With Finé and her few remaining allies cornered, Izetta risks using the remaining half of the magic stone to rescue her friend. Seeing an opportunity to save his skin, Berkmann surrenders and offers the details of Germania’s final offensive in exchange for his own safety. Izetta and Finé share one last tender moment together before separating to pursue their own paths towards saving their homeland.
Before we start, I’m pretty down on Izetta at this point. All that potential we saw at the beginning for a magical action romp against totally-not-Nazi-Germany has crumbled, and we’re left with a bland, predictable action show that has no idea of how close it came to being awesome. In all fairness though, the show is not truly bad in any significant way. It’s just so utterly boilerplate and risk-averse that it makes me sad thinking of what could have been. Apparently we’re still being haunted by the ghost of Arslan well over a year since we started this endeavor.
Izetta‘s penultimate episode offers little more than wrapping up everything episode 10 started, and seems to be confirming our suspicions that the show has long run out of fresh ideas. With the magic stone in hand (or rather, some kind of decorative necklace Sieg seems to have been keeping in reserve for just such an occasion?), Izetta is now ready to take on Sophie while Finé tries to block Germania’s efforts to use Eylstadt’s impending doom as a warning to the Allies. All of the episode’s major points were obvious from the outset, and it just seems to be ticking down the minutes before we get to the magical showdown we know is about to happen. There’s the moment of doubt, the strengthening of resolve, and the good vs. evil high noon face off, just like you’d expect.
As my compatriots have observed, Izetta has completely backed away from its most interesting elements and decided that a mirror-match between two magical beat-sticks is the most exciting way to end the show. Sieg and Berkmann get their underwhelming confrontation this episode, and the ending rushes so hard to get us to the cusp of Izetta’s fight with Sophie that it fails to visually establish where the final battle is supposed to take place. We know that Izetta is trying to wear Sophie down long enough to drain her magic and prevent her from launching Germania’s big magic bomb, but that’s about it. Making matters worse, all that talk of clone bodies and transferred consciousness that got Brendan’s goat last episode seems to be little more than fluff, barring some kind of plot contrivance in the midst of the finale.
If there are brights spot in all of this, they’re the interactions between Izetta and Finé after they defeat their immediate pursuers. Izetta finally grows half a spine in showing her determination, but her loyalty and willingness to die for her friend was never in doubt, so it rings a bit hollow. During a brief moonlight flight that brought to mind that one bit from Superman, bashful Izetta comes back full force and only the baby-est of steps is taken in furthering their relationship. I know Japan places a lot of emphasis on names and honorifics, but this utterly chaste pseudo-romance kills any sense of growth that the characters may have gone through. Izetta is still utterly loyal to the Archduchess, and Finé is still wearing the pants in the relationship. No one has developed, no one has changed – the dynamic is exactly the same as it was in episode 2, only now one of their names is shorter. Whoopty-friggin’-doo.
Episode 11 of Izetta is the most basic version of a second-to-last episode. It’s just getting all the ducks in a row heading into the final battle, and doesn’t offer any real surprises or payoff for any of the characters and relationships we’ve seen thus far. I expect a flashy but uninspired final battle in which Izetta tries to sacrifice herself to stop the magi-nuke while Finé convinces the Allies to band together and hit Germania while their forces are focused on the witch battle. We’ll see how it all plays out, though my money is on Sophie suddenly having a change of heart and stopping the nuke herself in an act of redemption. Place your bets now and we can spin this wheel one last time!