Various Artists

Hetalia Axis Powers Characters, Vol. 7

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The successful Hetalia Axis Powers anime series (which involves a grade school of kids, each representing a WWI power) has sprouted a successful line of "character" CDs -- CDs of music liked by and/or sung by the various national powers. In the case of Russia, this means voice actor Yasuhiro Takato makes his way through a few tracks of pseudo-Russian goodness. The album opens with a piece of hyper-generic metal. The frets are flaming aimlessly in "Zima" ("winter" in Russian), but Takato's soft vocals fail to meet even the demands of the simplistic track. With an attempt at a folk song ("Light the Hearth of the Heart"), it's a much cheerier and more apt setting for the vocals. After this, the album is filled out with instrumental versions of the same two songs and a 22-minute round of vocal drama -- a meeting of the show's G8 with the voice actors squabbling away. Fans of the show already know about the album, but non-fans shouldn't bother with this sort of fare.