The third and fourth seasons of the Hetalia Axis Powers anime. A continuation of the first 2 seasons under a new name, still adapting the online webcomics drawn by Himaruya Hidekaz.
Based on a popular web-released manga series by Hidekazu Himaruya, this has been described as a "cynical gag" story set in Europe in the years between WW1 and WW2 (1915-1939), using exaggerated caricatures of the different nationalities as portrayed by a gaggle of bishōnen. For example, the Italia Veneziano character is into pasta and women. The Deutsche (German) bishi loves potatoes and sausages, and Nippon is an otaku boy. Installments of the manga have jumped back and forth in setting from the ancient times to modern-day geopolitics. The manga's title comes the Japanese words for "useless" (hetare) and Italy (Italia).
Cue the squealing fangirls! Today I review the 2nd part of Hetalia.
Story and characters: 3/10
As a huge fan of history, I really liked the concept of Hetalia with people representing countries and felt it was a MASSIVE waste of potential. It has a lot of comedy potential because countries typically act only in rational self interest and often commit horrible deeds that they try to rationalize. If countries were people, almost all of them would be complete fucking assholes! A few notable exceptions would be China and India, who abuse themselves but haven't really been too bad towards anyone else...at least relative to other countries.
problems did I have with Hetalia? Firstly, Hetalia doesn't even attempt to teach history along with the cheap laughs. It is 100% slapstick, fanservice for the girls, and cheap ethnic stereotypes. Although I enjoyed getting to see what stereotypes Japan has about other nations, since they are often quite different from those we have here in the US. The only problem is that the mangaka who created the original web comic never seemed to have a very good grasp of history. Some of the characterizations are simply, objectively wrong. For example, Germany is a loveable jerk who is portrayed as always being an asshole, but he is always just a mild asshole. Russia is portrayed as a schizophrenic psychopath who switches between sickeningly sweet to a psychotic killing machine and back without warning or reason. The writer basically swapped the 2 characters. Russia isn't sweet or nice to its neighbors...EVER! Russia is the consistent, lovable asshole. On the other hand, German civilization like The Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, and the 1st German Empire had the cleanest human rights record in Europe for 400 years and were the nicest, warmest, and greatest neighbors anyone could have... then suddenly went on a killing rampage that would make the fucking Mongols blush, killed 17 million civilians in cold blood, and actually formulated a plan to kill 80% of Eastern Europe or just over 100 million people following a German victory and enslave the other 20%. Germany even meticulously planned how they would slaughter some of their own allies like the Latvians, who killed their entire Jewish population without even being told to do so, just to impress the Germans and lick the Germans' boots. Someone bows down to you, worships you like a God, and you callously slaughter them anyways? Who the FUCK does that shit!? The same country that interbreeds with a neighbor for hundreds of years, then out of the fucking blue declares them sub-human and burns down their capital block by block until NOTHING of historical value is left standing and over 500,000 civilians are dead and bloody in the streets. Germany is NOT consistent! Germany is absolutely insane, completely unpredictable, and overwhelmingly horrifying. Just like Russia's character from Hetalia. How could the mangaka have fucked up this bad?! Also America needs to be WAY more of an asshole, as does England and Japan.
If the characters aren't going to reflect anything more than cheap stereotypes, why not have more characters? Where the hell is India? Iran? Brazil? Arabia? Korea? a single African country? I want to see America laugh at France for getting his ass kicked by Haiti and Mexico, or laugh at Italy for getting totally PWNED by Ethiopia! Then Italy and France laugh at America getting beat up by Vietnam, forcing America to remind France that he already lost a war to Vietnam and unlike America actually had a conventional war with large scale battles and simply got their asses whooped on the battlefield outright! At the massive conventional battle of Dien Bien Phu the French got got their asses kicked so hard they even lost in terms of kill ratio to an army of poorly armed, almost completely untrained peasants and farmers. Of course Italy at the battle of Adwa earns the record for the most incompetent, disgraceful performance in the history of warfare! It was as if the Italian general read Sun Tzu's Art of War and decided to violate EVERY fundamental principle of warfare! Italy lost the war against Ethiopia by losing a battle that in computer games like Civilization wouldn't even be possible to lose! They had an army of well trained soldiers with repeat fire rifles, cannons, and fucking machine guns and managed to get their shit WREKT by an Ethiopian army with 25% of soldiers possessing rifles and 75% with fucking spears! Let me repeat that, an army with fucking MACHINE GUNS, lost to an army with STONE AGE technology. I need to start quoting from the Jim Rome "Lions go 0-16" speech! "congrats guys, you did it. They said it wasn't possible but you did it! You manned down, you completely fell apart, and you completed the dream! My dream! The ultimate imperfection. Man's game gentlemen! Man's game! None of you fucking losers will ever have to buy a beer in my town ever again! Its all on me!"
