「天翔る剣」 (Amagakeru Ken)
“Das Schwert des Himmels | The Sword in the Heavens”

Let us keep in mind that, despite Shuumatsu no Izetta being mostly Die Abenteur von Finé und Izetta up until now, it is also nominally a war movie made anime, and thankfully for all the military-hardware fans fans who got roped into watching it’s dishing out more of it this episode. Fortunately, Elystadt is not just Liechtenstein, but maybe some Finland as well, so they can actually put up a fight for our entertainment instead of rolling over and capitulating immediately. It’s a good time, too, for more focus on the principality of Elystadt, the conflict that ravages it, and the people who suffer from it, since without seeing more of it we may not have as much empathy for Finé’s struggle. Y’know, her motivation, what she fights for, all that good jazz. And thus, this chump, the face of the common Elystadt soldiers, here to demonstrate that war is hell, get PTSD, and maybe to write a letter home about how it’s all quiet on the Western Front. But then he doesn’t actually die, unlike all his friends and everyone foolish enough to hang around such an unfortunate looking guy, so meh. I don’t know if we’re supposed to care about him in the long term, but regardless of his actual importance at least his story was filled with tanks and explosions and should make for plenty of entertainment.

Here’s the thing about Shuumatsu no Izetta though: I would have been fine with a plain war movie. It’s not something we actually get a lot of in anime, so simple ‘animated World War II’ actually already has enough novelty to carry 13 episodes of television. Perhaps not everyone has the same interest in history, but the War is already plenty exciting, no? Apparently not, because anime loves to attach bells and whistles to it, like with Valkyria Chronicles, and like it does here with Izetta. I won’t call this practice wrong, of course, but it does drastically change the dynamic of what could have been perfectly good historical fiction. Take our Izetta, the witch who will ride anything that’s long and hard (sorry, sorry, I just can’t help myself, and neither can the show). Let’s face it, she’s basically a Gundam now. While the anachronism she brings to the battlefield is actually pretty neat, she does upstage the entire thing. When one has Superman in one’s story, the story has to be about Superman. And making Superman interesting actual requires a lot of finesse. It means introducing arbitrary limitations to otherwise amazing powers, leading to rainbow Kryptonite nonsense. It means that Germania is probably going to get a Lex Luthor now. And it means the big fight boils down to ‘Izetta swoops in and saves the day’. I’m hoping that Izetta is not here just to ‘solve’ the plot, as a deus ex machina that wins Elystadt the war. I’m not saying that she is, and I think she’s neither going to be omnipotent nor unwavering, but there’s always a fear.

Well, it’s all mostly just something for me to talk about, so no worries for now. Izetta zooming around with her options and chucking tanks is actually pretty cool, and much can be forgiven as long as it’s cool. Looking forward, the pieces appear to be neatly in place. Izetta has been heralded as the second coming of the White Witch, here to save Elystadt, no matter how true that actually is. Finé’s father is dead, leaving her to rule alone. Our main duo each fully feels their burden now. It’s a good place for a series to be in its third episode, and Shuumatsu no Izetta has gotten here with a very solid performance. If you’re the type who likes giving a show three episodes before passing judgment, I think we can safely say that Shuumatsu no Izetta is a keeper.


  1. …You sound like such a grump, you know? We got this magnificent episode filled with Izetta being really awesome, and you spent practically the entire review complaining that it wasn’t just a regular historical drama. If you wanted pure history, I’d think you would know better than to be watching a show called Izetta the Last Witch. Since you are watching a show that is, was, and has been since its inception, advertised to be about a witch, stated to be about a witch in its title, and is quite blatantly about a witch (and thus, magic), it seems to me that coming down on the show for not being a historical drama is hypocritical.

    Reading the review again, if you’re trying to say that the show is not to your tastes and you don’t plan to continue covering it, then that’s a different matter (and you might want to clarify that, if that’s the case). But if you’re just attacking the show for being what it told us it would be, then that’s kind of upsetting.

    1. Passerby, personally like I’ve said before, I really like the fact that they’ve introduced a supernatural element this time around, but it seems that they’re going the peculiarly somewhat lighthearted route with it, and add to that I just simply don’t like the design of the witch from all fronts makes me not want to watch the show.

