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Hetalia: Axis Powers (ヘタリア Axis Powers Hetaria Akushisu Pawāzu?) is a comic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by Hidekaz Himaruya (日丸屋秀和 Himaruya Hidekazu?). The series presents an allegorical interpretation of political and historic events, particularly of the World War II era, in which the various countries are represented by anthropomorphic characters. Hetalia (ヘタリア?) is a portmanteau combining hetare (ヘタレ?, Japanese for "incompetent") and Italia (イタリア?).[1] This is to make light of Italy's apparent cowardice during World War II.

Himaruya originally created Hetalia as an online webcomic, and so far three tankōbon have been published by Gentosha Comics, the first on March 28, 2008, the second on December 10, 2008, and the third on May 20, 2010. The series was later adapted into drama CDs, and an anime series created by Studio Deen has also begun streaming online. As of January 8, 2010, the anime series' international distribution is being handled by Funimation Entertainment.

The main historical events portrayed in this work occur between World War I and World War II. The series often uses satire and comedy to address well-known historical events as well as historical and cultural trivia. Historical, political, and military interaction between countries is allegorically represented in Hetalia as social and romantic interaction between the characters; the webcomic version in particular depicts military and economic incursions using various innuendo.

Main characters

So far, over 40 countries have been personified as human characters.[2] In Hetalia, these characters are normally referred to by their country's name.

Axis Powers

The Axis Powers group of characters consists primarily of Germany, Italy, and Japan, who are also the protagonists of the series. The representations of countries also part of the historical Axis powers, such as Austria, make additional appearances.

N. Italy (イタリア Itaria?)
Italy, the primary protagonist and the title character, is a bright, energetic and sweet young man. In the series, he is depicted at various points as the infant grandson of the Roman Empire, and is recognized as the weakest character in the series, and as a carefree and cowardly soldier who often depends on Germany to resolve issues. His artistry and love of pasta and pizza are references to Italian culture. He uses his adorable ways and cute face to charm girls he meets. He is portrayed as a "loveable loser".[3] Italy represents the northern half of the country of Italy, whilst his older brother represents the southern half. Hence, their full character names are Italy Veneziano and Italy Romano. In the anime series, both Italies are voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in Japanese. In English, Veneziano is voiced by Todd Haberkorn[4] and Romano is voiced by Ian Sinclair. Young North Italy is voiced by Aki Kanada in Japanese and Brina Palencia in English.
Germany (ドイツ Doitsu?)
Germany is a hard-working, efficient, bureaucratic, and serious character. In the series, Germany is primus inter pares among the Axis Powers, and takes responsibility for the training of Italy and Japan. He is portrayed as a tsundere character.[3] Another aspect of his character is his relative inexperience with relationships, leading him to be very by-the-book as a result of the belief that things will go wrong if he does not follow instructions to the letter. Despite this, as the series progresses, he forms a close friendship with the foil character of Italy. He notes at one point that he has a "crazy boss", a reference to the historical figure of Hitler. In the anime series, he is voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto in Japanese and Patrick Seitz in English.[4]
Japan (日本 Nihon?)
Japan is a reclusive and hard-working character. In the series, he is shown to be inexperienced with the Western world, and prone to culture shock. A young man, his character design features dark brown eyes and black hair, common physical traits among Japanese people. He often tries to adopt the cultures of other countries he meets such as France. Generally quiet, he is often depicted with the attitude of a businesslike old man. In the anime series, he is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in Japanese and Christopher Bevins in English.[4]

Allied Forces

The Allied Forces group consists primarily of the characters America, Britain, France, China and Russia. These characters are often depicted as comically failing to reach consensus in their war meetings. The representations of countries also part of the historical Allies of World War II, such as Canada, make additional appearances.

