What if nations were people? What traits would they have? What would this mean for historical events?
Hetalia Axis Powers takes these questions and runs with them, personifying countries into characters. The show takes a comedic and light approach to politics and historical events while educating the viewer.
Taking place primarily during the events of World War I and World War II, the story focuses on the Axis Powers and occasionally throws the spotlight onto the tumultuous relationship between the Allied Forces. The Axis Powers feature the titular character North Italy, who is clumsy, carefree and loves pasta; Germany, who is very serious but easily flustered; and Japan, who is stoic but has bizarre interests.
Based on Hidekaz Himaruya's widely popular webcomic turned print manga, Hetalia Axis Powers is a historical comedy that pokes lightly at culture, examines the relationships between nations and breathes fun into history.
When I first heard of this series, it was from my anime-obsessed friend, who had recently turned me over to anime and manga. Now, this was at three in the morning, mind you, and I didn't feel like reading the manga, so I searched for the anime. Upon finding the first episode, I had to pause it every few seconds to read what they were saying, because it was going by so fast. After a minute or two, I decided, 'Screw this, I'm going to sleep'. About a month later, I decided that I would really try to watch the anime. Once I got past
the first rapid-fire scene, I found it to be extremely enjoyable. Having a lot of time on my hands, I ended up watching thirty episodes in one day. The 26th episode is by far my favorite. (More than one of my family members/friends have received threats from Busby's Chair.) Though it can be found offensive and stereotypical, what many people will not admit is that they thought those exact same things about most of the countries represented here. They just never voiced their opinions, while Hetalia has really gone out there and said what everyone else was thinking. For that, it has earned my utmost respect as a viewer.
The story is really not there. It has almost no plot, and what little plot there is has been spread so thin it's barely visible. I get that its about World Wars one and two, but that becomes blurred, mostly due to the fact that Hetalia tends to jump around, and focus on many different points in history at random times. Somehow, it makes this work. So, I give it a six.
I find the art of the Hetalia anime to be very cutesyd-up, to the point where even some of the most intimidating countries make you want to go 'Awwww!'. It definitely isn't the best animation I've ever seen, but it was good considering it was adapted from webcomics that were little more than sketches themselves. I'm sure all watchers of Hetalia remember the small, pastel-colored, patterned frames they put around some of the scenes. While distracting at times, I believe they are there to separate whatever scene is going on in that frame from the regular storyline of that episode. I find that helpful and creative. Another part of the art that I love is the Chibitalia segments. I found myself 'awww!'ing every few seconds over the adorable little toddler. So, all in all, the art is not the best it could be, but it is enough to make even the most angsty teenager smile.
The beginning 'theme' is much more suited for a moment in 'Star Trek' than a satirical history anime. But, I will put up with it, mostly because I forget about it until it's blasting in my ears. The ending theme, however, is a completely different story. Almost immediatly after finishing my first Hetalia session, I found myself rushing to download it onto my Ipod, along with all the other versions for characters such as Japan, Prussia, England, Austria, and France. The only grievance I have is that I didn't get any warning before Germany started shouting in my ear at the end of episode 27. Other than that, the background music was acceptable for the scenes. Overall, an eight seems sufficient.
The characters are extremely stereotypical. Germany is a muscley, blond-haired, blue-eyed stick-in-the-mud, Italy is a pasta-loving, airheaded weakling, France practically molests everyone he sees, and has red roses appearing out from behind him at random instances. France and England hate each other, Germany has to bail Italy out every other second, and America is a hamburger-loving hard-head with a hero complex. But, what can you expect from personified countries? The only way to give them a personality is to magnify the things their residents are most known for. This can result in some hurt feelings, but I find it fun to laugh at myself sometimes, and I'm sure many other people do too. Stereotypes aside, I think that Hetalia did an amazing job giving chunks of land the ability to converse, joke around, and even have relationships. While on that subject, I'm sure most Hetalia watchers are aware of the male character's gay tendencies. This really only serves to draw in mostly girls, but it is drawing in viewers, and most of the yaoi/shonen-ai aspects are cleverly hidden so that only fangirls will be able to spot them. Overall, I think that an eight is in perfect order here.
I think this is the perfect anime to watch if your brain just needs a break from thinking. It takes almost no effort to watch, unlike a lot of the more twisty-turney suspenseful animes out right now. Or, if you're feeling a bit sad, and want some cheering up, this is good for a laugh or two. Mostly I just watch it because I get bored very easily, and it is extremely entertaining. Thus, I give it a nine.
All in all, this is a great anime. Despite the lack of plot, It still manages to be hilarious, idiotic, and clever all at the same time. A lot of work must have gone into putting the manga and the anime together, and I appreciate hard work. Especially when it comes in the form of twenty or thirty bishounens.
I hope my review helped you to make the right choice on this anime!
I jumped into Hetalia Axis Powers with high hopes. Online friends and real life friends gave the series such high praise. They swore that Hetalia was one of the best anime they'd seen. At appearance, Hetalia looked as good as they said, with a great set of beginning episodes. As the series progressed, however, I began to feel that Hetalia was just an over-hyped series that didn't deserve the credit that it was getting.
At first, I loved the story. With every country represented by a single character going through the events of World Wars I and II, what wasn't to like? The beginning of the
series brought up the relationships between the countries very well, and stuck with the important, historical points of the two wars. As the series progressed, however, the story began to steer away from the wars and go towards what could have happened between countries if the countries were just one person. I thought the relationships took over the series and made the story lose traction.
