Why The Italies are named "Romano" and "Veneciano"— Rome and Venetia were the last two Italian states to unify into a united Italian nation.
One can only imagine the reaction from some particular countries when the Allies win WWII!
Also, did anyone realize the ED's resemblence to Disney's Small World theme park ride?!
It seems like almost every character with a recurring role has their own version of either Marukaite Chikyuu or Hatafutte Parade. The Axis and Allies have one of each, of course, but characters with shorter appearances are starting to get them, too - like Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Greece, Turkey, even Sweden, who's only been in three or four episodes so far. And considering the size of his fanbase, and the fact that he was introduced in the second season, before both Sweden and Turkey, shouldn't Canada have his own version of the theme song? Well, obviously not - they forgot about him again! Although, he did receive his own character song, titled "Canada Complete Introduction"
Word of God states that America fears Dora the Explorer. I thought it was hilarious, then I realized that it was a very subtle reference to attitudes to illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States.
This happened to me at least twice with Axis Powers Hetalia. When I first read the strips featuring Russia and Belarus, I naturally found the concept of the series' most feared character being scared out of his wits by a cute girl hilarious, but I thought it was done just because of Rule of Funny until I learned about the Union State. That was when I truly began relishing Himaruya's set-up of Belarus and Russia's relationship - Belarus's Yandereness toward her brother is real-life canon!
It's actually not, when Russia's leader suggested that Belarus unite with Russia, only 20% of Byelorussians voted in favor of it.
However, sometimes a nation-tan's actions are meant to reflect their government instead of their people, and the Belarussian government is rather in favor of the Union State.
Regardless of the validity, it also turns out that apparently, Belarus and Russia are technically one...since 1997.
Not quite, it's still the rule of 'funny', as he would have kept with his original premise, and made Belarus a hot-tempered Tsundere who was constantly nagging.
While on the subject of real life canon and Hot-Blooded Tsundres, why is England a tsundere in the series? Because in real life Great Britain is essentially the world's biggest tsundere towards the United States! Seriously, Britain has been our allies, then our enemies, then our allies again and so on and so forth. Makes perfect sense when you think about it.
The second case occurred with the "Rainy Day" strip. I already found it cute due to the Umbrella of Togetherness scenario with Greece and Japan (and yes, I'm a Yaoi Fangirl who ships these two hard), but it wasn't until I read a certain LJ post that I realized that Japan is also wearing a raincoat in the same strip. Which means that he didn't have to share Greece's umbrella but did anyway, even though he almost certainly knows what the act signifies in his own culture. The Ship Tease in that strip just got a whole lot more squeeworthy. —Solandra.
At first, I was a little curious as to how Canada and Cuba were friends, despite being separated by the United States. Then I read about how from the 18th century, Canada and Cuba were trading with each other and have kept a cordial relationship with each other since, Canada even protesting against the United States about the Helms-Burton Act. It is also noteworthy to point out that Canada's former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Cuba's former Prime Minister Fidel Castro were good friends, up to Trudeau's death.
Romano's constant insults towards other nations' foods (Germany and potatoes; Switzerland and cheese) is often turned up to eleven in fanfics by making Romano basically insult anyone who doesn't exclusively love tomatoes and pasta. When I learned about the term polentone, food-based insults officially became canon, and there was much rejoicing.
I had been a bit disappointed with how Canada was portrayed as the Butt Monkey, with nobody ever noticing him or if they do, they just think he's America. His constant companion Kumajirou always wonders who he is. Russia even sat on him for a whole meeting with realizing he was there and his best friend Cuba keeps thinking he's America whenever he sees him! But Hidekaz Himaruya gave us a cute little wink during the strip when Canada and America got into an argument and Canada burst into a three hourrant about why America sucked, promptly leaving America in tears. This alone showed that Canada was one of the few people, if not the only person, in the world who could do that to America, overpowering and dominating America for once when most of the other countries couldn't.
This is real life, too. If you look up the other wiki page for US - Canada relationship, it mentions the two having one of the most stable and mutually beneficial international relationships in the world. Heck, I could probably go on a rant with all the information I've gotten on how much they share. Heck, go watch the video "Tom Brokaw Explains Canada to Americans"; it's a great reflection on the relations between the two. -Ashley
The reason for him constantly being mistaken for American? According to friends of mine in Canada, they're constantly assumed to be American when they're traveling! Pretty clever little nod to how everyone seems to do it.
In the dub, Poland is less of a Valley Girl than a gangster / gayngster, saying things like "yo, bro-ski". At first I was disappointed at the masculinity. Then: Oh my goodness. Could it be a subtle reference to Polish ghettos?!
This troper was reading some of Himaruya's old notes. One of them said that Sweden was 100% gay, but "only acts that way around Finland." At first I thought it was some weird form of Getting Crap Past the Radar. Then on the LJ fan community for the Nordic characters, I learned about the (Finnish) stereotype of all Swedish men being gay. Himaruya, you sneaky bastard.
Another Nordic-related instance of Fridge Brilliance came when reading Iceland's character profile. It said he tried to be cool and level-headed, but was Hot-Blooded and had a volatile temper on the outside. Sounds like a typical awkward teenager... until you remember that Iceland is made up of volcanoes.
