What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Black Clover episode 138, “In Zara’s Footsteps”! Moving on from last week’s episode, we jump into the adventures of another Black Bull. Where Charmy and Gordon were always going to be hit or miss, there’s a bit more certainty to expect from a character like Zola who has a bit more going for him.
I’m not going to lie that before this episode, I kind of forgot about Zola. I mean, it’s not too hard as he tends to be someone who keeps to the background instead of involving himself with the shenanigans of the Black Bulls. That said, this episode I found myself looking forward to because I did wonder what it meant for someone like Zola to go training on his own. His magic isn’t like most others who are more direct in what they can do. So color me surprised when seeing that this episode would instead focus on other things about Zola. Of course it would be disappointing to spend an episode with someone who wasn’t actually getting stronger, but there was other ways in which Zola walked away from this adventure better than he was before.
Other ways like finding a new motivation for pushing forward as a magic knight. Obviously Zola is a magic knight, but there was never a point where we truly saw his acceptance of it. It always seemed like a spur of the moment choice that he could have easily walked away from any time he chose. So it mattered getting that one episode where he could question what he wanted to achieve. Which brings us to his decision to return to his home village. This made sense for someone like him. It did because of course Zola cares about the common people, though at the same time it didn’t because for someone like him it is hard to see an attachment to any one place. Either way, it was a great opportunity to run into someone who reminded him of what it looks like to feel small because nobles have so much and only look to take from those who have little.
One thing to appreciate most about this episode is the similarities between Zola, Asta, and Yuno. All three of them came from nothing and brought themselves up to be magic knights. And better than that, they aimed to correct a world where nobles are handed everything. Though the key difference between the three about this is the way they respond to nobles. I love everything about Zola’s berating of them. He never minces words about how their actions disgust him, he calls them out on their weakness, and mocks them when they fall apart over not getting what they want. Someone has to be that guy, and It never disappoints when it’s Zola.
All in all, Black Clover “In Zara’s Footsteps” was a great change in pace for seeing growth in a new way. Though obviously that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see that six month mark and there not be a significant change in Zola’s power. Someone who specializes in traps has a lot to offer in my opinion.