Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In The Secret of the Witch, the fourth episode in Izetta: The Last Witch, Izetta shares a crucial secret that reveals limits to the scope of her powers; Princess Finé makes difficult decisions about the succession of power in the wake of her father’s death; Lotte’s plan to give Izetta a bath goes terribly wrong; Sieghard Müller continues to act suspicious; and Izetta finally earns Bianca’s respect.
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- Finé finally arrives in the capital after the battles to the north. She finds her father, the Archduke, deceased. She tries to formally thank him for his years of service when she breaks down sobbing. Izetta watches helplessly from the door.
- The Germanian commander whose troops Izetta routed reports to his emperor. He’s hesitant to give an accurate report, but he gives in and confesses that a woman riding a rifle destroyed his forces. The emperor is delighted at this proof that witches exist. He gives the commander a lighter punishment.
- Izetta awakens in a bed in the Archduke’s castle. Bianca, leader of the imperial guard, stands guard and has a stern expression. Izetta misinterprets the reason for Bianca’s look, so she leaps from the bed and begins straightening the bedclothes. Finé’s maid, Lotte, reassures Izetta that she’s a welcome guest, but that doesn’t really help Izetta feel comfortable. Quite the opposite, in fact! She begins to relax as Lotte expresses her thanks for the Izetta’s role in the battle, since it saved Lotte’s family. Then she and Bianca both want to see Izetta’s power; Lotte out of curiosity and Bianca to prove to herself that Izetta’s not a danger to the Princess. Unfortunately, Izetta’s injured when Lotte knocks over a status, which dropped a water jug on Izetta’s head.
Meanwhile, Finé and her advisors are trying to understand the scope and limitations to Izetta’s powers. Her being injured in the bath raised serious doubts about her abilities — if she’s a powerful witch, why couldn’t she protect herself from a water jug? They summon Izetta and ask her about it point blank. Izetta dilvudges that she is powerless where there are no ley lines; very powerful where those lines are powerful. That’s a secret that would have cost a witch and anyone she told their lives; but since Izetta’s the last witch, she’s comfortable sharing her secret with them. They agree to accept Izetta’s help and plan to work around her need to be near ley lines. They call for help from Elvira Friedman to run the public relations campaign.
- Izetta suggests she take a trip to the old capital’s castle, from which the original white witch operated. She hopes to find something that would help in the war effort. Bianca drove the two of them to the castle, and there, they found the white witch’s lair. Among the treasures was a detailed map of ley lines. On the way back, Bianca asked why Izetta was so devoted to Finé. Izetta’s response: Finé not only stood up to the villagers. A villager had tried to skewer the young Izetta on a pitch fork, and Finé had taken the blow. After hearing the story, Bianca accepted Izetta. Back in the white witch’s room, preparing for the coronation ceremony, Izetta briefly remembers her grandmother telling her not to be like the white witch, since the white witch had been a traitor. But Izetta doubles-down on Finé, saying that she believes in the Princess’ vision to bring about not only a better Eylstadt, but a better world.
What I Liked
The Princess tried to hold her emotions in check when she thanks her father for all his years of service, but she couldn’t. I found that breakdown to be very affective, given how well the show’s established her strength and resolve in the previous episodes.
Bianca tries to tell Lotte to tone down her cheerfulness in deference to the archduke’s passing. But Lotte explains how the Princess asked her to carry on as if nothing happened, so Lotte’s just doing what she can to honor Finé’s wishes. I thought that was a powerful statement of fidelity.
Speaking of Bianca, I think it spoke well of her loyalty to the Princess that she didn’t just accept Izetta or her abilities. She wanted proof, because the Princess’ safety is her responsibility. That made her reconciliation with Izetta towards the end of the episode very powerful for me.
Izetta actually bounced up and down in delight when she saw Finé’s coronation dress. I think their honest and open affection for each other is refreshing.
Finé seemed embarrassed that Izetta had overheard her speech to the soldiers. At the same time, she felt genuinely moved at how Izetta had internalized the message and made it the goal of her life: that the princess make a country where “everyone can choose their own tomorrow.” Talk about pressure!
What I Liked Less
So, the emperor lets Grosskopf keep his peerage, bur forfeit his lands? How’s that work? How’s it the commander’s fault that a witch supernaturally kicked his forces’ butts? Hasn’t the emperor ever read the Evil Overlord’s site? Good lieutenants are hard to come by…
And doesn’t “Grosskopf” translate to “big head?”
I remain unconvinced that Elvira had to grope both Izetta and Finé. I mean, seriously? Izetta looked like she’d been brutalized.
Given my thoughts on Izetta’s fanservice last week, you might expect me to voice concern about Izetta’s bath scene. Nope! This time, I thought the nudity served the plot. There were no lascivious camera angles and no unusual goings-on. Lotte just tried to bath the witch. The urn falling from the statue and striking a naked Izetta made an important point: under some circumstances (and we didn’t learn under what circumstances until later), Izetta is as powerless as a normal human. That’s an important plot point.
That’s in stark contrast to how Elvira groped Izetta — and apparently, Finé, too. Just why she had to weigh Izetta’s breasts in her hands is beyond me, except for the “value” it added as fanservice. Izetta certainly didn’t want her body touched in that way, and it’s obvious from Finé’s expression she was in the same camp as Izetta. Meeting Elvira? An important plot point. Elvira molesting both Izetta and Finé? Uh, just no.
That kind of scene really detracts from an otherwise powerful tale of the power of their friendship as it’s pitted against a cruel and plotting world. Contrast it with the scene at the end, where Izetta whole-heartedly throws her support behind Finé’s hopes for her country — but extrapolated to the entire world. That was such a noble and powerful sentiment that a scene of cheap groping simply has no place.
Finally, I’m very nervous about Sieghard knowing Izetta’s secret. He’s also the one who’s behind the theme and approach to unveiling Izetta to the world. If Izetta can’t show her powers without a ley line, and if Eylstadt tries to fake it for the reporters, wouldn’t “accidentally” disclosing that be a powerful blow to Eylstadt? And wouldn’t Germania benefit from knowing that secret — even using the ley line map to plan their attacks where Izetta would be powerless?
How’s Izetta shaping up for you? Please leave a comment to let me know!
Other Posts of Interest
- Cooler Nights — That Means It’s Time for the Fall 2016 Anime Preview (Part 1) (discusses Izetta: The Last Witch)
- Izetta Eps 1 and 2: A Nazi By Any Other Name…
- Izetta Ep 3: The Sword in the Heavens
- Izetta Ep 5: A False Miracle
- Izetta Ep 6: On a Quiet Day
- Izetta Ep 7: The Battle of Sognefjord
- Izetta Ep 8: A Cruel Fairy Tale
- Izetta Ep 9: The Sellun Corridor Burns
- Izetta Ep 10: Iron Hammer of the Witch
- Izetta Ep 11: Finé