America (アメリカ Amerika?)
America is an energetic and headstrong character. In the series, he is raised by England and later fights for his independence. His brother is Canada, who is often forgotten and was seen "invisible" by other nations, including his brother. The self-proclaimed leader of the Allied Forces, his catchphrase is "I'm the hero!" His ideas for solving international problems are often absurd, but he is usually oblivious to the opinions of others. America's ideas and inventions are grand, but rarely go anywhere. His crippling fear of ghosts is at odds with his friendly acquaintance with a grey alien named Tony, who lives in his house. America is frequently seen clutching a hamburger, or eating while speaking. In the anime series, he is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi in Japanese and Eric Vale in English, both of whom also voice Canada.[4] As a child, America is voiced by Ai Iwamura in Japanese and Luci Christian in English.
England (イギリス Igirisu?)
England, also known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a tsundere character. In the series, he is depicted as an irritable young man. A former pirate, he is now a cynical and sharp-tongued gentleman. Some of his notable character traits include his terrible cooking skills, foul mouth, ability to see supernatural creatures ("imaginary friends"), and ability to perform magic curses on his enemies. Britain is most antagonistic towards France, with whom he shares a long rivalry, and America, his former charge. He's usually recognized for his large eyebrows, spiky blond hair and green eyes. In the English release of the anime, when asked why they opted to choose the name "Britain" over "England", Funimation explained that it was a request from the Japanese studio.[5] Tokyopop, the English publisher of the manga, refers to him as "England."
In one strip he notes that he has an older brother named Scotland.[6] Himaruya has confirmed that England represents the UK and England, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are his siblings.[7] In the anime series, his seiyū is Noriaki Sugiyama and his English voice actor is Scott Freeman.[4]
France (フランス Furansu?)
France is a romantic, carefree character. In the series, he is shown to have a long-held rivalry with Britain. However, he frequently makes sexual passes at many characters, including England. France explains away his long history of military defeats by attributing them to a joke from God. He regards himself as the eldest brother among the European nations and is referred to as such by some of them, though he calls Spain his elder brother in turn. He is often depicted with a rose, holding it in his hand. In the anime series, he is voiced by Masaya Onosaka in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English.[4]
China (中国 Chūgoku?)
China is one of the oldest nations, being depicted as immortal as well as being several thousand years old, and is regarded as the eldest brother among the East Asian nations. He is disturbed and distrustful of Russia, reflecting the Sino-Soviet Split that actually occurred after the war. China's favorite food is variety, and as such has certain tastes for things and gets irritated if a food has a certain pattern of tastes. He is a big fan of Hello Kitty and tends to end his sentences with the suffix -aru, a Japanese stereotype of how Chinese people speak, however, he replaces the customary -aru with the suffix -ahen, which means opium, when speaking to England, as a reference to the Opium Wars. He is often depicted with pandas. In the anime series, he is voiced by Yuki Kaida in Japanese and Clarine Harp in English.[4]
Russia (ロシア Roshia?)
Russia is a Yandere character. He is the tallest of all the nations, but has the innocence and cruelty of a child. He adores vodka and sunflowers. His primary target of resentment is General Winter, because despite using the cold to his advantage in war, he is also attacked by him every year. Russia has a kind face, but has mentally cracked from the strain of his bloody history. The other nations are terrified of him, especially the Baltic Trio (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), whom he loves to abuse physically and emotionally. Occasionally, he stalks China, while in a panda costume. Russia also has two sisters: his older sister, Ukraine and his younger sister, Belarus. He becomes gloomy and depressed when either of them is on his mind because Ukraine left him to try and make friends in the European Union and Belarus, also a yandere, is obsessed with the idea of forcing him to marry her. She seems to be the only other country which Russia fears. Russia happily promises that eventually "all will become one with Russia". Another favorite phrase is "kolkolkolkol", used when he is angered. Russia is often seen carrying a pick axe. In the anime series, he is voiced by Yasuhiro Takato in Japanese and Jerry Jewell in English.[4]

Media

Manga

The original Hetalia: Axis Powers web comic was adapted into three tankōbon and published by Gentosha Comics. The first volume was released on March 28, 2008, the second on December 10, 2008, and the third on May 20, 2010. The second and third tankōbon were released as a standard edition and a special edition that included an extra small booklet.[8]

