OP Sequence

OP: 「cross the line」 by AKINO with bless4

「傷痕と, 銃声と」 (Kizuato to, Juusei to)
“Mit Narben und Schüssen | Scars and Gunfire “

Sometimes, when I’m watching historical fiction like Shuumatsu no Izetta, I feel sorry for the Nazis. Wait, Passerby’s a closet fascist? What a scandal! If anybody cared! No, I actually haven’t pledged allegiance to any supremacist movement (as far as you’d know); what I have sympathy for is not the Nazi regime, but their role as villains in our stories. The Nazis used to strike fear in hearts of men as the German war machine, an existential threat that the entire world banded together to defeat. Now? They’re just the generic redshirts to get beaten up by whatever superpowered thing is messing with history, be it a witch on a boomstick or Captain America. Give a thought to the poor Germanian pilots this episode. Join the airforce, they said. See the world, they said. Exterminate the Jews, they said. Nope, they’re actually the cannon-fodder wing, without even a shred of dignity spared. Look, when you’re a professional soldier and you’re reporting on ‘two girls flying on a rifle’, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.

All I’m saying is, Hitler didn’t work that hard to be that evil to just be a generic baddie with tacky facial hair. Our historical genocidal maniacs need some respect.

Well, Nazi stormtroopers turning into Star Wars stormtroopers aside, we have a fairly safe episode 02 of Shuumatsu no Izetta, all things considered. Half an episode of witch vs military action, which is what the viewers are here for, and half an episode of general backstory, which is the narrative busywork we actually need. Not quite as fun as the pilot (what can I say, I like my trains and I like my espionage), but a fairly good watch still. Once again, commendations to the soundtrack for really holding everything together. I don’t think the dogfight was actually that impressive, if we were to break it down—despite all the magicking the climax was firing the Muggle gun and it still managed to leave a survivor to report back—but the music sure made it sound epic. Well, I can dig that. Got to embrace the melodrama. There’s no shame in theatrics in theatre.

As for the less popcorn-worthy segment of the episode, it gives Izetta some character, which is what I asked for and so am glad for it. But Finé is already a pretty strong character, so how are we to share the screentime? Not even going to try, apparently—keep the princess unconscious so we can take some time to develop Izetta. Turns out, the two are actually pretty good foils for each other. While Finé has been shown to be uncommonly mature (she’s a princess, they’re just better), Izetta, despite being roughly as old as Hime-sama, seems to have the mental age of a child (or at least, too young to serve as satisfying cheesecake). I don’t know if it’s a natural naiveté or if she’s been stuck in that steampunk coffin for a very long time, but there’ a dynamic here, at least. I don’t know about that fantasy discrimination angle, though. It’s a tad generic and, let’s face it, she does have some awfully dangerous powers. And she’s a blood mage, and nothing good ever comes out of those, no matter the variety, not in Darker than Black, not in Tsukihime, and not in every RPG ever.

Look, if she doesn’t drown, we need to burn her. There are rules.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「光ある場所へ」 (Hikari Aru Basho e) by May’n


  1. Hmmm… I don’t know if I’m nit picking but did anyone noticed they animated the flaps on the MS 406 in the OP? It’s that French Elystdatian fighter.

    Not only that,,, FT 17 against Pz III A and Pz IV armed with 75mm L24? That L24 gun may have allowed Miho to win her first few battles but against those FT 17, it’ll be a massacre for the French Elystdatian Armoured Corps

    And I really liked how the distinguished the schwarm leader from his wingmen and wow… They used the yellow identification colour as what the Luftwaffe did. Not only that, they’re even flying in period accurate formation and attacked in period accurate formations as well!

    So all the technicalities out of the way, Izetta ep 2 was just overflowing with innocence and cuteness. I do agree that Izetta and Fine are foils for each other. One has the mature outlook while the other, still has the childlike innocence that most of us have lost.

    There are a few people that I really want them to survive the entire series
    The Luftwaffe hauptmann

    Chef de Bataillon Obermeyer

    That shady Gestapo officer

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. The Luftwaffe flight leader/hauptmann is clearly based on Adolf Galland who flew a yellow nosed ME109 during his time with JG26. A surprising amount of detail has gone into the design of the military gear, the Elystadt uniform is clearly based on the French one used in 1939-40 but without the great coat and in ww1 “horizon blue” rather than the khaki of 1940. The Elystadters also get French Mas36 rifles to go with their outdated FT17s.

