Rolling Review – Izetta: The Last Witch (03)

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Episode Synopsis:

Izetta wishes to fight the Germanians on Finé’s behalf, but the princess can’t bring herself to send her friend into battle. As she and her troops watch the invaders crash into their comrades on the front line, her men also beg to face the enemy and save their friends, though they know they can only buy time before they’ll be overrun. Galvanized by this, Izetta unleashes her magical powers on the Germanians in the air and on the ground.

Episode Review:

Color me impressed, because Izetta continues to be one rock solid magical action show. This episode spends a lot of time following the Eylstadt troops facing the advancing Germanians, focusing on the perspective of one young, nervous recruit. The assault is depicted as brutal and devastating, but avoids getting too deep into the gore. This is about the clash between terror and determination that the foot-sloggers are dealing with as they face a vastly more powerful foe.

I truly appreciate this, because it gives us a broader view of the war, and helps put Finé and Izetta’s shared desire to protect the country in context. It’s not just pretty words; there are people dying in front of them, and they understand their responsibility. Izetta’s decision to go against the princess’s wishes and fight isn’t born out of recklessness or bullheaded pride. Rather, it’s inspired by Finé and the soldiers’ resolve to defend their homeland. With great power, and all that.

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“Um… no?” – His actual line. I love this guy.

And ho, boy, does Izetta get to show off her power this episode. The dogfight with the Germanian airplanes in episode 2 was fun, but this took it to a whole new level of absurdity and awesomeness. It has been awhile since I’ve seen such well-choreographed large-scale action, and I would be doing you a disservice if I gave away all the craziness that happens when magical powers confront mechanized blitzkrieg. Suffice to say, it’s one hell of a show.

I do have a few… I’ll say concerns, rather than misgivings, about the show. While the battle is extremely impressive, and Izetta does a lot of neat tricks with the powers we’ve seen established, I’m hoping there’s more to her magic than just the suite of superpowers we’ve witnessed so far. It’s a fine balance between finding new uses for established abilities and just pulling new powers out of your butt, so I’m hopeful that the creators will find neat ways to challenge Izetta and keep her fights as exciting as this one.

My other little gripe is about the difference in quality depending on the subject of the animation. Almost all the military hardware is rendered with loving care and precision, while the characters can get kind of wonky. The character and costume designs themselves are fine, but the actual visuals don’t always hold up. For example, take a look at this shot of a spotter’s scope, which appears for about 2 seconds.

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Look at that level of detail, the gleam of light playing off the blackened metal. The little bits of rust and scratches that accumulate with hard use. Now, look at this image of the Germanian brass learning of their imminent victory.

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That scene has maybe four frames of animation, yet the characters just look kind of goofy. People are hard to draw, I get that, but when you have such a dichotomy between the cast and their props, I worry that your priorities may be misplaced. In spite of that, the human drama of Izetta remains remarkably strong, and I’m confident that the creators will continue to do a bang-up job for the time being.

Episode Summary:

With some moving drama and awesome action, Izetta continues to bring its A game as the show kicks into high gear. We get to see the broader struggle of Eylstadt’s defenders, enjoy some inspiring speeches (even if the one delivered by Morse code was hilariously long and flowery), and finally get an incredible air and land battle that we’re legitimately invested in despite the sheer absurdity of it. If you’re still on the fence about Izetta and enjoy killer action, this is the episode that could make up your mind. Give it a go, and let us know what you think!

Streaming on Crunchyroll


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