With the character heavy series, at least I could watch them progress through the series. The characters, however, showed very, very weird interpretations of the countries. Even with foreign countries, I felt that the characters were just falsely advertising their countries with stupid quarks to make the characters "better" for the series. A great example, I think, is England, with his ability to see mythological creatures. As funny as that made going to Japan's house, the idea was still stupid. Another example is America's giant fear of horror movies. As funny as that was at times, I felt the idea was still stupid. And what was with the alien that was with America? I feel like I was the only one that didn't get that.
As far as the sound goes, I felt that the theme song got extremely annoying very quickly, even with different countries sang the song. Often, I skipped over them, or just turned off the episode when the song began. With no real fluctuation with the music, the sound lacked in the series and made Hetalia even more bland.
The one thing that I did enjoy in the series was the art. I liked how the countries were animated, but sometimes, the art got a little weird. I felt that the flags to show the countries were very distracting. The text for the country name would've just been appropriate. Still, the animation was cute, especially during Chibitalia, and I often got really engrossed in the art.
At a series, Hetalia could have been much better. I wished the show was better constructed, story wise, and the characters weren't quite as dumb. I believe that it's over-hyped, but there were some good moments. I would recommend Hetalia to anyone looking for a funny, short episode series, but I won't be watching the series again.
The idea of creating a story with characters representing countries or aspects of a single country has been done many times in literature. Midnight's Children with India and Pakistan as Saleem and Shiva. The Tin Drum with Oscar Matzerath representing the German people during the Nazi period from 1933-1945. 100 Years of Solitude, where almost every facet of Colombian history and culture has a character devoted to it. Where does Hetalia fall when matched up against the aforementioned 3 novels. Well...nicht so gut. Hetalia relies on very simplistic stereotypes and slapstick humor that isn't really that funny. You won't actually learn anything about history from
watching Hetalia either. According to Hetalia, WW2 was about the saintly Germans and Japanese fighting the moronic Americans and evil Russians, all while protecting the unbelievably stupid Italians. Amazingly this isn't actually the most extreme example of far right Japanese nationalism and historic revisionism in anime. That dubious honor belongs to Code Geass. Why is Hetalia so darn popular among anime fans where I live? The answer is Yaoi and Yaoi fanfics. That's pretty much it.
Have you ever imagined how this world would be if every country was a person? Neither have I. And this is exactly what Hetalia is about, that and jokes about pasta. We watch our hero Italy struggle to..... well what, I really have no idea what the characters in this story try to achieve. And wait, did I say 'story'? What story actually, is there a story in Hetalia? This anime has no story, the characters are stereotypes of countries, the art is pretty bad and the music is 'certainly interesting'..... And guess what? I actually liked this show. Though, the fandom is kind of
creepy, please stop shipping countries.
Well, there is no story to begin with. Our main characters are Italy, Germany and Japan and most of the time they are 'fighting' in World War II, though our main character Italy isn't really fighting, he's just fooling around and interacting with the other countries. And that's it! Though it's quite interesting to see history this way, this anime could have been a lot better if it had a damn story. Also, sometimes it's just pure stupidity, the only way to watch and enjoy this anime is by putting of your brain. So that's exactly what I did and in that case every episode turns into 5 minutes of randomness, gay undertones and sometimes an interesting take on world history, but most of the time it's just jokes and randomness.
There is no story, only randomness. Because of this I can't give this anime points for the story.
The art is pretty bad, especially during the chibitalia parts. There is not much to say about it, it's not special or extremely ugly. It's just that it looked cheap and that the characters designs during the chibitalia parts were supposed to be cute, but it ended up looking really weird.
The art is bad. The anime looked cheap and the animation during the chibitalia parts was just creepy.
After watching this anime, I woke up at 3:00 or so and the very first thing that came to my mind was: 'Marukaite Chikyuu'. If you watch this show, please skip the ending song, because it will haunt you, it's so catchy and silly. And I promise you, if you give this song the chance to sneak into your brain you will regret it forever!
The Japanese voice acting is okay, but the English voice acting is one of the best things I've ever heard. Every country has it's own accent, this is really hilarious. One big problem, our main characters are an Italian, a German and a Japanese guy and their accents may be funny at first but after a while you're done with them.
The English dub is better than the original one, yes it's possible! Also the ending song is so catchy that it's not even funny anymore.
Shallow, stupid stereotypes, that represent a country.... well, at least the characters are interesting. You have Italy, a weak coward who's stalking his friend Germany, the ultimate tsundere and there is Japan, a guy who seems to have no emotions and is totally done with his European allies. The are the Allies, England, who is superstitious and a horrible cook, America, who believes that his country is the centre of the world and eats way to many hamburgers, Russia, who is creepy, very creepy and China who hits people with his wok pan and builds Chinatowns everywhere and France, a pervert.
This is the main cast, ladies and gentleman, we have to deal with these retards every episode! And if you think those guys are weird enough already, just wait until you meet Belarus, Sealand, South Italy and last but not least Prussia.
Weirdest cast ever created, some stereotypes are on point, but some others are just racist or random. And no, I don't ship these countries, they are countries, how can this fandom ship countries?! Well, at least the cast is not boring.....
Yes, I enjoyed myself while watching this and it changed history lessons into pure comedy. It's stupid, random and there were yaoi-undertones for no good reason, but this anime is a perfect example of 'just put of your brain and enjoy the show'. This anime will not learn you a lot of things about history, but it will changes your view on history forever, but I'm not sure if it changes in a good way....
The enjoyment level is over 9000! It's not a good show, actually it's a bad show, but that doesn't mean that this Hetalia isn't hilarious. It's so dumb and stupid that it made me laugh out loud about the pure stupidity and randomness of the anime. Also the fandom is one of the worst I've ever encountered, they ship every character in crazy yaoi ships, it's actually really sad.
Should you watch this anime? If you want to keep your brain functioning in the right way, no. If you want to have mindless fun and you have a few hours to waste, yes.