Art and music: 2/10
The art is heavily moe and the animation is extremely basic. The music and incredibly annoying and redundant. I don't have too much more to say.
Where the Hell did Hetalia get the points for a 4/10 score? Some of the jokes are so stupid they are actually funny. Also the English dub is amazing and features some of the best voice actors working in the US. Patrick Seitz and his wild screaming in a cheesy German accent took this series to the end zone. He put the whole fucking team on his back and he delivered! God bless that man!
Although a massive waste of potential both in terms of comedy, actually teaching history, and pretty much everything else...it still had some cheap laughs and had excellent voice work. That was enough to give it about a 3.5 in my book and I round up.
I love it still! There are a lot of times where the third season isn’t as good as the first and second but this one isn’t one of them! It’s hard not to have the second season of a comedy go bad though it can happen.
Prussia’s attitude is spot on, giving him the somewhat annoying feeling but with that awesome felling we get. I really don’t get his voice though. I would of thought it would be a bit closer to Germany’s instead of Austria’s accent.
Even though Germany and Italy are separate, we still get times where Italy is sneaking into Germany’s bed
still! This show actually reminds me a lot of why people want to do most of the pairings; it shows a lot more of the feelings between the nations and opens up possibilities into what they feel. Some things that they say actually can be taken wrong and give girls like me who am into Yaoi a chance to swoon because of it. I really want them to actually create a new season because there are so many characters that came up at the end of the show and they really need to show them more!
The OVA doesn’t really feel like an OVA in a sense because of how close it is to the actual show that I don’t know why they didn’t just put it together.
The artwork is the same as the first one, not changing the awesome look of it at all.
The voice actors are perfect and witty in there stereotypical banter. I love both English and Japanese dubs and can’t wait to see even more of them. They bring a lot of new characters in and sometimes it is a little hard to understand some of the accents or words they use. I’m not all that fond of Poland’s accent, I think it should be a little more valley girl but it is pretty good in getting the stuck up feeling.
YES, I am guy and no, I don't have a girlfriend (so I'm single lol) who forced me to watch this. Also, this review will include my perception on Axis Power as well.
Here's my opening act...what do you get when you have a bunch of good looking lads who embody the very stereotype of their countries and live like ordinary people with political, economic, and even social problems? Well, this anime is the answer to my question.
Hetalia, even the anime title, itself is quite synonymous to the actual plot with the Heta- part meaning, "useless/pathetic" (in a
cute, innocent way) and the -lia part derived from the Japanese way of saying, "Italy." So literally, the anime begins with the Italian boy shouting, "pasta," which introduces us to the fluffy, cute parts of the world and meeting each guy that embodies the country's stereotype. Thereby, there is no real plot or even a sense of direction for a main plot, but that's why there are many directions to go with and Himaruya, the creator, never fails to impress when it comes to being creative. It's just as I mentioned above, a bunch of handsome men experiencing the ordinary life while battling through political, social, and economic hardships. You can go from watching an episode of Italy being pathetic in a cute way with musclebound Germany coming to his rescue, egotistic America and a rather shy Japan being friends with each other, or even the fishy Nordics and their systematic way of making their products...the possibilities are ENDLESS!
However, the art...not the best, but not eye-wrenching too! It does match Himaruya's earlier art styles, but his recent artwork has been improving and well, the men go from good-looking to jaw-dropping gorgeous devils such as in Beautiful World (the newest season), which I have yet to watch. Overall, the way he draws his characters have a sense of naivety and maybe an ounce of, "seinen" quality, but that is expected for the target audience is typically girls.
