Asta and Yuno have the healthiest rivalry


Notice that I’m using the term “healthiest” here as opposed to greatest. It’s a little nuance that is worth pointing out because it’s different. The greatest rivalry would definitely need to be Goku and Vegeta followed by Yugi and Kaiba, Tyson and Kai, Aichi and Kai, Naruto and Sasuke, Yusuke and Hiei, etc. I would put those rivalries higher than Asta and Yuno’s if I were to rank them all.

However, while those rivalries are a lot of fun, part of the intensity there is with how toxic and antagonistic the characters were for a time. Vegeta literally started out as a genocidal monster who would blow up monsters and torture his opponents. He’s tried to murder Goku on more than one occasion and hasn’t always stayed the path of a hero. The banter is top tier but you couldn’t always say the rivalry was on good terms. (Well, Goku would probably say it was positive throughout) It’s a great rivalry but I wouldn’t call it a healthy one in the sense that you wouldn’t want this rivalry in real life prior to when it finally mellows out more in the end of Z to Super era.

Meanwhile Asta and Yuno is the kind of rivalry that you would absolutely love to have in real life. Both of them clearly respect each other and encourage themselves to do better. When Asta was having a hard time, Yuno gave him a pep talk. When Yuno was mind controlled Asta talked him back up. You never see these two characters getting really jealous of each other to the point of turning evil or giving each other the cold shoulder.

There were several times it seemed like the manga may be about to turn Yuno over to the dark side but it hasn’t happened. Now it still could at some point but we’re fairly deep into the series without that happening so the chances continue to decrease. He just takes his losses as an opportunity to get stronger without resenting Asta for it. They may get jealous at times but nothing very serious. One such moment is when Asta’s chances of fighting Yuno are sabotaged and he’s upset since now Yuno is in the finals but Asta won’t get to be there. It makes sense as being a very frustrating moment though because that’s something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. So let’s specifically look at the reasons why I call it a great rivalry.

The origin of the rivalry

So rivalries can start in a lot of different ways. It could be due to an inferiority complex from the rival himself who sees that he will ultimately be surpassed by the lead as with Bakugo. Deku just rubbed him the wrong way and the guy never looked back. He went after Deku at every turn but make no mistake he was a bully through be through. For Asta and Yuno, they became rivals after Asta saved Yuno from a bandit. Yuno saw Asta’s power and vowed to be strong. Not to rub it in Asta’s face or to destroy him but because that was a new ideal for him. From that point on Yuno was a changed man and never cried like that again. It was a positive start though as Yuno saw Asta at his best and it helped him improve himself. It’s a rivalry based on making each other better as opposed to breaking each other down and that’s a common theme throughout the series.

Clear Communication

A lot of rivals can barely manage to acknowledge each other without throwing in some kind of insult. You’ll come to see that a lot especially with Sasuke as he continually badmouths Naruto. He is definitely an extreme rival given how he completely turned evil and all but it does show how far some rivals are willing to go. Compare that to Asta who is able to awaken Yuno from the mind control by talking about his dreams or Yuno saying that he knew Asta would he selected by the magic knights and get a book. A proper rivalry should be one where you acknowledge the other side as an equal and that’s exactly what they did. Not just in a power sense but even just acknowledging that they respect each other.

Asta and Yuno always do that and even in front of villains so it’s not like this is a private thing. They don’t care who’s listening and will still praise the other. Particularly in Yuno’s case this is a big deal since in the series there is a big stigma against those who cannot use magic like Asta. This can also mean that Asta is susceptible to surprise attacks since his durability is that of a normal human’s. Once Asta learns how to use ki it becomes difficult to launch a sneak attack on him but there’s one time prior to that where a villain tries to land a sneak attack and Yuno quickly foils the attempt. It was a good way to show how they still watch each other’s back. The clip I linked above showed Asta at his lowest moment in the series and Yuno was able to bring him out of that depression. There were no insults, barbs, or any of that. Yuno just talked him up and it was a powerful moment.

Finally, it’s a rivalry not an obsession

When there’s an actual villain to defeat you don’t see any kind of bickering between them. There’s no pretense about being the one to stop the villains or anything like that. They just run in and get the job done. They’ll team up and coordinate attacks in an instant without looking back. They did this to fight Licht, the Devils, Mars, etc. their rivalry takes a backseat to the actual threats which is very realistic and just makes sense. They are heroes first and rivals second after all.

Personally I love the kind of banter we get from say Goku and Vegeta when a villain shows up. In their case the rivalry takes first dibs mainly thanks to Vegeta insisting on it. It’s a lot of fun to watch of course which is why they have the best rivalry of all time but in real life you’re probably hoping you can get help from your rival if something serious happens. Make no mistake Asta and Yuno still have a lot of great banter throughout the series and take shots at each other but it’s all in good fun. You never feel any kind of malice between the characters, serious resentment or anything like that. They’re just good friends who make each other even better.

