hetalia a visit to the world
By now most folk know that visit my site that I like various forms of entertainment. This is an homage to one that caught my eye, thru a friend who recommended it to me via another writing ste. This particular web comic struck me as very over the top, highly politically incorrect, but hilarious. The japanese creator of this web comic, Hidekazu Hemaruya, must have some kind of poly sci or history degree because his view of world history rings thru this comic like a freight train and takes the viewer into his world with laughter, amazement, and an appreciation of that history. Let me explain... Hetalia means Incompetent Italy. The characters are actual representatives of the countries of the world. Instead of presenting a historical time line, the comic falls in and out of the time. The first of the series is called Hetalia: Axis Powers.
The viewer is drawn to the Roman Empire, represented by a very large muscular proud man who becomes grandpa to Northern Italy, a sweet cowardly, pasta loving, girl crazy, young man, and Southern Italy, a very live for today, for tomorrow we die, kinda a guy. The Holy Roman Empire also makes for a great laugh, as he sits like the vatican and wants the two Italy personas to join with him. Then you have the rest of the AXIS powers. Germany, big brother to the Italy, by the book, strong guy and Japan introverted, admires Germany for his efficiency and Italy for his artwork.
Then the Allies arrive. America, young, idealistic, with strange ideas that make the other older countries cringe, struggles to become the leader of the group which leads to chaos and hurt feelings.
England dressed like a conservative soul, follows his little brother America, fights with his arch rival France, and uses his polite ways to make the Allies get along.
France is all about love... and he loves to make England mad. He wants Italy for his pasta and his artwork.
China, the oldest of the group, wants everyone to eat together and become friends.
Russia: Loves China, although is rejected... Believes that General Winter will save them.
Canada: Brother to England and America, is mistaken for America by the others and almost appears ghostlike as no one can see him.
Remember these characters/countries are representations of the author's world view... and the view is Japanese. So this is a warning, do not take offense if your country has flaws. It actually is rather enlightening to see ourselves thru others' eyes. These comics are very fast paced. I had to pause it several times just to read the side comments as well as the subtitles. The music can get on ones nerves and be distracting. The jokes sometimes are hard to get just because of the background history that the viewer may not have. There is also a section called Chibitalia about when the characters were younger and cute. For older folks, who might understand this next reference, it is likened by the old Laugh In tv series, or Hee Haw series, vinettes that go by so fast you might not get the joke. Stay with it though, because it seems to be well worth the trip. I will always remember how America has to clean his storage shed... He keeps putting it off and putting it off. And when he finally gathers his courage, he finds his past... not so pretty. The scenes where France and England are fighting over America in his infancy are also amazingly clear and brings one pause, that save for one moment in history, Americans could have become French based, not english.
This web comic has become a manga, an anime and even a movie. The first book topped the manga best seller list in October, 2010. It has led it's satirical ways in the world of Cospay, to which my daughter, the next Ukraine, will be protraying at a convention coming up. It is about fun, and finding the humor and understanding in this world of chaos and misunderstanding.