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The Controversy in Hetalia Axis Powers (Information)
Transcript of The Controversy in Hetalia Axis Powers (Information)
Understanding the Controversy
and the possibility of World Peace
through making fun of the world's stereotypes.
Let's say you turn a country into
a character. You give that character the personality of the stereotypes of said country. Said character of country reenacts historical events with the stereotypes for comedic effect.
The show Hetalia: Axis Powers
The creator is a Japanese man named Hidekaz Himaruya. He started the original Hetalia webcomic while he was attending Parsons School Of Design in New York City and continues the series today.
He was an art design major until he dropped out in 2008, following his publishing contract with Gentosha Comics for the serialization. Himaruya lived in New York from late 2006 until some point in early 2008, when he moved back to Japan after the release of the published Hetalia manga and his contract with Comic Birz.
He's a fan of both South Park and Happy Tree Friends.
He allows the usage of images from his site and blog, including scanlations of his work as long as no profit is involved, and encourages fans to create their own original characters, fan videos (MADs), or cosplay inspired by his works,
"Sketch of a brilliant young Japanese artist by Prince Paul of Wy" -
After the inclusion of a character representing the Principality of Wy, Prince Paul posted a sketch of Himaruya (left) with the following message: The prince admires the work that a brilliant young artist has done to draw our attention to the lighter side of international affairs in Axis Powers Hetalia. As a result of his work in manga a generation is growing up around the world having a greater awareness of the historical relationships between countries. This lucky generation should have a readymade tolerance for cultural difference, vital for peace in the world. Equerry, Hooray for hetalia!
Oriented towards adults from 18+, the characters personifying the countries are "bishie"s which is the Japanese word for "beautiful man" or "pretty boy". In this case, attractive young men ranging from 12 to early middle age.
Not to be taken seriously, it is only for entertaining purposes,
It had been a smash hit
once introduced to anime
audiences around the world and its influence
still remains strong
well into today's young and older audiences as
well in sites like tumblr
Controversy and Racism
Example: Italy being shown as being useless and a coward in the show
The terminology of the show's name itself is a combination of "hetare" the Japanese word for useless and pathetic in an endearing way and Italy's name.
There is also the fact that South Korea banned its country's personification based on his personality being offensive. They considered the Korean character insulting and in early 2009 mounted a protest campaign that was discussed in the Korean national assembly. But that didn't keep the adorable character of South Korea from appearing briefly and accidentally in one episode in cameo and in the opening.
The main storyline takes place in World War I and World War II following Italy, our way less than perfect hero as he tries to get by the war, whereupon Germany discovers him in a box of tomatoes and soon becomes allies with him, much to Germany's dismay.
Together with Japan, Germany and Italy,
they form the Axis, which starts the World Wars and the Allies are made up of America, Britain, France, Russia and Canada against them. (Although less of Canada since everyone keeps forgetting that he is part of the Allies or that he even exists, considering being raised by England and America being his twin brother.
Much of the show omits rather touchy subjects of history, like the Holocaust or Pearl Harbor.
A cheerful and energetic man with the human name of Feliciano Vargas, he has hidden strength but appears to be useless except at making pasta, flirting with girls, designing clothes, painting and singing. He likes pasta, gelato, and cheese.
He stopped aging at the phase of a twenty year old and was born March 17th.
A strict man of forever 20, he is very reliable and a good leader and is known for his strength and coercive skills, he is very orderly and well to-do and does everything literally by-the-book. Born October 3rd. His human name is Ludwig Beilschmidt.
Though quick to punish, he is just as quick to forgive, and constantly pushes Italy to do his best in training and in military concerns.
Often mistaken for a girl when he was a toddler for his disturbingly high voice before puberty, Holy Roman Empire mistook him as a girl and has had a crush on "her" ever since.
Sometimes, the plot also takes place in modern times.
As shown that Italy's military power during the time of World War II was not completely up to snuff, he always jumps to quickly surrendering, which is why he is always seen in official art and fan works with a white flag. He daydreams too much and wanders off instead of listening to Germany, and is an irresponsible crybaby. His cowardice is as lovable as it is laughable, He shares Grandfather Roman Empire with his older sibling.
