「フィーネ」 (Fīne)

Let us all agree right now: Berkman is dead. He’s deceased. There’s no way he survived his time underground. Ignore Izetta’s dramatic entry for a moment, and let’s just pretend he manages to survive that. But even if he did, look, Sieg has a gun. Look Bianca has a gun. If they were even half as competent at their jobs as they’re supposed to be, they would have shot him. Shoot the Nazis! Is that so hard? Instead, Izetta manages to kill all the mooks, but not anybody actually worth offing e.g. the straw-Nazi who was executing prisoners of war, manhandling her Hime-sama, and, y’know, shooting at her. And Berkman, even if it’s just as collateral damage. So yeah, every scene from now on with Berkman in it is actually an illusion. He’s not there. He’s demised. He’s passed on. He’s run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. He’s an ex-Berkman.

Shuumatsu no Izetta is unlikely to agree with me, though, so I guess we’ve got to talk about Berkman, and characters in this show in general. I was actually sort of afraid that, when Berkman visited Rickert’s grave, he would actually show some sort of sadness or remorse. Nope, still a sociopathic jackass. And that’s good; stick to your guns and don’t shy away from your villainy. But while Berkman is nice and consistent, I don’t actually find him particularly interesting. The fact that he’s a sociopathic jackass is just trivia. The interesting part, what actually makes for a story, is how he got that way. But Shuumatsu no Izetta has a tendency to gloss over the how and the why. Things just kinda happen, and characters just kinda are. The Germanians are always one step ahead because they’re required by the plot to be. Otto is obsessed with witches and world domination because he’s required by the plot to be. The only antagonist who really has any complex motivation is arguably Sophia, but we never really do get to see how she was before her crazy spite phase, so there’s also a limit on how much depth she can have.

Of course, the protagonists are also altogether a boring bunch. Somehow, Sieg is the only one who does any real introspection, and Bianca ended up being the most developed character (relatively speaking). The rest of the minor cast are for the most part inconsequential, and the main duo fairly uninspiring. Izetta is a bit too much messiah and not enough human, and Finé somehow manages to be more asinine as we go, having sacrificed plenty of blood and treasure in this war yet still making a big deal about the ambiguous glowing rock. Together, they don’t seem to have much driving them except for their burning yuri love. But it’s sort of (sort of) okay for protagonists to be boring. The onus is really on the antagonists to make them interesting. As the saying goes, villains act, heroes react. The protagonists stand for peace and status quo. It’s up to the antagonists to stir things up, be their foils, and bring out the interesting in the protagonists. But, with the villains as they are, it’s not really happening.

Well, we still have an episode to go, so it’s a bit early to judge the entire series. If anything, Shuumatsu no Izetta has been fairly adept at delivering spectacle, so the finale should at least see us off with a bang. In fact, it does many things quite competently, but the writing does sag at times. That’s somewhat of a big deal, sure, but not enough to sink the show entirely.

If it all turns out to be a morality tale about nuclear power, though, I quit.

Full-length images: 11.


  1. i copy & paste my comment:
    Yeah, is this an Eastern Egg (pardon Picture) to Simoun?

    Part 2:
    o, from watching the first screenshots here, i guess that they took the Story of “angry Wife” that want to get rid of the “Husbands” lover and High Nobles help her to get Power. Sadly the White Witch was on an dead spot of the Witch earth vines so she lost her powers…

    Seems like they did not know the real secret behind the Red Stone, we know now that this is only an “Mana Batterie” for places where this blank spots exists… But if Izetta make it back to some of them… what will happen with Sophia? Or is she still “leaching” her fake Powers from the Bloodsample combined with the Stored mana inside the other half of the Stone? Will the Earth Power Vines accept her as an “real witch” and grant her their Powers? They are at last Earth spirits.. well some kinda

    Part 3:
    or for “oldschool” lovers, when both Stones clash into another, the Stone become one, and Shopia and Izetta “merge” (or at last their minds) into One.. perhaps the “new White Witch”… both combined = Yin and Yan

    and all Hatred from Sophia turn “gray”, well she do not want to burn the World, only some Persons that was responsibility for her death (even if they are long dead, too)

    eas way out, but also golden classic

    1. it’s like “selling” Joan the Arc to the Enemy to get rid of her…

      So her appearance could is okay in drifters. But i do see some “hope” for her or an stronger “dead”. Drifter is not holding to history, it uses its own

    2. >Yeah, is this an Eastern Egg (pardon Picture) to Simoun?
      I want to believe that it is. Would be nice if the writers went for Simoun-like ending too, but doubt that’s gonna happen.

