Shuumatsu no Izetta (Izetta – The Last Witch): Season 1/ Episode 1 "Beginning of the War" [Series Premiere]- Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

In a fictionalized version of World War II, we watch as one princess does whatever she can to save her small kingdom from the Germanian empire’s advances.

Main Storyline

It’s 1939 and Germania’s offensive has threatened the stability of the world and especially the small precision machinery producing Kingdom of Eylstady. Due to this, their princess, Finé, tries to meet with a Britannian ambassador in order to create a safeguard, forge an alliance through marriage, and perhaps force the allies to act before it is too late. But alas, while the princess is swift in her movements, daring as she jumps from a train with her companions, and escapes from multiple gun fights, she is of no match for the Germanian army and spy network. Though, perhaps neither is the Germanian army a match for Izetta. A witch from Finé’s childhood who somehow was captured by the Germanian army. But now that she is free, vengeful, and allied with her old friend, it seems the counter-offensive may begin.

Highlights

A Heroine You Can Get Behind: Not since Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn) have I seen such an interesting princess. Mind you, she isn’t like Yona at all in terms of her being some frail thing which develops might, but rather Princess Finé is almost the type of heroine you’d expect those inspired by Hayao Miyazaki to create. She has moxie, is tenacious, may dress proper but is willing to get dirty, and she fights for what she holds dear and believes in.

Drama, Politics, and Death: Which with the show featuring international politics, the drama which comes from people trying to save their own heads, and quite a bit of violence in terms of guns and bombings, the show honestly maybe the best thing to come out of this season. Though what I perhaps like most of all is that it killed off, in the first episode mind you, the type of characters who’d you think were going to be around all season. That Game of Thrones-esque idea that no one is safe is an added bonus.

On The Fence

The Magic Element: Unfortunately, however, with all that is going on it makes it hard to imagine the place of magic in all this. For with this being a WWII inspired anime, dealing with a Nazi-inspired Germany, having a witch involved seems so foreign it is hard to fathom the direction this can go. Which, granted is perhaps a positive thing, yet with the tone the Germanian soldiers have set with killing multiple characters in the first episode, characters you wouldn’t expect to die, how will this program integrate, and balance out, someone having supernatural powers?

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

I don’t know if I just like a certain art style, like a bit of seriousness to the anime I watch, or what, but out of the dozen upon dozen of releases, this may be one of the few, if not only, anime I plan on watching this season. Not only that, it is one of the few I plan to review episode after episode. For there is just something about Finé that is just too appealing. She is a princess, an archduchess in the making, with her back against the ropes yet she still smiles and pushes on like there’s no way she is getting knocked out yet. Add in a Nazi Germany inspired nation, which seemingly will live up to the reputation of its source, and it is hard to not be glued to the screen. Making it so, as long as Izetta is somehow well assimilated into all this, this could be the top anime of the season in my opinion.

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