I'm pretty sure Finland's human name is supposed to be Timo, and Elisaveta isn't even a real name.
There's disagreement over Prussia's last name (Weillschmidt), as well (as it doesn't exist in German), but to be fair the human names were made upon fan's insistence rather than any real desire by the creator. Considering they were slapped together for that reason alone (demonstrated by the fact that he never used them canonically, and has abandoned the idea to the point of not naming newly-introduced countries), that the names aren't perfect really isn't that big of a deal. And, if nothing else, it could simply be a case of mistranslation that was copied en-mass.
Elisaveta is presumably supposed to be Erzsébet (The Hungarian equivalent to Elizabeth). Since the kanji for her name transliterates directly to Erizabeta. Japanese doesn't have a consonant 't' which explains the 'ta'.
Someone on the wikia actually went to the lengths of researching the romaji and kana for each possible variant of Hungary's name: Erzsébet came out as Erujiebeto in Japanese. Elizabeth came out as Erizabeto. Elisaveta and Elizabeta both came out as Erizabeta. So presumably it's Elizabeta, even though Erzsébet would be the proper Hungarian cognate.
Elizabeth is more commonly "Erizabesu" though, so there's another strike to Joss that one.
Elizaveta is an existing name (Russian, I think?), but not a Hungarian one. By the way, as this Hungarian troper can attest to, many Hungarian names are very difficult to write and pronounce in other languages, so Hungarians who stay for a longer time abroad sometimes change their names to a similar one or an easier-sounding cognate.
Some fans who are aware of Finland's history prefer to transliterate his name as "Simo", since it's another possible way to translate Tino/Timo/etc.
Also, why on earth is France's name Francis and not François?
There's plenty of people in France who are called Francis. It's not as common as François, but still not rare either.
The "human names". They're nowhere to be seen on the official site or author's blog, yet the fandom uses them extensively. What the hell, fandom?!
Hey man, this page is in descending order. And this question has been asked on this very page. (At the very least, they used to be on the author's blog.)
In response, human names have various uses, at least in fanfiction. For instance, if someone is writing an AU where the characters are normal people and not nations, it's a little odd to refer to them as Germany, Belgium, Poland. Second, though specific, it can be helpful in Aus Hun fanfiction if you want to portray marriage. It'd be hard to portray with just the names Austria and Hungary, but with human names you can say, "She became Mrs. Elizaveta Edelstein". Thirdly, if the nation-tans need to interact with normal people, they can't exactly introduce themselves as "Russia" or "Belarus" because their identities are secret. Which makes it convenient to instead say "I'm Ivan" or "I'm Natalia". And finally...some people just like the human names. Fans can like things that the creator didn't mean much of.
Why is there a lack of South American and African countries?
Hopefully Hidekaz will add some more. There is a Cuba, Egypt and Seychelles, though. A reason that has been nagging at the back of my mind is that since everyone gets joked about, Hidekaz knows about Acceptable Targets.
Sadly, a lot of those countries had their indigenous culture and history wiped out, so there's not a lot to work with, and the countries that replaced them are quite young and don't necessarily have fully developed national identities.
It seems a few African nations show up, but pretty much as Seychelles' classmates in the unfinished High School AU computer game Gakuen Hetalia. Uganda, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ghana and others...
Although some South American countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, even had sorta important events that led to their participation in the war, but yet, nothing. "I won't forgive you for killing my awesome carriers of high-quality imported products, Germany! Do you know how much I sacrificed myself to give the best to you? I won't forget! After this soccer match, of course."
Couldn't it just be that his primary interest is in European history, so he doesn't know enough about the other continents to make interesting characters, and therefore doesn't? Even Japanese history isn't shown in depth, compared to the obscure European stuff detailed in the series.
What about Sealand, which on top of being obscure is of no real historical significance whatsoever other than as a potential Jeopardy answer?
Exactly. Uruguay and Argentina are the most European of Latin American nations with 88% and 86,4% of their population being ethnic Europeans.
The character design for LH-Uruguay implies that Uruguayans come from Scandinavia and Germany, rather than Southern Europe.
Most likely is to point out that, like Argentina, has a lot of French influence (as well as English influence). Or it might point out to the stereotype about Uruguay being the "Switzerland of the South" (like in this Uruguayan song No somos Latinos that pokes fun at that stereotypes about Uruguayans, for example where it says they confuse him for a German or American and that he's more at home with someone from Sweden than someone from another Latin American country).
"He's more home with Swedes" - not good enough. Half the population of Uruguay are of Italian descent, thus I can't see the need for Uruguay to be represented by someone with pale white skin and rubber glove-yellow hair. Unless he's supposed to represent the exiled Nazis who fled to South America after World War II.
Is an stereotype, just like most of the French aren't blond either. That community is conform by Latin Americas that know their countries stereotypes very well and most agree to that design but they're open to different ideas as well (there's about three popular choices for Argentina's look). And yet again, since it is stereotype it doesn't always makes that much sense (are all Argentinians arrogant for that matter?).
Whoa, does above trooper has something against Uruguay or South America or is just trolling? If you don't like the design, there are better ways to express discontent. And Nazis didn't escape only to South America, you know?
Said troper *IS* Uruguayan, and I am offended when Uruguay is depicted as "the Aryan white man of South America", which is the case in Latin Hetalia. Having Uruguay represented by someone with pale-white skin and blonde hair just because "they're more at home with the Swedes" is like having Jackie Chan represent the African country of Angola because of the Chinese investments in the country. Half the population of Uruguay are of Italian descent, so why is the country represented by someone copy-pasted off of the streets of Stockholm?
In a recent development, Word Of God has answer here at the end what many of us already suspect: he needs to do more research before including any South American countries.
So Hetalia's not exactly a leading scholarly authority, but still - in this strip◊ in Chapter 3 (at least, its scanlation), Japan's answer seems pretty much inverted from history, since there were large numbers of Allied prisoners (what happened to those prisoners is another story, but they weren't all gunned down off the bat). "... By all of which I mean no!" would seem a more apropos answer if the question had been "What do you do if the enemy seeks your surrender?" Mistranslation or what? Or maybe since the stereotypical Japanese attitude to their own surrender/capture had already been spoofed in a different strip...?
It has been spoofed; in the second chapter, IIRC, Japan, Italy and Germany are captured and Japan immediately tries to commit Seppuku. It was hilarious.
Yeah, I know about that strip. What I meant by that (and what I guess I wasn't clear on) was wondering if that strip's partial coverage of "No surrender!" might have led to Chapter 3 going for another angle, the less-accurate "No surrender for you!"
Looking at it, I think it's a typo/mistranslation, trying to say something like "seeks your surrender" as you said, judging by Italy's answer.
I don't think it's a mistranslation at all judging from Italy's "I will surrender first...!" line. However, it seems like a usual military trope (the whole "Yes, sir! No, sir! Take no prisoners, sir!" thing) going on there while taking a jab at Japanese social mores (if you taken Japanese, you will learn many ways to refuse a invitation without actually saying no. It is considered somewhat rude to flat-out refuse something.) Personally, I don’t think that it means anything, just a simple drill.
I just assumed that they didn't want to go into what actually did happen to allied troops surrendering to the Japanese. It was easier for Japan to just refuse than to get into that particular Darker and Edgier territory.
Why are America's stereotypes applied retroactively? It wasn't always a Eagleland you know so it's a little annoying to see America act out Type 2 Eagleland stereotypes in stories that take place in the 19th and early 20th centuries (such as asking where Lithuania is on the map while looking at a map of the United States).
Even if it wasn't so much of a stereotype at the time, because America was isolationist at the time it still probably would have worked. If I recall correctly, though, the United States didn't get involved in either WW until something of theirs got attacked, rather than have any sort of gung-ho attitude about it. The strip could have stuck to America's attitude at the time and still have been very funny.
"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." -Winston Churchill
Like above troper said, America possibly didn't know where Lithuania was due to his isolation. However, America's attitude stems from the people, not the government. While the government hesitated about entering the war despite the Lend Lease program, there was a lot of cheering from the citizenry for the Allied side. Then you-know-what happens and there was an overwhelming support from the American people for the war which is reason enough for his gung-ho attitude. Although, I always thought America's personality was a bit of a Take That of today Americans' attitudes towards the war. Also, if I recall correctly, there are no strips of America during the 19th century.
There is the series "Japan and the Black Ships" which depict a 19th Century America.
You're right. But while he's still portrayed as childish, he doesn't go into hero shtick. However, Eagleland Type 2 does sort of apply in this situation since America did forcefully end Japanese isolationism with orders to Japan to accommodate them.
I found that strip interesting because it was portrayed as his boss telling him to tell Japan to open his ports, but America doesn't really seem to know what's going on and would rather try to befriend some whales. But anyway, yeah, there aren't any pre-WWII strips in which America calls himself "the hero" or even mentions anything like that.
Does England represent the entire United Kingdom? Or is there a Scotland-tan, Wales-tan, and Northern Ireland-tan?
Probably just England; he mentions brothers in a few strips and Scotland yells at him off-screen in another comic.
It is widely speculated that England does represent the UK on the behalf of him and his brothers, sort of like a representative of them all. BUT England is just an anthropomorphism of England.
Actually, Hidekaz has said that himself, that Arthur is England but represents the UK at meetings because his brothers get too 'rowdy', though merchandise and in-series says he is the entire UK.
Well, in Pub and Go, his character song, he does mention that his official name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so take that as you will.
If Prussia's still around, and other countries didn't vanish because they were taken over or united, it doesn't make sense that Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland would disappear just because England told them to. Mind you, both of the extended versions of England's ending songs feature the bagpipes. "Big Brother" Scotland would probably not approve of that, especially since the English government/monarchy banned the bagpipes (insert jokes about "good riddance" here) as a result of the Jacobite rebellion - they were played to rev up the Scottish troops in battle (against...er, the English army. And other Scottish clans). So somehow I doubt bagpipes would be on a list of England's favourite things. Did he just "appropriate" Scotland, Wales and Ireland's cultural hallmarks?
No. He's the UK. He's England and also represents the UK, that is himself and his brothers. Most of England's appearance involves the entire UK, not just England. UK = single entity, needs a single representative, and it's the "England" character. Hence the bagpipes, the Union Jack, Hidekaz calling him "United Kingdom" in the manga and on his website, and requesting that the character be called Britain in the English dub. Also it's canon that Scotland, Wales and the others are still around, they just haven't appeared yet.
True, but wouldn't there be a bit of internal conflict for the character between being "England" and being "The UK"? England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are very different countries with often-conflicting interests. Look at Arthur's hostile relationship with France: France and Scotland historically got along thanks to the "Auld Alliance", but the Auld Alliance was a massive headache for England since it meant France had access to Scotland as a possible invasion route. I like the "Wales, Ireland and Scotland are too much trouble at meetings" theory (Rule of Funny), but so far only Scotland's had a look in. As a bird...thingy. If Arthur's a "representative", shouldn't the other three have had more of a mention? Or did the author request the England -> UK change so that Fridge Logic wouldn't kick in and have people demanding another three new characters?
It's not a theory, him representing the UK because his brothers are rowdy is Word Of God. Also, the bird wasn't Scotland, it would be what he uses for a messenger. It can be assumed all nations have them, as we've seen them with France, UK, Austria, and Prussia now.
He's always been Britain, it's just the English language fandom that started calling him England all the time. Himaruya has always drawn him with the Union Jack (except for drawings of football events for obvious reasons), and he's always called him "United Kingdom" even in English except for two or three drawings where he mistakenly used "England" (and, again, football related things), even in times were he was only England. The others haven't appeared yet because Hidekaz hasn't covered stories dealing with British internal relations yet. But it's been mentioned more than once that there's no love lost between England and the others, and in an old blog entry Hidekaz said he planned to eventually get around drawing Wales, Scotland and Ireland, too, so it's not that he's averse to drawing them, but he hasn't got around doing it yet.
Not to bring it up too, but Italy is a similar example. He represents Italy unless Romano is around. Like Britain representing the entire UK unless one of his brothers is around. Simple as that.
Why do people refer to all (ie. including the male ones) of the personified countries as "nation-tans"? "Tan" is an honorific used for young girls, the male equivalent is "kun".
you're thinking of -chan, which although -chan and -kun are gender neutral they are usually used for young girls and boys respectively. -tan is a gender neutral term used to humanize inanimate objects (like toys) and pets. Nations totally fit under that. Oh, and it can also be used to be mean to a living creature in the same way calling them "babydoll" might. The More You Know
I was just about to bring that up on the 'why are they called motherlands if they're male' debate on the page. I suspect it's because the Afganis-tan comics set the 'standard' for national moe anthropomorphic personifications.  Also, considerably more Americans have heard of those Moe Anthropomorphism OS-tans and know what the idea is than know the finer points of honorifics, so for them -tan means 'personification rather' than 'cute'.
Actually, Hetalia is a year older than Afganisu-tan (Hetalia started in 2003, Afganisu-tan in 2004), so that's not it in that case. Actually, countries tend to personify themselves as males in times of conflict like John Bull and Uncle Sam. The idea of 'motherlands' and calling the countries her is the same idea of calling a car a "her", it fosters a sense of protection for the male soldiers. Also remember that Himaruya is Japanese, they don't use pronouns like that over in Japan than in the West so making them male doesn't seem odd to him. Also "-tan" can be used for both boys and girls affectionately. There is a common misconception in fandom that "-chan/-tan" is used only for girls and "-kun" is used only for boys. The honorifics are a little more complex than that.
Wrong. Hetalia started in 2006. It was the Kitayume website that came up on 2003.
I've realized that Himaruya has done censorships on Japan, like how he isn't portrayed too much of our Japanese stereotype (otaku, ronery, perverted, traditional), perhaps so that his main audience, the Japanese fans won't get too upset about their own country's character. However, on his latest entry on Thailand, he says that he wants to feature ASEAN 10 soon. Seeing that most Southeast Asian nations that time were occupied by Japan (except for Thailand perhaps) how will Himaruya be able to pull it off? Especially Indonesia, the country was occupied by Japan after [i]342 years[/i] of Dutch occupation.
 Because he's covered China (including the invasion) without too much of a problem, I'm not worried.
I dunno, but I think Kiku has a lot of Japanese stereotypes going for him: meek, weird emasculated to the point he seems like a type of Yamato Nadeshiko, an hikikomori, a ninja, an otaku for cute things and mecha, easily influenced and a bit of a secret jerkass. He was a bit uptight in his WW 2 days but has no opinion outside of his own in post WW 2 years. And he's still pretty traditional since he still wears a kimono with a haori in modern times. As for the ASEAN 10, I think Himaruya is only featuring them during Post-WW 2 context to avoid the "Not Funny" territory.
I meant negative stereotypes. Like "ew gaijin" or stuff. Or would the occupation of Southeast Asia be like UK's colonization of America? On another note, it bugs me that Asian nations get less strips.
Those ARE negative stereotypes, at least for the Japanese, especially the otaku and hikikomori parts.
Kiku has been shown as a hiki, otaku and video game geek plenty of times.
Well, I wouldn't say plenty of times, but enough to get the point across. One of the bios says he seems composed but actually has a few screws loose. He doesn't like company too much, but I don't think we would see any character being racist in Hetalia, since that would make the character rather unsympathetic and everyone in Hetalia is made to be sympathetic (to some degree).
Might be off-topic, but characters not being racist? Then how do you explain Romano's racism against Germans?
I thought he just hated Germany because he's large, threatening, and a *ahem* dear friend of his innocent, naive little brother.
Off topic, yes, but the accusations of racism have to do with the personalities designed rather than with issues such as character's problems with each other. The characters have their own prejudices (England and France being the most prominent example) based on their population's prejudices. Straight canon, though, Romano's issues with Germanics seem to stem from former alliances between them and Spain.
That "one" is also not true,recently day special excercise "buff" it up.
How come Finland and Sweden are like they are, personality wise? I thought their personalities also represent stereotypes of the people of that country in some way. And here in Finland, where I live, we think that the stereotype of a Finnish person is more close to what Sweden is like in Hetalia: speaks very little, etc. Certainly not sweet like the Hetalia version of Finland. (And we see Sweden as the country where everyone is somehow happier than here. And maybe better looking. And well, that the males are very gay, literally.)I don't actually mind that Finland seems nicer than it traditionally is thought to be, I'm just wondering where this depiction came from.
Well, it has been clarified that Sweden is a homosexual...
A lot of stereotypes of a country mystify its people. For example, Americans think the English have bad teeth. It's a surprise to me! But The Simpsons tell me it's a trope. So what stereotypes of the Baltic sea are there? Estonians are related to Finns, right?
Remember that the nation's personality isn't made solely of their national stereotypes, but past historical events as well. I can see where he might gotten Sweden's personality from due to it's past dominance a long time ago. Actually, I think their personality are opposite of what they appear. Sweden seems gruff and stoic but he's very kind, domestic and very awkward. Finland looks meek because he's scared of Sweden's unpredictability but showed instances that he's not. But us folks get too caught up in apply modern stereotypes on the characters forgetting that they're older than most of them.
This might be correct. The official profiles say that Sweden is "Playful on the inside, but it doesn’t show at all and he just seems scary" and that Finland has "awesome strength at the scene of a fire that isn’t half-assed." I'm guessing that Finland's means that he works well under pressure.
Hmm, I've been to Finland and met Finnish people, and I think Finland is a very accurate representation- the people over there are really, really sweet, nice and helpful.
I did some research (it was for knowing how Denmark should be) about what do Scandinavians think of each other and... well, while I don't actually know about Finland, I know that, for example, Danish and Norwegians think that all the Swedish people are serious and all work. What I'm saying is that maybe he makes the characters by what others think about that country- it's obvious that the people ‘’in’’ the country think of themselves in another way. I mean... I'm Italian, and, really, I think that N. Italy shouldn't be as nice as he is in the comic. I hope I explained myself. Sorry
Actually, on that note, there is a webcomic that has... basically the same idea as Hetalia (personified countries interacting) but the author is from Denmark, and thus all of the stereotypes are from a Scandinavian point of view. Indeed, Sweden is the intellectual with a transparent closet, and Finland is a mute with a butcher knife. http://humon.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2539x6
I feel as though I should mention, I'm Canadian and both my mother, my friends who have seen Hetalia, and myself agree that Canada is pretty accurate. (Although the fandom sort of messes around a bit... We don't say maple randomly in conversations.)
Well, of course you don't. I have a feeling Canada's "maple" tic is just to represent maple syrup, which Canada is known for. America's air-headedness and obsession with heroes doesn't mean I, as an American, need to share that either. It's just generally very important not to take Hetalia too seriously, or before you know it some other country will be declaring it a national crime...
Most of the characters have verbal tics; America has '-gates', China has 'aru', Italy, of course, has 've' (in addition to most, if not all, all characters narrating their actions). And, of course, the real-life populations don't copy these things. Writers of near every fandom tend to abuse verbal quirks. I'd say it's more an annoyance in reading dialogue than an implication that the fandom believes that Canadians interject their sentences with 'maple'.
This doesn't exactly bug me, per se, but seeing Poland, the personification of a not exactly what you would call tolerant to homosexuals country be... himself, is hilarious.
I always wondered why Poland is a cross dresser though.
Himaryua's said once that Poland was intended to be a girl, and the skirts stayed even when he became a guy.
Hm, he's also said that Hungary was originally intended to be a cross dresser but he switched the idea to Poland.
I just had to bring it up. I am a fan of Hetalia in general, but it still kind of bugs me that Korea and Japan's antagonistic relationship seems awfully one-sided, at least so far as I've seen. There's lots of Korea claiming to hate Japan, groping him, messing around with his flag, stealing his chickens◊ (?!), and being generally obnoxious (though to be fair he does have less-obnoxious portrayals like, ironically enough, the "We're making an anime!" series), but I haven't yet seen a strip where Japan does anything in kind (at least to Korea). I'm not demanding oodles of colonization horror stories here, but could we have a hint that Korea's "hatred," such as it is, didn't come from nowhere? If such hints do turn up in the untranslated strips, please correct me with extreme prejudice.