      1. conquering time&space from a Witch? Uh.. that would be more then a Deus Ex Machina shitstorm out there.. It is not recommended, and this is my honest opinion as an Veteran Anime fan

    3. Can’t reply to that post =(
      No, I didn’t mean space/time aspect, but more down-to-earth things like Eylstadt undergoing some serious changes after the war with it’s people having to adapt to the new way of life and Izetta disappearing into some unknown place, alone or with Fine (like Aaeru and Neviril did), because witches have no place in a modern era.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the power of love won the day. And even that would be a better finale than the fucking Mai-HiME ending (written by the guy who’s writing Izetta)
    Mai-HiME spoilers:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  3. “Well, we still have an episode to go, so it’s a bit early to judge the entire series.”

    Ah, so optimistic! Probably the best time to have judged this series was at ep 3.

    “But Shuumatsu no Izetta has a tendency to gloss over the how and the why.”

    I wouldn’t call it “gloss”. I’d replace “gloss” with “completely dismiss any need for figuring out”. Fixed it. Sad way this show turned out.

    1. Funny was how the only yuri kiss we had, so far, was between witches/enemies.

      On the side note, last anime episodes always indicate the rise of death flagging. If anything, I would prefer both Sofie (who at least deserves to be happy after being resurrected) or Izetta to live. Of course, if we recall about the USA (United States of Atlanta), even if they both live it’s likely they will either be imprisoned, while being marked KIA on paper, and studied by scientists in the same way you see with girls, with supernatural powers, in Elfen Lied or gokukoku no brynhildr.

      1. USA’s Manhattan Projekt in this world could be the “secret powers” of the Witch. They are trying to reproduce this Red Mana Stone, for their own “Weapons”. Like Sophia used the power for the V1 Rockets

      2. or.. Izetta is not really the Last Witch, the USA Boys used “Operation Paperclip” and save the possible Witch candidates to their own country. far away from being used as War tools, but for the price i wrote here.. to use their Powers for Weapons

        Witch red Stones = Atomic Bombs?

        And so on, there are many possibilities for this alternate timeline… Their Cold War became based in “how has the most Witches” under their command

  4. It is really hard to do character development and action in a 12 or 13 episode series in a natural way. They tried but the light humor that is a needed break in gloom action again makes deep character development hard. So if you set great characterization in more than one character as you expectation do not watch a 12 action show until you hear how it went. All I expect here is good action and a good time and I am getting it.
    And yes better plotting does require more time. The Germans came out on top over and over until the Battle of Britain.
    I do not know what you are going for with the Germans coming out on top if they did not you would surely complain of the Good Guys always winning. It a really normal plot to have the bad guys have the upper hand most of the time. If the complaint is things not done in enough depth I agree but what can you expect in a 12. I would love to have the industry go back to at least a 24 standard.
    I do pine for a WWII military in depth at least 36 episode political and war drama but I will not resent that here. I greatly enjoyed they put in a lot of WWII eye candy as limited by the plot. So I am so far content, not the best anime ever but a fun watch.

    1. Again, it’s not about the Germanians coming out on top, it’s about how. Without the how the plot becomes arbitrary. Can it be done in 12 episodes? Certainly. And it’s not like the Shuumatsu no Izetta script has no excess that can be cut.

    2. I have mixed feeling on this series. I find some of the criticisms of it legitimate, but there are others I find excessively nitpicky. Overall I’ve enjoyed the series and think it deserves more credit for some of the things its done well, but I’m also disappointed because I think it could have been so much more. I don’t think it even necessarily needed a different writer. A lot of people rag on Yoshino, but I think he’s fantastic when he brings his A game. The problem is that he often doesn’t bring his A game.

