Shuumatsu no Izetta – 02

A fateful encounter.

Hot on the heels of the premiere’s daring train escape, the second episode of Shuumatsu no Izetta brings us a dogfight between Izetta and Germanian fighters above the mountains of Eylstadt.


It’s Magic, You Know

Fighter planes got nothing on Izetta.

With the aerial combat, we get our first extended glimpse at Izetta’s powers. She is able to propel herself and Finé on the rifle to incredible speeds in excess of 400 kph (~250 mph). Additionally, we see her using her blood to manipulate the snow on the mountain, creating icicles at will to pierce the enemy fighters. This second feat adds an interesting twist to the extent of her abilities. We’ve been told that Izetta can exercise her powers on objects she touches. Now, it appears that she can extend the range of her magic by flinging her blood onto objects she wishes to control. Seeing as this effectively circumvents the limitation of requiring direct contact with the target, I suspect that the method only works through the use of her blood. This way, increasing the effective range of her magic comes at the significant cost of blood loss, thus imposing another check on Izetta to prevent her from becoming too overpowered.

Mana bar of sorts.

And while we’re on the topic of limits, we see that Izetta has a very definite mana limit (for lack of better terminology). She is able to check on the status of her mana at any moment, which is represented by a chaotic crystal that she summons in the palm of her hand. My guess is that the crystal is an aggregate of the magic dust that gathers around Izetta when she uses her magic. That is to say, I believe that Izetta takes in magic from her surroundings, which appears as the magic dust. This is in contrast to the interpretation that the magic dust is merely a byproduct whenever she uses her magic. That being said, it would seem that Izetta can only absorb magical energy at a certain rate. So if her rate of expenditure exceeds her rate of absorption, she will eventually run out and become powerless as we saw this episode. This puts a limit on the scope of her activities, depending on the amount of mana she has stored up beforehand and the intensity of the magic she is using.

Unpayable Debt

Izetta’s only friend.

Moving on, we see more of the past between Izetta and Finé, this time from Izetta’s perspective. The young witch feels greatly indebted to the princess for saving her life to the point that she doesn’t feel worthy to be considered her friend. But we see that she clearly wants to think of Finé as a friend, because the princess is the only person who’s actually admired her magical abilities. This gives us the context we were looking for regarding the flashbacks last week. It seems that in spite of the legend of the White Witch (who is portrayed as a savior), witches are generally shunned as unnatural beings. So it’s clear that the crowd Finé defended Izetta from were in fact out to hunt the young witch. Thus, we see that not only did Finé literally save Izetta’s life when she defended her from the witch hunt, she also saved the young witch’s life by accepting her for who she is. By letting Izetta know that she thinks her powers are wonderful, Finé helped Izetta come to terms with her magical heritage.

The life of witches.

Prior to her encounter with the princess, Izetta had spent most of her childhood wandering from town to town with her grandmother, never staying in one place too long for her powers to be exposed. The feeling of being unwanted and even feared by society was further compounded by the revelation that she will be the last of her kind once her grandmother passes. Given this context, Izetta’s almost obsessive behavior toward the princess really makes sense. To her, Finé might as well be the entire world in a cold reality that tries to reject her very existence. Now, where the story takes this thread from here is up in the air. Izetta has been very careful not to reveal her magical abilities to the Eylstadt soldiers who picked up the two girls. But I suspect it will only be a short while before the truth comes out. With this in mind, the most likely scenario is that Finé will use the legend of the White Witch to get the Eylstadt military to accept Izetta as an ally. However, I’m not sure if things will pan out quite as smoothly as she wants. There’s plenty of potential for internal conflict due to a distrust of witches to add some spice to the mix. Or even worse, it’s possible for Izetta to be used as a military asset (much like the fate that awaits her in Germanian hands) and then cast aside and condemned once the war is over. Though you can be sure that Finé will do everything in her power to avert such an outcome if she makes it to the end.

For now, the Germanian invasion continues, with the situation looking rather grim for Eylstadt. Though their military has succeeded in slowing the Germanian advance, it can do nothing to stop the might of the power-hungry empire. And with the threat looming ever closer to the capital, it’s looking like the top brass might even be willing to accept aid from the supernatural. This is obviously a good chance for Finé to introduce Izetta as an ally, though her father’s comment that the White Witch wouldn’t save them even if she were real is a bit concerning. What reason would he have to doubt that their own cultural symbol of a savior would come to their aid? Or does he simply think that not even the supernatural can overcome the strength of the Germanian forces?

Savior or false hope?


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7 Responses to “Shuumatsu no Izetta – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    I had exactly the same thoughts on the magic you did, and I like the “mana bar” idea, and they used it to add tension and effect. Those are important ideas for magic in fiction. Cause if they can just “do it” it isn’t part of the story, and it feels artificial.

    But I agree the true step here is getting Izetta safe, as she can’t be any use if she’s hunted. I bet the drama will be made from the Eylstadt army split over having/using her.

    • Sumairii says:

      Yep, the show is handling Izetta’s powers very well so far. Which is a good sign, since they will no doubt have a huge influence on how events unfold.

      As for keeping Izetta safe, we’ll most likely see Finé step in to protect the witch yet again. But it’s absolutely necessary for Izetta to start standing up for herself eventually. As it is, she’s far too attached to and dependent on the princess.

  2. Wanderer says:

    It seemed to me less like she was running out of magic, and more that she makes use of magic that is ambient in world around her. When she crossed over the mountain during the dogfight, she entered an area where the flows of magic were weaker, and she wasn’t receiving enough to keep them in the air. Thus why, when the planes first showed up, she said “I can fight here.”

    • Sumairii says:

      That’s another interesting interpretation. It would be a great twist if her magic depends on the saturation of natural(?) magic at her current location. I still think there needs to be some form of her powers running out instead of her being able to use magic infinitely in a good location though. And maybe it could mean that she uses up all the magical energy that’s available at the location, kind of like using up all of a natural resource. But I definitely like how the concept of the strength of her powers varying based on location adds a strategic wrinkle to future conflicts with the Germanians.

    • HannoX says:

      I can see one knock against the amount of magic Izetta can use being location dependent and when she crossed the mountains into Eylstadt the amount available decreased. Since Eylstadt has the Legend of the White Witch you would think that Eylstadt was particularly rich in mana that the White Witch was able to use to save the country.

      Now it is possible that the White Witch greatly depleted Eylstadt’s mana, but if that’s the case how will Izetta get the mana she needs to fight the Germanian forces? She has to be able to defeat the Germanians inside Eylstadt. Trying to cut off their supply lines by attacking those lines inside Germania where the mana supply may be greater may work in the long run, but what about the supplies the Germanians brought with them into Eylstadt? Presumably if they had any sense they would have brought along enough to fight for at least several days and since Eylstadt is a small country that could be enough to defeat the Eylstadt forces.

      Alternatively, other supply lines could be opened, too many for Izetta to close them all. And the Germanian air force can always attack in conjunction with the Germanian ground forces, which is exactly what happened during Blitzkrieg, and Izetta would be overwhelmed by sheer numbers unless she can get an enormous supply of mana within Eylstadt.

      I think a more reasonable limitation on her use of magic is Sumairii’s idea that she can deplete her mana supply through use faster than she can replenish it.

  3. zztop says:

    …her father’s comment that the White Witch wouldn’t save even if she were real is a bit disconcerting.

    Maybe the father’s feeling guilt over how the people treat witches like Izetta with fear and suspicion, so they don’t deserve to be saved by the White Witch.

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