Well, I have an opinion about this. I don't know anything about the untranslated strips so I don't know if such hints exist, but the thing is, I think an oppressed group making fun of/getting back at the oppressors fits more into a comedy. People already know about the origin of this divide between the two groups, so (at least to me) Korea doesn't look like a jerk. I'm trying to make a comparison between this and comedy movies centered around race relations in America that I know. Though, I doubt Himaruya is going to ever make any more Korea strips now. Which is sad, because I really liked him.
I really doubt Himaruya won't use Korea again. But I think you made an excellent point there though. Actually, it might be best for Himaruya don't to a strip about Japan bullying Korea since it might just add fuel to the fire. But IIRC, Japan does find him at least very annoying. And despite Korea playing the obnoxious younger brother to the tee, it doesn't make him the bad one. Heck, that one strip when he build those binoculars, you ended up feeling bad for Korea and not China.
Hmm, true - the knowledge of that particular slice of history should be more pervasive in the region where it actually happened, possibly to the extent where it doesn't "need" to be explained (and I expect a bunch of people would be even less happy if it had a scene along the lines of Korea cleaning Japan's house in a maid outfit a la Chibitalia). But from where I'm standing, it's kind of bothersome that it appears to show some of the retaliation against Japan's actions toward Korea without mentioning the actions themselves. So I, personally, kind of wish for a strip for Korea like the one where Japan goes after China with a sword - a strip that I don't think refers to something like Nanjing (because, among other things, Japan "bullying" China would have been old, old news by 1937) but still indicates Japan's aggression and inclines one to sympathize with China. If I thought that Himaruya was actually putting forth some kind of inverted revisionist history with land-grabby Korea and hapless victim Japan I'd have dropped the series like a hot potato, but unfortunately I can see where it's possible for other people to read it that way.
My two cents: Himaruya tried to avoid an Ethnic Scrappy so he accidentally created a regular The Scrappy. His personality is like Russia's, not actually a stereotype, Himaruya is representing arguments about whose culture is older and a few wars (including centuries-old ones where Japan was repulsed) with a 'rambunctious teenager' personality, but then avoiding doing much else with him because he's a risky choice. If you look at his relationship chart, he doesn't do much else but annoy his neighbours, unlike Japan or China he doesn't interact with the Western nations at all. So you have a nation-tan with a couple of annoying features and not much else. The moment I saw him I thought 'someone will be pissed.' Which is a shame, because I wanted him to be more stereotypical of modern Korea: I wanted Starcraft jokes! He has a teenager personality, he could be a gamer!
But people seem to like him, so maybe he's only The Scrappy to certain people in Korea? He does show up sometimes around the other nations, although very briefly. And for the modern Korea, he does love Tv dramas.
In his profile, Korea is said to love the internet and games, so there you go.
... I amend my original "bugs me". According to the newest translations, Korea does mention being bullied "a long time ago." He then goes on to provide an artistic representation of said bullying... that actually consists of him playing with teensy Japan◊. Oh dear, the potential Unfortunate Implications that could be read into that... (I categorize it as potential because there was a time when Korea and Japan got along)
Personally I saw it as a Bait and Switch, but I can understand people seeing it for something else too. Yeah.
I'll just be frank and say that Korea is portrayed as the scrappy because that's how Japanese people consider Koreans to be. Thinking anything else (especially when you consider how the fans are mocking Korea's absence from the anime series and blaming Koreans for the show getting canceled on one channel), is just wishful thinking. For the record, I’m Japanese.
Not really, since Korea doesn't fit the trope. Being The Scrappy is to be a hated character since it's induction of the series and wasn't intended to be that way. Korea, however, is a perfect example of the annoying little brother. However their reception of Korea after Korean protest is another story.
The anti-Korea rage doesn't, alas, restrict itself to the Japanese fandom. A(nother) pet peeve of mine is the claim that since Korea's not in the anime they should just shut up already, except: there was a character design for him so it's quite reasonable to assume there were plans, and they can still object to his portrayal in the comic, can't they?
There was probably plans for Korea to make a cameo in the first episode. Plus, it seemed that the protestors were only concerned with the anime, not the manga.
While it's true Korean protesters knew jack-all about the actual manga/anime, I wonder if they would really accept the series more if they knew more about it. How well do you think the series would go over if there was a personification of Jews with a large hooked nose and an excessive love for money who had a homosexual crush on on Germany? Bonus offensive points if that character also happened to be one of the dumbest and the most clueless characters in the story.
This troper has met plenty of Koreans in the troper's life and they really, really, match Korea's character. The various claims, the groping, these are very true to what the troper experienced about Korean people. Heck, even discussing about this is something the troper think would offend any Korean because that's one of their proven stereotypes.
You think that last one opened the door? This is the real one. Why is it that people of a particular community seem to put their entire heart and soul into hating this series? For goodness' sake. Is it just the nature of Hate Dom? Because I could name several things more popular that actually aim to be offensive.
I agree that the amount of hate can be astonishing, but some members of the fandom don't help. I find the occasional attitude of "Gee, I have no idea what they could possibly be on about. What are they doing picking on our lovely wank-free fandom?" rather disingenuous, since for all that I fangirl over it I do realize Hetalia has potential to offend people without their having Princess-and-the-Pea sensitivity. On another note, I like how there's one camp of un-fans claiming that Hetalia fans are only in it for the moe pretty boys... and a more obscure camp complaining that the art is fugly.
This trope agrees that the minority who think it can't be offensive is frustrating though. On the later part, I had found some anti-fans who think the fans is only in it for the ugly pretty boys.
Oh, just to be sure, the asker here knows it can be offensive. But really, I do see all the contradictory complaints and quickly figure out that they are not going to be reasoned with.
My two cents; to each their own. Hetalia can be offensive, but you don't have to be offended by it, and you don't have to like or dislike it, because it's just a webcomic, and the entire thing is just a joke. Whether or not you are offended by it depends entirely on who you are.
People, the emphasis was on "people of a particular community", not "hating this series".
What can I say, people love to hate. It's kind of sad that they put so much time and energy into something they don't like by creating facebook groups or drawing art about how much they hate it. It's all right if you don't like it, but stop going out of your way to rub it in my face. (Please note that I know that this only applies to a small percentage of people who dislike Hetalia, but it is the kind that we see the most)
The logic of one deviantart group stands out to me: "We should all hate this show because it puts the Axis powers in a sympathetic light," and one review on Amazon (that got deleted) said that "The Axis are the protagonists and the Allies are the antagonists!" I've done a little research into this, and not only does APH have a creator who was Japanese (who were a part of the Axis in WWII), but it also doesn't follow the traditional method of good verses evil. Or main character verses opposing force. In fact, pretty much all of the countries have a chance to be the good guy. Or the woobie. Or the Jerkass.
Himaruya hasn't set out to create something offensive, and indeed it is VERY hard to create ANYTHING about pretty much anything without someone getting offended, especially if that anything happens to involve stereotypes on any level. However, I always thought it was about the least offensive series that involves stereotypes that I've ever seen. It's in my own opinion that the stereotypes aren't even the main point of the series as it tends to be with similarly themed series. What's more, it's not a traditional show (as I've had to force my OCD friend to begrudgingly accept). It has no actual plot, no real order, no good guys, no bad guys. I myself go so far as to say it doesn't even have main characters. Sure some appear more than others, but as Himaruya does more research, he creates more detailed comics and drawings about characters previously and commonly thought to be minor, and they start to show up more often. It's a pretty lighthearted series generally speaking, and as one troper said, there have been far more popular and less criticized shows that purposely tried to be offensive as a type of humor. I have to agree with those who have a hard time understanding why some people can find it on the same level of offensive that one might consider reserved for things like racial and ethnic slurs...
The reason this trooper never really found any of the stereotypes really offensive is because I never found that stereotypes were completely negative or really seemed to be making the characters over all bad. They always seemed to be more of quirks than flaws.
I`m not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but it really does just bug me. Mathias Køhler - Denmark? Where did we get an official announcement of his name? I`d love to get the source for this info too.
Apparently, it was a completely Fanon name, since the human names were taken down by the time this name was made popular. It's even mentioned on the  (scroll down to Matthias Køhler). It even mentions how it was mistakenly put down on our own character page. Ukraine's full name is also apparently fanon.
If Gilbert is East Germany during the Cold War, does this mean he and Ludwig (West Germany) are going to 'marry' at the end of it or what?
Not really. It would be like the Italian brothers after the unification of Italy where they just live in the same house.
Well, in a recent strip, Ludwig calls Gilbert his brother ("nii-san"). Not that the author is adverse to incest or psuedo-incest. ("Brother, let's get marriedmarriedmarried...").
My favorite fanon explanation is that Prussia just lives in Germany's basement nowadays.
As far as I know, Prussia living in Germany's house and/or basement is canon.
According to his drama CD, Prussia has a room; and, evidently, about as much control over the home he lives in as your typical teenager at best; and follows rules from Germany seemingly under threat of mauling. The 'basement' theory is a fan one.
I know that this is the wrong place for this, and I do apologize (I'm not sure where else to put it. ^^') But there doesn't happen to be anywhere where someone who speaks only English could listen to one of those Drama CD's, does there? >_>
http://www.horror-vacui.net/hetarchive/index.php?audio There are most of the things. They aren't translated into English, but they have translations where you can follow along. I know Prussia's has audio-only videos with subtitles, at least, I'm not sure about the others.
Why do the nation-tans have "normal" names? I don't recall any of the other characters calling Italy "Feliciano" or UK "Arthur", etc. (though I admit I haven't read a great deal yet).
I've heard that the human names exist because of the early Japanese fandom being worried that people would go WTF when they saw a title of a fanwork saying something like USA/UK and then much explaining would have to be done. Because, you know, nation-shipping. If it's just Alfred/Arthur, it would be less attention-grabbing. So they requested some "human" names. The last thing early fans seemed to want was attention because they were paranoid the series would come under fire. (Not much to be done about that now.)
What really bugs me about the human names is not so much that they exist, but that they're used so extensively in fanworks in favor of just the country names. Which is confusing if you haven't got down which human name corresponds to which country, and it also seems pointless as the more recent characters haven't been given human names at all. I can see why they were created in the first place, but why do people continue to use them even when the necessity of using them is past?
It's my opinion that the "country" names are the true names of the characters, the ones they use among each other. Their "human" names are the names they use so that ordinary citizens don't find out they exist. Nation-tans are a well-kept secret, with only their "bosses" and those high up enough on the government food chain knowing their true nature.
I am one who uses the above theory for writing, but the whole premise is a little off. It's confusing when one ponders about how much people know about the nation-tans' existence. On one hand, they're referred to by their nation name by regular citizens (Herr Germany by a pharmacist in one strip), but on the other nobody really seems phased or inspired by the fact that these personifications are wandering around. It certainly would seem that, if you knew each country was a person, you would be working on at least a kidnapping or assassination scheme or two...
And the other explanation is, well, simply put, authors need synonyms and a human name works as well.
Other than that, I actually find it awkward to use the nation names when I'm writing. I'm trying to humanize these characters, and using a "human" name instead of a country name helps a lot with getting over that hurdle. In the anime or comic strips, it doesn't really matter because it's all visual and you KNOW you're seeing a physical representation of the country. However, in writing, it's much different.
In fact, there was a strip in particular where America starred in an advertisement, and it was the first few moments where a human name was used in canon. The aforementioned theory seems more than likely plausible.
In universe, I suspect that the human names serve the same purpose as they do in fandom; some humans probably find it awkward to refer to them with their nation name, but not all humans are bothered, such as the German pharmacist. Other Nations, of course, don't have this hang-up and never use the human nicknames when referring to eachother. This is if humans in general know of the Nation-tans' existence.
Simply put, the fans really wanted human names, so Himaruya threw some stuff together and chucked it at the Internet. Being the fans that they are, everyone jumped on them and started using them like crazy. I personally like the above theory, because it makes their names even more special, but the truth is not so. In a "lost strip", a French soldier sees France, and remarks that his grandfather had met France before, but France hadn't aged. He was mostly wanted to know if France was human or not, but he never got an answer. I assume that some people know, and others don't care enough or don't live in a place where they would just so happen to know. I also feel weird when I write, because I can't tell if Feliciano or Italy would feel better in context, and the whole story is sprinkled with confusion. It probably eould be better if Himaruya just never gave in, eh?
I think the nation and human names represent a conflict inside each of the characters- are they nation or individual? Person or country? Think of America’s feelings during the Revolutionary War strip. America declares himself independent of England, and when England failed to kill him, he remarks sadly, nostalgically, at how big England used to be. During the Revolutionary the people of America were pissed, and so happy to be free. They were more than ready for England to be gone. While I don’t doubt that our personified America felt that excitement, he was still sad to see his former brother diminished. He was different from the American people. He was Alfred. The separation between Alfred and America can be a very fine, subjective line, but it is important all the same. The human names give you a way to distinguish between which side you are focusing on when discussing, or writing, or thinking about the series; Your personal headcanon can land on either side of that distinction and anywhere in between.
Wait, if Japan learned English during his alliance with England, why didn't he just read the English version of Deathly Hallows rather than waiting for the Japanese version so he wouldn't see spoilers when walking around? Seriously, he should have known that that would happen.
Probably because even if one is capable of speaking/reading in a foreign language it's still troublesome to do which would negate whatever pleasure would come from the book. What I am trying to say is it'd be to much like work to be any fun.
But he had like a hundred years to learn English. Even I'm not that slow. Though this is bringing up questions about learning language in Hetalia that just gets confusing and it probably way aside the point, ha.
The fact that he had hundreds of years to learn English and still isn't very good might be another poke at a stereotype. In general, most Japanese people aren't very good at English, even though most Japanese schools start teaching English in 7th grade all the way through high school.
I suspect it's partially the Engrish-stereotype and partially Japan not wanting to have to look up the English names for characters he knows by another name. I’m Dutch, and when she read one of the books in English, she relied solely on deduction and what she remembered of the translation to understand what characters there were. Reading "Hermione", "Neville" and "Dumbledore" is utterly confusing when you're familiar with "Hermelien", "Marcel" and "Perkamentus". That's my two cents on this.
Why did they use English voice actors with VERY heavy accents in the episodes of the anime where they had the "America storage cleaning" bit? It sounds... odd, and it made me laugh so hard. The thing is, those scenes were sad in my opinion, and my expected reaction was more to feel remorse (especially at the American Revolution bit.). I think it would have been better to stick with the original Japanese voice actors. (Since they did use the original Japanese voices in the drama CD for that scene.)
Well, some people say it might just be for the previews, but if that is how it is, perhaps it's because the two characters are English-speakers and they speak English for dramatic effect because English is their language. The Japanese fans don't pick up on the thick accent and they think that it's a good idea. English-speaking fans collectively cringe, but note that at least the grammar is fine. Does it make me weird if I like it for reasons not being sarcastic?
The thing that really bugged me about that was America had worse English than Lithuania. You know, since his country speaks English and Lithuania has their own language...I found it funny.
Those were the Japanese seiyuu speaking in English. Their accents were just that heavy. Also, you should give the script writer for that section some serious credit. Although the thick accents made it difficult to understand at times, those sections were written in completely comprehensible English.
No, they were different people, not the regular seiyuu.
We have Old Greece and Old Egypt, and Germania who represents the Germanic tribes, so where is Old America? America wasn't uninhabited, or even without nations and politics when England, France, and Spain showed up.
He's possibly seen once in chapter 3 of the main storyline showing a very brief explanation for the American Revolutionary War fighting alongside France in the French and Indian War with a typical chieftain headdress. But since we're scarce and pretty much everyone knows the reason, that might just bring up even more controversy. (Though I would kinda hope for it...)
I agree with the Troper above. It's rather hard to put a humorous spin on a genocide. If they ever do introduce Old America, it might be in a more serious light, similar to the American Revolution comic.
I haven't watched much of the show, but since the show is about personified countries, than where does the show... you know... take place?
It takes place in the actual countries. The series is a comedy, so it doesn't really need to adhere to any logic.
So far we know that people normal people can interact freely with the nation-tans, and they're generally treated as normal citizens. However, the nation-tans are also high ranking in their military since they often lead their troops into battle. They also take orders from their bosses, regardless of their own will. A nation-tan's health is based on the current state of its country, things like a poor economy can make them ill. If the country stops existing and loses its relevance, the country "dies".
The nation-tans also seem to live in mansions. Whenever one country is under the rule of another, the conquered country will live in the other country's mansion.
To add to the troper above, it's stated in the A treasure box of countries strip, about Micronations, that they don't flat out die, instead they lose their country (or nation) status and become normal mortals. That's what happened to Nikko Nikko Republic.
The Nations-tan are simply like avatars of the actual country, in other words, the actual landmass still exists.
I have never read the series, so it may provide the answer to the question I have, but: what happens to personifications of countries that cease to exist, like the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia? Do they...split into many people or something? And inversely, how do personifications of newly formed countries (eg East Timor) come about?
The Soviet Union was just Russia with a name change, and even then they still called him Russia. There haven't been that many Cold War-related strips so I don't know if it's said that Russia had any different traits during his Soviet days. What little was shown was his usual scaryYandere self. As for dead countries, AFAIK, they just cease to exist unless they're really popular like Prussia. Then they just sort of...hang around.
Although with the case of Prussia, it theorized that he became East Germany after the actual land of Prussia was partitioned off.
The Soviet Union seems to be presented as Russia living in the same house as the other countries which were part of the Soviet Union (like Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia... doesn't really show the others.) After the fall of the Soviet Union, the other countries just move out. Yugoslavia and the resulting countries haven't appeared, but I assume they'd be done the same way. As for newly formed countries, I think they've been done two ways. If they gain independence from another country, it might just show it as moving out of the first country's house. Or, they could just appear in their land as a baby.
It depends, some Nation-tans get renamed (like Turkey was the Ottoman Empire, England/UK was the British Empire, Prussia was the State of the Teutonic Knights) or taken over by a new Nation-tan (like Mama [Ancient] Egypt was taken over by Egypt, and the Roman Empire was taken over by the Italies, Veneziano [North Italy] and Romano [South Italy]).
Also, I would like to argue that we're getting a strip about nations, not countries. If I understood my history lessons right, a nation is formed from people because of their history, culture, language etc. Even if they don't have a country they can still see themselves as part of a group. Extreme example: Israel. Or Poland, also not on the maps for some periods. So Prussia, for example, now representing the former GDR will be around as long as distinctive differences are abound... likely for quite some time.
^ This. There is a difference between 'nation' and 'state'. In fact, that difference is the first thing they drill into your head with International Relations classes. The way I figure it, is the characters represent the nation. So America represents the American people, etc. etc. (I tend to imagine their boss as representing the state.) With this interpretation, a multi-national state like the Soviet Union is represented just by having the multiple nation-tans having the same boss. Which is what hetalia does. So yeah...Prussia will continue to exist as long as the idea of being Prussian exists. When the idea of being part of a nation dies out, then the nation-tan dies. Or at least that's how I see it.
So, does that mean that part of Prussia (like his left shoulder and arm or something) was torn off by Poland and lived in his house for a few years before being driven back to Germany? Or that Poland was torn into three pieces and partly lived in Russia, Prussia (and then Germany), and Austria (and then Austria-Hungary)? Or that Germany's basement is filled up with a whole host of tiny nations (Bavaria, Wurtemburg, Frankfurt-am-Main, Saxony, Hamburg, parts of Schlezwig-Holstein, Hanover, and all of the other Kleinstaaten of the Holy Roman Empire)?
Also, why is England so lame? British food in real life is great - does Hidekaz have something against Britain? Some kind of bad experience with British food?
And by extension why is American food also said to be terrible? Okay, yeah, fast food sucks, but anyone who studies cuisine or watches Travel Channel shows like Bizarre Foods' and No Reservations knows many different American regions have great food cultures (especially The South!).
I think this is because the stereotype of British/American food being terrible is from the perspective of the rest of the world. It seems strange to us because we're used to eating it, but perhaps from the viewpoints of other cultures, our food is weird.
It seems the mangaka doesn't like most European/Caucasian food except French and Italian. While Italy will eat wursts, he doesn't seem too fond of them, Finland seems to be especially fond of "gross" foods, America likes to make his food every color of the rainbow, and all the other European countries don't seem to emphasize their food much, unless you count Spain offering the Italy brothers churros and tomatoes.
