Shame of the otaku? I don’t watch much anime. I prefer manga, for much the same reason I like reading books instead of watching their movie versions. Manga is more in depth, richer in detail – artwise as well as backstory – and it’s usually a lot darker. Perfect examples are Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura (which they edited out entire chunks of when they brought it to America because OMG A LOVING GAY COUPLE WILL WARP KIDS) and even Blood+. That last may be hard to believe but it’s true.
However, it means I sometimes miss out on the hilarious things in life. Like Hetalia.
In very simple terms, Hetalia: Axis Powers, is a webcomic that became manga that became anime wherein the countries are personified as cute guys who are (often) incredibly offensive stereotypes of their respective countries. In the picture above, I’m pretty sure you can guess that the little guy with the black hair is Japan and the tall guy with the blonde hair is Germany. The one in the middle is Italy, for whom the series is partially named. “Hetalia” apparently is a mix of hetare and Italia, which ends up being something along the lines of “useless Italy.”
It starts off in World War I, but just enough to get started on the relationship between Italy and Germany. Then WWII happens, the Tripartite Pact happens and the series goes from there. Disturbingly enough, there are actual history lessons up in this business.
And here we have the Allies! They have little flags that tell you who they are, but once you start watching the show you’d know who they are quickly. Especially if you’re watching the dub on Netflix which has some of the cheesiest accents ever. The sub is hard to watch, though, because everything goes so fast you have to spend all your time reading the subtitles so you end up having to watch every episode twice. OH WELL.
Of course, you couldn’t have a show full of guys without me selecting two for my filthy otaku dreams. I’m going to admit that I’ve got a major crush on America, even though he’s a completely manic goofball who is obsessed with food (oh god I’ve got a crush on myself again) and his little brother Canada who is much quieter, and I’m also very fond of Greece because he likes kitties. Russia’s totally yandere, which I love, but it’s hard to pick because that freaking show is a garden of handsome men.
As for the show itself, the thing is bizarre, absurd, offensive and absolutely fucking hilarious. There’s an entire song that Italy sings to Germany about how great he is, with passages that say “your food isn’t nasty like England’s,” “please don’t come to my house in large groups, German tourists are terrifying,” and more. Not to mention Italy talking about miniaturizing Japan’s…ahem…submarine and the chibi show in the middle called Chibitalia about when the countries were just babies. The ending song is bizarre and way too catchy, and the colors/animation make me wonder when exactly I took drugs and stepped onto the set of Laugh-In.
Still, I cannot stop watching it. I want to buy the DVDs and the adorable figurines. I want to find the out of print manga. In short, I’m a Hetaliaddict. My only regret is that I didn’t know about it sooner, so I could watch the pretty, pretty men parade around in their uniforms. Oh yes. UNIFORMS.
On a completely non-otaku note, The Band is having a Mother’s Day event. Because none of us are the Hallmark type, we decided we’re putting a different spin on our posts; we’re talking about the other side of mothering. Why we hate Mother’s Day, our issues with our mothers, our insecurities as mothers, infertility, narcissism and being an Adult Child of an Alcoholic. Click the button above (because it’s fancy! because I made it!) to come by and read our stories, they’ll be going up all weekend!
Oh yes! Speaking of other countries, I got TWO Postcrossing cards yesterday! One from Finland and one from Wisconsin. The crazy thing about the one from Wisconsin is it’s from the Mayor of their city. They’re up in my gallery now if you want to see them.