Shuumatsu no Izetta – 05

A coronation to be remembered.

Izetta faces her first battle without her magical powers, and it seems to be a success for Eylstadt. But trouble is brewing as a Germanian special unit is formed to hunt her down.


Smoke and Mirrors

The Eylstadt royal guard.

Izetta’s first battle at a place devoid of magical energy came sooner than I expected. I had originally hypothesized that the Eylstadt military could overcome this weakness by simply falling back to a more magically favorable location and launch a counterattack there. But instead, Seighart and the royal guard hatch a bolder plan. They opt instead to use trickery and misdirection to create the illusion of Izetta’s magic at work. A mannequin likeness on a rifle is towed by fighters flying overhead, trailing glitter and sparkles behind it. A hidden microphone and loud speakers amplify Izetta’s voice to fill the mountainside, intimidating the enemy. Hidden snipers knock weapons out of soldiers’ hands as Izetta waves her own, shocking and disorienting them. And old mine shafts in the mountains surrounding the pass that the Germanians hope to capture are rigged to blow with explosives, bringing the mountain side down on the invading force. It all comes together to create a flashingly convincing performance, much like the magic tricks that we are familiar with in the real world. But just like those tricks, the schemes concocted by Seighart and the royal guard are not perfect. Anything short of real magic is sure to have a few holes here and there that can expose the true methods for what they really are. All it takes is someone with a keen eye and experience to know what to look for. And the show’s Penn and Teller comes in the form of Germanian special agent Berkman.

The witch hunter special unit is formed.

We’ve previously met Berkman in the premiere as he was on his way to deliver Izetta and some prototype weapons to the “workshop” when he happened to run into Finé and her bodyguards during the daring train escape. Despite his brief appearance, the show made it clear that he is a smart and methodical person. Now, we get to see more of his intellect at work as he begins to deduce the limits of Izetta’s fantastic powers slowly but surely. While everyone else is fixated on the insane feats that the witch can accomplish, Berkman instead probes those very same stories for what she cannot do. Yes, she shot down an entire squadron of fighters with nothing more than a stolen prototype rifle and a wounded princess in tow. But if she could fly so fast that even the fighters had trouble keeping up, why did it take so long for her to reach Coenenburg and aid in its defense? Yes, she singlehandedly defeated a battalion of infantry and armor as well as close air support. But if she is so invincible, why hasn’t she immediately been sent to strike at the heart of Germania, even assassinate the emperor? Berkman’s skepticism and shrewd analysis of Izetta’s every move allow him to tear holes in the image of the invicible witch that Eylstadt propaganda has been working so hard to create. And I am afraid for Izetta’s future, because right now he seems to be winning in the shadowy battle of wits against Seighart and the rest of the Eylstadt leadership. After all, it seems that he’s not convinced by their tricks at the battle for Veile Pass.

Blind Obsession

Now we see who is really running things.

We also see more of the Germanian emperor and his aide, Elliot, this episode. Last time, I praised the show for not conforming to well-worn tropes in its depiction of the emperor. He seemed to be an intelligent and capable leader who would make a formidable foe for Izetta. But this week, my impression of him dropped significantly. The role of the discerning enemy who uncovers Izetta’s weaknesses is relegated to Berkman, which leaves the emperor only with the task of being a competent leader. And unfortunately, his exchange with Elliot here did not reflect well upon his sense of priorities. Instead, we see that the emperor might be just a bit too obsessed with witches. We already knew he would be intent on pursuing Izetta, even seeing Eylstadt’s public reveal of her as an open challenge. But I figured he’d keep the big picture in mind rather than single-mindedly focus on capturing her. Alas, it takes Elliot’s intervention to remind the emperor that there is more to the conflict than just obtaining a witch. That they should keep in mind their original goal of securing a route to their allies through the mountains of Eylstadt, which would greatly benefit logistics in the Mediterranean and African theaters of war. With Berkman and Elliot around, I don’t see how the emperor is even relevant to the success of Germania. But perhaps he has some other saving grace that we will see later on, like having the charismatic persona necessary to unite his empire or something. Or at the very least, having a good eye to find and keep such capable and loyal men close to him as the aforementioned special agent and aide.


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If I had to complain about something this episode, I would say that the tidbit at the end with Jonas overhearing the conversation between Seighart and the general was far too convenient. For one, why would they discuss such an important national secret out in the open, even if near the woods? Surely it would have been better to hold such a discussion in the privacy of the command center where the royal guard can keep watch for snoopers. Moreover, the conversation didn’t even make sense in context. What need would the general have to reiterate Izetta’s weakness? Seighart already knows it, so there was absolutely no reason to remind him that Izetta is powerless in places without ley lines. And why did the general have to ask for an explanation for a plan he should have already been made aware of during the meeting with the rest of the Eylstadt leadership earlier on? It seems like a nonsensical decision not to explain what the plan is right after telling him there is one. As the person presumably in charge of the Eylstadt military, the general is definitely somebody who should have been made aware of all the little details before the operation began. The whole exchange just reeked of plot device and was overall a terrible note on which to leave the episode. It really was a flimsy and shallow setup for Izetta’s secret to get into Berkman’s hands through the mole in the Eylstadt military, who will undoubtedly get chummy with Jonas later on to extract the now-leaked information about the witch.

Let’s just casually discuss national secrets in the open.


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3 Responses to “Shuumatsu no Izetta – 05”

  1. zztop says:

    Let’s just casually discuss national secrets in the open.

    Amazon Japan lists 6 Bluray releases for Izetta, so likely it’ll be 12 episodes. The writers may be rushing the drama to accomodate the 7 remaining episodes.

    PS. I’ve seen worse in Korean dramas. Especially the one where the eavesdropper overhears part of the conversation, misunderstands it, leading to more DRAMA.

    • zztop says:

      PPS. And those are the ones with 20-30+ episodes to play with.

  2. HannoX says:

    I don’t think Eylstadt had any choice but to stop Germania at the pass. A pass is a natural bottleneck for military forces. If Eylstadt fell back from there before deploying their witch against Germania’s troops that would fairly scream there was a compelling reason she didn’t stop them there. And the most logical reason would be that she has a weakness that compelled them not to take advantage of such favorable terrain. Plus once through the pass Germania’s forces could presumably spread out and attack across a wide area and she can’t be everywhere at once.

    So besides the pass being ideal for Eylstadt’s sleight-of-hand it was a place they had to run their bluff or someone as astute as Berkman would smell a great, big rat. Never assume your enemy can’t put 2 and 2 and 2 together and get 6. With enough hints the enemy should be able to get an idea of what you’re up to and you have to assume they eventually will.

    I agree that the whole part with Jonas learning Izetta’s weakness is a complete contrivance. It also wasn’t necessary to advance the plot of Germania learning of her weakness. Berkman should be able to do that within a few episodes for the buildup to the crisis point for Eylstadt.

    OTOH, maybe Jonas learning of her weakness is misdirection to get us to think he’ll unwittingly betray it to Germania’s agent. Or maybe there’ll be a setup where he’s about to be captured and he choses to die instead for fear he may reveal the secret under interrogation/torture. Time and episodes will tell.

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