Izetta the Last Witch Review (Final Thoughts)

Izetta the Last Witch Review (Final Thoughts)

When I first heard about Izetta the Last Witch, I became intrigued by the notion of an alternate Earth tale in which a witch takes part in the fight to help defeat Germany during World War II. While this had many good elements, for some reason, it feel short of greatness for me.

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The Story in Brief

For those who did not watch Izetta the Last Witch, this series takes place on an alternate Earth in 1941. Instead of Britain, Germany, etc., we have Britannia, Germania, and the like. Germania starts World War II with a blitzkrieg and invades the small country of Eylstadt. Princess Finé is on a mission to see the ambassador from Britannia and the Germanians capture her. While being flown back on a Germanian plane with a pod containing a young woman, Finé accidentally frees said woman. She turns out to be a witch named Izetta, whom Finé had known as a child.

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Because Finé had saved Izetta from a mob when they were children, Izetta decides to help defend Eylstadt from the Germanian invasion. This puts her, as the last witch alive, in conflict with the teachings of her grandmother, who warned about interfering in human affairs. Germania creates a clone of the original White Witch Sofie, whom the people of Eylstadt have built a romantic legend around. The truth is much harsher and uglier, involving the Inquisition. This causes Izetta to have to battle Sophie, who wants revenge on Eylstadt for what they did to her in the past.

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What Works

For starters, I loved how great the tanks, planes, and even the primitive air craft carrier looked in the series. Great care was taken in modeling the machines of war after actual World War II vehicles and weapons. As such, scenes depicting fighters in the sky or tanks rumbling across the land look quite good.

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The premise of the story is quite good. I like the notion of alternate Earth stories where history plays out differently. Having done so many papers on World War II, having Izetta the Last Witch set during World War II was a nice touch.

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The characters in the story are pretty good as well. Finé works as the young ruler of her nation. Izetta works as the devoted, indebted friend of Finé who’s willing to lay down her life for Finé and the people of Eylstadt. The supporting cast is good as well, especially the young maid Lotte, who steals the show when she’s involved.

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I also liked how the writers threw in a large element of uncertainty by killing off supporting characters after allowing the audience to come to like them. At one point, I wondered just many characters would end up dead at the end of the series.

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What Doesn’t Work

With only twelve episodes, the writers do what they can in mirroring the real World War II while allowing us to explore the changes in this world. Despite this, I’m not sure it was handled quite correctly. By the time the series ended, I became disconnected from it. The final episode ended in a rather anti-climactic way, leaving me feeling unsatisfied. It has taken me a long time of thinking about this, but I think I finally figured out what bothered me.

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Throughout the series, we were given bits and pieces of the legend of the White Witch. By the time the series ends, we have been told the Reader’s Digest version of the story, both the romanticized version and what really happened. And therein lies the problem. The series tells us stuff rather than showing us stuff. I understand that because they didn’t have enough episodes, they couldn’t show us the story of Sophie. Had the production team been able to do that, I feel that I would have had a connection with Sophie and her pain.

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Another problem I had was with Izetta’s and Finé’s childhood friendship. We do get shown bits and pieces to allow us to understand the two have known each other. We get shown a few times that a young Finé protected Izetta from a mob. But what caused Izetta to be attacked is not clear to me. Finé protecting Izetta from the mob would make sense if they recognized her as their beloved princess. Yet they attack, she gets injured, then the mob goes, “Oh. Sorry about that. We won’t burn the witch at the stake now.”

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

I didn’t dislike Izetta the Last Witch. I think the series would have done a lot better had it been given double the number of episodes. Frankly, I would have loved seeing Sophie’s past in total. That way I would have identified with her better. I would have loved seeing a more complete picture of Izetta’s past. What happened to the other witches? Why did Izetta and her grandmother settle where they did? And then there’s the incident I mentioned earlier with a young Izetta and Finé.

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In the end, Izetta the Last Witch is an ambitious project that falls short of greatness because there’s just not enough time to properly flesh out this alternate Earth. I feel the production team did a good job with what they had, but what they had was not enough. As such, this is a series that I just can’t see myself watching ever again.

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