Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh. I can’t believe I just realized I should do a review of Axis Powers Hetalia. In fact it totally slipped my mind, until I was on the bus yesterday thinking “Hey, I should do a new blog post! What have I been watching lately?”
DING DING DING HETALIA DUH?
So I guess I’ll start off by telling you what it is about, and before you laugh, let me tell you it’s adorable and brilliant and just wonderful. Readers, please suspend your disbelief and be a little tolerant, because it is stereotypical, but it’s funny because of it. It’s personified countries. Like, Japan is a young man with a bowl cut thing who’s really really polite and a bit culture-shocked by the western countries. America is a hamburger-eating, loud Hero who’s one of my FAVORITES. ❤ And China? China’s an immortal Asian guy who always has a panda, a Hello Kitty knockoff friend “Shinatty-chan”, and says “-aru” a lot. And they’re remarkably cute cute cute and funny.
The first season is set during World War II, if you can’t tell from the title, and generally centers around Italy (CUTE!), Germany, and Japan. But they don’t really get into politics or pointing fingers or anything. It’s all just for fun and it’s a great concept. (Also, just a warning, there’s not really any blood or anything but there is nudity for the guys, censored with nicely placed pandas and flowers and stuff…and a lot of crude jokes. Haha. Only in the manga though, except for episode 35 if I recall…so if your parents have issues with that, don’t read the Christmas strips. Seriously. Don’t. xD)
So in the anime, it’s 5 minute long episodes. Why? Because it’s just little stories. There is no technical manga, except for formal collections of the strips that the mangaka (Hidekaz Himaruya) posts on his website, and they’ve even greenlit a movie! So excited! And in all the insanity I know people out there are going like “Ummm, how can they make an anime, much less a movie, about some people who represent countries?” Well it’s a confusing mix at first (the cast is massive, it took me ages to figure out who anyone was) but eventually you fall in love with the characters and the history they personify. And their relationships with each other tend to mirror real life relationships, in the past or present (Liechtenstein is Switzerland’s adopted and adored little sister, Poland is Lithuania’s best friend, and Belarus for a reason I have yet to discover is obsessed with marrying her brother, Russia.) Countries get “sick” when there’s an economical crisis in their country, their bosses are their prime minister/president/whatever it may be.
I’ve learned so much from this anime, it’s kind of embarrassing. I can list at least 10 things off the top of my head that I’ve learned, like that Lake Belaton is in Hungary, or that Prussia and Sealand…er…exist/existed…and I know I’m CRAZY interested in asian history now. (I’m biased, my favorite characters are definitely all the east asians. Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand! <3)
I have a firm belief that Hetalia is the only thing that will lead me to passing World History next year. =3=;
And the history and thought that goes into it is astounding. Almost every strip has a reference to culture or some event that happened in the past. There’s even a long strip with America having a very sad and heartbreaking flashback to the American Revolution, and another sad one about how China raised Japan. But it’s rare for the strips to be sad- it’s generally just crazy fun. I’m trying to recall some, and one of the first that come to mind are America watching scary movies with Japan, Japan talking with Greece about whether he ever gets angry…one about France trying to “get married” to England. And remember what I said about references? That strip is a reference to an attempted English-French Union from 1956 during the Suez Canal crisis. I learned something~!
Great artwork, great characters, amazing concept- I can’t find anything that’s not to like about Hetalia, unless you’re overly sensitive to satirical stereotypes. =/ I adore Hetalia, and I’m quite sure you’re allowed to download the translated strips off community.livejournal.com/Hetalia because…the author posts the originals on his website for free. FREE! It’s great~! You should try to watch it if you can too, and if you’re at all interested in world affairs and history (or even if you’re not- I wasn’t…) then GOGOGOGOGOGO NOW! Now I will spam you with beautiful beautiful pictures! WHY IS HE SO GOOD AT DRAWING? It makes me want to cry ;A;
Axis Powers! Left to right, Italy (Feliciano), Germany (Ludwig), Japan (Kiku)! ❤ ❤ <3~
LOVE FOR THE NORDIC COUNTRIES MAN! Left to right, Iceland, Norway, DENMARK!!!, Sweden (Bernwald), Finland (Tino)! ❤
ALLIED POWERS ❤ ! Russia (Ivan), AMERICA! (Alfred), UK (Arthur), France (Francis, how unique) and CHINA! (Wang Yao)
P.S. If you want to see MORE beautiful beautiful artwork, go to Himaruya’s blog over here! And since I’m biased, check out how cute Taiwan is~! And here, large fan image is large, but this is just one of those things that make you want to believe in world peace~! And if you want to see the Allied Powers looking totally awesome and amazing and epic, go here for a treat~ (Asajdsijioajfsoudhf I LOVE YOU AMERICA AND CHINA *fangirls wildly*)