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Black Clover’s Asta Makes Goku’s Dragon Ball Training Look Like a Joke

Black Clover has taken one of Dragon Ball’s signature tropes to the next level by having Asta arrive at the 11th hour more than once.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Black Clover chapter 319!

Asta from Black Clover has been consecutively one-upping Dragon Ball‘s Goku by executing the Saiyan hero’s signature move more than once, again and again.

After the capture of Black Clover‘s Captains Yami Sukehiro and William Vangeance, the Clover kingdom’s mages had to undergo an excessive training regime with their recent allies in the Heart kingdom to prevent the devil-hosting Dark Triad of the Spade kingdom from opening the Tree of Qliphoth, a channel of nine gates that unleashes more powerful devils the higher the gate number. Everyone completed their training, except, of course, Asta as he still needed to perfect his devil union with the devil Liebe whose power had been providing him with anti-magic throughout the manga. The two heroes didn’t arrive until literally the 11th hour in chapter 315, after responding to other last-minute emergencies.


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This follows a similar trope that Dragon Ball Z famously employed during numerous sagas. For the sake of the story, Goku couldn’t logically face every villain upon their arrival because, as the strongest warrior, he would have defeated them almost immediately, eliminating a majority of the conflicts in each arc. Dragon Ball Z solved this dilemma by always making Goku predisposed for various reasons by the time a new threat emerged. This not only elongated each saga but increased the tension considerably, as Goku’s friends, who are much weaker by comparison, always struggled a great deal (sometimes even dying) before Goku’s arrival. The excuses for the Saiyan’s repeated absences played on some variation of Goku training. The most famous transpired during the Saiyan saga when Goku, after getting killed by his brother Raditz, trained on King Kai’s planet. When the then-villainous Vegeta and his companion Nappa arrived on Earth for nefarious means, Goku had to rush back to the realm of the living over the long and arduous Snake Way path – and arrived quite late.

What sets Asta and Liebe apart from Goku though is that after returning they’ve been saving the day, not once but numerous times. In chapter 281, Asta and Liebe make a detour once they finish training to stop a slew of demons that the Dark Triad of the Spade kingdom unleashed on the Clover kingdom. After saving his home, Asta then rushes into enemy territory. Six chapters later, he helps the losing Black Bulls Vice-Captain Nacht defeat the supreme devils Lilith and Naamah. Ten installments later, he stops the devil Megicula at the last second from detonating the Queen of the Heart kingdom. Incredibly, Black Clover somehow one-upped Dragon Ball‘s trope again by forcing Asta to stop fighting for 30 minutes since he had just used up the anti-magic required for the devil union. It wouldn’t be for another 15 chapters until Asta rejoined the battle to save his friends from the devil host Dante of the Dark Triad and then to prevent Lucifero from fully manifesting in their world by destroying his vessel. And while he manages to prick Lucifero’s finger, Asta soon gets knocked back, allowing seven of the Clover kingdom’s nine captains to take on the King of the Devils before Asta returns at the end of the latest installment, chapter 319.

Like Goku, the Black Bulls mage Asta (and Liebe) are unable to join the initial attack against the enemy with their friends. All three heroes in both franchises are also the key to defeating the current evil facing their respective worlds, so it would have been quite helpful if they actually led the charge. However, Black Clover is placing numerous obstacles in the way of Asta and Liebe from saving the day, delaying the saga’s conclusion even further, while Goku has only ever had to contend with one.

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