Me again; some time ago, I read from the Hetalia Wikia that the beta version of the Drama CD revealed that Turkey was in love with Ancient Greece but had to kill her. I don't know if this is really true or not and it's not official in any case, but got to thinking about the implications of this, and realized how something like this would explain a LOT about Greece and Turkey's relations. Obviously, Greece would be hostile towards Turkey because of him being the one who killed her mother, but what would be Turkey's possible reasons for being hostile towards Greece in return? How about the fact that Greece looks a lot like his mother, which means that Turkey would be reminded of his dead love every time he looked at him? And that if Greece isn't his son, it means that he's essentially proof that Ancient Greece loved someone other than him and that he now has to take care of his rival's son? In other words, it gives both Greece and Turkey serious, completely understandable reasons for hating each other while keeping both of them sympathetic at the same time.
But it doesn't stop there; consider how it's shown that Turkey doesn't like seeing Greece with Japan at all. Now consider how Turkey's resentment might not be simply that his crush likes his hated rival better than him, but that when he finally allowed himself to fall in love again after the terrible events with Ancient Greece, her son, the living reminder of the fact that his previous love loved someone else more than him, is the reason for his current love also loving someone else more than him. Damn. It would also explain Japan's aversion to choosing one of them over the other in spite of the obvious bias (other than his Japanese Politeness, of course); he must have heard both sides of the story and recognized that each one of them is not the bastard the other one believes he is (why else would he be friends with them, if they weren't both good at heart?) - but also that the deep and very emotionally-seated reasons behind their hostility means that it would take a miracle for them to realize that themselves - and that if he does choose Greece, it would be like twisting the knife further for Turkey. Damn. It makes so much sense that it's not even funny. —Solandra.
For a long time I assumed that the reason there are two Italies was just because Italy was the main character and so Himaruya wanted to be able to focus on more aspects of Italian history. But originally, the series was a retelling of World War Two. And in 1943, half of Italy ended up under the allies, while the other half was occupied by Germany. Of course Himaruya created two Italies; how else could he have portrayed that? Of course, he abandoned the actual story long before it reached 1943, but Romano had already been created by then, so he stayed on in the cast. — Arla Grey
Actually, no. Historically there were two Italies, which united in 1861. That's why there are two Italies. -godzilla30000
But there's no reason for Romano, apparently the less important, to appear. Yes, it could be surmised he existed, but many other countries should also have more than one tan - and probably do. Why would both Italies continue to show up consistently in post-unification strips? Especially since Romano appeared in the chapters, when Himaruya wasn't planning to branch out into general history. - Arla Grey
Fangirl Reason: Because that would mean killing him, and that would be sad. Reasonable Reason:It's pretty much an exact parallel with the U.S. and its North/South divisions, it's one country but the line is still there and the people still identify by Northerners and Southerners, they consider themselves a separate people. It's also similar to Berlin: they still divide themselves by West and East even though the wall is no longer there. Now, why the U.S. doesn't have two doesn't make any sense to me, but maybe the south was like North Korea and was avoided due to controversy. -nekoconecto
Well, Italy and Berlin were reunited peacefully, no? America WON A WAR. It is entirely possible that a confederate America existed at some point and just no longer does. (Maybe America was forced to terminate him?)
Also, Italy was divided for a MUCH LONGER TIME than the north and south of America.
Same troper. The whole England/UK thing has never exactly bugged me, and the explanation of England representing them all at meetings makes perfect sense. But then his full name is put down as 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. This threw me slightly, until it dawned that since England no longer exists as a seperate entity, then yes, that is the official name it falls under. So it would be his full name, but it would also be his brothers' full names (possibly with their respective extra names stuck on at the end like the Italies).
The fact that France stops America from drinking in the plane strip may seem weird given that we already see him drinking with England once. It makes sense when you remember the legal drinking age difference: America can drink in England's house but not in his own!
That would imply America is younger than 21, though.
So, it wasn't really "Renaissance times" but Peter the Great in the early eighteenth century (definitely Early Modern Europe, bordering on Modern Europe). Also, it wasn't all citizens, it was nobles. And, if the Nation-tans are meant to represent the people, not the monarchs, then this makes no sense, since the vast majority of the nation (nobles especially) hated these measures and they were reversed after his death. Of course, later, European styles became fashionable among the nobility (having a number of Emperors and Empresses who spoke only/mainly French or German helped too), but then we get into the messy issue of whether Nation-tans represent their people (who would be mostly the peasants, and still very much unaffected by this change in fashion) or their political body (who would be mostly the nobles and very much affected). Still, in either case, the whole Peter the Great thing would have been a short-lived problem for Russia, one that would most likely play out in the series by having him complain that his boss made him shave his beard and wear funny clothing that he didn't much like.
At first I was curious on why Hungary was made a Yaoi Fangirl, and once heard that it was because the country had a notorious reputation for kinky erotica (like Germany), but then I remembered her situation as a kid. She grew up believing that everyone grew a penis when they were older, which meant she thought everyone becomes a boy.If you thought that everyone gets to be boys, yaoi seems to be the only kind of sexual relationship to have!
So Ukraine's large land mass is represented by her large chest. Does that mean Russia's large land mass is represented by his...
Possibly. In the dub of one episode, America gets a box of condoms from Russia, which are 25 centimeters (that's around 9 to 10 inches) and labeled extra small.
Then again, America did say that rather quickly, and he and his Boss were both surprised by the size. Russia may have heard 25 1 centimeter condoms...
Or he could have heard "20 5-centimeter condoms" which is also why he would have assumed they were extra small.
