Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 15

Tumblr link here.

Aww, what a lovely episode! Like I said in my post on episode 5, I do like the episodes of Hetalia which focus on France’s development, and don’t just have him as the scarily affectionate rose-obsessed nudist gag character who doesn’t have any concept of personal space.

Today’s episode stars a 19 year old American tourist named Lisa, who suddenly feels the urge to travel to France. She winds up in Mont Saint Michel, and takes a photograph of big brother France himself. He rushes up to her, introduces himself…

France, you forgot about adoring wine and haute cuisine and dissing British food.


…and offers to be her tour guide, because she reminds him of someone. 

Hmm.

France then regales Lisa with the story of the Hundred Years’ War, and asks her if she ever heard of Joan of Arc, the peasant with the divine message from God. Within four months, she turned the tide of the war, crowned a new king, and got back Orléans from English rule. 

…And then she was captured by Burgundians, given over to the English, tried for heresy and then burned at the stake. I distinctly remember one of the blurbs on Stephen Clarke’s ‘haha I’m English and live in France so let’s take the piss out of the French’ books as saying:Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers.’ However, I’m quite sure it wasn’t to do with any country per se, just the Catholic Church in general at the time. And there’s this

France describes Joan as being blown in by a whirlwind, and that she was the miraculous kind of girl who only shows up once in every era. I quite like this, actually. There’s lots of fanfics and art detailing France and Joan as having a tragic romance, but my personal headcanon is that France merely admired her a lot for what she did to help his country, and will always raise a glass of wine for her on her Saint feasting day (May 30th). 

“The stronger one’s patriotism is, the more often they end their lives in a tragic way.”

True, true.

He also says: “When I saw you, I thought God does wonderful things. So be happy this time around. Now, my wish has come true.” Then France disappears. You know, because nations can teleport like that. (It explains how they travel so quickly to other countries, I suppose. Like Italy offering to drive Japan home, even if that never really made any sense at all.)

So… Lisa is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc? I see. Is she a gymnast by day, who turns into a phantom thief by night, and has a little angel companion? (My god, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne brings back a ton of memories.)

Anyway, Lisa goes back to the US, and tells her mother about her time in France, including the bizarre ghost man who walked her up the castle and then disappeared after dropping a rather mysterious message about Joan of Arc. One could also mention that France referred to himself as actually being there during the Hundred Years War, rather than just being some random historical enthusiast, but hey. I guess in the Hetalia universe, the regular humans know how to keep mum if they come into contact with a personified country. It turns out that America and Tony are eating hamburgers nearby, and overheard their conversation. Brilliant.

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 14

LJ link here.
Tumblr link here.

So it turns out that Hetalia: The Beautiful World was only delayed for one week instead of two…? It’s not 100% clear, but episode 14 has just been released, so let’s take a look at that!

Oh, also, I did see the Buon San Valentino extra episode, and was promptly filled with so much Ger/Ita squee that all I can say is GO WATCH IT NOW.

Anyway, back to today’s (potentially leaked?) episode! We start off with a skit about some of the nations arriving early for the next world meeting. Then it devolves into a gag about each country’s walking speed. Apparently China and Austria have the slowest walking speed, and Germany, the Netherlands and Japan are the fastest. Even after only a few minutes of walking, Austria is gasping with the effort to keep up with Germany. So he asks him to bend down so he can use him as a stool for a few moments to recover. Ah, yes. Directly corresponding to some obscure historical event, I’m sure.

You know, I messaged my friend the scarecrow last night saying there was a distinct lack of Prussia in recent episodes of Hetalia: The Beautiful World. (Well, okay, he’s in episodes 11 and 8 for a bit, but still.) So imagine my joy when he shows up here!

Also, I’m watching the episode in Spanish subs since English isn’t available yet, and sometimes I’ve had to use Google Translate, since my Spanish is very rusty.

Yes, Google. Prussia meant ‘sensual/sexy’ poses instead of ‘awesome’ poses that will help you with international relations.

