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Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White! (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

November 9, 2011 by  



Quirky, crazy, entertaining and  fun!  “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” benefits from its more easy-to-follow storyline, better visuals and new characters.  Fans of the web series will definitely enjoy this movie!

Image courtesy of © 2008 Hidekaz Himaruya, Gentosha Comics/Italia Project. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!

FILM RELEASE: 2010

DURATION: 90 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Japanese 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: 13 and Up

RELEASED: November 22, 2011

Directed by Bob Shirohata

Series Composition by Takuya Hiramitsu

Original Creator: Hidekaz Himaruya

Character Design by Masaaki Kannan

Animation Producer: Keiichi Matsuda

Anime Production: Studio DEEN

Featuring the following voice talent:

Daisuke Namikawa/Todd Haberkorn as Italy

Hiroki Takahashi/Christopher Bevins as Japan

Hiroki Yasumoto/Patrick Seitz as Germany

Katsuyuki Konishi/Eric Vale as America

Masaya Onosaka/J. Michael Tatum as France

Noriaki Sugiyama/Scott Freeman as United Kingdom

Yasuhiro Takato/Jerry Jewell as Russia

Yuki Kaida/Clarine Harp as China

Scott Freeman as England

Ayuma Asakura as Iceland

Aki Kanada/Brina Palencia as Chibitalia

Ayako Kawasumi as Pict Princess

Hozumi Gôda/Christopher R. Sabat as Rome

Jun Konno/Chris Cason as Holy Roman Empire

Rie Kugimiya/Cherami Leigh as Liechtenstein

Romi Park/John Burgmeier as Switzerland

Akira Sasanuma/Chuck Huber as Austria

Atsushi Kousaka/Jonathan Brooks as Prussia

Hozumi Goda as Kappa

Michiko Neya/Luci Christian as Hungary

Yuki Kaida as Zashiki Warashi

Yuko Mizutani as Janice

The Pictorians have arrived from deep in space. They also have dangly glow-balls on their heads, which is kinda cool, but still. The freaky aliens are using use their crazy rainbow-beam-thingy to paint everything on Earth the same color: white! See, now the title of the movie makes more sense, right? Anyway, if the Pictorians are to be stopped, the Allied guys and the Axis boys – plus some new characters, too – must set aside their differences, unite against their common foe, and hopefully get together for a sweaty workout to make sure they’re super-ready to save the world!

Have you been looking for a unique and hilarious anime series? If so, “Hetalia Axis Powers” may be the series you are looking for.

Based on a comic and later adapted to a manga and anime series by Hidekaz Himaruya, “Hetalia Axis Powers” is an web-based anime series in which each episode is five minutes long. It also happens to be an allegorical interpretation of political and historical events during World War II. But instead of focusing on military leaders and watching countries at war, the series focuses on single men who represent their countries.

The term Hetalia is a portmanteau combining the words “hetare” (Japanese for “incompetent”) and “Italia” (Italy) and is meant to make light of Italy’s cowardice during World War II.

The original web series was 52-episodes long and both seasons were released on DVD by FUNimation Entertainment in 2010.  Now the movie titled “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” will be released on DVD in November 2011 courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment.

This time around, the axis and ally forces are not fighting each other but this time, having to join forces to defeat an alien invasion in which aliens are turning humans into white, no face aliens.

As usual, America wants to become a hero and wanting to dominate the meeting between the countries.  Germany is a bit upset that no one is listening to him and of course, Italy doesn’t want to fight and rather wave the white flag.

But as the aliens begin to defeat each country (except the neutral countries of Switzerland and Licthenstein), more and more people are being converted to white, no face aliens.

Can the remaining countries defeat the aliens?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” is presented in widescreen.  Because this is a movie, there are definitely some enhancements to the overall look of “Hetalia Axis Powers” in terms of painted backgrounds, scenery and also objects.  Also, a bit more shading done to the characters but for the most part, picture quality is good and colors are vibrant.

As for audio, the film is presented in English 5.1 Surround and Japanese stereo.  As for the English and Japanese vocal tracks, if there is one major difference is how the dialogue is handled.  The English dub takes the liberty with altering some of the dialogue and story to make it more humorous for the American viewer.   The English dub is quite hilarious!  By no means are the accents perfect or right spot on but within the context of comedy, it works.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” includes the following special features:

  • The Hidden History Hidden Within Hetalia – A text based factoid on the inside jokes of “Hetalia”.
  • Hetalia: The CAPSLOCK Commentary – (1:21:01) Audio commentary by Eric Vale (America), Jerry Jewell (Russia) and Jami Marchi (director/writer/narrator).
  • Original Theatrical Ending – The original Japanese theatrical ending.
  • Textless Theatrical Ending – The textless ending theme (with karaoke subtitles to the ending theme).
  • Opening Day, Stage Greetings – (11:57)  Featuring the Japanese voice cast  (Daisuke Namikawa – Italy, Hiroki Takahashi – Japan and Hiroki Yasumoto – Japan) and director Bob Shirohata for “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” at the opening premiere of the film.
  • Paint It, White! Trailer – (1:32) The English theatrical trailer for the film.
  • Outtakes – (2:99) English dub outtakes for the film.
  • Trailer – FUNimation Entertainment Trailers


“Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” will no doubt excite fans of the web series.

For those not familiar with the “Hetalia Axis Powers”, you can describe the series as fun, hilarious and quite crazy and it’s important to note that it does mock a lot of the things that happened during World War II and also the customs of certain countries in the characters (nations) as portrayed. Definitely not politically correct, not historically accurate and if anything, it’s more or less making light of how countries were towards each other but using a character to embody that nation.

As the first season focused on the axis vs. ally powers and the second season showcasing more countries, I found the series quite interesting to see how it would reinterpret certain situations from World War II within the characters and to see how wacky things would get. But most of all, It was also easy to watch since it’s only five minutes long. By saying that, it’s also a series that I wasn’t able to watch in a full sitting, it’s one of those series that you may want to watch a few episodes at a time but not at one sitting because in my case, I felt the antics were getting quite old and repetitive. So, I didn’t want to get burned out.

So, I was a bit timid about watching the film because it’s one thing to watch these short episodes and take them in a few at a time but over an hour’s worth, I don’t know if I can take “Hetalia” in one straight viewing.

Fortunately, the film was rather entertaining as these countries ended up being invaded by aliens.  I guess there is some delight in seeing the nations getting assimilated and of course, seeing how Italy’s role was elevated.  And fans will definitely love the addition of new nations and characters to “Paint It, White!”.

Nevertheless, this series is extremely popular, especially with female fans who love the Japanese voice actors and cosplayers love the anime series as well!  And that popularity has extended to other countries including America as I know a few people who love the witty and absurd nature of the series. And have no doubt that they will love “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!”.

The DVD release of “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” is a pretty solid release, especially with an interesting audio commentary by a few of those involved with the English dub but to also see the Japanese premiere and how the Japanese fangirls react to the voice talent.  Pretty cool special features!

Overall, “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It White!” is a quirky, crazy and entertaining film that is an extension of the web series with all the craziness and awkward situations.  But is benefitted by an easily accessible storyline that is much easier to follow.  In fact, I enjoyed the film so much more over the web series!  And it helps to have a pretty cool DVD with cool special features as well. The film also looks much better than its web-series counterpart which is a plus.

If anything, this film was created for their dedicated fans and for those fans who have been wanting more Hetalia, “Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It, White!” is for you!

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