Hetalia: Axis Powers is a series that uses satire and comedy to address historical events and cultural trivia; the main historical events in the series come from World War I and World War II. The historical, political and military interactions between the countries are portrayed through the social and romantic interactions between the characters.
In the series, over 40 countries have been depicted as human characters; the names for the characters are the countries that they represent. The Axis Group, which are the main characters of the series, include Germany, Italy, and Japan. Italy is the "lovable loser," and the grandson of Roman Empire. He is the weakest character of the series, is an artist, and loves pasta and pizza. He represents Northern Italy, while his older brother represents Southern Italy.
Germany is a serious character, and believes in efficiency, hard work, and bureaucracy. He also has inexperience with relationships. Japan is depicted as reclusive, hard-working, and quiet. One of Japan's traits is that he tries to adopt the cultures of the other countries that he meets.
The Allied Forces are made up of America, Britain, France, China and Russia. America is headstrong, energetic, and is brothers with Canada; he is also the self-proclaimed leader of the group. England, who also goes by United Kingdom or Britain, is an irritable former pirate. He can't cook, has a foul mouth, an ability to see supernatural creatures, and performs magic curses.
France is carefree, romantic, and has a rivalry with England. He is portrayed as making sexual passes at many of the other characters, including England. China is one of the oldest characters, and is distrustful of Russia. China is a big fan of Hello Kitty, became a cook for England and France, and is often shown with pandas. Russia likes vodka and sunflowers, but he has mentally cracked from the strain of a bloody history; Russia also likes to abuse the Baltic Trio. He has two sisters: Ukraine and Belarus.
While Hetalia: Axis Powers has an interesting concept, I'm not entirely convinced it works, especially with how the episodes are only five minutes. Of the five minutes of each episode, roughly half is the actual storyline. The other half is "Chibitalia," which gives some background for the series through "chibi" versions of the characters.
I tried watching the series with the Japanese audio with English subtitles, but due to the nature of the series, it was hard to follow the subtitles. I also saw an episode with the English dub, and I could follow it a lot easier. FUNimation gave this series a rating of TV-MA, so I can only truly recommend it to anime viewers who are 18 years of age and older.
|Hetalia: Axis Powers||52||2009-2010||Bob Shirohata||Studio Deen||FUNimation Entertainment|
|Hetalia: World Series||48 +4 OVAs||2010-2011||Bob Shirohata||Studio Deen||FUNimation Entertainment|
|Hetalia: Axis Powers: Paint It, White||N/A||2010||Bob Shirohata||Studio Deen||FUNimation Entertainment|
|Hetalia: The Beautiful World||?||2013-ongoing||Hiroshi Watanabe||Studio Deen||FUNimation Entertainment|