30 CommentsHetalia Axis Powers, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

Hetalia Axis Powers episode 45

Well that was a long wait wasn’t it. That’s what happens when an episode gets released earlier than scheduled. The original pleasure of getting the next episode early gives way to the extra-long wait for the next episode to arrive. All things considered, I’d like my episodes to be released on time. No later. No earlier. What goes up must come down folks.

So this episode was an entire episode about the relationship between Liechtenstein and Switzerland (why do I always start off by telling you what happened in the episode. You’ve seen the bloody thing, you already know) and you know what’s remarkable? It worked. An entire episode of cuteness and it worked. I know, I can hardly believe it myself. I think the reason is because instead of the show simply playing the characters off each other doing the same cute stuff over and over again, it got straight back the history aspect of their relationship. Switzerland takes in Liechtenstein, expecting nothing in return and simply out of his own goodwill, it makes for a charming story. I know I said the relationship between the two countries could be described as big Swiss taking care of itty bitty Liech but I didn’t know the extent of the history and how much goodwill the Swiss apparently had towards Liechtenstein. It’s cute, it worked and I had a big soppy grin plastered across my face by the end of the episode, and this is coming from a guy who’s usually oblivious to cuteness.

Something was bugging me throughout the episode though. Do these female voice actors take helium so they can reach that pitch? Liechtenstein is voiced by good old Kugi Rie who also voices Shana, Taiga etc.  Normal pitch voice generally. I can’t see how she is capable of reaching that level without some sort serious amplification. If not, then are there people in Japan who actually sound like that? Do they do it to impress men or do they naturally sound like that? Seriously, try to go that high yourself. I obviously can’t try because I’m a guy and have a deep sexy Pavarotti-esque voice but any ladies out there give it a shot. Any dub actor who is given the task of voicing Liechtenstein has my full sympathy.

Since there’s really very little to talk about with regards to the actual episode at hand, I’m going to bring this post around to a subject I’ve been wanting to cover with Hetalia. licencing. Hetalia sells well. Very well. I’m a big geek and check the dvd sales every week (Otaku are still buying Endless Eight) and Hetalia constantly makes the charts. If it was released outside Japan it would also sell. It’s got hot guys, an ingenious concept and a solid fanbase. However with all the controversy that surrounded this series you’d have to wonder whether anyone would dare touch it. It’s not just Koreans, there are people out there from every country who genuinely think this show is dangerous. They’re all twats and we know that, but they could be a potential barrier to a release.

Totally unrelated topic now but I strongly recommend you to listen to this weeks ANNCast. The ex-head of marketing at Geneon explains the clusterfuck that was the anime industry a few years ago. I was tempted to make an entire post pushing readers to listen to it but decided to simply pimp it in other episodic posts. Lets just say it’s the most amazing piece I’ve ever read/listened to about anime since…ever. No really.

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30 Comments

  1. blogger
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    I don’t know, but I preferred the interaction when it was on the comic better… weird, I know.
    Still, the interactions were adorable this time, even though I’m not a complete fan of these two.

    Those [insert swear word of choice here] idiots who think that Hetalia is dangerous! I mean, it’s not like it has the potential to start WW3, right? Right? I understand why some people find it offensive, but when things are serious, sometimes a good thing is to find the humour in it.

  2. heyheyho
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t very excited about this episode at all, but I love all characters in Hetalia, and you are right, it worked.
    And the animation was a lot better than usual, let’s hope they give a better use for it in the future. Like in the movie.A whooole movie of Hetalia with good animations… *sight*
    / daydreams.

    Ah, and the next 3 coming episodes are going to be SO GOOD. nghhhhhh

    -Trap!France annoying little!England, and being fabulous in general
    -LIKE OMGAWD POLAND TO THE MAX
    -OMG PONIES
    -America celebrates Englands death (not really)
    -Japan being an airhead.
    -Did I mention Trap!France?
    / fangirl.

    …Is anyone else scared of Liechtenstein’s big green soulless eyes?

