In a time filled with wars, environmental concerns and issues, there lives a gaggle of beautiful boys that are the personification of the world's countries. Japan, England, France, Finland, Germany and the rest of the boys attend the World Conference and tackle issues like global warming with a heavy dose of fun. Through multiple world wars the gang will traverse deserts, build mecha U-boats and solve the world's problems together!
Hetalia is a moe-style comedy series that has a very shallow and twisted outlook to its main topic of world history and politics. As someone who actually cares about history and the human condition that influences what countries and people have done throughout time, I found Hetalia's representation of basically every single thing lacking and shown in a dangerously glorified and sentimental fashion. The style of simplification employed by the series is not one that removes everything extra to preserve the relevant core: instead, it disposes of all substance and deals out half-assed references that often miss the point of the real history and reasons behind them. I shudder to think that someone might consider Hetalia educational by virtue of its subject matter. If you don't have prior knowledge about something it portrays, all you're left with is a near-unidentifiable mockery completely mangled and disfigured for the sake of cute delivery or some unfunny and shallow joke. The series is more likely to mess up your perspective than help build a realistic understanding of anything. I suspect that Hetalia is especially liable to fuel infantile nationalism and a misguided tendency to see interactions and ethics between nations similarly as between human individuals. If you want to see a parody starring anthropomorphized countries, the webcomic Scandinavia and the World does it with much more substance and better comedy, and more responsibly might I add. For me, Hetalia was very lame and unentertaining in its content and delivery, and overall it was very annoying to watch.
A review and watching five years in the making... So...been hearing about Hetalia pretty much since it came out - and have seen quite a bit of merchandise made for the series as well. When it was finally discovered on this streaming site, it was a sure-fire watch... The "plot" of the show is pretty simple - you have the stereotypes of the different nations of the world (Latvia, Estonia, Lichtenstein, the U.S., Russia, and so on) doing random stuff with history thrown in. For example, one episode told about the Mongol invasions of Russia during that nation's infancy (which later turns into the joke of why Russia is so psychotic). It is episodic, but the antics tend to make each five minute episode go fast - and you are bound to at least laugh once or twice during the series' run. The music for the series is heavily catchy; the first ending song alone is enough to worm its way into your head. Let alone the second! But otherwise, the music is classical/instrumental in nature. This adds to the effect without subtracting for the most part. The same can be said for the animation; it is rather cutesy and heartwaring, especially the "chibi" add-ins that are done now and then. In all, it's a decent comedy involving stereotyped versions of the world's nations all wrapped up in a cutesy package.
WARNING: This anime is highly awesome, watch at your own risk Hilarious, brilliant and educational(?), Hetalia is amazing. The characters are all countries, and are complete stereotypes: America loves hamburgers, England is a terrible cook etc. The story is about various moments in history, although initially it is centred around WW2, as well as having some random episodes that have absolutely nothing to do with anything but are hilarious nonetheless. Hetalia is basically the best, most hilarious history lesson you will ever have (although most of the stuff you learn is pretty useless...), and afterwards you will never look at the countries or history the same again. I would recommend this especially to anyone who likes comedy or history, but it has something for everyone. If nothing else, just watch it to see how awesome your own country is (mine has the best eyebrows ever and is friends with a flying mint bunny. Who could ask for more?)
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