Axis Powers Hetalia: The Axis

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  • Analogy Backfire: When Italy invents the Axis metaphor ("The world will revolve around a Rome-Berlin Axis"), Germany points out how (literally) astronomically impossible the idea is.
  • Blond Brunette Redhead: Germany, Japan, and Italy, although the personalities hardly match up.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Germany and Italy. If Germany is the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Comic Trio: More often than they'd like. France at one point even compares them to the Three Stooges.
  • One Head Taller: Germany and Italy are often portrayed as this, even though Italy is not exactly one head shorter than Germany, but this usually happens to accentuate the fact that they're supposed to be a couple. In fact, the height difference is more obvious in Germany and Japan's case.
  • Only Sane Man: Germany. Japan is this occasionally to Germany and Italy, especially in anime artwork. And, in one strip, Italy plays the role of the sensible one to Japan and Germany's new dieting habits.
  • Opposites Attract: Germany and Italy.
  • Pinky Swear: Used to symbolize Germany and Italy's Pact of Steel.
  • Power Trio: Germany is Superego (rational), Italy is Id (emotional), Japan is Ego (middle man).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Germany and Italy. Germany and Prussia also count, having blue eyes and red eyes, respectively.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Other Guy: Germany and North Italy. Italy also has these dynamics with his brother South Italy, and Japan.
  • Ship Tease: Germany/Italy is one of the most heavily hinted at pairings in the series, second only to Hungary/Austria in implied official-ness. However, the series has no confirmed Official Couples yet.
  • Shirtless Scene: Germany and Italy have a few. Usually together. To Japan's embarrassment
  • True Companions: The Axis Powers are somewhat shown as this. At one point, N. Italy has a bad dream that the others will get tired of him and leave him behind.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Germany and Italy.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Germany and Italy at the end of the unfinished Buon San Valentino.

The Axis Of Evil

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    North Italy (Italy Veneziano) - Feliciano Vargas 
Mmm... Let's see, let's see... I'll start with de-li-cious pasta.. and then, then I'd like olive oil, and wine, and then, and then, a real pretty girl, riiight here...

Voiced by: Shounosuke Hitachi (Flower of Iris CD), Daisuke Namikawa (JP), Aki Kanada (JP-Chibitalia), Todd Haberkorn (EN), Brina Palencia (EN-Chibitalia)

    Germany - Ludwig 
Right, Germany will do something. Why don't you do something?

Voiced by: Yuu Ishibashi (Flower of Iris CD), Hiroki Yasumoto (JP), Patrick Seitz (EN)

  • All Germans Are Nazis: Averted. Germany himself doesn't really agree with his 'boss' 's decisions and he considers him quite crazy. Though there are some jokes, especially in the dub:
    Germany: (to Italy) Are you vanting me to gas you?!
    • And also:
      Romano: Hey there, Hasselhoff! I've got a little surprise for you!
      Germany: Great. What is it? Another Jew? (it's even censored in a youtube video.)
    • There is a parody in which Germany acts like this. Many comments are about how 'Germany's Nazi is showing'.
  • Badass: Almost all the time.
  • Bi the Way: Him. North Italy. Holy Roman Empire and Chibitalia, if you subscribe to the "Germany = grown-up, amnesiac HRE" theory.
  • Big Little Brother: You'd think that the way he acts around Prussia (as well as their height difference), it's as if he's the big brother.
  • Brains and Bondage: See below.
  • Covert Pervert:
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Germany shouts almost constantly at anyone who is being difficult, unorganized or a layabout (usually Italy).
  • Elegant Classical Musician: The official calendar pictures him with a cello.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible sibling to his foolish sibling Prussia. At least in current times.
  • Germanic Depressives: Of course.
  • Germanic Efficiency: Naturally
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Averted. He has slicked-back hair, a common hairstyle for villains, but he's depicted as a sympathetic Only Sane Man.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Subverted. He's shown wearing blue boxers with a patch sewn by Austria.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: When taking a trip to Hawaii, getting a weird look from a Hawaiian.
  • Hunk: Tall, extremely muscled, and manly.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: He has pale blue eyes and a stoic personality to match.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: It has been hinted that he really is the missing Holy Roman Empire, only grown up and without any recollection of his childhood. That comes across in the Valentine's strip, which ends with Germany possibly starting to recover his memories.
    • This theory gains a bit more weight now that the birth of Germany has specifically revealed He had a body before he ever became Germany, and that's why brand new Germany was older than young countries we've seen.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: to Italy, who gets depressed at the very SUGGESTION that Germany dislikes him.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Well...yeah, but WWII Germany in particular fits this trope. He's seen reacting with open shock and disgust at some of the orders he's given (like taking Austria away by force in the "Anschluss", despite Hungary and Italy's pleas), yet he can't do anything but obey.
  • Neat Freak: One strip has Italy cooking and Germany cleaning up his mess right next to him.
  • Only One Name: Unlike the other characters, only his first name was ever given. According to Word of God, we allegedly will find out why...someday. Fans generally give him the same last name as his brother Prussia if one is required.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Germany, reenacting a story about a spy, only wears glasses as a disguise. However, France only recognizes him after noticing Germany's table manners.
    • He tries to pass as an American by smiling and talking about hamburgers. To Prussia's amusement, it works.
  • Perpetual Frowner: While he has smiled on a few occasions, his default expression is serious.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Germany often says this to Italy.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Germany enjoys baking cakes. His image song "Ich liebe..." even lampshades this.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Italy. With Prussia, too. They even have red eyes and blue eyes, respectively.
  • Say My Name: ITALIAAAAAAA!!!!
  • Serious Business: "Whether it be games or cleaning, it's Serious Business to me!"
  • Shirtless Scene: Many fangirls were rejoiced when Episode 20 of The Beautiful World gave them this.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Prussia.
  • Squee: Goes into full fanboy mode when Italy gets Japan to talk about Ninja, since so many of them inexplicably show up in German films. Well, as much as Germany can at any rate.
  • Super Strength: Germany's grip is strong enough to break a metal spoon in half.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: If you ask South Italy or France, he's a "potato freak", but he doesn't eat them often. When France spots him undercover, it's the way he's eating that gives him away. He also has wursts and beer.
  • Tsundere: Himaruya actually calls Germany one in the notes. It's hard to tell his exact type given his usually staid demeanor. He's usually a 'take no guff' guy around everybody, but you can just tell he's making exceptions for Italy, and to drive the point further, the Valentine's strip had Germany pretty much the whole time in full-blown deredere mode.
  • Tsurime Eyes: His eyes are much smaller and more squinted than Italy's.
  • The Unsmile: He tries to smile and be friendly like the locals when visiting Italy. It ends up scaring the hell out of them.
  • Warrior Poet: Often shown reading in his downtime. Familiar with Goethe.
  • Younger Than He Looks: He looks older than Japan, when in fact he is actually younger than Italy, making him the youngest of the Axis.