What? I found it amusing.

Anyway, Germany presumably decides against it, and the two brothers start training together. And both of them are pretty muscular. I mean, damn. Hetalia: The Beautiful World. First Australia, and now Germany and Prussia. Germany gives up, and Prussia laughs at him.

Turkey (who’s standing there with Austria for some reason) comments that you couldn’t find a different pair of brothers if you tried. Austria replies that he disagrees, and then we see that both Prussia and Germany have folded up their uniforms ridiculously neatly, whereas Italy’s just thrown his pants on the floor and Austria’s left a coat on the chair. Huh.

We then skip to Germany and Prussia spying on an American camp. They infiltrate one tent, and then an American soldier walks in, so Prussia hides in a trunk (with a stash of pin-up magazines), and Germany attempts to be a convincing American. He accomplishes this by talking in a loud, jovial voice and proclaiming that he loves hamburgers. Oh, and flashing this:

Is that Microsoft WordArt…?

(By the way, this method can also be applied to convincing somebody that you’re British. Talk in a grumbling tone about the weather, and proclaim how much you love tea and crumpets.)

But it works for Germany!

Oh, and Prussia’s expression here just cracks me up. Of course, like any good big brother, Prussia won’t ever stop reminding Germany of his most embarrassing moments in the scene after this. And the episode ends there. Oh, wonderful.

Well, that was a hilarious and mostly Prussia-centric episode. It made my day.

Now back to studying! orz

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 13

Link here.

Well, today’s episode is based around Christmas! Even though Christmas itself is now nearly four months behind us, and we still have a full eight months to go before the run-up to Christmas 2013. Oh well. Like I said in the post on episode 12, there was once a Christmas episode in the 2009 anime which aired in August, so eh. Just skip it when it comes out on DVD and save it for December.

The episode begins with America being Santa for a change. In typical heroic fashion, he bursts in through the windows. One child catches his attention and asks him if Santa can get deliver anything he wants. America answers ‘Of course!’ and also name-drops that all his supply comes from some strange cousin of Amazon. Specifically, Anzoon.co.pj. Hilarious. Just like WacDonalds, eh?
Finland now seems to be in a bit of a pickle because three of his Santas have gone missing. This means he can’t deliver all the presents on time, and complains to England about it. England suggests asking Sweden to help, but Finland says: “Are you trying to turn Christmas into a traumatic event!?” Ha.

England phones Canada and tells him of their predicament, but Canada is too distracted by Kumajirou to be much help. America then jumps in through the window (England naturally yells at him for breaking it), and says he can take on the work of the three missing Santas all by himself. 

Sealand is then seen skipping through the snow, and talking about how the smallest, cutest nation in the world must have gotten a lot of presents. D’aww.

…Also, Sealand has some of the worst animation I’ve seen thus far in The Beautiful World. It looks like a frigging shadow puppet being bobbed up and down against a white screen. I guess that part of the budget went to composing music to go with the song Sealand sings in the original comic strip, but god damn is that animation bad. Look at his left leg, the one held completely straight. It doesn’t move at all, it just jerks up and down. His right leg, the one bent at an angle, in one frame is on the ground and on the other, it’s kind of doing that Irish dancing thing where you curl one leg around the other and point your feet a little. (I don’t know the technical term, sorry!) I thought this was because I was watching a lagging raw episode, but nope, it looks like that on Funimation’s broadcast as well.

Anyway, Sealand catches up to his guardian (not Sweden, just some guard of Sealand), and he admits he forgot to buy a present for Sealand this year. He’ll place an order through Anzoon.co.pj later on, though. And of course, Sealand starts crying very loudly and phones up England, who wonders what all the fuss is about.

We then cut to France, who is enjoying a glass of wine and his view over the River Seine. However, his time of tranquility is ruined by a loud phone call, so he picks it up and just yells down the line at whoever thought to call at this hour. England gives as good as he gets, though, and of course, we get another heated argument between France and England, to the soundtrack of Sealand wailing as Finland tries to calm him down.

