I like learning about history and some of my favourite stories involve magic. On the surface Izetta the Last Witch should be one of my favourite anime of the season, and from the start I was declaring it as such, but as the season went on something had changed within the show.
The show starts with Izetta and Finé’s introduction back when they were children. Izetta is a witch that has the ability to make things she touches levitate as well as shoot bursts and other things while Finé is the Archduchess of Eylstadt, a fictional European country facing threats of invasion from Germania. The story mostly follows these two with an episode or two primarily focusing on other characters in order to set-up future events. Izetta and Finé have really good chemistry and from Izetta’s first real scene in the series I was rooting for the duo.
One of the most common complaints about the series is how downhill it went, which I both disagree and agree with. For one looking at the show it almost seems like there were three different writers or the writer couldn’t decide what type of show he wanted to write. The first part has a lot of politics and stuff you’d expect from a war based anime, the middle tones the fan service and yuri bait up quite a bit and the end resembles a magical girl show more than anything. Elements from each section are present through most of the show but are more present in their respective parts. For example during the middle the camera pans to Izetta’s bust and butt frequently during flight, there’s a breast grope scene and multiple girls walked in on in the bath or in the middle of changing. None of this happens in the first or last parts which makes it seem extremely out of place when it does.
Where I don’t agree is I found the ending (aside from the final scene) to be a pretty good improvement over the middle section. While it wasn’t as good as the earlier bits (so I guess it did go downhill) I’d still watch a full anime at the level we got here even without the great start.
A personal complaint of mine is there was no reason to set this during World War 2 and would have been better just making it some unnamed war. When I say World War 2 what do you think of? If it’s Hitler, Concentration Camps, hatred of Jewish people, even the Pacific front all that is absent. Germania’s leader looks and acts nothing like Hitler and Concentration Camps are brought up once during episode 10 and that’s it. I understand wanting to focus on the fighting and mostly staying on Eylstadt’s perspective but would it have killed the writers to add in some mentions every once in a while? Even the technology doesn’t fit unless Star Wars can also be considered a World War 2 movie as there are points lasers are clearly being shot and Izetta.
The animation started off really good but near the end was noticeably rushed to meet the deadline which is always unfortunate. The character designs were all pretty nice for reoccurring characters. Izetta especially had something about her I really liked.
Music and voice acting were probably highs for the series. The soundtrack never let me down and the opening and ending themes were both pretty nice to listen to, though nothing special. With voices we got Himika Akaneya as Izetta with this being one of her first major roles and doing a really good job in her position. Saori Hayami provides Finé’s voice and continues to demonstrate her soothing voice for calm scenes as well as legitimately sounding angry or sad when the time calls for it.
Just real quick before the end, this a light spoiler for the end of the series. It is the type that “undoes” something making that scene feel like it was only there to make you cry which I always find cheap and lazy writing. I noticed a lot of people didn’t seem to mind it in this case so maybe you will be fine but I disliked it all the same.
Izetta the Last Witch starts off strong but seems to lose direction before finding a place that works again and ending there. It had all the right elements to make a good anime that people might be coming back to years down the line but the middle section really kills it. I would still recommend watching it as the majority of the show is still good just don’t be expecting the next great thing.