    Japan - Kiku Honda 
Commander! I, like a true Japanese man will say "I'll consider it" or "perhaps next time" or "we'll use discretion" and be as vague as possible! By all of which I mean "no", sir!

Voiced by: Yanagi (Flower of Iris CD), Hiroki Takahashi (JP), Christopher Bevins (EN)

  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Played for laughs with him and Greece.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Like his Otaku side, this stereotype isn't brought up that much in regards to him but it clearly does apply to him to some extent, considering the couple of strips that show him to be a Teen Genius / Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Berserk Button: He doesn't have many and even then it takes him some effort to show anger most of the time. Watching him completely lose his shit when hearing that Germany was contemplating an alliance with Russia is quite telling.
  • Big Fancy House: He lives in a traditional Japanese house complex. It even has a a small outdoor hot spring.
  • Birds of a Feather: The major foundation for the Greece/Japan pairing, aside of the "Private Lesson". They do have their differences and Japan might be somewhat Oblivious to Love, but compared to almost all other potential couples' Belligerent Sexual Tension and/or obvious personality contrasts, they're practically Happily Married and the pairing least likely to get major conflict or angst in fanworks.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: In the Anglo-Japanese alliance, the artist isn't sure which is which.
  • Brown Eyes: In connection to his polite, trustworthy character. Although subverted with his betrayal toward China.
  • Cain and Abel: Him and his adoptive brother China.
  • Cherry Blossoms: In episode 3 of the anime, when Japan is given the spotlight he's surrounded by flying sakura petals.
  • Covert Pervert:
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Not as obvious as the rest of the cast, but he definitely has his moments.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The art of being as vague as possible ("We'll exercise discretion", "I'll see what I can do", "Perhaps next time", etc.) without actually saying "no" is a specialty of Japan's.
  • Cute Bruiser: Official art often shows him wielding or carrying around a katana, and during the Christmas 2010 event he puts up a hell of a fight against the mysterious kidnapping intruder with a rolled-up poster.
  • Fish out of Water: He feels a bit strange sometimes when interacting with the other Axis members.
  • Flower Motifs: His human first name, Kiku, means "chrysanthemum", a flower with great symbolic importance in his country. Cherry Blossoms are also often associated with him, especially after his introduction in the anime among a shower of them; Japanese fans have even adopted "Sakura" as a Fan Nickname for his Gender Flipped self.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: In the webcast, he gives a U-boat a very interesting upgrade.
  • Gag Penis: Subverted. It may seem like he's a lightweight in his pants, but the comic and the sub heavily imply that he's not. The dub even outright says that he's a grower, not a show-er, and proceeds to "show" Italy (though the viewer is left wondering what happened
  • Hates Being Touched: It took Italy 3 seconds to get Japan very angry just by hugging him. (compare to Greece's intentional attempt to get Japan mad: only a single puff of anger after a solid minute of effort)
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With America.
  • Hikikomori: Japan spent 200 years as one before America arrived at his doorstep with Commodore Perry. More specifically, Japan identifies himself as a hikikomori when he sees the American boats and almost has a Freak Out, and also when he does a Sunako in response to Netherlands opening the door to his room ("Don't shed sunlight on me! I'm melting!").
  • Inscrutable Oriental: It isn't too often you see a Japanese character in a Japanese series characterized this way. Made even more noticeable by all of Japan's other Far Eastern siblings not fitting this trope in the slightest (with the possible exception of Hong Kong).
    Germany: ...Italy is the only friend I've got... and I can never tell what Japan is thinking..."
  • Japanese Politeness:
    • Japan is always polite, even at his rudest:
      China: You can call me China! (...) So, would you mind telling me your name?
      Child!Japan: (bows) Konnichiwa. It's nice to meet you China, where the sun sets. My name is Japan, I am from where the sun rises.
      China: Oh! Well, that wasn't very nice! note 
    • Truth in Television, as this is practically how Japan addressed itself in their first diplomatic document to China (The Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun to the Emperor of the Land of the Setting Sun...). The Chinese Emperor was of course pissed off, saying "bring not those impolite states before me!"