I would recommend this anime if you are:
-a history buff (no worries the kick ass narrator in the anime will help you along if you don't get the references in each of the 5 minute episodes)
-into stereotypical jokes/gags
-into guys for their personalities and yes, LOOKS for the fangirls alike and at heart
-in an anime fix, but need something short and amusing to watch
-did I mention that each anime episode is ONLY 5 minutes?! So don't freak out if there are hundreds of episodes you have yet to watch cause you'll surely catch up
I, for one, will say that I am so glad to have found an anime so short and amusing and with such a popular fan base, this one will definitely be a standout in my book because of Himaruya's witty creativity to come up with a plot full of men embodying their country stereotypes that once again, I have mentioned, live like ordinary people with political, economic, and even social problems.
I would rate this anime (up to World Series) a 9.2/10. Now, I bid you, my fellow, reader of my review, fangirls, and everyone else, au revoir, sayonara, hasta la vista, and adieu.
*This is an archive from my Anime-Planet account. Please keep in mind that the intro of mine is outdated as of currently. Reading the silly intro is purely optional*
NOTE: Before I start this review, this review has little Fanfic-like moments, and of course... This review was intended to be over-the-top
Critic's Log - Earthdate: August 13, 2012. Review #17: Hetalia: World Series
Hello Ladies and Gentleman from every nation, did you enjoy watching the 2012 London Summer Olympics? If you did, good for you. If you didn't care much for the Olympics, Well, it's not going to bother me much since I didn't really see a lot
of the competition. Well, it seems that America ranked #1 in the Games of the XXX (30th) Olympiad. It seems the 2014 Winter G...
*My phone rings* (this is the little "Fanfic-esque" moment I was talking about)
America: Hey Dude, it's me...America!
Me: America!? What's up?
America: Oh, just celebrating our success at the Olympics, because we so totally kicked ass.
Me: I'm not so sure if bragging about your success in the Olympics is such a good idea.
America: You think so? Well you do have a point. I just get carried away sometimes with stuff like this. I guess I shouldn't brag too much about it too much
America: Because If I keep going... I might get my ass kicked,
America: But don't worry about saving me, because I am the hero after all!
America: So did you watch the Olympic...
*I hang up the phone*
Damn! Mr. America won't shut the hell up.
Anyway... It seems the 2014 Winter Games are scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia, and the...
*My Phone Rings Again*
Russia: Hello, my name is Ivan but I usually go by Russia
Russia: Well I just wanted to tell you that I hope you look forward to the Ceremonies for the next Winter Games, we are attempting on putting out a really great show for the 2014 Winter Games that many countries can appreciate. Well, see you around.
Well, that was short. Anyway, the 2014 Winter Games will be held at Sochi, Russia and The 2016 games will be held...
*My Phone rings again*
England/Britain: Listen up you stupid git, and listen good
Me: Excuse me?
England/Britain: Oh, my foremost apologies, I thought this was America's number.
Me: You got the wrong number Sir...
England/Britain: The name's Arthur, but I go by England or Britain
Me: Ok Sir Arthur, Sir England, Sir Britain
England/Britain: any name is fine, sorry for calling you a stupid git.
Me: It's alright
England/Britain: So, did you see the Ceremonies?
Me: I missed the Opening Ceremony, but I saw the closing ceremony that had The Who in it.
England/Britain: I'm listening
Me: I actually think you guys put on a good show and you sended off the London Olympic Games with a bang.
England/Britain: Why thank you kind sir! Well, I might as well get going. I have some things that I must attend to through my daily schedule. Can you do me a small favor?
Me: What is it?
England/Britain: Can you tell that stupid bloody wanker America to stop bragging about how many golds that his country has won?
Me: Already told him, he called me before you did.
England/Britain: Oh! Well, thanks for proving a point to him
Me: Question: How did you, America, and Russia know my number?
England/Britain: That information is classified kind sir...
*He hangs up*
Okay then... *I turn off my phone so I don't get interrupted again*... The 2014 Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia and 2016 Summer Games will be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
You know what, I just realized something... WHY AM I WASTING TIME TALKING ABOUT THE OLYMPICS!? I GOT A REVIEW TO DO!
Here is Hetalia: World Series! Because I am awesome and Anime is Awesome.
