Ricelt chooses to undertake the mission to sneak into enemy territory and figure out the secret that lies in the Eylstadt castle. Meanwhile, Finé and Izetta enjoy a party before things take a terrible turn.
I mentioned in my Episode 4 review that Shuumatsu needed to be careful how it was treading because its speed could cause it to trip over itself. This episode is that fused with Scott’s complaints regarding the end of Episode 5. There’s a lot of problems here so let’s start with the good and then get right to it.
Ricelt is used as a medium in this episode to give us more insight into the fairy tale about the White Witch. This was a great little touch as Episode 4 dropped a note that the White Witch was regarded as a traitor. By the end of this episode we fully understand why. As the title of this episode suggests, it is indeed a “Cruel Fairytale”, and it’s fascinating to see how the original story has been altered for the sake of romanticism (akin to our own real world Grimms’s fairy tales).
One of the things I had the biggest problem with was the ease with which all the Germanian villains get their way in this episode. In the last episode we were meant to believe Ricelt volunteering for a spy mission across enemy lines was going to be tension filled and difficult. After all, Sieg discovered that there was a Germanian spy that crept into their ranks and almost got hold of Izetta’s big secret. Guess what? Nope! Ricelt waltzes right into Elystadt, is picked up by Bianca and Lotte and is taken to an inn outside of town (run by Lotte’s sister).
Really guys?! Nobody is …the slightest bit suspicious of this random guy wandering around? Nobody is gonna check his bags? Nobody is gonna question his sob story about being too sick to join the army? Oh man…this is totally not gonna bite you in the rear later.
This showcased the nonsense idea of how lax Eylstadt is about this whole affair. At least Bianca hides her profession. Guys, you are at WAR. Get it together! Oh wait…we still totally have time for a “and then he sees her in the bath” scene?! Now Bianca and Ricelt both kind of have the hots for each other?! Beautiful. Just want I always wanted…
On the opposite end of things, Finé and Izetta weren’t helping this episode either. They end up at the cosplay masquerade ball in honor of Lord Redford’s birthday. While I share Dan’s sentiment that Izetta and Finé may be developing a romantic relationship, I’m actually not fond of the way they are going about it. What makes a relationship strong is when two people complement each other and balance each other’s weaknesses. Finé has now (pseudo-literally) taken on the role of the “man” in their relationship. This leaves Izetta to eternally be the soft-spoken, shy, spine made of out of Gogurt, moe blob (outside of her battle sequences). It feels like any hope of her becoming a character that stands on her own with a sense of agency is collapsing. If the show wants to put these two together, I hope it starts to give both ladies something more that “yuri-bait” personalities.
The show closes both of the plotlines in a rushed way. Berkmann shows up at Redford’s party with what appears to be a “Clone Witch”. So…Germania has the power to create life forms? Sure…why not. Did we just publicize Redford’s party on Facebook? Why doesn’t Finé recognize him?! Why does she turn her back to let him escape and then forget about it all moments later in excitement of the allies sending troops in to help Eylstadt? HOW IS THIS ALL NOT SUPER SHADY?!?!?!?!?
In Eylstadt, Ricelt and the spy from before (how has nobody smoked that guy out yet?!) meet up and get pictures of the Ley Lines. There’s spies within spies here as despite Bianca and her team’s best efforts (to give them credit, they do a good job here) to take them all out, the pictures end up in the wrong hands. Guys…maybe stop letting random people walk right into town!!!!!!!
At the very end, the show tries to spin a tragedy as Bianca and Ricelt’s budding affections get ripped apart in a way that reflects the White Witch fairy tale. Considering we spent all of 10 mins on these characters and they fell for each other via “classic anime cliche”, I couldn’t possibly feel anything for this.
There’s a betrayal by the most obvious ally in the set (I FREAKING TOLD YOU SOOOOOO), the secret to Izetta’s powers are out now, and a weird mystical object regarding witches has appeared. Let’s all hope that this doesn’t implode under the weight of its contrived issues.
As a last note, the art continues to be beautiful for the backgrounds and objects (The White Witch Fairy Tales is in German, keeping with the accuracy of the show’s world), but crowd shots look a bit sparse or just kinda ugly. Hang in there Izetta!! I truly want to hope that this episode was blitzed to pave the way for the final four.
So yeah…how about that Izetta on the Weekend.