The Toxic Social Stratification in Black Clover
Black Clover is a popular anime and manga series developed by Yuuki Tabata.
Less than two years after the publication of the manga series, an anime adaptation was released.
The story revolves around two young orphans, Asta and Yuno who dream of becoming the Wizard King, a title given to the strongest mage in the Clover Kingdom.
Even though both kids are rivals, there is a huge difference in their powers.
Yuno is a talented magician with a legendary four-leaf clover grimoire in his hands.
Meanwhile, Asta was born magicless and didn't receive a grimoire.
However, when Yuno was in trouble, Asta received a mysterious five-leaf clover grimoire and gained the power of anti-magic.
They journeyed from a small village of Hage in the forsaken realm to the royal capital in the noble realm.
Asta and Yuno took their first step towards achieving their dream when they were chosen as magic knights.
However, Yuno was chosen by the best magic knight squad and Asta could barely get into the worst one.
The story proceeds as the two struggle through challenging missions to rise up the ranks.
Social Stratification in the Series
It is not unusual to see social issues like discrimination, racism, etc. in movies, series, or anime.
Black Clover is typically a story of magic knights fighting against demons.
But the base of the story is about nobles and commoners and how the society is divided based on that.
Among all the classes, royal families are supposed to have the most mana and hold the highest ranks among the magic knights.
Then there are noble families who possess slightly lower mana than royals and are also among the high-ranking magic knights.
Then there are commoners who have a meager amount of mana and live in the common realm.
There's also a forsaken realm where are weakest and the poorest people reside.
The nobles looked down on commoners for having been with lower mana than them.
However, if a commoner ever were to be stronger than nobles, then he'd face even more contempt than usual.
In Yuno's case, in the beginning, his squad members neglected the fact that he was more talented than anyone in the squad.
Instead, they focused on the fact that he was a commoner and didn't deserve the same rank as them.
Meanwhile, Asta who was born without magic had it even worse than Yuno.
He was always ridiculed for not having any magic.
It didn't matter that his power to nullify magic was so much stronger than having actual magic.
The Result of Such Discrimination
Ever since the series began, social discrimination was condemned by most people.
The plot of black clover is written in such a way that the nobles are already born with much more mana than commoners, thus, giving rise to discrimination.
In a way, the series promotes the notion of social stratification and considers it as something "natural".
However, the present wizard king, Julius Novachrono abhorred the idea of dividing people by social status and the level of their magic.
He made unparalleled changes in the magic knights and even welcomed a foreigner as a squad captain.
As a result, more and more commoners started getting selected as magic knights.
However, their number is still very less compared to nobles.
The change brought simply isn't enough to cure the social stratification by root.
As such, those who suffered oppression due to their "low birth" started walking down the path of crime and treason.
The members of the Eye of the Midnight Sun, a terrorist organization led by Licht, were comprised of such members.
They were manipulated and believed if they stayed with the group, they'd be reborn and be able to live with their heads held high.
Another case was the vigilante group who claimed to be devil banishers but were later revealed as devil worshippers.
The group was comprised of people from the forsaken realm who had a very insignificant amount of magic that couldn't even help them in their daily tasks.
As such, they took advantage of the chaos of the battle with the Midnight Sun and formed an alliance.
They targeted Asta and Secre so they can take the power of the devil for themselves.
At last, the top members of the group were banished from the kingdom, only to make the nobles question the way the kingdom has been functioning all these years.
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