      Well, it is what it is. Valkyria Chronicles did a mighty fine job with its supernatural elements, don’t know if the production team would take the entire concept further than just being a lighthearted romp but… We. Shall. See.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
    2. If I sounded like a grump then I apologise, for I did not intend to be grumpy. As I noted in the post, I thought the episode was cool, and that I mostly raise these issues to have something to talk about. They are issues though. I believe that, to paraphrase a certain French writer, that perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away. And so when there is an extra detail in a story, like a witch, for example, I find it natural to ask what they intend to do with it. It doesn’t necessarily make the story worse or anything like that, but we should still ask why it was done, and what effect it may have. It’s an especially interesting exercise here, because we have some close points of comparison. One of the things old comic books liked to do was to have the superhero of their title beat up Hitler and win the war (or at least they did it enough to be deconstructed in The Watchmen). I think we can all agree that Superman trivialises wars, so we definitely should be wondering what they’re going to do with Superman.

      I still enjoy Shuumatsu no Izetta a good deal, of course. But, ‘Hey, I enjoyed the episode,’ is not quite enough for a blog post.

      1. And so when there is an extra detail in a story, like a witch, for example, I find it natural to ask what they intend to do with it.

        Ah, but perhaps the issue is that the witch is not the added extra, but the war scenario is?

        Given that the show has her name in the title, the creators could easily defend themselves as going for a character-driven plot, with a good not!WWII as the bonus to make things more interesting. A different point of view that turns “what’s this witch doing in my war series?” into “wow, the series is so good that the extras could make for a good war story on their own”.

      2. @Mistic
        Surely, we should consider that Shuumatsu no Izetta opens with faux WWII, and that witch is the conceit, no? Izetta is an anachronism in her setting. As I stress time and again, which many seem to be missing, is that this is not necessarily a bad thing. But it is a thing. Compare the dynamic of the story where Izetta is not involved, to the dynamic where she is. Even the music changes. And this is no doubt a deliberate choice—a Superman comic is about Superman, we all seem to agree on that—but how it is done is important. While Izetta is certainly the title character, she’s going to be more than that in this alternate history—she’s going to be a centre of gravity. And then the story begins to revolve around her not only of design, but of necessity.

      3. @Passerby
        I agree, but then, what is the real issue? That you fear that Izetta’s role might not be as good as what they’ve done with not!WWII so far? That’s a possibility, indeed.

        On the other hand, given the record of anime when it gets close to WWII-esque themes (unfortunate implications, moral myopia and Imperial Nostalgia are sadly common tropes in too many works to count), I’m personally more worried about how they handle the setting than the protagonist.

    3. I don’t know, I just don’t like the supernatural element. It is a stark contrast to everything else. We have a good military anime. Why the supernatural element ? We love rooting for the underdog with it’s not to great army. It needs a wildcard to resist losing. But hey, the wildcard could have beena brilliant scientist who created – say an atomic bomb ? That could have changed everything ? But Fine’ is not “fine” with the ethical consequences ? (she isn’t fine with endangering the life of a witch – an outsider in human affairs) But hey, I guess an atom bomb is just too “realistic”. Great series and all, I don’t buy the witch thing. It’s stupid in contrast to the military stuff which is the real deal.

      So I agree with passerby’s opinion. The witch thing could have been omitted altogether. Useless deus ex Machina extra that was needed, which could have been more realistic. since they are going the realistic with all the other details. *Cough* Germania – Totally not germany.

      I would like to see a story of the actual bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the american’s point of view. But I guess nobody Japanese would want to explore another country’s views for being more realistic and creative.

      1. @ blueschaos You either go full fantasy or full realistic – not both. It’s a hypocrisy ! You’re either a kid or an adult. Well, you could be a teenager about it and have it both ways >.<"

        you are watching one scene : Oh wow, so realistic, such military tactical prowess-ness ness
        another scene : wow such fantasy action, I'm pumped oh yeah ~ show me some more magic
        together : What the hell ? That was the same anime ? What ?