So those are the main reasons why I put Asta and Yuno at the top in this category. It’s a really nice change of pace and it also makes this a very unique rivalry. As mentioned there is still time for things to change though. I’ve always been in the camp that believes Yuno will probably turn evil at some point but I wouldn’t mind being incorrect on this one. I should also say this isn’t the only healthy rivalry. There are certainly more of them out there particularly if you go more into different demographics. For Shonen the closest might be fighters like Ichigo and Renji or Luffy and Zoro but both rivalries are less of a focus to the point where you can debate if they really are rivalries. Then you have Ash and Gary where there are a lot of insults from Gary but I would put it more on the good fun side. It might be straddling the line just a tad but I have no doubt that if Ash was in serious trouble Gary would step in without letting Ash get beat up. Still, those are all runner ups in the end. Asta & Yuno’s rivalry is unmatched.

Ranking all of the Black Clover openings


It’s time to rank all of the Black Clover openings. I recently made it up to the final ending from the Toonami broadcasts and it was quite excellent. It made me think, could this be the best opening? From there I figured if I was going to check out the rest of them anyway that I might as well make a quick editorial/rankings out of it. Typically it can be very tough for an ongoing show to keep churning out consistently great openings. You’re bound to hit a snag at some point or some shows just start keeping the same song for a while but Clover was always good about changing it a lot. Some of these openings I totally forgot about while others are as clear as they’ve ever been.

The only franchises that I would say have been able to maintain a similar level of quality for so long would be the Railleratordex franchise (Railgun, Index, and Accelerator) and Sword Art Online but they would be firmly fighting for second place. Black Clover has 1st in the bag. So without further adieu, lets take a look at the 13 openings from worst to best. I’m ranking them based both on the music as well as the animation contained in them. For any openings that may have more than one version, I’m using version 1 as a reference. Click here for a link to all of the openings in case you want to check them out for yourselves

13. Opening 11

So my least favorite opening is 11. It’s certainly more of a happy opening compared to the others as an arc just finished so the characters are finally getting to relax a bit. The main reason why it loses to the others is that there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s calm which is nice and all but I would have still liked to have seen some more quality animation here. It just felt more like an opening that was thrown together without any style to it.

12. Opening 12

Next up is 12 so I suppose you can say the ending started to weaken for the series. Following up on 11, we’re still in an era of peace so the opening is more about the characters working out and just having fun. I’ve never been a big fan of that as the action for the openings. Give me some extra fights or something. I do like that part of the music has a very Kingdom Hearts feeling that appears now and again. It’s not quite enough to put this one higher though.

11. Opening 7

I really liked the opening animation here showing the contrast with Asta and Yuno. Both of them have come a long way by this point and still see each other as rivals in the center ring. It’s a great start but the opening starts to lose steam as we get a lot of stills after that. On the flip side, the music really turns up in the second half so this one just didn’t find the right balance to go higher.

10. Opening 5

This opening’s going for full sad vibes. The characters are all dealing with a lot at this point and the music reflects that. It all pairs up well and that helps this opening join the top 10. It’s still not quite energized enough to go higher up but it does serve as a nice change of pace from some of the other openings.

9. Opening 9

Cool that the 9th opening is in 9th place right? This one feels a lot different from the others with how much of a focus the elves get. This almost feels like a story opening as it takes place with Asta and Yuno beginning their counter attack after showing the Elves off. It’s a pretty high quality opening and my favorite part is definitely near the end with the fire fights for the Fuego siblings and Noelle. It was a very strong opening to be sure.

8. Opening 8

This opening really shows how differently the past was for Asta and Yuno compared to the Elves. They didn’t have a care in the world while things were not going quite so well on the rest of the planet. The climax has some big fights as well. What gives it the edge over 9 really comes down to the song. The images are fairly close but this one did have the Asta and Yuno fight and the music just had more energy.

7. Opening 3

It’s really great seeing all of the Black Bulls hanging out and then fighting together. The song itself is also one of the strongest ones from all 13. While the images may not have quite as much weight as some of the ones coming up, this was a good example of how to do a more laidback opening for several sections while still keeping up the tempo and a lot of energy.

6. Opening 6

They went all out with the animation here as we see the various tournament battles. The music works perfectly here and it’s why this opening is so high. It’s got really strong fundamentals with the opening tunes and starts out incredibly strong. The art style effects at the beginning are also pretty unique. Not something you want to see long term but it works for short bursts.

5. Opening 4

This may have the best intro animation to an opening aside from 13. The first shots look amazing and the music has a solid intro. Sadly it seems like they spent the animation budget on the opening so the majority of this one is all stills. It’s why despite having such an amazing song, I have to bump it down a few slots. It’s an opening that’s more fun to listen too than to watch.

