Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but no Eng subs for Eng track, October 9, 2010
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This review is from: Hetalia: Axis Powers: Season 1 (DVD)
This is my review after going through half the DVD

-PROS ----
First off, this is an amazing dub! Most of the voices are very good, and the accents add a nice, unique touch. I especially like the voices of Austria, Japan, Germany, Spain, both Italys, and Chibi-Italy. The dialogue has changed to make things more offensive/funnier, which I love. I can confidently say I prefer the English dub's jokes to the original. For those who do not like that, they still include the Japanese voices along with the unedited English subs.

The dialogue has changed drastically in the English dub, partially because there are some not-so-obvious cultural reference jokes that Americans won't get. For instance, Italy hugs Japan, and in the English version, it's because it's an invasion of personal space. But in the Japanese version, Japan tells Italy it's his "first time" and that he hopes Italy takes responsibility for it. I'm not Japanese, so I didn't catch the joke here. There isn't enough time to add a cultural footnote for people to read either. After some googling, I found out that if you hug/kiss a Japanese person back then, that means you're proposing marriage.

Funimation tries really hard to make Hetalia funnier and more culture-friendly for Americans, and I think they succeeded without butchering the anime. They made some parts more offensive and added on to the gay jokes.

The extra disc includes more explanations on the history behind Hetalia. This is invaluable to me, since I couldn't stand history (before I discovered this, anyway).

- CONS ----
However, sometimes the accents make the characters hard to understand, and this DVD does NOT include the English subtitles for the English track. It only has the English subtitles for the Japanese track. So if you try to watch the English dub with the subtitles, you'll realize the subtitles do not match up with what the characters are saying (since they were meant for the Japanese dub, not the English one). Sometimes I can't catch what Italy is saying because he speaks so fast and with an accent (like when he was in the tomato box)--don't get me wrong, he sounds great, but sometimes he speaks too fast. In the Japanese subtitled version, I have to pause when he starts begging for his life, because he speaks too fast and the subtitles go by too fast. But I can't do that in the English version because they didn't include separate subtitles for the English dub.

Fortunately, I can still understand everybody about 85% of the time, so it's not too bad. But for those of you who have a hard time understanding people with accents, the English dub might not be for you -- in that case, you may want to stick with the Japanese subs.

As mentioned above, most of the voices are good. I don't really like China's voice b/c it doesn't sound like a Chinese accent or even a fake Chinese accent. It sounds more like somebody doing a random accent. This could just be me though, since I'm Chinese and have been hearing the fobby accent for quite a while. I mean, why couldn't China have sounded as cool as Japan? China's voice does get better in the later episodes though.

England doesn't have a British accent, but he does sound like Stewey from Family Guy, so it's cool.

----OVERALL
Overall, I think it's a great dub. The English dub is so much funnier and includes more historical references.
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