How about Canada? Being the second largest country in the world's gotta count for something, right?
Switzerland and Liechtenstein's relationship can come off very close, if not borderline closet-incestuous, despite being Not Blood Siblings. Then you notice the fact that in Real Life, Swiss and Liechtensteiners really do view each other as close brothers. And that's not counting the generous Customs Union that effectively ties the two Alpine nations closely together...
Spain has kansai accent, and some of the nordics have touhoku accent. This fits quite well, considering kansai is Eastern Japan and touhoku is Northern Japan. Admittedly, though, other characters' accents are not so readily explainable.
Even more potential Fridge Brilliance to that: Spain has a kansai accent, which would seem more to fit Eastern vs. Northern Japan. However, if you were taught Spanish as a second language, one of the things you're taught is that the Spanish most commonly taught [the Latin/South American Spanish] and Castillian [for Spain] are relatively different...
I always wondered, why is Kirkland England's human surname? I get the references to his human first name of Arthur, but Kirkland always gave me trouble: it doesn't seem to reference anything/anyone in particular and it's not a popular surname in England (like Jones is in America and Fernandez is in Spain). But then I realized "kirk" is an old-fashioned term for "church." And since a hill is a type of land...is Kirkland a reference to Winston Churchill?
I thought it had something to do with the redistribution of church land in the 16th century after Henry VIII's break from the Catholic Church. a bunch of families had bought the lands and "Bloody" Mary of England (who wanted England to be Catholic again) had to agree that they could keep the lands for them to agree to return to the Catholic Church.
The episode where Japan-cat tries to convince the other cats not to ban trading in canned tuna. At first, I thought of it as just a cute cat-centric strip. Then I thought about it: sea-living life form... banned as food due to endangerment... Japan protesting this... holy crap, is this a whaling metaphor?
Well, Japan is in a similar situation as whaling in regards to tuna fishing, so I've always assumed that the nekotalia episode was pretty much literal.
This troper had always wondered why Poland seemed to have an obsession with ponies (at least, that’s what the fandom has now made him out to look like), and where that idea came from, until I learned that it could’ve maybe have stemmed from the fact that during the 1939 German invasion of Poland, the Polish forces fought the German Tanks with CAVALRY (and actually managed to put up a really good fight against the German forces). Himaruya must have translated that one fact into his comics as Poland buying a new pony (or several new ponies, according to the Funimation Dub) in response to England’s question about his war preparations. My theory is that from there, the fandom just decided to illustrate Poland as being pony-obsessed. - Chinese Drama Troper
Sadly, Polish cavalry attacking German tanks was a part of German war propaganda - it was their way of saying: "Ha Ha! They still fight with clubs and rocks!". Poland's obsession with ponies, propably comes from the Polish Hussars, the elite cavalry of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were considered nearly unbeatable, and for Poland, they are a source of memories of that brief period when the whole Europe was afraid of him.
So, this could totally be a Captain Obvious thing, but bear with me, it only really hit me today. Anyway, we all know that Germany and Prussia drink pretty much nothing but beer, and England is a big believer in going to the pub. Could also be stereotyping without any deeper meaning, but it could be a brilliant little poke at the relationship between Germany, Prussia, and England. The name "England" actually comes from "Angle Land" since the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes invaded England not long after the fall of Rome. The Angles and Co. were Germanic tribes. England is Germany and Prussia's cousin, so that's why all three of em are serious about their drinking!
At first, I thought that the plot of the movie was a Jumping the Shark moment, with the aliens and all. But then again, what else other than an alien invasion will get the nations of the world work together?
And why would the aliens skip Switzerland and Liechtenstein? Simple: Not only do they have a long history of fierce militarism (the use of Swiss soldiers was for a time considered a war crime) in addition to their neutrality, but there's also the various facilities in their territory, including the CERN LHC. It would be no surprise therefore that the Pict would simply find them too much effort to take over.
In medieval times bright blue was considered a 'rich' color, due to the long time it took to make the dye. It was especially revered in France, where it was not only considered a rich color but the royal color. Now, what color does France wear in anime episodes such as the one where he cuts England's hair? Blue!
Another piece of Fridge Brilliance regarding Canada: He's the least-noticed sibling in the Anglo-sphere family (assumedly, the other nations such as Australia and New Zealand are more recognizable, despite not having appeared outside of the Holiday Specials), and he never gets a chance to get his say. Combined with his rather beta personality compared to his brother, I wouldn't be surprised if he has to repeat himself constantly to get a word in edgewise. Now, maybe this is a coincidence, but even if it is, it's a great one. Canada displays personality traits and character tropes that are also seen in another well-known Canadian character: The least-noticed brother? From a big family? Soft-spoken compared to the others? Never gets his word in, to the point where he is completely ignored unless he makes himself heard? Did Himaruya read and/or watch Jacob Two-Two?
The English dub of the Japan goes Italian scene gave Japan an accent almost exactly like Mario, considering Mario is an Italian plumber created by Japanese people.
It bothered me for a while that England was portrayed as having been bullied by his older brothers, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, even though historically speaking the reverse would have been more accurate. But then I remembered that because the others haven't made appearances yet, we only have England's perspective. He probably thought he had the right to try and take over the whole British Isles, and his brothers were wrong to fight back.