  3. heyheyho
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    @ blogger
    Yes, I liked it more in the manga, too.
    Ok, I prefer all Hetalia in manga, but still.

    “WW3- THE NEW RISE OF PRUSSIA!1!” just popped in my head…

  4. Posted December 4, 2009 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    I JUST FOUND A BOOK ON LIECHTENSTEIN, IN GERMAN, ON MY BOOKSHELF. WHY DOES MY FAMILY HAVE THESE THINGS? I DON’T KNOW EITHER. MUST REMEMBER TO ASK.

    Anyway, yes, I thought that Hetalia pulled off the moe thing rather well in this episode. But I still hink I’d like to see some more Axis powers soonish. We haven’t had a nice stupid Italy=Angry Germany episode in a while. As much as I enjoyed the Russia and his Sisters set.

    @heyheyho: If I ever see a newspaper headline with that on it, I’ll know to run very far away. Prussia taking over the world= last thing we need. And yes,a Hetalia movie…like, a two hour long Hetalia movie…two hours of France’s hot voice and Russia’s evilness!

    …and, you know, the other coutries too. Like that one that looks like America…what’s his name again? XD

  5. ('''\_(O_O)_/''')
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I am Korean and i kinda thought that this show was kinda out of line too before watching it. the Wikipedia bios made the series sound massively pro-axis power and pro-WWII Japan. But if u watch it, it isn’t at all. Perhaps it makes fun of the Allies way to much but hey! when the victors write history, they usually overemphasize or exaggerate how awesome they are and how low the losers were. This gave a reversed view that like Gundam points out that neither side is right or wrong.

  6. mimi
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Haha, I know how you feel about the voice! Actually I think some women in Japan do sound like that. My Japanese teacher was telling us how men and women speak and she did this really deep voice for men and this unbelievably high pitched voice for women XD

  7. Posted December 4, 2009 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    @blogger

    I’ve always, always, ALWAYS preffered an anime to a manga (well, except maybe Love Hina but even that’s pushing it). I’ve been meaning to write a post as to why one day but I’ve never got around to it.

    @heyheyho

    gg are releasing subbed versions of the DVD release which means far better quality videos. I’ve never downloaded them but you should check them out to see how much better they look

    @ksfwolfe

    Yeah I’d quite like to see the stars of the show return. Hopefully they’ll leave Switzerland and Liechtenstein alone now. While this episode did work I would like my uber-laughter back plz.

    @(”’\_(O_O)_/”’)

    The thing about Hetalia is that it doesn’t care who wins or loses, it takes the piss out of each side equally. It’s all done it good humour with no underlying message and that’s part of the beauty of the series.

    @mimi

    I’d like to hear one of these permanently helium-induced women one time that’s not in an anime. The only live-action Japanese I’ve ever seen is Seven Samurai and that’s hardly much use when looking for how Japanese women sound today…

  8. luffyluffy
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Am I the only one who hated the episode?

    Ugh =3=

  9. heyheyho
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    @ Scamp
    Oh, I already downloaded those from the first time they came.
    I am talking about the original ones.
    The animation quality.

    @ luffyluffy
    I had to tell the mantra “you like all the characters, you like all the characters…” inside of my head while I first saw it.

  10. Posted December 4, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “Helium-induced Japanese female voices”(!). LOL! I believe that lovely helium quality is seen as being feminine over in Japan. I’m female with a nice low truck driver’s voice (like Romi Paku, aka Switzerland), so no helium for me I guess.

    I was okay with this ep, though I think when they concentrate an entire ep just on one or two characters it’s not as good as when the whole menegerie(sp?) is in there.

    Will try and listen to the ANN podcast when I get a chance.

  11. Humanity_Cat
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Jan Suzukawa…but I thought it was cute. :)

    And oh my gosh, I totally know what you mean, Scamp! Whenever I hear Liechtenstein’s voice….I always wonder. o.O

    Niyah, I wish they’d have stuff in America. :(

  12. randomanon
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Well, Hetalia manga managed to have a Polish version (seriously, Poland is cool).

    But yeah, way too many people will get butthurt over it, am not sure if it should move further.