  2. the sad thing is Izetta shows the blitzkrieg in all its gory magnificence better than 90% live-action ww2 era historical dramas…
    Patton, Battle of the Bulge, Pearl-fracking-Harbor
    AND I still can enjoy some magical mayhem by cute girl.
    along with Drifters this is my fave show of season now

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Shuumatsu%20no%20Izetta/Shuumatsu%20no%20Izetta%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    He 111 doing a carpet bomb run… Check

    Tanks rolling across Central European plains… Check

    A witch hailing from Elystadt… Check. Now can Gallia at least provide her with a striker unit based off MS 406 fighters?

    “I am the Bone of my Sword
    Ortfine is who I live for and my only love
    I have long endured persecution
    Keeping my love for Ortfine
    Alas we are reunited admist conflict
    I have withstood persecution of Elystdatian witches
    I have no Regrets. This is the only Path
    My whole life was Unlimited Blade Works”

    One thing I like about the show is that it somehow provides a face or story to otherwise expandable characters. I just want him to survive and that Luftwaffe Hauptmann… I want him to survive the war itself

    And I don’t think that the German High Command (OKW) to be that dumb. Why can’t they just bypass Conenberg on the flanks and tighten the noose around it? The Conenberg battle really looks like Monte Cassino where the defenders are on high ground overlooking the plains.

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. I don’t think that the German High Command acts dump. They reasonably assume that the elystadtian moral is so low that carpet bombing can be enough to force them into surrender, but still had lot of means to back their efforts up. I hope that they come up soon with clever strategies which can hardly be counter by the witch (i.e. attacking at several fronts simultaneously).

    2. what was a routine conquest turned into bloody nose…
      maybe someting similar to T-34/KV shock of 1941.
      Germans have definitely some smarter commanders, as well as reserves of men and material. Loss of 16 tanks will not blunt the advance of panzerdivision numbering around 200.
      And there will be certainly others fornts to advance on and Izetta cant be everywhere.
      If I correctly estimate, best hope for Eylstadt is mobile defence using Izetta as highly mobile reserve “fireman” unit. Hopefully Albion manages (unlike in our timeline) gain a foothold on the continent and help.
      Otherwise only hope is they are captured, brought before the emperor himself and blow up the \Deathsta… erm Wolfschanze?

  4. if i am in WW2 and in the side of allies watching the elystadt and germanian forces, i would report to my CO over the radio and say “god damn… elystadt got a cheat engine… they are turning jerry’s planes and tanks into bees and beetles”

  5. This fan service was really misplaced:


    Hopefully they explore the dynamics that Izettas actions kicked off. So far the show put lots of effort in showing the feelings of the commoners. May be the main characters will be pushed forward by forces they cannot control anymore:


      1. butt-shots are the norm in every anime. Even the purest of stuff titillates the female figure. This is no fanservice material unless its planned to be edited with the BD release. (A similar case would be Rail Wars, which had fan service cranked up to eleven on the blu-rays.)

        Helvetica Standard
  6. i wonder if they will show the allied forces here? well you know its anime-ized WW2. i’m pretty sure, US/British forces would show up… let say, izetta cant beat the germanian forces alone in one war and the allied forces shows up to help the elystadt in an epic way.

  7. The cheesecake in this show feels blatant and unnecessary. The “Oh yeah, service the fans now. K. Back to story…” feels cheap. That’s my primary nitpick.

    It won’t stop me from watching and glorying in Izetta’s badassery. My favorite scene was the three tanks orbiting her on the battlefield. Echoing the stuff floating in the barn when Izetta and Fine were dancing as kids last ep.

    This and Drifters are my top two favorites of the season.

    Hanover Fist
  8. Is anyone else surprised that none of the footsoldiers got skewered by those swords flying around? Even by accident? Compared to the many deaths on both sides by grenades and gunfire, Izetta’s scene comes off as too clean – only tanks and planes got destroyed, and it’s easy to forget the pilots. I guess they thought it would make Izetta seem evil if she killed people in plain view, but the contrast really bugs me.

