(+ 3 extra episodes) and one movie
Length of each episode: 5 minutes Rating: 15+
Genres: Historical, Comedy
Based loosely on the history of the world, Hetalia begins with WWI. However, before you start thinking this is a dreary, depressing story of war and pain, guess again. Each character is named after a country and acts like a stereotype of the people of that country, whilst historical, political, and military interaction between countries is allegorically represented in Hetalia as interaction between the characters.
The main character is Italy - a pasta loving coward. The story revolves (Don't shoot me!) around the Axis Powers and their encounters against the Allied Forces. However this is one anime with pretty much no plot at all, so along with the two world wars, other pieces of history are shown, including Italy during the renaissance and other snippets tossed in here and there just for fun.
There is, on the other hand, one problem with the story - speed. It is not that big a problem because of the absence of a plot, but sometime the show might seem a little too fast. There are also notes you'd need to pause to read if you want to get many of the history based jokes, which at times might be a bit annoying. One thing is for sure though - you will LOL. Literally.
Overall, character design is a definite highlight for this anime. Each stereotype is an excellent representation of that country, with plenty of quirks and awesomeness. This might also be a good time to mention the fact that Hetalia is a bishonen. Remember how I mentioned that history is represented by interactions between countries? Yeah, it can get pretty suggestive at times, but honestly, the whole thing is portrayed all in good humour, not to mention awkwardness is relatively few and far between. You are more likely to be stifling hysterical bouts of laughter than asking questions.
The animation in Axis Power Hetalia is pretty good. It is nothing breathtakingly amazing, but it is not bad either. The details of the scenes differ depending on the mood of the scenes and are usually quite laid back, mainly using pastels. Personally though, I wish the characters were a little more detailed.
For the first time in my life, I am going to say something I never thought I'd say - watch it in English. Honestly, the FUNimation dub is epic. Each and every one of the character has an accent of some sort or another. It simply does not feel the same in the Japanese dub. The ending songs (two so far) are also noteworthy. I swear you will be singing them in the shower after a few episodes. (Guilty as charged).
Hetalia is an anime with something for everyone. If you like comedies, if you have a passion for History or Geography, then this is a jewel of an anime for you. Looking for a short anime to kill a little time? Here's five minutes of insane hilarity per episode. And then there are the fangirls. All I have to say is there is a boatload of anime guys in military uniforms. Hurry up!
Some of the series is widely available on torrents, some are not. You could just stream the whole thing. After all, five minutes per episode is like watching a YouTube video.
DISCLAIMER: The writer will not be held responsible for and nose bleeds, concussions, fangrling or addictions caused from watching this anime.