Posted on 6 April 2010 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers, Senkou no Night Raid, Some Quick First Impressions

Hetalia World Series

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is the personification of a certain mediterranean country.
Healia, please. Start putting labels on your characters. This episode introduced a bunch of new characters of which I had no idea who they were. It’s of course nice to see more characters like these, but it’s a bit pointless if you don’t know what coumtry they represent. It’s not good to assume that everyone read the manga, studio Deen. As for this episode, it was funny as usual. I do hope that the episodes will get released a bit faster now. This isn’t really like a series as Marie & Gali, in which I’m really willing to wait multiple weeks for the next episode.
ED: Same as usual.
Potential: 40%

Senkou no Night Raid

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is an international spy.
Well, there you have it, A-1 surely is on fire this season. This episode was really well made: it had a lot of spy action, but it cleverly kept everything from going over the top, and instead kept everything down and true to the abilities of the characters involved. The dialogue itself was also excellent: well written and it actually kept the language barrier: the Chinese people speak Chinese here. That was also a bit annoying though, because I had no idea what they were saying. But still, when you compare this to Canaan it looks very promising. The characters have a few quirks and traits, but despite that they don’t feel out of place. This should prove to be a pretty nice spy thriller during the upcoming season.
ED: Interesting visuals, but a dull ballad.
Potential: 80%

Metal Fight Beyblade – Explosion

Short Synopsis: Our lead character wants to have the legendary spinning top of the galaxy unicorn.
It’s hilarious how poorly produced this series actually is. Cutting corners is of course one thing, but this episode was just so ridiculously cheap. Take the first half for example: it shows an arena full of fans as they watch a bunch of people battle with their spinning tops (yeah…). At one point, the creators simply forget that there’s supposed to be an audience and instead turn the entire audience in some sort of fancy wallpaper as the matches stop and the characters start rambling on about some kind of kid who disturbed their match from out of nowhere. The second half has the lead character of this series search for some sort of legendary beyblade. When he finds it (yeah, this all happens in the span of one episode; no build-up whatsoever) it’s followed by a huge amount of cheap-ass tricks to try and make the moment of a boy grabbing a spinning top from a wall look as epic as possible. I got a good laugh out of it, that’s for sure. But the thing that I’ve been wondering about these kids’ shows is the following: if they’re going to be cheap, why don’t they just recap some sort of kids’ show from the nineties? That’s going to be even cheaper, and it’s not like these kids are gonna notice.
ED: I could swear that the vocalists were on drugs when they sung this in.
Potential: -20%

Posted 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.
Posted on 20 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hetalia: Axis Powers



A series in which all of the characters represent different countries. You just have to think of it. Hetalia follows the chronicles of the personifications of countries as Italy, Germany, Japan, America, England and France in a bunch of random sketches. I really liked the idea when I learned of it, so how did this series turn out in the end? Good, though it could have been done better.

I absolutely loved this series when it started messing around with cultural differences. This series really has a number of priceless episodes in which it takes different stereotypes under the loop. The references to each country’s history are also really hilarious at times. You’re obviously supposed to take them with a “little” grain of salt and this series by no means attempts to retell its version of history, and yet there are times when this series is surprisingly accurate and provides a free history lesson.

I really wished that I could have raved about this series, but unfortunately it’s incredibly inconsistent. It likes to waste entire episodes on topics that just… aren’t funny. A bunch of episodes are just random fanservice of gay pairings of the different characters, near the end of the series there are a bunch of episodes dedicated to a strange and unfunny subplot between Liechtenstein and Switzerland and there’s also a strange unfunny subplot about America cleaning out his garage that just keeps returning over and over.

I’m really not sure what was up with these kinds of episodes. They seemed to want to introduce some sort of serious storyline among the comedy, but that SO doesn’t belong in such a series that’s only made up out of five minute episodes. And I mean, this series has so much material it can choose from, and then it devotes three consecutive episodes to Liechtenstein, of all things.

Hetalia should have been better balanced. The episodes really range from utterly brilliant to utterly dull, and especially the dull ones can ruin the fun of this series a bit. Nevertheless, the brilliant episodes are definitely worth watching, so let’s hope that the second season is going to do a better job here.

