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Hetalia’s Pilot Episode — Moving Crack

Hetalia‘s first episode was finally made available for viewing and loyal fans did not waste any time streaming it off animate.tv and seeing for themselves how good Hetalia would be if it’s moving. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of Hetalia and the troubles it met after the announcement of its airing, but to those who are new to the whole Hetalia affairs (a rather steamy affair, indeed!), here is a little primer.

Axis Powers Hetalia started as a webcomic published in Himaruya Hidekaz’s blog. It’s immense popularity allowed it to be published as a manga and it earned even more followers. The series is set in World War timeline where the countries involved are represented by human characters. Each person!country’s personality is loosely based on the stereotype characteristics the original country has during WWII, according to Himaruya’s view. The word Hetalia itself is a play on words “hetare” (useless) and “Italia” to make a pun regarding Italy’s attitude during World War II.

Some readers regard the webcomic as cracky and almost satirical. Some, though, discover lesser known facts regarding WWII and some countries by reading between the lines and looking beyond the comedy. Because of certain issues, like the characterization of the countries and other historical facts, this series earned a lot of criticism. Some of the complaints and issues caused the upcoming anime to be pulled out of being aired in local television channels and was instead brought to the public through mobile download and streaming.

Anyway, back to my initial topic. The first episode of Hetalia has been streamed and it’s supposed to follow the published manga form (the main historical arc, if I’m not mistaken). There are over 40 countries mentioned in Hetalia, but only the few are recurring, most of them were those who took part in WWII.  Since I’ve been waiting for this to be available for viewing even more than I’ve been waiting for Gundam OO episode 16, here are some highlights of the five-minute pilot episode, including the cast of characters that were initially mention. I’m also thankful that there’s a Chibitalia insert! Really, an episode wouldn’t be complete without that adorable little boy…girl…boy…

Warning: IMAGE HEAVY, but crappy screencaps.

As in the manga, the series starts with the “world meeting”. These are the countries mentioned (and I’m including their seiyuu, which is one reason why I’m watching this~).

America - Konishi Katsuyuki

America – Konishi Katsuyuki

The weird thing is, I don’t remember Belgium mentioned in this scene. And Belgium also doesn’t have a seiyuu listed in ANN ^^;;.

Spain – Inoue Go

Finland (L) and Sweden (R) also do not have voice actors yet, but it’s nice to see them here being housewifey cooperative. <3

Japan – Takahashi Hiroki

Switzerland – Paku Romi

England – Sugiyama Noriaki

France – Onosaka Masaya

Russia – Takato Yasuhiro

China – Kaida Yuki <3

Lithuania – Takeuchi Ken

Belarus and Latvia also do not have seiyuu yet.

Estonia – Kousaka Atsushi

Poland – Tanaka Kazutada

Greece, one of my favorites, also doesn’t have a seiyuu yet ;_;.

Germany – Yasumoto Hiroki

Italy – Namikawa Daisuke

And after that rather rushed introduction, there was a glimpse of the start of the main historical arc, mainly the part with Germany in the forest, spying on a box of tomatoes. Unfortunately, it was cut right in the middle of that so exciting scene and we’re given, well, not really something less: CHIBITALIA.

Chibitalia is the most adorable arc ever. It seems to take on another story, but this time, concentrating on Italia Veneziano’s youth in the company of his grandfather Roma Antiqua (ancient Rome) and his older brother Italia Romano. Of course, there are other characters, all of them trying their best to win cute little Chibitalia’s heart: France, Austria, Hungary, the Holy Roman Empire (who seems really taken by cute little Chibitalia), etc.

Chibitalia – Kanada Aki

Chibitalia and Grandpa Ancient Rome bonding moments.

Chibitalia and his brother (Romano), the Holy Roman Empire  and France.

Chibitalia being chased by the Holy Roman Empire who was voiced by Konno Jun.

All in all, I’m glad Studio DEEN managed to preserve what’s adorable in this series: the art. The voices are all apt, too. Well, that could be because the same cast was used in the drama CDs released previously. The colors seem a little too light, but that could be because it’s the nature of the manga, too. I personally am looking forward to future episodes (especially the Chibitalia parts!) and I hope they’ll stick to the story line Himaruya made.

This series is not only for history folks. If you like a good laugh, a smart and entertaining way to study history and a cast of the most adorable characters, watch Hetalia, and either laugh and learn from it or take it with a grain of salt.

As for me, I wish the Philippines will end up in the series somewhere. We were in WWII, too! D:

References:

Axis Powers Hetalia Official Website

Axis Powers Hetalia @ ANN

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  1. January 28, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hey.. are u sure Nihon is also Takahashi Hiroki? it sounds so deep for him…

    As for me, I wish the Philippines will end up in the series somewhere. We were in WWII, too! D: <– yeah! I hope Indonesia and Australia too.. also Dutch.. XDD and my OTP would be DutchxIndonesia.. XDDD;;

  2. January 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Yup. I’m sure Takahashi Hiroki is Japan :). He has done roles with deeper voices before, like Rayne in Neo Angelique ~Abyss~ and Rikugou in Shounen Onmyouji XD;.

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