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.
NOTE: I do read/follow the scanalations so while I do not think there are any spoilers, it will probably make my review a bit biased.
The series is definitely interesting and unique, but there really is not an overlying story or plot. You're not really going to find much in plot development or anything, as it is more about relaying historical events with a heavy basis on character relations.
While cute (especially with the Chibitalia moments), the artwork and animation is not really all that special. Also, the fact that it is only a webcast (thus far) is not really helpful.
The voice actors generally fit pretty well; some people who have read the manga probably had different expectations for some of the characters, but overall they are still pretty good. The ED is also ridiculously cute and addictive.
The characters are really the focus of the series: them and their interactions. While some people find find the stereotypes for the series a bit offensive, it is meant in a humorous way, and every country is pretty much subjected to the same mockery/praise. But it is the stereotypes that make the characters great and amusing, because when you see them you really think "Oh, that really is what I can imagine out of some people from ______."
Despite the fact that each episode is only 5 minutes long, the episodes are extremely amusing. While nothing dramatic has happened yet, the comedy so far has been done pretty well.
However, if I really didn't know much about history, I would not enjoy this series nearly as much as I do. Often it's the small things that make me go "Oh yeaaah, I remember learning that!" that make me smile.
While the series isn't a masterpiece or perfect so far, I find it still really good. Simply because while it is not heavy on serious drama or anything yet, it is very entertaining and simply adorable.
I would not recommend this series to anyone who is easily offended or does not know much about world history (namely around the WW I to WW II era).read more
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! read more
I rarely drop shows as quickly as I dropped Hetalia. However, I feel like I’m making the right decision.
At 5 minutes an episode, this show isn’t much of an investment. But even at that short length, I was unwilling to continue. This show is terrible – first of all, its not funny, except to maybe someone with a 12-year-old’s sense of humor. The story is non-existent. The characters are shallow stereotypes. The “Chibitalia” segments are so boring that they make me want to hang myself.
Yeah, yeah, I know, “tell us how you really feel”. I tried to give this show a chance, I really did. I love yaoi, shounen-ai, and cute comedies, and this show looked promising. But after 11 episodes, I couldn’t stand it anymore. Watching this show felt like a waste of time, and I really regret even bothering. Don’t make the same mistake.
tl;dr: Hetalia is an unwatchable, over-hyped piece of garbage that stifled me with its stupidity. read more
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.read more
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