ANIME PICK OF THE WEEK – Hetalia: Nekotalia
Hetalia, one of this Deadly Diva’s favorite short-form anime series, follows the interactions of anthropomorphized nations where the countries’ friendships are based on their World World II alliances – Allied versus Axis powers. Today’s focus is on the “Nekotalia” side of the series.
If you are a history buff you will like Hetalia. The interactions each of the nations and their predecessors bring history alive. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Hetalia leans heavily on the stereotypes, both positive and negative, of each of the represented nations.
Nekotalia opens with Italy-cat. Italy-cat, in the trademark dreamy Italian way, lets the audience know that he likes cute girls, pasta, napping, and singing.
Next we are introduced to Italy’s next-door neighbor, Germany-cat. Germany-cat is rather stoic, but agrees to join Italy-cat in whatever the day’s activity is. Italy looks up to Germany-cat because he is super disciplined and other countries trust him. Germany-cat is described as the facilitator of the Euro-cats, implicitly dictating their behaviors. Considering the current kerfuffle in Europe, this is extra amusing to this Deadly Diva.
Our lovely narrator goes on to explain that there are approximately 200 nation-cats. If you have seen previous seasons of Hetalia, the similarities between the human and feline representations is easy to see.
Among these nation-cats, the G8 is chosen. We are introduced to the G8 cats: America-cat, England-cat, the ever stylish France-cat, Germany-cat, Italy-cat,Canada-cat, Japan-cat, and Russia-cat. At these G8 meetings, G8 cats discuss their humans’ household policies and trade of canned food. Apparently the Euro-cats’ owners’ income has decreased and as a result there is shortage of food that depresses the pretty kitties.
Germany-cat takes the lead, trying to guide his fellow nation-cats to come up with a solution. However, Italy-cat has decided that playing with a ball of yarn was more interesting. Suffice it to say, Germany-cat is a bit miffed at Italy’s nonchalant attitude when the Euro-cats are facing a crisis.
Then, for some odd reason, there is a scene change. We are now with France-cat in his owners’ home. France-cat takes great pride in his interior decorating skills. France-cat laments that the houses in Paris are getting old, so no matter what he does it still looks a bit rundown, shiny, but still run down. France-cat’s sense of beauty cannot abide the condition of the house that he is forced to live in. So he wishes for a fairy to come while he is sleeping to renovate. Suddenly Switzerland-cat shows up and France-cat quickly rescinds his wish.
With the next scene change, we find China-cat approaching America-cat. China-cat is a bit despondent because Hong Kong-cat has not been coming home. All China-cat wants is to be petted and rubbed more often, and it doesn’t seem to matter to him. America-cat, friend to the world, offers China-cat a can of tuna because China-cat loves tuna. All is well until China-cat asks if the canned tuna came from China. I detect a bit of shade in that bit of dialogue.
Now we are back to Italy-cat who has found Japan-cat. Italy-cat is excited about “Avenmonics.” He wants Japan-cat to teach him about “Avenmonics.” This Deadly Diva assumes that Italy-cat is talking about Economics, but I was just as confused as Japan-cat. Eventually, Italy-cat realizes that he may be mispronouncing the word, correcting it to “Avenomics.” Italy-cat is so cute and clueless that you can’t get mad at him.
This series has a low entry point being that each episode is only about 5 minutes long. So even if you tried it and despised it, you only gave up 5 minutes. So watch an episode or two and let me know what you think in the comments!