4. Opening 1

This one’s an excellent mix of happy and sad moments. You get a nice sense of adventure here but with things not going very well for the heroes on multiple fronts. It’s a very classic opening though and one I’ve heard many times. The song is very strong and I like the dynamic with Asta and Yuno in the opening moments. Age has not held this one back at all.

3. Opening 10

As I mentioned I’m looking at the first version of the opening for ones that have multiple. Version 2 of opening 10 actually looks very happy which shows what a quick background change can do. The original version is incredibly sad and somber though. The opening did a great job of showing how tough things were getting on the heroes. The music follows along with slow beats before speeding up. It works exceptionally well and is definitely one of the best openings.

2. Opening 2

This was the first opening to really go all in with the action scenes. It had a lot more intensity than the first opening. It loses the more somber elements for the most part and focuses on the heroes claiming victory and decimating their opponents. I was really close to putting this one in the number 1 spot but ultimately it has a slower intro than the 1st place intro which never misses a beat.

1. Opening 13

What can I say, the series ended on an absolute high note with this opening. The beginning is a perfect homage to the first one. It’s cool to see how far Asta has come over the years. The music has a very consistent beat and the animation has never looked better. The shots with the Dark Triad are great and the animation even seems to have a bit of a different style with Zenon vs Yuno that worked very well. Yeah this opening could not be defeated and I’ve already heard it dozens of times at this point.

So those are the rankings for Black Clover. Once we get a sequel anime it’ll be fun to hear how those openings turn out. There are several videos that merge all of the openings on Youtube so just put that on loop for a while and you’re set. I probably won’t be doing another opening list for a while but I’ve definitely got a bunch of completely different editorial ideas I’ll throw around here and there. So I’ll see you on the next one!

Asta vs Revchi



It’s time for Asta to step back into the spotlight. He’s quickly become one of the most well known and recognizable characters in anime. The guy never gives up and gets stronger with each arc. Revchi was the first ever villain Asta ever battled so there’s no way he can win. Revchi’s ability to seal away magic with his chains is formidable, but Asta can slice through such a weapon with ease. Nobody’s sealing away this kid. Asta wins.

Why Black Clover is the best weekly manga/ongoing anime right now


It’s time to take a look at why Black Clover is the best weekly manga on the block and also why the anime is so amazing. Clover started out with humble beginnings. I only knew one person who was with it from the very start and recommended it quite highly. Initially there was a good amount of push back against the series as fans of the big titles of yesteryear feared its coming. Black Clover was mixing together a lot of ideas from older titles like Naruto and giving them a new spin. Make no mistake though, Black Clover had a great start right from the jump.

For the anime it was clear that it would be amazing from the first episode which looked spectacular and still holds up. The characters were engaging and the whole thing was interesting. The pacing and directing was on point so you were excited to see what would happen next. The world setup is excellent and the cast of characters have gotten better and better as time went on. The series isn’t literally perfect as it still loses out on best manga of all time to Megaman NT Warrior and then One Punch Man, but it is quickly cementing itself as one of the biggest titles. It’s certainly the best of the modern big 3 of Shounen Jump.

Quality rivalry

One area that really works out well in Black Clover is the rival dynamic between Yuno and Asta. Unlike some Shounen rivalries there aren’t any bitter feelings between the two. They both want to be the Wizard King and see each other as worthy rivals in this quest. Both of them continue to get more and more power ups as they rise through the charts to the point where I would consider both of them to be stronger than the Captains at this point in time. Given how powerful the latest villains are I see more power ups in the near future as well. It’s a great rivalry and both of them have gotten to save the other a few times at this point so it’s pretty balanced. For the record, I’d pick Asta to beat Yuno right now if they were to fight.

A Powerful Heroine

Next up, a strong point in the series is how Noelle has remained relevant. In a lot of these big action titles the heroine is quickly left in the dust when it comes to power levels. Sakura Haruno in Naruto was left in the dust as early as the Zabuza arc where she was unable to do anything against Haku while the other two put up pretty big fights. Her first real big fight wouldn’t be until her match-up with Sasori but even there she had a ton of help. Fiddletwix of Anime Madhouse recently wrote a great article depicting what I mean with this. Then in the final battle of the series with the trio fighting once more she did put up a reasonable fight but you never really got the feeling that she caught the others. I’ll give her some props regardless, but that’s 72 volumes in.

Then you have Nami in One Piece who isn’t really meant to be a fighter. That doesn’t take away from the fact that she is significantly weaker than Zoro and Luffy. Finally you have Bleach which is an amazing title but you have to admit that Orihime doesn’t fight much. You could make the case that Rukia should be counted in which case she does put up a better effort. Kubo gave her a fair shake as she had her own share of battles and even took down an Espada. That series is the closest to Clover in this regard. Clover still stands on its own though by giving Noelle quite a few super forms keeping her in league with Yuno and Asta. While she may not be quite as powerful as those two, she has handled her share of battles flawlessly and even saved Asta on occasion. In her Valkyrie armor we don’t yet know how powerful she is, but she can hold her own in a fight. Right now if she were to team up with Asta and Yuno she could do so proudly and fight as an equal.

