Welcome to “Rae’s Manga Blitz,” a new weekly feature. As a lover of most-things-manga, I am super happy to be launching a place to put my favorite titles, random reviews, scathing criticisms (of that which I do not enjoy), and hopefully get some comments from y’all telling me what you’re reading…or what you think about what I’m reading, lol. 😀
We’re going for quality over quantity, and focusing on one title per week. We’re sticking to new (or new-to-me!), popular, or awesome (IMO) titles. Nothing older than two years, for sure. As the long-time host of the Beacon Hill Anime Club, I completely understand that 2 yrs = light yrs behind in your reading, but we can only review what the library owns. That’s another way that comments would be helpful…tell me what you think the library should buy. If we can, we will! Also included are some fun weblinks for more info!
Author: Himaruya, Hidekaz
Audience: older teens (16+)
Genre: screwball comedy, (sorta) historical – extremely hysterical
Summary: “Get ready to brush up on world history with these handsome and hysterical personifications of the Axis Powers as they meet, become friends and form one of the most powerful alliances the world has ever seen!”
Rae’s Review: So, I had planned (and partially written) a long, extensive, exhaustive review of this series. I mean, there is so much going on here that needs to be described and explained and explored, right?!? And then I started thinking, nuh uh. If I say that it’s weirdly educational (with historical footnotes and everything!), someone is going to decide not to read it. Or, if I mention that the characters (i.e. countries) are all massive caricatures of themselves (Italy runs around offering everyone “PASTA!”), it might offend many. How about the fact that readers will either understand the jokes or they go flying so far over your head they’re in orbit?
There is no “explaining” Hetalia. It is a tour de force of manic manga madness. And I don’t say that lightly. What I really want to express about this series is that it is fun. It is not historically accurate (by a looooonnnnngggggg stretch) and it isn’t even really satire. Definitely bends satirically, but not with any particular point of view. The author is also not much of an apologist, which I really appreciate. There are insights to be had here, but this series *should not* be taken seriously. Srsly. Grab the first volume and see what you think. I think you’ll find it to be addictive fun…just (please!) don’t base any school reports on it.
Original Hetalia Website (in Japanese!): http://hetalia.com/index.htm
What Wikipedia will tell you about Hetalia…a lot, actually!
Stream Hetalia online at FUNimation!
Questions? Comments? Love it or hate it? Let us know!
Want to write your own manga review? Go for it. Send it to us and we may give you your own blog post.