  2. Great Post, Passerby! It was fun to read.

    In my opinion it’s mainly Fines character what makes the show worth watching. So it’s positive if Hime-sama gets the lion share of screen time. Izetta on the other hand has to work on her self-esteem seriously. Ok, her background makes understandable that she is plagued by feelings of guild and worthlessness, but it would be a shame if she would stay in that way.

  3. Screw the Germanian pilots, should have listened to their CO “hold your fire!”
    I thought Germans were more disciplined types (Hetalia…)
    Who I worry most about right now is poor dukedom major commanding retreating remnants of border fortress crew… waving biggest, redshirt-made death flag I’ve ever seen when declaring his willingness to die for Princess (we know what happens to those trying to protect her- apart from Izetta -and we all know she will be Fine… unless they pull a Madoka gambit on us)

    1. Well it’s certainly a death flag, but if Fine’s own words are anything to go by, every single citizen of her nation loves her enough to lay down their lives for her, even the civilians.

    2. Screw the Germanian pilots, should have listened to their CO “hold your fire!”
      I thought Germans were more disciplined types (Hetalia…)

      In hindsight, Izetta was already preparing to fight them before they started shooting. A lucky shot right on time would have probably saved them and all the Germanians that are going to bite the dust in the following episodes at the hands of the witch, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea, had they hit their target.

  4. As i remarked in enzo’s post, izetta is a very functional series. It does what it does with enough acumen to get a passing grade. There’s nothing that offensively stupid in the writing. Fine makes for an effective tomboyish princess and izetta works well as her foil. As long as the narrative plans on making these characters develop through their journey im down for what this series offers. The action scene in the beginning, while decent, wasnt exactly riveting but what made it work (at least for me) was how the animation captured the magical feeling of izetta flying around on her giant boomstick

    1. and by riveting i mean, the action choreography was effective but not anything amazing or wow-inducing. Again, the action scene worked because of the surreal nature of it all

  5. “I don’t know if it’s a natural naiveté or if she’s been stuck in that steampunk coffin for a very long time”

    Would appear to be natural naivete because she appears roughly the same age she is now during that flashback where the Nazi’s murder a whole town while looking for her. Plus since she’s just now being quickly shipped off to meet not-Hitler you’d assume her capture was very recent.

    1. Izetta isn’t naive though. She has seen a lot of suffering, probably more than the princess. Izetta’s problem is her low self-esteem. She grew up isolated and self-loathing. The fact that the princess risked her life for her back then doesn’t help. On top of lacking self-worth she also feels guilty because of that.

      But all this makes her the most interesting character in the show. There’s a lot of potential for character growth. I just hope the writers won’t waste it.

      1. Feeling bad for killing people isn’t naivety or innocence. It’s just being human. And her attachment to the princess is more than simple attachment. She hero-worships Fine, and that feeling is derived from her lack of self-worth. She considers herself lower than dirt due to growing up isolated and self-loathing, and Fine still befriended her and even risked her life to save her. From her self-deprecating point of view, Fine is a freaking saint, and she treats her as such.

        She won’t be able to interact with Fine on more equal terms until she gains a greater sense of self-worth. With some luck, fighting for the people will help her in that department.

  6. XD Great post as always Passerby.
    Pretty much the same opinion. That characterization for Izetta is good for starters, but she could use some more moving on and some development. But you know what? I’m down for it. This is the beginning of the series after all and the good thing about Izetta is that she thought for herself instead of doing what everyone else tells her to do. Not unlike Farangies who thought of using her temple given duty to rid her land of the Lusitanians because of their rather barbaric and disrespectful treatment of her land (even though she’s still more badass :P). Because honestly, the last thing a character like Izetta needs is being timid, and timid she ain’t. Her taking charge and deciding for herself against what everyone else says is a good start in my book. Let’s see where she’ll go from there.

      1. Well, even though we viewers don’t like to admit it, somewhere deep inside us, there is this little sneaky sadism that likes it when our beloved characters are put through the ringer. So it’s kinda like Izetta’s misfortune is our gain >:)

      2. Times change. In this situation the best course of action is to fight. The Nazis are already chasing after Izetta and trying to escape would only delay the inevitable confrontation. It’s better to face them now that she has friends she can rely on than doing it when she’s alone.

      3. I’m certain there will be ramifications for disregarding her grandmother’s advice, but I doubt it will screw them over too much.

        Unless they decide to go with a bittersweet ending where Izetta wins them the war, but dies from magic overuse. Or something like that.

