Two little boys in a small village Hage of the Forsaken Realm where peasants live with their little magic and even little dreams.
Two young magic knights proving their merit, power, and resilience in their respective squads, never resting in their pursuit of becoming stronger.
Two rivals challenging each other to surpass the other.
Two friends closer than brothers by blood, competing for one promise.
That’s right, I am talking about Asta and Yuno from Black Clover! From a village without any magic knights to being stars in their squads, these two boys have come a long way. And what drives them is a single promise – to be the Wizard King.
What sets Asta and Yuno’s rivalry apart?
Right from the first episode (or chapter, I see you manga readers), we were introduced to two completely different boys: one loud, one quiet; one absurdly powered up, one magicless; one brave, one timid. Asta and Yuno have always been on the opposite ends of the spectrum, but the one thing that brings them close is their will and dream to become the next Wizard King.
But what truly sets them apart is their absolute belief in the other’s strength, the hunger to be stronger, and the challenges they give each other. Magic and anti-magic apart, Asta and Yuno’s greatest possession is each other. While Yuno has a ton of mana, Asta compensates for it with hard work.
Yuno scoffs at Asta for not receiving a grimoire in the gathering at Hage, but he still believes (and mind you, more than anyone) that there is no way Asta will not get a grimoire. Sure enough, he gets a grimoire, and boy! What a grimoire. This unshakable belief coming from a four-leaf grimoire owner himself was a pleasant surprise. It is rare in shounen animes to see a rival, and an overpowered one, that trusts in his opponent even more than themselves to the point that the opponent is a goal they know will keep going higher. But this was only one of such instances already gone and to come by.
The story of a unique rivalry
We learn how in their childhood, Yuno was a crybaby (aww he was so cute!) and how Asta fought without magic to bring back Yuno’s cherished pendant. This was the beginning of a promise they keep reminding each other by just saying “I am going to be the Wizard King!”.
Their reasons are different – but they are equally dedicated to it.
While the word “rival” carries a negative connotation, there are no bad intentions and no underhanded tactics in their relationship which is a welcome development in any anime rivalry.
You would also think that Yuno would detest Asta for being a simpleton with no magic. His taking Asta’s advantage would not have been an implausible instance either. But unlike any other extremely powerful rival, Yuno on the contrary acknowledges Asta and is proud of him, like we saw in his conversation with Langris:
When Yuno became powerful, Asta was depressed. But he still quickly picked himself up and strived to surpass his weak self. In their vulnerable moments, I think the one thing that drives both of them is the belief that the other would not want them to give up, otherwise, their pursuit from childhood would be rendered worthless. But, their rivalry bears fruit as we saw them both being the star rookies of their respective squads:
The most beautiful representation of this rivalry is actually in the OP12 of the anime.
The opening itself starts from showing the difference – Asta working hard beside his swords, while Yuno flies with his Sylph. Near the end, we see a running sequence. Asta and Yuno as children, Asta being slightly ahead of Yuno. It moves onto teenage Yuno surpassing Asta, and then both of them being equal when they became magic knights. As they both don their special forms – Asta’s black form and Yuno’s Spirit Dive – Yuno is far ahead. But Asta catches up fast, and even surpasses Yuno! (Do I smell a foreshadow?!)
Asta and Yuno share one of the healthiest rivalries in shounen animes. They actively compete and support each other, and their motivation to surpass each other does not come from a grudge, but purely from friendly competition. Asta looks up to Yuno, and Yuno looks up to Asta and for them, reaching (making the other reach!) new heights is the only way forward. Seriously the power-ups are making it harder by the day to predict who our favorite new Wizard King is!
I am going to end this blabber on my all-time favorite (okay, ONE of the favorites) Asta and Yuno moment.
Have any thoughts on this unique rivalry that I missed? And who do you think will become the Wizard King from Asta and Yuno? Comment down below and let me know! 😀