Not to mention, the story is essentially written from a Japanese perspective. Heck, even Chinese food is poked fun at one point. (China thinking of cats as food rather then pets.) Japan's food on the other hand, such as sushi (which many Americans find weird), is treated as totally normal.
Growing up around Asians, I notice most Asians aren't too fond of European food either.
And the mangaka tends to absorb several of the 'fanon' elements as 'canon' as the series goes on. You will notice that Alfred actually doesn't mind Arthur's food when he was young. Nowdays? He think it is disgusting.
Where did you get that it's fanon?? America has always thought England's food was bad, at least ever since he learned to discern between good food and bad. He just didn't say anything when he was a child because he didn't want to hurt England. Now that their relationship has changed he doesn't hold back.
I actually intepreted as America not knowing the difference between good and bad food. I mean, when England cooks for him he asks, "Is this what you call 'delicious'?" England panickily says that it is. So yeah, he just didn't know any better. He certainly didn't have any problems later when he calls England's scones a variety of distasteful things.
He didn't know any better when he was very young: there's a story where France gives him some of his (delicious) food and America can't tell the difference between that and England's horror food. But he seemed to learn the difference later on: in another story an older America reflects on how bad England's cooking is, and yet says "it's delicious, make some more" to make England happy.
Hmm, perhaps veering off the original subject, but I thought that (the change in reaction to England's food) was a part of America's personality. It seemed that young America could eat England's food to make England happy. It seems after he ate France's food, he realized he like France's food more, but he cared more about England so he acted as if England's food was the best. However, the years changed their relationship (American Revolution and all that) and now they are a bit more at odds with each other most of the time. So now he says England's food is nasty. (Though if the last panel of Make a British Food means anything, he probably actually doesn't really mind it.)
If I recall correctly, in the strip where he and England capture Italy he's actually seen eating the food England prepared for Italy.
Hell, I don't blame most foreigners. I hate traditional British food, and I'm English.
Are you kidding? The horrors of British food has been a running joke in Europe for hundreds of years. Sure, it's a stereotype but the entire manga is built on stereotypes!
Why are there so few Greece/Japan fanworks out there, especially when compared to England/Japan and Turkey/Greece? I may be reading too much into thinking that Greece shows interest in Japan's culture (and snacks) partly to impress/please him, but they are shown to be Birds of a Feather, share an umbrella, and friggin' sleep together (even if it was only a one-night stand, but there's really nothing that says it never happened again between them - and if it really was just a dream, it only becomes even more teasing as it means that Japan had a Homoerotic Dream about Greece), which should push them into semi-canon territory at the very least. They even got an entire chapter in the published manga about their relations! And if you want to be shallow, they fit the One Head Taller rule to a tee and it's not as if they don't look good together. So why almost no love for them? Or am I just not looking in the right places?
Probably because there's very little historical interaction between Greece and Japan to draw on. Sure, they've been allies for a long time, but anyone who researches either Greece or Japan doesn't find anything about cultural influences, significant events or even wars fought together. England and Japan, America and Japan, France and Japan, and even Portugal and Japan are all pairings with significantly more historically interesting events or cultural interactions. And while not all fanfic authors are interested in historical accuracy, the most popular pairings are the ones between nations with more historical interactions, even if they aren't all friendly interactions.
Also, am I the only one who wondered what France's comment about "humiliation play" at the end of that umbrella strip was about and why he was even put in a Greece and Japan-centric strip, did a Google search for "humiliation play", and found this? Someone please tell me if there's another way to read that part that isn't "Greece is depressed about Japan apparently thinking his hair is always bad-looking until remembering something France said makes him wonder if it's Japan's own way of flirting with him"?
It has a sexual meaning. The same gag happens with Chibimano when Spain starts rubbing his haircurl and then Chibimano remembers France's words about sexual teasing.
Why do none of the characters have dark skin?
You're kidding right?
That troper may be talking about the anime. This troper heard of Hetalia through the animated series, but I looked into it as soon as I heard of it. There are dark-skinned characters in order to keep the characters looking like they came from the country they represent. For example, Spain has slightly darker skin compared to, let's say, Italy. The recent African character, Cameroon◊ is, well...African, so it kinda goes without saying. Egypt has darker skin too, given that he represents an African/Middle-Eastern country - he was just given Caucasian skin in the anime for some odd reason. Also there's Seychelles, technically an African country, but had no indigenous people, but mixes of white, black, and Asian people, so she was given slightly dark skin.
Also, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Botswana, Uganda and Kenya are seen in Gakuen Hetalia demo as chibi heads, plus three of them have full bodied designs, but any of them are yet to appear in webstrips/the manga.
Don't forget Cuba.
I know several people who agree that there are far too many Caucasians—I showed my father the Group E picture, since he's such a fan of the Netherlands, and he was horrified to see that Cameroon's skin was a light brown.
Light-brown? Are you sure it wasn't your printer or something? On both pictures his skin tone is obviously a lot darker than the others', and not any lighter than any black character's in any given cartoon. (And since the outlines are black his skin can't be realistically dark otherwise you won't see his facial features.)
This troper thinks it's that the whole picture is given a sort of washed-out look - clearly an artistic choice, but it makes everyone in that pic look a lot whiter than is realistic or (maybe) healthy.
What does happen to a country-tan when they encounter a civil war? Do they get a temporary Split Personality or what?
That, again, depends on how you read the canon. Some people say that the rebelling side becomes personified, some say both do while the Nation-Tan still represents the whole and tries to quiet the two. Others say that the two sides are within a Nation's head, and they kind of go insane until it's over; or that the Nation represents the masses, and they fight their bosses (such as France fighting his bosses during his own revolution). It's all kind of up in the air...
I read a marvelous Civil War fanfiction with America, where the two sides are essentially clones, with different beliefs. The 'winning' side is the one that survives and goes on to become the unified nation, in this instance, the Union, whereas the losing side...
I kinda always thought the nation didn't fight, and instead the citizens and personified political units (ie. Texas, etc.) fought each other.
There are many different ways to have a civil war. In the case of the English Civil War (the one in the seventeenth century, that led to the Commonwealth of England for a time) that was a result of a group of people rebelling against the king and taking control. It seems like that war would be humans fighting over the right to be England's Boss. Actually, most Civil Wars seem to go that route. In the case of the American Civil War, half the nation decided to become a separate nation, while the other half rejected its legitimacy. That situation is more likely to create a split personality/physical split in the Nation.
Oh, with America it's even worse. America was not actually completely unified until after that war. You know that name, "United States"? Originally, every state was supposed to more or less be a sovereign nation (mostly because they were thirteen individual colonies and not one big one). After a few years, we realized that that wouldn't work. However, even after that there was severe sectionalism, and it was a common belief (especially in the South) that the Federal government only existed to help the states get along. It wasn't until after the Civil War that people started to think of America as one Nation. And then there's all of the individual Native American nations to consider (they might well be dead, but a lot of people with Native American blood still think of themselves as part of their Tribe). Of course, then you have to think about who the America we know actually is (my money's on Massachusetts. It was one of the biggest colonies along with Virginia, but Virginia's in the south and so would have become the Confederacy). So there's the possibility that there are approximately 100 characters living in one character's house.
Why is Ukraine older than Russia? This doesn't make much sense to me.
Because their ages are based on their capitals. Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus were technically all 'born' at the same time- as part of an area inhabited by a tribe called the Kievan Rus, named after and centered around their main city (and Ukraine's capital), Kiev. However, Moscow and Minsk were both founded later, and the descendants of the Kievan Rus are still mostly Ukrainian, making Ukraine the oldest of the three.
Descendants of the Kievan Rus? What exactly do you mean by that, troper? If you're refering to the princes of the Kievan Rus, well...some of them them went on to become the Russian princes. I hope that's what you meant, because the alternatives don't make any sense to this troper. Also, this troper would like to concur with the above just bugs me. It seems more fitting, if anything, for Russia to be older than Ukraine, or for them to be twins (I'm partial to the twins idea). In the case of Russia being older, Moscow and most of the Russian cities originated in the Novgorod region, and the Novgorod region was home to some of the oldest east Slavic settlements. Furthermore, the Slavs migrated from the east, not from the west or the south west.
And the Germanics (and thus Germania) migrated from Northern Europe, but we've never been told that the Nordics were older than the rest of Germanic Europe (to use that bit of logic). Ukraine's being older stems from the same source as just about very other stereotype: it's folk-derived, or rather, it comes from what the people themselves seem to think. The idea of Ukraine being the senior sibling is actually Older Than They Think, and largely derived from the fact that Ukraine's capitol was once the focal point for the entire East Slavic civilization. Even if they got their start somewhere else, their main base of operations - and the place which the rest of the world came to associate with them - was Kiev. Keep in mind that the word 'Rus, basically just referred to a territorial/cultural region, and was the source for "Russians", "Beylorussians", "Rusyns", "Ruthenians", and a whole slew of other related groups. This is all well and good, until you learn that the old nickname for the Ukrainians was "Little Russia". Even without meaning to, implying that weak, crybaby Ukraine is actually the younger sibling to Russia and that he's the source of her culture is not gonna go down well with Ukrainians of any type, considering their history.
Just remembered: I can't remember if the dub had this, but didn't the subs have Ukraine ask Russia if she could be the designated successor to the Kievan Rus in return for the scarf she gave him? Maybe the Rus was a parent, or something? It doesn't mention ages, but...
So, as far as I know, the outfits the characters wear in Hetalia are, for the most part, historically true to their respective time periods. So why aren't the hairstyles, too? I'll admit, I'm quite unknowledgeable in world history (I'm only sixteen), but I doubt America and England would have such modern haircuts during the American Revolution, and that strip is only the most egregious example I can think of. If its because of the whole Only Six Faces thing, then I suppose its somewhat justified, but even then, its not like you wouldn't be able to tell which country is which, considering the event(s) a strip would be based on, and also considering that Himaruya almost always explains what exactly is going on in each strip, anyway.
Himaruya probably would've been tearing his own hair out if he had to research hairstyles. They get played for laughs anyway i.e. Both North and South Italy having a strand of hair as an erogenous zone, America's cowlick being Nantucket because of its shape.
It's probably mostly character familiarity. Though there is a strip about England trying different hairstyles in the Middle Ages, but he keeps his normal style in the end because according to France it's the style that most suits him. So it might be that they just keep their hair however they like it most and don't care too much about the current trends of the time.
Why is Russia so Big and Insane? I think he's so big because of the size of The country itself. But why is he Batshit crazy?! Are most Russians like that?!
Is your question about a series where the characters are based upon national stereotypes seriously 'why is a character based upon national stereotypes'?
See this strip. There's also the Russian Revolution, and I don't think being the Soviet Union did him any favors. Russia has a pretty violent and crappy history. In the modern day strips he seems to be doing a little bit better.
Aside of that... Real-life Russia has had a not so fun history with other Eastern and Central European countries. There's a reason the Baltics are so afraid of him.
I'm pretty sure he's big because Russians are stereotyped to be big (Like bear!). If the whole country size=height thing was correct, many of the nations would be microscopic compared to others (in reference to a certain song, Canada would be fourteen times the size of France if this were true).
Actually, nation-tan's height in Hetalia was based upon their people's average height in Real Life. Along with a strip about Germany being taller than Italy somewhere, there was a link tacked on under it about stats of average height of people in various countries, albeit for only some. Sorry, can't find it for now.
This isn't the case with all the countries. For example Finland is only 170cm tall, while in reality the average male height in Finland is about 180cm. (According to Wikipedia)
Are you kidding? Russia actually looks pretty small and thin to this Troper. This Troper dislikes Russia's design, personally, because she finds him to just not look Russian enough. Looks sort of bland, actually.
What's up with all the Japan hate in the western fandom? Its like everywhere I go someone is complaining about how "boring" he is. Am I the only one that actually enjoys his character?
I'm American, and I found Kiku to be my favorite character, America on the other hand is an ass to me.
The lines in Hetalia fandom tend to fall along country/lineage, which is why in the Western fandom it's mostly US, UK, and Canada (especially with Canada, who's a relatively rare sight (pun not intended) with the Japanese fandom) and mostly the Asian nations in the Japanese one. But, other than that, Japan is a Straight Man and a reactionary character when he chooses to actually give a reaction (often times he's just sort of there). Those types of characters rarely gain much popularity on the Western end of things.
Not much popularity? I've seen flat out hate on Japan/Kiku purely because he's not that much of an 'otaku'.
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Japan's character seems to be what the Japanese believe their national stereotype to be, as opposed to a more global thing like the others. It's in great opposition to the western take on Japan. If you ask a Westerner's stereotypes, the last thing you're going to hear is 'Japan is quiet, enjoys comics on occasion, and really should stand up for itself more'. It's more likely than anything an annoyance at this that leads to dislike in whatever degree.
I believe the author himself said he asked his friends, outside of Japan, what they thought of the Japanese in terms of stereotypes. If I recall correctly, one of them was that the Japanese tend to always be seen with a camera, which is why the character (Japan) is shown with a camera, both in canon and in fan works. There are others, but I really do dislike the hate of poor Kiku. He has flaws and endearing qualities like all the rest, with no preferential treatment (unless you're really looking for it, in which case, of course you'll "find" it somewhere...). Personally, I adore his shyness and (relatively) hidden otaku tendencies.
America's aging is confusing to me. I can completely buy into the fact that he's grown quickly, and is in the body of a teenager in modern day, but how he got there simply doesn't make any sense. When they first meet him (presumably as New Sweden), he's somewhere around 2-3. When he fights the revolution, he's about 16-17. In the 1940's and onward, he's listed as 19. So, essentially, he grew 14-15 years as a colony under British Rule. And yet, the roughly 160 years that included the entire westward expansion, industrialization, and development of his own government and national identity only added 2 years. The Civil War, with how much the nation progressed surrounding it, seems like it should have added a year just on it's own. If progress and development is linked to a nation-tan's aging, and he's only 19 in the 2000's, I just don't see how he should have been able to so much as reach puberty before he seceded from England.
This troper finds America's ages to be very appropriate. Sixteen-seventeen during The American Revolution really gives it that feeling of a boy that grew up faster than his parents had expected and is striving to be recoginized as an adult, which is what that conflict was about in a nutshell (at least in the Hetalia version). His Manifest Destiny period (and other related phases) would have made him fully grown, but judging by what happened to Ancient Rome, Nations don't age from growth, they age from periods of military or political weakness. So it makes sense that America is still so youthful, considering his strength and influence.
Countries don't grow from 'periods of military or political weakness', though. They starve, become wounded, and die with those (that's why Liechtenstein near died when her country was suffering instead of growing a few years). Rome didn't age from his country doing poorly, he'd aged previously from his empire and government becoming so refined. They grow from positive steps towards government, land growth, and economy. Because those sorts of things didn't start happening for the colony until after it'd gained its independence, it's illogical that he'd have grown so much previously. Also, if you look at the history, the revolution seems less like 'a child that grew up too fast' and more like 'a child threw a tantrum the parent grew tired of dealing with'. And it wasn't a want to be recognized as a nation (IE: adult) that spurred the sentiment which led to revolution, but the want to be recognized as Englishmen (IE: family member, or child).
It was more a desire to be recognized as an equal: "No taxation without representation" was the original rallying cry rather than "We're leaving the British Empire". The original protests were about being denied the rights that "true" Englishmen had, like representation in Parliament. It became evident that the only way to get those rights were to become a separate country.
This has been nagging at me for quite some time now. If both Italies have a strand of Idiot Hair that play the role of their erogenous zones, then wouldn't it be VERY hard to live with it? Think about it, if both brothers feel any sort of thing on their curls, they are immediately going to start feeling the pleasure. So, if they're underwater, the curls' "special" effects will kick in. If they're asleep and they roll over onto their side and onto the curl, say hi to that funny feeling your curls love to bring you, Vargas brothers. If there is a breeze blowing on the curl, oh look, they're probably going to start feeling "funny" again. So how do Italy and Romano deal with their erogenous zones that is in the form of a strand of hair if just about anything can touch them?
I think you may be over-estimating exactly how sensitive they are; the two only seem to react when people are stroking their hair. You probably have to think of it along the lines of genitalia. Stimulus to it does cause arousal, but not all stimulus is treated equal. Just like a normal person wouldn't be turned on simply by swimming or light wind pressure, even though contact is made, a more sensual act like fondling would cause a response.
Seriously, why people in the fandom say the Baltic's are brothers? There's at least two strips that say otherwise.
For the same reason why people say that England is America's and Sealand's father (even though at least two strips say otherwise for America and one for Sealand), that Sealand calls Sweden and Finland daddy and mommy (I don't remember Hidekaz saying anything like this anywhere), or that France conquered England in 1066 (none of the Norman conquests were considered territories of the Kingdom of France, the Norman/Plantagenet kings of England were equals of the King of France and were only vassals of the French crown). They get so immersed in fanon that they either forget what is canon and what isn't, or they simply discard canon in favor of fanon.
Okay, this may seem odd, but it's always bugged me that in the Hetalia universe, can't bosses see that their specific nation personification can affect how the country in itself is doing? I'm not sure if that makes full sense, but it's always nagged at the back of my mind. For example, whenever a character is sick (thus the country is having some sort of problem), couldn't they as nations with human bodies just be nursed to health and the state of the country would be fixed? Furthermore, even though this series is based on history and this entire little theory of mind really doesn't make sense in context, why are the nations not treated with more care? They’re seen walking around and interacting with humans as, from what we can tell, normal citizens. Wouldn’t anyone treat them differently because they were a country? I mean, in this universe, let’s say hypothetically that America is drinking very hot coffee, and someone bumps into him and spills his coffee on him, causing him to become physically burned. That would most likely affect the country, right?
Part of the problem is that they aren't normal people. If a nation-tan is hurt or sick, it's because they've been attacked or for issues like a weakened economy. Giving them human medicine wouldn't solve the problem, it would take fixing whatever the issue is (substitute ibuprofen for rebuilding efforts). They probably are taken good care of, though, but even then there are some things you simply can't prevent. A real life example would be professional athletes. At least in the US, the highest-paid ones actually have people following them around in attempts to keep them from hurting themselves off the job. Because they're worth tens of millions, they're treated as if they're made of glass and a lot of them still end up seriously injuring themselves off the field (and in stupid ways, too). They could, and in the Hetalia universe probably do, have handlers for the nation-tans. But, if America's going to spill coffee on himself, there's no real way that's going to be stopped unless they're going to keep him locked in a room and then hand-feed him.
On a side note, spilling coffee might be flooding/hurricanes.
Wait, I always though it work the other way around: The state of the state/nation is what affects the Nation-Tan, so a bad economy makes them sick. Apparently they don't fear sending the nation-tans to war since even if they get injured it doesn't really make much unless is representing some serious historic event: South Italy got shot in the butt during a war but nothing really happen to him. And capturing Italy and Germany didn't make the Germans or Italians surrender, they even send Italy back since he was useless.
One misconception to clear up. Italy's bosses didn't send him back because he was useless, they sent him back because the Italians really wanted the alliance with Germany for protection amongst other things. It was the Allies who repeatedly captured him and sent him back. That aside, the Nation-Tans go wherever their people are, so if they don't go to war their people don't. The bosses don't have much choice in the matter, but thankfully the story is sugar-coated enough so things don't look so bad (the representation of the bombing of London was... special, in particular).
The main disagreements I usually see with how what the nation-tans do affect the country is a) whether the country represents land or people and b) whether what they do affects the people, or what the people do affects them and finally c) How directly the actions of the people and the nation-tan are linked. We don't really have an answer for any of these, so all we can do is infer and come up with our own logical conclusion on how nation-tans work.
Not necessarily, we do have at least a basic definition from the canon. The nation-tans, while being divided up by region (Nantucket, Silesia, etc.), represent their people. The homes they live in represent the land. In episode 57, when the entire country of Poland was flying around, it was referred to as his house rather than himself. When it landed on Lithuania, it was referred to as crushing Lithuania's house. Whether those two (the people and the land) overlap or not is what's up for debate.
Here's my two cents: I think whatever happens to the country, like economy, effects the Nation-Tan. Example, let's say America's economy just got really bad. So he gets a cold. You can give him medicine, or nurse him back to health, but doing that only effects his cold and not the economy. And it wouldn't get rid of his cold, just make it more bearable until the economy gets fixed. But if he gets hurt, or yes spills coffee on him, then the country itself is fine because what America did only effected his physical self. (Cause) Country —> (Effect) Nation-Tan, but not (Cause) Nation-Tan —> (Effect) country.
