Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Hetalia Axis Powers - Episode 2

It's WWI. Err.... Hurrah? So, episode two of Axis Powers Hetalia has come and gone, and I think I'm beginning to get the hang of this ONA.

In essence, what it appears to be trying to teach us is that Italy has been, is, and always will be, rubbish. Well, thanks for the insightful and not at all stereotypical information Hetalia! To be fair, there is the odd vaguely educational vignette hidden away in here, but it's buried so far beneath the dim-witted, cowardly, pasta obsessed portrayal of Italy, you'll be lucky to find it.


In comparison, Germany circa World War I seems to be quite forgiving and curmudgeonly, because of course Germany was a very kind-hearted nation at that point in its history....

Now, I have nothing against leaning on stereotypes for comic purposes (witness Fawlty Towers' infamous "don't mention the war" episode), but when those stereotypes are so weak they don't even offer one joke worthy of the name, then you have to wonder what the point is. Thus, I find myself wondering what the point of Axis Powers Hetalia actually is. Still, no sign of any Koreans yet.

5 comments:

anime2kuk said...

This anime is quite simply... one of the most confusing animes I've ever seen in my life.

I know the stereotyping in this show is meant to be used as satire, but I swear the overuse of the word, "pasta" as a verbal representation of a freakin' country could be deemed as slightly offensive to some. I've heard the japanese can be slightly xenophobic, but... jeez.

That being said, I found this episode hilarious. I think there's something wrong with me.

kadian1364 said...

So wrong...

Can it be considered as being doubly satirical? Like, they're satirizing other people's grossly exaggerated, one-note stereotypes of otherwise richly cultured and respectable nations?!

Not exactly breaking down walls, Japan.

Sarah said...

For whatever it's worth, Hetalia is written by a college student living in New York City, so he's obviously rather more worldly than your average Japanese person. The series is very self-aware and all in good fun.

Anonymous said...

"Still, no sign of any Koreans yet. "

Koreans never will and was never intended to be in the anime in the first place, actually.

Hanners said...

Heh, I know, my tongue was in my cheek when I mentioned the Koreans. :p

Post-modern satire is always good, but it has to be *funny*, which seems to be where this show is falling flat on its face. Using the word "pasta" in every given situation can only be funny so many times - Once, in this case.