Izetta: The Last Witch
Set in world similar to Europe during WWII, the country of Germania slowly engulfs the continent. Eylstadt is a small nation with no hope of winning a war against such a power, but fights valiantly anyway. The princess of Eylstadt attempts to gain alliances with other countries but is captured enroute. Things look grim until the princess is rescued by Izetta, a girl who is apparently a witch.
Izetta is likely the last of her kind and hidden her powers until now. However she offers the last hope for the survival of Eylstadt. Slowly the tides turn as Izetta turns her magical abilities to war. People hail her as a savior; an image she struggles to live up to.
One of my least favorite anime of all time screwed up a concept which I'd love to see fleshed out. Izetta: The Last Witch does something similar, and gets close. The fundamentals of the show are fine, and it could probably coast on the concept alone. It falls apart at the last quarter, leaving me with a bad impression overall. This involves a semi-spoiler which I'll cover, since it's not a huge surprise. If you want the quick spoiler free version, Izetta: The Last Witch falters at applying the "less is more" mantra by turning into yet another anime with superpowers. Thus becoming rather forgettable.
It starts fine. The characters are good, and the situation is explained well before getting into the witch vs "modern" warfare, using (1940s) period accurate technology. Tactical situations are never shown in detail, and since no one does anything blatantly stupid; battles are fairly believable. Izetta becomes a symbol as much as a war asset. She's a rallying point for her own country, with her image being exaggerated for propaganda purposes. For a girl who was a no-one up until the war, this creates a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to her goddess like image. It's the small human elements working with the magic aspect that makes this anime good, not magic alone; which is used sparingly until the 3/4 mark.
Izetta: The Last Witch works, because it's a minor change to a realistic environment. It's that small thing which leverages the imagination on how things play out and the many repercussions it could have. On the other hand if you just had a bunch of witches shooting magic lasers, that imaginative hook would get lost in a generic superhero show. Which is what this anime does, as Germania now has it's own witch. I hate shows insisting they up the stakes and "go out with a bang". They abandon what they were to become the same tired stuff done countless times before. This anime would have been great if it simply stayed on course with no "plot twist" at all. This theme had plenty left to be explored if done right.
By the end I knew Izetta: The Last Witch had turned into another forgettable show, aside from the WWII witches thing done wrong again. Which sucks because it almost had it right. It has its moments, so if you're looking for an action anime with a good concept it's not too bad. That's not strong enough to pick up in my opinion.
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reviewed by archen in 2020