Anime Review: Hetalia - Axis Powers (APH)

Background to Foreground: Japan, Germany, Italy
Title: Axis Powers Hetalia
Original Artist: Hidekaz Himaruya
Episodes: 52
Genre: Seinen, Historical, Comedy (This comedy is allegory for racial stereotypes. If you do not laugh at things like this, then watch Hetalia because it will change your mind. DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING, DIDCHAYA!?)
Anime: With Subtitles ~ With English Dub (Highly recommend) Also, currently on Netflix [Epi. 1-24, maybe 26, English dubbed]
Rating: 










Synopsis: Think of it like WWII, except every country is a pretty boy instead. A hilariously stereotypical pretty boy. America loves burgers, Russia is into the vodka, and China has pandas and a Wok.
It is centered mostly around Italy, who has both a North and South character. The Hetaria portion of the name is probably mocking Italy, as Hetare means 'Useless'

Review: OHMYGODINEVERKNEWLEARNINGHISTORYCOULDBETHISMUCHFUN! Holy crap, this show blew my mind. Seriously, it's become one of my all time favorites and for the last two-three weeks I've been watching and obsessing over it non-stop. All the characters and the stories are so awesome and creative. And if you know cultural stereotypes for any country, then you will laugh your pants off watching this show.

Left to Right: Japan, [North] Italy, Germany, Russia, England,
America, France, and China
Basically, this story follows the shenanigans of the Axis Powers and Allied Forces of WWII. Everything you've known about history has completely been hilari-fied (Is that a word? OHWELLNOWITIS). Axis Powers: Hetalia (APH) is a genius story following Italy, a pasta-loving and surrendering fool who allies himself with ever-stern and battle-fierce Germany and stoic, silent, and genius Japan to create the Axis Powers of the world. They fight ferociously with the Allied Forces of loud-and-hero-wannabe and hamburger-lover America, arrogant and irritable England, yandere and "evil" Russia, naive and combat-master China, and perverted and molesty France. 

Background to Foreground:
Russia, America, China, France & England
The main canon of the story is honestly unknown. Really though, it focuses on the countries' roles during WWI (briefly) and WWII. When episodes focus on character arcs, they generally hit the past and move to different places around the world (I.E. Japan's gardens when Italy is bothering him, or Germany's house when Italy is bothering Germany, or Germany's yard with Japan and Japan's cat and Italy bothering them both... Recurring theme here anyone?)

However, this story doesn't restrict itself completely to just the Axis Powers or the Allied Forces; it also explores other outlaying countries around the main 8. Characters such as Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland make appearances with our main characters and continue to pack on both the history and hilarity of APH. Other specific places, such as Hong Kong, Greece, and Italy's brother, South Italy, Romano, make appearances as well. Every character in this story is awesome and freaking cool as cool can possibly get.

Characters:
Background to Foreground:
North Italy, Germany, & Japan
*North Italy: Oh my god. Italy makes me pee myself from laughter. He's a mega-super-boss-of-all-bosses! He's so stupid, and he gets himself in so much trouble, it makes me crack up into tears. Italy's stereotypes are definite in his character and demeanor.
*Germany: Seriously, Germany has made me like Germany a lot more... That sounds a bit redundant, but WHATEVER. IT'S COOL CAUSE IT'S HETALIA! But anyways, Germany is awesome, especially when he is yelling at Italy because of his gestures and facial expressions.
*Japan: YEAH, IT'S THE BAMF OF ALL COUNTRIES! LEMME GET A WOOT-WOOT! (wootwoot!) I love Japan's demeanor and speech within the episodes, and his reactions to certain things (I.E. Italy Hugging him) is hilarious. I could watch that scene for HOURS and never get tired of it. He's the best. He's even got a samurai sword. That just PROVES the fact that he is pimping and awesome.
*America: You want the stereotypical American? Well, you've found him. America is in love with hamburgers and milkshakes and attempts to ask France, Japan, and China their ways of staying thin (all the while making fun of their stereotypes). His loud and "I-Want-To-Be-The-Hero!" actions are totally everything that America is made of, especially with the excuse of "Let's spread democracy!" on hand. Lawl. You go America! >:D
*England: England is everything you could ask for in an... English man. You've got the funny eyebrows, always trying to be right, and the awesome accent (English VA). He's pretty freaking cool, and he became one of my favorites easily when he came on the screen!
*Russia: OH MY GOD! When Russia does his evil face, I nearly pooped myself from laughter. (Sorry that's gross but it's true... okay not really, but still!) Russia is so brawny and giant, and he is so freaking awesome. He's silent but DEFINITELY deadly.
Left to Right: Russia, China, America,
England, & France
*China: Represent my Chinese friends! I love China and will always love China because I am a bit Chinese. And this goes without saying, but China deserves it: BAMF TO THE MAX! China's got the typical kung-fu skills and beats people with a Wok and ladle. If you don't know what a Wok is, then look it up and you will probably laugh.
*France: This pervert made me want to go back into French class. He's everything that a French guy might be and stereotypically is: Bi, flashy, flamboyant, and passionate. Yep, he's everything right there. France is just a pimp and a boss at being.... well... French. Je t'aime, France. Je t'aime beaucoup.

Art and Transition/Movement:
So, I love the art in APH. All the characters are super cute and so close to their "What would a (Insert Nationality Here) look like?" Their gestures and speech are hilarious and continue to entertain the audience in a spectacular way. 

Voice Acting:
Okay, so I don't know about the Japanese voice acting, but the English voice acting....

My mind.
It's so awesome with their accents that makes it sound more... authentic, for the lack of a better word. All the nations are so well captured with their accents, and their voice acting fits nearly all of the characters I have seen. I don't think I could have found any better voice acting for any of these characters than the ones they had already found. Italy's fast speech is so perfect, and Japan's heavy "L = R" accent is well done. Germany's heavy "W = V" accent and emphasis on consonants is superb, and England's English accent is an accent I wish I had... /sigh... Nearly every nationality's voice is grand and amazing, and I say, kudos to you Funimation for making an awesome show. 

Overall:
Want me to be completely honest? I'd give more than 4 polishes for APH if I could. That is legitimate. APH is a great comedical and historical Anime that I'd recommend to anyone, whether he/she liked history or not. APH really... Just read the [de]motivational poster below and you'll understand how I feel about Hetalia...


Inked with Brilliance and Love,
Sara



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