As is usually the case with history there were no good sides. Initially agression came from both sides, and while England eventually won out, much of his early history (talking before 1100 AD) was spent being harassed by all kinds of people, including his brothers. Everyone involved took every oportunity to hurt the other.
This troper always figured that Seychelles was a young girl because the author thought it suited the character. But then, she learned that Seychelles is heavily matriarchal! Not only that, but it's the law that Seychelles fathers must financially support their children. According to the character guide, Seychelles gets by thanks to financial support by Britain and France (her "dads"/colonizers).
When England caught a cold and France took care of him, America tried to cure him by placing a hamburger on his head. The comic runs with "America doesn't get it" joke but remember that nations only get a cold when they're suffering from financial stress. Things like fast food, junk food, soda, etc are all products that can only thrive in a heavily capitalistic society with lots of consumers and advertising (read: things that spend money and stimulate the economy). Depending on when the comic took place (let's say the early 20th century before the Depression) products like that would be booming in American culture, so America would think he was curing England.
Also, in the fourth season dub, America explains that he eats so much junk food so that he can numb himself to the financial oblivion he's heading towards. Likely in his mind, feeding England a hamburger would be like giving him painkillers.
That's only in the dub, which flanderizes America's character, IMO. In the sub, America replies to China's complaints by saying he's happy eating foods he likes.
England goes drinking with America and seems to get drunk WAY faster, on what looks like small amount of alcohol. Then you realize...we never actually SEE how much they had...and if you take into account the Fanon that land=body, it makes sense that Engand would get drunk way faster, as his landmass is much smaller than America's. They could have been there for hours and America, being one of the largest countries in the world, probably wouldn't even be affected.
It's commonly believed that the 50 on the back of America's jacket is supposed to represent 50 states, but given that it's WWII, and it's a flight jacket, it more likely represents 50 flight missions. The average life expectancy of fighter pilots was 4-8 missions, so either America was a very good pilot, or we're going into fridge horror territory.
The very nature of Hetalia means that while the original "World 8" are still promoted as leads, the large ensemble cast and Ensemble Darkhorses mean that they aren't the only main or major characters. When coupled with the fact that potentially every single Nation right down to the really minor ones is a hero/heroine in their side of the story, it's very much reflective of actual World History, which in itself doesn't have a single plot but a tapestry of them.
Why has Russia's personality been getting Lighter and Softer? Because, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has been getting steadily less dystopian.
Okay, so everyone knows that Molossia wears green and white, yes? He also appears ~15, so high school age. Well, nearby Fallon, Nevada's high school colors: green and white.
Probably just a coincidence, but interesting nonetheless.
It puzzled me why Sweden would buy Sealand, but then I realized: because when Finland first found America, he told Sweden he thought it'd be nice to have kids. Am now a shipper.
A fan noticed that Einsamheit and Holy Roman Empire's version of Maru Kaite Chikyuu uses the same melody]].
Italy's taste in horror movies is already surprising, because, well, it's Italy. He doesn't seem to be the type to be into gory and vulgar films. But apparently he is. To the point he didn't know there were movies out there that didn't have large amounts of gore and nudity like his. But when you think about it, it makes sense. This guy lived through some of the bloodiest times in history as a mere child. After what he's seen, he's desensitized. He seemed more scared of the pyschological horror than the blood and guts stuff.
Germany was recently revealed to have other brothers (Bavaria, Saxony, Holstein, Hesse, Brandenburg)who "gave up their duty" to Germany. Since countries otherwise live together or change their name upon political/social advances, This seems to imply that they're all deceased. This in turn means that Prussia is a ghost (as per the WMG) who refuses to follow the other germanics and that other multi-person countries are ticking time bombs for when Society Marches On.
More precisely, Word Of God said: "They have either retired, live in their own territory [implying that they take no part in international politics], they have slowly disappeared, or something like that. They've passed on the baton to present time Germany." So it's not necessarily horrific, and there's no definitive answer as to what happened to them, so readers are free to decide for themselves.
And Prussia's not a ghost.
For this troper, the scariest implication would be the "slowly disappeared" part. Just...think about that. *shudders*
The Italian brothers are shown to have spent the Middle Ages as young toddlers. Does that mean that the plague hit them while they were practically babies?
Don't forget about England. He wouldn't have been very old at that time either.
The general concept of the series is in itself Fridge Horror. Just think about it. These people are practically immortal, involved in every war their people ever fight - on the battlefield. How many people must they have seen die? How many people must they have had to kill? They can't form relationships with humans without getting their hearts broken, they have to fight people they've grown up with, people who've raised them, and their own siblings. And they have to live with the memories of the greatest tragedies in history. Some of this has been touched on in canon, but since this is mostly a comedy series, it's left to the imagination just how much every single character must be suffering inside.
And there's the fact that these are countries, whose actions are determined by their government or military: they have no free will.
There's also the possibility that it could work the other way around. Or in other words, they could potentially compel and influence their citizens to do what is demanded for them if not, as some fanon theories suggest, outright assume direct control over them...
It sucks. They can't get attached to humans because they die at the drop of a hat, especially since the nation-tans are so closely involved in war. They have each other, but they can't truly trust each other because any minute they might be involved in a war against each other. Look at America and England, or Japan and China. From the human point of view there were good reasons behind the wars, but from the nation-tans' point of view it was far more personal, with the beloved little brothers stabbing their caregivers in the back, literally in the latter case. Just imagine having to go through centuries of life with no close friends at all. It's amazing they're as well-balanced as they are.
