In a world torn apart by totally not WW2, soon to be Archduchess of a small European nation Fine travels to find allies for her country against Germania but instead finds an old friend of hers who happens to be a witch. I reviewed this week to week here.
Here’s the thing, after episode 1 I genuinely expected Izetta to be one of my must watch shows for the season. The first episode was dramatic, interesting, tiny bit of fan service but mostly a spunky young girl in a horrible situation and then we threw some magic in because who doesn’t want a world war with magic in it. It was perfect. Or at least as close as you expect from a first episode of an anime really.
So imagine by disappointment when by episode 4 any sense of tension or drama and been leached out of this flat story about a witch and her friend playing at war (and dress up and politics). Izetta has a fantastic setting and a great premise that it utterly fails to utilise to create anything of note.
Midway through a character is sacrificed. He’s kind of shown up a couple of times. He’s sweet. He’s loyal. He conveniently overhears something he shouldn’t, hints this to a friend who turns out to be a spy, is attacked by said spy, saved by his own people and then mercilessly shot through the head to preserve a secret that is found out less than two episodes later anyway. Sure it makes us realise lives are lost during a war and it paints a bleak picture but the execution (no pun intended) is dreadful.
We don’t care enough about this character for this to have that kind of desired impact. He’s a background, face of the common soldier kind of character who raises that many death flags for himself you are just wondering who will pull the trigger and when. The way in which he ‘overhears’ the conversation is the usual contrived nonsense that is really just plot convenience and his blurting this out to the one spy in his unit is ridiculous. Yep, he’s naive but he isn’t painted as a moron so why? The shooting itself is pretty dramatic. We get a nice lingering show of his face as he realises what is about to happen and that’s probably the most affective moment of this sequence. And as a positive, they use this later in the final episode where his killer faces another soldier who he sees with the same face. Then the aftermath of this drama is entirely washed under the bridge and we move on because there are more important things than actually building an emotional connection apparently.
Actually, my biggest issue isn’t the wasted potential of every possible dramatic moment but the introduction of Sophie. Seriously? Let’s just throw a clone of another witch at Izetta and they can fling things at each other while screaming about their personal philosophies. That will be fascinating. Not.
Pretty much from the minute Sophie arrives the story falls apart. No more care for the soldiers, the spies, the alliances, the technological differences, or anything else. Just two overpowered juggernauts having at it while a few of the other characters scramble around trying to maintain relevance. It’s all just very trite. Plus, Sophie is a crazy lady with nothing but revenge on her mind so even if they wanted to go this way, she doesn’t carry her weight in the story. She’s boring and predictable.
Okay, positives. It is pretty. Very pretty. Good music. Some great action pieces scattered throughout. It just could have been better so while what is here isn’t broken you’ll just feel cheated of the better story you could have had.
Recommendation is to watch if you watch more or less anything or are just mildly curious but I’m not going to seriously recommend this to anyone is you haven’t watched it yet. Let it disappear into the vast vat of forgotten mediocre series.
18 thoughts on “Izetta: The Last Witch Series Review”
I’d heard of this show, but I didn’t watch it because the animation wasn’t my thing and I had this feeling based on said animation that there would be fan service. Wondering if I was mistaken, I read this review; I am glad to know that I didn’t miss anything spectacular. Thanks for the info!
i agree; it ended up quite mediocre
I watched the first episode and I was intrigued, but I ended up not having the time to continue with it. Judging by what you said, I may be better off that way, huh? Lol
Yeah, nothing that follows is as good as the first episode so if that didn’t grab you then you aren’t missing much.
I really have to admit that ever since I have heard of this show, that I have been really looking forward to it. The story looked very unique, and I loved what I saw of it on pictures and in trailers. Throughout the blogs I followed though, I pretty much read the same things that you wrote: how the series started of so promising, and ended up being a disappointment. Sad to read this. I will be checking it out nonetheless somewhere this year. Great review as always 😀
Hope you enjoy it when you catch up with it.
Out of the two shows I managed to watch every week, this one turned out to be kind of a dud, as you said. But if an anime does pretty much anything with historical context, especially WW2, it’s hooked me.
For viewers who aren’t exactly into the war stuff, they do provide a half decent story about Izetta and Fine’s bond. Fine especially is interesting because of her position and how she has to balance her concerns for Izetta with her responsibility toward her people. It’s as underdeveloped as the other threads, but I did get the sense that their friendship was the biggest focus.
I admit, I’m very curious about this show. The consensus seems to be the the same as yours – major wasted potential. I think that’s mostly why I’m curious. But I think I’ll save it for when I run out of decent stuff to watch.
Also, I’m curious if you’ve decided what to watch for the next season? Or are you going to sample everything and drop the lackluster ones?
I am thinking sample as much as possible and decide on a final list by week 3.
I know I shouldn’t actually want to watch this but I do. Even if I get disappointed by it, it just looks so nice and the story, albeit skimmed through, sounds cool enough to be entertaining. We’ll see.
It is entertaining but I couldn’t help but feel incredible disappointed at the number of times the show wasted its own potential.