Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hetalia: Axis Powers



Author:
Hidekaz Himaruya
Illustrator:
Hidekaz Himaruya
English Publisher: Tokyopop

Volume count: 1+

Note: Started as webcomic. Also has anime.


      World War I and World War II were called as such because they were wars on a global scale. WWI came, but left a bitter taste in our mouths. So when WWII came around, action was taken by each country as they once again separated, this time into two primary groups; the Axis Powers and the Allies. Countries including Italy and Japan banded together with Germany. Former Allies members like the U.S.A, Russia, England and France were threatened enough to take up arms. Finally, years after these wars have passed, the stories from that time, before and after, have been put together into a comic. We as countries, are judged on our history past and present. Some things that might come to mind are how England dwells in the magic arts, France is a pompous lover, China has a knack for business opportunity, Italy breathes pasta, Germany makes sure everything is line, Japan is extremely polite, Canada is...there and America has the world's respect as the hamburger-loving idiot he is. Countries are depicted as people themselves to show their individual personalities and unique characteristics in a way which we can all enjoy. Along with many other countries thrown into the mix, our greatest accomplishments, most embarrassing moments and traditions can be retold fairly accurately. From the World Wars to Finland's Christmas, we are given the chance to laugh at and be made fun of together.

     This manga is educational- no, don't run away because it's also incredibly amusing! Hetalia: Axis Powers basically combines everything we know and understand of the countries of our world and retells it in a less serious manner. It's highly enjoyable and pleasing to read. The art in the comic is a little rough around the edges. Although, considering the fact that
Hidekaz Himaruya started this manga as a Japanese webcomic, it's rather impressive. The artist's style is simplistic, cute, amicable and complements the mood of the series. The character designs are somewhat based on stereotypical representations of people from the representing countries. For example, Spain is shown with unruly dark hair, bold eyes and sun-kissed skin that is typical of Spanish men. But just as America is given a tall stature, blonde hair and blue eyes, he is also given a very American attitude. This means each country's personality is also very stereotypically based. Which brings me to the written portion of this series; the stories and situations are taken from real events in history. Even some of the little side stories retain general knowledge and facts. A basic idea of world history helps to understand some of the satire, but readers are also never left in the dark. Occasional explanations are inserted along with the panels to help readers keep up with the jokes. It's carefully written and humorous without being cruel. And it's important to understand that Hetalia: Axis Powers was meant to be entertaining and not insulting. It's a clever and an admirable piece of work that I hope all of you will take the time to read. Even with the problems in the world today, Hetalia: Axis Powers offers us interesting facts, dirty jokes and a new sense of respect for each other...sorta.

I had another way of writing this review but I chose this one. I hope it's okay. Have any of you read this in webcomic form? There's an anime too. Really funny stuff and I felt smarter the more I watched it. Sorry for the EXTRA I squeezed in there. Maybe I should have just waited until I had this post ready to go. Congratulations to all of you on having created such successful blogs. They motivate me to try and do the same with mine. I'm looking into the October line-up of manga and some anime...and
I'll probably be purchasing and reviewing most of them...but I'm not sure what's what. Any suggestions? Thanks again, everyone!

25 comments:

  1. very nice blog
    i like your post!
    supportin & follow you ;)

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  2. Great review and this definitely sounds like something worth checking out.

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  3. This looks crazy! But awesome. But not for me!

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  4. I'll have to watch out for that anime.

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  5. Yeah, this one looks spectacularly cool, especially in comparison to the last post. More along my lines. :)

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  6. I love your reviews! So in depth

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  7. They have this translated in English?! Nice! My girlfriend is getting a little something extra with her birthday present.

    She really liked Italy. Also really liked pairing a lot of the countries together...

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  8. Another great post, thanks for sharing again. I'm going to read this now actually, looks like a good read!

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  9. Thanks for the insightful comments on my last blog post!

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  10. I had a big falling out with anime a long time ago, and I've been looking for some to start following again

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  11. good review, never heard about this manga, but maybe I´ll watch the Anime now.

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  12. Why is your blog so fun to read? :)

    http://tornadojackson.blogspot.com/

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  13. Great post!

    looking forward to reading the next one

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  14. nice read and review ill add this to my queue of anime to watch with my gf, thanks :)

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  15. Nothing but curious pleasures, as from thence Following!

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  16. That have inflamed desire in my breast. Following!

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