    Weird D
    1. I’m pretty sure that was deliberate on her part. While she can conceptualize the fact that she’s killing people when she wrecks planes and tanks, at least what she’s physically confronting is an impersonal war machine. Even then, it clearly still bothers her. Actually seeing herself kill a person would be another level altogether, and it’s not something she really wants to do.

  9. It’s funny the comparison with Gundam, since here we have a strong female MC (in comparison with the standard-issue massive useless girls of latest Gundam TV shows), and Izetta doing more than a Gundam (at least since 00) usually does in his first roll out. So, if IBO is “nothing happens, the series”, then Shuumatsu no Izetta is how a Gundam series should be done? Sunrise should look at the side sometimes…
    Aside that, well excetuted battle scenes, you can feel the grit of the combat, and the face of the Germanian generals when the party was over was a Mastercard moment

    1. For what it’s worth, the MC is Izetta. Fine’s the co-lead. You can tell because, besides being listed first in the credits for every episode, Izetta is the one moving the plot forward with her decisions and actions; she decided to fight of her own volition and that changed the course of the war. Before that point Elystadt was literally doomed, but Izetta gave them a chance. Now we’ll follow Izetta’s struggle as she gets more and more involved in this conflicts. That’s the story, and Izetta is the main protagonist.

    2. “the standard-issue massive useless girls of latest Gundam TV shows”

      Who are these “massive useless girls” you’re talking about? Gundam has so many female characters who are useful be it for people in-universe or for the plot. And what is your definition of useless, anyway?

      “if IBO is “nothing happens, the series”, then Shuumatsu no Izetta is how a Gundam series should be done? Sunrise should look at the side sometimes…”

      Heh, you seem to confuse “nothing that I like happens” with “nothing happens”. What’s wrong? Are the intrigue, political maneuvering, backstabbing and business dealings in IBO too much for you? You can’t handle spending 20+ minutes without action? Typical. I bet you’re also one of those people who claimed that nothing happens in movies like Blair Witch Projects. Totally dismissing the point of the story and artistic merit with “nothing happens”-claim just because you’re bored.

      1. 20 minutes of political gameplay? Yes. 25 eps of (childish) political gameplay with paper mache characters and Pinky and the Brain interactions? Hell no. BTW, I’m old school Gundam UC, so don’t think for even a minute that I don’t know how to make a political series work, something that IBO clearly doesn’t.
        As for the useless girls: Kudelia, Marina, 00’s ChinaSlut, AGE’s cheap copypasta of Lalah Sune… None of them added something significant to the plot, and clearly, were just used to burn time for episodes that felt like an eternity

      2. @SeedStriker
        Ah, a UC-elitist. Now all the whining and bashing of AU Gundams make sense. As if UC doesn’t have its fair share of ridiculous, boring and useless parts even in the most lauded series like Zeta. Oh, and many parts of the politics and military aspects in the UC TV series are laughable too, and yes, that means Zeta, ZZ, & Victory plus Tomino-directed CCA & F91 (which IBO did many of those things better, btw). Heck, if you listen to Char’s speech in Zeta today without nostalgia goggles, it sounds even more cringeworthy than what Kudelia said in the climax of IBO season 1. It’s all thanks to the first MSG & OVAs & side-materials which cleaned up the mess and rough edges left by Tomino-monopolized TV series & movies that UC has become as good as it is now.

        Talk about ridiculousness, at least Strike, Freedom, Exia, 00, or Barbatos did not power up by absorbing the souls of the dead and turning into pink super-saiyan like Zeta Gundam. They actually integrate and establish the power-up in the system like Trans-am & Quantizing instead of random asspull skills.

        And I can just ignore your whining about useless girls in AU Gundams as you will most likely deny the many useless female characters from the main Tomino UC series (post MSG) who are even more useless & random time-consumer than those you’ve mentioned from AUs.

  10. Despite of some unnecessary titillation for Izetta, the direction here is multiple times better than the previous two. Great job.

    I’m just hoping that someday Japan will decide to pull a more serious WW2 anime (with fantasy or not) with similar or better production value though, since I still don’t really think the whole Yuri business really fits in here. But well… gonna savor the good things that’s being offered here.

