Special relationships make up this chunk of episodes as we see the bonds that tie some of them together.
What They Say
A flashback into the past reveals the reasons why America might sometimes appear to be lacking in good taste. Also, the long and winding tale of Liechtenstein and Switzerland comes to an end.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It's amusing to watch the story of America and England continue to unfold in little ways. After the whole revolutionary war piece, it's nice to see a very young America that's learning its sense of taste from England, only to reveal that England has no taste itself so it's natural that America has none either. They're both just so gosh darned cute about it. The other background part that's nicely dealt with is seeing a young Switzerland and Lichtenstein together and how they were good friends, though it was Austria that was always off fighting (and losing) because he was born to fight. When Austria becomes part of the greater Germany side of things and starts following him, it causes quite the rift between the two and we see their very good friendship dissolve.
The rivalry we see between America and England in the World War II era is amusing to say the least. England does his level best to try and get America drunk so he can get information out of him since his big plan to get America to sit in his secret evil weapon, a cursed chair, failed so horribly after Russia sat in it and destroyed it. England doesn't seem to be able to hold his liquor though, which is rather amusing, as America just drinks on and on and on... All of it is just prelude to England literally taping the chair back together to try and use that as the big secret weapon. It's cute to see England so stuck on an idea so ridiculous while you have others such as America showing off some high tech airplanes to use in the war.
What I want more of though is the Germany and Italy material. We get a little bit early on when the Allies attack and Italy is ready to surrender (flap! flap! flap! flap! flap!) but thankfully there's a good bit more. It comes in the form of Germany's diary being discovered and his writings are positively hilarious as we see it acted out. It seems like everything is all about Italy and the kind of really wonky and weird things he does. Germany's focus on him is so intense that it's a wonder that Italy hasn't snapped. Of course, Italy is pretty oblivious so it makes sense. There's definitely an obsessive thing that Germany has about Italy. The best bit for me though comes when everyone is picking on Italy by hitting him and Germany has to continually come to his defense. Something about the whole thing just has me in stitches laughing.
We do finally get a special ending sequence which was a beautiful piece of work as it's sung by Germany with new lyrics from him as well. Having this even for a moment was priceless since it's just so perfect for him. The weaker part of this batch of episode involves the Christmas segment where the Allies attack the Axis on the island (again) but everything goes all hunky-dory for a bit because everyone believes in the jolly man. I generally dislike Christmas themed episodes in series to begin with so I wasn't surprised this one didn't do much for me overall, though having the apparent character of Finland as Santa does make it work in its own weird way. Overall, there's a lot of fun in this batch as the series continues to move on and the war between the Axis and Allies builds up in different and often silly ways.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.