UPDATE: Having completed Episode 9, I have dropped my overall score for Shuumatsu no Izetta to a 5. Changes: Story - 6 -> 4; Character - 8 -> 6; Enjoyment - 9 -> 5
A show like this demands that the viewer suspend their disbelief. But after a certain point, the amount demanded becomes far too much, and the viewer is left sighing and rolling their eyes.
Plot convenience after plot convenience have now made the show feel so contrived that it has become painful to watch. In my original review (unmodified below), I wrote how I hoped the show would take its story for an unexpected turn.
Well... the show has now certainly done just that. But this is not what I wanted. Not at all.
Unfortunately, Shuumatsu no Izetta has elected to create conflict in a way that is both forced and uninspiring. Indeed, it is now sitting atop a tower built on a foundation of baffling plot twists - in other words (if you would humor the analogy), loose sand. With only three episodes left, I don't see how the writers can save this show without bringing the whole thing tumbling down.
Either way it goes, the result will be less than ideal.
Lacking - 4/10
For reasons mentioned above.
Fair - 6/10
The first time around, I lamented the flatness of the show's antagonists. They aren't flat anymore (too much edge now), but they've also managed to become downright annoying. Motivations are poorly pieced together, and the show's weak attempts to make the bad guys sympathetic have completely failed.
At the end of the day, absolutely none of it is compelling.
Mediocre - 5/10
Now watching only to see what happens.
Mediocre - 5/10
After the first few episodes, the show began to slump. I won't claim to know a better direction the writers could've taken it. I do know, however, that I'm not a fan of the way things are playing out now.
Hopefully, I'm wrong in thinking that Shuumatsu no Izetta can no longer be saved. But again, I don't really see how it can be.
I REALLY LIKED THE CONCEPT... D:
ORIGINAL (EP 4 Preview):
Anime is uniquely powerful. In pretty much no other medium can you take topics as disparate as “World War II” and “Mahou Shoujo,” mash them together, and have people take you seriously.
Imagine if Hollywood tried to do it. A moe’d Jennifer Lawrence flying on a Russian anti-tank rifle over the battle of Belgium, slaying Germans with a flock of flying swords.
It sounds pretty metal, but I can’t help but laugh. The image is actually cripplingly stupid.
‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’ has painted that exact image, but with anime characters. It’s still dumb in concept, sure. But I’m no longer laughing at it. In fact, I’m watching it unfold and I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying it a lot.
Behold, the power of anime!
Initially, I was drawn to this show by the setting, and ended up hooked by the same. World War II isn’t often depicted in this medium, and when it is, it’s usually A. not set in the European theater and B. not too focused on the actual campaigns. ‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’ reverses both of these expectations and gives us, well, fighting in Europe (though it remains to be seen if there’ll be any large-scale combat in the rest of the show).
As far as its depiction of the War goes, the show, up to a point, runs parallel to history. I won’t go into too much detail but everything proceeds like it did in the real world until the Germanian Empire (Germany) decides to invade neutral Eylstadt (basically an independent West Austria).
In the face of such an overwhelming enemy and abandoned by its allies, Eylstadt begins to crumble. This is where Izetta, purportedly the last witch alive (and as I like to call her, a Mahou Shoujo Superweapon), steps in to save the day.
And boy is it epic.
Fair – 6/10
The pairing of unexpected themes and the very strong start aside, the story is actually a bit lackluster. For example: Izetta is very powerful, but her power is limited in a certain way... but that limit can be overcome. See how contrived that is?
And while the show does present an “interesting” what-if situation (i.e. what if Luxembourg/Liechtenstein had a witch – hitherto known only as a myth – to help them fight off the Germans?), the plot hasn’t shown any indication that it’ll be exploring this original premise in an equally original way. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not exactly a good thing either.
Perhaps the show will take an unexpected turn later down the road – after all, there is still quite a bit of room for the plot to develop. But as things stand now…
All in all, the story is not what carries ‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’.
