「魔女の鉄槌」 (Majo no Tettsui)
“The Iron Hammer of the Witch | Der eiserne Hammer der Hexe”

Something of a wonky episode this week, in that there’s a time skip in the middle. Usually you want your time skips in between weeks so that the audience can actually experience the passage of, y’know, time. At least put the OP or the ED or even just the ad break in between the time skip. When it’s just a character narrating that an entire month has passed, some effort needs to be put into illustrating on-screen that some actual change has occurred. When a character wakes up from their coma and their hair still retains perfect shape, one starts to wonder if there’s someone wasting a lot of time grooming an unconscious person while there’s a war going on.

The general thrust of the episode, though, is clear. In war movie terms, this is the blitz episode, where London burns and we’re prompted to shake our fists at those darn Nazis, except in this case we’re, of course, supposed to feel more for the Elystadt capital and the all those nice folks who live around there than the Poms. In every drama there comes a point when our protagonists hit rock bottom, and I guess this is it. Which, I guess, is about time for the minor cast to start dying. That’s what they’re around for, right? Sacrificing the main cast is a big step, and should be saved for a climactic moment, but if you’ve had less than 10 lines then I’m afraid you’re drama fuel. They don’t even have their own action-music (we seem to be running out of soundtrack, unfortunately), and can only borrow from Izetta’s. Poor saps. Which is why I’m surprised that Blondie actually made it out of there without having to so much as take a bullet for her lady. That guy is going places. A place where he can pull off a tear-jerking death scene, at any rate.

So a lot of mooks have bled and died for Izetta, but somehow I feel somewhat less engaged in the plot then I was back in, say, episode 03. For one, the villains almost seem to be getting less interesting as they go. Sophia doesn’t have much going for her except RAWR VENGEANCE MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA and while her story is sad and hell hath no fury, I suppose, she’s starting to make the Inquisition in this timeline look completely justified. As for the emperor, Shuumatsu no Izetta apparently has nothing to say about him other than the constant reminders of what a douche he is (oh, he throws all those who opposed him into concentration camps? What a card!). So we’re left with Berkman, who’s definitely the kind of character to have his own agenda, but we don’t really know of it yet. For what is he exercising his ruthless and preternatural competence? Certainly, if Germania has toys like mass cloning technology, whether it’s flawed or not, and jet engines, whether it’s magic-powered or not, then this war is something of a waste of time, no? Maybe Berkman will do something more interesting. If you have magical nukes in 1941, I think you can dream bigger.

Mostly, though, I think I’m getting a bit tired of secrets. Every single person in this story is up to their eyeballs in secrets that they can break out as the plot desires. Germania, of course, has an economy driven entirely by secret weapons projects, but they’re sci-fi Nazis, so I’ll forgive them. The Elystadt royal family apparently has secret everythings all the everywhere, but they’re entrenched and paranoid autocrats, so I’ll forgive them. The rest of you lot, though. There’s this secret about the magic stone (imaginatively named the Magic Stone) that nobody managed to remember until now. Muller has his secret connection to the witch mythology which he secretly never told anyone while he secretly snooped around. So I guess Berkman must have a secret past, too. And Old Muttonchops is probably secretly a woman. Come on, what else has everybody never told anybody? Let’s just lay it all out here.

In the meantime, Germania prepares to invade their version of the USSR, which is never a good idea in any timeline. You’ve been enjoying the power of your witch? If I remember my folklore right, Eastern Europe has all the witches. I don’t think this will end well for anybody, if it should happen. I hope they do it.

Full-length images: 27.


  1. Pfft, i mean it not seriously, with Izetta’s sacrifice as Big Fat “Witch” Boy.. but you go there an took this for granted.. Well, i wonder in how they play this “Bomb over New Berlin”

    1. the only secret i can see here right now.. How betray the little Izetta? How did she exactly came into this Tube in the Train and Plain? Did someone do not wanted this “evil” Witch in their country and began to hunt them until Izetta are the last one? Has it something to do with this “betray”? Perhaps this “Old Muttonchops” are envy or afraid of their power and hunt and killed them in secret?