Humor is on point

While you’re likely here for the fight scenes humor is also very important in any series. You want the humor to be on point so you can laugh along with the characters and I’m happy to report that Black Clover pulls this off as well. The “Haha” character is great and Asta is always the best character for comic relief scenes. I like the way he is drawn with stars for eyes in various scenes and a lot of his humor comes from the fact that he never lets things to get to him and can be a bit oblivious. He just wants to keep on training through everything and even uses these moves to get villains to submit to him. This is easily one of the funniest titles out there which works as a great contrast to the epic action scenes as well. I guess what I’m getting at here is that Black Clover is a very versatile series and one that succeeds at everything it does. It’s an easy 9/10 series.

Now, does Black Clover have any weaknesses? Sure, no series is completely perfect right? In the most literal sense nothing can ever be perfect because if you look hard enough everything has flaws. For Clover, I’m not a fan of quite a few of the Black Bulls. I don’t really care for Charmy, Gordon, Grey, or Finral. Finral has gotten a little better as the series has gone on, but the others haven’t really worked for me. That being said, all of the latest members of the Bulls have been quite solid and each new addition makes the team that much better. Maybe those other characters will rise up for me soon and even if they don’t we have enough great characters to hold things up rather well.

So if you haven’t started Black Clover yet then you really need to change that. Whether you pick up the manga or the anime you’re in for a blast. It’s quite impressive how far the series has come and I’m ready to say that it is one of the best Shounen Jump titles out there. The action scenes are incredible both in the manga in the anime. A standout for sure is the Yuna and Asta vs Licht battle which goes all out. The animators in the series aren’t afraid to go all out and be a bit experimental with the battles as well. While Asta vs Ladros is the only one that didn’t work for me as it got too experimental, it’s still cool how the series is able to change styles so readily. Different episodes look like they’re done by completely different studios which takes a lot of talent. At its best this is one of the best animated titles out there. Things can only continue to go up from here. I could keep on gushing about how awesome Black Clover is, but you get the idea. It’s a series that you have to experience first hand.

Black Clover Gaiden: Quartet Knights


Looks like Black Clover’s finally got a solid spinoff to expand the franchise. I played the video game that this manga is based off of and it was definitely a lot of fun. The manga looks to be adapting the material pretty well and I’ll have a review for the series up when I’ve finished it.

Overall 8/10

Flash Gordon vs Asta




Flash is definitely very strong, but he is nowhere near a match for Asta. The kid has a lot of incredible abilities and has been getting steadily stronger with each arc. Flash cannot hope to keep up with this lead’s growth and I wouldn’t be surprised if Asta could beat him with a single blow at this point. At the end of the day Asta is barely human anymore while Flash is certainly mortal. Asta wins.

Touma vs Asta




Suggested by Sonic It’s time for a battle of anti magic users. Asta has his twin swords which nullify all magic and can also repel it while Touma does this by hand. The main difference here though is that Touma’s only real power is in his hand so Asta can ditch his swords and just make this a hand to hand brawl. At that point there really isn’t anything that Touma can do to keep up. Asta is a whole lot stronger and faster not to mention the fact that he can also read ki. Asta wins.

Gauche vs Asta



Gauche may have some pretty solid mirror magic at his disposal, but it won’t be enough to do any real damage to Asta. Asta’s too fast and his sword completely negates magic so that puts Gauche at a huge disadvantage from the start. He’s just out of luck here. Asta also has his demon mode which he could use if necessary, but I don’t think it’ll come to that. Gauche will go down before Asta’s superior power. Asta wins.

Zatanna vs Asta




Suggested by iKnowledge Zatanna is a powerful spellcaster, but this is a rough matchup for her. Asta’s swords can negate/reflect all magics. She can still use her spells to throw objects at him which aren’t made of magic, but he’ll be able to either dodge them or slice them apart anyway. Asta’s physical strength is incredibly impressive and will really serve him well in this match up. Zatanna just won’t be able to keep this match to mid-range where she would have a chance. Asta wins.

Mirio vs Asta


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Mirio has a lot of strength which he has honed over the years. Coupled with his ability to phase through objects he is a very talented fighter. That will let him put up a good fight here, but he will still be unable to take on an opponent as fierce as Asta. Asta has tremendous levels of speed at his disposal and he can really dish out the pain. In terms of physical strength I’d likely give Asta the slight edge as well. He’ll never give up and that’s bad news for his opponents. Asta wins.