Everyone who knows me really well will be able to tell you that Hetalia: Axis Powers is one of my favorite anime series. The characters are hilarious representations of every country in the world, and the show satirizes different aspects of history, namely World War II. However, the thing that drew me into the series in the first place was the music. A friend of mine played every version of "Marukaite Chikyuu", the ending theme from Hetalia: Axis Powers. As a result, I liked the music so much that I started watching the anime.
All of the characters that play a main role in the first two seasons of the show had their own version of "Marukaite Chikyuu" where the style of the song and the lyrics reflect each country's culture and personality. So on that note, I would like to count down my top ten favorite versions of "Marukaite Chikyuu".
In order to be eligible for the countdown, the song needed to meet two qualifications.
1. It had to be recorded (so while an amazing live "Marukaite Chikyuu" was filmed during the seiyuu event in Japan, it will not be featured on this list)
2. It needed to be an official rendition (there were renditions by Belarus and Ukraine that were both amazing, but since I can't confirm that they're official, they won't be here either)
How can anyone not adore Liechtenstein? Her lyrics focus on her devotion to her adoptive big brother Switzerland and her gratitude to him for saving her from starving to death during the depression. Despite her cuteness and her dependency on "Big Bruder", this song reminds the fans that Liechtenstein is also a dignified young woman and her country is very technologically advanced. During the instrumental break, an accordion can be heard playing the melody to "Vreneli", a popular folk song from Liechtenstein.
Noriaki Sugiyama deserves a lot of credit here for being able to sing in Japanese and do a convincing British accent in the process. The music style of the song itself is interesting because it is designed to mimic a rock song from the British Invasion era, and the lyrics constantly poke fun of the stereotype that British food is terrible.
Germany's version holds a special place in my heart because this was actually the first "Marukaite Chikyuu" I ever heard. I also enjoy it because I'm half German and the stereotypes in this song about how Germans like wurst, beer, and cheese are all pretty accurate.
In this song, we get a slightly different side of France than what is normally portrayed in Hetalia and distorted in the fandom. France's forward methods of romance are played down in this song and the focus is placed more on French culture. The background music is like a combination of an upbeat Edith Piaf song and something that might be heard at a French cabaret show.
This is a little more upbeat than other renditions of "Marukaite Chikyuu". Here, we get a fantastic reflection of not only Spanish culture, but of Spain's good nature and how he relates to some of the other pivotal characters in the series. The piano solo during the instrumental break is probably one of the best piano solos I've ever heard in my life.
What countdown of the ending theme from Hetalia would be complete without the one that started it all?
You might be a Hetalia fan when you know where Sealand is, and the rest of the world doesn't even know that it's the world's smallest country. This version is absolutely adorable and addictive, the lyrics detailing Sealand's overambition and obsession with the internet. The instrumental break has a tropical feel that's very catchy.
The vocal harmonies in the chorus are gorgeous, and this song is very relaxing. Hiroki Takahashi deserves an award for being able to talk so quickly during the spoken parts, and his singing voice is the musical equivalent of cherry blossoms. In heaven, everyone would sound like him.
Normally in the anime, the fans are used to seeing China being treated unfairly, and as a result, he's kind of bitter. In China's "Marukaite Chikyuu", the fans get to see the side of China that's upbeat and proud of his culture. The musical style is probably the most beautiful of all of the renditions of "Marukaite Chikyuu", mixing traditional Asian music with modern hip-hop.
Okay, maybe I'm a tad biased here ranking this first because America is my favorite Hetalia character. However, when you compare this to America's other character songs, America's singing voice is a little more subtle compared to something like "Hamburger Street" where he tends to be more boisterous and loud (as American people often are). The stereotypes in the lyrics are absolutely hilarious, and fairly accurate in describing American citizens. Lastly, the song samples from Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" and "8th Wonder" by "The Sugarhill Gang", and what could be more American than sampling other people's music?
Honorable Mention: Austria
Austria deserves an honorable mention because this rendition is really unique. During the instrumental breaks, the listener is treated to a beautiful orchestral sound to represent how Austria is famous for its classical composers. The lyrics are also a little sad because they reference Prussia's invasion of Austria.
There you have it. Those are my top ten versions of "Marukaite Chikyuu". Stay tuned for my countdown of my favorite renditions of "Hattafutte Parade".