  13. Posted December 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Sorry eveyone. I usually love to reply to your comments but my minds drawing a blank at what to reply with. I guess an episode where so little happens makes it difficult to come up with stuff to say

    @Jan Suzukawa

    I asked a friend who’s live in Japan for a while and he said the higher the pitch the more polite you are. And when you consider how much emphasis Japanese society place on politeness it’s no wonder some people sound helium filled

  14. blissfullynaive
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    @Scamp: I’m glad you liked this episode haha. xD
    I really love these two characters, their relationship and history. Quite a charming story, indeed. As for Hetalia licensing, i don’t think i’d want that now. I can almost imagine people making issues out of it. OTL

    But as what randomanon said, Poland is cool because i heard it is releasing a Polish version there.

    @blogger: Their interaction in the manga has this charm, i agree. But i like the anime too. :D

    @heyheyho: OMG REALLY? Trap!France and OMG POLAND?!! FFFF YES! :D (iam seriously
    way behind lj news because of school.. >_> *crai)
    HAHAHA.. Prussia.. in WW3? xDDD Let’s add a sprinkle of Sealand then!

    @kswolfe: A Liechtenstein book? That sounds awesome! We don’t have books like that.. ;__;
    Haha.. I seriously thought you forgot who Estonia is and tried describing him as someone who looks like America. xDDD
    So sorry, Canada. OTL

    @scamp: Yeah, i think this is the last of Liech & Swiss stories. Except if they add that itty bit about Liech and England playing soccer, and Italy visiting them. Swiss shows up more in some comics too, but not with Liech, iirc.

    @luffyluffy: Aww.. D: Hopefully, Germany will show up next episode. I’m sure you’d love that~! xD

  15. blissfullynaive
    Posted December 4, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Thy people of bokutachi no blog, worry not! For thy next episode will once again have France and England’s hilarious interactions! OTL I fail at this..

    Next episode will be awesome because France is funny and he is <3.

  16. heyheyho
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    …And a little of the classic “Useless Italy = Angry Germany” scenario.
    So even better! :D
    *already heard the audio*

  17. blogger
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    @heyheyho: Trap!France, Young!England and Poland… hearing the news like, totally made my day!
    ~Goes off to find a random Lithuania to bug.

  18. Tinytalias
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 3:48 am | Permalink

    Actually, I heard that FUNimation was considering licensing Hetalia early on, but decided to reject it due to the title and its apparent BL reputation. And it wasn’t the “Axis Powers” part that they found offensive, but “Hetalia” (which they apparently considered on par with an actual racial slur). It’s rather silly, really, when there are “better” reasons the series could have been passed up for.

    Though the title did appear on their poll for new titles, but speculation is that it was just added on there (like “Sailor Moon”, which FUNi had no stake in) for marketing research purposes. If they do wind up reconsidering and getting it, it should be…interesting to see how it’s handled.

    I can’t wait to see the final few episodes, though hopefully there will be a season 3 once volume 3 of the manga comes out (and we get less recycled crap like the “island”, but imagine the horror if the movie was 80 minutes of THAT!).

  19. Posted December 5, 2009 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    @blissfullynaive

    Maybe part of the reason I liked the episode was because I had such low expectations for a Liech dominated episode. Ah well, I enjoyed and was it not said that ‘he who enjoys, wins’

    @Tinytalias

    Not surprised that it got turned down for potentially racist content but because of the name Hetalia? That’s really bizarre. It should be a really marketable product. Any show that has BL vibes while never actually heading down the road of BL generally does well. It suckers in girls while never scaring any of the more ‘innocent’ away. We’ll see I suppose but if Funi has passed on it for now then that’s it’s greatest chance of being liscenced gone.

    In one way I would like a season three because there’s always more you can do with the Hetalia characters. On the other hand…I’d kinda like to finish blogging Hetalia one day. A great journey is only great when you’ve completed it.