Very Good – 8/10
The usual fare – in general, ‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’ looks and moves like most other shows these days. Now, this typically warrants just a 6 or so, but I’m a big sucker for scenic backdrops. Alpine villages and wooded manors? Ooooh baby. Throw in some battle lines to contrast all that pastoral goodness and you are set.
Also of note are the vehicles which, though clearly CGI, do not stand out nearly as much as you might expect them to. Like the tanks in GuP, they do a good job of blending in with the rest of the art.
There is one big detractor to the art: the design of Neu-Berlin, the capital of the Germanian Empire, is comically bad. We’ve only seen it for a few seconds, and I hope I can say the same thing at the end of the show.
Good – 7/10
Talented Japanese voice actors once again have no trouble (except with the German, but that's to be expected) bringing their characters to life. The soundtrack, containing a mix of “European” orchestral styles, occultic themes, and hype rock songs, is also pretty darn great. That said, none of the pieces are particularly memorable, save those containing a leitmotif tied to Izetta – one that fits her character very well, I might add.
Slightly disappointing audio-wise was how light the battles sounded, with a maximum of maybe two or three machine guns going in the background at any given time. Of course, no one is watching anime for that dank “war tapes” feel, but... it would have been nice.
Very Good – 8/10
The characters in this show generally aren’t too inspired. You have the honorable princess who puts her people before herself. You have the socially outcast OP character that devotes themselves to the one person who ever showed them kindness. You have the stereotypically evil Nazi spy and the stereotypically evil Nazi officers. Aaaaand yeah.
However, what would otherwise have been a horribly boring cast is saved by the show’s setting. The sheer absurdity of a Mahou Shoujo fighting in World War II forces the character archetypes to carry more weight than usual. Your Mahou Shoujo casts pretty spells and fights evil power rangers, eh? Yeah well, this one shoots Stuka bombers down with lances and decimates entire tank companies by flipping them all over. It sounds stupid as hell the way I’ve written it, and it kinda is stupid as hell, but it’s also goddamned amazing.
The antagonists are still boring though. Everything from the generals’ demeanors to the way the espionage is shaping up seems pretty run-of-the-mill. Here’s hoping the Germanians become a bit more nuanced as the show goes on. A Rommel-esque character (as over-romanticized as the Desert Fox is) would be fantastic.
Great – 9/10
I love military history. I love alternate history. I love generic European settings. I love OP characters that swoop in to save everyone.
Questionable taste to be sure, but I’ll love these things ‘til the day I die. And lo and behold, ‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’ has delivered soundly in regards to all of them.
*If my tastes don’t quite resonate with yours, but you’re still somewhat interested in the show, feel free to knock ‘Enjoyment’ down to a 7... Or lower, I guess.
Good – 7/10
So far, ‘Shuumatsu no Izetta’ has proved to be an entertaining military-themed offering, and I reckon it’ll only get better from here.
+ Intriguing concept
+ History buffs will get a kick out of the real-world parallels
+ Beautiful backdrops
+ Guns, tanks, and warplanes
+ The above beaten by magical swords
- Generic antagonists
- Novelty of Magic + WWII aside, the story is... generic
- Fanservice, though rare, feels extremely out of place
Fans of war-themed entertainment, especially those who have been looking for an anime with a (passably) vanilla depiction of World War II in Europe, should definitely give this show a go.
If “fan of war-themed entertainment” doesn’t describe you, I’d strongly recommend watching something else. Not that this show won’t have anything to offer you, but I have a feeling it’d mostly fall flat.
Izetta: The Last Witch, 終末のイゼッタ, Shuumatsu no Izetta, Izetta of the End, or Izetta, Die Letzte Hexe, is a 2016 Japanese television anime series that was announced on June 10, 2016. Produced by Ajia-do Animation Works and directed by Masaya Fujimori, the series began airing on October 1, 2016.
The series revolves around Ortfiné Fredericka von Eylstadt, or Finé, who is the princess of a small country south of the Germanian Empire. The year is 1939 and the world is at war. There are Germania and the Allies led by Britannia. Finé is to find a way to protect her small country. Thankfully, she finds a way to do so and tries to meet a Britannian Lord to negotiate military help and to protect Eylstadt. However, on her way to Britannia, Finé is captured by Germania. Is it the end, or, perhaps, she will find the way to save her motherland? Find out the answer now.
