Princess Ortfine, called Fine, of the small nation of Eylstadt, is on the run from the government of the mighty Germania. While hiding on a train, Fine discovers a mysterious locked capsule. Before she can open it, she is forced to jump from the train to escape military pursuit.
Fine is strong-willed and motivated by the love of her people, but also dreams of the Weisse Hexe (White Witch), the legendary protector of her country. Within the Germanian army, rumors of the Hexe have also begun to spread, specifically that she is real and wiped out an entire company of soldiers on her own.
The princess meets with an ambassador from Britannia, one of the few remaining nations fighting against Germania. However, Britannia refuses aid to Eylstadt, even though Fine offers to marry its heir Prince Henry. The meeting is interrupted by disastrous news: Germania has officially invaded Eylstadt.
Just as Fine learns the news, Germanian soldiers catch up with her and kidnap her. They transprot her to the capital aboard an airplane, along with the mysterious capsule from the beginning of the episode. The capsule bursts open, revealing a young woman who seems to possess magical powers. As the woman attacks the plane and rescues the princess, Fine refers to her as Izetta and as the “Weisse Hexe”.
This is another show set at the beginning of World War II, although in an alternate universe where history occurred somewhat differently. (For example, the French Revolution seems to have been permanent, as France is called Thermidor.) I find it interesting that this time period is beginning to be covered in anime, as it wasn’t something you saw very frequently until pretty much this year.
Like many other historical shows, Shuumatsu no Izetta is very aesthetically pleasing. The clothing, machinery and weaponry are very period-accurate, as is the music. I think the use of music was this show’s number one high point – the scene of bombs being dropped on Eylstadt set to opera music and the soft tune that accompanied Izetta’s appearances were both very nice. Visually, it’s clean, polished, and utilizes a lovely soft color palette in the scenes with Fine that contrasts the darker, grittier tones of the battle scenes.
Unfortunately, the pretty visuals are not enough to cover up the fact that….not very much of anything HAPPENED in this episode. It was mostly Fine conversing with various characters (and, in one scene, with herself) and a lot of exposition about the state of the war and a bit about the Weisse Hexe legend. I found myself rather frustrated by the slow pace, and I wish that Izetta’s emergence from the capsule could have occurred much earlier. The last two minutes or so of the episode, in contrast with the earlier slow pace, were amazing. Izetta snapping the plane in half while riding a gun like a traditional witch’s broomstick was AWESOME, and would have had me immediately hooked had it occurred earlier in the episode instead of following 20-ish minutes of political dialogue. As it is, that scene alone MAY have convinced me to give the show a second chance. We’ll see next week…
But for now, out of 5 Dios: