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[[quoteright:221:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Axis.jpg]]

Once upon a time, [[NationsAsPeople there was a man called]] TheRomanEmpire who ruled over all the Mediterranean. Then he [[VestigialEmpire died]], leaving his grandson Italy in his place. Despite the riches and talents he inherited, Italy was weak, and was a target for all his neighbors.

Cut to UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne. Germany waits at the Italian front, ready to face the heir to the mighty Roman Empire...

He finds Italy hiding in a tomato crate. Poor Italy is scared [[TheDitz and has no idea what the hell is going on]], so Germany takes him under his wing, where he remains until UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. At the same time, the "Allied Forces" are getting ready to counter attack... if they can reach an agreement, that is.

A popular Japanese series by Creator/HidekazHimaruya that is an allegorical tale of the history of the world, especially during UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, with anthropomorphizations of different countries and the various stereotypes associated with them. ''Axis Powers Hetalia'' is at once educational, irreverently silly, occasionally touching, and [[RefugeInAudacity quite probably very offensive to certain people]]. Surprisingly, it gets many of the more subtle and less well known relationships between European countries rather well represented, which you usually [[WeAllLiveInAmerica wouldn't expect of foreign writers]].

The word ''Hetalia'' is a portmanteau of hetare and Italia (Italy), which means [[TheMillstone hopeless Italy]], as Germany soon discovers. Hopeless in a cute way. You know, with the Axis powers, [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain it's not bad to be bad at being bad.]]

Starting off as a webcomic in 2006, Hetalia garnered a strong fan following, and was eventually published in print form two years later. The original webcomic can still be read [[http://www.geocities.jp/himaruya/hetaria/index.html here,]] with scanlations located [[http://www.hetarchive.net/scanlations/ here.]][[note]]Following a Cease and Desist notice from Gentosha, the published manga volume material is no longer available, although scans from Comic Birz and Himaruya's blogs are unaffected.[[/note]] Seven manga volumes have been printed in Japan, the latest in February 2015, and an eighth one will be released in July 2015. Monthly episodes also ran in Birz magazine for about a year starting in 2011, and those stories were reprinted in volumes five and six of the published manga. As of September 21, 2014, the series began a new bi-weekly manga serialization in the [[Magazine/ShonenJump Shonen Jump Plus]] online magazine called ''World☆Stars''.

The English manga adaptation was originally licensed by {{Tokyopop}} and two volumes were released, but they went bankrupt before the third volume could be published. Right Stuf picked up the series and has [[http://www.rightstuf.com/rssite/facetedSearch/?search=hetalia#/?s=hetalia&o=0&r=STORE_CATEGORIES:GN volumes 1 - 6 for sale.]]

A series of drama [=CDs=] were also made, followed by an {{anime}} adaptation, although broadcast on television was [[ScrewedByTheNetwork canceled]] in favor of alternate means. Produced by Creator/StudioDEEN, the anime began airing in January of 2009, and currently has completed five seasons, along with several additional "special episodes." The third and fourth season were released under the name ''Hetalia World Series'' and season five was titled ''Hetalia the Beautiful World''. A movie, ''Paint It, White'', has been released in Japan and became available in North America in November 2011. As of November 26th 2014, a season six has been confirmed, to be named ''Hetalia The World Twinkle'', which will begin airing on July 3, 2015.

Both the anime series and the movie have been licensed by Creator/{{Funimation}}. The extra episodes included on the Japanese fan discs are included on the fourth season [=DVDs=], but are not available online. Because of this, any casual fan watching streamed episodes online might get confused when they see the episode in season four where teenage Prussia sees Hungary's breasts and is reminded that she is female, as the episode where he discovered her gender was one of the extra episodes for the third season.

Most of the anime can be viewed for free at [[http://funimation.com/hetalia/ Funimation's website.]][[note]]Although you need to have an account on their site and be in the US or Canada as they are region blocked.[[/note]] The full series, including both the subbed and dubbed anime, the movie, and extras such as commentary and bloopers, are available to people who have a paid subscription. [[http://www.hulu.com/hetalia-axis-powers Hulu]] also has both subtitled and dubbed versions of the Axis Powers, as does Funimation's [[http://www.youtube.com/show/hetalia YouTube]] Channel. Likewise, a sub of ''World Series'' is also officially available on [[http://www.youtube.com/show/hetaliaworldseries YouTube]] and [[http://www.hulu.com/hetalia-world-series Hulu]]. The show is TV-MA, so an account on either is required.

Please note that the dub takes a great number of liberties with the script.

Now has its own [[FanWorks/AxisPowersHetalia Fan Works]], [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation/AxisPowersHetalia Alternative Character Interpretation]], [[Memes/AxisPowersHetalia Memetic Mutation]], ''Manga/HetaliaBloodbath2010'', ''Manga/{{Hetaween 2011}}'', ''Manga/HetaliaBloodbath2011'', ''Manga/HetaliaHetaween2013'', [[ShipTease/AxisPowersHetalia Ship Tease]], [[HoYay/AxisPowersHetalia Ho Yay]], [[RonTheDeathEater/AxisPowersHetalia Ron The Death Eater]], [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight/AxisPowersHetalia Ships That Pass In The Night]], [[ShipToShipCombat/AxisPowersHetalia Ship To Ship Combat]], [[DieForOurShip/AxisPowersHetalia Die For Our Ship]], ''and'' [[FandomSpecificPlot/AxisPowersHetalia Fandom Specific Plot]], pages. It also has [[http://fetishfuel.wikia.com/wiki/Axis_Powers_Hetalia its own page]] on TvTropes' Fetish Fuel wiki.

Compare ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'', another webcomic that was inspired when a Danish artist felt that the Scandinavian nations didn't match up with the stereotypes that she was familiar with, ''Webcomic/AfganisuTan'', a short lived webcomic centered around a humanized version of Afghanistan, and ''Webcomic/PlanetaryMoe'', which has been described as "Hetalia [[RecycledInSpace but with astronomical bodies instead of countries]]." Also compare ''Anime/MobileFighterGGundam,'' which foreshadows the theme of NationalStereotypes to the point that it's sometimes seen as a spiritual predecessor. Also compare the much more amateurish [[StylisticSuck (deliberately so)]] {{Webcomic/Polandball}} comics, which also features anthropomorphizing nations.

By the way, there are two Italies (Veneziano and Romano), but assume we mean Veneziano (North Italy). Similarly, "Korea" refers to South Korea, as in the original comics he is called by the Japanese name for South Korea (''Kankoku'') and the North (''Chousen'') is never shown.


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!!''Axis Powers Hetalia'' contains examples of:

[[index]]
* AxisPowersHetalia/AToH
* AxisPowersHetalia/IToP
* AxisPowersHetalia/QToZ
[[/index]]
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