On a final note: I do urge everyone to not take this series seriously. It’s never meant to insult anyone, just poke some innocent fun. The last thing you want to do with this series is take the jokes personal, which they obviously aren’t.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 7/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on 26 February 2009 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers



Short Synopsis: For whatever reason, Japan, Germany and Italy end up stranded on a desert island.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Easily one of the most nonsensical episodes of this series yet. Again, it emphasized on how Italy only thinks about food. In this episode, he offers Germany some of his local dishes in order to seal the alliance between him and Germany, and builds a castle of Spaghetti (as a reference to the tower of Pisa, of course ^^;). Next episode, the rest of the countries should arrive, so that should prove to be fun.

Still, with this entry I’m going to stop blogging this series. It’s not because of the political incorrectness of the series, the stereotypes or the negative comments I’ve gotten about it. I still like this series a lot, but I hardly have any inspiration to write about it for every single episode, so I thought that I’d better quit while I’m ahead, before I burn out completely. It was a nice experiment definitely, and when I started blogging this series, I hoped that it’d be like Master of Epic (which was a lot of fun to blog for me when it aired), but the episodes are just too short for that. Perhaps I’m going to do some compilation posts along the way, but I’m not going to promise this.

Posted on 18 February 2009 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers



Short Synopsis: Japan makes his appearance.
Episode Rating: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
One thing I don’t get with this series is why they’re bothering to make next-episode previews. I mean, what’s the point, the episodes are just random strings of sketches, why would you need a 30 second preview of something that’s only 5 minutes long?

Anyway, in this episode you really can see that the original Hetalia was just a string of random comics put together. This episode has about five of these, mostly dealing with Japan, but there’s also a short skit about Italy’s history, where it was ruled by Austria.

The reference from U-Boats to giant robots was quite nice, since the second world war probably played a huge role the popularization of he giant robot-genre, though I do hope that Japan in the future episodes is going to get a bit more made fun of. Apart from the U-Boat references, he felt more like another straight guy for all the Italy jokes (okay, and the penis joke, but that one didn’t work too well).

The history-lesson was nice though. I never knew about those long Italian wars which nearly completely destroyed the Italy which was thriving the renaissance. If I understood this correctly, Italy was in the middle of a war between France and Spain, and it ended up fighting countless wars with France, and eventually it lost its powers when France allied itself with the Ottoman Empire. After the wars, Austria came and took control over the country for a while.

Posted on 10 February 2009 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers



Short Synopsis: Okay, so this time Italy really allies itself with Germany.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Ah, now things make sense: episode 1 was supposed to be the congress of Vienna (hence why France didn’t appear in that episode), episode 2 then fast-forwarded to the first World War, in which Italy was supposed to fight Germany but simply goofed off, and now we’ve come to the real meat of the story: the Second World War. This episode seems to be the prelude of it, where Germany is angry because France beat it in the first one. The end of the previous episode was just a preview for this one. I’m glad that at least something of this show makes sense. ^^;

The best thing in this episode was definitely the really weird song composed by Italy, which probably meant to highlight some of the cultural differences between the countries (German girls are bigger? They’re scary as tourists? lol). The karaoke may have been a bit too much, though. I never understood why fansubbers feel like they want to stuff the entire screen full of random text, saying the same in English, Romanji and Kanji. It clutters the screen and is hard to follow. And sure, for real songs I can understand… but such a silly song as that one?!

I’m interested whether this series is going to portray the Jews. It’s been a very touchy subject, and I can’t remember any anime about the world war that even bothered to mention it. But then again, Japan did a lot of nasty stuff in the second world war, but if my memory doesn’t deceive me they didn’t have a lot to do with the Holocaust. One ironic thing here is that Homosexuals were also among the ones who were systematically wiped out, and the Germany in this series has just “allied” himself with a guy whose preferences are… questionable to say the least. ^^;

(EDIT: oh wait, I now see that the song was already karaoked in Japanese already before the fansubbers touched it… what?)

Posted on 7 February 2009 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers, Some Quick First Impressions

Hetalia: Axis Powers

Short Synopsis: Our lead characters… are a bunch of countries.
Chance of me Blogging: 100% (yeah, because I’m already blogging it)
I’m still a bit bitter that Holland wasn’t made fun of in this series so far (especially when even Estonia has its own character), but sarcasm aside, I really liked this series. You can trust Studio Deen to come up with the more crazy mangas to adapt, and the huge amount of country references was hilarious to watch. It’s going to be interesting if this series can keep this up. As for the ones who got offended by this series: you should start poking fun at other countries yourself.

Fresh Precure!

