Hetalia: Axis Powers

Genre: Comedy
Score: Good

Italy makes friends with Germany and Japan, but he’s a bit useless and Germany ends up doing most of the work and rescuing him all the time. Meanwhile America is annoying, France is self-obsessed, Russia is scary and nobody likes the food Britain cooks. Switzerland keeps out of it.

A very strange series of fast, five-minute episodes retelling the international politics of recent centuries in the form of, uh, people. It actually goes into a lot of detail, both geographically and historically, featuring such obscure characters as Holy Roman Empire (who has a crush on Italy), Canada (who people keep mistaking for America), and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (who are all terrified of Russia). It depicts – in silly terms, and no particular order – all manner of wars, treaties, occupations and pacts.

The trick with parody is to do it out of love rather than ridicule; and the trick with racism is to be even-handed with it. Hetalia pokes fond fun at practically everyone.