The story takes place on an alternate Earth, focusing on a time of war, similar to the events of World War II. We follow the story of 16-year-old Finé, crown princess of Eylstadt, a small alpine principality, on her struggle to keep her beloved country safe from Germania. Fortunately, she has long ago gained a powerful friend, Izetta, who is said to be the last witch on Earth and who is willing to give up everything to protect what’s most important to her princess, Finé.
This was THE show for me to watch this season, featuring everything that I long for in a show, badass female protagonists, gorgeous art, a compelling story, and of course, a high possibility for yuri content.
I had only hyped myself with the trailer before I started watching this, so despite the fact that I expected the just listed aspects to hit me, I didn’t know any more about this show, and that’s a good thing, because it left enough room for this show to completely blow me away.
Let’s just start out the regular way and talk about the story and characters first. Story-wise, we get a war setting, with most of the world’s countries one way or another being entangled in this kind of conflict that mostly sprouts from Germania trying to extend their realm, taking the land of other countries on their way. Well, that sounds familiar, though to mix things up a little, we witness the rise of something far more powerful than any man-made weapon could ever be, that being magic. At first, I found it to be a little ridiculous, especially when I saw Izetta basically flying away on a freaking rifle. Though, I got used to it, and despite the fact that pretty much 1/3 of all shows airing right now probably have some kind of magical elements involved, the way the magic was added in this one, especially in a World War II-like setting, made things pretty interesting, to say the least.
Seeing humanity react to it, utilize it, and finally, also exploit it, was simply really interesting to watch, yet again, even more so in a setting that I was already familiar with.
The only thing I probably had a slight problem with would be the pacing, as it was too fast, especially during the few final episodes. I would have appreciated if they had simply gone with a few more episodes, instead of trying to cover all of this within just 12. Hell, I would have even appreciated some more filler episodes of the girls just spending time together in Eylstadt or wherever, really. Or how about a more in-depth insight of the story of The White Witch? I’m pretty sure they could have easily covered this using an entire episode, which would have surely helped understand Sophie a bit better.
Well, I would have also loved to just see some characters have more screen time, as I simply loved Lotte, Bianca, and her crew. Of course, I would have definitely welcomed some more interactions between Izetta and Finé, but even as it is right now, I’m pretty happy with this, as their relationship played out gloriously well.
They already easily gained the title of my two favorite characters of this whole anime season, since Izetta is just that irresistible, kind cutie that is so loyal to her beloved princess that I basically questioned her sexuality right from the beginning. And don’t get me started on Finé, the badass princess, who despite never really physically fighting in battles herself, proved herself numerous times in different ways, both on the battlefield, and especially in political affairs. Though, if you put the two together in a room, that’s where the true magic happens, with oblivious Finé unable to stay away from her precious Izetta and the latter totally shying out in the mere presence of her love interest.
And yes, you read that right, I just used that term, because the anime made it pretty obvious that that’s exactly what those two would end up being, or possibly even managed to become during the run of the show. Well, the show didn’t straight up put that label on them, but even the term “heavy subtext” isn’t really enough. The displayed yuri spans from blushing when the other is around, constantly being worried about the other, snuggling, and some scenes that just feel like love confessions. It is simply a wonderful development that we were able to witness here.
Finally, let’s also come to the animation and music. I usually don’t have that much to say, but in this case, let me just continue the praising for a bit longer. The animation and art used here are simply splendid, especially in regard to the character designs of so, so many of them, especially Finé, Izetta, and Berkmann. Well, the animation didn’t go too overboard with the level of displayed ecchiness, though, some characters were certainly designed to… let’s say especially appeal to a certain type of audience. If that is a good or a bad thing is up to you to decide.
As for the music, I was yet again pleasantly surprised. The opening and ending themes are simply outstanding, especially Mayn’s “Hikari Aru Basho e”~
To sum it up, Shuumatsu no Izetta was an amazing anime with great characters, great animation, great music, and just the right kind of yuri to keep you coming back for more. Though, I still feel like the story could have been extended to a few more episodes, which is why I’m now at least waiting for some specials or something similar to this, because let’s be honest here, everyone wanted to see Izetta and Finé be united again at the end, didn’t we?