Izetta’s final episode leaves much to be desired. It isn’t the best, but it isn’t the worse. This episode is the last of what should’ve been a longer series, and with how it ended, it’s quite doubtful we’ll see any more of Archduchess Ortifiné Fredericka von Eylstadt and Izetta, the last witch.
Izetta arrives at the launch site and is greeted rather warmly by the defenders and Sophie, who remarks on her foolishness over using the stone and protecting Eylstadt. Shielding herself from the incessant flak from the base’s mundane defenders, the scene moves back to Westeria. Bianca surprises Bassler and Sieg uses that opportunity to blow through the checkpoint.
Back at the launch site, Izetta survives the onslaught, while back with Finé, they bail out of the car when a truck blocks their path. Berkman leaves them at this point.
At the conference, the Germanian representative gets started, targeting Ambassador Stanley over the actions of the United States of Atlanta.
The fight at the launch site hits a fever pitch, as both witches start to toss their magic around. Both start to conjure spheres of Hexenium and Sophie has more or less using Germanian fighters and flak vehicles as stones to toss at Izetta, who blows through them with her ride.
Izetta remembers what Berkman has said, and draws Sophie away from the missile, heading way above the athmosphere where Germanian fighters cannot follow, and in Sophie’s eyes, interfere. The speed at which the two chase each other seem to be nearing the speed of sound considering the shock cone forming on Izetta as they fly.
Back at the launch control site, the scientists are disheartened to learn that they’ve lose track of the two witches, though it doesn’t matter. The Warehouse 9 commander orders a clone to be brought out.
Back at Neue Berlin, Emperor Otto raises a glass to the sky, noting that the wine is much like the world, in his hands. At Westeria, the conference attendees are shown the footage of the first Hexenium reaction bomb, much to the dismay of the Allies. The Germanian delegation head informs them that in a short while, they will use their prototype against Landsbruck. They will watch as a nation is wiped out by their weapon, the goal of the conference.
In the streets of Westeria, Sieg draws the roving Germanians away from Finé and Bianca, but comes across a younger Germanian soldier who looks like Jonas, causing him to freeze and get killed.
Elsewhere, Berkman retrieves identification papers from a canal but is confronted by Bassler, who asks him if all he’s cared about is himself. He accuses him of abandoning the fatherland, and of Rickert’s misplaced loyalty on the self-serving intelligence officer, and that caring for others and ideals is what made them human. In the end, Bassler shoots his pistol which he had trained on Berkman when he is unrepentant in his ways.
Back at the conference, the Germanian delegation head notes that the leaders gathered there can sign the surrender terms there, being given plenipotentiary powers, or bring it back to their home governments, but to him, the end result is clear.
Finé gate crashes the party at this point, and is allowed to be part of the conference since the matter at hand involves her, since Izetta is fighting Sophie, supported by Ambassador Stanley and the Britannian Prime Minister.
In allowing her to speak and how Izetta’s victory would bring peace to Eylstadt and Europe, Ambassador Stanley lays out his case. It would mean Eylstadt would be the sole inheritors of magical technology left, and would like to hear her answer.
Back at the test site, they jumpstart the clone, while Sophie and Izetta have arrived at the city of Paris or its equivalent and unleash their full powers at each other. Sophie finally reveals why she hates Eylstadt so much. It wasn’t the princess that betrayed her, but her lover. He had implored his wife to kill her, fearing her power would attract the attention of the Vatican, and Eylstadt would be targeted for their harboring of a heretical being.
Her hatred came from the deep betrayal she felt from the man she loved. She intends to kill everything that represented him and his country, and after destroying the Eiffel Tower, tells Izetta she doesn’t understand.
Izetta responds that she doesn’t, having levitated half the tower to use as her weapon. She notes he was also a king, and he suffered as well, for he had loved her. But his position meant he is entrusted with the lives of his subjects, and can’t focus on just one person.
Finé knows that, and it is through that nobility of hers is why Izetta fights her all for her. She says as long as she is able to grant Finé’s wish for peace in the world, she can go to the stake smiling, which enrages Sophie.
