“Polish horses never charged at German tanks during the battle of…right anime fans.”

“Germany invaded Poland in ’39…riiight, American fans.”

“Poland is a country! In Europe!”

     Indeed, prepare yourself for a history lesson you most likely never thought you could live without.  The time is World War II as the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan face off against the Allied Nations of Britain, America, Russia, France, and China.  However, this won’t be your average text book history lesson as each country is personified  to a person with all the stereotypical accents, looks, and quirks we come to associate them with.  If you squint your eyes and tilt your head slightly to the left you can almost even find a loose retelling of events, battles, and alliances of the WWII era.

     Each episode lasts maybe ten full minutes including an opening and closing credit, and within that time the dialogue will fly so fast you may be left wondering what just happened.  When I mention that this anime is chock full of stereotypes and prejudices – I am not exaggerating in the slightest.  Be prepared to see America always eating hamburgers, saying “Dude!” during every phrase, and always talking in his “totally hero like voice” to save the day.  Britain often takes the elder brother role; always after America for this and that and loves chatting with his invisible fairytale friends.  France loves his wine, women, and long beautiful hair.  Germany is militaristic and serious, Japan emotionless and honorary, and Italy is a happy idiot who loves pasta and white flags.  Plenty of insults and accusations fly without warning resulting in massive amounts of humor and amusement.  Flashbacks of previous historical events, a witty narration to fill in the chasm of gaps, and a slew of smaller countries/characters  make appearances as well – all adding to the unique perspective and humorous look at the world.  (For example, a small talking polar bear asks “Who are you?” To which the nearly transparent man who has a remarkable resemblance to America shyly responds “I’m Canadia” /sigh)  ^_^

     Here is a glimpse as to how the battles of WWII took place…at least according to Hetalia:

We come upon a deserted beach where Germany, Japan, and Italy are sitting around a campfire by the ocean.  Suddenly without warning they are surrounded by the Allies on top of the cliff overlooking their camp.  America (in his total hero voice) calls out a beginning to the battle with “China! I choose you” *cue pokemon-esque music* at which China, armed with a frying pan, jumps into action swinging at Germany and Japan as they attempt to dodge resounding injury. Italy, as usual, immediately takes up his post of swinging his small white flag and begging for his life. After a few more minutes of banter, so concludes the battle 🙂

     The anime certainly caught me by surprise; and as short as each episode is (52 in total) they pack non stop action, dialogue, and comedy into every minute of it.  I almost feel I need to watch it a second time to fully catch everything that flies by…and I just might!  Axis Powers: Hetalia has a fan base and popularity that is unarguably immense and now I can see why 🙂 Keep an open mind and give this one a try;  for as long as we can laugh at ourselves we will never cease to be amused ^^