Story: I was rather skeptical about watching an anime on history. I just find it to be so dull yet somehow this anime made me interested in World History, particularly the before and after of World War II. It just does 5 minute segments, so nothing gets drawn out or convuluted. The countries personfied by people are represented in the most comical fashion with hints towards yaoi, which I'm not usually a fan of but I thought was so funny and endearing in here, and with jokes that are so politically incorrect but that's what makes this anime great. Not only could I not stop laughing when watching this anime, I actually wanted to learn more about European history after watching each episode so I could understand the references. Since each episode is so short, I kept wanting to watch more and more. I was hooked from beginning to end and did not get bored during any of the episodes.
Animation: The animation of the people are great, representing the stereotypes of each country to the fullest such as with Aryan Germany with his blue eyes and blond hair or Modelesque France with his flowing gold locks. The colors were bold, struck out, and fit the vibrant atmosphere of the show. The people's expressions were hilarious and added to the comical effect. The background though was clearly lacking in some areas making the scenery somewhat bland and it repeatedly showed so I knocked off some points for that. Some action sequences were repeated, but suprisingly it had me laughing each time so I did not take off too much for that.
Sound: The voice actors for this show were amazing. I am not exaggerating when I say that. They added so much personality and humor in every line that was uttered. Their little expressions stuck such as when Italy said Pasta! in the first episode. Of course, I adored the voices for Chibitalia. The ending song was so bizarre at first that I could not help but start laughing at the sheer absurdity of it but after that I happened to find it very catchy. I loved each of the renditions of the songs from each country. The background music in general was not bad but it was rather lackluster and forgettable which is the only reason I knocked off points for sound.
Characters: The are the absolute best part of the show, making it worth watching. It is hard not to feel for Chibi Italy and Holy Roman Empire or invisible Canada or shudder when creepy Russia appears or sympathize with Switzerland and Latvia or wonder why America seems so annoying or chuckle at the humorously narcissitic France. They start off as extreme representations of their country's stereotypes and somhow get more extreme as the anime goes along yet their personality shines through adding depth and character to each of them so no one ever really falls flat.
Overall: It is an anime that everyone of all ages can watch and manages to blend education and humor so perfectly that I was never left feeling bored. I only wanted to keep watching episode after episode. The only disappointment that I found in this anime was the abrupt ending. I was hoping for some more closure but given the style of the episodes, I should have realized that they would end with some thing random but humorous just like every other episode. That's not too say that was a necessarily a bad thing. I just happen to like closure but I was still a fan of the ending regardless. It didn't take away the rest of the enjoyment I felt watching the anime. I can't stress enough that this is an absolute must-see.
Story: I hate history. It's my least favorite subject but I just find it incredibly boring. However, Hetalia made me want to go look up WW1 and WW1 and everything in between just so that I could understand all the references. That's really saying something. It was hilarious and the skits were just priceless. It was offensive but funny at the same time. I loved the relationships and chibitalia is just the cutest thing on the face of anime. I also don't like shoenen-ai at all but I found the hinted romance within the show just endearing. I am really sad that I don't understand the references but that's one of my only flaws with this. The show is also a good length for it's content. Small about 5 minute episodes made the show go by quickly but it's great if you need a small break. They definitely should show Hetalia at school because it just makes history so much better.
Animation: Hetalia isn't the epitome of animation but it does a good job with what's it's going for. The character designs are fitting and memorable. The scenes are colorful and the ending is one of my favorite endings. I loved the ways the characters looked and moved. Nowhere close to perfect but easy on the eyes. Very enjoyable to say the least.
Sound: Hetalia has an AMAZING VA cast. All the seiyuus fit their roles do the characters so much justice. They may not have accents but they embody the character heart and soul. The background music was generic but the ending was terrific. I loved how they had personal touches whenever a different VA sang it. It's so nice to hear.
Characters: I love them. All of them. They all have their little niches but they're all so likable and stereotypical but funny. There may not be a lot of development with some characters but I don't really find it necessary. The relationships that do need developing are done and done quite well. They happen to be one of my favorite casts.
Overall: I heard a lot of hype about Hetalia and it's well deserved. It's got comedy and knowledge. Who knew you could learn so much like I never knew Sealand was actually a micronation. You can learn and laugh and be throughly entertained all at once. Go check out.
I may be slightly biased as I'm pretty much in love with the subject History, but I absolutely adored this series.
I stumbled across this anime a few months ago, and thinking it sounded a little... strange... I passed. But I did recommend it to my friend, who is as much as a history freak as I am, (probably more so). However, after attending TokyoPop Recon, where it was recommended, and there was even someone cosplaying as Italy (!), I decided to give it a go, and became instantly hooked.
The story, I think is a very original one. I mean, who could have thought of an idea of countries represented as young boys/men? (well apart from the genius creator of this manga...) Although at first, I thought it may not have worked, but it does!
Basically, for those who do not know at all what it is about, it focuses on the character Italy, for most of the storyline, who is a cowardly, pasta/pizza loving wimp and his "friend"/ally Germany and their adventures in the past. Most of these adventures, are set in WW2, however some are not, most notably for me, the Olympic Games! Studio Deen, in a nut shell takes events in the past, and twists them so that the characters fit in and turns it into a light hearted comedy.
I think, although I didn’t find it confusing at all, it could be confusing for some people as the storyline jumps around a lot, (this is just going on what my friends say...), but its remedied by the fact that each episode is only five minutes long, and it spreads out over a lot of episodes.
