“The World Keeps Turning” – Hetalia: Axis Powers Season 1 (anime) – 8/10 Pumpkin Pies

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible. ~Albert Einstein

Genre: Comedy/History

Review Status: Complete (26 Episodes/26 Episodes)

Licensed: Yes, this anime is licensed in the US.

Art/Animation: It looks pretty good, with some very nice animation, bright colors, and very distinct character designs- immensely necessary with so many countries.

Dub Vs. Sub: The dub has all the great accents, some done well, some not so much, but the voice acting is good regardless. The sub is quite good with the stereotypical voices for the countries, but also has good voice acting.

Summary: Forget everything you learned in history class, and imagine all the nations of the world as cute guys hanging out on a wildly inappropriate reality show. Now, toss in every stereotype ever and prepare to pledge allegiance to your favorite superpower in Hetalia Axis Powers!

Maybe you’ll surrender to Italy’s charms. He’s a sweetie who’s always got a noodle in his mouth and he’s BFF with blue-eyed Germany and shy Japan. Sounds nice, right? Of course, their friendship sort of causes World War II, but is that really such a big deal? Not if it means those adorable allies France, America, and England will be stormin’ the beach! No matter who comes out on top, victory is yours! Now ditch your textbooks and try to keep up, because history happens fast in Hetalia Axis Powers! (Funimation)

Review: How is one supposed to take the idea of anthropomorphized nations interacting with each other in ways that are vaguely similar to historical events? If you’re looking for pure comedy, you’ll be getting a dose of history. If you’re looking for history, you’ll be getting a good dose of comedy. While it’s not the show to watch if you really want surefire historical accuracy, this manages to relate history with pizzazz and hilarity, with little shout-outs that will thrill the historians out there.

Each episode jumps around in the timeline, some taking place at the World Conference, where all of them get together to talk about… stuff… while some take place at America’s house, and even more take place during World War II, where Italy, Japan, and Germany get together and camp out on the beach, having training sessions and cookouts, while the Allies make various attempts to sabotage them.

The five-minute segments and disjointed presentation make this great for viewing when you don’t have the time for longer series, but could be frustrating for some that want their episodes in chronological order. Some people might be annoyed by the lighthearted presentation of events that were really very serious in real life. But this isn’t to be taken as a serious show- it’s about having fun with world history, and this manages to do that, from the Roman Empire returning while the Allies storm the beach once… twice… and fail each time, to Canada being overlooked for pretty much everything. Stereotypes stereotypical characteristics abound, making each country a distinct personality that most people will find both somewhat accurate and great parodies- knowing how to laugh at yourself and how your country is seen by others is key.

The other issue is that, while I really do like this show, it’s such a sausage fest. There are very few girls, and in very minor parts. Virtually no time is spent on them, which is a shame. It does allow for quite a bishie fest, however, so it’s a trade-off.

Overall, this is a cute anime with some fun twists!

Recommended: 16+. There are five swears in the sub- two of the F-word written out, the s-word twice (misused in some pretty bad Engrish, I might add), and one instance of the d-word. The sub is worse, and adds in some gay jokes that aren’t there in the sub. It’s implied that one of the male characters (the Holy Roman Empire) has a crush on Italy (a guy), but thinks that Italy is a girl. Implied slavery of some of the characters- representing historical happenings, not meant to be taken seriously.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Hetalia: Axis Powers (Season 2, manga)


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