In the world of Black Clover, almost every human being has some level of magical ability. When people come of age, they are chosen by a grimoire at the Grimoire Acceptance Ceremony. The main character in Black Clover, an orphan named Asta, is a rare human who has no magic at all.
Yet, he decides to attend the ceremony anyway in the hope that a grimoire would choose him. Here he receives the mysterious Black Clover grimoire. This imbues him with anti-magic, letting Asta cut through the spells and magical weapons of other wizards.
Asta and his friend and rival Yuno both join knightly wizard orders, with Asta becoming a member of the misfit Black Bulls. It's here where he can pursue his dream to become the Wizard King while contending with dark and mysterious adversaries who seem to want the destruction of the Clover Kingdom. The nation the wizard knights are sworn to protect.
Is It as Good as Naruto and Other Shonen Hits?
Although the show got off to a rocky start, especially since Asta's voice actor used a rather annoying vocal affectation early in the show, it's now one of the most-watched running shonen shows. In 2020 Crunchyroll announced that Black Clover was the most-watched show on their site. So, on Crunchyroll at least, it's picking up a larger viewership than the current Naruto franchise.
If you like to watch Naruto specifically, then you definitely should give Black Clover a go. The show has a huge number of similarities to the Ninja-centric Naruto series. If you took Naruto and changed the theme to medieval magic wizard knights, all the main beats would still be there.
Just like Naruto, Asta is someone looked down on by the rest of society. Asta also aspires to reach the top ranks of his order, and there are endless battles with ever more powerful enemies. Asta has a very Sasuke-like rival in Yuno and also has the power to win people over to his side with sheer determination and a belief in friendship.
So far, Black Clover takes itself a little less seriously than Naruto and doesn't thick on the melodrama to the same extent. It's easy to criticize Asta's character for being annoying, but people might forget what an annoying brat Naruto was in the first season of his show! At this point in its run, we're comfortable saying that Black Clover is at least as worthy of your time as Naruto. If you liked that show, you'll probably like this one.
Animation and Art Quality
For us, one of the most important aspects of a good shonen manga or anime is having a distinct visual style. Think about Dragon Ball's character and world design, or all the iconic ninja technology and lore from Naruto.
In this respect, Black Clover gets full marks. Tabata really has his own distinct style, and Black Clover's characters won't be mistaken for ones from any other series. They aren't as way-out as One Piece or Dragon Ball, mind you. We really enjoy the variety of shapes, sizes, and styles the various wizards come in. The characters are interesting and avoid being too stereotypical.
The animation itself is impressive for a shonen series made on a TV budget. We haven't spotted any of the embarrassing animation mistakes that pop up in shows like Naruto from time to time. Of course, it's not entirely fair to compare to older shonen programs which were made without modern tools. The bottom line is that Black Clover is perfectly pleasant to look at and offers some impressive battle animation in particular.
Don't Forget About the Manga!
Just like Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, and the other giants of shonen fame, Black Clover the anime is a running adaptation of Black Clover the manga. While there are differences between the two, the anime more or less faithfully follows manga's story. When the anime gets ahead of the manga, non-canon filler episodes make up the gap.
There are also several story differences between the two media. In the end, it means that fans of either version will find it worth their time to also have a look at the other. The good news is that the manga version of Black Clover is pretty easy to access, with Shonen Jump offering their manga through a mobile app for $1.99 a month.
Can't Watch Black Clover? Get a VPN!
Want to watch Black Clover, but can't because of where you live in the world? While it sucks to be left out of the fun because of borders, there are ways of getting around geo-restrictions. All you need is a reputable VPN with good performance. There are many great choices out there, but we've always had a great experience with ExpressVPN.
Using a VPN brings more benefits than getting access to content locked behind geographical blocking. It greatly enhances your privacy and security while making it harder for people to find your location or see what you're browsing on the internet. If you're not using a VPN, consider looking into ExpressVPN or one of the other great VPN options out there.
For more information, check out How to Watch Funimation Outside The US as well as How to Watch Crunchyroll Online Without Geo-Blocks. You'll find all the info you need to catch up on all the anime you want, no matter where you live!