Thursday 25 August 2011

Book Review- Hetalia Axis Powers volume 2

Title:Hetalia Axis Powers vol. 2
 Author: Hidekaz Himaruya
Series:  Hetalia Axis Powers #2
Published:  28 December 2010  by Tokyopop
Length:  176 pages, of which 14 are character intros and 32 are adverts.   Relatively not many pages of actual manga
Warnings: profanity, possible implied racism, alcohol,  (us)  non sexual non descripit nudity (a bath scene), mild violence, moderate language, mild fanservice, alcohol use (tokyopop)
Source: Bought
Other info:  This series is also known as Hetalia, APH:Hetalia, and some other names. Since Tokyopop went, it’s been fairly impossible to get hold of any volumes of Hetalia. There are two volumes published in English, with another two in Japanese and possibly more to come. Hidekaz Himaruya has also written Chibisan Date.
Summary : More history, more countries, more Hetalia.
World War what? It’s all about getting to know eachother (or at least trying to) in this hilarious second volume of Hetalia Axis Powers. And with the Hetalia Academy, tonnes of new character introductions along with preparing for the Olympics, there’s no time left for the battlefield! But leave it up to Italy’s ancestor, “that jerk” England, and pushy America to stir things up while good old Canada, quiet Japan and sweet little
Liechtenstein respectfully go about their day. Isn’t it time they all started getting along?
Review: Another one of our joint reviews, because both of us like this and we couldn't decide who'd review it. So we did it together. Also contributing is Iza.

Nina: This has no plotline whatsoever. The idea is fun-personify almost every country in the world and see how they get on. Its a book full of and making fun of stereotypes.

Katy: For example, Japan can't make up his mind about anything, Russia wants to kill everyone, the Italies eat a lot of pasta and pizza and England's cooking is terrible.

N: We could go on listing everyone, but that would take forever.

K: This goes on about various historical events that have been adapted so it could go into this book.

N: Take the revival of the modern Olympics. Greece is talking to France about the Ancient Olympics. France then calls for the world to participate, which happened in real life. And then, this being Hetalia, he tries to get everyone to do it naked. The better jokes are obvious to get and really make you laugh. However, because all the personifications are based on how the Japanese see the world, there needs to be footnotes to explain it all, which slightly ruins the jokes.

K: Many of the relationships are inaccurate, but they are hilarious all the same.

Iza: The panel and actual manga has a sketchy but toned feel. Pictures range from emotive chibis to detailed full body drawings. The colouring census a soft shading technique rather than traditional cell shading. Overall the art is consistent althoug some characters are difficult to distinguish without colour.

N. Each character has their own distinctive personality, dependant on how Hidekaz Himaruya sees people from that part of the world. While these are generally very funny, it is very easy to take offence at these; for example, if I was Italian, I'd be fairly annoyed at being portrayed as either a crybaby who gives in all the time, or a rude tomato obsessed person,depending on if I came from North or South Italy.
The relationships involved and made fun of are generally portrayals of historical events and tradition, for example France and England don't like eachother (throughout history, there have been failed invasions) and Greece and Japan being good friends (see here, wikipedia). Reading Hetalia you will find a few interesting, useless facts about insignificant historical events(like the Euro 04 football match between Liechtenstein and England) and some fairly useful facts.
Some events really don't make sense(maybe that's an understatement. A lot of these events don't make sense) but yet all three of us like the randomness with which things are presented.

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to something that may not be your thing, but is certainly ours.

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Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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