Anime Club: Hetalia: The World Twinkle

Hello everybody! It is time to dive back into the world of Hetalia with the newest OVA series in the franchise, Hetalia: The World Twinkle.

HETALIA: THE WORLD TWINKLE

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CREATED BY: Hiroshi Watanabe

GENRE: Comedy, History

NO. OF EPISODES: 15 Episodes 

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: Japan

hM6PWGZThe main storyline’s events occur during World War II, but the vast majority of the comics take place during other historical events, modern holidays, or at no specific time whatsoever. The series often uses satire and light-hearted comedy to reinterpret well-known events as well as less common historical and cultural trivia. Historical, political, economic, and military interaction between countries is generally represented in Hetalia as social interactions and misunderstandings between the characters.

Oh Hetalia, how have we missed you. With fifteen episodes running at five minutes each, it is impossible to give every character the exposure for the audience to fully grasp the humor they present. The staff was left in a pinch to take the risk of showing them all or to play it safe to focus with the main characters. The Nordics are interesting but their presence in the series is pretty much introductory. We also get to be introduced with Canada but his ‘Who-is-he’ joke has long overstayed its welcome even before that episode. The main trio (Japan, Italy and Germany) and the Allied were mostly relegated to the sidelines. Prussia never gets out of his pompous behavior which is likable but makes the viewers wish that he gets more than that role.Hetalia-The-World-Twinkle-Episode-1-English-Subbed

As a fan, I really don’t want to point out the cons of Hetalia, even though I know it is completely flawed. The biggest flaw is by far its story, as there is still no major over-arching stories. Hetalia always excels when it does not tame itself. Historical parodies and racist remarks have been always its forte which can range from hilarious to WTF effect. However, the jokes this time can forge a smile at best and indifference at worst. I cannot remember many moments which caused me to chuckle uncontrollably. Sorry The World Twinkle, try again for season 7.

PROS:

  • Historical parodies.
  • Racist/stereotypical remarks.
  • interesting Nordic characters.

CONS:

  • Axis and Allied characters are sidelined.
  • No major over-arching stories.
  • Jokes are tiring.

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

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The Imitation Game: Cumberbatch Not As Sherlock Holmes

Hello everybody! For today’s new movie show we watch dramatic exploits in The Imitation Game.

THE IMITATION GAME

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DIRECTED: Morten Tyldum

STARRING: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Rory Kinnear

GENRE: Historical Thriller

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: United Kingdom, United States, Australia

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

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The film is a watered down version of Turing’s short life, but nevertheless the screenplay – taut, engaging and dramatic – has a plethora of poignant moments along with life lessons that propel the tale forward. It offers ample insight into the character of the mysterious Alan Turing.

With excellent production values, the story arc is as familiar as they come for the biopic genre. The first half of the film sets in the intrigue quotient, while the second half lingers on for a bit longer with some technicalities involved since Alan is developing an “Electrical brain, a digital computer.” It’s the final act with its sad and unjust revelation that feels a bit rushed. The dialogues loaded with sarcasm and self-deprecation reflect the stiff upper lip British humour to the core and keep you hooked.

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The film does, though, reduce Turing in his last days to a Gollum-like creature who regards the bombe-like contraption in his flat as a precious reminder of his childhood crush at Sherborne. In this way, this real-life genius, a eunuch even before his castration, remains an enigma, seen only through a lens of psychoanalytically trite pulp romanticism.

PROS:

  • Entire Cast performances.
  • Excellent biopic.
  • Plot.
  • Tension.

CONS:

  • Stretches the truth.
  • Storytelling.
  • Alan Turing’s demise.

SCORE: 8.2 / 10

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Hetalia: The Axis Powers: Real Politics…

Hello everybody! Today we have the political satire anime Hetalia: The Axis Powers.

HETALIA: THE AXIS POWERS

DIRECTOR: Bob Shirohata

WRITER: Hidekazu Himaruya

GENRE: Comedy, History

ORIGINAL RUN: January 24, 2009 –March 5, 2010

NUMBER OF EPISODES: 52 Episodes

COUNTRY: Japan

Hetalia: Axis Powers is the first part of the Hetalia series. Originating as a web comic, the series has spread to many different kinds of media. We will be checking out all of the series in the Hetalia franchise.

Italy, once home of the strongest empire in the world, has changed. This is the story of Italy, now a cowardly pasta-loving fool, and his friends (other personified countries of the world) as they live through strange moments in world history. Think of it like WWII, except every country is a pretty boy instead. A hilariously stereotypical pretty boy. America loves burgers, Russia is into the vodka, and China has pandas and a wok. It is centered mostly around Italy, who has both a North and South character. The Hetaria portion of the name is probably mocking Italy, as Hetare means “Useless.”

Hetalia: The Axis Powers mainly focuses on Italy and his allies Germany and Japan. When it doesn’t it focuses on the Allied forces which include: America, Britain, France, Russia, Canada, and China. Of course these are wildly stereotypical depictions of their individual countries, but there is a guarantee that you will laugh. I want to point out that the episodes are only five minutes long, which is much shorter than other anime. Luckily, this allowed me to watch the majority of the show in one day. If the episodes were any longer, I think the characters would get on my nerves.

What did get on my nerves was that there really isn’t any plot to the show. It is just a comedic and historical representation of politics during and around WW1 and WW2. Some episodes was just the same shit over and over, just like they were re-using footage and stories to try and be funny. There could have been plenty of other directions they could have taken with plenty of the episodes, even if they only had five minutes including credits.

PROS:

  • Great use of sterotypes.
  • Enjoyable characters.
  • Episode Length.

CONS:

  • Stupid story arcs.
  • Repetitive themes.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10

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