Shuumatsu no Izetta – 04

Falling jug is also an effective counter to Izetta.

It’s finally time for us to learn the true extent and limits of Izetta’s powers.



Secrets Revealed

Young Izetta’s powers about to go out of control.

As it turns out, Wanderer’s interpretation of Izetta’s powers was correct. She is not limited by a mana bar of sorts, but is instead limited by what’s available at her current location. The episode introduces the concept of ley lines to both the viewers and the Eylstadt leadership, with the explanation that a witch draws magical energy from the ley lines. Due to this intricate network of flowing energy, there are places where a witch can draw out the full potential of her abilities, and places where she is effectively powerless. While we’ve seen that Izetta has some sort of spell to determine the concentration of magical energy around her, she has no way of knowing this information beforehand. This makes the strength of her magic highly unpredictable as she moves from one place to the next, placing a significant limit on her usefulness in the defense of Eylstadt. Having said that, the show almost immediately goes on to eliminate at least one aspect of her limitation by the convenient discovery of a map of all ley lines throughout Europe that is hidden in the castle at the old capital. I don’t really like this rather convenient development, especially how soon it happened after we had just established that Izetta isn’t all powerful.

A promise to bring peace to the world.

Granted, it’s not as if knowing where she can and cannot use her powers effectively completely changes the game. There’s still no getting around the fact that she is simply useless if the Germanian empire attacks at a bad location. But knowing this information still puts a tremendous amount of power back in the witch’s hands as long as the enemy remains ignorant to the details of the map. Because even if they happen to launch an offensive at a place with no magical energy, the defenders can still strategically retreat and relocate to a position more favorable to Izetta’s powers. So my take on the discover of the map is that it tips the balance back in Izetta’s favor a bit too much. That is, unless it is discovered by the Germanians as well. Now, that prospect may sound quite unlikely at first since the map is hidden away in the depths of the castle. But now that Izetta’s identity is being revealed alongside Finé’s coronation at a highly publicized event set in the very same castle with plenty of media coverage, it is entirely possible that some Germanian spies might slip into the mix and do some snooping around the place. And who knows, they might just stumble upon the oh-so-important map. Or it’s entirely possible that the Germanians will be able to deduce where Izetta can and cannot use her powers by observation after enough battles. They couldn’t have gotten this far in their conquest of Europe without a powerful intelligence network and strong strategic leadership, after all.

The Other Side

The emperor and his right-hand man.

In other news, we also get a brief glimpse of the emperor of Germania, and I quite like his portrayal. The emperor could have executed the hapless Germanian general for his loss due to Izetta’s intervention last episode, but he didn’t. Instead, he “merely” took away the general’s land, stripped him of his rank, and reassigned him as the head of a prison camp of his own choosing. Obviously this is still a punishment that should not be taken lightly. But it’s not like what we might see from the usual caricature of a villain, who is always ruthless to his own men just so we can understand how truly evil he is. Instead, we see that the emperor is an intelligent man who knows not to thoughtlessly dispose of his own pawns because of a failure that was beyond their control. On top of the trope subversion, I also like the obsession the emperor has with witches. The immediate implication is that the Eylstadt bluff of publicly announcing that they are defended by the invincible White Witch will backfire, as it will only encourage him to strengthen his invading forces in pursuit of Izetta. Plus, his interest in the occult serves to reinforce the notion that he is not someone our heroine should underestimate. Even if his soldiers were not prepared for the abrupt appearance of a witch, we can be sure that the emperor will have countermeasures and strategies to deal with Izetta thanks to his intelligence officers, creating a real challenge for the witch as the show moves on.

On a parting note, we also get a bit more closure on the flashbacks to Finé and Izetta’s first meeting. Turns out the villagers threatening Izetta weren’t on a witch hunt, but were instead xenophobic. This makes more sense, as it means that the existence if witches and magic is a better kept secret than it would be if Izetta had accidentally used her magic in front of the villagers. Though that might actually have happened if Finé hadn’t intervened, as we saw that the witch’s powers were in fact on the verge of going out of control when the villagers confronted her. As for why Izetta’s powers were on the fritz, perhaps we will get more clarification later in the show. It could be a kind of involuntary defense mechanism to protect her from attackers, or it could simply be a combination of inexperience and stress due to the violent confrontation. Though personally I’m leaning more towards the latter as it seems more in line with what we know so far about magical powers.

Hands-on stylist is yet another effective counter to Izetta.


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8 Responses to “Shuumatsu no Izetta – 04”

  1. zztop says:

    We also get a brief glimpse of the emperor of Germania.

    It’s interesting how Germania’s a mashup of 2 different historical periods – their army uniforms and New Berlin’s architecture resemble Nazi uniforms and Hitler’s planned Nazi megacity of Germania, but the throne room and the uniforms of the Emperor and his aide are more 1900s German royalty.

    Some history fans have pointed out Eylstadt’s army is using WW1-era uniforms and tanks, but some of their weapons are WW2 stuff.

    • zztop says:

      Hands-on stylist is yet another effective counter to Izetta.

      Izetta’s head writer also wrote the plot for the Seikon no Qwaser manga, which was very big on fanservice and violence (the MC restored his strength by sucking breast milk from girls).

  2. sonicsenryaku says:

    Id definitely say it was the stress of the situation that almost made izetta lose control of her powers. Just look at the fear and anguish in her eyes right when she was feeling as if she was being backed in a corner. She almost reflexively attacked back as a way to survive; and who could blame her

    • BlackBriar says:

      The same applies to anyone backed into a corner who believes there’s no way out. A cornered cat will always scratch in retaliation. And of course the cause was a mob of people who instinctively suspect and/or reject anything that isn’t like them.

  3. HannoX says:

    I don’t think the discovery of the ley lines map tilts the balance too far towards Izetta. After all, she’s still just one person against the army of a mighty empire and her only backup (so far) is the army of a minor country. However, I do think you’re right that the discovery was just too convenient coming so soon after we learned of her weakness and that Germania will either discover the map or figure out after a few battles where she’s strong and where she’s weak.

    Kudos to the Germanian Emperor for not just executing the failed general. But I don’t think the harsh punishment was just for failure. Even the best generals can have setbacks when the enemy unleashes a new and powerful weapon. I think the general’s stupidity and arrogance played a part. We saw he was that type in the previous episode. Maybe the Emperor had just been looking for an excuse to get him out of high command. The Emperor is going to be a very dangerous adversary.

    • Sumairii says:

      After all, she’s still just one person against the army of a mighty empire

      A fair point. We don’t yet know the full extent of Izetta’s abilities, but as you say overwhelming numbers should eventually be able to overpower her. The only question is at what point does this happen.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    It took some time to catch up but I’m finally up to speed.

    I admire Izetta’s kindness for wanting to extend her help worldwide but that declaration is sure to be writing a check she may not be able to cash. Her power limitation is one matter to be taken into consideration and another is the odds being in her favor of being accepted for what she is. Sure the country gave their thanks for her help but others may not take too kindly to the idea of associating with a witch.

    Hands-on stylist is yet another effective counter to Izetta.

    Hey, you’ve got to thoroughly inspect the valuable merchandise, right? 😛

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