The second season draws to a close with more cross-country silliness and once again Canada makes out the worst.
What They Say
France drops by to visit Japan, who's as isolated as ever, and there's nothing in the world that's going to make the guy come out of his room to greet his charming visitor. Well, except maybe a cute kitty.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Some of the more interesting moments of the series is when the various characters visit each other in their home countries. Japan's at the point where it's about to achieve "cultural enlightenment" and France has come to visit him. Even his charms work there, though you could expect them to fall flat, as his showy style appeals to the women he sees. Japan is trying to hide from everything, though eventually he's drawn out into the world and even tries to pull off some of France's moves to little effect. France has quite the sense of humor though as he completely messes with Japan at times, leading him to an embarrassing situation or two.
Japan doesn't get just a visitor from France either as America has shown up to teach Japan a new game. The arrival of foreigners in Japan continues to be amusing since they stand out so much and the reactions of the people vary between wary but curious and somewhat openly flirtatious, though that's more with France. America introduces Japan to the game of table-turning, or a very basic version of the Ouija board, which doesn't exactly thrill Japan. But they get down to business and ask questions which ends up showing the naivety of Japan in some ways when dealing with the outside world. The game does turn to Japan opening up more to America though and they're slowly becoming better friends since Japan shows some emotions and deep thoughts with him. It's hard for Japan though, especially when you realize that there is the huge age difference between the two characters. It's an interesting period for Japan as he deals with the change from a closed country to one dealing with foreign countries and it's presented in a far too cute way here.
America and Japan have an amusing relationship in the present as well as America is doing his best to watch horror movies and not be scared since his reputation depends on it. He does enlist the help of Japan for this, which is amusing considering the differences in horror movies the two countries make, but it's another bonding moment for the two. His reputation doesn't survive in the slightest, at least with Japan, because he acts worse than a five year old seeing a slightly scary movie for the first time. Japan's response is appropriate as he gives him some video games to play that are scary in nature, but that just turns him into a horror freak of sorts. The cultural differences between the two when it comes to horror are really nicely highlighted.
Hetalia was a series that I don't think quite lived up to what you'd expect based on reading about it as I did awhile ago on Wikipedia. It does however work very well and is thoroughly enjoyable. A lot comes down to which characters you like and how their relationships go. Italy tended to be my favorite but I also enjoyed the portrayals of many of the countries. My favorite tended to be the Roman Empire in general, but the way it plays with history is simply fun. The final episode does a nice bit in touching on a few of the characters, including Holy Roman Empire when he and Italy go swimming naked, but it doesn't do much different than the rest of the series did. The third season really needs to be picked up as this one left me wanting more and more of it.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.