Italy was once home of the strongest empire in the world. Now it has changed. Italy is now a cowardly pasta loving fool, and his friends also go through strange moments in World History. Wait a damn minute! I JUST SAID THE SAME DAMN THING IN MY AXIS POWERS REVIEW!... Well to make a long story short, this is a continuation of the same premise but with the addition of Cats, I like Cats, and I LOVE DOGS!
To Be Technical, This is yet another Studio Deen production and yet another installment in their internet series of Hetalia. Everything looks nearly the same as before and I guess it is not something to gripe about too much in this series.
I actually have nothing much to complain this time; I will just give you a fair warning... I don't think Hetalia: World Series is perfect, but I do like this anime. I got a flame shield ready just in case for any situation
The music isn't too important in this show, except for its ending theme. Marukaite Chikyuu is used for a small number of episodes until it changes to Hatafutte Parade. I like the new closing theme but I FIND MARUKAITE CHIKYUU ADDICTINGLY CATCHY DAMN IT!
The Characters are all lovable in this series, the old faces are still funny and then there are some new faces. Prussia is definitely a welcome addition in the series, and Turkey is another one too. Greece is another good addition as well.
The Subbed Version is listenable in this series like Axis Powers, but I actually kind of prefer the dub in Hetalia: World Series (same with Axis Powers plus the movie) I already have explained in my Hetalia: Axis Powers review that I liked the dub because of the range of accents that can be heard from the dub compared to the Subbed version. The Japanese voices are not bad in this show. I just like the dub in this one. There are too many cast members to speak of, because most of the performances are actually quite good, I already gave my kudos to Funimation for actually making this one of the funniest dubs they have done recently, or did I. Anyway I just did....
Since I pretty much have said all that is reviewable for this anime, I guess I can fill you in on what I think of this anime. I really like it, this anime might land on my favorites list. I like the humor, I like the characters, I like the closing theme Marekaite Chikyuu, and I like how every episode is 5 minutes long. I also realized that there's a lot more sexual humor than Axis Powers. I think my favorite scene with this type of humor was the Codpiece moment. It aroused me with laughter especially when the Japanese text is translated as "D**k Holder"
(I did not say aroused as in "I'm turned on", get your mind out of the gutter) And let's not forget... The Crotch Cloth moment. That is probably one of the funniest Prussia moments, and speaking about the sexual humor that this show has, Let's just pray that France does not have his own special segments, because if he does, I bet you he's gonna bring up sexual topics like the birds and the bees and GENITALIA!
*I'm now doing my French Laugh Impression*
The only parts of Hetalia I sort of don't like (This is just strictly opinion) is some of the Chibi Romano and Spain moments, and I only liked a few Nekotalia / Catalia segments.
I will admit, I have never heard of this anime until it was licensed in the US. It got quickly popular through word-of-mouth and this series has sort of developed a cult following. It has a large fanbase and It wasn't big at first, and a lot of people enjoy it for what it is. Also, a cult following isn't meant to be confused with religious cults, it's actually a play on words... Look it up on wikipedia. Due to Hetalia's surprising popularity, a fifth season of Hetalia has been green-lit and should be released eventually, As for Bob Shirohata (The Director of this anime)... Like Axis Powers, he does not disappoint on World Series, and let's hope that Season 5 is better than ever. Keep up the good work Hidekazu Himaruya!
Hetalia: World Series is available by Funimation, The Hetalia manga by Himaruya Hidekazu was available by Tokyopop but now it is available by Right Stuf, A video game called "Academy Hetalia Portable" for the PSP was never released in the US.
With that said, Hetalia: World Series is a continuation of a really funny series that has political and historical satire. World Series is a bit funnier than Axis Powers, but it’s good that way. I had a lot of fun watching this, when I go to Sakura-con next year, I will have a costume probably made and I will be cosplaying as Germany and I look forward to the fifth season of Hetalia. Like Axis Powers and the movie Paint it, White, This is definitely an anime to watch with friends.
I give Hetalia: World Series an 8 out of 10, for its comedy, It is VERY GOOD!
Feel free to leave a comment and have some Pasta! Now if you'll excuse me, I have some meetings that I must attend to.
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