Sometimes the funniest thing about a show can be the off moments, like cat versions of Hetalia.
What They Say:
A mysterious encounter in the falling snow only leads to more mysteries. How mysterious, right? Later, Italy gets punched in the stomach and Russia eats the end of the episode! Also - CAT STAMPEDE.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hetalia at times has managed to do the soft and serious moments but they've been few and far between. The opening of this batch of episodes has a curious encounter happening in the middle of a snowy day along a bridge with a young boy standing off to the side with a cat. The child-like nature of it is interesting because you wonder where they're going to go with it, but it's all just fluff in the end as part of the various endings that you can't actually use for anything. Thankfully, we get some good physical comedy thrown into the mix when it gets back to the core cast as we see Russia giving Italy a good punch to the gut (does he need a reason? No) and general silliness. It's all meaningless in the end and it sort of makes you feel like you didn't get anything fun out of the episode overall.
Thankfully, things start getting better with episode thirty-eight as it opens and ends with a little musical skit by Japan, Germany and Italy which is entirely too adorable. I don't know that I'd want to see an entire musical episode, but I'm sure it's in the works somewhere in someone's mind. One of the stranger but more amusing parts of the series has Japan and America together at Wac Burger where they're confronted with what it is that makes a perfect order of French fries. It's these little gags that I love to see mixed into things, especially becuase you know that America is so totally fixated on things being just right when it comes to his food. The raunchy side of the episode comes with Prussia though who opens his segment by taking a wicked leak and completely messing with Hungary over the whole thing since he has a torn piece of his clothes that he whizzed on that he's trying to get on her. Of course, he forgets that Hungary is a she and it turns into a really, really awkward scene.
The realization of what he's done over the years hits home, though Hungary is amusing as she tries to play them off as just oddly developed muscles. It's nice to see Prussia not be a complete jerk over it and even Hungary starts to see him a little differently after this, though it doesn't exactly last all that long, especially as she ends up working for Austria for awhile. It's a very cute piece overall and it's nice to see Hungary step up and act like she is. Thankfully, we get more time with Italy and Germany here, albeit too short considering I think they're the best things in the show, as Italy borrows Germany's car which completely ticks him off. Even more so when he finds out that Italy has... modified it. Just the idea of it is entirely too scary and Germany's reaction is perfectly priceless.
Hetalia hits up some good material here overall but the endings gags that they've been playing with continue to be the weak points in the series. It's nice to see them continuing to explore other characters but the way they're doing it hasn't worked well. The entire bit with Hungary and Prussia is spot on though and added a bit of sexuality to the show that simply hasn't been there in general. When it focuses on the big characters, who do make some good appearances here, it just feels like it's more fun and enjoyable. The musical bit demands a whole musical episode and just the idea of Italy modding a car, a German car no less, is priceless.
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.