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DVD Review

DVD cover

Hetalia - Axis Powers
Complete Series 2


Starring (voice): Daisuke Namikawa, Hiroki Takahashi and Hiroki Yasumoto
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 12
Available 07 February 2011

Anyone who bought the first Hetalia disc will know what a truly odd show it is. Designed as a series of short vignettes, it stars anthropomorphised versions of the main protagonists in the Second World War.

Hetalia Axis Powers: Complete Series 2 is another set of twenty-six episodes and because, like some other show, they don’t start numbering the episodes from the beginning we have episodes twenty-seven to fifty-two.

For the second series the creators have pretty much abandoned putting a Japanese slant on the war, having set up their characters, full of cultural stereotypes, this season has more to do with Christmas than the war. When there are elements which might be about the war, the reference is so oblique you’re not sure if you’re just attributing allusions where none exist.

To describe each of the episodes would be a fruitless exercise, suffice it to say that they all last about five minutes, all have a couple of gag lines, some funny, some not so. Some elements are probably offensive to the more sensitive minds, where depictions of national traits are concerned, but then each is over fairly quickly.

The animation is simple, as it was designed to be watched online or even on a phone. The disc is clear and sharp with either an English DD 5.1 or Japanese DD 2.0 (with subs) audio track.

There are audio commentaries for episodes 31, 36, 42 and 46 from the English crew, but once the introductions are out of the way and some time is spent goofing around, it leaves little time to actually discover anything about the shows. There are three pieces to camera from the Japanese makers and actors, which once again show enthusiasm, but lack depth.

If you liked the first disc then you’ll be pleased to know that his is very much the same, I, however, found the joke wearing a little thin after the first twenty minutes.


Charles Packer

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