As you may have already understood it, the anime is set on an alternate Earth just before the start of World War II. The year is the same, the countries are same, with a few “little” exceptions: the names of the countries are changed (France is Thermidor, Livonia still exists), Britannia has a king instead of a Queen with their prince named Henry, Germania has a different flag, and the most important difference is that in this alternative world magic is real. This anime is not a stranger to alternate history plots, which means that it will have to offer something new to keep its viewer interested. But will it be able to do so? And the answer is, of course, no. I will not try to hide the fact that the storyline is interesting, and I will not try to hide the fact that I was looking forward to seeing this anime. However, this anime has far too many flaws to be enjoyable. The storyline is just a failure: it has a wonderful start and after a few episodes it becomes obvious that it will receive no development at all. And this is the main problem: no story development and the anime is trying to focus only on Finé’s life’s philosophy, or is it even possible to call it so?
As I have already mentioned it, the series tends to forget about the storyline and to focus more on the two main characters: Finé and Izetta. And again, Izetta receives far less development than Finé, which is again a huge defect. Anyways, Finé is the only daughter and heir to Rudolf III, ruler of the Principality of Elystadt. She embodies the idea of responsibility to a ridiculous degree. Finé’s presence in the series can be easily described as overbearing, she is literally everywhere. Everything she does, or says has something to do with responsibility and her sense of justice. She can be called the ideal itself. And because of her overbearing presence, other supporting characters, as well as our main heroine, are just pale and boring. Do not get me wrong, Izetta does receive some development, but sometimes you just want to know more about her, but Fine is everywhere!
Izetta is the descendant of a family of witches. She can cast a spell on anything she touches and manipulate it at will. When Germania captures Finé, Izetta finds herself on the same plane with Finé and after a little flash back she saves Finé. Izetta is a fine character. Okay, at least, she is cute. However, for some reason, the series does not give her development at all. She should have been the main focus of Shuumatsu no Izetta. Her power is enormous, why does she want to help Finé, why does she ignore every piece of advice she has gotten from her grandma? Why not show us more of her inner dialogues? Instead of it, we have Finé, the brain of this series that orders Izetta.
And it is not the only problem. Sometimes supporting characters might be average, but this time they are simply horrific. Take for example that moe maid, the series is trying to focus on some absolute nonsense, when it should have focused more on Izetta and on the storyline. What I mean is that this anime is about one terrible, horrific thing that no sane individual will ever want to happen again, about war. I am not trying to say that this anime needs some unnecessary drama, but, at least, try to show us some, please?
But! Shuumatsu no Izetta is not absolutely horrible, it also has a few things to offer to us: animation, mediocre music, and moe. The soundtrack followed the action closely, and even though the animation was not the best, it was fluid and steady throughout, it was at a level that could easily be held for the duration of the twelve episodes. If you cannot stand war and want to see a more neutral version of it, this anime is exactly for you. Cute girls saving the world! Do you need anything else? If not, what are you waiting for? Watch it! However, it is not enough for me and I am dropping this series after seeing the seventh episode. I love alternate history stories and this is the first piece I cannot watch anymore.
All in all, this anime used to have a very huge potential. Of course, it had nothing new to offer to the industry; however, it could have been entertaining, it was possible. However, Izetta, Die Letzte Hexe, is a futile try to make a copy of Strike Witches. The only difference, however, is that there are no pantsu shots here, which is a big mistake, by the way; it could have been a little bit more popular with them. With that being said, if you want to see an average show with an okay animation and somewhat cute girls, this series will not disappoint you. But if you are hoping to see a highly intelligent work, or a new view on the alternate history, I would never recommend you to waste your time on Izetta: The Last Witch.read more
So in September 1st, 1939 blah blah blah, yes it's a story with a world war 2 setting where witches exists. Where the soldiers or generals of the minor Germania characters are seen as a douche bag, fat, ugly, having a witch looking chin (#HeHaveChin), unwitted, compulsive etc. As well as the ally's minor and lame ass looking ones are seen as comical as hell. Which is a very generic archetype that are to be ascribs to clearly state the villain of the story for the Germania. I mean this isn't some childish cartoon right? So why make it look so childish?
