Headscratchers: Axis Powers Hetalia

  • 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.
      • Actually, that last part isn't true. The part of them having their nation status kept secret is highly fanon and really only turns up in fanfiction. There is a strip, where in a French citizen attempts to confront France about still being young, despite having known his grandfather, when his grandfather was young. France makes no attempt to lie or shrug it off. I suppose, in a sense it IS a secret, but it's not one that anyone is trying to KEEP secret. It's more a case of "it's not common knowledge".
    • This troper DESPISES the amount of human names since A) They're not used in canon. At all. And so clichés like the "Lovi" and "Birdie" are stupid and meaningless yet they show up EVERYWHERE B) If not explicitly stated, it's very confusing to determine whether the characters are supposed to be the countries they are or humans C) For countries that have no official human names, it's extremely tiring and confusing to find out who they are. Basically, they're annoying and take away from a series that was in its very essence supposed to be about COUNTRIES not humans or pairings.
      • I can partially agree with this frustration, however they still do come in useful and stops fans being limited to the canon universe and A Us were history "went wrong". The names only take away from the series when misused... Which they quite often are, unfortunately. Most fans tend to clarify which name belongs to which nation if it's not "official" and generally, there is some sort of explanation if both nation name and human name is in use.
  • 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.
    • As for the answer, because, well, that's a hell lot of characters.
    • 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 A.U. 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.
      • Obscure?
      • What about Sealand, which on top of being obscure is of no real historical significance whatsoever other than as a potential Jeopardy answer?
      • To be fair, Sealand's history, in itself, is pretty funny. Hetalia was, originally, full of historical jokes and weird facts... Sealand falling into the weird facts section. But I do find it bizarre that a non-existing nation somehow got a design before other nations, such as Portugal, South Africa or Brazil!
    • Latin-Americans have taken the time to fix that: http://latin-hetalia.deviantart.com/
      • Uruguay is Aryan?
      • Yes, 88% of the population of Uruguay is of European descent, why do you ask?
      • 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?
      • This Argentinian troper wishes to point out that the above individual completely miss the point of the joke since the song is done by an Uruguayan group making fun of common stereotypes, you know, kinda' like Hetalia. Is true that Uruguay is not *really* like that but that is the common way the rest of the countries around it perceive it.
    • 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 to
  • Not a devout follower so I know little about the series or the fandom (I just likethe fanart) but is there a meme where the characters are depicted in medieval/fantasy armor? Don't know the Pixiv tags for that. Also, why is Swordsman Hungary called a Nomad? Wiki says nothing.