  5. randomc.net/image/Shuumatsu%20no%20Izetta/Shuumatsu%20no%20Izetta%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2034.jpg
    “I’m disappointed in you.” Why should you be disappointed? He’s partly the perfect example of how humans should be, to be a person who is not bounded by petty things such a patriotism? Why on earth would anyone continue to serve a tyrant that tried to kill them? In all honesty, in regards to the past, those medieval idiots should had disobeyed their tyrannically queen, by maybe warning Sofie to run away, but nooooooooo they had to patriotically obey their retarded Queen’s order. LoL, now look at the result, those patriotic idiots left a BIG problem that their descendants have to suffer.

    Honestly, I feel sorry for Ortfine. I wouldn’t know how it feels to have an ancestor you REALLY want to punch once you get a time traveling machine. I can’t imagine how many people, in the world, would engage into a BIG fist fight if they ever met their ancestor via time travel.

    On the side note, those are very well made glasses. I can’t help but wonder how many glasses, in anime, have a very good plot armor.

    1. I think the point here is both ways of thinking are incorrect if taken to extreme. Nothing good ever comes from blindly following orders, but to care only about yourself isn’t right either.

      1. “but to care only about yourself isn’t right either.”
        Depends in what view and reason. For example, if I had to choose what version of Shirou Emiya I think is the best, I would choose the type that “Is willing to sacrifice all of humanity for the sake of a girl.”

      2. For me the resolution of the conflict between yourself and society I so unambiguous I still wonder why there are still people which are confused about it. Upon all you have a responsibility to care for you and your offspring, but you have also respect the freedom and property of others. Everything further than that (i.g. solidarity or loyalty) cannot be demanded, but given voluntarily.

      3. I haven’t watched/played Fate, so can’t discuss your example. But personal affection to certain characters isn’t necessarily defined by whether their actions are morally correct.

      4. Star8seeker
        I recommend to start reading fate/kaleid liner prisma illya drei! Ch 31 manga to get a clear idea.
        Shirou Emiya is the type where the idea “to forever be alone in a world with just your loved one” is enough to satisfy him. This can be considered an alternative example of Berkman’s case with his “forever be alone” idea. Another person, I can think of who would have the same way of thinking, would be Kaneki Ken; he’s the type that is willing to kill his aunt.

        Anyway, yes, if you make a choice such as “dirtying your hands for the sake of saving the one person you love” then there can be ethical problems. But look at Sieghard Müller, he dirtied his hands for the sake of his country by silencing a solider about Izetta’s former secret. While questionable, that’s much better compared to how his ancestor betrayed Sofie. The concept of doing anything “morally correct” can be considered insignificant compared to desired results.

  6. As much as you can hate Berkmann, I like his stoic demeanour and cool logic. Anyone with ounce of self-preservation would turn on their country if betrayed by it. Especially if the country happens to be better run and conveniently renamed 3rd Reich.
    He was a professional intelligence officer, did serve well – in fact most of the Reich success was due to his actions, both in finding Izettas weakspots and developing Sophie as countermeasure – until betrayed. He never showed unnecessary cruelty (unlike the token strawman nazi of this episode) and was respecting his opponents. Finally, if not for his timely betrayal, whole pocket dukedom would be nuked into oblivion, with not even Izetta being capable of intercepting magically guided v-2 with magical nuke warhead -especially since she would not know its coming.
    Also this reflects on reality that many former Nazi spies (and scientists, for that matter) ended up serving Allies after the war. Ever heard of Gehlen Organisation?
    This is the reality of the great game, and the most dedicated patriots end up dead as did Rickert, while cynical turncoats live (long and prosper).

  7. comment for episode 12:

    Seems like someone took here and there some inspirations.. But, i do not mind. it’s win-win. I got the Anime, they got inspirations

    and i continue to use my inspirations, as long my anime flame is buring inside my heart


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