What is this show supposed to be about? Is it about the horrors of war? Or is it about bringing war to an end through diplomacy? How about political espionage? Or maybe finding out the ramifications of combining fantasy with industrial warfare? And what about a lesbian relationship between a princes and a witch? Does this show touch upon any of these themes in a worthwhile way or manage to subvert them while still being meaningful and provocative?
The answer to all of these questions is no, which really bums the hell out of me, as the idea for this show seemed really promising in concept. Sadly, the execution is just plain embarrassing, so much so that I’m dropping it. In premise, Izetta: The Last Witch is about a witch who was saved by a wonderful princess. That princess eventually grew up to be a powerful leader in a devastating world war, one that was not looking fortunate for her side. As if they were bound together by fate, the witch returns to aid her in battle, shocking the world with her magic and bringing hope to the soldiers and citizens of their domain.
Instead of a traditional broomstick, she rides a rifle through the sky, and along with her telekinetic abilities she’s able to engage in furious dogfights and rain hell upon the troops and tanks below. Whenever she’s not on the battlefield however, Izetta only wants to spend quality time with her beloved, Princess Ortfine. Izetta always rallies behind her, but surely cannot understand the immense responsibility the princess carries on her shoulders. She only wants to be of use to her, yet Ortfine is reluctant to put her dear friend in harm’s way. Not only that, Ortfine has actually only recently been appointed to Archduchess, having to now fill the shoes of her deceased father during their country’s greatest hour of peril. The situation their country faced appeared even more direr by the minute, but now with Izetta here they might just have exactly what they need to survive.
See? On paper this sounds fucking fantastic! Where could they have possibly gone wrong to make this show such an irredeemable mess? Well for one thing, the show is terrible at establishing characters. Other than the princess and Izetta, I couldn’t even tell you who the fuck anyone is, after watching seven whole episodes no less! The show had memorable characters from the get go too! There was an evil Germanian dressed as a distinguished gentleman, posing as a seemingly very significant character. His intense grasp of the situation and insinuated knowledge made him a villain worthy of watching out for. Sadly, he barely appears at all for the next 6 episodes. Then there are the noble guards that were protecting Ortfine during the train attack. They certainly showed promise, but then they just ended up dying. Later on, there was that one soldier with glasses that died, a maid that was only shown during one episode, and a fashion designer with a very archetypal “grabby” personality. Oh, and don’t forget about all the old, forgettable white men that just keep showing up, and are apparently all supposed to be important leaders and generals and whatnot. This show offers up so many characters it completely forgets to focus on those that are actually meaningful to the plot.
Then there’s this incredibly naive idea of war that seems to carry throughout the story. War is horrific, and probably deserves to be treated as such in this instance. A competent show should be able to portray an idea of what it thinks/wants war to be. Izetta: The Last Witch however, doesn’t seem to care one way or another. There are absolutely signs pointing to the understanding of war in this story that would suggest it wouldn’t be anything less than painful and gruesome, so why is it that Izetta just flies around and unremorsefully annihilates hordes of infantry without a second’s hesitation? Why is it that the idea of what it’s like to sacrifice one’s life for their country and be put in a place surrounded by death and despair is quickly forgotten after the first two episodes? And WHY THE HELL is an actual battle won through a harebrained scheme that’s on the level of something one might find in a cheesy, teenage sitcom?
This show does not understand what realistic war entails, and that only bugs me because it seems like that’s what it was trying to do in the first place. Aside from all of that however, my final gripe is one that I’ve mentioned somewhere on this blog before: Izetta is overpowered as fucked. The show barely shows her having any real limitations besides her critical weak point of only having powers in certain regions of the world. Sure, she’s shown to be battered up at the end of her epic fights, but she’s never actually been wounded in battle. Despite the storms of bullets that have been flung her way, she’s never actually been hit. Furthermore, her limitations are never really known in anything other than a broad sense of exhaustion. In the first episode she uses her blood to erupt ice spears from the snow below her, effectively piercing the fighter planes tailing her. Then she never uses that ability again. For the most part, all she does is levitate any object she wants. It doesn’t seem to matter how many objects there are, or how heavy, she can easily carry them and fling them off at will, sometimes with the speed for an ordinary lance to pierce an armored tank. Izetta does not lose, nor does she to understand what it’s like to be powerless, which in my opinion is just plain boring.
While this show does seem to be a very nice contender for one of my From Bad Anime Comes Good Inspiration features, I just can’t be bothered to watch anymore of it. It’s like someone shoved a magic-powered Mary Sue into a childish ideal of war, and then only focused on making the first episode look cool. And that’s why I’m dropping it.