The Ins and Outs
Chibi America, during his colonial days.
When a nation dissolves, or
an empire falls, the character
dies, just like a human being
Portraying each country as if they were
a human being, when a country is born, they are a baby or in this case "chibis" which is the Japanese word to describe an adorable caricature that makes the
character in question seem more baby-like and/or cute. The character of said country stops aging at a certain point
and is immortal as long as his/her government keep the country running.
Their health also depends on the economy's well being. So an attack might result in an injured or sick character.
There is speculation that America fell ill, or got
an injury after/during 9/11.
The now deceased Roman Empire.
Because they can no longer live
as ordinary humans for being
countries, the show gathers sympathy from its audience for the characters.
The leader or government of each country is his/her
boss, telling the character, being the entire country and its
people what to do.
He does not approve of his boss during the time of the World Wars, but it's his boss, and none of the characters can control what some of their bosses do.
Very reserved, polite, and quiet, he was born February 11th. Because of his long term isolation, he is hard to read and is very detached. Until he joined the Axis, he has not had any contact outside of his own country, thus he experiences culture shock with western and European ways.
All of his stereotypes are the standard, that they are short, and they miniaturize things.
Strangely, he acts much older than he looks, and has the tiredness of an old man despite his strength and young looks. He loves sushi and salmon and has a hard time refraining from adding too much salt in his food. His name is Honda Kiku.
He has a weakness for beer and wurst, and has a talent for making german cakes.
With the arrogance of France and the looks more attune to England, he's an over-proud, excitable, fun-loving, and ignorant man of 19. He has a habit of sticking his nose into everyone's business thus giving him trouble in making friends. His human name is Alfred F. Jones.
As how Americans are notorious for, he is obsessed with super heroes, justice and freedom. (Burgers and junk food included)
He goes into situations without thinking and always wants to be the super good guy in all wars, though he is very inexperienced. He is, however, very strong and worries about gaining weight, though it's just his muscle gain. He does not care to read the mood and makes uncalled for comments insensitively.
His glasses represent Texas, and his cowlick is Nantucket.
Birthday: October 1st
Likes: Hello Kitty, pandas, painting, and cooking.
Though he looks young, seeing him makes one think of an old man or a hermit. He tries to be an older brother to the other Asian nations, but he is almost never regarded as such. He loves good luck and fortune. He's somewhat of a good business man, but not so as he once tricked Prussia into buying a doll for happiness.
He hates losing and sulks about how things have changed over the centuries.
He's cheerful, but easily annoyed, and is one of the oldest nations.
The death of Joan of Arc. There is much speculation
that she is the only human France will forever truly
love until his dissolution.
to the point of
being a creeper,
is an arrogant man
that will try to romance
any country he deems
beautiful. He is 26
and was born July 14.
Talented in sketching, manipulation, telephones, cuisine, agriculture, singing, wandering around art museums, or a fashion boutique in Paris and has an intense rivalry with England, arguing with him over very little things. He used to be a fighter, but not since Napoleon died.
France often seems infatuated with most of the nations and is known to make blatant sexual comments at every opportunity and is very affectionate, often shown streaking or touching other nations inappropriately. However, he believes love is not something to be forced on others and, if given a firm no, will usually avoid touching or stripping, and he will stop if what he's doing isn't enjoyed.
England (In disguise)
The tallest of all the nations, due to the size of his borders, he frightens everyone (the exception being Belarus and Poland).
He loves sunflowers.
He'll intimidate many without saying a word and seems innocent and wondrous but for a fact IS childishly cruel.
Sincerely, he wants friends and is shy around strangers, but considers everyone to be his friend.
His human name is Ivan Braginski. His gentle smile and cheerful appearance only intensify his scary aura. Russia was also described as gentle and naive, and not malicious, just extremely scary. He is manipulative and finds amusement in tormenting others or watching arguments.
Though he is capable of being incredibly cruel-minded, Russia himself is unaware of this. Whenever he thinks of how his sisters have become strange, he becomes very depressed, such a thing being seen as an "absolutely awful omen" by England.