      Thats a strong reason for an “drama”

    2. somehow.. the “evil Premierminister” or in this case “old Muttonchops” want to rule his own country and kill the King and Queen and all powers that hold them on top…

      There you have it.. old (very old) but still gold.. but boring

  2. “Mein Fuhrer, London burns under our V1 attacks.”

    “Guten. Herr Feldmarschall, get OKW to draw up the plans for Operation Barbarossa. We attack Russia.”

    “Mein Fuhrer, is that wise?”

    “Herr Feldmarschall, you’re here to execute my orders. If you value your life, get OKW on it.

    That ran through my mind after the episode ended. Frankly speaking, I really do wonder how Kaiser Hitler would carry out Barbarossa. Most probably use all the Sophie clones over a wide front?

    But let’s speculate how things would end. I do believe that the Kaiser would betray Sophie again which will make her go berserk and turn on the Germans. I won’t be surprise that she’ll use the nuke in Berlin. Izetta would enter into a big boss fight with Sophie defeating her and after that end both of their lives to put an end to the witches in the story’s universe

    Velvet Scarlantina
  3. Reiko Yoshida is still the scriptwriter? Because this last 2 eps have been heavily trainwrecks with less interesting things as the time went on. Did Sieg thought that anyone in Eylstadt would put him on the wall by divulging the “evil” past of his family about the Weiss Hexe? Didn’t he thought that having solved Izetta’s weak point earlier would potentially save her for the actual mess? Did the Germs have way too much plot haxx? (the last one is a massive yes)
    At this moment, Izetta is trapped in what I call the Geass Clutch (overhyping a -seemingly- final arc just because), and without any interesting points that could get her out of this on-the-mill run, there’s no way the story ends well in any sense

  4. after sawing this Screenshot:

    i think to myself, i should hold up my mouth…

    Well, to give this comment more flesh

    Show Spoiler ▼

  5. The carefully timed reveal of a secret is the only fuel this story runs on. Without them, the story collapses as the writers never bothered with the extra work of ensuring writer decisions made in one scene carried logically into the next. This is 100% the result of the writers developing the story linearly with only a vague outline of trajectory. Writing each episode consists of repeatedly asking “what would be the coolest/most exciting/dramatic thing right here?” without asking if it makes sense by what’s already been written or will be coming next.

    There’s no sense of “behind the scenes” logic or a developed plot structure supporting underneath the script. Everything is on the surface and an army of secret reveals can’t bury that weakness.

    And of course Sieg just suddenly revealed his secret at the end of the ep; if he revealed it earlier Fine would learn of it in time to stop Izetta. Now she won’t, continuing Sieg’s role of making major leadership decisions so Fine can keep playing princess without making tough decisions herself. At least the timing of this reveal makes sense in that it’s consistent for the character. That and this series knows no other way to end an episode.

    1. This is so common in mech series it almost the rule. This is a problem for all anime and all live action TV as well in America. The fact that the powers that be will not commit to projects until late means writing cannot be done fully before shooting begins and they are actually writing only a few weeks in advance.

      Here though it must be part of the plan though as I note in my post this is Captain America WWII type story more than anything else.

      1. I wonder if time constraints could have been a factor with some of this show’s writing issues. Despite western fandom’s tendency to concentrate on his less successful works, Yoshino at his best can actually be pretty impressive. Or maybe I just don’t want to admit that the guy who wrote some of my all time favorite series would make some of the writing mistakes seen in this show unless other factors were involved. Still, this doesn’t feel as polished as some of the other stuff he’s worked on.

        Another thing is that anime scripts can get substantially altered from their initial versions, particularly at the storyboarding stage. Of course, that arguments is a double edged sword and is probably more relevant to nitty gritty details than stuff regarding the general high level story.