  7. Izetta’s Rifle-kun is an Mix of an Super Sonic Speed Plane and an Helicopter, Some kind of an Witch V/STOL, also she can fire Armor piercing Shells with this Anti-tank Sniper Rifle…

  8. A few things to feel sorry about:

    This flight lead – his subordinates either ignored his “hold your fire” direct command, or not competent enough to be constantly aware of his surrounding(s) (mountain side). At least his plane was only disabled…

    The anti-material rifle (did anyone IDed the rifle last week?) – Izetta didn’t have enough power to keep using it (to fly) after the dogfight, and is feeling (oddly) sad about leaving it behind.

    Izetta herself – she constantly thinks that she’s a burden to Finé, even after getting her to a group of friendly Elystadt soldiers.

    OTOH, this still feels like a introduction segment of the series, so I rather not go too in-depth yet.

      1. Anti Material is just a cleaver renaming of the Anti Tank Rifle. Anti Tank Rifles were dropped from use in WWII because they could not penetrate tank front armor anymore (they could vs WWI designs) even though the weapon did have uses against lots of stuff just not killing tanks. The rifles still could take out tank vision periscopes and other outside parts, hurt or kill halftracks and light armored vehicles and were useful at targets behind stone, concrete, brick walls by causing inside to explosively flake off hurting or killing. The rename has allowed the weapon to come back into use on the battlefield.

  9. Passerby, 100m from my flat there’s a building in which Gestapo used to torture people during WW2. In its basements, there are multiply messages of people going to die, scratching their last words to their beloved on the walls. On my everyday walk with the dog, I cross monuments of three different places of mass killing of civilians that happened during that time, one of them being a children massacre. There’s a death camp 10km from here and two other in 60km range.

    And you’re sitting there in ever so safe Australia, making fun of the history, joking in an anime blog that we should respect our invaders more.

    While I usually like your posts, I feel simply disappointed now. I especially didn’t expect this from you of all people, who was so against the use of army in Gate anime.

    But it’s your blog and your posts, so have a good fun with writing.

    1. Hmm… I don’t think he was intending to make fun of the history. I have not watched the show (though I read this post because I love Passerby’s posts), nor I don’t feel sorry for the Nazis, but if
      They’re just the generic redshirts to get beaten up by whatever superpowered thing is messing with history, be it a witch on a boomstick or Captain America
      is really what’s going on in anime today, I’m also a little sad. It feels like that’s what’s really making light of history, reducing the real bad guys in the past to “just another bad guy” in the story. These are real people who have caused suffering in the past, not something you can overcome as easily as it seems in anime (well it usually isn’t THAT easy to defeat to bad guys in anime either… but that’s not the point).
      Though, I haven’t watched the show so I don’t really know what all this is about oops.

    2. brajt, would it make a difference if I told you I’m Jewish?

      …Well, I’m not, but I’d be interested to know if that makes a difference.

      In any case, it’s as ZJZJ said. We should never forget why these villains were villains. Yes, that involves respect. You wouldn’t be emphasising their seriousness to me, for example, if you didn’t respect them. The Third Reich was pretty dangerous. I think we can both agree on that. In fact, I think we both fundamentally agree, but perhaps you’ve misunderstood my point.

      However, I reserve my right to make fun of Nazis. Respect, yes, but do not be cowed. And also because they make for really easy jokes.

      1. Nazis are a sensitive subject, but on the other hand, World War II and its villains are all part of our shared global popular culture (and even distant Australia sent thousands of soldiers to help fight Nazis in Europe and North Africa, and did a pretty good job of it.

        Even during and immediately after world war II, German soldiers were variously portrayed in Allied popular culture (movies, comics, etc.) as a mix of evil super soldiers and comic book bumblers, and that’s continued constantly in TV shows: Dad’s Army, Hogan’s Heroes, etc. lean toward the “make fun of ’em” while others portray them seriously, or focus on the odd honorable non-Nazi caught up in a dark regime (e.g., Das Boot, etc.) So it goes.

        But I do get where Brajt is coming from. I remember watching Doctor Who several years ago, and there was one time travel episode where the Doctor made a sort of flippant, breezy remark about the German V-1 or V-2 (I forget) missiles blowing things up. My father was in the room at the time, and he quietly said “and the family who lived next door” and then he stopped watching. From the way he said it, I think he felt the TV show’s light tone was not entirely respectful to those who died and those who witnessed it. But at the same time, it also brought up some history many people might not have been aware of, and in this case, it revealed something I hadn’t known about his own experience. So even that had value.