Then we see Germany and Japan and Italy flying in a sleigh, and throwing gifts down. Italy has put pasta into his presents, Germany has put in toys and stollen, and Japan has put in games and pretty boxes that are ‘an example of excessive Japanese packaging.’

So, I’m guessing Germany and co., were the Santas that went missing? That plot thread isn’t really expanded upon. I know the episodes are only five minutes long, but surely they could have wrapped that up a bit better. That and the atrocious animation on Sealand aside, I did like the humour here and there, and it followed the original strip well whilst adding in some of its own touches.

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 12

LJ link here.

Today’s Hetalia short is a Halloween episode. In early April. Oh, well. I guess Hetalia‘s streak of anime episodes celebrating the holiday actually on time with the real world, like last week’s April Fool’s episode. Plus, like I said last time, there was an episode in season 2 of the 2009 anime that had a Christmas episode broadcast in August, so hey.

The episode starts with mochi!America and mochi!Russia having a little fight of some kind. America flings a star towards Moscow, and mochi!Russia responds by full-on rugby tackling him. They fight for a bit, and then mochi!America offers his friendship. But the peace is short-lived, and they both jump up to attack each other again. …Is this something to do with Russian-American foreign relations, or just some silly gag? My money’s on the latter.

Then we see Japan taking a bath. Pochi floats in the little bath basket beside him, but is interrupted by America yelling about how he wants to play and actually yanking the bars of Japan’s bathroom window. Japan laments America’s sense of timing and looks like he wants the ground to swallow him up, but he gets out of the bath, tells off America, and makes him replace the bathroom window. He then asks America why he’s come to visit, and America replies that he wants to celebrate Halloween with Japan.

Japan, not really celebrating this holiday, asks what it’s about. America tells him it’s based around the folklore that spirits are able to come into our world on Halloween, so you dress up as something scary to keep them at bay. America says he carves pumpkins as well, because ‘that’s his style.’

England’s style… is to carve/draw on turnips.

I actually had to go and look up if this is a real thing in England, because it bloody isn’t around where I’m from. A week or so before October, just like in the United States, our supermarkets start selling pumpkins, and we carve them and put them outside just the same way they do elsewhere in the world. But after a little bit of digging, it seems that carving turnips instead of pumpkins is how it used to be done in the old days. Turnip carving for Halloween is also still performed in Cornwall (they celebrate a festival called Allantide on the same day as Halloween), according to the bit of research I just did. Eh, it fits with England’s character, I suppose.

(I also found this guide to terminology of the turnip, because it seems different dialects of English just can’t agree on what’s a turnip, what’s a swede/rutabaga, and what’s a yam. Seriously.)

Whoo, went off on a tangent there, didn’t I?

It turns out that America wants Japan to come along with him on All Hallows’ Eve because he and England have this running competition with each other, where they try to outdo each other in the scaring department, and England usually wins. (Okay, my brain drifted off to Monsters Inc. for a second. Ahem.) Score-wise, America’s currently 0-87 to England.

Japan is supposed to be very good in the horror department, and so America has chosen him to be his trump card this year. We then cut to England summoning a very old, and huge fairy to do his bidding this Halloween night, and he’s been working on the summoning spell for three days. Wow, that’s… dedication, I guess.

Apparently it all started when a very little America was scared to pieces by England in a scary costume. Ever since, they’ve been competing with each other.

So, Japan shoots down America’s plan of hiding in the back room of his house and jumping out to scare England when he comes a-knocking, because that’s not true horror.

What is true horror?

Why, making Russia your receptionist and dressing him up in a cutesy little party hat!

Yep, England is so scared he tries to tug on Russia’s face, and jokingly insists that it isn’t the real Russia, right? Well, it is! England’s reaction here is absolutely hilarious, somewhere between a scream, a yelp, and a disbelieving laugh. Brilliant.