        Overall I’ve enjoyed this series but have been somewhat disappointed by the mid section. I’m somewhat hopeful for the end game, as I think the current situation has the potential for some of the things I’d liked in some of the writer’s better shows. We’ll see how things go I guess.

  6. Should have realized from the container Izetta was put in first episode that we were dealing with the Germany of Captain American and other comics of WWII not the real world one. Cloning, other Frankenstein types, biological weapons, and many other secret weapons that if the Captain and others did not stop them would win the war for Germany were a common thing in the war comics. In the war comics it was also common for the Allies to also have super weapons like the serum that made Captain America, the serum which has to be a combination of genetic modifications and genetic perfections. It was common to have the Germans have very dangerous spies everywhere doing all sorts of damage.

    “Hans Spemann, a German embryologist was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1935 for his discovery of the effect now known as embryonic induction, exercised by various parts of the embryo, that directs the development of groups of cells into particular tissues and organs. In 1928 he and his student, Hilde Mangold, were the first to perform somatic-cell nuclear transfer using amphibian embryos – one of the first moves towards cloning.” Wikipedia
    There is no war application to cloning so no reason for a WWII like science push in the area in the real world, but this story has a reason to push it forward. WWII was amazing in the real world for how fast things advanced. Unfortunately the story is using the old saws on cloning I assume were there from the first science fiction and comic stories of the 1930’s and 1940’s. The saws are having complete memories of a person in the clone and the unstable clone that I noticed. Although some things can be transmitted in genetic knowledge transfer to offspring this is not anywhere close to memory and emotions and maybe not encoded in anywhere but eggs and sperm to be transmitted. Actually a clone is the exact same thing as a identical twin nothing really special about it.

    Jet Engines the Germans in this world had them and put them on V-1 seen here were proposed in 1939 and production problems and other things delayed till 1944. I have no problem with a 4 year earlier production especially in this show as the lack of a guidance system was a key delay factor, the Witch gives a reason to push up production. The British had a jet fighter in tests in 1942 and had it out right after the Germans in 1944. The British Meteor jet actually could catch a V-1 but bad jams on it’s gun systems made it less useful.

    The real Germany was all secret projects too but ended up stealing from more needed items as most of it did not pan out fast enough. In this story Germany still has the Kaiser and new Berlin already built so must assume a way better end of WWI or no WWI for Germany. That could put weapon programs going earlier.

    Interesting that the guy with the Kaiser is his boyfriend at least according to the witch.

    I guess we were all to impressed with the accurate actually used weapons we saw being demonstrated and forgot we were warned the Sci-fi version of the war was coming in the very first epidode. Again like many here I am wanting a WWII series of military and political stories without the Sci-fi and magic but I am mostly adapting realizing this show was not exactly what I wanted at the start. So I am enjoying things. After all we are getting a alternate history political situation going.

    I am actually impressed how the show is basically sticking to stuff that was thought of in reality for the most part. I guess the Kaiser is not turned off by the might ignite the atmosphere that put Hitler off making a atomic bomb, it was the Americans who were crazy enough to ignore that possibility and drive on. By the time of the tests though Americans did have more research that made them think atmosphere igniting was unlikely.

    The United States of Atlanta are all ready sending troops into Britannia in 1940 so do not count Britannia out yet plus what secret programs are the Atlantean’s (hum, sound sort of similar to a ancient super advanced civilization when said that way) going to pull out of their hat. The Atlantean’s are already planing to take out the country of the first witch after Germany so they must have some idea of how to take care of witches, maybe their atomic program is a few years ahead of schedule. Again this is the WWII of the actual WWII comics done during the war with science that keeps being blown up on both sides before it makes general use.