Back at the launch site, the clone launches the missile and starts to guide it. Ambassador Stanley notes that none is safe as long as magic exists, and the citizens of Atlanta are divided on the matter, with half favoring intervention and the other isolationism, and those who had supported Izetta and magic now fear it. It is due to this that Atlantean troops have not moved at all in Britannia to open the desired second front.
Finé asks if that such a concern were to be removed, Atlanta would move, and Ambassador Stanley resolutely answers yes. Finé informs all that the battle between witches and magic will end today. Izetta and Sophie have made it to the sea, where Izetta starts to form a massive sphere of Hexenium, prompting Sophie to do the same, as Izetta wills her body to continue to do her bidding.
Finé explains the leylines, and will use it to defeat Sophie. Regardless of the victor, magic will disappear from the Earth. Lord Redford asks if she will be okay, and Finé recalls their ride to the moonlit mountain top, where Izetta explains her plan.
Izetta comes clean to Finé, being a terrible liar, and is okay with the possibility of death. Only so she can create the future in which people can choose their own futures, and where Finé can smile. She is a witch, and while she has hated it at times, it’s the only life she knows. As such, she asks for Finé’s orders to fight as her witch, to end it all. Finé hugs her, realizing that this is what Izetta wants and orders her, ending the flashback with the point of view snapping back to the conference attendees, explains that Izetta will be the last witch in the world.
With that, magic will disappear, as would the terrible weapons that came along with it, and thus, the invincibility of the Germanian Empire. Finé’s tear filled reveal has lit a flame on the Allied delegates, much to the chagrin of the Germanian delegation, who can only scowl at the freely crying Archduchess.
Everywhere, magic and Hexenium alike are sucked into the point of battle above the North Sea, the V-2 delivery vehicle falling from the sky and its clone handler dead, and other Hexenium devices deprived of their power source.
The two spheres of Hexenium touch, and Sophie loses control, dying most likely due to the strain on her body, while Izetta with outstretched arms recounts that she’s happy, having able to meet the end with a smile. The Hexenium sphere is tossed into the cosmos as a column of light, able to be seen by everyone. Hans and his men; the Royal Guard, Lotte, and the remaining cabinet in the manor; the Eylstadtian resistance; and the attendees of the Westerian conference, Finé sobbing as Bianca tries to comfort her, holding back her own tears.
Back in Neue Berlin, Emperor Otto is given the news, as the shaft of light slowly dissipates from the horizon, and the mad emperor, having crushed his glass, realizes he can’t rely on magic anymore.
Lotte provides a voice over of the events after the last battle. With the disappearance of magic, the United States of Atlanta invades and opens a second front on March 3rd, 1941. This coincides with Volga Federation breaking their non-aggression pact with the Germanian Empire and the allied forces liberate the occupied countries.
Bassler is seen briefly, launching for a sortie, his fate unknown but most likely having died in the defense of his homeland. In about 10 months, the swiftness of the Allied attacks meant that Neue Berlin is under siege by December 1st, 1941, and capitulates after Emperor Otto commits suicide, ending the war.
Lotte explains that without Izetta and Archduchess Finé, the war would’ve taken longer and with heavier casualties. Lotte had asked her once if this meant this would be an everlasting peace, to which Finé replied no. Another war will happen elsewhere someday. This is done with Berkman, clearly injured from his tussle with Bassler, turning over a briefcase to Atlantean agents in New York City. Finé explains that she doesn’t intend to stop working to make the world a place where everyone can choose their own tomorrow.
Three years later, an older Finé visits a small cottage by the lake where she first met Izetta. Visiting the aforementioned former witch, now confined to a wheelchair and under the care of a grown Lotte, who continues in a VO that the appearance of a witch in modern times surely left a lasting impression in the hearts of people at the time.
Episode & Series Thoughts:
The battle between Sophie and Izetta take on new levels of awesome, and horrifying to be honest. Ambassador Stanley had every reason to fear magic and to recommend that both Germania and Eylstadt be targeted in his initial recommendation to his superiors back in Atlanta. Sophie using flak tanks as stones to throw at Izetta, train cars as whips, and the upper portion of the Eiffel Tower as well. Izetta ain’t no slouch, though. When both lost their swords and lances, she reminded us, the viewers, she’s still riding a friggin Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle in 20mm and her magically enhanced shot destroys the flak tanks. She was also the one that tossed the top half of the Eiffel Tower at Sophie, who tossed it back in pieces.