In January 2009 Anime News Network reported that the series would also begin serialization in Gentosha's seinen manga magazine Comic Birz starting in the April issue,[9] but this was later announced to be a publishing error. The Gentosha press release on which ANN had based their article actually referred a new series by Himaruya, Chibisan Date.[10] Amazon.com has listed Hetalia: Axis Powers as being licensed by Tokyopop for a North American release, with the first volume released on September 21, 2010.[11]

<tr ><th rowspan="2" style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th colspan="2">Original</th><th colspan="2">English</th></th></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #CCF"><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th><th style="width: 24%;">Release date</th><th style="width: 24%;">ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol01">01</td></td><td> March 28, 2008[12]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-3448-1275-8</td><td>September 21, 2010[13]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1876-8</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol02">02</td></td><td> December 10, 2008[14]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-3448-1514-8</td><td>December 28, 2010[15]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1887-4</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol03">03</td></td><td> May 20, 2010[16]</td><td>ISBN 978-4-3448-1938-2</td><td>May 31, 2011[17]</td><td>ISBN 978-1-4278-1888-1</td></tr> </table>

Drama CDs

Hetalia: Axis Powers has been adapted into a series of drama CDs, and so far five have been released. The first was released on August 15, 2008, the second on October 24, 2008, the third on December 29, 2008, the fourth on June 3, 2009, and the fifth on August 18, 2009. A sixth drama CD will be released in 2010.[18]

Anime

An anime adaptation of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on July 24, 2008.[19] It is directed by Bob Shirohata (Gravitation, Diamond Daydreams) and is animated by Studio Deen. It was originally scheduled for broadcast on Kids Station on January 24, 2009 but was later canceled. The cancellation only affected the Kids Stations broadcasts; plans to make the series available through mobile phone and Internet streaming were not affected. The controversies arose when numerous Korean protesters called for the cancellation of the series, claiming that the personified character of Korea was an insulting representation of Koreans. Kids Station claimed that the Korea character does not appear in the anime and that it was "unaware of the criticism in Korea,"[20] and cited "various circumstances" as being behind the decision to cancel its airing of the anime, but they did not provide further information as to the nature of these circumstances.[1][21] A second 26-episode season of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on April 16, 2009, and a third was announced on December 10, 2009.[22][23][24] As of March 7, 2010, the title of the anime has been changed to Hetalia: World Series.[25] A fourth season has been announced for Hetalia and will premiere on September 10. This season will feature the new characters Denmark and Norway.[26][27]

On January 8, 2010, Funimation announced it had acquired the rights to release the first and second seasons of Hetalia in the United States and Canada.[28] Funimation later began streaming Hetalia on their website, Hulu, and YouTube with Japanese audio and English subtitles and announced that characters would have accents in the English dub.[29] Via Twitter, Funimation clarified that the series was rated TV-MA due to "some instances of profanity, crude humor and adult situations", and that they base ratings on entire series rather than individual episodes.[30] The first DVD was released on September 14, 2010.[31] Funimation have announed at Otakon 2010, that they have the license the Hetalia World Series and will simulcast the episodes and release them on DVD in 2011.[32] In the UK, the series will be distributed by Manga Entertainment.[33]

Certain Animate stores will carry Hetalia-themed Purikura booths for a limited time, with a total of 10 anime sticker options.[34]

Movie

A feature-length animated film adaptation was announced on September 23, 2009,[35] and was released on June 5, 2010. The film is entitled Paint it, White! and the eight main characters as well as supporting characters such as Liechtenstein, Sealand, Prussia, and Iceland are set to appear in the film - the main plot of the movie involves a vast majority of characters being transformed into white alien blobs. At Otakon 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced the license of the film and will release it in January 2011.[36]

Video game

A single-player video game based on the anime titled Gakuen Hetalia Portable (学園ヘタリア Portable?, lit. Academy Hetalia Portable) of the action/adventure-comic genre is scheduled for release on the PlayStation Portable in 2011 in Japan. It is being developed by Otomate (オトメイト Otomeito?) and published by Idea, Inc. (アイディアファクトリー株式会社?).