    1. The engines in the V-1 were not the same as we commonly think of as jet engines, but were pulse jets. Fuel and air were inserted into a chamber and detonated. When the pressure decreased in the chamber it allowed an inlet shutter at the front to open injecting more air and fuel which detonated forcing the valve closed and the explosion pushed the V-1 foward.

      Since this is an alternate history things don’t necessarily line up with the real one. Some of the panzers are fitted with 75mm KwK 37 L/24 that weren’t used on the Pkz III till later in the war for example.

      1. in theory, if you support these Pulse Engines with compressed Oxygen, you could use them even underwater

        of course they need to run, to prevent water leaking inside from the exhaust pipe

        Jet Engine is impossible, the Compression blades do the “compressing Oxygen” part

  7. Hmm, with Otto going insane there is hardy one left I can root for. Foutunatly Bergmann has his own agenda. I have no idea what it is, but I’m in the Bergmann camp, now. Bergmann, Luftwaffen Hauptmann and Sophie for the win!

  8. I have trouble watching this series.

    Both of my late grandfathers fought in World War 2 for the Allies trying to liberate Germany from Nazi control, one even participated in the Battle of the Bulge. And both of them were German-American. “So many people forget that the first country the Nazis invaded was their own.”

    In this show there are no Nazis, just the country itself and every German seems to be portrayed as a horrible willing dickbag. No moral gray when it comes to depicting a German soldier, just the innocent all-white Allies fighting against evil invaders. It’s pretty upsetting. In real life it was like a tragedy play, Germans believing in one man in power only to find that they were the actual villains. But here, it’s portrayed as typical evil villain archetypes; has anyone even seen a single Germanian civilian?

    How do you think the Russians will play out in this? Brave countrymen fighting together as one to protect their sweet innocent Motherland, minus all the gulags? Bullshit.

    Sorry for griping. I just feel strong for my German ancestry. And I still hold a bit of a grudge against Russia.

    1. Then by all means don’t watch it.
      To be honest, depiction of Germanians here is pretty gray, I myself am invested in Germanian characters much more than in the rest of the cast. When people complain about too black-and-white concept, in case of Izetta it’s mostly because of their own perception and it has little to do with how the show actually portrays its characters. Really, just give me a single example of Germanians simply being evil? There is none. Except that they invade, of course, but well, that’s what war is about, isn’t it? Even the Emperor was pretty much ok until the last episode when it turned out he’s not completely sane person. Though, even now I still believe he has his own reasons to be like that. And the show stays away from mentioning war crimes as far as it can. If five-second flashback and two lines about camps in 10 episodes can be considered “mentioning” at all. Well, I guess, that’s exactly the problem? But if some people want to see struggle inside the society, the show want talk about these issues, because it’s about completely different things. And please, stop comparing it to the real world already, because it’s not and it’s not even historical fiction, it’s an alternate universe.
      The allies too are anything but innocent, even Eylstadt despite being too idealistic and living in its own perfect world, has its own dark secrets. And no worries, they aren’t going to show Volga’s role in the war, because the core of the conflict in Izetta lies elsewhere. Though, honestly, when I read comments like these I start to regret it. Oh, wait, no, Izetta was sponsored by Wargaming, so maybe they will.
      I’m sorry too. I’m just tired of seeing all these comments where people complain either because they think Germanians are portrayed as too evil, or because they believe writers to be nazi sympathizers, when it’s actually neither.

      1. It’s not only an issue of morality. Most characters are really flat in this show, but the antagonists have slightly more depth than the protagonists and their allies. This makes it easy for me to identify more with the antagonists. The Germans are shown as industrious and competent, while the Elystadtians are rather dull.

    2. I dropped this show all the way back by the time I was done with episode 1. I just had a very strong gut feeling that it just wasn’t going to be very satisfactory. If ya want something REALLY interesting Mr. Prime, check out Zipang. Trust me, it is easily the most realistic WW2 story centered on a time-travel what if plot mechanic that I’ve ever seen so far in anime.

      Nishizawa Mihashi
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