  11. Loved it and I feel your pain Passerby we both saw some WWII battle done right and our mutual craving for a actual war anime showing the fighting kicked in. Unfortunately we too small or under served fan base and they had to sell a witch story with yuri to get funding. Hey it took cute girls in tanks to get Girls und Panzer so can not complain to much. and Girls und Panzer is mostly realistic, somethings highly subject to failure but could be done, movie gets a bit more unrealistic at times but over all most of tank combat could be reproduced on a WWII tank battle simulator. Only major flaw is tank commander taking advantage of the fact that other tanks will not target a commander in the hatch with their machine guns to stay out were it gives a advantage, commander staying hatch open was a major advantage at range fighting but everyone buttoned up tanks in close.

    Lots of believable military errors on both sides. Not all German commanders were great. Air power never did much on trenches until the actual carpet bombing done by the Allies first at Normandy. Unfortunately carpet bombing put so many craters in the ground that it did not gain to much if the Germans had more reserves in that area their line would have held but Allied air superiority kept the Germans to immobile to reinforce from farther down the line. WWI type bunkers on the trench lines would have held out even from carpet bombing. Just like artillery fire air power on trenches is best used for keeping the defenders heads down while your assult forces move in.
    Bad use of tanks for Elystadt them poor tanks are on defense do some Girls und Panzer and ambush to make up for some of the tank quality after all Elystadt on defense. Second tanks should ambush and run to rear of defense line, a threat to start a tank flank attack on forces hitting the trenches would really slow up the offensive. Germans you left your artillery at home, bad commanding there. I love that the Elystadt artillery was messing up the German advance like the King of Battle should. Artillery was the primary way trench lines held and the main killer of attacking forces with heavy machine guns second. (I’m a former US Army Reserve Infantry officer but I always realized that we the Queen of Battle’s job was holding the enemy so the the King could crush em.)
    Elystadt forgot to have some mobile anti aircraft guns there was an error first episode with the fortress anti aircraft guns not hitting any attacking planes that many guns would have taken a price and messed up the aim of the bombing runs. Elystadt also lacked heavy machine guns as well, I assume they had some but none were shown.

    To me it seamed that the witch could be taken out by enemy fire in particular a enemy sniper and she had shock of the enemy to something totally new to protect her.

    Tanks in early WWII caused a major fear reaction in infantry as the infantry did not know what to do with them and anti tank rifles not very useful when that was the only thing you had. But just having to deal with tanks for a while made infantry much less afraid of tanks, effective anti tank weapons started being issued and infantry found that molotov cocktails, satchel charges (two sticks of C4 comes in a modern satchel version) anti tank mines and makeshift explosive mines and charges like the sticky bomb shown in Movie Private Ryan made being in cities, towns, narrow roads in the forest, trenches and anywhere infantry could sneak up close bad for tanks, These makeshift weapons are what the propaganda department of the Pentagon called IFD to make stupid reporters and public think it was something new. No they are not IFD’s they are mines and bobbie traps plus very most of the damaging stuff in Iraq were made in factory shaped charge and anti personal mines nothing improvised about them.

    So our witch will need a combined effort with the troops if she has any chance of pulling things like this off again. Plus maybe the Kaiser desire to capture her will make sniping her down not an option. I can hear it now, “I don’t care if you have to lose two divisions from holding fire to do so the witch will be captured alive.”

    Little research if Germany ever wants the Kaiser back the current descendant does exist, in fact all the former kings and emperors have someone in the line of succession recognized ready to go right now 😉 I loved when the person who would have been King of Bulgaria became Prime Minister and did a good job most think until his political party lost not because of him. (In America where I am many do not realize that you don’t actually elect a Prime Minister you elect your area’s representative to parliament who if his side wins a majority you get the Prime Minister that party promised most of the time)

    1. the battle here reminded me much of the battle of Wizna in 1939 where around 700 well-dug in Polish infantry held Guderians entire panzer corps for 3 days… Germans did have a hiccups in their early blitzkriegs, they just made much less mistakes than their enemies – and in the case of Poland had crushibng positional and numerical advantages, and that is before Soviets went in fromnt e East…


    2. Mostly all majority German divisions were not motorized, simply never had enough motor transport requirements needs. All guns were pulled by teams of horses including supply units. They simply left behind from the front-lines.