Short Synopsis: Our lead character receives the power to become a magical girl.
Chance of me Blogging: 0% (Obviously not)
So yeah, I checked this out in the hope that it might actually be something worthwhile, but in the end I couldn’t really find anything to really make me keep watching it, although it did turn out a bit better than your generic mahou shoujo series. I particularly liked how one of the bad guys put too much sugar in his tea because he had never seen it before, and the costume design is nice enough, but overall it really doesn’t try much to set itself apart in the mahou shoujo genre. Especially the lead character just tries too hard to be funny, the mascot character too. Not to mention the abysmally animated concert scene, the the downright painful ED and how everyone conveniently disappears when a monster shows up. I could also whine about the very bad physics in this series, but hey, this is a mahou shoujo series for kids. What else could you expect?

Denpateki na Kanojo

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a legendary king who happens to be stuck in the body of a random high school boy.
Chance of me Blogging: 40% (Perhaps)
Yeah, the way this one started definitely got me worried. Here we have a legendary demon king inside a high school boy, and guess what: a cute girl arrives from out of nowhere to protect him. Still, this OVA is good stuff. The episode was well told and pretty nicely built up with some pretty good suspense parts. The lead characters slowly grew likable, and the action doesn’t aim to be as over the top as possible, but kept all the fight subtle but believable (I love it when a character actually gets disabled when hit by a very hard and solid object). Some parts were a bit too emo for my liking, but this is going to be a pretty good OVA if the rest of the episodes can keep up this pace.

Posted on 3 February 2009 with categories: Hetalia: Axis Powers



Short Synopsis: Italy allies itself with Germany…
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Excellent)
I really hope that this doesn’t turn out into one really big mistake, but for now: why not? I’m going to blog this series. I’ve been looking for something light to blog since Bonen no Xamdou is about to finish, and this one can nicely fill up its slot. And besides, I’m feeling rather politically incorrect right now and the alternatives aren’t looking that pretty either. I’ve been considering to blog Kemono no Souja Erin, but episode four confirmed something that I’ve been suspecting all along: it’s simply a WMT-wannabe. It wants to create a dramatic climax in every single episode, and instead of letting events flow naturally, it throws in some random angry dragon or sickness for every single episode. I’d much rather wait for the real thing that airs in April.

Apart from Master of Epic, Hetalia is going to be the only pure comedy I’ve blogged, but it could be a lot of fun as long as it remains to be funny. Anyway, about this episode, it pretty much played on the uselessness of Italy in the first world war (which they indeed lost miserably ^^;). Seeing as Italy forms part of the series’ logo, “Hetalia” sounds awfully similar to “Italia” (Italy in katakana) and the voice actor of Italy sings the ED (which is horrible, by the way, the only bad part of this series so far), we’re going to see Italy’s incompetence back very often.

The third main character of this series seems to be Japan, which is a bit strange, since in World War I, Germany and Italy had an alliance with Austria-Hungary, while Japan sided with the Western European countries…

Shoutbox

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  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:08 PM)
    Lots of people who don’t interact with Italians think we’re all black haired and brown eyed, but my dad is a blonde Italian while only my mother is a black-haired woman from Lecce. The guy on the flight was a black-haired Italian as well, but apparently terrorists look like well-dressed Italian hipsters doing differentials.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 06:01 PM)
    @Bam That reminds me of a fellow Italian American economist who got reported on his flight to Syracuse by some woman who thought the differential equations that he was working on in his notebook were terrorist scribblings.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 05:49 PM)
    @Bam Ha, I sympathize with you on the beard, after years of having one it feels uncomfortably bare whenever I shave it. Also helps out my resting bitch face.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:05 PM)
    Also the guy playing Cassidy in Preacher is actually Irish tho.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 02:04 PM)
    @Kaiser: haa! That’s improbable. Gimme two weeks and I’ll be at Gandalf level. Just trying to keep people at ease.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:15 AM)
    @Bam: Ah, K-off wins the beard combat warfare =) lol
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:14 AM)
    Voice actors never seem to match their voices =<
    Then again I end up associating them so much with the characters.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 11:12 AM)
    @Bam: Oirishness/paddywhackery/Mick-Irish or in more simple terms, stereotypical Irish characterizations irritate me considerably….
    Especially Irish-American cliches, quite literally wanted to punch the screen when I was watching the departed for example.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:31 AM)
    Once you conversate long enough with people their appearance doesn’t matter that much anymore, but it’s undeniable that our mind creates a projected mental image of even unmet individuals, and it’s always a trip when they don’t match up with eachother. Teaches you about your own psyche and the way you process abstract information. An artifact of patterned biases.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 25. 2016 08:22 AM)
    Can go more Iranian with a bit of beard tho:
    http://imgur.com/I9979T0

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