Black Clover: How the Anime Turned Fans Around on Asta

Black Clover had a notoriously rocky start for a lot of viewers, with the lead protagonist, Asta, being very vocally grating. Those who stuck with the series now view it either as a guilty pleasure or unabashedly sing its praises as a solid shonen action anime. 

Asta started off as a loud and simple-minded character with incredibly humble roots. He didn’t have any mana or magic skills but still aimed to become the Wizard King. His initial reasoning was that Sister Lily would agree to marry him if that happened, along with a promise to be Yuno’s rival. While this looked illogical at the time, Asta didn’t give up. Let's jump into how Asta’s evolution helped him win the hearts of Black Clover fans everywhere.

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Throughout Black Clover, Asta’s underdog characterization was his main point of likability. He never gave up against any opponent, even those obviously superior to him. Asta wanted to become stronger to protect his friends and the Clover Kingdom. His show of strength and simple-minded but kind logic changed the hearts of the series' critics -- and villains.

After the Black Bulls took him in, Asta went on countless missions and experienced the horrors and hatred of terrifying people who exist in the world. He turned the tide when fighting Mars of the Diamond Kingdom and was able to change his heart in front of Yuno and two Golden Dawn members. The fact that Asta created change by being himself also helped change his image -- and the image of the Black Bulls.

Asta’s growth as an individual helped each Black Bull member grow as well. Viewers got to see him interact with this family and provide not only physical training, but also mental and emotional growth. When Asta lost his ability to wield his swords, the entire Black Bull squad sought a solution. His depression from losing his physical ability showed a more complex, vulnerable side, one in which his loud voice and strength were nowhere to be found.

The Black Clover protagonist relied heavily on his emotional resolve to take on every enemy, and viewers got to watch him make an unforeseen comeback from his low point. Through their search for a cure for Asta’s injuries, the Black Bulls met with the Witch Queen. She tried to pull out Asta’s devil by threatening his friends' lives. He then evolved to become Black Asta and utilized his Anti-Magic to an extent that had never been shown before. The Witch Queen respected Asta afterward and healed him of his injuries.

Episode 63, “Not in the Slightest” was the biggest turning point in Black Clover as it showed Asta’s power-up, the growth and potential of his abilities, and elevated the show itself into a shonen heavyweight. It encouraged viewers to keep watching Asta in particular to see how much more he could grow.

The power-ups, new attacks and techniques that Asta performed helped him gain the respect and love of both fans and in-world characters. The Wizard King, Yami, Yuno, the Black Bulls and almost everyone else ended up rooting for Asta, and this opened doors for him to show his potential as a Magic Knight. He was allowed to train with Mereoleona, gaining respect from Noelle’s siblings and receiving acknowledgement from both the first Wizard King and the present one.

Asta's most evident transformation came during his training in the Heart Kingdom. His muscles became huge as he moved at near-lightning speed, learned how to fly with his sword and grew his strength exponentially. He fought very powerful magic users whose techniques differed from those in the Clover Kingdom, which gave him more range to find solutions and utilize his own newfound abilities. This growth was pleasantly shocking for fans. Long gone was the small kid trying to yell his way into Sister Lily’s heart.

Prior to Black Clover's ending, viewers were shown the newest source of Asta's character development and growth. He and his devil, Liebe, interacted and fought for the first time in the real world. Liebe’s backstory, both heartbreaking and sentimental, was revealed to the audience. The duo’s potential gave fans even more to look forward to.

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