That's how my roleplay group treats it. Nation-Tans can have their ailments and symptoms (i.e. headcold from a bad economy) soothed temporarily but that doesn't fix the cause of the illness, so after a while they relapse on their symptoms.
Okay, one thing that bother me not about the series itself, but this wiki's commentary, is regarding the "seizing vital regions" meme with Prussia. Yes, it was Austria that originally said it, but each time it was in reference to Prussia. So while the words did not come from Prussia, the phrase is meant to bring up his image so to me it's not a very Beam Me Up, Scotty! and/or Never Live It Down moment. If someone can find an instance where someone else mentions vital regions being seized in regards to another character, I'll stand corrected.
Spain has a dream about Romano and says that Romano is crushing his "vital regions".
Lithuania tells Poland that his "vital regions" are surrounded while the two are playing a chess game.
Corrected I stand, then.
This only occurred to me after I stopped fangirling over certain moments in the comic. Either America is the biggest gay of them all, or he acts pretty Japanese for a guy who is supposed to be the epitome of the American stereotype. He asks Lithuania if he'd sleep with him in his bed so he "doesn't get scared" because he watched a scary movie and is now paranoid. After making Japan sit through a scary movie with him, he opens his mouth to ask Japan if he'd sleep with him that night (for some reason the dialogue is changed in at least the English subtitles in the anime adaptation of the strip in question). During the Christmas strip bonus when France and England finally show up at his house, America is practically nude just like they are and actually looks a little sad that they hadn't invited him earlier. Later, in the same bonus, America says he admires how Lithuania strips his clothes after he, England, and France sort of bully him into taking off his clothes. He then carries Lithuania bridal-style to . . . they say they're going to Lithuania's house, but Poland is there in a sexy Santa outfit, so did they go to Poland's house instead? Whatever. Point is, I cannot think of a single stereotypical American male who would be so eager to have such . . . intimate contact with other men, even if they were gay. Maybe I'm nitpicking - it is a comedy after all - but with France and England, there's at least some form of reason behind it. They compete with each other, no matter what it is. France lists a whole bunch of perverted things that the British are known for. England makes sure to remind the audience that France is a perv, and France does nothing to deny this. And England's drunk. America, on the other hand, I actually don't think he drinks (when it's his turn to sing the theme song, it references Coca-Cola and not an alcoholic beverage, and I don't think we've seen America get drunk), and he's one of the few characters not known to be a pervert in the series. But Americans aren't exactly known for their acceptance of homosexuality, so . . . I do have a point. I know that it's common, in Japan, for family members to sleep in the same bed, as evidenced by the Hitachiin brothers and word of mouth from someone I know who is pretty reliable when it comes to Japanese culture. So I'm confused on whether or not the creator realizes Americans don't act like this or not, especially when America does things like the make a Christmas cake. I didn't realize it at first, but Americans don't bake cake at Christmas. We bake cookies. The Japanese, however, do bake cakes. I can't remember any other instances of America having Japanese behavior, but when interacting with characters who are not Japan, America just feels a little less American and a little more Japanese. The only reason it bugs me is because I can't tell if it's on purpose or not, I can't just shout out and claim that America is canonically gay, and I want to so badly. (Yes, I'm a very strange patriot, why do you ask?) It's even more annoying because I can also see another explanation for it: while it's weird for American teenagers and adults to sleep in the same bed as other teenagers and adults who are not romantic partners, it's NOT weird for children to sleep in the same bed as their parents when frightened. America is clearly a naive and child-like character, and I love him for it, but the sleeping with Lithuania and wanting to sleep with Japan could be America trying to find the same comfort he received back when he was being raised by England. With Lithuania, it even goes to a higher level - Lithuania is cleaning his house, cooking for him, and a bunch of other stuff for him, just like a parent would, so it could be that America seeks comfort from Lithuania for that reason. As for the running about naked, he could just be feeling left out because he was, well, left out, much like a child would want to be included even if he hadn't a real clue what was going on. And the carrying of Lithuania bridal-style could be, if his mind really is that childish, just a reenactment of one of his hero fantasies. So I have three explanations for it, and it's driving me crazy. Which interpretation is right?
Holy moly that was long...Personally, I would go with the second interpretation. America has been shown to be a very childish character, and when he asks Lithuania if they could sleep together, he doesn't at all appear to have any ulterior motive for it, and in fact they discuss their childhoods. On the other hand, America's childish attitude makes it hard to fully understand just what it is he's thinking at times. As for the cake at Christmas, I don't think the Japanese typically make cakes, they buy cakes (hence the Christmas Cake trope, as no one buys them after the 25th). I could be wrong though. Regardless, I don't think it's really that strange for America to bake a cake at Christmas time. If I have the right comic, America was actually having a big party, and cake is a common thing to be found at such parties. Also (again, if I have the right comic), the picture Himaruya had as an example was a Halloween cake. I don't know, it just doesn't seem that strange to bake a cake at Christmas, even if my family doesn't typically do it (even if I'm Canadian, but honestly, American and Canadian Christmas traditions are pretty much the same).
Like the above troper said, it's not that unusual. My own family always bakes cakes for Christmas rather than cookies. (And actually, I think for the Christmas of the 2010 event, I had baked a green-frosted cake that looked for all the world like the picture Himaruya drew, save for the red things on top, before I ever saw the picture. Of course after seeing it I quickly bought a bag of Swedish Fish to cover that difference.) There are a ton of conflicting cultural examples from here (and everywhere, really) as well, as I've seen a lot of families sharing a bed (in the event of movie-induced fright or lack of room or what-have-you), my own included. (I share beds with my relatives and even friends often). In the end though, even when Himaruya does make a few errors here and there, you can hardly blame him. He's trying to be accurate about the world, and his own interests would come into play in what's more accurate, as another troper noted elsewhere. He's also been getting busier and busier lately now that the series is officially in the often said to be harsh manga business, so he may have less time for more thorough research into what's more likely a tradition than another. He does have a contact system however, and I'm sure he recieves many such suggestions and corrections. He's changed or deleted strips in the past to make up for such things as he comes across them and sees fit.
Why are so many of the European Hetalia characters blond-haired and blue-eyed? I get the Nordic nations and even Germany, but England? America? Canada? France? Russia? Belarus? Ukraine? Latvia? Estonia? Belgium? Netherlands? Switzerland? Liechtenstein? Poland? It's not stereotypical for any of these countries, and it just looks awkward, not to mention full of Unfortunate Implications and Those Wacky Nazis. Even countries like Greece and Lithuania get drawn with blue eyes a lot. Am I the only one getting annoyed by this?
In evidence - the blond map of Europe◊ shows the frequency of light-hair amongst the European population by country. As expected, all of Scandinavia, North Eastern Europe and the UK exhibit the highest percentages of light haired people, so the author is justified in most of those examples you list, especially those in Northern Europe (Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the UK). America and Canada were colonized by the above European groups, so again it's fairly justified. France however, is the oddest example, as light hair is far more rare in France than the other countries you list, as the map shows.
It's stereotypical for the Japanese (see Phenotype Stereotype) and both Himaruya and his intended audience are Japanese. Since ethnic Japanese people have dark brown or black hair and eyes they've historically found light hair and eyes are strange and exotic so they stereotyped Westerners as blonde and blue/light eyed. And while America and Canada are not exactly European, "tall, blond and blue-eyed (and wears a Stetson hat)" is the American stereotype in many countries, Japan included. Blame Hollywood. As for eye colors: England has green eyes ("England's green and pleasant land" anyone?), Russia and Finland violet, Belarus and Greece teal, and Holland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Belgium also green.
Maybe I can help with this: the French (the Francs) are traditionally blonde and blue eyed. The stereotype of the Franc warrior is a big, strong man with golden hair and clear eyes. Belarus, Ukraine and Poland are Slavs and the Slavs are, too, blue eyed and with blonde hair. Switzerland and Lichtenstein are German, so the description is right. England is a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic. Even if he's a true Briton, they still are Celtic and have similar traits to France. The green eyes are a clear reference to England being the "green and pleasant land" as the above Troper said. Not to mention the sea, which is England's domain. America and Canada: both were discovered by the Anglo-Saxons, so blue eyes and blonde hair are appropriate. Also, as the above Troper said, "tall, blonde, blue-eyed" is the American look for most people.
The more I think about it... why was Tony around at all, much less well acquainted with everyone, during Lithuania's outsourcing? If he came after the Roswell incident in '47 (which is exactly how America explained that they met), why on Earth would he have been there in the 20's?
Series Continuity Error? Or maybe Tony brainwashed him for some reason. (It's quite suspicious that America keeps saying "he's not an alien, he's my friend!"...)
For America's version of Marukaite Chikyuu, why not use whisky or bourbon? I know cola is sort of a stereotype, but England's version using rum due to piracy is, too me at least, a slight stretch. And on this subject, they couldn't differentiate France and Italy by making the former use Champagne? Were they really grasping at straws for alcoholic beverage names?
England and rhum. Rhum is a drink usually associated to pirates and England = Pirate in most of the world. Also, remember the Navy: Rhum, sodomy and the lash.
Well, those are traditional American spirits, but what's been shown is that America's drink of choice is either cola or beer (which fits, as the US is a world leader in producing both). But, when other countries are thinking of the US, soda comes to mind in the same manner that wine is thought of with the French and Italians (champagne, possibly, but only well after wine). That, and America is shown to be a big kid who has become synonymous with both burgers and pop for the fandom. If they had chosen whiskey for the MKC, I think there would be a lot more eyebrows raised because it's just not like him.
All the more so since his physical age is 19 years, so technically he's not even old enough to drink alcohol both in Japan and the US (which is somewhat of a running gag in some parts of the Japanese fandom).
He went drinking with England at one point. I'm just arguing for consistency's sake since Italy's a man-boy too and yet he's ur Ur Example of MKC.
He was stationed in Europe at the time. The drinking age anywhere he would have been there, at the oldest, is 18. Your point is moot.
I assumed America didn't drink, due to being a man-child, and that the beverage he had while drinking with England wasn't alcohol. Faking England out by pretending to drink alcohol but not actually doing so also fits the "I'm not as dumb as you think I am" thing he's got going.
The term 'man child' means immature, it doesn't mean sober. He canonically drinks beer (which also means he more likely than not also owns a fake ID). Especially since it's so common for American youths to take advantage of a lowered drinking age while abroad, there's no reason to think he wouldn't. Also, to trick someone in the way described would be very difficult when said person is sitting in the next seat in what appeared to be a quite (if not completely empty) establishment. Beyond that, I don't think America's trying to trick anybody, he's far too straight forward and honest for that (as in: you can put your money on him blurting out something incriminating long before he remembered he was supposed to hide it). The only time I can remember him lying was when he pranked Japan while playing a game, which was meant to be mischievous with a friend rather than to gain the upper hand. He is capable of more maturity than he generally shows, but first and foremost he behaves as the teenage boy he is.
My grandfather did the alcohol trick every time he went to drink with clients back when he was a lawyer. I can't remember if he paid the bar tender beforehand or if they were friends, but he'd order alcohol, but the bar tender would give him a drink that looked like the beverage he asked for when really it wasn't. Then he's get his way in whatever it was they were talking about. I can easily see America doing the same thing with the bartender, even if it was just for a prank on England or something.
Only that there's no evidence that he did, there's no reason he'd choose to not drink in a situation where he was able to (he was quite excited to have a drink with his brother), nor was there any benefit to him in staying sober. If America had pulled this trick as you suggest, it would have been shown (but, again, there was no reason for it). These repeated theories are going a long way to prove that a character who canonically drinks remains sober for no reason at all.
Hidekaz Himaruya said himself that America sometimes pretends to be dumb when he really knows what's going on. While the extent to what he's dumb about and what isn't is Fanon, it's also Word Of God.
You've misread the Word Of God. That statement was about America's flat refusal to read the atmosphere, and it hurts him severely instead of helping him. It more makes America a teen boy (or a self-centered jerk, if you'd rather) than anything you've suggested.
Moreover, it's a bit Truth in Television: not everyone is going to adhere to their countries' legal drinking ages. America's legal age for consuming and purchasing alcohol is 21, the highest in the world. This troper herself has just turned 21, and has been drinking alcohol with similarly underaged friends long before that point.
It's always bothered me, as a New Englander, how America's ahoge is described as Nantucket. Sure, it's shaped like Nantucket. A little. If you squint. But wouldn't a more logical choice in that neck of the woods be Cape Cod?
Himaruya has a series set in Nantucket. While I agree it would make more sense, his sentimentalism for the area is the reason it's so prominent.
Oh, okay. That makes sense then. Maybe it then the most logical conclusion is it's the entire Cape and the Islands region. However, since that's such a generic name, Nantucket is the best name to make it stick out.
Family relationships in Hetalia confuse me. So Estonia and Latvia aren't related? Are America and England? Are Japan and China? Or Norway and Iceland? It just really confuses me.
America and England and Japan and China are not "blood" related, England and China adopted America and Japan, respectively, as their younger brothers. Same with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Estonia and Latvia are not related either. (I don't know about Norway and Iceland.) Basically, just because someone calls another country "brother" or "sister" doesn't necessarily mean they're related by blood.
Most of it, as the above troper said, is adoption. There are a few blood relations (Norway and Iceland), but I think that's mostly confined to the specific nations that have dual representation (Italians/Germans). The assignment is very confusing, and I don't think there are set rules available. Until we have a concrete guide, the best course of action is to look for their meeting stories/what they say about their relations.
I think all the relatives are Iceland/Norway, Russia/Belarus/Ukraine, the Italians, the Germanics, America/Canada, Netherlands/Belgium, Ancient Greece/Greece, Ancient Egypt/Egypt, and England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland and presumably Ireland as well.
Luxembourg is Netherlands' and Belgium's younger brother. Hungary is mentioned to have an ancient relative called Magyar. And for the sake of adding it (and perhaps opening a new can of worms), in the 2011 Bloodbath Romania refers to a yet-to-appear Moldova as his little brother.
Also, Cyprus (an island country in the Mediterranian) and the Turkish micronation on the north of the island, as mentioned here.
It just bugs me that America won his independence not by his own skill, but by England's leniency. England had the gun pointed, he could have taken the shot, but it was his decision not to, which kinda cheapens the war a bit.
Except if England had shot America, all of America's soldiers would have shot him.
As well, (For me, anyway) It seemed to be a good representation of the fact that in real life the Revolutionaries and the British Empire didn't really want it to go as far as it did. It was the inability of the two sides to reach a peaceful agreement that led to the Revolutionary War. If it could have been avoided, the Brits and Americans would have probably not fought.
And there's also... well, yes, we fought well. Yes, we were damned awesome in that war. But had England not been weakened and distracted by France on the other side of the pond, or had they been able to adjust their tactics for the guerrilla warfare we visited upon them, or had they even just plain taken the war seriously from the get-go, or had he been willing to expend more of his fleet and a more significant portion of his army, our goose would have been so cooked. It's a friggin' miracle we won. So... yes, England most likely did have the ability to completely wipe out all thirteen colonies. It would have overextended his resources and destabilized his empire, not to mention the moral implications, but he could have done it. It's accurate. Sorry.
Hey, no need to say 'sorry'. I’m neither American nor English, received absolutely no education about the Revolution, and reading the wiki article just would not have done it justice. I think I get it now.
Seconding the above troper; I read that the English considered the American Revolution to be a bit of a nuisance while they had other, more pressing concerns nearby.
American troper with a British Da here. The way it was taught in an American school, the revolution was one of the greatest achievements in history. In British schools, it's more like "Eh, it would've happened anyway. France was more important." If I remember correctly, the British thought the colonies were just going through a phase an that they would easily get us back after the deal with France was over. That attempt would be the War of 1812.
And for the rest of Europe it's like "Important shit was going on in Europe, and by the way, Britain's American colonies went independent. War of 1812? That was Napoleon trying to invade Russia. Did anything else happen?"
And the War of 1812 wasn't really an attempt to annex Canada or to take back the US no matter what nationalists want you to think on either side. It was more of a "do not meddle in our affairs" thing for America to Britain even though Canada was somewhere in the back of their minds.
Spain as a doting parent? Would be more correctly Spain as bad father/mother/parental figure who exploited her children to work for him and get him gold with the pretext of making "real men out of them"? Apart from giving them long and tedious lessons on Christianity?
Well, according to some of Himaruya's notes he's only a doting parent towards South Italy and strict to his other colonies.
I foresee a military or religious private school for Spain's other children.
England seems to live alone. How does that work? Every time anyone else has territories, they live with them. How does the man at the forefront of the British Empire live alone? He was even shown visiting America when he was a child. Why does he seem to work differently to every other character in the series?
Because his older brothers don't seem to want to be around him, Sealand apparently lives with Sweden & Finland most of the time, and British colonies were nowhere near close to the island of Great Britain. Spain can live with Romano because they're pretty close to each other geographically. But England and America? Let alone Asian countries like India or Siam/Thailand?
Yeah, I guess that makes sense. It just seemed odd that everyone else should do things differently, but that is logical.
Thailand was never part of the British empire; nor, for that matter, was it part of any other colonial empire.
The English were separated from the American colony, emotionally and geographically. This was one of the factors which led to unrest within the colonists, so the fact that the two were separated in this series wasn't a problem. It would have been much more difficult to demonstrate that America and England were so distant from each other if he was just across the hall.
OK, it was just that they portray him as such a doting big brother that in-series it seems weird, but from a historical viwpoint that makes sense.
I'm not saying it wasn't a loving relationship, it was. The sorts of things the English would do for the American colonists at times were really amazing (settled fights the colonists had picked, repealed taxes when they didn't want to pay them, etc.), and very reminiscent of a protective big brother. But physical distance was a big issue, and thus it was showed as it was.
Plus the whole salutary neglect thing, which essentially meant not strictly enforcing parliamentary laws to keep American colonies happy, which backfired spectacularly since this plus the physical distance pretty much led to the colonies regarding themselves as separate entities from Britain. Basically, England spoiled America rotten (which makes all those "Evil obsessive/pedo England Abuses Little America" fics even more ridiculous).
Are the Baltics brothers or what? Some strips seem to suggest they are, but don't have anything in common, others make it seem like they're nothing to do with eachother. I get that they're not as close as people apparantly think, but I'm just a little confused on the exact nature of their relationship.
While above troper is true about the Baltics not being brothers, this troper must disagree with how "they don't like each other very much." After re-reading strips and comparing it to history, it seems pre-1700s Estonia and Lithuania as countries didn't have much to do with each other and therefore are referred, in canon, as "complete strangers." Estonia and Latvia care about each other (they both have been shown worrying about the other) but are also can become jealous at times (the countries have a long, yet complicated history together). Latvia was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for a little while and thus is closer to Lithuania than Estonia is. Today, they all seem to be mutual friends who will help each other (Estonia went to see Poland on Lithunia's request in the Fantasia CDs).
Why doesn't there seem to be any tension between England and Spain? They fought for control over sea trade for centuries, but I can't recall hardly any strips where they interact, much less fight. I'd have thought the defeat of the Spanish Armada would've been enough to turn the innuendo up to eleven and yank the knob off.
It did? Well, not the defeat itself, but the whole colonial rivalry. England's double-faced diplomacy? Check. Pirates? Check. Spain being abused? Check. Innuendo? Few people pick it up (Spain is yelling "noooo" in a way that implies he's being sexually, ah, tampered with, while England sits and innocently sips his tea), but yes, check. It even spawned a whole subgenre of "Pirate England abusing Spain"...
This strip shows some of the fighting between the two. I think for the most part, though, it's just because as said, they haven't interacted much so far. Maybe there'll be more strips in the future delving further into their relationship. And considering the characters are nations, and most of them will have had fights with most others over the centuries, I'd imagine that they're generally very capable of putting things behind them (except for some cases where the fighting went on for centuries or it was something that especially hurt for one reason or another).
(OP here) Okay, thanks! I just never saw the strip above. Makes more sense now.
In the strip where Spain is ill, he tells Romano that he wants to punch England and America before he dies.
