Hetalia – Paint it White! Review: White is Right
Title: Hetalia – Paint it, White! (Hetalia the Movie)
So, I was curious how they would make a short-length skit-show into a full length film. And sadly it appears to be with a fairly flimsy plot strung together around sketches shamelessly poached from the series.
Now don’t get me wrong, initially I really liked Hetalia. I thought it was a clever idea and quite well executed. But as the series wore on, I began to feel a little cheated by the continually repeated scenes, which really felt like a bit of a gip in a 5 minute episode. I’d been looking forward to seeing the relationships and characters developed in a flowing narrative.
The plot is simple – aliens are invading the earth and turning everything white and plain and boring (through the use of bright colourful swirls and flowers, bizarrely) and the cast have to work together to help save the planet for everyone! This leads to quite a bit of opportunity for whole-cast interaction which is missing from the series, and for a broader representation of the countries we haven’t seen so much of. In theory.
The reality is that the story is nonsensical and full of holes (although this is not entirely unexpected for Hetalia), and large gaps of the film are padded out with scenes lifted directly from seasons 1 and 2 of the series. These make absolutely no sense in the context of the main plot line, and feel like a really cheap and lazy way to build up a film run-time. Additionally it really feels like the fans are being taken advantage of, and being asked for pay for something which they already own a good percentage of in the original seasons. The most that has been done is that some scenes have been slightly re-dubbed – and usually to add in a few more F-bombs which really don’t fit the tone of the show, and certainly don’t fit the 12 certificate. It has some good moments, sure, but those are only when they actually do something new and different, and if they’re not repeating scenes then they’re repeating jokes with new animation.
I think when considering whether to buy the Hetalia movie you have to consider your motivations. If you just want to look at pretty character designs and support your favourite fandom, then great. But you will not lose out anything from not adding this to your collection, because you already own at least half of this film if you have the other series anyway. If you’d like a clever, funny and well-observed turn at personifying the countries of the world, read Scandinavia and the World instead.
(Seriously, there is a lot of repeated material in this. I cannot stress it enough – I’m watching it now and it’s even jumped back to Chibi-talia and the Holy Roman Empire leaving Austria. I’m actually quite insulted by this whole thing. Save your money. Buy a plushie instead or something.)
Rating: 1 out of 5. Points deducted for copy-pasting scenes.