On the side note, the MC (our Female Protag) has a very generic, heroic like persona, whose character are just so naivete and inexperience that i just literally came into disliking her as a character in the first episode. And yeah, she's so compulsive to the point that she needed her enemy to reminded her the consequences of her action, or of other people as she tries to pure out of her emotions for dat typical persona, i will yell at you while not actually reading the situation that I'm in. Like fucking hell man, her pride is kinda a bit a pain in the fucking butthole. But of course, this is an anime, but this is an anime that has alot of illogical moment, including the fight scene, Soldier's actions, why is the princess running around with a couple of her brother in arm (and has so damn much freedom, i mean Queen Elizabeth are somewhat carefree like her, but to be so self committed to the war this much, like how is that realistic during WW2), and where they tries to be as westerns as possible with japanese looking people in the crowd, why does the princess is negotiating when women are not even fucking allow to even do shit or decide anything during the war (given the discrimination), why are their fedora so fully intact when they're on the fucking top of a train (one person fedora falls as soon as they reach the top, but the other fedora doesn't even move an inch. It decides when to fall off later lmao), what are these scene where each of the character trip on nothing and so fucking forth. Btw, i still got a ton more of em question but that should be enough right? Oh, and women aren't allow to fucking become a soldier, or holding men's occupation at the start or before WW2. That came in like later on, but god damn I love how this anime just defy all of those logic and yeah, it's an anime so no worries really. But basically, this story is a modification of the WW2 setting to their very own discretion and predilection of what they wanted the characters to be, during the war. While the technology hold semblance towards the war zone machinery during WW2.
I'm not trying to imply that this anime is technically substandard with all of this - the story concept of a witch in the war zone, the character designs, the animation, the subpar dialogue to reenact the way westerner would kinda talk in WW2, the random input of opera background music/setting, beautiful OST (while some has a very horrible vocal sounds to try and give that magical feels, or vibe to the show), background art, and so forth are not really detestable. It's actually pretty interesting. The only thing that ruin it for me would prolly be the MC. Not that because it's a she. But her pretentious personality as a queen (who act like a fucking prince) is just bizarre for a WW2 setting. But if it was an actual fantasy like setting i wouldn't have complain here. And her compulsive,kind, and prideful nature would've lead to the death of many if the witches were never there to protect her. The thing that i hate about this show would also be the unnecessary fan service, that kinda ruins the story telling tbh.
All of that being said, this anime is still pretty interesting with all due to the arduous effort that they've put into making this anime. This is prolly one of the "entertaining" show of this season that I actually watch, with 3 other ones that came out during this seasonal released. And btw the animation is beautiful, great OST, and the concept of having a witch on their side during a WW2 environment is pretty dope. That's one of the main reasons that im still watching this anime, but god some parts are just so random and cringey as hell.read more
So far, for only 5 episodes going for it, I'd say this anime is doing quite well. It has promising story, promising characters, and good overall directing. There are some things that leave the audience wanting for a bit more though. For example, the art quality that goes down noticeably for BG characters (they become faceless), as well as the...rather unnecessary fanservice scenes (specifically, for the episodes aired so far, episode 4 is the most blatant offender).
The music is quite satisfactory, and actually reminds me of something that would come out of an RPG.
Fine and Izetta, our two main girls of this story could use a little more development, but we're most likely to see more of that in future episodes. I feel that a show like this, it's very rare to have the main cast to be female dominated, and it's quite refreshing to have it be so. I don't mind Fine having a sort of heroic characterization. I don't think there's nearly enough of characters like her.
If you're interested in action and fantasy anime, I'd recommend this for you, as long as you're not biased against female lead roles or yuri subtexts. read more