The fangirl favorite of yesteryear has come back in its sixth season and it showcased a competent season of Hetalia. I found it as one of the decent shows of Summer season. Here's my review.
Hetalia always excels when it does not tame itself. Historical parodies and racist remarks have been always its forte which can range from hilarious to WTF effect. However, the jokes this time can forge a smile at best and indifference at worst. I cannot remember many moments which caused me to chuckle save Russia's episode and the Micronations which I think are the series' highlights. These are the only situations where their quirks work favorably in their favor.
We get some fairly entertaining historical episodes (the snippets of WW2 in Africa, a story from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Canada's episode and how Germany came to be) but these pale in comparison with Gakuen Hetalia and Hetalia of the Dead (The Beautiful World) and with Prussia's mistake for Hungary's gender and Japan's tour with Italy (The World Series). With the segments gone, the humor which emphasizes on cultural quirks has gone stale due to its usage too many times before. The World Twinkle also ended in a very strange way that is totally random and devoid of humor.
Even when it tries to be heartwarming ( a story from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, Iceland's birthday party and Davie), the result is inferior with its predecessor probably because of the episode order the staff decided on. The whole series felt like a diluted sequel that is reminiscent of the weaker parts of Hetalia: The World Series in the end.
While the artwork is still a notch above from the first four seasons of Hetalia, it is a step down from the visually pretty The Beautiful World. It retained the character designs last season but it seemed like the animation feels rigid probably because of the tight budget. The characters get deformed at times when they move and their designs have less details than the last season.
The minimalist score is still continued to be used and the voice actors still give their best in bringing these characters to life. By the way, Hetalian Jet is a fairly catchy ending song.
My only main beef with this season as regards to this matter is it does not know how to put the right background music at the right moment. The World Twinkle's serious episode (Davie) was supposed to be sad but was misdirected by giving it a puzzling score which destroyed the mood of the episode.
With fifteen episodes running at five minutes each, it is impossible to give every character the exposure for the audience to fully grasp the humor they present. The staff was left in a pinch to take the risk of showing them all or to play it safe to focus with the main characters. They chose the former with mixed results.
Russia's straightforward insanity never gets old whenever he switches his personality gentle to yandere. The Micronations are one heck of an entertaining batch. They were able to humor the audience with their personality in a span of two episodes (Molossia takes the cake, I guess).
The Nordics are interesting but their presence in the series is pretty much introductory. We also get to be introduced with Canada but his 'Who-is-he' joke has long overstayed its welcome even before that episode. The main trio (Japan, Italy and Germany) and the Allied were mostly relegated to the sidelines. Prussia never gets out of his pompous behavior which is likable but makes the viewers wish that he gets more than that role.
Hetalia has never been known with serious character development but The World Twinkle's manner of showing its characters is so scatterbrained that I even forgot to root in anyone of them.
I am a long time Hetalia fan so I can safely say that The World Twinkle is its weakest season. Will it gather new fans? No. This is solely for those who are already acquainted with the series. If the staff wants to regain its old glory, they gotta adapt some seriously better episodes.