More often than not, manga that focus on magic (The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Witch Hat Atelier, Fairy Tail, Black Clover, etc.) prefer to create their own unique magic system, rather than using the same magic template, like what most isekai stories love to do. Witch Hat Atelier with its magic circles, Black Clover with its grimoires, and many others.
Interestingly enough, the magic system used in Black Clover is actually quite similar to Fairy Tail’s. After all, the characters in both series are usually confined to one kind of magic, such as fire, wind, darkness, plants, etc.
So with that in mind, we thought it’d be interesting to compare the magic system of these two highly popular series. We let them face each other in three different categories: originality, variety, and simplicity. Let’s see which one of the two actually has the best magic system.
Originality refers to the unique idea behind the magic system itself. Can it differentiate itself from the other magic systems? Does it offer something unique to the genre? Is it easy to identify this magic system, or would you mistake it with other similar ones?
As mentioned above, the overwhelming majority of the characters in both Fairy Tail and Black Clover can only wield certain kinds of magic. What makes them different, however, is the existence of the grimoires. In Black Clover, a magic user can only use the spells that are written in their grimoire. If certain conditions are met, then new spells will appear in the pages of the books. That means even if two users have the same fire-type magic, the kind of spells that they can use can be vastly different.
On the contrary, the magic in Fairy Tail doesn’t really require any specific condition to cast. Natsu can simply unleash a fiery breath whenever he wants, and Erza can equip her armors anytime she wants. We never see Natsu learn any new fire spells nor Erza look for a new armor to add to her collection. They simply use their power and call it magic. If the author decided not to call it magic, but rather superpowers instead, like the Quirks in My Hero Academia, then the story and the fight scenes would still largely make sense.
Sure, there’s another type of magic in the series that requires a separate external item, namely the Holder Magic. But the overwhelming majority of magic in Fairy Tail is Caster Magic, which works as described above. So because of that, Black Clover takes the lead when it comes to originality.
As the name suggests, variety simply refers to the different kinds of magic that are introduced through the magic system. And for this particular category, it’s best to look past some of the most common magic attributes, such as fire, water, ice, darkness, and the like. Instead, let’s focus more on unique and surprising magic that can make the readers scratch their heads or gasp in awe when they see it.
For this category, Fairy Tail wins hands down. Because while there’s some unique magic in Black Clover, such as Charmy’s Food Magic and Rill’s Painting Magic, the overwhelming majority of the magic belongs to the aforementioned elemental-based abilities. So there’s not much variety here.
On the contrary, Fairy Tail has no shortage of strange, interesting, quirky, unique, and head-scratching magic. Erza’s Requip, Lucy’s Celestial Spirits Magic, Zeref’s Death Magic, Gomon’s Torture Magic, the list goes on and on. There is even a version of food magic and painting magic in Fairy Tail as well. The sheer variety of magic powers in Fairy Tail easily rivals that of the Devil Fruit’s powers in One Piece. And for that reason, Fairy Tail is the clear winner of this round.
In their attempt to create something new, unique, and interesting, lots of mangaka end up crafting an utterly complex power system that can be hard for the readers to understand, which is what happened in Hunter x Hunter. A good power system should be both interesting enough to astound the readers, but it should also be simple enough so that the readers can understand it at first glance.
Both Fairy Tail and Black Clover are actually great at this particular category. After all, the concept behind the magic system in both series can be easily understood just after reading a couple of chapters. Sure, both series add more complexity to their magic system as the story progresses, such as the introduction of Black Magic and Lost Magic in Fairy Tail and the addition of Spirits and Mana Zone in Black Clover. However, the basic principles behind how the magic works remains largely the same.
So which of them is the better one? Well, in the section about “Originality”, we said that Fairy Tail’s magic system is so easy to execute that it is practically indistinguishable from other kinds of power systems, such as One Piece’s Devil Fruits or My Hero Academia’s Quirks. While it might hinder its “originality” point, that turns out to be a plus in the “simplicity” point. Fairy Tail has crafted a magic system that is so easy to understand that you don’t really have to think too much about how the powers work, and simply enjoy the show. So this final round is for Fairy Tail.
With a win in both Variety and Simplicity, Fairy Tail is the clear winner in this brief comparison. We can now say that Fairy Tail has a better magic system than Black Clover. That being said, this result is not absolute. Because you can always add more variables and categories to better compare the magic systems of these two fantasy series, and you would possibly arrive at a different conclusion than us.
As a matter of fact, if you decide to do something like that, please share the result of your analysis in the comment section below so all of us can see it. After all, as fans of both Fairy Tail and Black Clover, it’s always fun to read more fan-made content about our favorite series.