  20. luffyluffy
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    BUT HE DOESNT D:< GOLDEN CATTERPILLER

  21. ('''\_(O_O)_/''')
    Posted December 5, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    oh i see that make sense… ^_^

  22. blissfullynaive
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I’d want to see a season three, too. But still no news, as of now. :(

    Anyway, The Netherlands has a face now! :D (i bet some of you saw this already xD)

    http://blog-imgs-24-origin.fc2.com/h/i/m/himaruya/fifa2010.jpg
    The Netherlands and Cameroon.

    Woah~ Netherlands look.. awesome! *o*

  23. Mei
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I love Hetalia to bits and am quite impressed with the way that it makes fun of all the countries almost equally in a non-malicious way. Can’t put the way that Hetalia depicts history into words, maybe moe+interesting+I donno, but I’m totally addicted :D

    The mangaka seems to know their stuff most of the time, and doesn’t seem to give Japan any special treatment most of the time, but sometimes, they do disappoint. Like in the strips about the Great Depression, the mangaka said that Japan had no colonies at the time…not true… And the strip about Japan asking Korea that if he hates Japan so much then why does he act so much like Japan, and then Korea answers that “tsundere originated in Korea”. Totally awesome and funny joke…if not for the history behind it. The mangaka seems completely unaware of the Japanese colonization of Korea (or other places for that matter), and how Japan brutally suppressed Korean culture in an effort to make the Koreans act, speak and think like the Japanese (the Japanese did this to its other colonies as well).

    Even so, I think it was innocent ignorance, not some evil propaganda like some people seem to think. Heck, some of the stuff that anti-hetalia people say on blogs and forums are quite a bit more dangerous/malicious/racist/whatnots than Hetalia will ever be. But yeah…I guess it’ll be a while before we get to see a North American release of Hetalia :/ I had hoped that Funi would license it T_T

  24. heyheyho
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    @ blissfullynaive

    Maaan that link doesn’t work… D:
    I want to see them!
    I just saw one of Italy saying “the baloon is your friend!” like in Captain Tsubasa XD

  25. Posted December 9, 2009 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    @Mei

    Two mistakes? That’s far less than your average school history text book will have, and by god are they the most biased things you can buy. No really, if anything I’d say Hetalia is FAR less biased then most history books you’ll pick up. As for Hetalia-haters, I’ve got a post on the way where I specifically trying to target some of those people and incite them to respond. I’m not sure if it’ll work but it’s worth a try.

  26. blissfullynaive
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    @heyheyho:
    http://himaruya.blog61.fc2.com/blog-entry-689.html
    It’s really weird, even though that link doesn’t work sometimes. Just refresh or click it again and again, i guess. xD

    Oh, and i saw your comment at the LJ comm, btw. :3 /random

    @Mei: True, some haters’ blog posts and comments are a lot scary and racist than Hetalia. :(

  27. Posted December 9, 2009 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    @blissfullynaive

    I lol-ed at the picture once I realised what it was referring to. Poor Japan is going to get his ass whooped

  28. Mei
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    @Scamp

    Those 2 are just examples. I’ve spotted a couple more. Plus I don’t know much about European history beyond England and Western Europe, so there’s probably more. But I’m not exactly looking at Hetalia as a history class, nor am I expecting God-like objective omniscience :D But yeah, with all the biased history books out there, some people’s reactions on Hetalia is just…odd.

  29. randomanon
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    On the finally revealed Netherlands/Holland face, the fandom joked his physical resemblance to Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen.

    http://community.livejournal.com/hetalia/5056226.html?thread=101101026#t101101026

    “You’re a… Dutchman!” XD

  30. blissfullynaive
    Posted December 10, 2009 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Oh, i forgot to mention the connection of those four in the picture. I guess you guys have figured it out anyway, but i’ll just mention it haha.

    The four of them are in the E group in the World Cup.

    Poor, poor Japan. xDD Still, he looks so cute being formal + scared and all. buhhyyoo~ so cute.

    @randomanon: Hahaha.. i lol’d at that thread so much. As much as i hate Twilight/Edward, that was a funny crossover. xDD

    But i hope that joke dies soon.. .__. Because i feel sorry for Netherlands. ^^”

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