I don’t really know what to say about the animation. As far as I can tell, its better than a lot of anime out there, although it certainly isn’t the best, it’s still enjoyable enough for me to watch, as I’m the type to get annoyed at old school style animation. The colours were vibrant and pretty and I can’t really complain about anything.
Okay, the sound, at first, kind of did annoy me. Italy’s voice really irritated me, however after a few episodes I just learned to roll with it, and learned to accept that it’s an aspect of his character; I don’t think he would be Italy without his annoying child-like voice. As far as the other characters go, I think all of their voices were spot on (bearing in mind I watched the sub).
The music I thought was just awesome! Although, like Italy’s voice it was so annoying at the start and it shocked me quite a bit with the Marukaite Chikyuu at the end, but after an episode or two, I ended up loving the song, and actually singing along with it, (it’s surprisingly catchy). I ended up downloading all of the different versions of Marukaite Chikyuu, and my favourite is Japan’s.
As far as I can tell, music plays a vital role in Hetalia: Axis Powers, I think it’s just utter cuteness at the ending song, and Italy with his song for Germany is just so funny and refreshing, (and in Hetalia: World Series, I did love the extra songs such as the tomato song).
The characters are the only thing I’m marking this anime down for. Fair enough, I loved the characters, and their stereo-typical aspects, such as Germany with his Aryan looks, or Italy and his pasta loving personality, (the only thing I didn’t understand is why England appeared to have four eyebrows... or maybe they were just meant to be thick...), but to be honest, I found it a bit confusing with all the minor countries at first. Actually, I still do get Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia mixed up, especially since most of the characters seem to have blonde hair! Although my geography at naming countries has definitely improved (not good since I took Geography at GCSE... yeah Miss Reynolds, if you’re reading, IM NOT GOING TO GET AN A*), in one episode in particular it was so confusing that I had to keep going back to the description of the video just to keep track.
All in all, I actually love this anime, (it’s my favourite!), and have re-watched it a number of times, and it still doesn’t get old. I still end up laughing my head off, and even weeks after having last watched it, my friend and I, still talk about it a lot
I would recommend this anime to anyone, even if they hate history. The adventures that Italy gets up to is just hillarious, and the five minute episodes are handy as well, so that I can watch one episode quickly before I go to school; I’m sure someone else found that helpful as well.
Anyway, thanks for reading... it’s my first review ^_^
I've seen many people who claim to love Hetalia. I was thinking "Hetalia, what the hell is that? Probably something just EVERYBODY loves for no reason (insert eye roll here)" But then I sat down and watched it. Learning that each "episode" is about 5 minutes long interested me. How could they make any progress with 5 freakin minutes?
Here is my review for Hetalia: Axis Powers.
The story is simply gutsy for the creators to take basically all of world history and the countries and their conflicts and make it entertaining enough for viewers not to be bored, and accurate enough where you get the major gist of what was happening around that time. I learned so much from watching this anime that I didn't pick up from simply reading about it or being lectured about it in History class at school. Thumbs up for that!
The fact that the creators took the stereotypes of many iconic countries and moulded those characteristics into actual characters is ballsy, and would probably offend a few snooty patriots of their respective homeland. But it WORKS, because everyone knows it's true!
America is a take-charge, slightly naive, loud-mouthed, yet charismatic player in this show. Russia seems nice and slightly introverted and polite, but then when you ask him what he is thinking, prepare for a peek into the mind of the Devil himself...
I prefer the English dubbed version over the Japanese original simply because I can understand what's going on easily. Characters talk over each other most of the time, and the subtitles are very slow and flash by too quickly with bits of important facts and information at the top of the screen. Also, the Japanese simply cannot do accents of other countries. Take that Pro-Sub!! If you wanna watch an anime where it makes fun of many different nationalities, watch it with voice actors who actually do a good job at making convincing characters, which would be English dub. Score one point for me!!
By the time you finish this anime you'll have developed a soft spot for a country you never knew probably existed (if you're from America, there will be many countries you didn't know existed that appear in this anime .___. ) and never knew you cared so much about them.
Highly recommend this anime for its shortness, and comedic hilarity mixed with light-hearted prejudice mixed with educational information about each country's history and the wars and conflicts and truces and all that good stuff that happens as time goes on.
Although this anime is altogether a complete mockery of general history, the amusing stereotypes and the light-heartedness create a wholly enjoyable feel to this satire and this is what makes Axis Powers Hetalia watch-able to any anime fan, of any nationality.
The brief length of episodes prevents the story from becoming confusing and the quirky take on the characterisation of each country or continent suggests a kind of humour only the anime industry can provide. The moe anthropomorphism of each country is an ingenious and original idea encouraging anime fans to widen their interest range away from the more conventional themes of 'good guy edging on Mary Sue type character who defeats huge undead monsters with mutant arm or weapon that is clearly compensating for something'.
This anime provides a refreshing alternative as do it's very likeable characters. The animation is to a very high standard and one which fan artists continue to mimic since it's creation. The voice actors are each very fitting and I still struggle to see how someone can produce a tone like that of Italy's in Chibitalia. Despite this, I believe that Funimation are sure to make a decent job of it's redubbing though I do think it's a shame many people refuse to watch subs or visa versa.
The ending theme however caught me off guard and I literally face-palmed myself out of the sheer comicality of Ne Ne Papa Ne Ne Mama. Though disregarding my initial reaction I come to the same conclusion as the single commenter on gametrailers.com : 'Just as awesome as the show'.