Izetta: The Last Witch is a twelve-episode historical fantasy anime series, produced by Ajia-do Animation Works and directed by Masaya Fujimori. It was written by Hiroyuki Yoshino and aired as part of the autumn 2016 season of anime.
The series is available on Crunchyroll.
Izetta: The Last Witch is set in Europe on the eve of the Second World War.
The Nazis Germania target several European countries, including a small alpine country called Eylstadt.
However, Eylstadt has a means to fight back: a witch called Izetta. Pledging her loyalty to the princess of Elystadt, Izetta helps to protect the country from Germania.
Though Izetta’s name is in the title, the first main character we meet is Elystadt’s princess, Orfiné Fredericka von Elystadt – or just Finé for short. She may be a royal, but she is a royal who will and does take an active role in protecting her country.
It’s fairly easy to see Finé is adored all across Eylstadt, as she is always putting her homeland first.
Then we come to Izetta herself. Izetta and Finé had met when they were children, and fate inevitably leads them to a reunion. Izetta is a witch, possessing magical powers that allow her to take on even tanks.
Everything Izetta does, she does for Finé. In fact, her devotion to Eylstadt’s princess may just be her defining trait, for better or for worse.
Being set during a war means that plenty of the other characters are soldiers. Due to the tragic nature of war, the soldiers tend to be little more than cannon fodder.
Another notable character is Sieghart Müller, who is in charge of intelligence and counter-intelligence operations – his family has served in the Duchal Palace for generations.
One notable antagonists is Arnold Berkmann, who appears to be completely loyal to Germania. He is a cunning character, and as well as being a superb analyst. In simple terms, he is the Germanian counterpart of Sieghard Müller.
There is a more noteworthy antagonist, though the way in which the character is introduced pushes the suspension of disbelief somewhat.
Without giving too much away, the introduction of said antagonist comes with the revelation of Germania possessing some rather advanced science – the Second World War setting doesn’t really lend credence to that.
Though saying that, the antagonist is definitely an interesting character, regardless of how they came to be.
Going back to the time period of the setting, Izetta: The Last Witch is effective at demonstrating just how fearsome the Germanians can be, particularly with Eylstadt stuck using First World War tactics which are no match for the Blitzkrieg.
The horrors of war are very much present throughout the entire series; both sides suffer casualties.
Of course, Izetta’s magic allows for fight scenes to become so much more spectacular; anyone who can fling around tanks as if they were nothing certainly deserves kudos.
There’s some inventive use of weaponry found within Eylstadt, and watching Izetta fight Germanian forces is always a real treat.
Izetta: The Last Witch has a lot going for it, but there are some less than stellar points. There’s a few occasions where characters make questionable choices – for example, holding a confidential conversation in a wide open space. You’d think they’d be more careful of information leaks, but…
There’s also fanservice throughout the show, which may affect some viewers’ opinions on it. It’s there, but it really doesn’t have much affect on anything in the long run.
Izetta’s devotion to Finé has already been mentioned – that’s almost the only trait she has. However, said trait does lead to a positive point.
The relationship between Izetta and Finé is a thing of beauty. Though it’s never explicitly stated, it’s clear as crystal that Izetta and Finé love each other. Finé cares deeply for Izetta, and would avoid sending her to the battlefield if she had any choice.
There’s plenty of great moments with the pair of them together, but arguably one of the best comes towards the end of the series. It’s a fairly simple scene, but it may just be the one that best conveys the feelings the two girls have for each other.
Izetta: The Last Witch does have a couple of missteps, but the action, the true-to-life military history, and Izetta and Finé’s relationship more than make up for those. Definitely well worth watching if you’re a fan of historical fantasy.