      1. Yes good point on the transportation problem. As pointed out on another site German Generals were known for being forward with the troops during there successes. That is why I assumed the two generals on the German side were not their best at least the ground general, the air commander might have been hoping troops would have ran like they did a few times under bombardment at least in the minor allies. Over confidence on the ground commanders part or he would have made sure he had some trucks to bring the artillery forward after all they are moving forward on a narrow front. Armored divisions on the German side did especially early on had enough trucks, but here the transfer of troops from France might have put trucks to far down on the move forward list.

  12. Already wrote to much but forgot to say I love the episode.

    Plus Izetta so far is more a PSI user than a witch. Witches cast spells as part of the job. Of course this is pre super hero age so the uneducated get confused. Izetts thanking her tools though might make her a shinto type shaman who gets the kami of objects to do things by touching them.

    People get confused Witch Doctors are shaman’s who are a form of cleric not Witches who are a form of spell caster. Modern Wicha groups are shamanistic though.

  13. Very cool detail missed Izetta charges up her Anti Tank Rifle round so that when fired it goes right though the front armor of a tank the engine and out the rear armor causing the turret to blow off. I figure she both greatly increased the speed and the density of the round. On second watch I think shaman who gets the spirits of objects to work for her is closest to her power.

  14. Mobile Suit Gundam Izetta. A gundam that use GN Drives and firing GN Fangs.
    This is one of my favorite series this season, but Izetta fighting sequences really reminds me of MS Gundam 00, with GN particles everywhere

  15. Kinda late, but as you said Passerby, this 3rd episode formed the perfect 3-episode rule. The first episode set up Fine as character in her own right, the 2nd Izetta as a character in her own right, and then the 3rd episode displayed what her powers can bring to the table and how she plans to lessen Fine’s burden. I already had no doubt that I would continue watching, but this was really some impressive execution. And of course, the action was the kind to be watched twice in a row. This is definitely a keepe for me. Going forward, yes, the Superman point will have to be addressed somehow, but with a villain as cunning and resourceful as Belkman, I have a good feeling about it.

    1. Hiroyuki Yoshino (whom I think is actually a pretty capable writer despite western fandom’s obsession with one particularly hated series he was a lead writer for) has used three episode introductory arcs on at least two of the other anime originals he’s been the lead writer for. Focusing the first episode on one main character and the second episode on the other is a unique wrinkle however.

  16. Ya Know…My Speculation for this show is this, i wonder this will had 2 seasons (Yes, This will only had 12-13 eps) the first they deal the Germanian (German/Karlsland) Army and the 2nd (if they really had a plan for that) will deal with something that would counter The Witch…You know Warlocks!?…Well, Who knows!

    Show Spoiler ▼

  17. uhm isn’t she still human though? what if she gets sniped, poisoned or assassinated on her sleep? she does have amazing powers but she is still as fragile as any other warm bodied human right?

    1. Yep. As others pointed out a battery of 88 anti aircraft guns could make her life hard especially if covered close in by light anti aircraft guns. Once the Germans got over the shock at least one solder shot at her with submachine gun. Enough small arm fire might bring her down as well.

  18. Wonderful episode, this show cleared the 3 episode rule with ease. The first half of this episode was especially emotionally gripping, showing us how cruel war is and Fine’s tearful speech to the soldiers in how they could do nothing but watch their comrades be killed to stall time. Pretty emotional stuff and really well executed. Then the second half came and showed us some spectacular action scenes with Izetta saving the day.

    I think your criticisms of the show are understandable Passerby, you bring up some good points about how Izetta threatens to be a deus ex machina, even if other people here might disagree with you. I personally thought that the victory felt a bit easy, like all they needed was for Izetta to make up her mind and she can easily turn the tide. I like Izetta as a character, she went against the princess’s wishes and fought for her anyway. But I hope that the Germanian army has something up their sleeves to even the scales a bit, otherwise Izetta would be far too convenient of a plot device.

    Still, this show is doing pretty well, and the soundtrack is great. A nice mix of magic and gritty warfare, paired with two likable female leads makes for an entertaining watch.


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