「ゼルン回廊、燃ゆ」 (Zerun Kairō, Moeyu)
“The Sellun Corridor Burns | Der Sellun-Korridor brennt nieder”
It’s always suspicious when an anime decides to start an episode with good news. Even without the episode title telegraphing that things aren’t going to go well at the Sellun Corridor, I’m sure most of the audience is familiar with the way dramatic tension rises and falls in stories. We’re not quite near the end yet, so there’s no way that the good guys will be allowed to actually win, so when the plot starts to lift them high you’d just know that it’s setting them up for a fall—writers are cruel sadists. In any case, the Germanians secretly hold all the cards anyway, so Shuumatsu no Izetta isn’t exactly convincing when making its case about how fabulously the war was going. Even if they didn’t, this timeline’s Third Riech variant seems to have nothing but secret military programmes, so whenever it seems like the Allies will gain the upper hand I’m sure they’ll just bust out another one of them to even the scales. They’re Swiss-army-knife villains. Why would they even have a corkscrew? But they have a corkscrew.
In fact, Germania has so many weapons projects that they can afford to toss one away as a complete fake-out. We never do see their new guns in action and perhaps never will. The real card up their sleeves is in fact a witch of their very own. In fact, it’s not just a witch, but a Zombie Vampire Witch Clone, which is… yeah, completely normal for anime. The big whammy is that she’s supposed to be the original White Witch, though, now full of irrational spite. Apparently, the Nazis were right all along (there’s no way that can be taken out of context) and the White Witch story has a grim end which no self-respecting historian ever bothered to look into. And, er, I guess she’s every bit as villainous as the stereotypes suggest. I would have thought the Germanians would have dressed her in white, too, to stage a White Witch propaganda coup but, nope, symbolic black it is. And apparently, she’s even more of a blood mage than Izetta is, and as I mentioned in episode 02, blood magic never ends well for anyone. So I guess the the moral of this darker White Witch legend is… witches are as dangerous as everyone thought, they needed to be put in the ground for the good of humanity, everything was completely justified.
Well, since it’s the Nazis reviving a vengeful eldritch power, I’m sure nothing can possibly go wrong. They apparently have her on a leash; is that the blood thing again? What are they actually doing, and how are they managing to do any of it? When an anime suddenly introduces a second conceit in the nine episode of their run—that the Nazis actually have far-future super-science, and that we’re not only fantasy but also sci-fi—it needs to work hard to justify it. Witches, I accept as the premise of your story. Blood being able to do anything including transferring memories I can accept as more of the miraculous properties of blood in fantasy (blood, and shiny rocks, so shiny blood rock must be truly incredible). When they trot out a Crazy Nazi Zombie Vampire Witch Clone as a major antagonist this late, though, the fourth wall is going to need additional masonry. I shall wait to see what more Shuumatsu no Izetta intends to do with Sophia with cautious anticipation.
For now, I guess Elystadt is going to enjoy some of that classic government-in-exile (assuming they stopped staring flabbergasted at the sky long enough to flee). It’s a good thing they happen to have been researching anti-witch weaponry. It turns out they might need it themselves.