He has been tormented since his childhood, having seen many tragedies and wars, which have cracked his mentality. General Winter haunts and attacks him every year, which has caused him to hate the snow. His childhood was tough, troubled, and full of forced servitude, bullying, and constant pursuing by other countries. He loves vodka. Vodka is his fuel. The scarf he wears acts as an extra limb and he once grappled America's neck with it.
Russia as a toddler.
A former scoundrel of a pirate from his golden years, he is 23 and dresses smart casual most of the time, but then as a band punk when out for fun. He loves literature, embroidery, craftsmanship, rock music, and giving scathing criticisms to America's movies. He is fanciful and blunt and has an obsession with magic and fantasy creatures, and can see them, and is not limited to his home land. He is very mature and considered himself to be America's older brother when he found him.
During colonization, he took good and affectionate care of America and was afraid of losing him as he was growing stronger. Every Fourth of July, he goes out and drowns his sorrow with drink.
Despite his realistic, cynical view on the world, he is a very soft sided person. But he hides this with rudeness.
During the American Revolution
Unlike his twin brother,
Canada is calm, shy, reserved, sensitive and hates fighting.
He can make a formidable opponent
when called for. Despite this, he is often mistaken for his brother and has found himself in trouble for incidents that America has caused. When he is not being mistaken for his brother, other nations tend to forget that he exists.
Born July 1st, he loves hockey, and maple syrup and is a good tactician. He has a pet polar bear named Kumajirou, who unfortunately forgets him too.
The two brothers grew up separately as children, until England took Canada on a trip to meet America, who wound up becoming bored with him and forgetting him shortly into their first meeting. In adulthood, America is the source of his constant troubles, he is blamed for fights that America started or is spoken to as America.
However, during an argument, Canada was able to reduce him to tears when he went on a 3-hour rant about all of his flaws. Despite this, the two seem to have a healthy relationship, as their arguing and America's frequent forgetting of him can merely come off as sibling rivalry. America tends to visit his house on occasion and is seen to be the one Canada spends the most time with.
As a child, he did not always wear a maid dress like his brother but simply an apron, His name is Lovino Vargas and he is 22, he represents South Italy and is Feli's older brother.
South Italy is friendly and kind to women, but is strict and less social to men. Despite appearing to be tougher than his younger brother, he is just as cowardly and ineffectual, if not more so. He's stubborn and has actually been described as being quite timid. Though he is not very skilled with his hands, it is said that he is a good pickpocket. He is also somewhat vulgar, often calling others "bastard"s or ending his sentences with a word translatable as "damn it".
As a child, he often slacked off and slept when it came to chores; he was rather clumsy when he actually tried to do them. He had the disease Choreia as a child, and that it played a part in his clumsiness. Like his younger brother, he was owned by another country. In the 2011 Christmas Event, it is revealed that Romano is actually a hard worker in modern times, much to Prussia's and Germany's surprise. According to Germany, Romano is "a guy who can do what he puts his mind into".
When using grenades, he seemingly has no clue of the correct way to throw them (throwing the pin rather than the actual grenade, a habit shared by his brother). He is often controlled and led around by his own mafia. It is partially due to the influence of the mafia that his view of the world is more biased and bleak than Italy's.
He hates Germany's guts and despises that his younger brother praises that "potato bastard" all the time. He's also rather hard on Italy because he sometimes finds him annoying, but Italy adores his older brother.
North Italy is pulling the cart. Romano is asleep in it.
A former nomad and tomboyish type of woman who was once married to Austria. Although their union ended, she still feels strongly towards him (though she had conflicted feelings under his rule). Her name is Elizabeta Hedevary, age 20-21.
As a child, she believed herself to be a boy until she hit puberty. She is fond of riding horses, and carries a cast-iron frying pan with her as a weapon (which she has used against both France and Prussia). She is also a fujoshi (literally: "rotten girl") type of character.
A young master who loves the piano. He was born to fight, yet was too weak as a child and often had to be assisted in battles by his friend Switzerland, until they had a falling-out. Despite his high class appearance, he is very frugal.
His history was marked by many marriages, including one to Hungary (referencing the Austro-Hungarian Compromise) and one to Spain (referencing the union of the countries in the House of Habsburg). He helped raise the younger Italy when he became property of the Holy Roman Empire.