The immortality and the pain of having to live with a different life span of normal citizens was actually elaborated on by episode 5 of Hetalia: It's a beautiful world. The episode was about a soldier meeting France after having seen a picture of France with his grandfather 50 years ago and noticing how he hadn't changed at all. The soldier goes home and tells his wife that he wished he was immortal, but she tells him that he would outlive her and all of their friends. It's a really mature and surprising episode for the tone of the show.
As mentioned further down this page (and also hinted at in the same strip said episode is based on), Nations aren't their governments so much as they represent their respective societies/peoples/cultures/what-have-you, which include their governments and militaries, with hints suggesting that their citizens as similarly compelled to follow them. As such, they have a good deal of free will and control, although it depends as well on their rulers; authoritarian dictatorships would most naturally have their Nations on a tight leash compare for instance. This could explain why WW 2!Germany is very hesitant to follow the Nazis among other examples.
Austria was a very strictfather figure towards Chibitalia. Until Italy's voice cracks, Austria thought he was a girl. He thought the child who he stepped on, threw in a shed, denied food to, and probably other punishments, was a little girl.
The realization makes it worse than it is at face value. Pay attention to the point.
What is the point? Parents were very cruel by today's standards to both little girls and little boys of the time, his treatment, from I've seen from the clips was fair. Now, what might have happened had Austria actually known Italy was a boy from the start might actually be a cause for alarm, but there is nothing to suggest it'd be any different.
Okay, now explain why child rearing would be anywhere near historically accurate in a comedy series that skirts around fighting so much. It was actual Fridge Horror to this troper at least.
I didn't consider it 'funny', but Austria'svariousbehaviors towards the 'girl' honestly didn't seem all that bad to me. But, then, I grew up in a country(I'm guessing you're American?) which permits caning (with some guidelines for children), my parents have had to punish me and my siblings for wrongdoings in the past, and I don't feel particularly abused by it, that's what parents do. At any rate, Austria's reaction to The Reveal was actually kinda relieving to me because that meant he had never forced (or otherwise) Italy to make coffee for him, something that happened in those times (and it was sadly the first thing that popped into my head after seeing him in that maid uniform).
YMMV ctd. This Troper agrees with the above about the possibility of a Culture Clash. I'm English myself and was raised, as my granddad would say, 'by hand'. If I did something my parents wouldn't agree with, a smack to the back of the legs etc. (not particularly painfully or overly used, it was more of a shock tactic) would be their way of stopping it. Even now my parents sometimes use it (I'm a teen) but more jokingly, and also things such as a 'naughty step' are used for time-outs in certain countries, which would probably be the equal to aforementioned putting of Chibitalia in a shed (kind of), in my own personal opinion.
There are things he could have done without seeing that Chibitalia wasn't a girl. (Would like to add that I don't think Austria would be sexually abusive in any way to Chibitalia - he was definitely kind of a jackass, but not that bad - but this is a Fridge Horror page and the possibility hit me.)
Also being a horror-that I do my best to not think about...how on earth are certain events like....the Holocaust going to be handled, or how it would be handled with Germany. Or other tragic events for that matter in history? There is only so much one can tip toe around-before something becomes a full-blown Dude, Not Funny! and Too Soon, and whole lot of other Unfortunate Implications. I don't know, maybe I'm paranoid, but I worry for the mangaka's sake, I know Hetalia is a comedy, but some pretty gruesome things have happened in our history as humans.
We're probably not going to get a strip on the Holocaust. But a lot of fans use the idea that nations don't know everything their bosses get up to. It's a bit weak, yes, but since none of the characters are monsters - and Germany was once shown resisting the order to form the Anschluss with Austria, so it's hard to imagine how he'd react to the events which followed - they might be onto something. Some countries definitely don't know; Italy just cannot be aware of everything which is going on. And actually Russia once expressed confusion at being ordered to help dig a canal when no-one had proper clothes or enough food... so actually, this theory might be quite likely. But, as stated, it's unlikely to go into the worst stuff. People would condemn it either way.
Disturbing theory which explains it; it's common fanon, if not confirmed, that nations can be literally compelled to obey their bosses. So, either the boss can make them do something the nation-tan knows is a bad idea, or if they find out about something which was kept from them, they could be ordered to forget about it and have to do so. The Mind Rape implications are pretty scary. Then again, since the only other option for why they do what they do would be that they actually LIKE killing humans by the million ... Trying to keep the characters sympathetic in this show often comes out with much more horrifying results than making them villains, doesn't it? Depends somewhat on exactly how much power they have over what their humans do. General fanon seems to be that it's the other way round, i.e. the humans control them, and Humans Are Flawed and dickish. Being a nation does not sound like fun.
A similar theory, tying the two above is that it works both ways. The Nations' bosses have varying levels of control over their respective countries, the Nations themselves potentially wield powers and abilities to influence if not control their citizens, which would necessitate their bosses' responsibility to "rein" them in. Then again, not every country might be fully aware of their abilities or be everywhere at once. So even if say, Germany wasn't physically present during the worst Holocaust disasters or America wasn't at Pearl Harbor, they would definitely feel the pain.