        For those who want their German pilots in alternate history anime to be super-competent lords of battle, there’s always Strike Witches (and years before that, The Cockpit). Izetta seems to be taking a middle route.

      2. The use of Nazi equipment and image in Hellsing when the ones using it were not Nazi just to look cool upset me so much I rage quit watching it. (there was a Nazi connection to excuse it but it was poor)
        Now I agree with what I remember of a statement I heard from a famous comedian, trying to recall which one maybe Mell Brooks, that it is important to reduce the power of the image by reducing it with comedy by ridicule.

  10. “Now taking bets on how long this sap gets to live.”

    Hmm…maybe he’ll die on an even-numbered episode?

    Honestly, I hope Hans neither dies nor turns evil, in some sense of the word. But I’m thinking the chances of any named male character making it out of this series alive are on the low side, simply because I think this is going to be that kind of story.

    Now that I’ve said, I sincerely hope the anime proves me wrong. Not holding my breathe, though.

      1. “Why were witches shunned”

        Well, it’s common both historically and as a trope for witches to be popular in good times but be scapegoated in bad times. The old wise woman is well-liked for her healing, until the crops fail or someone gets a grudge, and then it’s “she cursed us!” and up goes the enraged mob. But there might also be something else going on.

        There’s a line in the anime translated as saying her folk were “nomads.”

        Now, I wonder if that – by way of Japanese to English translation and alternative world transition – was actually supposed to be either Traveller, Romany, or Gypsy, all terms that might have been translated as “nomad” in this show. The Romany were massively persecuted by the Nazi regime, and of course associated in the popular mind with magic.

      2. Two great reasons: fear to the unknown and religion. The first speaks by itself but the second is a complex and painful history about how religions label other cultures contrary to its dogma as demonic or evil with the people in charge don´t even bother to learn about that culture. The Catholic Church label many ancient gods as demons because they didn´t care to understand other cultures, this kind of fanatism pisses me off even though I´m catholic.

      3. Chicken or the egg, though? In our world, there’s no positive Western European mythology about witches analogous to the Elystadt story (Wizard of Oz doesn’t count). ‘Everybody hates Gypsies’ I can understand—there’s still plenty who do—but it doesn’t seem like the same thing if in Izetta there isn’t a universally accepted stereotype (‘White Witch’ vs ‘women who sold their sold their souls to the devil for power’).

      4. “In our world, there’s no positive Western European mythology about witches analogous to the Elystadt story (Wizard of Oz doesn’t count)”

        I’m not sure about that.

        Tamsin Blight (the White Witch of Helston) had a fairly positive reputation a couple of centuries ago. And the Italian bernadanti were essentially a cult of good witches who battled evil witches.

        (In popular culture, the idea that the Allies could call upon secret good witches and magic users to battle the nazis was around in the 1940s at least in fiction: Ten Easy Lessons (1943) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1945) were both written during World War II.

        And in “real life” Gerald Gardner (the main founder of modern Wicca) claimed that in 1941 his coven were casting spells and raising “cones of power” to battle the Nazis…

      5. Well, I was thinking of something older and culturally pervasive. Perhaps Izetta will go into more, but right now it feel like they had a tradition of Santa Claus, but also a tradition of an old, red demon who breaks into everyone’s houses once a year. Something of a mixed message to your children.

      6. Could it be similar to the Italian example DP mentions? That there is a “good witch” doesn’t mean the rest aren’t considered evil. The princess’ point in the flashback is that all witches can’t be bad because she believes in the legend of Weisse Hexe and Izetta was doing pretty things, not exactly denouncing the “guilty until proven otherwise” mentality. Another case of “the exception proves the rule”.

        (One wonders what she would believe of Izetta if she had caught her performing blood magic).

      7. @DP
        The word she used was “nagaremono”, which possibly means wanderer, vagabond or nomad. Though I’m sure the treatment they got was a reference to the Nazi treatment of Gypsies. Whether or not they are stereotyped to have magical powers, we’ll have to wait and see. But I think that word can be used for the Mongols as well.

        I agree with Passerby that it seems strange. But perhaps it hints at something else. When, there are both a positive and negative view on witches, there should be a trigger that makes people decide which one she is. Floating would probably make people have the same conclusion as Fine, so perhaps they saw something else. Then again, maybe the white witch legend just isn’t well known. It’s really all in the details.

  11. I see Japanese Type 71 anti-tank rifle and Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 airforce. Hoping they keep there resources well to supply to the frontliners.