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s episode. I’ve discovered via one of the people who uploads Hetalia to YouTube (xoxoTOXOXICxoxo) wrote in the video description of this week’s episode… that next week’s episode is going to be based on this strip – Finding Santa. Even if it is 8 months early for Christmas. Oh well.

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 11

LJ link here.

Yet again, I apologise for the lack of a post on episode 10 last week. However, I’m going to continue with blogging the series, so let’s go, shall we?

So, it seems the theme of today’s episode is April Fool’s. Spain is in a Chippdendale-esque outfit, France is naked except for cat ears and a tail, England is in a nurse’s outfit… man, I’m wracking my brain at the moment to remember this comic strip or Himaruya’s blog event, but I just can’t. I suppose that’s the price you pay for being out of the loop for a year or two.

(One thing I find amusing is how Spain convinces Romano to stick his head through the hole in that giant wooden tomato prop. I was expecting it to be an English village fête-style pillory, where children will queue up and pay to pelt the ‘accused’ with wet sponges, earning prizes for how close they got to the target. :P)

France then goes on to say that they’ve received a request from somebody who wants to see the cast as kids. England then brandishes his wand, and of course, he and a now miniature France get into another one of their squabbles.

America then arrives whilst France slinks off. Apparently, most of the nations got a letter this morning with their most embarrassing photo and an enclosed costume, telling them to come to this plaza wearing it or else the sender would release a copy of the photo out into the public domain. I did laugh at Canada being too calm and collected to take the threat seriously. Oh, and China hiding away from everyone whilst wearing what I think is called a cheongsam/qipao, but with long sleeves.

Russia also shows up, and it seems he and America have the same kind of attire – both Chippendales-ish, but with bear/mouse ears atop their heads. D’aww.

We then cut to other nations receiving their embarrassing photos. Italy and Taiwan don’t seem bothered at all, and neither does Finland (although uh, Sweden is glaring quite scarily behind him – more so than usual). Greece and Turkey fight over who released the photos, and Lithuania is mortified to find Poland looking at his most embarrassing moment.

BAHAHAHA!! The costume Germany was sent is a frilly French maid dress. PFFFT. Okay, laughing fit over, now I’m -

OH GOD IS THAT RUSSIA IN A YELLOW DRESS-

OH, YES IT IS.

*insert Spongebob laughter track here*

Anyway, America and England chase after mini-France, and demand to know his part in this scheme. Then Spain rises up out of the bushes behind him, super pissed off at… something. (Ooh, yandere!Spain, eh? I know this has nothing to do with anything in this episode, but my kingdom for a Hetalia strip/episode set during the Anglo-Spanish War, when a large part of Spain’s great and powerful armada was sunk/stopped by adverse weather conditions. Just to see Spain and England’s reactions.)

Ah, okay, so this was all Spain’s idea. He thought it would be fun to gather everyone on April Fool’s day and ‘take some silly photos’, and got France to write the letters to each nation, and one of his lackeys (I think) to take photos.

France calls for his pet bird Pierre to free him, and then throws all the embarrassing pictures up into the air. Those hoping for anything actually embarrassing… well, it’s not there. It’s just the nations sleeping, cuddled up to their pillows and teddy bears. (Russia sleeps with what appears to be a Cheburashka doll, how adorable!)

Germany and Prussia’s ‘embarrassing photo’ floats down to them, but… then the end credits kick in before we can see what they look like while off in the land of Nod.

Well, that was a fairly good episode, I suppose, if really nonsensical. It is based on April Fool’s day, I suppose, and it’s nice of the anime staff to actually release it around this time of year. (As opposed to episode 28 of season 2, which is a Christmas-themed episode that originally aired in Japan in August.) Anyway, roll on next week.

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 9

LJ link here.

I am free for the holidays! Brief cheering! Wahey!