Here's a suggestion - if we consider the nation-tans as representations of their people, rather than their governments, then nations which live under autocratic regimes (e.g. Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, most of modern Africa and Asia etc.) have no choice but to obey their leaders, whereas countries with fully democratic institutions are more "in control". Which makes sense in the light of Finland's comments below. Consider what happens to people who oppose the orders of their autocratic governments - they are imprisoned or tortured or killed. If the nations' people are cowed to the point that no-one or next to no-one questions or opposes their government, then they cease to have any say in or control over the actions of their rulers. Which is of course, horrifying.
If one assumes that the nations embody both their people AND governments, then while similar to the above, it does open some peculiar questions as to where they draw the line. After all, Russia was shown to have snapped when began killing his own citizens...just as it was when it's strongly implied that he killed Stalin.
I think there's is quite an ordeal about killing your own citizens if you think about it, Russia's Start of Darkness being the prime example. In Germany's case could be a really painful experience to kill all those Jewish German citizens to some level, I think some of that was hint with subtly in a conversation with Finland:
Finland: Eh, so even your boss have troubles too, Germany-san?
Germany: Ah, so do I! Day in, day out... A while ago he even had me looking for the Holy Grail, and who knows if it really exist or not.
And the worse part of that is it's Truth in Television: apparently, towards the end of the War and with the Soviets in Berlin, Hitler did just that to Germany as a whole.
This troper was learning about essential minerals and stuff in biology and....you know that water faucet that Russia always carries around? Symptoms of lead poisoning include: irritability, lack of or late mental development, delirium or hallucinations (remember when he escaped from reality while building the canal?)and behavioural problems. Wow. No wonder he's a PsychopathicManCHILD.
Except we see Russia get the pipe- he steals it from Germany's house, and he's already plenty crazy then.
Original poster here. Russia has one of the world's major lead deposits. I'm suggesting that's what the pipe symbolises.
OK, so, America's glasses signify Texas. But, um... Texas was its own country at one time. Logically, Texas had a nation-tan, or at least could have. Texas wasn't a separate country for long, maybe there wasn't enough time for one to develop. But Hawaii, which had been its own country with its own culture and ruling family/government... Um, what happened to Hawaii's nation-tan? Is he/she like Prussia, just kind of hanging around, or is America carrying around some accessory that is all that's left of Hawaii? (This troper hopes like hell it's the former.)
Country-biology is a weird thing in general, Corsica is Italy's nipple but belongs to France. Try to get your head around that.
OP here. Somehow it being France who owns Corsica when it's Italy's nipple is vaguely fitting. Seeing as it's France. But even so, Corsica is part of Italy's landmass. We haven't really found out what, precisely, happens to conquered countries that become assimilated - we know the ancients died but not precisely when/how. I'm kind of thinking now that Hawaii might well have gone the way of Ancient Greece and Egypt.
This troper always thought that France's ownership involves a drunken night and a nipple piercing. The ring itself has the French flag on it.
I'm thinking that the country of Texas became the personification of the state; same for Hawaii. America's glasses represent Texas being part of his nation, but Texas and the other states have their own personifications like Japan's prefectures do.
It Got Worse. The United States didn't officially form, even during the Revolutionary War- it only 'formed' when the states ratified the Constitution. Meaning, if Texas/Hawaii had nation-tans- there's likely also as many as 13 other nation-tans that had to disappear into America- and only proof of a couple of them even existing at all.
But what if the nation-tan of Texas wore glasses? Shortly after his/her death/dissolution, did America decide he needed them? No, it was a trophy. Also, consider that Texas hadn't been a country for very long, so does this mean Alfred killed a child?
Though it was only really shown once, and in a rather vague manner, there was the partitioning of Poland. At that point, it was in the anime and it was really just Lithuania's separation with him. Along with that example was Feliks' mention of himself being a phoenix in his Marukaite Chikyuu, but aside that, nothing. According to history, the country of Poland no longer existed for over a hundred years. Though Prussia still exists without a country (arguably, having one as East Germany), Rome, Germania and possibly Holy Roman Empire died with it. Knowing this... What happened to Poland during that time?
Well, if you want to take the phoenix metaphor really literally, maybe he actually did die, and was reborn. Alternatively (and probably more likely) he spent these years being bossed about by the countries who had his former territory, or hiding from them. Although I do have a rather disturbing image of Russia "partitioning" him by attempting to literally divide him up... but I'm sure that didn't happen.
I personally like to imagine that the 'micro-representatives'; as I'll call the state/province, etc Nation-tans, disappearing is more of a background thing. While Alfred is the representative of the USA as a whole, the micro-representatives are on the sidelines. Texas being the pair of glasses is more symbolic of the fact that Texas is the only state that can legally secede from the USA (If I remember correctly). So while Texas is not shown as a personification, he CAN reappear.
Chibi-England always has a bunny following him around. Hundreds of years pass, and adult England is seen with an entity fans call "Flying Mint Bunny" due to the dub. Flying Mint Bunny is a strange color and has wings, kind of like...angel wings...is Flying Mint Bunny the ghost of England's poor dead bunny friend from childhood? Or worse, depending on how you interpret the "imaginary friends"...is he a hallucination of the pet England misses so much?
And on that note, when in one of the Christmas specials England says he's tried to spend 100 years getting over a heartbreak, what if that's what he meant?
Most people think the "heartbreak" was referring to America leaving him.
That doesn't mean that heartbreak was over America leaving him though. It's never been confirmed what that heartache was about in canon, and as this is the Fridge Horror section, just the possibility of that heartache being because he mourned over the death of his bunny companion is enough to be worth taking note of.
