Fellow netizens, I’m here to report that I’ve finished Hetalia Axis Powers – Paint it White! And as expected, it was utterly ridiculous. Let’s skip the chit-chat and get right down to it! Itadakimasu~
Skip to here for my minimal-spoiler commentary!
Much like how the entire Hetalia series started in the first webcast, the movie more or less starts with a United Nations world meeting, headed by the overly talkative America. The issue at hand? Earth is being invaded by an alien race from the planet Picto. The Pictonians are like the noppera of Japanese folklore, born without color or facial features. So they’re more or less white walking blobs with limbs. Seem harmless enough? Well they’ve come to Earth to turn everyone into noppera!
Of course, nothing gets resolved in the world meeting, and in the end everyone gets utterly sidetracked. Everyone ends up deciding they’ll be ok on their own, but they all get defeated. After having all of their land turned into white blobby scribbles, our main countries gather again in a rundown shack, the Temporary UN Headquarters. Here, America attempts to have his alien friend Tony gather some information about the Pictonians, but Tony too gets turned into a noppera at the most crucial moment.
If that weren’t bad enough, the Pictonian mother ship lands right in front of the shack, and seems to be calling for all the Pictonians and the converted noppera to leave Earth. Surprisingly, Italy has enough noppera costumes for everyone at hand (made from leftover white cloth from making white flags), and they all sneak into the mother ship in hopes of finding out how to reverse the noppera-morphosis.
Buuuuut, that plan fails as well. Our heroes get trapped by the noppera, when suddenly Japan gets the bright idea of trying to show the Pictonians hospitality for coming to Earth. What? Well, everyone else is just as confused, but they decide they have no other bright ideas. Here, Hetalia takes the chance to show each country’s specialty cuisines and attractions.
And it works! The Pictonians seem almost ready to leave Earth, but it turns out England is the one who packs their farewell gifts. What else could it be but his specialty scones? (here’s the joke that the English can’t cook and his scones are inedible)
Seeing that the Pictonians are enraged by the disgusting scones, the UN countries try to flee by jumping out the mothership. They all land in some unknown deserted island (this seems like a recurring theme in Hetalia) and lament over the Earth’s inevitable destruction.
I should mention that Sealand tries to save our stranded heroes, but he too gets noppera-ified. The Pictonians track down the unknown island and start noppera-beaming our stranded survivors (they don’t give up without a fight at least!), and get through all of them except of Italy. Here, the ghost of the Holy Roman Empire appears with his usual songs of Heaven and Hell, a la heavy metal. He leaves Italy with a great weapon: a permanent marker.
Well, there’s nothing you can do with a permanent marker but to write and draw stuff! So Italy goes and redraws everyone’s faces in, and even gives the original Pictonians faces. The UN countries recover from their noppera-symption, and the Pictonian leader decides to turn Earth back to normal because it “seemed like a fun place.” Huh. Well, I guess they all lived happily ever after?
Plotwise, Hetalia Paint it White can be summarized quite quickly: Earth gets invaded by aliens but gets saved by everyone’s idiocy. It’s pretty much comedy that whole way through, so if you want plot depth, you won’t find any here. True to the Hetalia theme, this movie is just a conglomeration of inside jokes and country cliches.
Every character in the show is pretty much an idiot, so you can’t help but laugh. And that’s all I’ll say for characters, or else I’ll spoil the fun.
Something I found weird was how there were random episodes of the Hetalia webcasts stuck in sparingly, almost as if they were commercials. Maybe it was part of a some joke that I didn’t catch?
Quality-wise, Hetalia Paint it White is pretty inconsistent. The detail put into backgrounds were definitely pretty top notch; there were parts in the movie where they needed to animate photo-realistically, and they did a great job. But then there’s the painfully low-maintenance noppera-animation that accounts for much of the movie. Nonetheless, I’d say quality is as good as it needs to be.
I’m rather fond of the Hetalia art style, so at least here I have no particular complaints. Some people may find that the women are drawn in a very masculine fashion, but there aren’t many women… so I don’t really mind that much. Plus…
The cuteness that the art style lacks is accounted for through the soundtrack. I really like how the Hetalia music is for the most part, catchy and whimsical. The ED sequence paired up with the ED animation was definitely cute, with everyone doing the Bon Festival dance together.
And I think we’ll go with “cute” as the word of the day. Paint it White was a cute little movie full of inside jokes and stupid people. It’s very hit-or-miss, so watch at your own discretion. I’m done for today, so over and out. Gochisousama deshita!