Izetta: The Last Witch 01 (Alternate Earth, World War 2)

Izetta: The Last Witch 01
Shumatsu no Izetta episode 01
Izetta, Die Letzte Hexe 01

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Izetta: The Last Witch 01Princess Finé of Eylstadt has a dream, remembering being a child and encountering a red haired girl her age, singing and floating on a log. Years later in the present, she’s wakened by her two body guards as the Westrian train they are on is being searched by Germanian soldiers looking for her. They attempt to make their escape, running to other train cars, getting on the roof, and then ending up in a storage car. Inside is a sealed casket which she starts to open, but is stopped by a Germanian major in civilian clothing. The soldiers shoot her bodyguard Tobias, but the trio manage to leap from the train to the water below.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01Tobias dies, leaving Finé and her other bodyguard to make it to a hotel. After a shower and clean clothing, Finé meets the Britannian ambassador at an opera, but while she offers a great deal for Britannia’s help, Germania has invaded Eylstadt and their soldiers arrive to take her into custody. The casket from the train is the plane with Finé as they fly back to Eylstadt. The red haired girl in the casket becomes conscious and realizes the blonde girl she sees being threatened by Germanian soldiers is Princess Finé. As a result, she breaks free of the container, causes the plane to be destroyed, and using an anti-tank rifle, the girl flies to Princess Finé. After saving her, Finé knows this girl as Izetta.

Thoughts and Review

I wasn’t planning on watching but one series this season. However, I caught a look at a preview video for Izetta: The Last Witch and something about a girl flying an anti-tank rifle (I think it is too big to be a sniper rifle) like a broom caught my eye. And for first episodes, Ajia-do does a great job at capturing my interest.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

Anime as an Advertisement

As has long been stated, most of anime out of Japan today is an advertisement for something. The easiest ones are the anime adaptations of an original manga or light novel work. Obviously, those anime series are selling the manga or light novels. Then there are titles that are based on games, attempting to draw new interest in said game. Some look to sell other products, such as music CDs, toys, or models.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

It is with this sort of cynicism that I began watching Izetta: The Last Witch 01 with. There is no source light novel or manga called Shumatsu no Izetta. There’s no music being sold. While there are German (or alt-universe German) World War II military vehicles and weapons featured, they are not the highlight. They are merely elements of the story. So beyond the normal anime products that are created (where I foresee Princess Finé becoming a new waifu favorite), I don’t get a sense that Izetta: The Last Witch is an advertisement. For now, I sense story for story’s sake.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

The Alternate Earth, World War II

I suppose to avoid certain sensibilities and to allow more creative stuff to happen, Izetta: The Last Witch 01 is set in an alternate Earth. The Germanian soldiers wear uniforms similar to the German soldiers. Fashions and technology remain the same. Instead of the Führer, there’s an emperor. There are no National Socialist symbols of any kind, but what is used does give off a Nazi feel.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

The only difference is that there’s apparently magic of some kind, in the form of Izetta. There’s a legend regarding her destructive powers, so it is understandable that the Germania government would want that. This seems based on Hitler’s interest in the occult.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

Regardless, I’m fine with this alternate Earth setting, mirroring events of World War II.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

Princess Finé

The character of Princess Finé follows a current trend in anime of featuring powerful female leads who retain their beautiful, feminine side. As I mentioned earlier, I expect Princess Finé to become the new, popular waifu character.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

For me, it wasn’t her quick wit, nor her keeping calm in a crisis, nor her determination and leadership that made Princess Finé interesting. It was her meeting with Lord Redford at the opera that caught my eye. In order to obtain help for her people, she was not only willing to allow their biggest industrial company move Britannia, she was also willing to marry their Prince Henry, whom she had previously turned down.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

For me, this is a massive revelation of what kind of character Princess Finé. We don’t know why Princess Finé turned down Prince Henry before. I know that the image of a prince is supposed to be all handsome and stuff. However, what if Prince Henry were fat? Or ugly? Or much older than Princess Finé? What about a combination of the three? Either way, Princess Finé was willing to sacrifice her throne and marry Prince Henry in order to save her people. In my mind, he could be highly unappealing to her, but she’d still do it. I can respect that greatly.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

The Art and Animation Rocks!

