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

Maybe being “the best” isn’t just about who’s the strongest.

Black Clover‘s hero Asta has made it into the prestigious Magic Knights. But, the squad he’s assigned to is reputed to be the worst of the worst. And, at first glance, the squad’s reputation isn’t that far off as the members are a wild bunch. But, after a magical mishap involving another initiate, the squad doesn’t seem to be the worst group there is—after all, they actively look out for each other.

Back in the fourth episode of the Black Clover, we were introduced to every Magic Knight Squad. It’s pretty obvious which are the best and which aren’t. However, this has to do with reputation and not concrete evidence.

Now, however, we’ve had a chance to see the inner workings of two squads and had some light shined on another—the Black Bulls, the Golden Dawn, and the Silver Eagles respectively. The “best” two squads, the Golden Dawn and Silver Eagles, are filled with prejudice and social elitism. The “worst” squad, the Black Bulls, are instead filled with a general feeling of acceptance.

Why is this so, though? You’d think that so long as you’re accepted into a squad, its members would treat you as fairly as possible. Yet, this only seems to be the case with Black Bulls.

Your Guide to the Magic Knight Squads in Black Clover

The lack of egalitarianism in the other squads—particularly the Golden Dawn and Silver Eagles—stems from one important fact: They’re mostly comprised of aristocrats and members of the royal family. This lends them to act in a highly pretentious way towards those they deem lesser than themselves.

For instance, in the sixth and seventh episodes, we get a small look into the Golden Dawn’s members and how they treat Asta’s rival, Yuno. It’s with immense disdain because Yuno’s a commoner who essentially challenges their perceived birthright. It’s even said to Yuno, “We’re only doing this because the Captain said so.”

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

There’s a lot of ire in those words since the Squad is approaching Yuno as someone who doesn’t belong, despite having earned his keep. It’s very much social elitism and essentially turns the Golden Dawn into a club for the social elite. So, even if you have the talent, you’ll never be part of the group. It’s quite sad actually, as this is like the top 1% congratulating themselves for being born into that percentile group. Thus, when Yuno enters the squad, it forces the other members to acknowledge their faults. And as the elite, they just can’t have that. In the end this leads Yuno to be treated poorly; he’s not an aristocrat, so why should the other members treat him like one?

The Silver Eagles are very similar to the Golden Dawn in how they approach initiates. We see this with the character Noelle Silva and her relationship with her older brother, the Captain of the Silver Eagles. As a member of the royal family, she’s prime for one of the high-ranking Magic Knight Squads, the Silver Eagles in particular. While we can’t say the Silver Eagles don’t accept commoners, it’s inferred they prefer accepting aristocrats and members of the Silva family. So, Noelle is exactly who the Silver Eagles would want.

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

Yet, this isn’t the case because she can’t control her power. And it’s not a minor slip-up here or there, but an actual inability to wield her magic effectively. That’s the reason Noelle is rejected by her brother (and the Silver Eagles as a result) and there is validity to it. But, rather than try and help her control her power, Noelle is seen as a failure and a stain on the Silva name. Not something you’d expect from an organization that theoretically accepts people from all walks of life.

The Black Bulls, though, are a completely different story. The members accept anyone who’s qualified regardless of their personal background, issues, or history. Let that sink in for a moment. A squad member’s social status or any problems they have doesn’t matter in the Black Bulls. What they truly value is having the skills and the thirst to improve.

Consider how the members of the Black Bulls treat both Asta and Noelle. With Asta, they’re amazed at the fact he has no magical talent but is still able to hold his own in a fight. It’s a sign of true respect toward him by the other members and they want Asta to be a part of the group. It’s something we haven’t seen with the Golden Dawn or Silver Eagles.

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

Noelle, too, isn’t treated with the same ire as her family and is seen as someone who can improve with the other members of the Black Bulls. We see this in the seventh episode when she’s practicing her magic. She ultimately can’t control a spell and is saved by Asta.

Yet, she fears the Black Bulls are going to look down on her like her family has for her slip-up. Except, the members treat her with a positive attitude and kindness. Asta even remarks how Noelle is really powerful and the two should train to become even better, with the other members agreeing. It’s the idea they overcome their flaws to become a better person and mage that drives the Black Bulls; that your hard work reaps plentiful rewards. Because of this, the Black Bulls are more egalitarian and willing the accept initiates the others squads deem unworthy.

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

While accepting troubled initiates means the Black Bulls have a reputation of being the worst of the worst, it also leads to the members understanding the plight they’ve gone through. This gives the Black Bulls an amazing social environment, as they don’t look down on each other. And that creates some of the best social cohesion we’ve seen among the Magic Knight Squads. So, in a sense, the Black Bulls are the best squad an up-and-coming mage could want to join.

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

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