[Series Review] Izetta: The Last Witch (2016)

Izetta: The Last Witch asks what might have happened during World War II if a witch with supernatural abilities were to suddenly appear in a country nearly annihilated by larger forces? This underdog alternate reality story piqued my interest, and though there are some major missteps, are those droppings enough to dissuade your time with the show?

Rating: ★★★☆☆ [3/5]
(Spoilers obscured.) “War reporting” inspired episode synopses:

  1. Beginning of the War” between ‘flexible Concept with rich atmosphere’ and ‘unrefined Execution with cheap titillation.’ Concept won this decisive battle during the titular screenshotted scene.
  2. Scars and Gunfire” during a Concept and Execution skirmish. Improved Execution assimilated into reinforced Concept‘s ranks. Next targets: convoluted alternative historical Setting and possibly contrived Backstory.
  3. The Sword in the Heavens” wiped out the clunky Setting with Style‘s subtle artistic and musical forces, featuring just enough tension and loss to feel earned.
  4. The Secret of the Witch” found resurged Execution, recruits pandering Fanservice and turncoat Style, cheating to win. Concept recovers face thanks to motivational Dialogue and wins.
  5. A False Miracle” fell back further when trite Execution pushed through the ailing Concept. Strong Characters arrived to assist and yet failed to advance or annihilate.
  6. On a Quiet Day…” the engaging Characters, though not especially nuanced, blasted the approaching cliché Execution with a few delicious Curveballs to reinvigorate the Concept forces.
  7. The Battle of Sognefjord” delivered a satisfying victory to Execution, actually, in spite of more nuanced Characters and politically dense Concept, or Ghost in the Shell-lite.
  8. A Cruel Fairy Talec” saw desperate Concept attempting many tactics, most failed to stave off the exhausted Execution, though some landed brief moments of creative contentment.
  9. The Sellun Corridor Burns” with cunning Concept‘s boldest strike yet, unfortunately easily deflected by Execution‘s most predictable clichés yet. Also, experiments can’t be successful: hypotheses can.
  10. The Iron Hammer of the Witch” showcased Execution swinging a fatal blow at Concept‘s attempt to deliver a truly great series, allowing room only for adequate.
  11. Finé” ramped up for the final encounter with revitalized Characters. Will there be exciting Curveballs, fully-realized Concept, and Execution that exceeds current expectations to achieve greatness?
  12. Izetta” [highlight for spoilers] doesn’t exceed expectation. The ending wraps up quaintly after an unsubstantial final battle. Not a final episode I would specifically rewatch. [/spoilers]

Pros: I liked the characters; valiant Finé, brave Izetta, and cunning Berkman. The horns and melodies of the soundtrack reminds me of the stellar Final Fantasy Tactics soundtrack.

Cons: Poorly told with myriad clichés. Watered down by desperate appeals to base sexuality (fanservice) through enticing camera angles and unrealistic character designs.

I can’t broadly recommend this series, which is frustrating, because with less reliance on trying to sell trite story tropes through blatant sex appeal, it could have been great. Not historically accurate, but an imaginative start. Instead it’s a disheveled mess that I might revisit.

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)