I rarely speak of an anime’s art or animation qualities. For me to sit up an really take notice, there has to be something special. That was certainly the case with Izetta: The Last Witch 01. From the moment they were on the train, I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail given. This was especially noticeable when Princess Finé and her bodyguards fled through the first class car. Everywhere they went, I appreciated the high level of detail given to the scenes.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

As to the animation, it really sticks out when the animation budget is high. There was movement everywhere and it was fluid movement. The chase in the train and on the train really impressed me greatly. Again, it was the attention to details, such as characters attempting to keep their balance while on top of a moving train. So I give a big nod to Ajia-do for this. I hope they can keep it up for however long this series goes.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

While we are still only one episode into this series, it is refreshing for me to know that in Japan, an original anime story might be created with the purpose of entertaining folks of its own accord. Not only that, Izetta: The Last Witch seems to be a story and series that the studio cares for greatly. While every studio wants success, some are fine with making a quick buck. I get the sense that Ajia-do wants to do more than make a quick buck. I hope I’m not wrong.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

As to the plot and story, I’m very interested in where this goes. There are certainly some cliched elements here (beautiful princess saves a young witch from a mob and becomes her friend, which pays off years later). I’m OK with that, providing things are kept interesting.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

In the end, Izetta: The Last Witch 01 is an excellent start to an anime series. Not only does this have superior art and animation, but it has an interesting premise for a story. I’m rather interested to see where this goes.

Izetta: The Last Witch 01

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8 Responses to “Izetta: The Last Witch 01 (Alternate Earth, World War 2)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    Reminds me of “Junketsu no Maria”.

    https://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=10178

  2. evgenidb says:

    “In order to obtain help for her people, she was not only willing to allow their biggest industrial company move TO Britannia, she was also willing to marry their Prince Henry, whom she had previously turned down.

    For me, this is a massive revelation of what kind of character Princess Finé. We don’t know why Princess Finé turned down Prince Henry before. I know that the image of a prince is supposed to be all handsome and stuff. However, what if Prince Henry were fat? Or ugly? Or much older than Princess Finé? What about a combination of the three? Either way, Princess Finé was willing to sacrifice her throne and marry Prince Henry in order to save her people. In my mind, he could be highly unappealing to her, but she’d still do it. I can respect that greatly.”

    I’m not sure you can take the “turn down” as her own choice for 100%. It could be, since this is anime, after all, but there could be another reason – the current ruler of the country or politics.

    First, a little bit of background: marriages for pretty much any ruler/lord and, especially, their kin is a a matter of politics and business. Not love. It’s a very, very, VERY rare case when a prince or princess is given the right to choose who to marry (by love). Usually it’s more of a deal – what each side can expect or get upon the marriage. And whether the other one is pretty or ugly, thin or fat, old or young, doesn’t matter that much. Other… qualities… are more important.

    Back to the point. The one who really decides who she should marry is the current ruler of Eylstadt and not Finé. If the offer was denied, there could be a number of reasons: a better offer from someone or somewhere else; or Eylstadt didn’t want to be ruled by Henry for whatever reason; the ruler could dislike Britania or Britania and Germania are enemies and he didn’t want Eylstadt to be in the middle of it, especially since Eylstadt so much closer to Germania, etc.

    If the anime decides to go this way and keep the reason a little more complex than the simple and unrealistic “don’t love him”, we’ll probably find it in the next episodes. Or the anime might decide to be just an anime and be fine with the cliche.

    Also Finé offering herself in exchange for Britania’s military support is not that strange – that is normal/expected. Nor is Lord’s denial when he finds out that Eylstadt is invaded and Finé will soon be a princess without a country; the company he wants would probably be destroyed or captured by Germania, so he won’t get it; and that Finé will abdicate upon marriage in favor of her sister, so Henry will not become a king of Eylstadt. She really has nothing to offer besides her body and that’s not enough in those circles.

    “While we are still only one episode into this series, it is refreshing for me to know that in Japan, an original anime story might be created with the purpose of entertaining folks of its own accord. Not only that, Izetta: The Last Witch seems to be a story and series that the studio cares for greatly. While every studio wants success, some are fine with making a quick buck. I get the sense that Ajia-do wants to do more than make a quick buck. I hope I’m not wrong.”

    Another really good original anime is “91 days” (just finished airing these days): 12 episodes of plot and unexpected twists and probably the biggest gem of the Summer season (for me at least). Some consider it to be a more serious version of “Baccano!”, another recommendation if you haven’t watched it yet.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’m not sure you can take the “turn down” as her own choice for 100%. It could be, since this is anime, after all, but there could be another reason – the current ruler of the country or politics.

      True. That’s the basis for Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki having a harem ending — politics.

      You do make a good point about political marriages. However, at the time of World War II, couples did marry for love. From what I understand, Queen Elizabeth 2 fell in love with Prince Philip when she was 13 and they wrote letters. Granted, they still had to go through a formal process for the marriage to happen, but in this case they married for love.

      From how the episode portrayed things, Prince Henry proposed marriage to Princess Finé because he became smitten with her. She turned him down for unknown reasons, but then decided to accept for political reasons. So that was what I based my opinion on.

      Another really good original anime is “91 days” (just finished airing these days): 12 episodes of plot and unexpected twists and probably the biggest gem of the Summer season (for me at least). Some consider it to be a more serious version of “Baccano!”, another recommendation if you haven’t watched it yet.

      I haven’t watched. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  3. federico says:

    The Nazi really did collected artifacts with known mystical properties for propaganda or research. Could you imagine if the nazis got greek fire prior to Napalm

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