Hetalia: Axis Powers

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Hetalia: Axis Powers
Hetalia Volume 1 (JPN).png
Japanese cover of the first volume of the published manga
Axis Powers ヘタリア
Genre Comedy, History
Webmanga
Written by Hidekaz Himaruya
Published by Kitayume
Original run July 2006 - present
Manga
Written by Hidekaz Himaruya
Published by Gentosha
Imprint Birz Extra
Magazine Comic Birz (2011 - 2013)
Original run March 28, 2008 - October 30, 2013
Volumes 6
Manga
Hetalia: World☆Stars
Written by Hidekaz Himaruya
Published by Shueisha
Magazine Shonen Jump Plus
Original run September 22, 2014 - present
Volumes 2
Related Media
Tie-in media Hetalia: Axis Powers (anime)
Hetalia: Axis Powers (games)
Related series Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure
Barjona Bombers

Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア Akushisu Pawāzu Hetaria?), also known as Axis Powers Hetalia, is a webmanga by Hidekaz Himaruya that began as a oneshot in July 2006. It later continued as a full series that same year, and in 2008 began being adapted into printed manga tankōbon. In September 2011 the series began being serialized monthly in Comic Birz magazine, which ended in June 2013. In September 2014, the series relaunched in Shonen Jump Plus under the new title of Hetalia: World☆Stars (ヘタリア World☆Stars?). The series has also been adapted into several drama CDs, video games, and anime series.

The series involves anthropomorphic representations of the world's nations, with the main storyline taking place in WWI and WWII, though the majority of the series is comprised of a series of one shot stories set in earlier and more modern eras. The series is named for the main character Italy, with "Hetalia" being a portmanteau of the words hetare (useless) and Italia.

In 2010, the published manga was licensed by Tokyopop in North America and the first two volumes were published in English. Two months before the third volume was scheduled to be released, the company ceased US publishing operations. Remnants of the company later formed a partnership with Right Stuf to publish the series on demand, and the third volume was published in 2012. The following three volumes have also since been published in English through Right Stuf.

Plot

During WWI, Germany, in search of the heir to the empire of Ancient Rome, finds Italy hiding in a crate and takes him as a captive. After living with him to the start of WWII, Italy takes it upon himself to become Germany's ally. The two are soon joined by Japan, though the three wind up having to deal with the arrival of the Allied Forces: America, England, France, China, and Russia.

Characters

Main article: List of Hetalia: Axis Powers characters

The Hetalia series is notable for its large, colorful cast of characters. Each of the characters represents a nation, complete with the stereotypes attributed to it. The original webcomic initially focused on the nations of the Axis Powers vs. the Allied Forces, with the cast quickly expanding to include others.

Most of the earlier cast members have a "human name" in addition to their nation name, though they were never used in the actual series or profiles. They were first given to the characters by Himaruya when a fan requested alternate names to refer to the characters by, out of curisosity as to what their "normal" names would be. It is rumored that this question was asked due to Japanese fans' worries of controversy over pairing the characters with their nation names, but the true motive remains a source of debate.

Despite never being used in canon (aside from select characters' names getting brief mentions in the April Fools' 2008 summary and America's name "Alfred" being mentioned in a throwaway line in one strip), the alternate human names stuck with the characters until early 2008, when Himaruya deleted his old update logs from the previous year. Characters created after 2007, later in that year, or that were not mentioned in the original name listing, do not have any sort of official human name to refer to them by and are only known by their nation names. It remains to be seen if Himaruya will ever do an updated version of the name list, although he seems open to the idea of suggestions and letting fans name certain characters as they please.

Himaruya also gave most of the characters "human ages", as a fan asked how old the characters were supposed to look, but this detail was mostly dropped as well. However, some later-personified nations (such as Iceland) do have an age listed for them in their character designs.

Publication Information

Original Web Version

The Main Storyline for the webcomic was published in 2006. It is comprised of five chapters and two side stories (Japan Omake Comic and Chibitalia), though the fifth chapter remains incomplete. An additional two chapters and side story (Shotalia) were planned but never realized, as the format of the series changed. Portions of the fifth chapter and the Chibitalia storyline were later reprinted in the first volume of the published manga, while content from other chapters were rewritten in the same volume.

Originally designed as a miniseries, the main chapters and the first side story focus on the end of World War I and the build-up to World War II, with the fifth chapter showing the mobilization for the 1939 invasion of Poland. While aspects of the second World War would later inspire some stand-alone comics, this storyline has yet to be directly revisited. The side-story Chibitalia focuses on a young Italy as he is falls under the control of Austria as a result of the Italian Wars.