Another thing that surprised me is how quickly the Germanian Empire capitulates. They had weaponry and prototypes that were better than what was around the world at the time. I would’ve expected at least a year or two for the war to be over. But then again, Germania did not achieve the same sort of rampant advances throughout Europe that Nazi Germany had, nor do I think the Izetta equivalent of Japan had suckered Atlanta into a two front war.
Still, 10 months seems a little quick.
Berkman surprises me, on especially what side he’s on. But I guess with his new identity and the information he no doubt sold means he’s off being sneaky elsewhere. Probably going to muddy the waters between the United States of Atlanta and the Volga Federation, being the ever-present thorn on Archduchess Finé’s side.
Overall, the action and pacing in this episode was much more dynamic, and better executed. In fact, I would dare say it was better executed pacing wise than the rest of the series. But now I have to talk about what I didn’t like, and it’s going to encompass the series as a whole.
Let’s start with the obvious. Izetta is a victim of the one cour offering. It had a compelling story, a great background, characters that one can connect with. And it was hampered by being restricted to 12 episodes. I’ve said it needs at least a few more episodes to allow it to flesh out characters that would’ve enhanced the story. Two examples that I thought would enhance and add-on to the story is the truncated romance between Rickert and Bianca, as well as a focus on the patriotic Bassler.
Focusing on the character of Rickert, adding on a romance with what one can say is his counterpart in Bianca, and having them get close and their eventually find themselves on the other side would’ve just added a tragic story on top of a series that had counted the main conflict as one between betrayal and loyalty.
Bassler to me provided the perfect foil for Berkman, who is oilier than an oil slick, and would’ve served to enhance Berkman in the same time. A better choice of opposites rather than shoehorned Sieghart Müller into that role. His unease in working with Sophie, his doubts over Berkman’s loyalties and acting as a brother-figure to Rickert. These could’ve been explored and would’ve fleshed out the Germanians from simple antagonists.
Actually more could’ve been done with the characters, all hampered by the need to advance the plot, and frankly, the great focus in portraying the relationship Izetta has with Finé. Another character I thought needed a look into what makes them tick is Sophie. She needed to be cut in a more tragic role to enhance her eventual reveal that her lover was the one that ordered her death. A look on what made her tick and her willingness, or unwillingness, to be used as a puppet by Germania.
There really isn’t much to say about Izetta without repeating a constant complaint of mine, my friends, and fellow bloggers. For an original work, it has garnered some detractors and supporters. I believe it is a concept that held promise but hampered by its runtime. There was nothing wrong in the story it was trying to push forth to the audience. But it seems there are those who, as the expression goes, can’t see the forest for the trees.
Some reviews and comments elsewhere has been unflattering to a series, and not everything would achieve the same sort of high standard for a series that he or she holds as a standard, or a set level of criterion. For me, a one cour series that has achieved what it needs to do without falling flat on its face tends to be slice of life shows like MIkikakunin de Shinkoukei or Flying Witch. Izetta tried to give us a world that seems to have used a 30 minute conversation with Harry Turtledove as the basis of its premise.
Considering the numerous characters with tied together with the couple that is Finé and Izetta, it is saddening it was cut so short. But I won’t deny I enjoyed the ride. From the initial action packed scene of Finé travelling in secret to meet with Lord Redford, to her sobbing in front of the delegates of the Allied and Germanian sides, and the happy ending that her witch had survived, it was a show that I thought was worth spending my ever dwindling free time on.
And I think that’s what I need to explain. I have been accused in the past for never being critical of a series. I find that criticism needs to be warranted, and everything needs a second chance. My own peculiarities means the more a series is pushed to me, the more I shy from it. I don’t want to be disappointed by a recommendation, but want a series to pass or fail on its own merits. Very few shows ever get rewatched, especially one I’ve been lukewarm on in my reviews.
Izetta is going to be one of those shows that I intend to add to my collection. It is a show I would recommend though with a caveat. For all its faults, the world of Izetta and Finé is worth taking a look at.