Hetalia Axis Powers Graphic Novel 2 (POD)
Miriette Disreali - May 7 2012
Rating: Pretty good!
How it differs . . .
I briefly owned volume one (the straight from Tokyopop version) of Hetalia before giving it to a friend because I was unimpressed with the quality. Some of the pages in particular looked quite blurry, like they were copied badly or something. I got volume two from the library and was able to compare the two volumes. For the purposes of this review, the straight from Tokyopop version will be called Version A and this particular one is Version B.
The first thing I noticed about Version B was how sleek and smooth the cover felt. Version A's cover isn't covered in plastic and more flimsy as a result. Version B feels a bit sturdier and more substantial. The thing that impressed me most was the paper quality. I guess I'm a bit of a paper snob or something because I really don't like my books or manga to have rough sand paper-y pages. Version B's pages are very smooth and pretty, whereas Version A's are rough and slightly textured.
Overall, Version B is a much nicer copy, but it's not totally perfect. I ordered volumes one and two and neither has any colored pages. It's not a big thing and no where in the description does it say anything about colored pages, but I didn't read the descriptions properly and was really looking forward to them. So yes, it sucked to see that the formerly colored pages were just black and white in Version B. Another disappointment was the blurriness. It's especially noticeable in the American Revolution chapter in volume one. I'd hoped the issues would've been corrected in these volumes, but there doesn't appear to be any significant change. If you're slightly neurotic like me, it might bug the heck out of you having Versions A and B on your shelf because they do look different. It's a brightness thing where Version B seems to have more color and pops out more than Version A. That's something that would drive me just a teensy bit bonkers.
I'd give this version a B+. It's much, much nicer than Version A in so many ways, but I can't give it an A grade because of the lack of colored pages and the blurriness issues.