I had no luck this weekend searching Netflix for “Hetzer,” but a listing popped up for the first season of Axis: Hetalia. I’d seen it mentioned on Scandinavia and the World, and gathered that it’s an animated Japanese series of greater-than-usual weirdness in which the characters are all personifications of nation states. What the hell. I clicked over to take a closer look.
Below are the actual episode notes from Netflix. I will never, ever watch this show. It couldn’t possibly measure up.
Hetalia: Axis PowersI predict that in the future, many high school graduates will score higher on quizzes about Axis: Hetalia than on quizzes about the causes of WWI and WWII.
1. When the nations gather to solve the world’s problems, U.S.A. presents his solution to global warming — and it’s a pretty stupid one. Then everyone argues for a while, just before a flashback to WWI.
2. Germany is prowling the woods of WWI in search of the enemy, when he happens upon a crate of tomatoes. Just as he opens the wooden box, Italy attacks! I’m only kidding. Italy mostly just lays around.
3. WWI is over, but Italy won’t quit pestering Germany. In fact, with WWII right around the corner, Italy pledges his undying devotion to his gruff friend, and a delightful Axis of Bromance is born.
4. Italy and Germany have a new BFF: Japan. After a “getting acquainted” soak in the hot springs, Japan shows the guys his value as an ally by — actually, he doesn’t really do much. But he seems very polite.
5. Germany, Japan, and Italy are on a deserted island, and they’re making the most of such a pleasant environment. Especially Italy, who uses the free time make white flags and sand sculptures of pasta.
6. Japan, Germany, and Italy roast marshmallows on the beach. The three guys may feel like the night belongs to them, but they are far from alone. Actually, marshmallows sound pretty good right now. BRB.
7. U.S.A. takes a break from stuffing hamburgers into his face just long enough (barely) to reveal his plans for attacking the Axis. Meanwhile, much to Germany’s delight, Italy’s got an obnoxious brother.
8. Since Italy’s kind of a moron, he keeps getting captured by the Allies. But since he’s kind of annoying, he keeps getting sent back to the Axis. And in a shocking turn of events, Japan answers a telephone!
9. The Allies get together to split up their responsibilities for the coming war, which really just means: U.S.A. decides he’ll be the hero and everyone else will act as his support. Meanwhile, isn’t France dreamy?
10. France is devastated upon learning he wasn’t invited to the second meeting of the Allies, and as he reflects on the — I’m sorry, can you excuse me for a second? It seems chibi Italy is wearing Hungary’s dress.
11. The moment of truth arrives in Chibitalia: will Italy accept the adorable Holy Roman Empire’s offer? And while the Allies prepare for WWII, U.K. totally hangs out with a unicorn.
12. First, a scene from after the war: France asks U.K. to marry him. It has something to do with the Suez Canal. Next, a scene set before the war shows the Axis prepping to take on U.K.
13. U.K. is aggravated after losing to Germany, so the lad uses the dark arts to get his revenge. In a scary room, he chants a summoning spell and unleashes — Russia, the weirdest of all world powers!
14. Germany goes to the supermarket to buy sausages. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be exciting, but during this trip he manages to encounter every mildly offensive stereotype ever associated with every nation ever.
15. Italy and Germany enjoy soaking in the rays of the sun, but Japan isn’t thrilled about the prospect of exposing himself. Of course, a quick glimpse at his library proves he’s not totally against nudity.
16. A walk down memory lane reveals the moment when China found tiny, young Japan sitting all alone in the woods.
17. U.S.A. is ready to clean out his cluttered storage room, but he may not have what it takes to let go of so many memories. Actually, he may need to worry more about letting go of some hamburgers.
18. The Allied assault on the Axis begins! And ends! And then it begins again! And ends again! What’s with all the false starts and sudden stops? It’s kind of hard to explain. Just watch the episode.
19. The Allied forces gather for a meeting. Here’s a list of the three most interesting things that happen: 1) China shows up late. 2) Canada has a bear in his lap. 3) OMG, AXIS SPY.
20. A tale of two weapons: First of all, Italy shouldn’t be messing around with hand grenades. Can we all agree on that? Next, U.S.A. takes a trip down memory lane when he finds an old musket in his storage room.
21. Sealand has a lot of heart, but as the teeny-tiniest nation in the world, he’s having a tough time getting the other countries to recognize that he even exists.
22. As Holy Roman Empire prepares to leave for war, little Italy gets emotional and gives the departing nation a meaningful gift. Well, really, I’m just assuming it’s meaningful. Because, otherwise, it’s just silly.
23. Switzerland questions why his sis, Liechtenstein, cut her hair. Everyone else questions if she’s actually a little boy. Later, Germany is confused when he overhears an awkward situation involving Italy and a bed.
24. Tension arises when Switzerland and Liechtenstein encounter Austria at the grocery store. Meanwhile, the Axis boys discover that their deserted island isn’t actually all that deserted.
25. A flashback into the past reveals the reasons why U.S.A. might sometimes appear to be lacking in good taste. Also, the long and winding tale of Liechtenstein and Switzerland comes to an end.
26. U.K. unveils the secret weapon he plans to use in order to claim revenge against U.S.A. — a chair! An EVIL chair! An EVIL chair that Russia keeps sitting in at all the wrong moments!
27. The Allies get their hands on a valuable source of information that could reveal the inner workings of the Axis gang: Germany’s diary! And it’s all about Italy. Seriously, like every page.
28. The Axis falls under Allied attack once again! But then something strange happens — a jolly visitor arrives bearing gifts, allowing enemies to put aside their differences if only for one night.
29. Russia knows no fear, as evidenced by his willingness to jump out of an airplane without a parachute. The Baltics, however, seem to be more than a little uneasy around Russia.