It's indicated that the nation-tans speak English in the meeting of the world strip. And when America is trying to get Japan to open up his seas Japan says he doesn't speak English. Why? Himaruya said that they probably have a general language which they use to communicate with newborns, and the strips certainly seem to support this, as characters generally seem to have no problem understanding eachother even when they don't speak eachothers' languages (England taught Japan English, but they didn't seem to be having any issues whatsoever communicating before that). So... why hold meetings in English? Why on Earth did Japan think telling America he couldn't speak it would work? (I'm willing to accept that it did work because America's an idiot, but I'd expect Japan to come up with a better excuse.) Isn't this just making life difficult?
Well, let's look point by point. The 'Meeting of the World' was in the modern era, where English has become a standard language of business, so the mass fluency is understandable. Of course, how France can participate when he canonically refuses to speak English is confusing, but we'll let that pass. There's a theory of a common language between the Tans, and most likely that's the sort of thing England and Japan were using with one another. But, even if they were speaking English, it could have been Japan wanting to improve to more easily communicate with the various English-speaking nations. Or, it could be that Tans speak a common language, and the issue is with humans. America and Japan would have no issues communicating, but America's companions (who were in charge) would. Nobody, namely Japan, has an issue telling how young, inexperienced, and gullible America can be. As Japan seemed to be in a bit of a panic to get them to leave, he was probably hoping that this issue would turn America's bosses away and take America (forgetting he could communicate just fine without a translator) along with them. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.
I'm not questioning if they can speak English - after being alive for as long as the nation-tans have been you'd probably have learnt a lot of languages. It just seems silly that they do when it's clearly going to be easier to speak a language you were born knowing than one you learnt later in life. I'm probably thinking too hard about this too. The explanation for Japan and America makes sense. I don't think the bosses would like it if they couldn't understand what was being said.
Why are we assuming their common language is English? Yes, they have some sort of language that they can all understand to communicate to each other, but who said it had to be English? If anything, the fact that France won't speak English and that Japan couldn't speak it prior to England teaching him would suggest that it's NOT English they're using when talking to each other. Himaruya never once said what language they all used to talk to each other, and only some of the W-fen seems to think that they're all speaking English to each other (to be fair, I've seen some part of the J-fen think they all speak Japanese). I'm not saying that you can't personally think that they can all speak English, but don't assume that it's canon until we get a blog update telling us otherwise
Nobody said it was canon, it was just a theory.
Sorry, that was more aimed towards the first troper. Since I'd figured if they asked that, they'd have to assume that the nation-tans are all speaking English. Although if they asked just hypothetically then nevermind what I said.
England corrects America's grammar (something like "leaned" to "leant"). Not proof, but it does seem to indicate English being spoken.
But it shows English being spoken by two (predominately) English-speaking countries. So what they speak as a group rather than individually would still be up for debate.
My own headcanon is that they're all really speaking their own languages but can somehow understand each other anyway.
If there's two Italies and two Germanies (assuming Prussia really is East Germany), shouldn't there be at least two Americas? There doesn't have to be 50 states worth of new characters, but North and South are pretty important...unless the Civil War is America punching himself in the gut. And speaking of, how exactly would Himaruya handle the entirety of America's late childhood/early teenage life, what with all the slavery and Native American slaughtering? Then again, he danced around Nazi Germany well enough...
My guess is that, as a general rule, nations will only get two personifications if they are - or have been until very recently - split into two politically distinct states. Italy gets a pass because Italy is the main character, and so Himaruya is naturally going to mkae it easier to cover the different parts histories. As for civil war, lots of countries have gone through them, and they only have on personification each, so why would America be different? And I think the policy generally followed when dealing with the worst events of human history is to skirt round it. I like to think the nation-tans themselves aren't involved in stuff like that (if they were, then everyone would be a much darker character).
The American south is, to this day, seen as a very distinct entity from the north, despite the two sections being long unified. I'm not going to pretend to have some vast knowledge of world history or politics, but I'm pretty sure your average civil war involves an uprising from a faction of citizens, not a huge chunck of the country claiming to be a new nation and creating its own separate government, currency and capital, as the Confederacy did. A Confederate-tan would be at least as good an idea as Wy, which is what again? An eccentric painter's house?
However, it would be way less funny, which is what Hetalia is about. For everything else there's Darker and Edgier fanfic. By the way the American South is not more of a distinct entity than say, the North and South of England back in the middle ages (some vestiges of this exist even today), and still there's only ever been one England. Or there are the various parts of Russia. Besides, the Confederacy existed (technically it wasn't even recognized by anyone important) for what, five years? How long is that? Prussia has been around for centuries before it became "East Germany" and Italy wasn't even a unified country until the 19th century which makes it necessary to have at least two Italy characters.
Fair enough, but it wouldn't be the worst idea, and I still say the micronations are a carte blanche. A private property, a city and a fort do not outweigh distinct regions of a large country, much less all the real countries yet to be put in a comic, designed, or even mentioned. Romano said Spain gets tomatoes from America. See the next entry, since it was cluttering up this one.
They do because, again: they're funny, and Hetalia is about the funny and not about how many countries and country parts Hidekaz can squeeze into it. It's not about a country being important or not, it's about what Hidekaz finds interesting or funny at the moment. (And for that matter, the American Civil War is obviously very important to Americans but not so much to the rest of the world, especially since America was far from being an important country when it happened.)
The north and south of America may be distinct, but they are both America. They are not two different countries. East and West Germany were - to the extent that there was once a plan for East Germany to attack West Germany. And to be honest, the whole 'Prussia became East Germany' thing may have just been to give fans reassurance that Prussia isn't going to die.
It's canon that Prussia doesn't die, and there's far too much evidence stacked (and continuing to) to say that he didn't take a pitstop as the GDR. On the America thing, whether or not there was a Confederacy depends on what fan circle you run in, and whether or not (s)he is still alive is just as particular. One thing that's pretty much agreed upon is that, if they exist, they aren't paid attention to anymore.
Why does Romano say Spain got tomatoes from America?
I don't remember that strip but Spain did get tomatoes from America - his colonies in the Americas, that is. In Japanese there's no "Americas" it's "America."
He says it in The Delicious Tomato Song and what I mean is that referring to a specific Central/South American country (Peru, Mexico, Bolivia...) wouldn't have been too hard when the name "America" specifically refers to the USA in the series context.
Except tomatoes don't come from one specific South American country, never mind that those South and Central American countries technically didn't even exist yet when Spain started distributing tomatoes (they were colonies). In this context no one would confuse "America the continents" with "America aka the US." People often say "corn comes from America" or "turkeys come from America" and they don't mean the United States.
North American countries didn't exist yet either, so that's splitting hairs. Again, the name "America" signifies a specific character in the series, and we;re talking about that series, so this is definitely the more relevant context. "America" is also a town in the Netherlands, an airship, a yacht and an actress but Spain doesn't get any tomatoes from there either. In my opinion, it really does boil down to Himaruya not caring enough since he failed to avoid this ambiguity.
Himaruya didn't write the lyrics. Also, the Japanese probably know better what they mean by what. Do you think when they say "North America" they mean the north of the US? :/
You got me there, but it's one hell of an oversight and he probably should have a say towards his own media. Anyway, "North America" isn't ambiguous and people refer to the US as American rather colloquially. Nobody gets confused when someone calls The People's Republic of China "China", despite The Republic of China also being a "China" (even though it's nicknamed Taiwan, but the example isn't the point). This shouldn't even be a point of contention since, once more, the character for the USA is called America. It is technically correct for any citizen of a New World country to call him/herself an American, but realistically, who actually does unless they're referring to this exact issue of terminology? In any case, this is more like everyone else's JBM of the real-world Americas. My thing about the line in the song was more or less answered.
No, the character for the USA is called Amerika Gasshuukoku aka The United States of America. That's the name you see on his name cards. He's just called America for short, the way England/Britain's full name is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and he goes by Igirisu because it's not such a mouthful. You also seem to forget that we're not talking about citizens of a New World country. Many people in many languages may colloquially refer to the two continents as "America" (as in "tomatoes come from America") while also colloquially referring to the US as "America," and they are able to tell the difference from the context.
I thought it went without saying that I meant he was called America for short. Nobody is called by the full name that appears on their cards: Kingdom of Spain is "Spain", People's Republic of China is "China", and United States of America is "America". Ergo: when someone says "America", they're likely referring to the USA since the context is the Hetalia universe's characters and not our universe's countries and continents. It's fine if a completely independent debate arises in regards to calling the real-world USA "America", but as I said, This right here is about Hetalia and I'm content with the answer that Himaruya doesn't write the lyrics.
We're still on this? Okay, let's end the thread by saying that tomatoes were brought over roughly a hundred years before the first settlement that could have led to the character 'America' was founded and be done with it.
I know that this is "supposed" to be done, but I just have to say that it's probably more of the fault on the Japanese side of translation rather than English. In Japanese they call the USA "Amerika", however they also call the American continent "Amerika". But they at least make a difference by calling the American continent "Amerika shuu". Problem is, in a song they tend to align their timing and sounds by mora (kinda like syllables to us English speakers) and in that line, "America shuu" was two mora too long. So they cut it to make it fit. It makes a little more sense in Japanese, because you'd be quite used to people dropping out the subject or combining/cutting mora in words to make the word shorter. Thing is, we don't do that in English so to us this would be confusing. It's either that or, they failed with their researching and confused the country America as the American continent.
What the hell is with that island?
It's a running joke? I think it's quite funny how everyone always manages to end up there.
That's actually a pretty reasonable theory. Wasn't she relaxing there with France once?
How exactly would they handle Mexico and the US (Texas)?
That would be pretty easy, seeing that Texas is America's glasses.
Yeah, but a pair of glasses can't rebel and remember the Alamo.
At the point in history where Texas was being battled over, what's now a state was more of a nation than a lot of things were in North America at the time (so it has a good shot at its own Tan). The whole issue started when American citizens began claiming that they'd bought more Texas land than originally agreed upon (Louisiana Purchase), and then grew when the small Spanish population of the territory became very liberal with accepting/recruiting new settlers. Until, of course, they became severely outnumbered and the US decided to just take the whole thing... I highly doubt Himaruya will delve far enough into North American history to hit on this, but based on my research a Hetalia-ized version would likely be a child in a custody dispute.
Whether Texas died after this was settled is up to the individual reading of the canon. With state pride being what it is (especially the infamous Texan state pride), and Texas continuing to be as powerful as it is, (s)he just might be.
This troper wonders why Hungary is always excluded from the Soviet circle in fan works as well as in canon. Poland is grouped with them so shouldn't she be as well? In real life they were both part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
Is there anything in canon about the Eastern Bloc? Everything I've seen was only the Soviet Union, not any of the satellites. Poland only ever got mentioned when Russia talked about attacking him. Or did I miss something?
If I remember correctly, there are a few mumblings about the Bloc (mostly concerning Prussia), but that section of history has pretty much been skipped up to this point.
Soviet history is a very slow progression, and Hungary became part of it rather late (years later than Poland). It could be the fan works are simply concerning themselves with a period before Hungary became a part.
Hungary was never part of the Soviet Union. Eastern Bloc yes, SU no.
I didn't say Hungary was in the Union, just that it became soviet (a state, but still soviet) later than Poland did.
Anyone else feel that the "supposed" amount of Ho Yay in the series is far exaggerated when talking about it? I mean, I can see some of the hints, and certain characters are proven gay(we know Sweden is gay and Finland is his "wife", by Word Of God, and France... well, he's pretty obviously bisexual and more than that.) But other than that... it seems that many people list it as a "boy's love" series, and on this very wiki you'll find links to "Ho Yay" when Hetalia is mentioned more often than not. For it to be that much, you pretty much have to see every single little hint that would just mean friendship to others than rabid yaoi fangirls. Or maybe I just suck at seeing hints. From what I've seen, some fans seem to think every character is gay by default or something. (For non-yaoi, yuri also seems slightly more common than het... hmmm.) (Do countries even need to be paired up at all? Well, that's fandom for you, I guess)
I agree, the Ho Yay tends to be hugely exaggerated. Look above, someone states that Hetalia is "half a step" from being a BL series when in reality it's... not. Not unless you watch it with Ho Yay goggles on. I mean, come on, even France doesn't make innuendos all the time (in fact, most of the time he doesn't). I ship some pairings in Hetalia and I do see someHo Yay for them in canon, but I wouldn't say they're "obviously an Official Couple" or anything. Hetalia is certainly Ho Yay friendly but it's not like it oozes homoerotica from every strip, as many fans seem to think.
The IJBM the "half a step" comment is replying to used to have a lot more replies, explaining that Ho Yay isn't the focus, until someone deleted them all and wouldn't let anyone put them back. This takes the constant shipping from over-eager territory into downright obnoxious; not everyone follows the series for the yaoi, and it's annoying that people act as though that's the only point of the series. All that achieves is making the entire fandom look like they only care about shipping cute boys. The series is a historically based comedy with a large helping of Ho Yay; that is not the focus of the series. It's there if people want it, but they shouldn't act like that's all there is to it.
Well, is just one step from Ho Yay and Getting Crap Past the Radar when the first thing Poland ask to Lithuania is to look at his, ummm, vital region, when Chibitalia and HRI are an official couple, when Greece had sex with Japan, when Spain was married to Austria and actually propose to Italy and Romano, when Korea lust over China and when the whole Christmas Special consist in nothing more than Fanservice and Ship Tease even having Parallel!France and Parallel!Spain as a couple of some sort just saying. I don't think is a true BL but the thing is not only in the fangirls head...
And you've just listed about 80% of Ho Yay instanes. I'm not saying it has no Ho Yay, I'm saying there's far less of it than some people like to advertise, most of it is just gags, and it really isn't the focus, except for some select strips (and even in those it's played for laughs). I've had friends who were wary of reading Hetalia because fans kept going on about how full of Ho Yay it is, and when they did read it they were surprised that it wasn't.
True! What's listed already is, as said, 80% and maybe even more of the Ho Yay. That's just, what, less than 5% of the series? There's much less of it than some people say, and it's not the focus as much as it's small gags. It's there for those who like that sort of thing, and those who don't are pretty much free to ignore it, as it's not a lot. That's how I see it.
I agree with fans exagerating ho yay interactions. Let's say America stood next to England,the fans interpret it as 'OMG! He totally wants to be close to him!'
I'd just like to chime in and say most of the shippers (BL, GL, and Het alike) that I know personally who exaggerate subtext like this are quite aware of canon, and are joking. There are fans who make comments like this in all seriousness, but I still feel that there is exaggeration (if only by a small amount) of the number of fans who actually do.
Okay, this agreement has gotten to the point of ridiculous. Yes, the series is primarily about history. No, it's not all about Ho Yay, and what's there is primarily done for laughs. Nobody but the most rabid fan would disagree. However, homoerotica is a recurring theme, and while not constant it's by no means rare. It's frequent enough that people considering Hetalia a Ho Yay series would have enough material for a solid argument. I'm sure I won't be popular for saying this, but I think that to deny that there is that merit is to be just as ignorant as those who say there's nothing but.
Agreed. But there are a few comics where I had to stop and remember that a 25-year-old (presumably) straight guy is drawing this. While most of the Ho Yay is played for laughs, it does get a little... too gay at times. Take the strip Buon San Valentino for example. Its progressing the plot, and very... well, you get the idea. Its comics like that which make the fangirls freak out. But again, such comics are a minority in the series. But, despite being a minority, they are there.
That trope really doesn't fit. That strip wasn't a small one, and even Word Of God considered it a major plot point. While it's not all there is to either Germany or Italy, it shouldn't be brushed off as irrelevant.
Not sure if this is true, but I heard that Himaruya apparently proclaimed himself a fudanshi (a male BL fan). I have no links to verify this, but I have seen it said by other people a handful of times on the web. Regardless, I wouldn't call Hetalia a boy love series (as there's much more to the story aside from the Ho Yay), though I wouldn't ignore its moments either.
Seeing all the Ho Yay that was already in his earlier series I'll call Author Appeal on this one.
Why doesn't Hungary have her own character song yet? Lichtenstein, Ukraine and Belarus have one, isn't it strange that the main female character doesn't even have an ending song?
I'd say 'main' is a little much for any female character, they're all pretty minor. Her character song is likely just in the queue right now with everybody else.
They seem to be choosing characters to sing versions of Hatufette Parade who didn't sing versions of Marukaite Chikyuu, so it seems likely Hungary will get a version of it.
What is with the cats? It doesn't really bother me per se but I want to know what that's all about. It's like one pops up at the most random times...
Why is Belgium always paired with Spain or Romano? I know she was his protectorate for a while but after gaining independence that's pretty much it for them as far as relations go..
Because they're two of the only characters she's been shown interacting with so far, and Romano made clear he had a crush on her. I think that might be all it is.
Why is it that China and Japan's clothing and hairstyles were so inaccurate in China and Teensy Japan? It is set in the Tang Dynasty and the Chinese did not dress like that back then. Also, why does Japan have a modern hairstyle in all stages of history?
Hardly anyone changes their hairstyle because of the Only Six Faces thing. For the outfit, it was a mistake. That was an early strip, and Himaruya is human, so I think this can be excused. And maybe he just couldn't find any images to copy from. I know this is the days of the internet, but sometimes things do just seem to elude me, so maybe he had that problem.
Austria and Hungary have a very close relationship - Hungary is shown trying to protect and encourage him on several occasions...however, considering the two countries' Real Life Canon, she should be a lot more Tsundere and they should be shown fighting. Often. And breaking up. Newsflash! Austria-Hungary no longer exists, and it wasn't very happy when it did!
Fun fact: in Hungary the decades of the Monarchy are commonly referred to as "those happy, peaceful times." Besides, Hungarians have been jokingly referring to Austrians as "brothers-in-law" (based on the close ties between the two countries) since at least the 18th century. Also: Hetalia is not real history, there's no such thing as "Real Life canon" and your interpretation is just that and nothing more. If you want real history read a history book not Hetalia.
Point sort-of taken, there were terrible times in the shared history of the two countries (so Hungary being borderline obsessed with Austria might be a bit of a stretch), but compared to the two world wars, the years between them and the cold war... It was a bit calmer.
Also, they're divorced in present-day strips. They just date sometimes.
Not too much of a "bugs me" but... what is with America's "DDDDD"?
It's his way of saying 'LOL', like :D.
How come the America/Lithuania pairing never gained any steam. Especially since it's said that Lithuania's years with America was some of the best of his life (or did I imagine that?). Or am I looking in the wrong places?
Lithuania did shout out "I love this life!" while working at America's place. Probably it's because when they were in bed together, they both talked about other guys in their lives. Which is kinda hilarious. But I ship it.
Pardon me for being dense, but... that bit about them talking about other guys... is that canon? Because that would be so awesome.
It's all true. Even more pronounced in the Drama CD, with that Lady and the Tramp-ish music playing in the background of that comic's scene.
Wow... in the Christmas 2007 strips, some strips were removed from the end. Some of these removed strips involves America with nekomimi and shorts carrying around a naked Lithuania bridal-style. If that isn't some amusing Ship Tease.
The lack of love for the pairing is probably due to the insane amount of USUK fans and that Lithuania seems to always be paired with Russia or Poland. I do understand where you're coming from since characters who've have much less interactions are paired up quite frequently.
Why must Hidekaz delete his really nice old scribbles and art?
I constantly wonder how much power the nation-tans actually have over their country. Can they disobey their "boss" if they want to and be pretty much in charge themselves? Can a country be taken over if the nation-tan gets away and hides with someone else? I might think too much about this...
My two cents is that the nation-tans disobeying their "bosses" is similar to the people of a nation disobeying their government, maybe leading to a revolution if it goes far enough. From historical point of view, this that some of them have disobeyed before. For the second thing, I cannot think of an answer.
Seriously, how does the Turkey!cat keep that bag over his head?
Who/where are Italy's parents? I know there are only a few blood relations to start with, but Rome is his grandpa and (as seen in the comic with the gondola's invention) Italy was acting as the 'in-charge' nation-tan while he was Chibitalia. It appears like the nationness completely skipped over that middle generation.
