It might interest you to learn that I’m currently homeless. Yup, I’ve moved out of my parents house and yet to move into college accommodation. I’m writing this post underneath a bridge (wifi is everywhere!), curled up in my sleeping bag. Such is my dedication to Hetalia blogging.
The above statement may be slightly exaggerated.
This episode of Hetalia was a barrage of about 6 or 7 different gags piled into those 5 minutes. I don’t think there’s been a Hetalia episode with so much packed into it, not one stop for breath. Oddly, that left it a bit more disjointed an episode than usual. I hadn’t realised it until this episode, but it works better when a comedy sticks to a certain gag for a while rather than just jump about willy-nilly. Think about it, isn’t that what the best comedians do? They start on a subject and gradually drift onto other subjects. The important word there is gradually, not just leap from one gag to another with no real connection. Not that it was a terrible episode of Hetalia, oh god has it had worse. But this didn’t feel as well-planned as some of its other episodes. Maybe I should stop laughing at Deens directing in this series. *pfft* fat chance of that, oh Deen. You know they make such a bizarre mix of anime? Everything from Junjou Romantica to Higurashi, heck they even made the Kenshin OVA that’s generally considered the absolute pinnacle of anime. Plus have you seen what they’re doing next season? Some moe-blob nonsense that’s trying to imitate Lucky Star. Yeah Deen, you are one odd studio.
Right, back to the episode itself. I’m not sure on the historical context between many of the jokes in this episode. I mean, I still loled at the history of Nikujaga (and loled even harder at England’s furious reaction at his botched beef stew) but doing my standard wiki-ing of Hetalia events, I found out that was exactly how Nikujaga was created. The amount of things you learn from Hetalia. I’m sure there was also historical reference behind Italy’s womanising around the world (lecherous Italian armies maybe?) but tossing out explanations for every single joke in Hetalia might take away from the humour that still manages to be funny without historical context. I may be a history geek who wants Hetalia to explain every joke, but at the same time I can accept that it might take away from the humour of the situation. This is meant to be a comedy folks, not a history lesson. Not that you can’t learn a hell of a lot from Hetalia, so long as you remember to take the Hetaliased version of events with a pinch of salt.
That brings me along nicely to my next little point. It seems so long ago now but remember the amount of fuss and scandal that appeared when Hetalia was first released? I’m not just talking about the Koreans getting it banned, if you cared to trawl across some of the forums or comment sites you saw some tremendous outrage from those folk who just could not take a joke. Took this comment off Star Crossed Anime blog (an excellent blog even if the writer has a rather eccentric taste) and it shows how crazy people got over this anime.
This anime, representing Nations with opposed degrees of virility… Systematically humiliating one nation and not the others… for being disunited during the middle-ages? for being poor during the industrial revolution? tss… tss… It is very silly and very poisonous.
In my country (which is not Italy), it is characteristic of the lowest cultural level and the lowest ethical standards. I am surprised you even mention it in your blog.
This anime is seriously evil. Seriously.
What do we do next? We take another nation and we show the character as systemically effeminate episode after episode? Who? The French? The Russians? The Viet-Namese? The Canadians? The British? And we make fun of their past economic difficulties too, like famine, industrial pauperism, financial crisis? Tss….
Now obviously I don’t agree with nutters like this (I absolutely hate political correctness) but you do have to remember that this stuff actually happened. Arm yourself with the truth my readers. The thing is, I’ve rarely, if ever, some across a totally incorrect version of history of Hetalia. The writer clearly knows their stuff and has translated it into one of the wittiest comedies in recent years.
I should finish on a lighter note though. Anyone who is reading a post on Hetalia episode 34 clearly finds this anime funny and isn’t insulted by what it portrays. So lets finish off with yet another MAD, supplied by Monsturr last episode, because I just can’t get enough of Hetalia MADs. Them crazy Japanese have a hell of a lot of time on their hands to go making all these MADs. I’ve seen parodies for Hetalia for loads of series, although oddly enough I’ve yet to find a Cowboy Bebop or Neon Genesis crossover with Hetalia, which is rather odd. The best I’ve seen was the Ghost in the Shell version but I’m afraid that’s been taken down since. So I’m afraid you’ll just have to make do with a Hare+Guu crossover. Oh you poor things.