Anime Review: Hetalia

I love Hetalia.

I hate the other fans.

I’ll explain the first point first. If you don’t know what Axis-Powers Hetalia/Hetalia World Series is, it is a show with very short episodes (five minutes a pop). Each country is depicted as a person, and the show follows each country’s cray-cray-cray interactions. Notice the three crays? It needs all three. Through the short episodes, it also gives out some basic history lessons as time jumps around a lot in the series. Initially, the series is about Italy, Germany, and Japan (the Axis Powers) during WWII. That plot got dropped quickly as France, Britain, and America began to have more central roles in the series.

I have more personal experience with the sub. I watched a couple episodes of the dub and cried a little on the inside. I give the English version and the voice actors for attempting the accents, but some of them are so over done that I can’t understand what is being said and even if I can, I stop paying attention to the words and just listen to the terribly overbearing accents.

The sub is excellent. Being a history buff/nerd, I love all of the history of the countries and I’m a big fan of the premise. The interactions between the countries are so funny and when the historical events are included it can be really cool.

Most of the countries are white men. Cuba (who makes a two-second appearance) is the only not-white person I can think of. There are only a couple of girls, and some of them don’t come across as the need-to-be-rescued princess type (ex. Hungary). And then you have Belarus who complains about her breast being too big. So if you are looking for a strong female perspective you aren’t going to exactly find it here.

However, some of the humor is too much and goes into the bizarre. For example, there is a short clip of each country as a different cat. It wound up being cute, but when the screen flashed “Catalia” naturally I put on my “da hell” face. And my “da hell” face makes numerous appearances.

Now the fans. Let me start off by saying that I’m the biggest history nerd. I grew up watching the History channel (before it became Swamp People and that crap) and history was a major part of my college major. So I do not dabble in history. At the same time, I don’t pretend to be the walking history text book. I’ve had numerous encounters with Hetalia fans that have the notion that because they watch Hetalia, they are the history text book. While Hetalia does explain history, it often over simplifies it and it cannot be counted on instead of reading the history book. So if you watch Hetalia, don’t act like you are educated on all of the history of the world.

Now, I have very little con experience before Hetalia took off. And maybe I feel this way because there are so many Hetalia fans, but they strike me as a little too intensely in love with the show. I love anime, but I diversify. Hetalia fans (I feel, debate me in the comments if you feel free) don’t. It’s like the cray-cray Twilight fans. They’re just too into it. And I’m sure there are other anime fans who love only one anime (brings me back to my high school anime club and how everyone had only heard of Naruto and I still didn’t know what it was). And maybe it’s because there are so many Hetalia fans that the cray-cray people are just higher in number.

I love Hetalia, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a fantastic series. I just don’t like that the other fans think they’re history know-it-alls and think Hetalia is the best/only anime in existence. But I love history and politics and funny things, and therefore I love this series.