  • Japanese Pronouns: Well, duh. In particular, fanworks are extremely fond of having him refer to everyone with -san after their names, with the possible exception of -kun for his love interest (and even then, it's not nearly as common as him insisting on continuing to use -san for his love interest).
  • Japanese Ranguage: He speaks like this in the dub.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: His Weapon of Choice.
  • Kick the Dog: His stabbing of China in the back, presumably meant to symbolize the first Sino-Japanese war, which leaves a permanent scar on China's back. Though some fans seem to like emphasizing this single action of Japan a little too much, conveniently forgetting that there's more to him than that. YMMV, but by the standards of a Japanese work, this is actually astoundingly honest about some of the more regrettable actions of the Japanese Empire.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Often wears a yukata or kimono when he's at home (although he does sometimes wear more Western clothing), and even more often gets turned into Kimono Fanservice in fanworks.
  • Kuudere: He might look like an indifferent Inscrutable Oriental on the outside, but his close friendships (and enduring patience) with several other nations and his Not So Stoic moments hint at a warmer personality underneath, and some fans posit that he has trouble being open about his feelings because he's secretly shy and/or believes that Love Is a Weakness - something that can be remedied by The Power of Friendship or Love, of course.
  • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: Okay, he isn't female (except in the occasional Gender Flip fanwork), but his personality is the one most closely tied to Asian stereotypes and the most common partner for him in the Western fandom is Greece whose canon interest in his culture and language is often brought up in them, with in the Japanese fandom, it's England who stayed over at his house to learn more about his culture during their alliance. It's interesting to note that on Pixiv, England x Japan far outstrips any other ships, at 30k+. Keep in mind that Japan is the fandom bicycle...
  • Nation-tan in White: When wearing his white military uniform.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: A flat dark brown (black in early art), his eyes have been described as "soulless."
  • Ninja Maid: In a Fanservice art, he dons a Meido costume and wields a katana.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • In spite of Japan easily being one of the most stoic members of the cast, he's proven capable of losing his cool on quite a few occasions. Especially over physical intimacy, food prices, 2D, and Russia.
    • After doing some touristy things with Italy, he was shown smiling like an idiot and exclaiming "PASTA!" Italians are apparently contagious.
    • Or Italy's driving.
  • Obake: They still exist, though Japan can't see them anymore.
  • Otaku: He said he prefers 2D over 3D. Given the context, that should tell you something.
  • Perpetual Frowner: So much that Italy tries to get him to smile in one strip... well, he does succeed in getting Japan to show an angry expression, at least.
  • Seppuku: He is shocked to discover this isn't Germany and Italy's first response to surrender.
  • Teen Genius: Japan learns to write and invents his own alphabet very quickly, much to China's shock.
  • Teeny Weenie: According to Italy in the Hot Springs Episode.
  • That Didn't Happen: That night with Greece was All Just a Dream. Really, it was! He's SO glad that it was just a dream!
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: "An unpleasant sensation." But when he really ''does'' get angry...
  • Vocal Dissonance: This deep voice contrasts with his very youthful appearance.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the first drama CD, Hiroki Takahashi gives Japan a rather soft voice. Later dramas and the anime series have him using a deeper tone.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Japan dresses like the archetypical Japanese housekeeper (female kimono, apron, and headgear included) when he does housework.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Never mind his gender, Japan by himself is the character in the series who's the closest to being a Yamato Nadeshiko, especially in the modern day strips. He's polite, soft-spoken, wears traditional Japanese clothing outside of meetings, and while he has his share of bizarre quirks like every other character in Hetalia does, they tend to be subtler. This has led to some people accusing him of being a Flat Character, even though these traits are frequently used for humor/parody (e.g. he's often too polite for his own good or doesn't let his politeness get in the way of him being passive-aggressive).
  • Yandere / Cute and Psycho: He's got his own Yandere/Yangire ("Black Kiku") tag on Pixiv, and this characterization of him is especially popular in China/Japan fanfic (taking its cues from Japan being shown to stab China In the Back at one point in canon) and WWII DarkFic. Of course, the same is true of China within the same ship...