See also

32x28px History portal
32x28px Anime and manga portal


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cute But Dangerous?". The Malaysia Star. February 1, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  2. Script error
  3. 3.0 3.1 Script error
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 "Funimation Announces Remaining English Hetalia Cast (Update 2)". Anime News Network. July 16, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  5. Hodgkins, Crystalyn (August 1, 2010). "Otakon 2010: Hetalia US Premiere and Cast Panel". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  6. Script error
  7. Script error
  8. Script error
  9. "Hetalia Axis Powers Web Manga to Run in Comic Birz Mag". Anime News Network. January 26, 2009. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  10. "Hetalia's Himaruya to Start Chibi-san Date Manga". Anime News Network. January 30, 2009. Retrieved January 30, 2009. 
  11. "Hetalia Axis Powers Volume 1 (Paperback)". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 1, 2010. 
  12. "ヘタリア Axis Powers [コミック]" [Hetalia Axis Powers (comic)]. Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 9 October 2010.  delete character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  13. "Hetalia Axis Powers Volume 1 (Hetalia : Axis Powers) [Paperback]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.  delete character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  14. "ヘタリア 2―Axis Powers (2) (BIRZ EXTRA) [コミック]" [Hetalia 2-Axis Powers (2) (BIRZ EXTRA) [Manga]]. Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 9 October 2010.  delete character in |trans_title= at position 1 (help); delete character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  15. "Hetalia Axis Powers Volume 2 (Hetalia : Axis Powers) [Paperback]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.  delete character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  16. "ヘタリア〈3〉Axis Powers (BIRZ EXTRA) [コミック]" [Hetalia <3> Axis Powers (BIRZ EXTRA) [Manga]]. Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 9 October 2010.  delete character in |trans_title= at position 1 (help); delete character in |title= at position 1 (help)
  17. "Hetalia Axis Powers Volume 3". Tokyopop. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  18. Script error
  19. "Hetalia Axis Powers Web Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. July 24, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  20. "Korean Protests Call for Hetalia Anime's Cancellation (Update 2)". Anime News Network. January 13, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009. 
  21. "Japan's Kids Station Cancels Its Hetalia Anime Run (Updated)". Anime News Network. January 15, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009. 
  22. "Hetalia Anime's Second Season Green-Lit (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  23. "Hetalia Anime's Third Season Green-Lit (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  24. "Hetalia Hetalia Axis Powers 3rd Season Confirmed". The Banzai! Effect. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  25. "Episode listing for Hetalia: World Series on the official anime website". Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  26. "Hetalia 4th Season Green-lit for September". Anime News Network. 2010-07-30. 
  27. "Hetalia Axis Powers 4th Season Confirmed for September". SGCafe. 2010-07-30. 
  28. "Funimation Gets Hetalia, The Sacred Blacksmith Anime". Anime News Network. 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2009-01-08. 
  29. "Funimation Streams Hetalia, Tokyopop Confirms Manga Plans". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  30. "Funimation Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  31. Hetalia: Axis Powers - Season One - On DVD 9/14/10 - Anime Trailer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M87JgXdBAJc&playnext_from=TL&videos=bqpQfbLxeOs. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  32. "Funimation Adds Hetalia World Series, Strike Witches 2". Anime News Network. 2010-07-30. 
  33. http://www.neomag.co.uk/news.asp?intID=1273
  34. Script error
  35. "Hetalia Axis Powers Film Green-Lit for 2010". Anime News Network. September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009. 
  36. "Funimation Adds Eva 2.0, Hetalia Film, Summer Wars". Anime News Network. 2010-07-30. 

External links

da:Hetalia: Axis Powersko:헤타리아 Axis powers hr:Hetalia: Axis Powers id:Hetalia: Axis Powers it:Hetalia sw:Axis Powers Hetalia lt:Hetalia: Axis Powers hu:Hetalia: Tengelyhatalmakpl:Axis Powers Hetaliaru:Хеталия и страны Оси fi:Axis Powers Hetalia sv:Axis Powers Hetalia th:พลังอักษะ เฮตาเลีย vi:Hetalia: Axis Powers zh:義呆利 Axis Powers

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