In addition, why are the Italy siblings said to have different "blood"? Germany points out that North Italy is partly Germanic (er...that could have implications if it's technically true...) during an argument with Romano, and clearly the South Italy personification doesn't share this trait. Does that make them half-brothers? Or are nations descended from their people? For example, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are largely considered Celtic nations, while England is viewed as more Anglo-Saxon, which might put them in a similiar category as the Italies. But in that case, why was Rome "Grandpa" and not "Uncle" or the nations' favourite term for an older country that looks after them - "Big Brother"? And why do they resemble each other so strongly if there's no real genetic link?
How exactly are nations born? Do they all have a motherland and a fatherland, and if so, why does everyone seem to be adopted? Are they born to Muggles, and if so, why do they have to be found and adopted by other nations? Do they just appear out of thin air, and if so, why do they have sex drives and blood relations?
They just kinda... pop-up. The sex drive is per stereotypes and they have more like cultural/historical relations with his siblings.
Easy: America and Canada, back when the country was populated by mostly dark skinned, dark haired people, they looked that way too. Then the land got taken over by France and England, and they shifted to a more European look. This is illustrated in the fanfic "Raven Tears" (fanficrecs, towards the bottom of "general fiction") where there used to be representatives of the ancient civilizations (I guess that one went through several name changes, from Inca to Azteca and so on) and the Azteca one died. The one that represented all the Native "Americans" went on to just live on a reservation, represent all that was left of the first people, with neither of her kids remembering that they were brothers or that they had a mother. Remember the dub line "I've been figuring a lot about who I am"? that because America didn't honestly know who the heck he was.
Or maybe it's because both countries started out as colonies by white settlers. Hence they weren't around before the settlers came and they were white when they were born. America was practically a toddler when Finland found him, and it's suggested that he was born just recently. The above mentioned line, in context, refers to America maturing (very fast, as usual), and in Japanese it says something along the lines of "Recently I've come to understand a lot about myself" and England even mentions how fast he's growing. There's nothing that suggests that it wasn't the same case with Canada. (I personally think this makes much more sense than any convulted fanon...)
A Native American child being born white or racelifting the second Europeans show up has some Unfortunate Implications, two layers of it when this child is supposed to be the personification of the land.
Um, no. He's not the personification of the land he's the personification of the country, and the country happened to have been born out of the colonies founded by white settlers (by oppressing Native Americans). He's never been Native American. I know there are people who want to see America and Canada having been Native Americans in the past but there's absolutely nothing in the manga that supports this theory, while there are several hints that they were born with the colonies.
Let's not lose perspective because of one word that could have been picked better. The point is that since America isn't a Native American and he wasn't born from the European settlers, he must have popped out of nowhere. It's important to note that the nation-tans aren't humans since they have super-strength, live for thousands of years with an aging system seemingly based on a culture's existence, and having their brains blown out◊ is Amusing Injuries to them. Their mortality is another hotly-debated JBM, in fact. Speaking of which, it definitely puts Poland's phoenix analogies in a new light.
But why do you think he wasn't born from the settlers (figuratively, of course)? He's white, blond and blue-eyed. The very first country he meets is Finland, and at that time he's little more than a toddler barely aware of himself. Technically he probably did pop up out of nowhere but I think it's made pretty clear what his origins are.
I meant 'born' literally. Of course he was figuratively.
What about this theory? America is not the only Nation-tan in the new world. While America represents the white settlements, there are other Nation-tans that are older and are tan skinned with Black hair. America cannot possibly be personality as one person. Not with all these nationalities and ethnicities that reside.
Why are America, England, France, Russia and China the only Allies shown. Where's Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Greece, Norway, Netherlands, Canada doing something other than being invisible? Never mind Brazil, Mexico, India, South Africa, Philippines etc. The Allies didn't begin and end with those five.
Because they are the main five, like it or not, just like how Germany, Italy and Japan are the only ones shown as Axis Powers, even though they weren't the only ones (why doesn't that ever bother anyone?). Besides, characters for the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and Norway weren't around when the manga started (they're relatively new characters), and characters for Brazil, Mexico, India, South Africa and the Philippines don't even exist yet.
It bothers this troper how only those three Axis are ever shown. We never even see Austria, Prussia or Hungary in action, and you'd think Romano was in the Allies since all he ever does is (ineffectually) go after Germany. Even if you exclude countries that don't exist yet, Finland only showed up to deliver Christmas presents, Bulgaria might as well have been a nameless solider, and Romania's overdue for some more substance. Or at least a face.
Prussia coughs a lot in canon things (at least, comparatively). Is he supposed to be constantly sickly or what?
Prussia only coughs when he's laughing. Despite how fans treat his "kesese" in fanfiction, it's not a laugh, but a verbal tick, so really the coughing is only present when he laughs. There isn't a canonical explanation as to why, but it's possible that he just doesn't laugh properly enough so when it comes out all energetic as it does, he can't help but cough (like in reality if a sudden big powerful laugh comes out of you when you're not expecting it, you're likely to cough from choking on air/spit).
What? "kesese" is laughing, like Muttley's giggle in Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. It's most definitely not coughing...
No, the other person was right, "kesese" is stated to be a verbal tick. It's not a laugh. Also I don't believe they meant that coughing is his laughter, it's just that he has coughed when he laughs. In a Drama CD, the first time he coughed was when he was laughing. Also there's this seiyuu event here. Prussia's voice actor coughed as he laughed while speaking in his character's voice.
What, exactly, is the basis for all the rabid Pru Can shippers' OTP?
It all stems from what came out of Prussia's drama CD. Prussia recognized Canada without a problem, and ended up happy with him when he wasn't with anyone else (declaring he was awesome for the syrup). Other than that, it's taking two of the loneliest characters and putting them together.
What I base my shipping on, personally, is the image song (The song of the Amazing Me, for Me, according to Me). The entire song is essentially how Prussia will slaughter/enslave the entire world, except for the single stanza describing how much he likes Canada...
What are you talking about? Prussia never mentioned Canada in that song, and I say this as someone who understands Japanese. If anything, he has one stanza describing his love for pancakes and maple syrup and that he could eat it three times a day.
The stanza was based on another part of the Character CD where he's hanging out with Canada. Same reason he's talking about good-luck pandas: he bought one from Hong Kong.
It went a bit further than that, but you have to remember this is a side pairing which by definition is far looser than a normal one. On average, this is the sort of evidence you're talking about.
I get that Pru Can fans want to get any little amount of hinted interaction between the two, but there's no reason to say that Prussia's character song had a stanza that described how much he likes Canada when Canada was never mentioned. If the first person made an honest mistake I was just pointing out that the love was towards pancakes and maple syrup, not Canada (in that song). But you still have things like common interests (the aforementioned pancakes and maple syrup), that there's a New Prussia in Canada, and Prussia was one of the very few nations to actually remember Canada (after initially forgetting him, but hey he said his name by the sentence immediately after that!).
I don't get it. What do the countries actually represent? The government? The people? The actual landmass itself?
They do not represent the government. Case in point: China and Taiwan. China is stated to be 4000 years old, and yet the flag he uses is that of the PRC (founded in 1949), while Taiwan uses the Republic of China's flag (founded in 1911). If they did represent the government then Taiwan would be shown with the other Allies during WWII, and as a quite young nation at that. In any case, my theory is that they represent the landmass (sorta, Texas is America's glasses and Corsica is Italy's nipple and Mariazell is Austria's Idiot Hair and god knows what else) and yet they represent the people as well: their physical appearance is based on the stereotypical appearance for people of their country (America is blond and blue-eyed, Hungary has wavy brown hair) and personality, probably, as well.
The Tans represent the population, their homes represent the land, their bosses represent the government, and there was a small mention that each nation has something called 'Mr. Reporter' or something like that which represents the media.
Looking at Hetalia, my personal theory is that the nation-tans represent the nations, the people who identify themselves as American, German, etc. This is how nations like Prussia are still alive long after their state has been destroyed, as long as there is a group of people who identify themselves as 'Prussian', the nation-tan of Prussia will exist. The state is represented by the nation's boss, and the landmass is their house. That's my personal canon, at least, and it's the one I use when I'm using little Hetalia sketches as my IR notes on occasion. :3
Why are there fans set on writing Denmark as a complete and utter monster? It's true that no Nation has a clean past, but this Troper has read one fiction too many where Denmark came off as a selfish Jerk Ass—in a modern setting! Do these fans honestly believe he should be treated as a villain, or is there something I've missed?
Every character has a bunch of people who want to make them a complete monster, so it seems. A lot of them will be going for more 'accurate' darker and edgier, but a lot also just seem to get a kick out of making a character a monster. I think some people are just determined to have a bad guy, and Denmark - probably due to his already boisterous personality as much as any historical basis - is a popular choice, since all the characters are sympathetic.
In his description on the wiki, he does seem at least moderately jerk-assy. It's easy to tell that he isn't exactly adored by the other Nordics, but I personally don't get a caps-lock ASSHOLE vibe from him. And then that thing Himaruya said about his next appearance being in a negative light. I don't know. But a monster in any context? I highly doubt it.
So when does a character "die?" The Roman Empire (and by extension Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt) kicked the bucket when his empire fell, and yet the Ottoman Empire just gets a name change to Turkey (again). Spain and Liechtenstein show that a nation can get very sick, almost die, when their economy goes really rotten, but the economy can always recover. And nations survive things that no normal human could survive (ie. the stab in China's back). What gives?
My theory is that the nation-tans can only be killed by the disappearance of whatever they represent - and therefore couldn't be killed by physical means - but sometimes will be able to get away with a role change (eg the Prussia becomes East Germany theory). Having kids who can take your place seems to be a bit of a death sentence; note that the only characters who have definitely died are the ones whose children or grandchildren represent the country today.
Ottoman Turkey never got a name change, he was called Turkey all along. Rome died because Germania killed him (meaning near the end of the Western Roman Empire), not when the Ancient Roman Empire fell.
To add on to the above troper, it's because the Ottoman Empire was controlled by the Turkish (put simply). In Hetalia terms, Turkey went out, gathered a bunch of young nations, and made an empire out of that. When the other nations left the empire, the country that started it, Turkey, still remained, so Turkey is still around. However, this was different with Ancient Rome, Germania and HRE. Germania and HRE were not just one nation, but rather the personnefication of many different tribes/countries that are connected that don't have a specific one nation being it's source. Once the tribes/countries part of Germania and HRE were gone or simply became independent from their empire, there wasn't a base country that Germania or HRE could default on thus died. Whereas Ancient Rome came from a city in what was not yet Italy, and expanded to make an empire. At the time, all of Italy wasn't unified as one whole nation, but a place where there were multiple city-states with their own identities. The same can be said for Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. When all the city-states stopped acting like seperate nations, and behaved more like different cities to one nation, that's when they needed an Italy because Ancient Rome only represented Rome, not all of Italy. The real history is a whole lot more complex than that, but just a very basic knowledge of it you can kind of see where Himaruya is coming from.
This Troper's personal theory is that the nation-tan themselves represent the nation, e.g. the people who identify themselves as American, German, etc. As such, a nation can't 'die' by being shot or whateve. A nation-tan will weaken as the nation it represents weakens. Bear in mind, the state (represented by each nation-tan's boss) is totally seperate from all this. Things like revolutions, etc. are represented by changing the boss. So, to use Poland as an example, even though the state of Poland was destroyed for a long time, the national identiy of Poland—the idea of being Polish, still existed, and so the nation-tan survived. So yes....it's not easy to kill a nation-tan. See, this is what I love about Hetalia. Like the above troper said, a bit of knowledge about history and international relations can let you really use the series as a parable. It's quite fun. :D
Then why didn't Rome just move to Greece/Turkey, since he had that fancy new house in Constantinople? You know, since the Byznatines considered themselves Roman until 1453 (well, probably after that too) and everyone called them the Roman Empire (yes, even the Emperors in the West).
Is Cuba the result of bad research? Some of my siblings in Miami says he looks nothing like the Cubans down there. And what's up with the Hawaiian shirt?
Himaruya bases most of his designs off people he's met. Chances were he met someone who was Cuban that looked like that, and they just happened to look nothing like how most Cubans do. As for the Hawaiian shirt, I think it's because it's a stereotype on vacationers wearing those shirts, or Himaruya is confused and thought Cuba was Hawaii.
What's more, it may or may not have been a Cuban he based the design on. America's character design was based off a Canadian he met.
Possibly more a "Hetalia on TV Tropes" just-bugs-me than an actual Hetalia one but...Are Germany and Italy actually a confirmed, canon Official Couple (yet)? I think the pairing's cute, and the Ship Tease is about as subtle as a frozen leg of lamb to the back of the head, but the most official strip that leaned this way was the San Valentino one (that wasn't exactly conclusive) and more recently in the anime, Germany freaking out when he thinks Italy's finally gotten himself killed (really Germany? You should know better by now). On the TV Tropes website though, they're referred to as canon. I know that they're about as official as you can get without outright stating it — but was there an outright statement? Word Of God? It's not really a gripe, it just puzzles me.
To be technical, there are only two Word Of God couples, and that's Sweden/Finland and Austria/Hungary (before their divorce, at least). But it seems that the only reason Germany/N. Italy 'isn't' canon at the moment is because it's a plot point for later. So, technically, no; however, for all practical purposes, yes.
Just one minor correction. Sweden/Finland is not a canon couple. Word Of God only states it as a one way attraction, being that "Sweden is gay for Finland". We are never told what Finland's feelings are about the relationship.
Doesn't the 2010 Bloodbath clear things up with Finland? I mean, Finland didn't state his love or anything but he lost it when Sweden was defeated. If you ask me, that's the closest thing we saw of Finland reacting to something that happened to Sweden.
Still doesn't prove anything. This troper reacts something like that when similar things happen to her friends.
The Other Wiki says there's a huge controversy based on whether or not Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were part of the USSR. Even if Japan's one of the countries that considered them part of it, and even though Russia would have been bothering them either way, isn't it like a huge slap in the face to everyone else? Then again, I guess it's the same with making a tan for TRNC.
I don't remember Hetalia saying that the Baltics were part of the USSR, but anyway, as I understand the controversy is mostly based on whether countries recognized them as part of the USSR in principle. But seeing as the USSR did occupy the territories and de facto had them under direct control, in Hetalia terms it makes sense that they lived with Russia during that time, whether they were actually annexed or not. (By the way, there were numerous countries that either recognized the Baltic states as parts of the USSR or had no official opinion on the issue.)
There's also the fact that, it depends what nation's perspective the strip is in. Like as in the strip when Russia is thinking back about when they all lived together as a "family" it sort of implies that they're all happily together (most likely as the USSR) because that's how Russia saw it as. However, when you see the strips before Russia was going to see Germany (and find that lead pipe), when it was showing just the Baltics you get this feeling that they don't want to be around Russia at all, and just seem to be stuck there listening to him out of fear, because that is how they felt. It ties in with how the real countries actually saw the Baltics position as the USSR.
The United States never officially recognized the Baltics as "part of the Soviet Union", and instead classified them as under an illegal occupation. But what they were recognized as doesn't change the actual history.
Am I the only troper who feels certain nations' human ages are a bit off? For example, England is listed as being 23 yrs old and America is 19 yrs old. Now America can get away with that as he acts like a big kid but England being more mature and having a far longer history should be at least closer to 27-28, with France around 29.
The ages are not relative to the length of the countries' history. Look at China, he's officially 4000 years old and doesn't look a day over twenty-five. There's no canon explanation about their human ages, there are only fanon speculations. (And if you ask me England is not much more mature than America... neither is France, for that matter.)
There are some official physical ages: Latvia - 16, America and Lithuania - 19, Germany and Italy - 20, Romano - 22, England - 23, Spain - 25 and France 26... There are plenty of others, but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. The Kitawiki has them if you want to go find them. There's no reasonable logic for Liet being the same age as America, nor for Latvia still being a teenager after so long. It's just fanon and speculation, but the theory below this is a pretty decent one.
I've always been under the impression that as long as a nation is fairly healthy, they will be at an age that is considered top physical condition. That means teenagers and early twenty somethings, just like most of the nations. This theory also explains Holy Roman Empire's rapid aging in the last years of his life.
Why was Cameroon playing soccer with his new dress shirt?
Have you never been to a party (especially one with kids) where people just play sports in what they're wearing? Especially a non-contact sport like soccer? It happens a lot.
Who would discovered and raised baby!Sealand to his current human age? All it said in canon was he was born in 1967-got a sense of identity.
In '67, a former Major established the abandoned base as a platform to broadcast pirate radio. He claimed it as a sovereign state. I would go on, but it's all said on the otherWiki already.
I know but Sealand isn't human so he must have appeared like all of the Tans do-out of thin air as a toddler. Can a human actually 'raise' a baby nation/state?
Prussia was raised by an offshoot church, that's canon, so Tans can and do get raised by humans. That, and nobody knew Sealand even remotely existed until a year later when they started shooting at commercial boats.
Especially since the only Tans who officially "recognize" him are nations looking to wash their hands of him as quickly as possible (UK, Germany), he's still being raised by humans.
Actually he has been adopted by 'Papa' Sweden, and by extension, Finland and England does care for him a bit
The adoption was a joke about hackers, which appears to have run its course (their connection seems to have been fully severed, since neither party seemed interested in the other during the Bloodbath). The English offer aid on occasion, but their official stance is "they're separate from us" to avoid complications from the aggressive residents. Even with those relationships being what they are in the canon, with the connections in real life I'd say that to call him 'raised' by any particular Tan is a rather loose statement.
Wait, how come Countries would have to use condoms? They can't give or get diseases, can't get a human girl pregnant, and people usually say sex is better without!
I'm assuming they can both get (someone) pregnant and diseased. I'll just take America as a quick example.
American troops impregnated more than their share of women during their stay in the World Wars (they were handsome and willing to spend). In Hetalia terms, Alfred's probably responsible for more than a few of those kids.
STI's are a growing problem in the nation. Being that he represents his population... You'd probably want to get yourself checked if you spent the night with Alfred. That it feels better natural (I'll assume his days experimenting with hippie culture) is probably a big reason why he has that problem in the first place.
The pregnancy thing sounds iffy-how would that work? but I can deal with that-however since they only get sick if something happens to the economy or enviroment of the land Alfred catching the clap from hippies dosen't make sense. By the way, Alfred uses protection or at least has it handy pretty regularly. It's Greece who dosen't,according to canon.
Why would you ask why they would use protection only to deny any logic in why they'd use it? The reasons to use condoms are to prevent pregnancy and STI's, but if you believe that neither of these things could happen there would be no reason at all to use them.
How is the pregnancy thing 'iffy'? The canon/Word of God has a few of the nations descended from other nations, meaning that they aren't infertile, and I doubt quite a few of them would have children with rivals/enemies, making a human parent make more sense. Given the generation skip in the Rome-Italy family, it would seem that they could have human children. And with those STI's, I don't think any of the nations would risk finding out the hard way if they have immunity or not, after all, if they're wrong they would have to deal with the consequences for a lot longer.
Who most likely were the other Soviet countries shown as Silhouettes when Russia was talking about everyone leaving his 'house'?
Any of the other soviets, really. Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan...Most of central asia, really.
It may have already been mentioned, but I didn't see it right away... but how come America is constantly shown being associated with baking cakes for Chirstmas? I'd never heard of the concept of Christmas cakes until I read a story with one... that took place in Japan. As far as I know, here in America it's all about Christmas cookies. Hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies made by loving grandmas!!! Was it just a case of bad research, or are Christmas cakes actually quite common in other parts of the country?
Hidekaz lived in America for some years. I'm pretty sure there are some people in the US who bake cakes for Christmas, even if it's not a proper "Christmas cake" - maybe he met some and came to the conclusion that Americans had Christmas cakes, too. Alternatively, America is good friends with Japan and he also likes sweets. He might have just decided to adopt the idea of Christmas cakes for fun.
I bake Christmas cakes! Another troper mentioned this above and I left a response in more detail there, but my family has always baked cakes ever since I can remember, rather than cookies. It could very well be a regional thing, but traditions vary vastly even within one area, and he did say he studied in New York, which is supposedly filled to the brim with widely varying customs and traditions. I actually had an interesting book which was about such variances in areas of the US on what is commonly seen on TV as the traditional Christmas, so it's possible.
How canon are the image songs? How involved is Himaruya with them? I know he writes the drama CDs.