I saw a fancomic where little!England uses his magic to turn his bunny friend into the magical flying mint bunny. If he turned into one of England's magical friends, he'd be just as invisible as the fairies
Okay, so you know how Italy is called Veneziano because of Venice, so it's commonly believe that Venice is his heart? Venice has been very slowly sinking for hundreds of years, and the canals are very polluted. What kind of effect would that have on his health? (This is after reading this doujin, which takes place probably a few decades from present. One of the comments on one of the reblogs of it was " ;A; SO SAD. Though I think I would’ve cried more if they kept Feli/Italy out of Venice’s canals. *shudders* That water is so polluted and diseased it’s not even funny. So that little quirk bothered me a lot. However, it’s still a beautiful and sad doujin." PS: Mind Screw ending.
Englands reaction to America growing up seemed like the normal joke of 'oh those kids grow up so fast when you're not looking'. Until you think about chibitalia. Italy was a kid for at least a few hundred years it seemed. Maybe for a country America did grow up freakishly fast.
Fairly positive that there were notes in one strip stating that America did grow very fast, so to England it would probably be like leaving your ten year old for a month and finding they've aged several years on your return. So yeah, it is quite sad for them.
I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article about the Polish plait and I shuddered when I tried to imagine Poland with hair like that.
Liechtenstein's near-death situation after World War I is no doubt tear-inducing. But then you consider the fact that until 1918, the principality was under the protection if not influence of Austria/Austria-Hungary...only to be abandoned to the post-war chaos even though it really had no significant role in said war. So in other words, this implies that Austria and Hungary left her to die alone...or at least forced to...
Which is also kind of hinted at least in the English dub, where Liechtenstein is referred to by the narrator as a "princess of Austria" who used to live in Germany's house.
Why is Italy carrying Machiavelli's corpse around in a suitcase?
Because the one with Da Vinci's corpse was at the cleaners! But now that you mention it, it does sound kind of creepy.
Romano aka Southern Italy. The region (expect Sardinia) is geologically very active with volcanoes like Enta and Vesuvius. To be specific, Etna killed 16,000 people alone in the Sicilian port of Catania while the latter killed 18,000 in A.D. 79 and has erupted thirty-six times since that eruption. If that wasn't bad enough, earthquakes take a heavy toll in the region as 1693 Sicily, Calabria, and Messinahorrifically show. Now, consider that one of Fanon's theories is that 'disaster = Nation-tans suffering pain'...
I haven't seen the strip, but maybe Germany meant Italy dies inside (as in morale)?
The holding his hands still bit seems to be a reference to the belief that Italians can't talk unless they can move their hands, so it probably was hyperbole on Germany's part (if he can't move his hands, he can't ask for food or water, etc).
Japan panics and thinks he's ruined for marriage when Italy publicly hugs him. Seems funny, but think about it; this man is two thousand years old, and his reaction implies that he's never been hugged, at least not by someone who wasn't family. Wow, he needs therapy.
On a similar note, in the Valentine's Day strip, as Germany sets out on a date with Italy, it some time for him to process that what he's been feeling is happiness.
With all the Ho Yay in the series, how do you think they are, if ever, going to handle Iran? You know, Iran, the country that EXECUTES HOMOSEXUALS CASUALLY FOR SO MUCH AS EXISTING?
Like Nazi Germany did, you mean? Most countries have had at least SOME time when they were pretty bad in that arena even if things are getting better now, so it's hardly a problem unique to characters that haven't appeared on the show. Presumably the standards are different for nations, since they don't appear to breed in the conventional manner anyway.
Not to mention that most of such interactions tend to happen when the Nations are by themselves, away from regular people. It's entirely likely that the people of the countries don't know what the personifications are up to.
The "useless" Italy brothers are the grandchildren of Rome, one of the greatest warriors in history. If they had family in the conventional sense and he didn't just find them as England did with America, what the hell was the other side of their family like that their incompetence overwrote both nature and nurture from Rome? One really hopes he just found them.
Rome's a bit ditzy himself though...He seems to have the same type of relationship with Germania as his younger grandson has with Germany, he has an eye for pretty girls, and he has a short attention span: when he starts to give a lecture on his own history, he zones out and Germany has to finish up for him. Those are all traits he shares with Veneziano. Rome's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, not a hypercompetent warrior, so it seems his Parental Favoritism towards North Italy was a case of "birds of a feather": North Italy is a talented painter, trader, cook and, debatably, diplomat — no country really has much of an axe to grind with him, he's just an easy target. He's just not a fighter. Romano's a bit trickier, since the story focuses on all his negative points, not his talents, but he's hinted at as being closer to earth with a knack for agriculture. Maybe his grumpy nature serves a purpose — he's weak, but as he's so bad-tempered, no other country wants to deal with him unless they have to, and he's suspicious enough that he won't blindly agree to treaties that put him at a disadvantage. Perhaps their talents changed as Italy's (the actual nation) focus shifted away from being a military power, or perhaps because they represent a smaller area, they're naturally weaker. It's hard to tell, since if they are biologically related, that means the question of "who the hell were their parents?!" comes into play.
This troper also remembers a strip that seemed to imply that Romano has more work ethic than his little brother.