The original format of the series was revised to encompass a series of unconnected stories which touched on various characters and time periods, as well as cultural differences and obscure historical trivia. A handful of early short strips were collected into groupings referred to as the Comic Diaries, while others were grouped into short series or comprised event comics commemorating holidays such as April Fools' Day and Christmas. Several of these stories have been reprinted or rewritten in the published manga.

A handful of comics no longer exist on the main Kitayume website nor on Bamboo Thicket, whether they have been outright deleted or the files and pages have been hidden. On at least one occasion, a discarded strip was rewritten years later, while others that were previously removed have been relisted on the website.

Dōjinshi and Independent Publishing

With the rise of fandom for the series in Japan, dōjinshi and dōjinshi events were produced for the series. From 2007 through early 2008, Himaruya contributed artwork and comics to anthology compilations of dōjinshi, as well as the brochure for the Get The World Kitayume Only Event.

GetTheWorld.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Get the World!! Kitayume Anthology Hetalian
  • Release Date: September 24, 2007
  • Page Count: 358
  • Introductory Comic
  • "German Simulator" (ドイツ人シミュレータ Doitsujin Shimyurēta?)
  • Various comics and stories by other artists at the Get The World Kitayume Only Event
Premium.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
The World of Hetalia Exhibition Commemoration Anthology: Premium
  • Release Date: February 3, 2008
  • Page Count: 68
  • "I Want to Press Various Things Onto You"
  • Various comics and stories by other artists at the The World of Hetalia Exhibition

In 2014, Himaruya began publishing content for the circle Shimaoka Kenkoh Land, which included content related to Hetalia. In 2016, a bonus booklet released with the Scary Story That Happened at a Countryside High School PC game contained artwork from the The Hetalian Horror Show as well as bonus sketches and notes.

HetaliaCopyBook.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
(No Longer Copy) Book of History Stuff I Can’t Really Draw
  • Publisher: Shimaoka Kenkoh Land
  • Release Date: December 30, 2014
  • Page Count: 24

Hetalia: Axis Powers

A print version of the manga was published by Gentosha Comics from 2008 until 2013, totaling six volumes overall. The first four volumes consisted primarily of republished or redrawn versions of comics from the original webcomic alongside new material. The final two volumes were largely comprised of comics serialized in Comic Birz. All volumes except for the first received a limited edition release, the second through fifth packaged with a bonus booklet and the sixth with a drama CD.

This version marked the change in ordering for the title of the series, using Hetalia: Axis Powers instead of Axis Powers Hetalia.

Hetalia Volume 1 (JPN).png
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 1
  • "Meeting of the World"
  • Track.0 "Prologue"
  • Track.1 "Axis Powers"
  • Track.2 "Power Ranger Allied Forces"
  • Track.3 "America's Cleaning Of The Storage" (アメリカの倉庫掃除 Amerika no sōko sōji?)
  • Track.4 "Chibitalia" (ちびたりあ Chibitaria?)
  • Track.5 "Chaos at Daybreak" (夜明けのカオス Yoake no Kaosu?)
  • Track.6 ":) in the World"
  • Afterword
  • Extra Track "To The Unfinished Tomorrow - Preview" (見果てぬ明日へ―予告編― Mihatenu Ashita e ―Yokokuhen―?)
Hetalia Volume 2 (JPN).jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 2
Hetalia Volume 3 (JPN).jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 3
HetaliaVol4.png
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 4
HetaliaVol5.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 5
HetaliaVol6.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: Axis Powers Volume 6

Hetalia: World☆Stars

A print version of the manga has been published by Shueisha since 2014, and totaling three volumes so far. The volumes are largely comprised of comics serialized in Shonen Jump+, as well as special chapters published in Jump SQ. The first two volumes include a secondary storyline following Nero and other emperors of the Roman Empire.

World Stars Volume 1.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: World☆Stars Volume 1
World Stars Volume 2.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: World☆Stars Volume 2
World Stars Volume 3.jpg
Publication Information
Table of Contents
Hetalia: World☆Stars Volume 3

Media

Gakuen Hetalia

Main articles: Gakuen Hetalia, Gakuen Hetalia Portable (PSP), Gakuen Hetalia DS

An unfinished dating sim project by Himaruya, it takes place in an alternate universe where the cast members are all in their teens and attend the multicultural World Academy W. A short demo was released in January 2007 and Himaruya previewed some of the script on his site in 2008, but the game was never actually completed in its online form.

The game featured the first appearance of Seychelles, as a new transfer student at the school. Italy, China, Japan, France, and England also appeared in the demo, while other characters appeared in concept images for the game (which were later removed from the site).

A commercial PSP version of the game is slated for release in late 2010. The commercial version has considerable differences in plot and characters from the original game, though Seychelles is still the player character.