As far as I know he doesn't write the drama CDs, he just gets to approve the final script, or not even that. It's probably the same with the image songs.
Even if he doesn't write them, the drama CDs are (from those I've gone through) re-hashings of strips. As that's exactly what the anime does, you could make the argument that they're just as canon as the anime is.
Not all of them. The dramas on the image song CDs are only based on the strips but are actually very different. For example the 'England gets sick' one had him being sick in Japan's house (Japan wasn't even in the original), gave France a long monologue about how he cares and worries about England (which was kind of out of character, considering everything...), and ended with England visiting America who had somehow caught his cold (Himaruya never wrote anything like that). I don't remember if hamburgers were even involved...
Are Italy and France brothers? Because Italy refers to France as 'big brother' several times but no-one seems to see them as siblings. Have I just missed something that explains it?
They're not brothers, it's just a point lost in translation. Italy is using the term "big brother" as a term of endearment, sort of. France calls himself "big brother" since he's one of the oldest among the current European countries.
OK, thanks, that makes sense.
When you think about, France and Italy WERE both raised in Grandpa Rome's "house" together. That's been canon from the very first Chibitalia. Considering how casually nations tend to throw around the word "brother" (hey, a random kid in the woods, let's adopt it!) I don't think it would be to much of a stretch for France and Italy to consider themselves brothers via adoption.
In Volume 3, is there any basis for Hungary giving Lithuania advice on enemies? Or was it done just to make things interesting?
Germany's character song, Einsamkeit (Loneliness). I have nothing against the song, but... has Germany ever said he was lonely in-series? I always got the impression he wasn't particularly great with people, but not friendless. I just don't get why he would get a song all about being lonely when he isn't shown to be lonely. The only main characters I can think of who have been shown to be lonely are England and Russia, but it doesn't appear in their songs. Or am I just seriously missing something about Germany's character?
I think that idea makes sense historically, even if it isn't said outright in the canon. The German Empire had pretty successfully isolated itself by the time the World Wars came around, and his canon relationships aren't much better. He does have Italy, but that's mostly based on protection. He has Japan, but that's historically and canonically almost exclusively a professional relationship. The only one he really seems close to is Prussia, but at this period they were literally separated by Poland. So... yes, at the time he was singing, it would be very believable that he'd be lonely.
I guessed there might be some historical basis for it, but I still think it would be better if we'd seen more of it in canon. But yeah, historically I can see it.
Germany is (barring the HRE theory) said to have met Italy 'fighting' him during WWI, right? So, um... how did the Triple Alliance prior to WWI (which was Italy, Germany and Austria-Hungary) work then? I know Hetalia isn't exactly a 100% accurate retelling of history, but it just confuses me. Romano? Then again, Germany didn't seem to know him beforehand when N. Italy introduced him, so...
Prussia? He really did create the country of Germany, so maybe at the time the series started he'd only recently handed over proper control to his brother.
The leaders of Germany were considered Prussian until WWI was essentially over. That Prussia handled all alliances/foreign relations before then, while Germany tried to organize itself into an actual country, is believable.
Why is England only said to have 5 brothers? I assume that they're Sealand, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland and the Republic, but judging by how the Nation-tans work, there should be another in the form of Cornwall. If Prussia exists due to there still being a sort of "Prussian identity", then by all rights Cornwall should be there too! In the UK, on the censuses you list yourself as whatever nationality you consider yourself to be, but that's not normally "British". Instead, you get English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish. The people of Cornwall are also trying to get Cornish listed. That's a Cornish identity, so England should have another sibling in the form of Cornwall - a twin, maybe? You could also argue that the Isle of Man is one for the same reason.
There's no reason he wouldn't exist, he's just probably at the level of state/province (which, do, canonically, exist).
Himaruya has only confirmed that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are England's siblings, but that doesn't mean he can't have more. We can't expect him to confirm every character that exists; that would take long enough if it was just countries, let alone now that it's been confirmed that regions, provinces etc exist. Sorry, but while we can deduce that Cornwall exists, probably the only way they're going to be important enough to warrant a canonical character is if Himaruya decides to do something on the ancient kingdoms of England. As for the Isle of Man, to be honest, they're probably more likely to appear (although still very unlikely) considering they're not actually part of the UK, while Cornwall is still a part of England (albeit a very individual part).
Actually, knowing him, this troper could imagine Himaruya creating a Cornwall-tan as Sixth Ranger who insists he's one of England's "brothers" rather than a county, (played for laughs) but that might just make him a second Sealand.
What is Himaruya's official justification for making Italy a coward? My friend is trying to get into the series, but can't seem to get over that part and I don't know what to tell him.
I suggest opening a dictionary for them and pointing out the word 'stereotype'.
According to Himaruya, the reason he made Italy a coward in the first place was because he heard some World War 2 jokes about the Italians and decided to make a comic about it.
The name itself, "Hetalia" is supposedly a combination of the Japanese word "heta", which means "clumsy" and the Japanese for "Italy", "Itaria", which, even if Himaruya hadn't said the above himself,would support it.
I don't think anyone has thought about this before, but is there any basis for Hungary thinking she was a boy?
Have you heard and seen Chibi Hungary? She looked and sounded like a boy. She was also surrounded by male countries. And, since she was young, she didn't have as much of an understanding of anatomy, so she just assumed that everyone grew boy parts when they got older. But, the main reason Himaruya probably did this was because it was funny, and because Hungary was originally to be a boy, so he decided to compromise.
So, these guys find little kids in the middle of nowhere and suddenly the kids are their little siblings? I understand that these kids can't raise themselves, but why not say the countries are the kids' parents or something?
Because they're not? Also, it's kind of pointless to call someone your child when they're going to age into a similar appearance to you and maybe become part of your Love Dodecahedron.
Yeah, it probably gets weird calling someone who looks the same age as you your kid. Saying they're a sibling will save everyone from that weirdness in the future (though I'm not sure about the Love Dodecahedron bit; I highly doubt that even if they do fall in love with them later, anyone was planning to do that - that would be very creepy).
But either way you look at it (sibling relation AND parental relation) it's kinda Squickworthy to be in love with the kid (like with Britain and America)
And that is why no pairings like England and America, with one having raised the other, are actually cannon. But calling them brothers allows the fandom to do what pairings they like, and Himaruya to Ship Tease without crossing the line of Parental Incest.
These are nations, so human family relations mean nothing to them. England doesn't want to be called "brother", let alone "father" by America. The colonizers are mentors/guides/guardians who have different kind of relationships with the colonies: England/America is a family-like one while Austria and Spain have the Italies as servants.
England didn't want to be called "brother" by America because he had his own crappy experiences with older brothers. He had absolutely no problem with acknowledging the younger as his brother; he just hated the title. And if I recall, America's the one who broke it off. Just because they aren't actually related doesn't make it any less for them. It would be up to the nations in question how they want to interpret the relation between them.
Why are North and South Italy called Veneziano and Romano? Based off my understanding of Italian history, would Milano and Napoletano be more appropriate?
Probably because it's more recognisable. If I was asked to name Italian cities I would go Rome, Venice, then Milan, and that last one wouldn't even come into it. I don't know a lot of Italian history, so there may be a better reason, but if not then that would be my guess.
Well...Italian history is a bit...complicated. As we know, Northern Italy was divided into several city-states. To be specific, Florence, Milan and Venice emerge as the dominant players. However, the Venetian Republic was the strongest of the three, being since it controlled a sizable proportion of Mediterranean trade. Romano's preferences are a bit more...debatable. Historically speaking, yes - you are right; he would represent Naples & Palermo, or Mezzogiorno. Rome is actually in the center of Italy, the Papal States. Of course, the boundaries do vary from textbook to textbook...I'm sorry; I'm probably not answering your question.
You're right and wrong about what you're saying. (And the troper right above me is even more right about it). The South should definitely have his name based off of Naples, there's no doubt about that - Naples is the capital of the South. The North... that's a little bit uglier. Venice would be the best if you're going for the most powerful individual state in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. However, for most of that time, Venice was sort of... apathetic about Italian affairs - they were more concerned with the Adriatic and the Eastern Mediterranean. From, say, 1420 to, say, 1800, Venice would probably be the best bet. After 1800, Milan would probably be the best bet for North Italy, since it's the industrial center of the North (or maybe Sardinia-Piedmont, since it was the political capital of the north). Then again, if you want to go with the cultural capital of the North, it would be probably go to Florence. So, yeah... And yeah, Rome should undoubtedly be a part of Central Italy-tan (or Vatican-tan or something). And while divisions do vary, I'd say the North, Central, South is by far the most common - based off of the long lasting division of the minor city states, Papal States, and Two Sicilies
This has been bugging me for some time but where exactly does it say that Lithuania is Russia's favorite? Is this from the actual comic strips or just fanon? So confused and, if it's in fact not fanon, then is Russia saying that Lithuania is his favorite Baltic, his favorite subordinate/country that lived in his house?
I'm not sure if it says it outright, but Lithuania is the one he pays the most attention to, in the meeting of the world strip when Russia is saying he wants people to come back to him, it's Lithuania he goes to first, and in the outsourcing strips, when he's living with America, Russia goes to check up on him and refers to him as his 'ex'. This is quite extreme, so it can probably be assumed he is the general favourite among Russia's subordinates (excepting perhaps his sisters). If it only means the Baltics... then I'm not sure I want to know how he treats the ones we haven't seen yet.
There's also Belarus to think of. In her introduction, she clearly states that Lithuania is Russia's favorite hence why she's always so hostile towards him because he is in the way for her ending up with her brother.
Why is it that South Italy is the only one who's human name is in canon? why not just call him South Italy or Sicily? Unless Sicily is going to be another character entirely.
You're wrong, his "human name" is Lovino/Rovino and his "nation name" is Italia Romano, just like Italy's "human name" is Feliciano while in canon his full name is Italia Veneziano. And I haven't seen his human name in canon ever anyway.
"This is my biiig brother Romano! He's the southern half, I'm the northern Half!" First thing that EVER introduces Romano. That's canon I'd say. You also never answered my question.
Please read again, ROMANO is not his "human name" but his "nation name", LOVINO/ROVINO is his "human name" and is not use anywhere near canon.
I always thought that "Romano" /was/ his human name, and /Lovino/ was a petname or a Ls-Rs confusion. Still, why not just call him "South Italy"? Has society gotten so lazy as to not put forth the effort to say a name that is three syllables?
It was an aesthetic choice by the author to avoid confusion.
Also, South Italy is four syllables, while Romano is three. >->;;
The remaining Asian nations who have been given characters are Tibet, Mogolia, Thailand and Macau. Since Tibet hasn't been seen in years, and was replaced in the anime, it's unlikely to be him. She appears to have a card in her hair, and according to the other wiki 10.3% of Macau's workforce is employed in the gambling industry... so I'm going with Macau.
Do you remember when America was a child and England brought him those toy soldiers? Do you think that can be an illusion to the Quartering Act the English put on the colony for them to house the British Soldiers?
It's a good theory, but the Quartering Act came pretty late in America's colonial days. He would have been at least a mid-teen by the point it came around, rather than a young child. Plus, he wouldn't have been anywhere near that happy to receive them...
Ever since I started reading this series, I have wondered why China had to look so feminine. It just seems weird to me.
Because Himaruya likes to mess with his readers. Only explanation I can think of.
My interpretation is because traditional Chinese opera were all men, but even that isn't good enough reasoning.
Like you said, it's most likely Hate Dumb, simply spilling over into appearances. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the character. (Unless by appearances you mean being annoyed by her light skin tone, which I do understand, but which isn't a good enough reason to hate her.)
Are you referring to her skin color? If so, then the hate is probably because her skin was lightened. In the original comics, her skin is a darker tan, and in the anime, it's white. Fans must've been upset at the color change (even though they did the same thing to Spain so it's not that surprising).
In the Chibitalia strips Hungary is a little girl (but still older than Italy), yet in volume 3 she is shown as a teenager when she finds out that she is a girl.
Personally, I think she does look like a teenager in the Chibitalia strips; she's certainyl significantly bigger than Italy. If she is supposed to be a little girl, that would probably be because the first Chibitalia strips were drawn a long time before the scene where she realises she's a girl, and Himaruya changed his mind on the timeline.
Do most fans actually read or watch the series? It seems almost as much Fanon and fanart-fanfiction driven as Touhou.
Hetalia is quite different from most other fandoms in that it has a basis in what happened/is happening in Real Life, which means its fans have a lot more source of Fanon than others. Barring that, I don't think it is significantly more Fanon/fanart/fanfiction driven than any other fandoms of similar size.
Is England supposed to be America's father or brother? He seems more like a father, but from what I can tell the manga only refer to them as brothers; maybe England thinks he's too young.
They're not actually related, England just called himself America's older brother when he was a child. He was more of a father figure, but 'brother' seems to be the preferred thing for the nations to call themselves, for whatever reasons (possibly because the person they raise will eventually look pretty much the same age as them, and then calling them "Dad" would just be weird).
They're not blood related, but they still count as.. Siblings?
Apparently it works different for nations: Switzerland and Lichtenstein aren't related either but they're siblings regardless.
Prussia's... Not dead? Just because he's the Ensemble Darkhorse? As far as I'm concerned, if a country is dead then their -tan should be too.
It's strongly indicated that he became East Germany after World War II, and the two sides of Germany are still different enough for him to be alive. Also, it's Himaruya's series, he makes the rules of a tan's existance, not the readers.
Uh... well technically, Prussia was dead before the Second World War. The Kingdom of Prussia was abolished after Versailles and became the Free State of Prussia. Then after WWII, Prussian lands were divided up between Poland and the U.S.S.R. with East Prussia becoming the Kaliningrad Oblast. So yeah he should be dead, since he doesn't have a country to represent anymore...
Why is the American Revolution portrayed as it is in Hetalia - to be specific, why is Britain so hung up on it? If anything, it should be the other way around because, above, someone stated the American Revolution was a key historical event they learnt about. In England it's barely touched upon, if at all, and if so usually accompanied by 'Good Riddance'. Maybe at first, yes, given it's his 'younger brother' rebelling and he feels betrayed, but drowning his sorrows in alcohol every 4th July even a few centuries later? It doesn't make sense.
What it has to come down to is translating things which happened to countries to things which happened to people. Sure, for English people today it isn't a big deal, but that's many generations down the line. It's fact that the American colonies were treated like a spoilt child. If a person spoils a child, then that child not only leaves them, but celebrates the day they left, of course it's going to leave marks. And nations can live for milleniums, and we know England is at least a thousand years old, so a few centuries will not be as long for them as it would be for humans. Basically; if England was a person, they'd probably be more hung up on it that English people are.
Another way of looking at it: America was the first colony to rebel against England. The Revolution was the beginning of the end for the British Empire. And then, to pour salt on the wounds, America took England's place as the major world power. So Arthur being hung up on Alfred could be to represent how the British miss the days when they ruled the world.
No, it wasn't. The British Empire wasn't even an empire until Queen Victoria's reign. The British Empire had its moment of glory more than a century after the American Revolution. The Empire started having problems in WWI and it took the bankruptcy of WWII to kill it.
I agree with the first troper to reply to this. A lot of people get really crazy about getting logic and reason and order from a show where aliens showed up and took a look at a mochi version of a character and then promptly left having no clue what it was. Everyone wants to know specifically what they represent and end up choosing sides, whether they decide the characters represent the government, landmass, or people in a given nation. They then quickly forget all about the characters themselves. While different things having to do with the above list must surely affect the characters in different ways, not everything affects them. Looking at the stance taken by the troper posting this concern, that the English today don't really care at all about the American Revolution, it's easy to forget that England the character might just have his own consciousness and feelings about events that personally affected himself and not entirely so much his people (such as feeling betrayed by someone he felt very close to). The show isn't 100% based on stereotypes, and Himaruya does like to play around with the characters and make them...well... characters. That might mean they have their own personal feelings and reactions to things that don't quite match up to their people.
I've heard it mentioned countless times in fanon, but exactly how canon is Austria's marriage to Spain (asides from, you know, actual history and the Habsburg Monarchy and all, though I don't profess to be well-versed in this matter)? I haven't found any reference to it in the anime, nor in the comics, though I might just not be looking hard enough, and yet it seems pretty prominent among fans (maybe just because people love slash..?)
It was one line from Austria: "Spain, I will not accept bigamy."
Which is funny, since Two Sicilies and Burgundy were in on the marraige too.
Would Native America be alive? America is America now, but Native American's still exist..
Most likely, and as long as Native Americans are around, she/he will be, too. That could also be the reason Prussia's still around - people still identify themselves as Prussian.
It's more likely that there's no "Native America" at all, and all of the native tribes have individual -tans instead. Pre-Columbian civilizations like the Incas or Mayans would certainly have personifications.
I agree with the above poster. There couldn't be one Native America-tan, because not all American Indians have the same culture. The Cherokee are different from the Iroquois who are different from the Hopi. IIRC historically there were over 500 different native American nations.
So, the reason Chibitalia and Chibimano wear tiny maid outfits is supposed to be because they are Hungary's hand-me-downs, I believe...but when Hungary was that age, she thought she was a boy and wore boy's clothing...so where did the maid outfits come from??
No, that isn't the reason. Hungary did dress up Italy in traditional Hungarian clothes once, but that was just a one off and they weren't stated to be her's. The reason Chibitalia wears a maid outfit is because Austria thought he was a girl. Chibiromano... not sure, but his outfit wasn't as girly as his brother's, was it? Maybe Spain just thought it was cute.
I think it has to with the fact From the 16th century to the 19th small boys wore dresses till about maybe 7.
So, about Hetalia's characters. Can someone elaborate on why Himaruya decided on these specific stereotypes? (Also, feel free to add on more questions to the list.)
Why do English characters have bushy eyebrows?
According to Himaruya, it "represents England's gentlemanliness". Somehow. Some of his (former) colonies (I'm assuming that's what you mean by the plural "English characters") have them because they're related to him, though nobody's quite sure how genetics and familial relationships work in the Hetalia universe.
Why is Finland associated with Christmas? (A: Finnish people believe "Father Christmas" i.e Santa actually lives in the mountains of Finland, or at least somewhere in between him and Russia.)
What is the reason behind Romano's attitude? (A: He is jaded because the mafia controls him and much of his land, as it says in his character profile)
Why does America have a pet alien? (A: Rosswell, or something like that, is a supposed alien encounter that occured in America. Tony comes from that famous event.)
Why does Canada have a pet bear? (A: It is a common stereotype that there are polar bears in Canada, and Kumajirou is a polar Bear.)
What is up with Cuba wearing a Hawaiin shirt? (A: Maybe to reflect that a mayor part of his income comes from tourism? After all, Germany also wears a Hawaiian shirt when Himaruya wants to portrays him as a tourist.)
Why does Poland act like a valley girl? (A: Not entirely sure, but he is orginally speaking with a Nagoya schoolgirl accent, and it was translated in to valley-girl speak as the closest English equivalent. Also, his character was originally a girl, and all of his former female characteristics [such as wearing skirts] transferred over to him as a guy.)
Why is Austria older than HRE? Didn't HRE actually create Austria?
Word Of God states that HRE remained a child while other countries grew up because of his internal political conflicts and other problems.
There's also some old Nyotalia notes that state that fem!Japan has a "complicated yearning" for fem!America.
Nekotalia. It's cute and all, seems harmless to me, but it seems that every nation-tan owns a pet cat? Why can't they be like the genderflips or mochis?
What, have Estonia own all the cats? Come on, it doesn't interfere with the story that much, does it? If you want an explanation as to why every nation would have a cat... maybe all the ones that like cats gave them to the other ones as gifts, and no-one is rude enough to refuse?
If Hungary and chibi-Italy took a bath together, how did Hungary not notice...?
Hungary knew Italy was a boy. Somehow, neither she nor Austria ever noticed they were referring to him as different genders.
It's possible that she knew Austria thought Italy was a girl, but deliberately kept it secret for an unknown reason, for example to prevent HRE from finding out.
Also, the Japanese language has gender-neutral pronouns (which contributes to Viewer Gender Confusion at times). They probably were using pronouns that didn't specify Italy's gender when referring to him.
During the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, besides a delicious Ho Yay moment, did Germany really need to strip North Italy? He's seen Italy naked so many times, shouldn't he have known Italy didn't have a marking on his chest or butt?
