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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 18. 2015 05:21 AM)
    Sorry for spamming up the chat, had to get that out =P
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 18. 2015 05:20 AM)
    Not that I wasted time playing it myself or watching the whole playthough. And fuck you, fuck you Aidan and thank you for mentioning that shit to me, got a great guilty laugh out of that.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 18. 2015 05:18 AM)
    That it was actually dubbed into English was odd and amused me further, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an English voiced VN before. If dating in real life was this awful, babies would never get made lol
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Apr 18. 2015 05:17 AM)
    Oh hahaha, I seem to remember a visual novel called huniepop was mentioned on here. Not suggesting that anyone play it, make no mistake this is shallow, pandering shit but I watched a playthrough of it on youtube and almost died laughing at the awfulness and how the guy playing it was taking the piss/joking around throughout the whole playthrough.
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    Can’t get into Beck at the moment, tried watching eight episodes, the music is alright but the animation is very inconsistent, the drama is bone dry and the cliches started getting to me.
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    (Friday, Apr 17. 2015 12:59 PM)
    @cizu, it is a very good show. Only problem being that its got little rewatch value. I recommend checking out the Umineko no naku koro ni visual novel as it is similar. There is an anime of it but it doesn’t do the visual novel justice.
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    love Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
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