International Editions

  • The Polish-language release of the manga by Studio JG retains the original APH order for the title. The first volume of the published manga was released on November 13th, 2009, second volume in late-May of 2010, and the third volume is expected to be released in the fall.
This translation is notable for changing Poland's birthdate from July 22nd (the date of foundation of the communist People's Republic Of Poland ) to November 11th (the date that Poland regained independence after WWI).
  • Hungarian editions of volume 1 followed on May 22th, 2010, with the Czech editions in early-mid 2010
  • Volume 1 of the English edition (via Tokyopop) is set to release on September 28th, 2010.
  • Licensed by d/visual taipei, the first international releases of volumes 1 and 2 happened for China and Taiwan, though the Chinese edition of volume 2 is controversial for some changes to the text, such as giving China the birthday of October 1st (foundation of the People's Republic), while changing Taiwan's profile to describe her as a "part of China".

Drama CDs

There have been seven drama CDs released for the series so far:

The first two CDs feature the Axis Powers, Austria, and the Allied Forces, with the absence of China, who wasn't cast at the time. Instead, Lithuania is included in the main cast. China however, did make his debut in Prologue 2 along with Hungary.

Volume 2 featured the cast for the Axis and Allies, as well as the drama CD debuts of more characters: Sweden, Finland, Sealand, Latvia, Estonia, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Interval featured the drama CD debuts of Prussia and Seychelles, while Fantasia provided the speaking debut of Hong Kong, who had not yet had a role in the actual series at the time.

Axis Powers Hetalia: The CD

Main article: Axis Powers Hetalia: The CD

An earlier, independently-produced drama CD is known to have been in existence, though details on it remain somewhat sketchy. It is said to have been produced sometime in 2007, during the same time as Gakuen Hetalia, and was distributed in limited quantities the following year, by mail-order and at a doujinshi event in Osaka.

A select amount of characters made appearances on the CD, including:

  • North Italy (Veneziano)
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • America
  • England
  • France
  • China
  • Russia
  • Austria
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Switzerland
  • Liechtenstein
  • South Italy (Romano)
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Sealand
  • Ancient Rome

The CD also marked the debut of two new characters: Cyprus and his younger brother, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Germania is also mentioned for the first time in the CD, identified as "Germany's father". The seiyū for England and France, who did not reprise their roles in the commercial CD adaptations, had previously voiced the characters in Gakuen.

Anime

Main article: Hetalia: Axis Powers (anime)

An anime adaptation of Axis Powers Hetalia (using the Hetalia: Axis Powers title)  was announced in July 2008, and premiered on January 24th, 2009 on Animate.TV. It was originally scheduled to air on Kids Station, but was pulled from the lineup due to "various circumstances". The first season ran 26 episodes.

On April 15th, 2009, it was announced that a second season of the Hetalia anime was in production, to be released in the summer. Season 2 also ran 26 episodes, and immediately began airing on Animate.TV following the completion of the previous season. A third season was announced on December 10th, 2009, and premiered in March 2010.

Though they had previously passed on licensing the series during the first season, FUNimation Entertainment announced their acquisition of the Hetalia anime on January 8th, 2010. The dub takes considerable liberties with the script and is rated TV-MA.

Theatrical Film

Main article: Hetalia: Axis Powers: Paint it, White

On September 24th, 2009, a movie adaptation of the anime (entitled Paint it, White) was announced on Gentosha Comics' site. It remains to be seen what the movie will cover, though it was stated that it would be an original story featuring the Axis and Allies, along with Sealand, Iceland, Prussia, and other characters. It is 70 minutes long and was released on June 5th, 2010.

External Links

Works by Hidekaz Himaruya
Published Manga Inaka no Nono (2003) · Hetalia: Axis Powers (2008 - 2013) · Chibisan Date (2009 - 2013) · Taishō-Era Romance - Quit It, Demon!! (2013 - 2014) · Hetalia: World☆Stars (2014 - present)
Web Manga Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club (2003 - 2009) · Live A Live fancomic (2004) · Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure (2004 - 2006) · Barjona Bombers (2004 - 2011) · MoeKan (2005 - 2006) · Shimojiro fancomic (2005 - 2006) · Bubutan (2005 - 2008) · Hetalia: Axis Powers (2006 - present)
Games Barjona Bombers (2005 - 2010) · Notosama (2005 - 2009) · The Deserted House (2006) · Hetalia: Axis Powers (2007 - 2012)
Short Stories Okinawa Heart (2006 - 2008)
Anime Hetalia: Axis Powers (2009 - 2014)
Collaborations Scary Story That Happened at a Countryside High School (2014 - present) · Aldnoah.Zero (2014)