They didn't know how big the marking was, it could have been tiny. And I don't think Germany stares when Italy strips off. Although another question is raised as to why Italy didn't notice that massive marking with words on it on his brother. Perhaps it had only appeared shortly before the parallel nations started appearing, and Romano himself hadn't noticed it yet?
In episode 30 of the anime, when England is staying at Japan's house, he sleeps in a bed with the British flag on it. How did that come about? It seems a bit odd that England would bring his own blanket with him when visiting another country, but it also seems a bit unlikely for Japan to randomly have a Union Jack blanket lying around his house. Neither of these are impossible, but it just confuses me.
Perhaps Japan had one specially made up, to make England feel welcome?
During the times when men were considered superior to women, how would the female nations have gotten away with going into battle? Would they have had to disguise themselves or been able to go into the army because of having permission from their bosses or something? Same goes for the genderbent nations in Nyotalia—would America and England have had to look like men to be in the patriots and redcoats for the storage cleaning bit?
Probably they did disguise themselves. Or, people distinguished between a normal human woman and their nation-tan, and made an exception for them.
Actually, traditional female Anthropomorphic Personifications were often portrayed even in the patriarchal past as doing masculine things such as going out to war. Perhaps female nation-tans wouldn't have to do anything but dress up practically.
Presumably the leaders of the countries simply made exceptions. In the War of Austrian Succession arc, everyone mocked the idea of a woman leading the country, but no one found it odd that Hungary was leading her troops into battle.
I searched all over the internet but couldn't find anything about the Nikko Nikko Republic. Does it/Did it actually exist?
Why do fangirls still insist Russia is overweight? Yes a long time ago he said "I am big-boned" but it's canon he really is and it's not a joke. I have a feeling fat fangirls are just projecting...
He's pudgy but he's not overweight, he looks like this◊ so he's not exactly skinny either.
Just...uh, two problems; Sweden/Finland isn't a canon couple, yet the Official Couple, Ship Mates, Hoe Yay, and other pages declare that they are by Word of God. Yes, we know Sweden's gay...and that's pretty much it. Second, why is Cameroon listed under the British Empire sheet? Excuse me but....the last time I checked my history book, Cameroon was a GERMAN colony. Which, after World War I, became under control of the FRENCH. So where the hell are people getting that 'Cameroon is a British colony'???
You're somewhat correct on Sweden/Finland; it isn't an official couple because it's one-sided; Himaruya has, I believe, stated that Sweden is 'Finland sexual'. On Cameroon; after WW 1, according to Wikipedia, it was partitioned between France and Britain, with France getting the larger share, which was the first to go independent. So he doesn't fit perfectly on the British Empire sheet, but it isn't incorrect to put him there either. What other sheet would you suggest putting him on?
Also, Cameroon is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is kinda what the British Empire evolved into after WWII.
Why does fangirl designed Uke and Seme with no flexibility and versatility? I never seen Russia was topped by anyone(aside from crossover with Male!Belarus) and Italy is pretty much know about sex than Germany(France tought him INTERCOURSE). Lastly, why do they keep assume that Asian Nation must be bottom in relationship? Height play no part in THAT you know and I was yelled by fangirl when I suggested that Italy is Seme.
Sadly, that's how fangirls assign those labels. If you're shorter than the one you have ship tease with, have some hobbies that could be considered "girly," etc., you're automatically uke. If you're taller, have a deeper voice, etc., you're seme. Since China, for instance, is very feminine and can easily be mistaken for a girl, he's usually the uke because of that.
Don't talk like is some kind of consensus or hivemind, is just that the active majority likes that kind of stuff, that doesn't mean that there isn't people with different tastes around. Just because most of the people like it doesn't mean that is a rule, just more common to see, tastes are mostly subjective.
When people draw pieces on the Hundred Years' War, I often see imagery of crosses, with France and England fighting on a battlefield covered in crosses or France standing mournfully among said crosses. Is there some sort of actual battlefield covered in crosses during that war? Is cross imagery just associated with the War for one reason or another? I just don't get why such pictures are often depicted with tons of crosses?
It could be a reference to Joan of Arc. She participated in the war believing it to be God's will, and was later martyred for witchcraft.
I'm wondering what happens to a nation-tan when its people become scattered among two or more countries. For example, what happened to Poland after the final partition or Ukraine and Rumania during the same period (since both were divided between Russia and Austria/Austria-Hungary)? Are the nation-tans split into tiny parts and kept in the basements of their various rulers (in a grizzly, serial killer sort of way) or is there some sort of joint custody thing or... is the topic just never going to be covered?
Here, at the end, it mentions Sweden getting partial custody of Estonia and Latvia.
Uh... Rumania was never partitioned between Austro-Hungary and Tsar Russia. Sure, it didn't have Transylvania, but the Old Kingdom itself was never gobbled up by the two empires.
The territories themselves are usually referred to as the nation's "house", so it could be that when said territory is divided up, the nation-tan spends periods of time living in the houses of other nations.
So, if identity is what defines a nation-tan, which is what I'm getting as the main fan-version of how this works, would that mean an African-American-tan, Irish-American-tan, Italian-American-tan, etc exist? Or that Switzerland is made up of a bunch of canton-tans and the Netherlands made up of a bunch of province-tans? Is France oppressing a Brittany-tan, Provence-tan, Alsace-tan, Aquitaine-tan, etc? This seems to be the excuse for Prussia continuing to live - that it is some Prussian identity that keeps it alive, but there are many identities, some formerly national, some sub-national, that could live, (of course, their existence would clutter everything to an absurd degree considering how many there are that still exist).
OP again: I'm also curious as to how strong Prussian identity is today, especially considering that most of Prussia proper is no longer part of Germany (indeed, Prussia's mostly in Poland and its most important city, Konigsberg, is in Russia)?
Well, maybe Prussia's continued existence is merely a result of him being so awesome, like Too Cool ToDie?
What gets a representation generally seems to work under the MST3K Mantra. For example, the Roman Empire got its own personification, but the Soviet Union was represented as a giant house that the nations that came from it lived in. As for Prussia, fan theory is that he switched from representing Prussia to representing East Germany. (This theory is fueled by the fact that it wouldn't be the first time Prussia switched to personifying a new organization/nation after the previous one disbanded.
You can't deny that some of them look like evil versions. Fem!Russia looks unhinged and about to attack, while Fem!America has nails in her bat (it's nothing to do with her colouring, why assume that?). From there, it just follows naturally that they're dark versions.
Way to ignore what I wrote. It's nothing to do with colouring (although, admittedly, the number of ones who have red eyes doesn't help) but for me, personally, it was mostly the fact that Fem!America studded her baseball bat with nails. That does give off something of an intention to hurt people. And Fem!Russia almost has a Slasher Smile, generally considered a bad thing. I never said that you have to see them as dark versions, but there is a reason that fans have concluded they are dark versions; some of them do look kind of evil, so fans have concluded they are (and I don't think that's unreasonable with Fem!America and Fem!Russia), and from there it seems logical to assume that all of them are dark versions. So there's no need to take offence at it.
To the first poster: No, it's not because some of them (at least America from what I know) are dark-skinned, but seriously...lookatthem! Some of them certainly look a bit evil, like Russia, who looks like she wants to make me disappear because I know too much, America, whose nail-studded baseball bat and red eyes look a tiny bit suspicious, Italy, who gives a kind of mafia vibe*
How did this turn into a race thing? First off, darker tones do make a darker look (And I'm not talking about skin colour, of coarse) A lot of their smiles have turned into smirks, Germany is now carrying a knife rather than dynamite (And I know dynamite is also dangerous, but for some reason it doesn't look as threatening) and has scars all over her and has red eyes instead of light blue. Canada looks unhappy, Russia looks plain creepy and Prussia is now holding a sword instead of a stick and has a cross scar on her stomach. America has Nails on her bat too... I'm pretty sure that people didn't assume they were dark versions because America has brown hair now...
In what category on the WMG page would a guess about why Germany only has one name which involves Himaruya go?
I'd say Axis Powers, since it primarily involves Germany.
Where did the information on Brittania come from? All I can find connected to that name in Hetalia are the various attacks Britain has.
This blog entry. Second question from the bottom, someone asked about England's mother.
Actually, I think there may be a different explanation. Did Himaruya ever say that there weren't animal-tans?}
I don't think they're normal pets giving that many of them are talking animals or have abnormal intelligence (how did the lion get a degree in the first place?).
Okay, why isn't Austria ever acknowledged as Germany's brother? He's specifically stated to be the Oriental March/Ostmark, which was started by HRE and the people who settled in Ostmark were Bavarian. Bavaria is stated by Prussia to be Germany's brother. Thus, Austria is at the very least a half-brother. I know that the Prussians argued that Austrians weren't "german", mostly because the Austrian Empire consisted of so many nations that were Slavic or something not German, however, that doesn't mean that the people they ruled over were considered "germans", as the Bohemians and the Hungarians had lots of Germanization forced upon them, whereas Austrians were "Germans" to begin with. And Austria, while HRE still existed, was considered to be one of the main and most powerful German states. And today, the whole issue is a little touchy for many people, but really, I just don't get why most of the fandom ignores these relations.
I don't think Austria is Germany's brother, though. Maybe that's historically inacurate, I don't know, but it's hardly the fandom's fault what relationships Himaruya chooses to give nations, and it's never been indicated Austria and Germany are brothers, and Himaruya usually states it outright when two nations are siblings. They are definitely related: Austria referred to himself in the 2010 Christmas event as their 'family', and in the 2011 one, Germania was shown thinking of his family, and Austria was one of the nations shown. So you could read it as them being brothers, but honestly I think Himaruya would have mentioned it by now, so, personally, I think of them as cousins.
Has anyone ever wondered how Himaruya comes up with the designs for the nations? I don't find all of them fitting, especially Poland.
Poland seems to always bring up questions about his design. I don't have any answers for that, however. Maybe someone else will. However, he's said before that some characters are based off people he knew and met. He does research as well for their clothes and personalities, and also bases things off of jokes he hears and things he reads about, and his own experiences, I would think, considering he said one of his teachers, while he was studying in America, was terrible at geography. (And there really are some people when asked "What is the northernmost state of the US?" that will answer things like "Canada", and when told Canada is a country and not a state will return to the inquirer a puzzled look. I know because that is an experience I had with a classmate of mine in World History one fine day.)
Some of it is his research and some of it is just stuff he likes and stuff that changes over time. Using Poland as an example, Himaruya decided to make him a crossdresser because he originally was going to make the character a girl and changed it at the last minute. He made Poland talk like a valley girl because, presumably, he found it amusing. In other notes, he mentions that he bases the character designs off of what images the names of the nations bring to mind (a feminine-sounding name, an old one, etc)
What is the basis of the America/Russia pairing? Just...what? I don't recall any Ship Tease between them, which probably means it wasn't there or was simply too minor to notice.
People just tend to ship rivals/enemies together. America and Russia are popular for that reason. Although, while I don't particularly like shipping in general, there have been some strips that can be taken that way; most recently this Birz strip, where Russia offers to "make [America's] gums bleed a bit" (after America questions the traditional Russia greeting). So they don't get shiptease often, but even though I personally don't like it, it's hard to blame people for shipping it when the tease they do get is so blatant.
American fangirls like hatesex and find canon fluffy pairings like USUK boring.
Not sure if this was already asked, but I believe Himaruya once said Spain is Two-Faced. However, if I remember correctly, fans said these notes were removed or something like that and therefore couldn't be accepted as canon. Other fans, however, make him a straight-out YandereManipulative Bastard towards anyone (with the possible exception of Romano). Is he a Cute and Psycho or really that nice and happy?
Well, we don't know. Himaruya, I seem to recall, said Spain acted differently around his colonies who weren't Romano. We won't know if he's scrapped that idea until we actually see Spain interacting with some of these colonies.
Himaruya is not a man, why do they lie?
They who? He portrays himself as a man rather consistently and based Estonia's design in his appearance so why would we doubt about his gender?
I have heard twice on this wiki that poor, innocent England is "ruthlessly bullied" by his brothers. The hell? Did Himaruya really say that?
I'm not really sure what Himaruya is getting at here, but this is one of those things fandom has exagerated. I don't believe Himaruya ever called England "poor" and "innocent", for one thing. I think he did say that England was bullied by them once, there was something about them firing burning arrows at him to chase him away as a child, and sending him curses, and that one time Scotland was yelling at him from offscreen about being a terrible little brother. Again, I'm not entirely sure what Himaruya is on about, but all the things they've done aren't too unexpected, it's just that line about bullies. There can be explanations if you reach a bit; as someone pointed out on Fridge Brilliance, we're only getting England's point of view, and since he was very small at that time he maybe didn't understand exaclty why they hated him? Yeah, I'm reaching, but it's never really been mentioned in any kind of detail, and Himaruya has been known to go back on earlier, incorrrect statements, so unless he draws a strip where they're beating England up for no reason, I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt on this.
It has been mentioned that England and his brothers don't get along too well. A few instances (as mentioned above) show up as memories when America offers to call England "big brother", showing that England has big brother issues.
Historically, his brothers hating him would kind of make sense, I believe. Also, didn't Himaruya drew something wherein they threw rocks at England? While England certainly can't be labelled "innocent", throwing rocks at someone is pretty harsh.
Okay, so I'm totally fine with a bit of leniency when it comes to historical events, especially considering the nature of the series, and how things are represented, etc. But there are two things, one strip and one bit of fanon, which actually contradict history:
The first is the Bad Touch Trio. It makes sense that they would ally for the War of Austrian Succession, because that actually happened. But the those three countries, at least historically, had quite a bit of conflict. Spain and France I can kind of get, because Spain at one point had a French king and they tended to side with each other, but the Spanish Resistance was probably the second-most (after the Russian campaign) important opposition to Napoleon during the Napoleonic Wars. It was also heavily supported by the British, France's canonical enemy, or at least Vitriolic Best Bud. Prussia is even worse. Their first major showing in a European War was actually the War of Spanish Succession - in which they fought against France and parts of Spain. Then, right after the War of Austrian Succession comes the Diplomatic Revolution and then the Seven Years' War, in which Prussia jumps ship and allies with Britain against France and Austria. Then, during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars, Prussia is either at war with France or being essentially paid off and puppeteered by Napoleon. After that comes the German Unification Wars, in which Bismarck manages to offend a French minister so badly that the two countries go to war again. Then Prussia (now Germany, but still under Bismarck) spends another three decades isolating France from the rest of the continent with a complex system of Alliances - with Russia and Austria, predominantly - and then? World War One. So in tl;dr summary, Prussia spent two centuries on-and-off warring with France, sometimes even more obnoxiously than England did, but in Fanon, they're apparently best bros. The hell?
Those three don't seem to hang out so much in the series itself. The only time this troper recalls it is in the War of Austrian Succession. There even were a few anime episodes where Spain and France fought with each other (one where France tried to kidnap Romano, and one where Spain K Os France with a bull). In fanon, presumably they get a lot of attention for the same reason that France, England, Canada, and America are often written as a family unit - people just like the idea. Fanon for Hetalia doesn't necessarily keep with historical accuracy, after all, especially given the size of the fanbase.
A somewhat smaller infraction - but also worse because it's canon - is the Anglo-Japanese Alliance strip. Now the actual interaction between England and Japan is pretty much alright, but the error is with England's motivations. England was not desperately searching for friends. At the turn of the century they were more into splendid isolation. They would not have been showing up at Germany's door brandishing flowers. In fact, it was pretty much the other way around. After Germany's aforementioned Alliance with Russia and Austria collapsed, they started desperately seeking England's approval and hunting for an Alliance with the British. The British realized this Alliance would essentially be too OP and would wreck the balance of power - which had only been Britain's foreign policy for two hundred years at this point - and constantly refused to ally with Germany. England actually sought out the Anglo-Japanese Alliance because both nations were very much opposed to Russian expansion. And you'd think that would actually make for a good strip, England and Japan bonding over their mutual hatred of Russia, as opposed to throwing Germany into a historical event that, in the end, didn't have much to do with them.
Presumably it was done that way to stay in keeping with the established characterization. Germany has been shown as a no-nonsense soldier, while England is a tsundere with loneliness issues.
More of a history question than a Hetalia question... why was French culture so much more prevalent in Canada than America if they were both French colonies?
America was an English colony, not a French one (although there are heavily French-influenced regions), so historically England had far more influence on colonial America than France did — only Louisiana is recognizably "French" out of the early territories. Canada simply had more French presence and early influence.
How do the events of Paint it White fit in to Hetalia "canon" anyway? Given how there seems to be no clear indication even from the author, it's possible that it might be a loosely canon work, or an in-universe flick featuring the cast. Or perhaps an Alternate Universe scenario where the Pict do show up. And granted there are other possible explanations but still...
The recurring beach scene... If it's WWII, and you're the (main) Axis Powers, stranded on an island, wouldn't it be a good idea NOT to draw attention to yourselves by writing SOS in giant letters on a beach, knowing that whoever sees it will almost certainly be one (or all) of the Allied Forces?
Not necessarily. Yes, there's a good chance an Allied Forces member will see you, but there were other Axis Powers. Granted, they happened to be stranded in Seychelles and really only the main Axis Powers were involved in the Africa campaign, but the Axis also didn't know they were stranded on Seychelles. They could have been expecting help from Hungary and (for a time) Romania or Bulgaria. Germany also thought of Finland as a friend to the Axis, even though Finland didn't want to be associated with the Axis and just had a beef to pick with Russia.
Paint It White. If Switzerland and Liechenstein couldn't be turned into whites by the aliens because of Switzerland's neutrality..... why didn't they help the 8 major countries save the world?
I'm not really positive (and I was wondering this before, too) but I assumed it was possibly because 1). They're neutral because they don't want to be involved in other countries problems, so it wouldn't make sense to have them become involved. 2). Do they even know what's going on? I don't really remember them acknowledging it. 3). If they were to help, they would become unneutralized, wouldn't they? So it would defeat the purpose.
Are relationships in this show defined by the countries in real life? Hungary and Austria's marriage takes place in the same year that Austro-Hungarian Compromise in real life, which was a union. Does this mean (Not that I'm shipping them or anything: Not really a fan of Yaoi...) that Italy and Germany aren't ever going to be together, since their country's relationship in real life peaked in World War 2?
Actually, the Italy and Germany subplot seems to be largely abandoned now by Himaruya
I don't think shippers even care (There's people who ship North and South Italy too, and, if anything, they would be related) But are countries really related to each other? Rome is referred to by "Grandpa Rome" even though I think that he found Italy (Not sure, though). Liechtenstein was rescued by Switzerland and she refers to him as big brother. I always assumed that it was just something that referenced that they're like a family, and since they separated in the American revolution they aren't as close.
Some countries are explicitly stated to be related (such as Norway and Iceland), and others continue to refer to people as siblings when they're not politically linked, so I think there are some that are genuinely siblings (however that works with nations). In the case of America, it may be because while England had the most influence, there was enough from different countries to stop him being truly related to any of them.
This may be a dumb question, but is Italy even ever seen eating pasta? He obviously enjoys it, but every time I see him eating it's usually something another country makes, which he doesn't enjoy. Like the HRA gives him some type of food and he dislikes it because he is supposed to be used to really good food, same with when England gives him food (Like a dog, and he says it's too bland, or something). I also remember him making pasta for Germany once, but I don't think Italy ate any.
Actually, Taiwan isn't busty at all. I'm pretty sure there was one strip where she felt distracted by the other girls' cleavage (they all had bigger boobs than her). Also, Vietnam, Liechtenstein and Monaco are pretty flat too.
You think that all the female characters have big breasts? Are you confusing fanart with official art? Because this really doesn't apply to Hetalia. I don't know what you class as 'busty', and I don't tend to notice the characters' chests myself (aside from the occasional strip, the comic doesn't really draw attention to them, and the girls are usually dressed pretty modestly), but I'm fairly certain most of them are either perfectly average or smaller.
Why does the Holy Roman Empire have an Italian accent? In the Japanese version he seems to be speaking German (Oi, oi vati/mutti) and he is a descendant of Germania, so...
Maybe he's trying to impress Italy, trying to show his interest in "her area". Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Probably someone just sort of screwed it up.