Image source: テレビアニメ「ブラッククローバー」公式 on Twitter

Seeing a good clean rivalry in anime is always the best. And Asta and Yuno from Black Clover are rivals who were made for each other.

Asta and his brother Yuno have completed the Magic Knights entrance exam and have chosen the Squad they want to enter. Before they go their separate ways, though, they reconfirm their rivalry. And now it’s a race to see who can achieve their dream of become the Wizard King first.

There’s one thing that sets Yuno apart from Asta as a rival. It comes down to one factor, almost no body believe Asta can become the most powerful mage in the Clove Kingdom; that he’s literally following a pipe dream. The one person who does is Yuno and that makes Yuno the best damn rival Asta can have. The reasoning for Yuno is, it’s a given Asta is his rival because Asta is the person who sent him casing after his dream. That’s why Yuno believe’s Asta can do better—that Asta will, in turn, propel him to do better. We even see it in the fifth episode when Yuno says to another Magic Knight candidate along the lines of, “You’re not good enough for Asta.” It’s Yuno’s recognition the only person worthy of challenging Asta is Yuno, himself. Not because Yuno is more talented, but because he wants to show even Asta can rise up to the occasion and do better than what all they naysayers believe.

Asta’s Overt Optimism in Black Clover Is What Makes Him an Engaging Character

This comes from a popular principle in anime: how the kanji for rivals/enemies (teki 敵) can be read as “friend.” It’s exactly how Yuno views Asta, with a little more thrown on top. He sees Asta as a rival, but just because he does doesn’t mean they aren’t close—they are foster brothers after all. Therefore, all kinds of small things become a competition between the two. Going back to the first episode of the series, Asta and Yuno are “competing” to see who can get a better grimoire. Granted, the grimoire chooses the person. Yet, for Yuno, it is a friendly completion of who’s going to be chosen by a “better” grimoire. While it’s debatable who won competition, it isn’t arguable they both received extremely rare tomes. This, in turn, only confirms Yuno belief Asta’s a worthy rival.

Image source: テレビアニメ「ブラッククローバー」公式 on Twitter

Even in the fifth episode we’re shown Yuno’s appreciation toward Asta. It’s done in two distinct ways. The first is the combat portion of the Magic Knight entrance exam. What’s amazing about this is Yuno and Asta don’t fight each other. Instead they each face rather cocky examinees. And what do we see? With both characters they easily deal with their opponent. While the spectators are amazed at their wins, to Yuno, Asta’s victory is a reconfirmation that his brother is a worthy rival. He’s literally of the mindset, “Of course Asta will win, because I’ve seen him in action and I’ve trained my entire life to be better than him.”

The second is when the Magic Knight Squads are picking which examinee they want in their ranks. Now, Yuno and Asta have less agency in this matter as the Captains are the ones making the final decision. But, there’s a stark difference in which Captains chose Asta and Yuno. Every Captain wants Yuno, only one wants Asta. But, for Yuno, this too is a competition between rivals as it shows who’s closer to their dream than the other. In the end, it’s more pomp and circumstance because what matters most to Yuno is how they both use the opportunity given to them. And we see Yuno believes this a chance to for both of them to get one step closer to their dream and they’re not going to waste it.

Your Guide to the Magic Knight Squads in Black Clover

Asta and Yuno are the perfect pair for each other since their presence forces them to consistently push themselves to be better. That’s the nature of rivalry. And that rivalry won’t end just because they’re parting ways.

Black Clover is streaming on Crunchyroll (Sub) and FUNimation (dub).

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