「魔女の秘密」 (Majo no Himitsu)
“The Secret of the Witch”
Bit of a lighter episode this week, in that where the previous three episodes have had fairly consistent action, this week there is not even an explosion to be had. After the showstopper that was episode 03, it seems that Shuumatsu no Izetta is pulling back a bit to set up the larger plot (and perhaps save the art and animation, which dropped a bit this episode, for the next big fight). I had thought that the plot would be kicked into frenzy with the Archduke’s passing, but it seems instead that Shuumatsu no Izetta intends to spend the interregnum on a short breather. So, mostly getting some backstory out of the way, explaining some mechanics, introducing the characters we’ve already seen in the ED. In particular, we finally get to meet what we can for now nominally consider the Big Bad of Shuumatsu no Izetta, a Maybe!Hitler (prison camps and all) reigning from, er, Neue-Berlin. Implying that there’s an old Berlin. Which, I dunno, the Germans accidentally burnt down in a fit of pique or something. Or maybe they wanted a second capital and just weren’t very imaginative with names.
So, it’s a transition episode. I think this is the point where Shuumatsu no Izetta officially pivots to being the story of the titular Izetta. Sure, she had always been a big presence and brings all the cool magical action, but that was still as part of Finé’s struggles and Elystadt’s war. Now, as she gets the symbolic costume upgrade and begins to be crafted into Elystadt’s champion, Pygmalion style, she steps into the fore. Just as she will be expected to carry the nation, she’ll have to sort of carry the show. There’s already indications of how heavily-worked a character she will be; in an episode of mostly exposition, Izetta is expected to maintain audience attention by serving as the cheesecake factory. But Izetta is the main character now not because she shows the most skin (important on the resumé as it no doubt is). She’s the main character because we know what her conflict is going to be. Arguably, The Secret of the Witch is not that her powers are geographically limited (we already kinda knew that when she fizzled in ep02) but the story of the White Witch, considered a traitor by her fellows. So Izetta, in donning that mantle, is also commiting a betrayal of sorts. Does being the last of her kind make it better or worse?
No doubt it’d be some poignant morality tale about the use of power and the responsibilities it brings. There’s potential for tragedy here. Izetta is a very idealistic character, but she’s party to a rather cynical strategy. It’s almost a certainty that here grandmother’s warnings will come back to bite at some point, the only question is how hard. For starters, we already know that the plan is not going to work. Sure, using propaganda of your magical superweapon as a deterrent is a solid idea on paper, but over in Germania there’s a personal interest in witches, an interest that may have prompted the invasion in the first place. All the better for us, I guess. We wouldn’t have much of a story if the Maybe!Nazis just gave up. No explosions this week, but more in the future, I’m sure.
Full-length images: 33.