and he steals Yuno's grimoire when Asta shows up. Asta can only clash with Revchi for a moment before he's wounded. While he's down, Revchi informs him that his chains can sense magical energy, and Asta doesn't have any in his body.

This brings a complete change to Asta's demeanor. He quickly sinks into a depressed state, realizing that no matter how much physical training he undergoes, he'll never be able to use magic. It shows an underlying fear in Asta, and that there's more to his character beneath all the noise and bluster on the surface.

The scene also changes our perception of Yuno; despite acting distantly to Asta all episode, he shouts encouragement to Asta to stand up and fight and acknowledges him as his rival.

This gives Asta a second wind, and his grimoire appears. Unlike the other grimoires which appeared with halos of light, Asta's grimoire darkened the entire area as it appeared, and it had a five-leaf clover on the front. Yuno says he knew Asta would be chosen, showing that he has more brotherly feelings toward Asta than was previously shown and adding some extra depth to his aloof character. But Asta receiving his black grimoire signals the end of the episode. With a brief explanation that each leaf of a clover symbolizes something, and that a demon resides within the fifth, we're forced to wait until the next episode to see what kind of powers a magical item grants to somebody without magic.

The first episode of "Black Clover" gave us a ton of exposition in a very streamlined, entertaining form. It introduced us to a pair of interesting characters who have deeper personalities than it seemed, as well as a glimpse at a wide world of powerful magic.

There are plenty of reasons to have high hopes for "Black Clover." After all, it's produced by the same studio that brought us the "Naruto" anime and the manga is still going strong. Having read much of that manga, I can safely say that this anime has just given us a taste of some awesome battles to come.