Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
What’s In This Post
In The Sellun Corridor Burns, the ninth episode of Izetta: The Last Witch, Sieghard Müller and Bianca think the spies took nothing from the hidden room in the castle; they are mistaken. Izetta prepares for battle against advancing Germanians only to find herself facing the white-haired woman from last week’s episode. But this time, the white-haired woman is flying on a purple metal cross adorned with half a glowing red stone. And she’s nursing a nasty grudge.
Amazon still only has one piece of Izetta merchandise, so please check it out — as well as series with strong female leads (and, in honor of this episode, one with strong undercurrents of despair):
- A resistance movement waylays a Germanian train. The Germanians almost beat back the attack until Izetta arrives and reinforces the freedom fighters. The resulting photo-op enhances Izetta’s reputation and Eylstadt’s standing.
- Sieghard Müller debriefs Bianca. They come to the conclusion that the Germanian spies didn’t gain anything from the castle’s hidden room. At the end of the meeting, he takes a moment to look in a drawer, where he has a plain brown leather bag sitting on a book without an obvious title. Meanwhile, in a meadow under Major Belkman’s supervision, the white-haired woman picks flowers as the stolen red stone hangs around her neck and gathers magical energy.
- The Germanians appear to be mounting an attack from the west, and Hans Obermayer reports they have new weapons that appear to be designed to counter Izetta. Shortly thereafter, they actually attack from the east. When Izetta arrives, she’s astonished to see one of her weapons destroyed by another witch — the white-haired girl from the previous episode. She introduces herself as Sophie, the original White Witch. Izetta doesn’t know it, but Sophie is a clone of the original White Witch, and her memories were reawakened in part by using Izetta’s own blood. Sophie tearfully tries to convince Izetta to withdraw from the war, even reminding her that her teacher must of warned her against getting involved in human’s affairs. Izetta declines and finds herself pitted against a witch of considerable more battle experience — and a declared hatred of Eylstadt, the country that had tortured her to death. Using the red stone to leach magical power from the environment, Sophie forces Izetta to crash, then chains Izetta to a metal pole.
The Germanians continue their advance. Sophie unleashes a barrage against Eylstadt’s capital, which falls in two hours. The Germanians publish pictures of the captured and chained Izetta all through their propaganda apparatus.
What I Liked
Izetta has her own comic book now! That’s a great example of propaganda, and I thought it was a nice, realistic touch — down to the witch on the cover not really looking lke Izetta.
Contrast: the distance between Lotte saying how much more cheerful things were around the palace while the camera pans up to show the barrage balloons moored about the city. I think the scene said more about Lotte’s lack of understanding of the big picture than it did of any real cheer, at least among the senior staff.
Hans explains how they came to the conclusion that the new weapons were designed to counter Izetta: they consulted with their country’s weapons manufacturers. I thought that was a realistic and sensible way to proceed. They also designed what look like the WWII equivalent of a cruise missile! Though the ones we use today are not witch-powered…
I’ve played Return to Castle Wolfenstein and other games in that series, so I felt right at home with the idea that the Germanians could clone the original Sophie. I’m a little uncomfortable with the idea they could resurrect her memories so easily, but I’m willing to put that down to creative license.
I’m glad they explained how the Germanians got into the Witch’s secret room by using blood they had drawn from Izetta while they had held her captive. Since last week’s episode, I had a Twitter conversion with Sima0, who pointed out that the whole endeavor to get into the castle’s hidden room was riddled with questions that I missed it in my review. Ever since he pointed it out, these questions bugged me. I still think that Eylstadt should have guarded the room more effectively, but at least the writers answered some of the questions.
What I Liked Less
Let me just get this out of the way: I hate seeing protagonists chained. And I doubly hated to see Izetta chained.
Though I hate how it’s coming back to hurt Izetta and Finé, I have to say that the theme of “you reap what you sow” is well presented here. Sophie still nursing a grudge against Eylstadt is bleakly realistic. In her time, it seems that the people of the country lauded her while she protected them, then tortured and killed her after the war at the whim of the ruler’s jilted wife. I don’t want to minimize the impact of infidelity, but I will make the case that torture and death is not a fitting response for that situation.
Sophie would seem to agree.
We started the episode with Eylstadt using Izetta for its propaganda, and we ended it with the Germanians using her. I think this encapsulates a glaring problem: who’s looking out for Izetta?
Eylstadt put her into harm’s way; I’m sure Finé, assuming that she escapes the fall of her capital, will try to mount some kind of rescue. Some of the Imperial Guard were close by, too, as Izetta was captured, so perhaps they could help. There are people who will try to react to help Izetta. But even though Izetta willingly took on this task, it doesn’t seem that many in Eylstadt have given any thought to her comfort or safety. She didn’t want to pose for pictures, but at the urging of Elvira and even of Finé, she consented. They dressed her in a frilly outfit because it looked good, but it offered her little protection in battle. They even sent her into battle without a fighter escort! So when the battle began to turn against her, she had no one to back her up.
And how she’s hanging in chains.
What hope does Izetta have now?
Will the United States of Atlanta’s entry into the war have a different goal now that Sophie’s revealed herself? Or will the US simply target both witches?
Is there some significance to Sophie only possessing half the red stone? Might Sieghard have the other half — and if so, was he able to smuggle it out of the capital — assuming he escaped at all?
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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 4: The Secret of the Witch
- 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 10: Iron Hammer of the Witch
- Izetta Ep 11: Finé