Anyway, back on topic – this week’s Hetalia: The Beautiful World episode. It stars Belgium and her stingy big brother the Netherlands, and I have to say, Belgium’s voice is adorable. I let out an ‘aww’ when she confesses to being a bit plain since she’s surrounded by countries with ‘big personalities’ (Luxembourg, really?), and wants everyone to experience true Belgian waffles, not the knock-offs you get in other countries. I have tried true Belgian waffles and yeah, they’re pretty good, incomparable to the supermarket ones you have to put in the toaster or mini grill or whatever.

Picture/translation credited to youkofujima on LJ.
I looked through TinEye, IQDB and Sauce Nao, and
couldn’t find any further sources than that. Sorry. ;;

After the intro, Netherlands goes to buy some fish from a boat owned by Poland and Lithuania. In the manga, I remember them having fields of rye (as in the fairly old panel on the right – Himaruya’s art style has improved so much!), but hey. I suppose they can be fishmongers too.

Lithuania muses that Netherlands visits every day to buy fish, and so he must have a real taste for them. Poland wonders how Netherlands can buy so much fish and then eat them all before they go rotten.

Guess what the ever-stingy Netherlands actually does? He pickles them all in salt in order to sell them for a higher price than what he paid originally.

We then skip to the 17th century and the War of Devolution. Here’s the short version, if you’re curious. From what I can gather, never having studied this period myself, France invaded the Spanish-controlled Netherlands, and Spain retaliated. The Dutch then went into a Triple Alliance with England and the Swedish Empire to kick out the aggressors and get back most of their land. The more you know…? (I’m really sorry if that’s incorrect in any way! Feel free to point me to better information.)

While Spain is licking his wounds after the Netherlands badly beat him up (and of course he has Romano with him to berate his every action), he finds that the Netherlands is actually around the corner, and is more than happy to sell Spain food and weapons now that Spain’s supply lines to the Netherlands are running dry. …Yeah, okay, Hetalia. I get it. The Netherlands is stingy and always catches on to money-making opportunities. Is that the only joke? The pony has done its one trick, it doesn’t need to do any more.

Ah, well. There’s suddenly a flashback sequence. Young Netherlands is working hard tilling the land, when his little sister shows up to take him over to her house. Little Belgium lives in this amazing mansion with plenty of art, and prepares pretty much a lavish banquet for her guest. Back to the present, she muses that this rich and poor divide between them as kids must have developed the Netherlands’ thrifty personality. I presume this is his theme song?

(Okay, I don’t know if this is a thing in the Netherlands, but I swear that us Brits are the stingiest people  in the entire universe. If we discover an exploit on the supermarket’s website or a poorly worded deal that allows us to get groceries for pennies, we will exploit it. We will hoard supermarket vouchers to use when the time comes around, and complain to the high heavens if anything goes up more than a few pence in price and the older generation will hark back to the glory days when we still used shillings and farthings and you could get an entire night out and a bag of fish and chips for the walk home for what would be £1 today. My family shop in cheap German supermarkets because they’re so much more value for money. I refuse to shop in 99p/£1 stores because I know it’s more expensive buying stuff there than it is elsewhere. *cough* Sorry to go off on that tangent…)

The final skit involves Poland and Lithuania visiting the Netherlands’ actual house, and the joke kind of falls flat here. Maybe it just wasn’t my thing, but eh. Basically, the Netherlands says he does nothing but clean, so naturally he has a very well-kept home and gardens. Lithuania comments on this, whilst Poland goes to look at the kitchen. Netherlands stops him, and confesses he refuses to cook in his kitchen, and gets all his meals delivered. …Okay, then.

All in all, not a bad episode. One joke outstays its welcome a little bit, and the other fell flat for me, but it was nice to see the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain, Romano and Lithuania and Poland rendered in the new art style. (Seriously, it’s so pretty now. Speaking of pretty, oh my God – Himaruya’s new wraparound artwork for the character CDs… such beautiful colours! Here’s Italy and here’s Japan. *o*)

Hetalia: The Beautiful World Episode 8

LJ link here.

