Who needs a parachute when there's soft, fluffy snow to land on? Not Russia!
What They Say
Forget what you learned in history class, and imagine all the nations of the world as guys on an inappropriate reality show. Pledge allegiance to your favorite superpower in Hetalia Axis Powers!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing Russia more into the show is certainly working to good comedic effect right from the start here. While the skydiving aspect is amusing, the area that got me laughing the most is when he returns home and all the little surrounding countries greet him while quivering in fear. They're all afraid of what he'll do, though Latvia goes in the wrong direction by listing all the things that they're afraid of having happened, including the amusing idea that someone would call Russia a drunken version of France. Latvia, Estonia and the others are very cute as they have all the very royal and regal military style uniforms but are so uniformly scared of Russia that they don't know what to do with themselves. They're not chibi but they're so close with how cute they are with their expressions.
There's an amusing Japanese centric episode in this batch as England goes to visit Japan and learns some of his culture. Visiting the area he lives in, learning of the Tengu Chair, eating his food and taking a hot spring moment are all good traditional things that helps to ease some of the cultural barriers, especially as England is pretty good with all the strangeness. Where it goes amusing is that there's other people in the hot spring, notably a large kappa, but it's something where England befriends him and learns about how modern society is turning the existence of Kappa's and their kind into superstitions. Japan is confused by all of it since he doesn't see anything and just goes on about how he lives alone. The ending is done slightly Japanese style since Japan gets to sing it, which is a nice plus after Germany's bit before.
The segment that drove me over the edge in laughing was the World War Academy piece where we see the gang living as students in the academy. Since it gets to mix things up a bit with the diverse cast, it has an extra bit of flair and fun about it. The focus of it deals with Christmas though as it showcases the different cultures celebrate it and the different dates on which it's celebrated. Italy gets scared during some of it which is endearingly cute since they do almost sound like ghost stories. Each of them are pretty unique in their own ways and there's a lot to like about each of them, though I think Finland kind of steals it a bit just because it sounds like fun with the saunas.
It's all manner of wrong with Roman Empire arrives in Germany's bedroom, but it goes even worse when he says he's there just to see his grandchild, Italy. Poor Germany gets so freaked out at Italy being in his bed (again) and to have the old man there as well only makes it worse. There's some amusing back story to everything and Roman Empire gets some great material in general, especially as he describes his life with just a few choice words. I've really enjoyed the Roman Empire material the most when it's drawn into the show so having this batch cap off with a nice bit of history is a real plus, especially when he gets all buddy buddy with Germany against Germany's wishes. Hetalia does more of the same overall with this batch of episodes as the comedy is just right while balancing against the actual character drama pieces.
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.