The art style of this historical anime is beautiful, but the music gives it a very dark feeling..
While I find the art style of this anime beautiful, the boldness of the female protagonist refreshing, and the backgrounds art absolutely stunning, the music kind of ruins it. It doesn’t match the scenarios, and takes the enthusiasm down a bit.
The story is that a princess of the small alpine country of Elystadt is seeking aid from one of the larger countries. It is a WW2 era-type scenario, where Germania ad Brittania are the two large superpowers. The geographic on the map are not todays map, but it appears Germania is more in the lower Russia area of the continent. The legend that originated in Elystadt: Die Letzte Hexe, sounds a bit on the RL German side. But this is anime so everyone speaks Japanese and a bit of English.
Military animes are not my favorite, but fantasy stories are pretty high up on my list, despite the use of magic being used to explain away everything.. So a military and magic story.. Lets see how this goes.
A fear I have is surrounding the reunion of the Princess and the White Witch, Izetta. Princess Fine seems to be a rather strong woman, and is explained away as a tomboyish female. When she sees the ‘White Witch’ with red hair and questionable underwear, she smiles and I can almost see the strong female falling away.
The coincidence element as well, its just very convenient that Fine was on the same train as the capsule Izetta was being held in, she was on the same plane as the capsule, and was able to awaken the witch just in time. It has a very Nobunaga the Fool type feel, with a mix of magic and history.
A lot is assumed about the Princess right off the bat, and she faces a lot of sexism. She is accused of running from the threat of Germania, she is complemented on her beauty and not her bravery, she is noted as a tomboy, and praised for her willingness to give up her spot on the throne to be the princes wife. She has been next in line of the throne in her own country, and peoples expectations of her in that position are on the positive side. It appears she would make a great leader, but is being forced to give that up to protect her country. Well, she was being forced to. Her reasons quickly disappeared when the attacks began.
The music throughout the episode was creepy. There were often times where a positive moment was soured because the music was ominous, like if something was going to jump out and get you in the next moment.
Even the final scene, the music was not a happy ‘we did it!’ music, it was more along the lines of ‘we did it, but at what cost’ as they slowly and awkwardly flew into the sunset.
The animations of the trains were I think the highlight of the episode. They shifted and wiggled like a real train would. Can you actually walk on top of a train? So may people do it in shows, that if a train was going at full speed, you cant possibly remain upright. The wind would knock you right down?
The sparkles were a bit much, in the beginning and in the end. I understand their presence, having to do with the white witch and the fantastical element of it all, but it just seemed so over the top for me.
Overall, I liked the episode. I didn’t LOVE it, but if it asked me out for dinner id say yes, then friend zone it. Do I have high hopes, no. my reasoning being that Fine may not maintain her strong female personality. If she does, that’s fabulous, id love it if she was bold and brazen and did what she had to to protect her country. Id hope it didn’t require sleeping with neighboring princes to get them to help, but in that time period women are most likely not taken seriously, even if she has a strong reputation.
If I could have my cake and eat it too, Fine would take the throne, with Izetta right beside her, and rule the shit out of her people, Izetta loaning magic to soldiers and equipment. She would scream ‘attack!’ and Izetta would point as well, and the soldiers would shoot bullets imbued with magic that had 10x the force. The two would drive back Germania forces, then move onto the other countries Germania’s invaded and boxed the troops back in their own country.
But why would that happen? *sigh*
Well if you want to read about a proven strong female character( well maybe 2, if we count strong supporting female characters, checkout Karandi’s review of Akagami no Shirayuki HERE.
‘Even if the rest of the anime stank, the relationship between Zen and Shirayuki would be enough to sell this story. Fortunately, the rest of the anime is pretty good’
Thanks for reading!