Whoops, sorry for being a day late again. This week has been really busy for me… but I’ll be free as a bird by next week, so hooray!

Anyway, today’s episode focuses on the comic strip about Russia taking over Estonia’s blog. Or did he?

Estonia first discovers the fault on his blog when he tries to update about his victory in the Finnish wife-carrying championships. (Well, um, if Finland had to carry Sweden, who’s pretty big and strong, I can quite easily see why Estonia would win.) Anyway, his blog has now been turned into a fan-site for Russia. Quel horreur!

I also really like how this episode is set out a bit like a high-stakes thriller movie. It just adds an extra air of ridiculousness to proceedings.

Apparently every single website in Estonia has been turned into a Russia fan-site, so Estonia goes to his number one suspect – Russia himself.

Except Russia isn’t really listening and just insists on feeding Estonia… meat buns? Estonia comes out and tells him he’s suspicious of him, but Russia just whips out that water faucet pipe he always carries around, calling it a ‘magic stick’. (Sorry Funimation translators, but ‘magic cane’ just doesn’t sound right to me. :/ )

America then jumps into proceedings, claiming to be an expert on the Internet and that he’ll find the mysterious hijacker ASAP.

…Also, here’s something rather unbelievable – Estonia appears to be using Internet Explorer. Seriously, I have a hard time believing that. I always thought he’d be on the Mozilla platform, at least. …And he’s also on a DSL line. In this day and age!? Crikey, Estonia. I know dial-up is ridiculously cheap – my family who live in the countryside had it for years because BT wouldn’t install a broadband exchange nearby until we petitioned them to – but come on. This day and age?

The narrator then informs us that the Internet in Estonia is often very slow and doesn’t load correctly. ‘American websites are super heavy and reliant on Flash, large images, videos, and music.’ What? Um, I got a B in Computer Technology when I left high school in 2008. We had to design a website for a sports company and if there was one thing that the examiners would mark you down on, it was overuse of Flash and all the other things mentioned by the narrator. Nowadays websites don’t use as much Flash… or if they do, there’s a plain HTML option for slower connections. But I’m going off on a tangent now. Back to the episode itself!

Presumably America got Estonia set up with broadband and then left, since they’re now keeping up with each other via a phone conversation. America’s currently tracing the culprit, and Estonia is keeping up with him and checking the records left on the server. And the culprit is…

Some random guy.

Naturally, Russia seems to appear from the shadows and puts his hand ominously onto Estonia’s shoulder. Even though Russia is glad he’s been cleared of suspicion, he’s still going to get payback on Estonia. …Alrighty then. The episode closes with the two of them laughing and chasing each other, with Russia wielding his pipe and saying it’s his ‘magic stick.’ Eep. (Also, to me that conjures up England and Norway and all the other magical nations wondering why the hell Russia can’t just use a regular magic wand. Silly, I know.)

Then the credits to this movie roll and oh man, they were pretty hilarious.

Starring

Estonia as Estonia
Russia as Russia
America as America

Eric Beaton as Ordinary Person A
Clint Westwood as Ordinary Person B

America as The Hero

Music: Austria

Person in charge of intently continuing to trash the movie: England

Person in charge of making weird, surreal artistic shots: France

The End.

And it turns out it’s actually an independent Estonian movie, and has just won the Palme d’Or – nah, just kidding, it’s been released on ‘Heta’Tube, just like how Sita Sings The Blues was released on YouTube.  The person watching the HetaTube video is actually Prussia, who expresses disbelief that the credits are so much longer than the film itself. (By the way, that is one of my pet peeves about movies, when you have to sit through 10 or so minutes of credits to get a clip of how the movie’s going to get a sequel. It hardly ever feels rewarding to me because I’ll have forgotten about it completely by the time the sequel movie does come out. orz )

But yeah, fun little episode. :D