Also raises the questions; if they did not in fact have parents, why did he call himself their grandfather and not their father? If they did have parents, what happened to them? Kind of scary thought; it's theorized that nations were once humans. Does that mean Rome may have had human kids? And they remained human, allowing them to grow old and die while watching both their father and their children stay the same?
Perhaps he simply prefers the be called their grandfather because he's so much older than them? They could have been born/appeared when Rome at least appeared later in his years.
The relationships between "family" nations seems to mainly be whatever they agree on. England only becomes America's brother by going over to the kid and saying "I'm your brother!" It's likely that Roman Empire just found Italy and Romano as babies and, when they asked who he was, told them "I'm your Grandpa Rome".
Didn't one comic and/or anime episode theorize that Italy was a ditz because of how much tomato sauce he consumed?
On a related note: Rome taught Veneziano to sing, paint and trade...but not to fight? Had Rome grown so sick of Empire that he actually told his grandson to avoid conflict (explaining Chibitalia's reaction to Holy Rome's dreams of empire)? That would explain a lot...
It could be possible that Rome never taught the Italies to fight because that would end with him eventually dying off. Think about it. Nations that have a successor end up teaching that successor everything they know so that they can take over for them, causing that nation to then "disappear". Rome may have known that so just thought he'd not teach either Italy how to fight (or even just to avoid conflict completely) so that they'd always "need" him for defense reasons so that he wouldn't disappear. Of course that didn't actually work if he was intending that, given he's not around, but as an above troper said, he's also kind of ditzy. Rome may not have thought it out that well.
A prompt on the Kink Meme involving the Japanese "puppet state" of Manchukuo got me thinking. If Manchukuo did have a personification, they would only have been around for fifteen or so years, so they'd still have been in chibi form. And, since Manchukuo was dissolved at the end of the war, this implies heavily that, in the Hetalia analogue, the Allies killed Manchukuo-tan. In other words, they may have killed Japan's child.
Not necessarily. Manchukuo was mainly the region of Manchuria. We know that regions can have personifications, so there was probably already someone there when Japan invaded. It's quite possible this personification was renamed and made to do what Japan said, and when Manchukuo was dissolved simply went back to their old name and to living with China. If Manchukuo was a new person, then that begs the question of what exactly Japan did with Manchuria during that time. So... it's probably better to think of them as the same person. It's not particularly nice still, but history isn't, and the alternative is worse.
True. Either version is possibly preferable to the one on the Kink Meme featuring Insane!Japan in which Manchukuo is actually a sock puppet.
Nation physical development doesn't have anything to do with how many years they have: Latvia hasn't been able to grow properly due to Russia's intervention (and he's older than America!) while Sealand it's being around barely 40 years and yet he has grow more since he has more freedom. Moldova also looks small and the Italies looked like children for a loooong time.
This troper had one of these moments when learning about the American Civil War. There were years of turmoil and fighting before it actually happened, which would have been very painful for America. However, the real fridge horror comes in when you learn about "Bleeding Kansas". Kansas would be a part of America's BODY.
Not exactly canon but still pretty horrifying is if one follows the fanon that America's states have their own personification. In Hetalia, newly-created or not-very-powerful personifications are children. Think about that.
The Lily of the Valley incident between Latvia and Sealand, where Latvia stabs Sealand with the stem of a Lily of the Valley flower, just seemed odd to me. Sure, Latvia is acting kind of weird in the scene and Sealand's scream after the stab is out of nowhere, so it didn't make sense to me... until I look on the Other Wiki and found that the Lily of the Valley plant, in all of its parts, are highly toxic, with consumption of it in even small amounts can result in abdominal pain, vomiting, and a reduced heart rate. The plant even contains 38 toxics that can cause heart failure. So yeah, Latvia may have tried to kill Sealand.
A description of Lithuania’s character traits says that he’s “easy to take advantage of”. At first that struck me as a typical character flaw. Okay, so he’s a little naïve and gullible. Then, I read about Lithuania during WWII. Lithuania was one of the first nations where the Final Solution was implemented and consequently is considered one of the places the Holocaust started. Furthermore, there was general cooperation with Nazi occupiers because of their exploitation of anti-Soviet sentiment. What makes this so horrifying is that Lithuania is one of the kindest characters in Hetalia. That just gave this troper the chills: that his desire to get out from under Russia was so strong that Lithuania may allowed himself to be manipulated into doing something completely out of character. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a well developed character flaw.
If I remember correctly, in this series, the countries tend to get colds when their economies are doing poorly. If a country has a bad economy for ten years,does that mean they will be sick for ten years? That sounds terrible.
So we know that Nation-tans die when their nations are dissolved; that's how Holy Rome and Germania died, at least. For some reason, though, Prussia is still hanging around after his country's dissolution - supposedly as East Germany, but that region is no longer a real thing either. Romano may still be around even though North and South Italy are united, but they were separate for a long time; we don't see a Confederate America still running around or anything like that. Presumably, Prussia should be long dead by now. So he's on borrowed time. According to Word Of God, some of Germany's older brothers have "slowly disappeared" in the past; basically, Prussia is slowly dying, fading into nonexistence as Society Marches On. That would explain why Germany puts up with all of his crap. How could you turn your dying brother out on the street, even if he's intolerably obnoxious?
Alternately, Prussia is dead, and just keeps hanging around. There have already been a couple of instances where the ghosts of Rome and Germania came back to Earth to interact with the living. (We haven't seen Holy Rome around like that, but it's also heavily implied that he's still alive as Germany...)