The World War II-inspired anime with plenty of yuri undertones, Izetta the Last Witch, is certainly one of this season’s most underrated anime. Now, thanks to Google Street View, we now know some of the real-life locations featured in the war anime.
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Set in World War II Europe, the anime mainly takes place in the fictional duchy of Eylstadt. The country is under invasion from the Empire of Germania, the anime’s version of Nazi Germany. Eylstadt’s capital, Landsbruck, is actually inspired by the real-life Austrian city of Innsbruck. The Nordkette mountain ranges near Innsbruck inspired the fictional city’s landscaped as well.
The first proper witch trial in history actually took place in Innsbruck back in 1485. This may have been the reason why the producers chose the city as inspiration for the anime’s setting. Crunchyroll’s Wilhelm Donko actually went to Austria to do some digging. There, he found many interesting tidbits of witch history. According to Donko:
German churchman and inquisitor Heinrich Kramer (who later latinized his name to Henricus Institor) accused seven women of witchcraft, and brought them to trial. However, the trial was unsuccessful due to protests of the local bishop, and Kramer was expelled from the town. This prompted Kramer to publish the 700-page-long Hexenhammer (Malleus Maleficarum in Latin) three years later. The title translates to Hammer of Witches and soon became the most important treatise on how to identify and convict witches. The tenth episode of Izetta is called “The Iron Hammer of the Witch,” so there is reason to suspect that the creators of Izetta are aware of this story. On the other hand, I was not able to find any Austrian fairytale similar to Izetta’s legend of the Weiße Hexe.
He found plenty of real-life locations from the anime, including the Roter Adler hotel, which seems to be a common hotel in Innsbruck. He also seems to have found Princess Fine’s royal palace.
This one is a bit of stretch, but hear me out. Finé’s royal palace does not exist in the real world, at least not in Innsbruck. But if you look closely at the first image of this article, you clearly see where the anime’s palace is located along the Inn River, and that’s exactly the spot where Innsbruck’s Hofburg (Imperial Palace) is located, which belonged to the House of Habsburg. While the two palaces look nothing alike, the anime at least seems to draw some influence from the Hofburg, as well as the Cathedral of St. James (Innsbruck Cathedral), which is located right next to it. Like in the anime, both buildings were heavily damaged during The Second World War – but that’s enough speculation for now.
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Kummenberg, located in the west of the federal state of Vorarlberg, inspired the anime’s Coenenberg Fortress, the site of many battles in the series. However, unlike the anime, there is no actual fortress on top of the real-life mountain.
The anime has also featured several Innsbruck landmarks. One of them is the Annasäule (St. Anna’s Column), which is located right in the center of the city. However, Donko had a bit of trouble looking for the cafe from episode 6. He had to ask several tourism officials and even had to explain what anime is. After a lot of searching, he and his staff concluded that the cafe is based on Goldenes Dachl restaurant, one of Innsbruck’s most famous restaurants.
We then head to Zurich, Switzerland, the setting of the anime’s first episode. The episode featured the Zürich Opera House, which opened in 1891. And speaking of the Swiss city, episode 11 also featured what seems to be the Federal Palace of Switzerland.
And then we head to Germania, where most of the anime’s antagonists are from. Oh, and according to Captain Obvious, Germania is actually based on… you guessed it, Germany! Ruden lake, which the Germanians set up their headquarters in the anime, is actually Lake Constance. They also featured the 20m-high Mangturm Tower, as well as world war-era Berlin.
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The anime also featured the country of Nord, which is actually Norway. The country played host to the scene where Izettab had to hunt down the Germanian aircraft carrier, Drachenfels. The scene is reminiscent to the real-life hunt for the German Battleship, Tirpitz, which happened near those northern waters.
And finally, the anime also featured the country known as Britannia. According to Captain Obvious says the country is based on the United Kingdom. Izetta the Last Witch featured several London landmarks, including Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The magical attack on Britannia was reminiscent of the Battle of London, one of the greatest air battles in history. The battle resulted in the Royal Air Force forcing Nazi Germany’s Luftwaffe to retreat, but at the cost of massive damage to England’s capital.
Now that’s certainly a lot of places in Europe! Donko visited Innsbruck, but took the other photos, like the ones from Zurich and London, from other sources.