Posted by psgels on 14 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hetalia: Axis Powers



Okay, so it might be a bit pointless to write a review about a show whose next season is going to air in a week or two, but who cares? Comedy sequels very often suffer from a lack of quality, whether it’s from a lack of inspiration, a burn out of the best jokes, or simply from trying too hard, it’s rare to run into a comedy that’s as good as its original. Hetalia however, is one such series. It’s not the best comedy out there by far, but it knows what it is: bite-size chunks of international humour.

The series still is far from the funniest show out there; in this season alone, I can name eight series that made me laugh harder than what Hetalia had to offer. However, in its second season it’s become much more consistent when compared to the first season: every episode was guaranteed to get a chuckle out of me, and it didn’t waste its time anymore on the pointless sketches as the garage cleaning, and the most annoying character of the first season (Liechtenstein) Only made one very small appearance. The historical and cultural references throughout the series are still spot-on, despite the at first seemingly stereotypical portrayal of all of the different countries.

The weak point of this season lies in the gay jokes. There are way too many of them, and they’re just not funny. Well, to me at least, but I found that the awkward moments in which whichever two countries made these embarrassed facial expressions whenever something even remotely ‘cute’ happened get old soon. I don’t have anything fundamentally against gay jokes, I enjoyed them for what they were in Junjo Romantica, but here they just won’t work.

Reviewing comedy series of course is something very personal, since everyone has a different kind of sense of humour, but I do want to praise Hetalia for this: its subject matter. Remember how last year, a bunch of Koreans got offended because this series parodied it? It just shows how easily ticked off some people are, by simple and innocent jokes. This series opened up a lot of discussions on that matter, and I hope that it helped along to build a bridge, so that we can in the future simply make innocent fun of other cultures without having hordes of angry people condemn you to death.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Consistent, quite funny, though too many gay jokes.
Characters: 8/10 – A colourful cast of different personified countries, though don’t expect anything deep here.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Nothing special.
Setting: 9/10 – Spot-on historical and cultural references.

4 Responses

  1. Watcherzero says:

    Second series hasnt been quite as funny as the first but my main gripe was they stopped labelling the countries, and with more than half of them having the same looks (England derived/Russia Derived)its hard to tell immediatley which (Baltic say)country is speaking.

  2. renz says:

    misspelling in title

  3. Jan Suzukawa says:

    I think Hetalia in its own modest way has contributed to world peace… In its use of humor in portraying the nations of the world, it’s opened up a dialogue among fans. Humor is a way to get under people’s defenses. Oh, and I also found Lichtenstein a little tiresome. ;)

  4. KitsuneUdon says:

    “The bunch of Koreans who got offended” actually had good reason to be offended. The history behind “Im Young Soo” was terribly wrong.

    As much as I love to see Korea groping Japan,
    I would have been sorely disappointed if they let it air.

    When Im Young Soo was in WWII, South Korea was attacked by Japan and taken over. Japanese murdered, mauled, starved, experimented and such on the Korean people. ((some)) Present day Koreans still have this great hatred and dislike of Japan.

    >Its a extremely touchy topic to tread on and create a comedy out of.<

    Maybe this is biased, since I'm Korean, but I hope some more people understand that they weren't just a bunch of prudes with no reason.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 01:08 AM)
    (Watched Grisaia 12)
    Oh hey we have this scene where the characters are being chased by everyone gone insane and turned into cannibals. Great! Lets chuck in two crotch shots! Bloody hell. The last episode of angelic howl was botched to hell. Pacing too fast and end climax so sloppily done that it became down right comical. Even made me notice flaws I missed with the original story. And oh great they plan to animate that bloody guy and the extra conflict that was never needed.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:50 PM)
    *for.
    Also I finished out Amanes route in Grisaia and am genuinely pleased with how it rounded out as being/capped off.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:49 PM)
    Shame they can’t be relied on from anything else however.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    Ah, .hack bee-train can always be relied on for good music.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    I recently rewatched petite cossette actually and it still holds up for me as an atmospheric, creepy and trippy and dreamy macabre story I wish Shinbo was still that good.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:44 PM)
    As much as I love .Hack’s score, I can’t help but feel that Le Portrait de Petit Cossette has Kajiura’s best score.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:37 PM)
    I will agree that the tsundre archtype should have been Rin and not Kugimiya pseudo-lolita’s, far less irritating, less of a love/hate thing for me. That said I don’t care all that much for finding the personalities of fiction characters all that attractive, it tends to be the character designs, more often I end up wanting to black eye most tsundere characters, actually alot of characters.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:32 PM)
    And I also read that “realistic tsundere manga” I believe I mentioned it a few times on here, I never really got into reading it, can’t really remember the title.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:30 PM)
    I rather like Yuki Kaijura’s music for fate/zero, don’t care about kara no kyokai’s soundtrack, madoka or sword arts much.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 PM)
    @Gedata: God they didn’t even research it correctly.
    In regards to clannad theres an example of one which I retrospectively am more critical of and find the drama remarkably silly in parts.

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