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|Average Rating: 7.75|
Reevothemusefan scored this with 8/10. Disagree?
History was always a favourite subject of mine at school, and still is, as my part-time profession clearly shows. So I was really interested to review the second boxset of one of the series with a huge cult following: Hetalia Axis Powers.
The series is mainly based on the events of WW1 and WW2 but the series isn't shy to branch out to other events in the past and the near present. While Hetalia still depicts the Axis powers (Italy, Germany, Japan) and the Allies (England, America, France, Russia, China) as the main cast, these 26 episodes attempts to focus on other small countries while providing some decent background information about them. With the cast being male in the majority, some scenes may please female viewers more - but that didn't affect my enjoyment.
Comedy is Hetalia's main genre and it does it very well in the first episodes. Character interaction when talking about the different cultures is mostly well executed. Some gags benefit greatly from the five minute length of the instalments (for example Cromartie High School benefited from short episodes as well) but as I was nearing the end of the boxset, I found myself chuckling rather than laughing out loud. References are used to comedic effect ranging from treaties like the Italy and Germany “Pact Of Steel” to the English and French battle to win over America (Monty Python insults anyone?)
My main gripe is that when Hetalia's on a roll with these great moments, it introduces more serious, dramatic isssues which don't really suit the tone of the series. But as soon as they finish, you're thrust back into its witty humour and feeling good once again.
Presentation is very accomplished all round and the art is simple and cute when it comes to the chibi models. It might not be ground- breaking but it's well suited to its subject matter. The dubbed version is acceptable since there is such a big cast. Everyone gets the native accents correct, although I sometimes couldn't understand what they were saying as some characters talk way too fast.
The very unusual opening provides a strange 3D title introduction that doesn't fit until the end of it. On the other hand the ending is charming and colourful; it offers variety by having different voice actors sing versions of it. Near the end I started to hum the tune and sing at times as well; it's a theme that leaves you feeling great.
The boxset is littered with extras including multiple energetic commentaries with different English voice actors on each one, the Japanese voice actor of Prussia announcing a theatrical release of a Hetalia film, and three entertaining interview videos with Japanese director and other voice actors, Textless Closing being the last of the bonus content.
While Hetalia isn't going to be for everyone, there is something very charming about it. If you do give it a chance and see through its silly exterior; then you will surely see why it's such a cult hit.
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||8 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Fri, 20 May 2011|
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