When the Axis characters work on getting in shape, they have to give up a lot - and learn a lot about themselves.
What They Say:
When Japan complains about feeling run-down, Germany puts him on an exercise routine and makes him change his diet. Later, in the cutest thing ever, all the guys are portrayed by kitties. KITTIES!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When the show shifts back to the original main trio of characters, I do find myself smiling more. So when this batch opens with Japan hanging out with Italy and Germany, there's a lot to like. Japan ends up getting put through some intense training as Germany wants him in tip top shape and ends up not liking just about everything that Japan does when it comes to food and exercise. With Japan being fairly old and not even remembering how many birthday's he's separated, having his medical report come across wrong and being put into such a regimen is definitely fun to watch. Much as is watching Italy narrate a small story about cats who have nationalistic aspects to them, taking the whole Hetalia gag to another level.
Germany gets an interesting episode in addition to this as he's got a problem after dealing with Japan in that he's unable to have a beer in his presence now. His older brother can't believe it, nor can anyone else, and they do their best to push it on him and get him to drink. I think this is the first time we've seen his older brother and he definitely is amusing in how he deals with his younger brother and the statements about how beer is simply the blood that runs through a good German's veins. What makes the whole ordeal even worse, especially for Germany, is that Italy is the one that points out the foolishness of it all in how they're approaching their diet and exercise changes. And that only reinforces what they're doing since they can't be seen backing down, especially from something that Italy has pointed out.
The focus on Germany is particularly strong in this batch as we also see him dealing with Austria a bit as he's still essentially freeloading at his place. Austria's aloof style continue to be very amusing when played in contrast to Germany and his brash outwardness, especially as he starts to have an influence on Germany and you see him getting all serene and sophisticated. Having France show up in the midst of an argument they're having puts them on the same side for a bit and it only serves to once again highlight a side of Austria that he doesn't want seen, especially as it was England who sent him off there to spy. Austria can be so decidedly cute at times that it's too much.
With Hetalia World Series having mostly caught up to the actual airings, we'll be doing this show every four episodes going forward. This batch of episodes is pretty good and recaptures a lot of what I liked about the original season with the stronger focus on the Axis characters and the comedy that ensues from their stereotyped personalities. The silly material is in full force and there are some cute little nods tossed in as well. Germany makes out the best as we see him suffer in so many ways, but he also gets a lot of jabs directed at him, particularly from his own countrymen. Hetalia's still a good deal of fun and episodes like these remind me why.
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.