A once powerful nation that wound up driven to poverty by England, America, and the Netherlands. He is generally cheerful and friendly, though he is also oblivious and ditsy to a degree, unable to "read the atmosphere" and not even bothering to try. Though he is affectionate around his former henchman Romano, the other does not often openly return the kindness. Spain is also often depicted as both France's friend and rival.
The older brother of Germany, who will do anything to become strong. He once represented the Teutonic Knights, but eventually became Prussia after various stages in his life as a nation. In the modern day (after his home was dissolved), he lives with Germany, though it is said that he once worked under Russia for a time.
He has a fondness for picking on Austria, which causes him to get beaten up by Hungary even in the modern day.
His human name is Gilbert Beilschmidt.
He has white hair
and red eyes and is
He loves his l'il bro immensely, but now Germany finds his affection troublesome.
More than a little loud and arrogant, he always proclaims
himself as being
"awesome"and great, trying to find
new ways to remind those
around him, even though now he
is no longer an actual country.
Prussia now lives upstairs in his
younger brother's house.
Prussia having tea with Frederick the Second
He is East Germany, and he
affectionately nicknames Germany
"West" or "Luddy". He finds Feliciano
(North Italy) super cute, calling him
"Ita-chan". He always has a baby chick
close by that he calls "Gilbird" and together, they're the "awesomest buddies in zhe universe!"
She had spats
with Prussia, always
defeating him. He's a
little jealous over her
and Austria's former
The tomboy nation, when
she thought herself a boy.
She fought off Prussia when he took over Austria's "vital regions" when they
were married in the
Spain comforting a young Romano.
Elizabeta helped take care of Italy
when he was a child under HRE.
Prussia and a young Germany.
An elegant-looking young man who has interest in the arts, specifically in the piano. He is mostly known for taking control of Italy after the Italian Wars and having Italy as his servant; at the same time, he is somewhat of a father figure to him. Austria's relationship with Germany is seen as love–hate since they merged and became allies during World War I, but Austria's presence annoyed Germany greatly. He is also known for being an enemy to Prussia whom he lost Silesia to during the War of the Austrian Succession; since then Prussia has mocked and humiliated Austria even for having female leader.
He is still on good terms with Hungary even after their divorce and often spend time together.
According to his character notes, Austria does not wear glasses for bad eyesight but rather for a better appearance; the stray strand in his hair represents Mariazell. His human
name is Rodreich Edelstein, and he is 23-24.
Spain is fond of children which leads to his desire to have both parts of Italy in his house. Spain was once married to Austria when the Hapsburgs came to Spain but became his enemy during the War of the Spanish Succession, even though he got Milan, and during the War of the Austrian Succession. Likewise, Netherlands doesn't like Spain at all, it is said that Belgium however is on good terms with Spain.
All in all, this show seems to grasp
what all of us have seen one time or
another. That some wars from the past
were ridiculous and be able to laugh
at our mistakes and improve ourselves
for the good of the future of this
world. To learn from history so as
not to repeat it.
With Hetalia, we see other countries
as people, not faceless unknown
strangers firing from their own trenches,
but as other human beings, and in this
way, with laughter, we are open-minded
to other cultures and customs, and shatter
the stereotypes that lack of communication
has given us.
He is 25, and was born
February 12th, he has
optimism española and
has a country bumpkin feel to him.
He has a huge
thing for tomatoes.
Ukraine and Belarus are Russia's sisters who cause Russia deep sadness.
Ukraine is Russia's older sister who gave him the scarf he now wears. She tries to distance herself away from Russia by trying to make new friends in Europe. She's very poor and often cannot afford to pay her gas and oil bills to Russia. She also has large breasts that represent her country's agricultural nature, which causes her constant back pains.
Belarus, who wears an old fashioned dress, is deeply in love with Russia and constantly tries to get him to marry her. Russia, however, finds her terrifying and thus tries to avoid her. It also may be so because she and Russia are "kind of siblings", which makes her incestuous. She gets severely jealous of other nations if they are near Russia and she will usually scare other nations off.
There is also
speculation on the Chernobyl
accident and how that
pertains to the
the three siblings
as a whole and
how they interact
with each other
as a family.
Young Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine when they were young, before matters became complicated for them to stay united as family.