Alright guys! I've got a nice little treat for you all. After waiting for 3 weeks for my boxset to arrive in the mail, it came in on Tuesday afternoon last week. And because of that, I have been working on a special column about the boxset just for you! Since we have a lot to cover, how about we get started then?
First off, lets start with the box and its content. The box is simple with it containing the logo and an image the Axis Powers. The DVD case uses the image of Germany and Italy that is present on the Japanese DVD of Vol.1. The cover appears to be reversable but I doubt it is. The case is also clear. Another image of the Axis Powers is used here. The box comes with two discs. Disc 01 has all 26 episodes with the commentaries from the VAs and some trailers for other Funi products. Disc 02 has more extras. It contains commentaries from Bob Shinohata that were included on the Japanese DVD releases (and yes, it IS subtitled), a textless version of the ending and section called, "The Hidden History in Hetalia" which is basically the little burbs of text from the episodes reposted here. Personally, I think disc 02 is a waste.
Now on the DVD itself. Sadly, you can't skip the previews but thankfully it's only one so you won't die from it. The preview is for the anime, "My Bride is a Mermaid." The menus are pretty clean and very easy to use. The main menu uses a picture of the Axis Powers lying on grass. You'll get 4 options labeled as "Play All," "Episodes," "Setup," and "Extras." The tune you will hear will be Germany's theme from the OST (Track 3). Episodes has a picture of the Italy, Japan, America and England/Britain on a beach and tune playing will be Hetalia no Owari Naki Nichijou -Honobono Hen- (Track 14 on the OST). I don't think I have to let you know what Setup is. The tune playing is the one where Italy and Germany are first becoming friends in Episode 3 (Sadly, this tune isn't on the OST). The image is a picture of China and Japan. Extras uses an image of Germany and Italy while the tune is Hetalia no Owari Naki Nichijou -Chotto Shiriasu Hen- (Track 15 on the OST).
I'll talk about the extras on disc 01. It has the audio commentaries of the VAs. There are 4 of them:
- Episode 02- Italy and Germany (Labeled as "The Flower Apron")
- Episode 09- America and Russia (Labeled as "The Cold War")
- Episode 12- England/Britain and France (Labeled as "Nice Dover")
- Episode 16- Japan and China (Labeled as "Far East Brothers")
These commentaries are 5 minutes long but they are a ton of fun to listen to and we get a little a bit of info about our favourite VAs. I love listening to all of them but my favourite has to be between Vale and Jewel.
As I've previously stated, disc 02 has the commentaries from Bob Shinohata that were previously released on the Japanese DVDs. 3 of them go through the story boards of the episodes while one goes on about the making of the ending theme (storyborards of course). They are subtitled.
Something that I don't believe that they included in the online streams is a special ending. This ending plays after couple of episodes (7, 13, 19, and 26 respectively). This ending was made to include both the Japanese and English credits (however, when it comes to the Japanese VAs only the Axis and Allies are listed) due to MKC being so short. But have no fear! MKC still plays at the end of each episode. The ending used for 7 and 13 uses the songs, Italy's Theme to Germany and one of the storage cleaning BGMs, America no Souko Souji ~Kyoushuu~ (Track 24 on the OST). 19 uses Grandpa Rome's entire Heaven and Hell song (Track 12 on the OST). 26 uses the second half of Rome's Heaven and Hell tune while it re-uses America no Souko Souji ~Kyoushuu~ as the second tune. Each ending ends with Chibitalia asking Austria if they serve pasta in which he replies no (19 is the only ending that doesn't have this).
Something I thought I should bring up. When I was reading the box I noticed something about the region codes. The DVD coding is NTSC but the box has the images of Region 1, 2, and 4. Maybe there's a possibility that it will play on other region players?
Overall, the boxset is well done and is a nice item for fans to have in their collection. The picture and sound has amazing quality with some good stuff to keep you entertained. Even if you're not a fan of dub, it comes with the original audio and subtitles so it's still worth the buy. The only disadvantage is the possible wait if you buy online unless you can probably find it in stores (in the US and Canada only of course).
That's it for me and this column. I do apologize for not grabbing any pictures of the DVD cover. My scanner doesn't work and my camera doesn't take good photos. But I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I had fun writing it! Tune in next time for my next column, Hetalia: Axis Powers Vol. 1!
(View all images here! http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v625/Icelilly/Hetalia%20Archives%20Stuff/)