The first and most important thing I have to say about this title is as follows; Jerry Jewell, the voice behind Victor Nikiforov in the Yuri!!! On Ice dub, also voices Russia in Hetalia Axis Powers. If that’s not majestic, I don’t know what is.
The second thing I should probably mention is that I’m a huge history nerd. I took several AP history classes in high school and used to adore history discussions with my teachers/professors (and literary ones, but I’m an English major, sooo….). I won awards in Model United Nations and and can still tell you the history of a good chunk of Russian monarchy. (Thank you, ADHD brain.) My point is, I LOVE ENGAGING WITH HISTORY. I think the history of our world is fascinating, so that I would have bit of positive bias on the premise of this show alone is to be expected.
To this day, I’m likely to fall down a history rabbit hole for one reason or another (most lately, I’ve been learning about the Boshin War and currency/time keeping in Edo/Meiji Period Japan because of my fanfiction. No one taught me this stuff in school!!), so believe me when I say that these little personified nation-state characters are RIGHT up my alley. Beyond that, I would still say that even if you remove my obvious bias, Hetalia Axis Powers is pure hilarity delivered in unique 5 minute segments, and few would probably deny that.
Hetalia Axis Powers is ridiculous, and I love that for us.
As the story unfolds, we see the League of Nations/United Nations. Each country—now a personified character—is a caricature comprised of stereotypes. You have nations like America, who is bold and brash, take-charge, and friendly. He loves hamburgers and likes to sweep in and claim victory for himself without putting in as much work as his European allies. Russia is polite and soft spoken, but he is also—in the most low-key way—deeply terrifying and high-key covetous of his former satellite states. You never quite know what he’s going to do or when he’s going to do it. Germany is incredibly organized (if you understand the reference, oh, dear…) and orderly, aware of his problematic past, and frequently frustrated, while Italy rides on the coat-tails of Germany during WWII and frequently makes a mess of things. He’s adorable, wants to be friends, loves pasta, panics quickly, and enjoys leisure. Japan wears a uniform at all times; he’s reserved, quiet, dependable, generally calm, and hard-working, but he has a weakness for cute things!
My nerd heart adores these caricatures in historical context.
The plot jumps between present-day, WWII, and pre-WWI during the time of the Holy Roman Empire (not the Roman Empire, as that’s a totally different character/empire). There’s also a bunch of drama about how Italy (technically North Italy) was dressed as a girl and the HRE fell in love with “her” when “she” and was “taken in” by Austria as a child but then HRE disappeared but SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY we all know that the HRE is Germany who lost his memories even if the show never says anything, soooooo………………….
Yeah, that was one long sentence, but it comes down to this: you can actually ship countries on this show, if you want to, no lie. And the mini “CHIBI-TALIA” sections are TOO CUTE FOR WORDS!
Really, if we’re being honest, this show follows Italy more than anybody, and I’m 100% okay with that. ❤
Each short episode doesn’t take much of a time commitment on its own, but it’s enough to make a person smile. We all need a little of that in our days, and these drops in a day’s bucket are easy to squeeze in. You can watch the show dubbed or subbed; I, of course, am watching the dub, and every character has an accent when speaking English, which is a nice touch but it might offend some people I DON’T KNOW DON’T COME FOR MEEEE~~~
Anyway, if you want to watch it, too, it’s free on Funimation. Technically, only the first two seasons of Hetalia are considered Hetalia Axis Powers. Six total seasons and a movie are available under the general title Hetalia, and I can’t wait to watch them all!
If you are watching along with me, let me know what you think! These little dorks have stolen my heart, and I don’t want it back. ❤
Until next time…
…stay home when you can, wear a mask when you can’t, wash your hands, and stay safe!