    Yep the goodguys is ill-equipped but the geographical mountain and mastery terrain proves to there advantage from higher ground.

  12. What you said aboy Blood Magic got me thinking Passer-san, in fantasy stories is almost always a taboo or a power with a high price but sometimes it´s the user who is total scum or the people around the user are a happy combo of fanstastic racism, envy of that power or just plain old fealful of the unknown. Some examples include:

    1.-Darker than Black: Wei Zhijun was a pycho for hire and a blood knight so his powers are not the reason he´s so insane but he might be a case of bad people, bad powers.

    2.-Tsukihime: the maid sisters had an inherent power in their blood but all the trauma they went through was the fault of a man whose blood was of a demon so everyone in the family eventually goes crazy because of it so in this case the magic is bad news.

    3.-Ubel Blatt: al the blood magic in this series turns in either a humanoid abomination or an eldrich abomination so using it is good way to end up dead or much, much worse, just ask anyone who tried.

    4.-Hellsing/Overlord: Alucard and Shalltear Bloodfallen are both vampires and very far from the hero status and her powers over blood are pure nightmare fuel: Alucard owns your life with your blod which makes him beyond inmortal and has countless undead sevants; Shalltear becomes an unstopable monster with her blood magic.

    5.-Kyoukai no Kanata: Mirai´s magic is blood manipulation but it only gives her anemia, all the suffering come from people who hate her because of that power, which is total crap considering all those racists have magic powers so I don´t the point in fearing Mirai.

    6.-Dragon Age: name a Blood Mage in the franchise that hasn´t ended insane or transfrom in an Eldrich Abomination and you get a cookie.

    So far I can say that it all depends of the origin of the power and the price it takes on the magic user so until we know more about Izetta I can´t say she´s doomed from the start.

      1. It works for the protagonist of Dragon Age because of his plot armor but the blood magic from that universe has a very evil origin, most mage can´t control ot let alone live like humans once the become addicted to it.

  13. The statement of the soldier against nobles was at the nobility of the early 1900’s going back to 1700’s when Kings had steadily removed all the power and troops from the nobles. During the Middle ages nobles led their troops into battle to defend their lands. The Mongels even took advantage of this by trying to pick off the noble as they were always in the front. But after nobles lost their traditional role by the Kings taking all military power many nobles stayed home and avoided service. Still there were nobles like the Princess (not really a noble as she is royalty) who continued the original tradition, nobles were nobles because they were the battle leader in the front, yes nobles originally earned their titles. The treatment of their subjects could vary a lot.

  14. I don’t know, Passerby, these not!Nazis are far more fearsome than some real!Nazi versions seen in other fiction.

    Their pilots fall before supernatural power they weren’t prepared to fight, yet their ace survives and almost manages to kill the witch. Their forces are crushing the little country, their Gestapo are quick to follow the trail and in the previous episode their intelligence services can pursue the princess to the very opera house in a neutral country. And in one of Izetta’s flashback, we see them purging a village to catch the witch.

    By the way, it seems the example of racism in this universe is not Jews or not!Jews, but not!Gypsies (“nomads”). Fitting, given that the real Nazis tried to exterminate them too.

    1. Eh, I suppose they could have had it worse. I still think, though, that if I was a combat pilot getting taken out by two girls riding a gun is not the way I would have wanted to go. Yeah… ‘two girls riding a gun’. Kudos to them, at least, for not having a brain-crash just saying that out loud.

      1. In their defense, one of those girls had magic powers that allowed her to shoot ice shards at them from very unconventional angles with little to no alert. I’d like to see how modern fighters would fare in a similar situation. In fact, the ace was quick enough to adapt to the situation.

  15. I’m not sure Izetta is a blood mage, at least not in the sense that people here are using the term. According to one summary of the series she can “cast these powers on anything she touches and manipulate it at will.” If that’s the case then the blood spatters were probably just a way for her to “touch” the snow she formed the icicles out of. She didn’t seem to be using blood the other times she’s shown using magic. Then again, she wasn’t shown touching the transport plane when she blew its tail off either (she was levitating at the time).

    1. Actually, she was touching the plane with her feet.

      This suggests Izetta could be more lethal on the ground than flying. She could cast magic on the soil itself without even moving. Imagine the soil coming to life right below the enemy army.

  16. It is very rare along with special to see a empire. Especially in the period of time: you defined simply by elite contest, as well as teams that must follow pay cap protocols, of which certainly can be disqualified a few of the Red-colored Wings cup of coffee victories back in the 1990’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *