Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
From the 23 minutes of Shuumatsu no Izetta’s Episode 7 run-time, the battle promised by the title was exactly five minutes long. But I’m not complaining, because if not for these five minutes of shooting and flying, this would have been another uninteresting episode.
Japanese Title: ソグネフィヨルド海戦 Die Seeschlacht im Sognefjord
Germanian forces have deployed a monstrous weapon, the aircraft carrier Drachenfels. After confirmation through some historically accurate black and white air photographs (most reconnaissance was done through high altitude aircrafts. There were no satellites then) the allied forces gathered in their own small council meeting to discuss their next steps in their war efforts. The Allied forces meeting attended the anime’s equivalent of Churchill, the unknown prince of Nord, aka as Norway, a General from what remains of France (a nice touch in favor of the French people since in our World War II they have surrendered without much of a resistance), Earl Redford who is offering his house for the meeting, and the two (see themes) ambassadors of the United States of Atlanta. Between pleads for help and boring comments about the witch of Eylstadt and her powers came one of the most ridiculous scenes in the series so far: the announcement of Fine’s arrival was more fitted to the entrance of an actor at a party than for a country’s representative into a war meeting. And, of course, her entrance was followed by the necessary marketing trailer of ‘Izetta, the witch.’ The Allied Forces seem unflustered at first, so Fine proposes to trade Drachenfels’ destruction for forces sent to Eylstadt.
The new character, Wing Commander Groman or something, served as the largely unnecessary counter to Germania’s middle-rank officials. His contribution to the plot was limited to ship physics explanations, plane piloting, and a few unremarkable comments to Izetta.
I don’t even want to comment on the also unnecessary fan-service scene where Fine tickles Izetta, but sadly not to death.
The episode continues with the same plague with which it started: more people sitting and talking about uninteresting things just to advance the plot through a single fact that could have been uttered in a single second. The poker scene inside the Germanian aircraft carrier spent a few minutes of inactiveness just to tell us that Izetta is heading into a trap.
I want to leave the battle unmentioned for a little while more and focus on the trap. Berkmann is definitely my favorite character from the series. He is the only one that makes sense and his plan was solid. He sacrificed a big and clumsy ship (I totally get that air-carriers are useful but still they are big and clumsy) for a chance to learn Izetta’s secret about the fey lines. When his mission succeeds, he recalls his forces. I was glad to see a single streak of logic in an episode full of boredom and silliness. At least we had a battle, albeit a short one.
I can imagine every viewers face when the battle started: ‘AT LAST’ you might have screamed to the screen. At least I did. Izetta and her four magically enhanced torpedoes flew into the sky and toward an ambush. The enemy soldiers must have been ancestors of Stormtroopers because their aim was so unbelievably bad that they might have been soldiers of the Empire, and I don’t mean the Germanian one. Nevertheless, the fight was characterized by fast air-fights, rock music, and countless bullets slicing through the air. The sound effects were really good and these five minutes were a nice change to an otherwise boring episode.
Izetta and her torpedoes: I don’t know if Izetta has to talk to her magically enhanced items or she does that for the effect, but the scene where she commands the torpedoes to follow her and head to battle was priceless.
Fey Line Blind Spots: The area where Izetta fought had big patches of Null-Magic zones. In a non-anime world, a non-anime witch might have killed herself a thousand times, but Izetta managed not only to survive but to also give us an awesome scene where she regains her powers just after she submerges underwater.
Fan-service: I know what I said a few lines above. Yes, the scene was uninteresting and unnecessary. I don’t take it back. But it was Fine and Izetta in PJs, tickling each other and having their shoulders naked.
Drachengels: German for ‘dragon’s rock’, the word according to Wikipedia can refer to:
Two castle ruins:
Someone must add an anime aircraft carrier to the list.
Churchill: Have you ever seen a photo of Churchill? Here is one:
He is the real-life person on whom the anime based Britannia’s Prime Minister Burns. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was an impressive man. He was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 during World War II and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work. In 1963, he was the first of only eight people to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. Do you need more?
I might seem a bit harsh in my reviews, but I will repeat myself and say that, no, not everything is bad about Shuumatsu no Izetta. The animation and the general setting are good, as is the amazing score. But it fails in an aspect that can make or break an anime: character development. Most of the characters are lost inside mundane dialogues. Izetta seems to be unable to say anything more than ‘FINE I LOVE YOU. Ah, and Eylstadt. I LOVE THAT TOO.’ The same applies to most of the characters. Except Berkmann. Berkmann is awesome.
And because it is war we should have battles. The next episode speaks of a cruel fairy tale, so maybe we will learn more about Izetta and her magical powers. Judging from the post-credits preview, we might even have a Germanian defect? We’ll have to wait and see.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!
NEXT TIME: The Cruel Fairy Tale (残酷なおとぎ話 Das grausame Märchen)