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Hetalia: Axis Powers, Season 1

All right, I’ll keep this short. I love a good comedy. But despite its addictive theme song, Hetalia: Axis Powers is hardly noteworthy.

TV Series, DVD, Director: Bob Shirohata, Distributor: FUNimation

Hetali

Adapted from the webcomic of Hidekaz Himaruya, World War II Europe never looked so…cute??? No, there are no geographical boarders, or armies, or even the dogs of war. Instead, countries such as Italy, France, England, Japan, Germany, and America appear as personified characters.  And the politics and conflicts of the 40’s are revised through the lens of comedy and innuendo. Italy in particular is the focus. He may be the descendent of great Rome, but his love of pasta and wine is comically holding him back from greatness.

All right, I’ll keep this short. I love a good comedy. But despite its addictive theme song, Hetalia: Axis Powers is hardly noteworthy. Its re-enactment of historical events is not only vague and tenuous, but also entirely devoted to the comedy of stereotypes.

Now, I can understand the creative license of reshaping and reinventing history; creating a skewed world is essential to Hetalia’s narrative structure. But if every joke and comic interaction is grounded upon cliché stereotypes, one gets bored very fast. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good jokes. The repetition, however, is annoying.

Yes, I understand that World War II Italy is often perceived satirically as apathetic and cowardly. But after an episode or two of that, I’m cool.

Oh, and apparently Korea wasn’t so cool about their character in Hetalia.

Anyway, Hetalia: Axis Powers is good for a quick burst and a quaint smile. But over the long run it’s simply flaccid and can’t go the distance – how’s that for innuendo!  

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