Izetta: The Last Witch is one of the most dramatic, unique, political, and fun war series that I've ever seen.... Up until episode 8. That's when this show came to a crossroads with one path going right (towards awesome storytelling and a riveting finale), and the other going left (towards clichéd anime retardation). Izetta chose left.
Let me start at the beginning, back when things were great.
Izetta: The Last Witch starts off during the beginnings of an alternate Earth's World War II. Instead of Germany, Great Britain, The United States of America, and Switzerland though, we have Germania, Britannia, The United States of Atlanta, and Eylstadt. The princess of neutral and peaceful Eylstadt (one Ortefiné Fredericka von Eylstadt) is being pursued by Germanian Emperor Otto's secret agents due to Germania getting ready for an all-out invasion on her small country, despite her nation's famous nonpartisanship.
The Nazi-bastards end up capturing Princess "Finé," and they throw her on a plane heading back to the Fatherland as a bargaining tool for Eylstadt's unconditional surrender. Unfortunately for the Krauts on the plane though, they were also transporting a red-headed witch who they thought was in total cryostasis hibernation. Well, the witch (the titular Izetta) wakes up, and after a quick evaluation of the bad shit the Third Reich was doing to her and Princess Finé, she done blows up the plane while it's cruising far above the Alps. It's okay for our two heroines though, 'cause Izetta is also able to use her magical powers to turn a giant anti-tank gun into her own personal flying broomstick, and get her and Princess Finé to safety.
All in all, it was a fascinating and stunning opening episode. Personally, I thought that Izetta and Finé's flight (both literal and figurative) back to Eylstadt (and the princess' people) was engrossing, and the sense of dread of the impending crush of Germanian forces made for a very tense tone. The sense of power and wonder of Izetta's magical skills (that she puts to good use for Eylstadt's survival) is very impressive, though we find out that her magic is actually very limited in her ability to perform it, and that it sometimes requires mid-twentieth century ingenuity to make the Germanians believe that she's as all-powerful a badass as the Eylstadtians want them to think. Also, all the political happenings behind the scenes (countries arguing over declaring war, assassins and spies sneaking around everywhere, and misinformation being dished out by all sides) made me very happy, and made this my "MUST WATCH" show of the 2016 Fall season... But then came episode 8.
Episode 8 is when Izetta: The Last Witch finally said, "Okay, we've been doing stuff that hasn't been done before, and we've turned a lot of anime conventions on their ear, but we just wouldn't feel comfortable with ourselves if we got too far without going full-on hackneyed anime cliché now." And so they jumped to plaid.
Episode 8 is when all the political intrigue, secret keeping, and spying took a back seat to cloning and girls with vendettas. Not that this twist in the plot itself was a bad thing (I honestly think that it COULD have been done in an interesting way), just that the writers basically changed the tone, the sense of despair, and the pacing in order to shoehorn in an evil Nazi witch who was cloned from the remains of a legendary witch of Eylstadt. A witch who had a beef with the people of her country that she takes with her into her new form.
My number one issue with this change in storytelling paths is that for the first part of this series, all we ever saw is typical 1940s tech and weapons. Then suddenly, the Germanians could not only clone a human (from ancient, burnt remains), but also artificially age her to a young adult in no time. This is done for no good reason other than some moron said, "Hey! We can make another witch like the good one, and then make her fight Izetta like two magical girls in the same show always should!"
My second, and greater issue, is that Izetta then fell back on the oldest cliché in the book: a good guy fighting their dark mirror image.
The story then closes just like you think it will. Izetta's grudge against the Germanian army is forgotten as she and Cloney bitch-slap each other across Europe, wherein Izetta ends things by tricking Cloney into overextending herself. Yay.
I am just deeply disappointed in the left turn this series took. It's like the whole thing was one of those stupid writing exercises that your 8th grade English teacher always got a hard-on for. You know the kind of project I'm talking about. The kind where you had to team up with an idiot in the class, and you get to write the first half of the story, and then the mongoloid takes what you give him and then finishes the tale up his way. That fucker NEVER does a decent job, and you're both graded on the fucking outcome! That was TOTALLY UNFAIR, Mrs. Newton! TOTALLY UNFAIR! That retard Lance wouldn't know a good story if it slipped up his butt and jizzed all its glorious ideas all over his brain!
But I digress. I liked all the characters in the first half, and I especially enjoyed the shades of grey that almost everybody was painted in. I mean that the good guys sometimes had to do really bad things in order to keep humongous secrets, and most of the Germanians weren't balls-to-the-wall evil people; they were just doing their jobs for the Fatherland, or to keep themselves alive. But they were not being evil for the sake of being evil, like so many stories set in WWII tend to characterize the Germans. Izetta herself was an interesting character, and I liked her believable loyalty to the princess, just like I appreciated Princess Finé's devotion to her people.
Other than that, the animation was fine most of the time, but the music was only so-so. I don't think I even bothered to hunt down the opening and closing songs for my iPhone, and I think I actually skipped them after only listening to them in the first two episodes.
You can do a lot better than Izetta: The Last Witch. Hell, just watch Kiki's Delivery Service again. It takes place in Europe. And there's a witch in it.
Shows and shit about WAR are cool. Witches who use their powers to blow shit up are cool too. Yet this show is NOT cool.
Damn it, Japan! You had the "chocolate," and you had the "peanut butter," but you just couldn't blend those two things together in order to get Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Instead, you wound up smashing the peanut butter in your eye and shoving the chocolate up your asses. What a wasted opportunity.
I wanted to like this show, even though the two main characters were kind of ditsy broads who were standing up to a kick-ass world power. Hell, I think that by episode 4 I was telling the Rossman that I was really starting to enjoy this shit... But then all the cool stuff was pretty much stopped dead in its tracks, and it became a battle of the bitch witches instead of the Nazis vs. a single witch. Fuck that! I wanted the red-headed witch to blow shit up all the way to Berlin, and then PUNCH Hitler/Kaiser right in the kisser, just like Captain America!
That did not happen, and so I had to punch the Rossman in the mouth to express my disappointment. Maybe that will learn him to watch this kind of shit before showing it to others, just in case they end poorly like this pile of fucksticks did.
Meh, I'm just going to say that I liked this show because every time I do it makes the Rossman go into a venomous tirade about how bad the ending was. Honestly, I think I slept through the whole thing. I have no idea what happened after the blonde chick was kidnapped by the Nazis in the first episode.