Manorexic’s Anime Sampler – Hetalia: Axis Powers

Posted on Apr 25 2012

The thought of a comedy anime about history seems just ridiculous; I mean, who would watch that? Yet somehow getting people to watch the show wasn’t an issue at all for this convention favorite. Whether you like them or not, you’ll see hoards and hoards of cosplayers from this show coating the con. So for better or for worse, today we look at Hetalia: Axis Powers

I honestly think the reason most people don’t like this show is due to its fanbase. It’s unfortunate when a great series becomes ostracized because of a stigma against the fans. I can admit that I was a fan of the show until joining a group of Hetalia cosplayers, and after that didn’t watch the show for months. But it’s still a great show.

The first episode starts off with a League of Nations looking conference room with all of the human embodiments of the countries around the table. America, running the meeting, starts off on a great foot by suggesting having a giant superhero to shield the Earth to prevent global warming. Japan agrees, sparking Switzerland to lash out at him over agreeing with everything. England yells at America’s stupid idea, followed by France correcting England.

China mocks their childishness, offering them snacks to get them to be quiet. Spain asks Russia to input, who only ends up stating his wish to dominate Lithuania, forcing weak Latvia to agree; an action to which Estonia says is wrong. Poland states he will rule all, and Greece is seen sound asleep in his chair. After all the racket, Germany explodes on them to get them to be silent, and sets ground rules. Italy is called on, who answers cheerily with “Pasta!”

After that disturbingly accurate representation of the world, we switch to the story of the Roman Empire,the man who owned all the riches of the world, then disappeared in one day. Now it’s World War I. Germany is in a forest hunting down descendants of Rome. However he’s surprised how he managed to invade with nothing but a stick. While walking, he finds a tomato box lying on the ground. But this story is to be continued…

Chibitalia is Hetalia’s end-of-episode shorts that tells the story of Italy as a child. Italy was taken away from countries to live with Rome and learn to be an artist, which he excelled at. However when he returned home, the other countries had grown up (Italy remained a child due to it never “growing” as a political power.) The other countries bully him, namely Holy Roman Empire with trying to force Italy to join.

As you may be able to tell, this show is full of stereotype and history jokes that a lot of people wouldn’t get. However, it’s still a show that anyone could find entertaining regardless. If you like history at all, there’s a great chance you’ll like this show as well. The creator of Hetalia also created a similar show, but with Middle-Eastern countries, called Afghanis-tan. Oh, did I mention the episodes are a mere five minutes long each?

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  • Kanashimi April 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    I love and hate this show, but don’t really enjoy the fandom. I feel like I should only enjoy this show privately and give it a hard time for any historical inaccuracies.

    • TheManorexic April 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      I can just imagine someone hiding in a dark room watching the show with a European History textbook.

  • nerdwerld April 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I agree with Kana about the fandom, because it scares me. I had to spend a whole con weekend with three other Hetalia fangirls. However, I absolutely love the show as a history major, historian, and anthropology buff. Viewing the show, and understanding the jokes (some of them in American context, others in the original Japanese context) makes me appreciate the show for far more than just the racist, politically incorrect, and Japanese propaganda show that it is.
    Don’t give me wrong there are times, I question the show’s authenticity, but if you understand that it was based off a comic panel which didn’t take itself very seriously either, I think you can understand why the corny, and down right dirty jokes are presented in a way that they are made to be face-palmed at. I do enjoy the fact that the American version highlights some more American viewpoints, mostly because some of the Japanese humor does not translate at all. I have some weaboo friends who hate the dub for that reason, but I think it allows for a wider appeal in America.

  • PsycheAlice April 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I think the problem with the fandom is that the annoying part of the fandom makes too much of an impression on people while the part of the fandom that is… more normal actually makes up a larger part. Every fandom has it’s annoying fans, but the Hetalia fandom just gets a really bad rap. Not everyone who likes Hetalia is annoying or a weeaboo. :/

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