With the apparent starting resergence of some hetalia stuff during quarentine, I feel like I wanna say some stuff and get some opinions out there
I feel like a big distinction in how hetalia fans act is in what part of the show they find funny
Hear me out here
Like,, this is an anime, or manga depending on which your looking at, based around all nation’s personified as their stereotypes
And you gotta be mindful when you’re watching
The two sides to this, I think, is based on if you find the stereo types funny, or the comedy
And while it’s fine to find both funny, I think that makes a big difference if you’re not mindful about it
Let me explain
I feel like a majority of the older hetalia fans from back in like 2009, that were known as more of the, for lack of better words, ‘cringey-ier'part of the fandom and are more well known, found the stereotype part funny
For those that don’t know, think of like the current country humans fandom. A bunch of like 13 year olds who recently found this kind of content, given free reign of extremely exaggerated stereotypes set in a questionable time period? Yeah
They found the stereo types funny, because they were riduculious of course I’d hope, and since the Hetalia fandom reached honestly decent amount of countries they could laugh at themselves or their friends about their countries stereo types and how they related to them, but they didn’t really have the tack to really like, handle them properly and it ended up with some really REALLY, messy content
(Which was not helped by whatever the first few seasons were, no storyline, they weren’t in cronological order, and the setting of the first seasons? Really big emphasis on that part. Even though they didn’t touch on any of actual stuff going at the time, the axis and allies during ww2?? Really?? I mean I guess because all the countries would have a reason to be around eachother at that time but like, not a great choice not gonna lie my dude, especially with the stereo type used for Germany)
But that stuff, in my opinion, isn’t what makes hetalia funny
If you look back on the well known jokes or more recent seasons, (aside from Italy saying ‘pasta’ in various voices like team rocket blasting away and whatever the hell was up with the doitsu thing), it isn’t the stereo types that were being laughed at
It seemed like the stereo types just mostly act as a base line for character personality, since they really don’t have much time to develop considering the episodes are only 5 minutes long, and you can also find more personality building in the mangas from what I know of them
Because the stereo types werent the main focus of most of the jokes in newer seasons or newer fans found funny
What I mean is:
•It’s stuff like Germany finding Italy hiding in a tomato shipping crate and him panicing and saying the first thing that comes to mind and yelling that he’s a tomato fairy
•It’s America gently tapping a boiled egg on the side of Englands head trying to crack it while he monologues and America just laughs
•It’s Germany trying to pretend he’s an America soldier when him and Prussia get caught snooping in one of the tents, and Prussia hiding behind a truck trying desperately not to burst into historical laughter at his usual serious 'little brother’ puts on a cliche attempt at an America accent with a huge smile and up-beat voice
•It’s young Denmark going 'Dont worry about it Norway there’s no way Sweden can get to us, the I’ve is frozen!“ And Sweden immediately approach by walking across the ice looking like a demon out of hell leading to the immediate 'oh fuck’ moment, and the sarcastic narrator explaining a simplified actual event that coraspondeds to this
•It’s Canada going to talk to America and him just spinning around holding a chainsaw and Canada nopeing out of there while America is none the wiser to why his 'brother’ just dipped
•It’s the voice Turkey says “you mothertrucker” in, you know the one
•It’s Romano getting fucking YEETED by a bull and Spain just going 'ah’
•Its Greece trying to get Japan to pet his belly after putting on a pair of cat ears and Japan going 'you need therapy’
•'I could make your gums bleed” “No thank you”
•"Am I Catholic or am I prodistant?? God I don’t know!“
•Romano’s absolutely unhinged insults
•Japan slapping the kiss Russia just blows out into the world like fuck no
That!! That’s what’s funny!! Not the over exaggerated stereotype part, for the most part at least, its the comedy and timing that’s funny, though there are other jokes of course that do use that for the back bone, but insulting each other isn’t really the base for the humor
In the show, theres also stuff like:
•America freestyle dancing around to a song on a TV commercial
•Japan this dork just trying his best to figure out frances culture while he’s visiting him so he copies whatever France does for a bit, he was doing his best it was great
•Japan hiding in his futon like a burrito while Netherlands trys to get him to socialize
•America trying to go outside in swim trucks and a floaty on the first day of spring because winter’s finally over!! But it’s still snowing!! And being like!! This is bullshit come on!! That’s such a mooD
•Greece is a sweet heart who has a litteral army of cats and he WILL nap anywhere at any given moment, an icon
•The absolutely animation train wreck that is Italy dancing in the end sequence
•Germany has basically adopted Italy at this point I really don’t know what else to say there, the grumpy one is soft for the sunshine one, with Japan as the buffer
•Germany was willing to marry Italy on Valentine’s day because he missunderstood him and didn’t want him to be upset! He made him a custom ring!!
•Hey remember that time England showed up at Germany’s door and tried to give him apology flowers
•And China literally smacking his head into a wall because, oh my god, you dumb bitches
And finally things like:
•Frances reaction when he saw the tourist who was implied to be like a Joan of Arc reincarnation! He looked shocked, the scrutiny of what, realization, and an a softer acceptance and he apologizes to her- He gave her a tour around paris and showed her the Joan of Arc statue and told her the history and like!! He got all wistful and sad and said told her how amazing Joan of Arc was, it hurt but it was good
•And listen, the American revolution episodes?? America being like dude I’m done I’ve gotta go and their stand off, leaving a destroyed england who raised him in the rain crying even though he knew it was for the best oh my god
•The Davey episode!! Davey growing older while America stayed the same because he was immortal and watching his childhood best friend get older just,, and leaving him forget-me-nots?? Excuse me??
There’s!! A lot wrong with hetalia!! Obviously
Bad setting when they started off and mostly European countries!(Include more south of the equator places you cowards, Australia and NZ dont count) No storyline and not great exacution.
But! There’s parts that are enjoyable too!
And it’s definitely gotten seemingly a bit better as the seasons go on, at least as far as more countries and some actual story thats in order for once, and it’s not in a questionable time period, so great improvement there at least!
It can be fun, to relate to these stereotypes and also grow fonder of the actual people the nations are!
(Which is why I’m here at least, America is my boy and he has a wisdom of -2 but I love him.)
But main idea here, it’s important which parts you intake the content for and can differentiate what’s appropriate and what’s not.
I’ve seen so many well written stories and gorgeous art, with different cultures and laungues, that got burried behind the mess of 'oh ho funny stereotypes’! Which to an extent is fine as long as you know what’s appropriate to joke about and where to draw line of course, and cool it if someone says hey that’s not cool to joke about, we’re here to have fun after all
It’s made a lot of links for a lot of different people to liking history and wanting to learn about other places!
Just, be mindful is all I’m asking here, that was the mistake last time and even though I wasn’t there for it I don’t want that to repeat when it could be so much better!
Your experience of your media is your own but you gotta know what’s what and take that into account when making content.
And with possible new people I felt like I should put that out there, because there’s a lot of mess tied to the Hetalia fandom, not even touching on the usual mess that is in the majority of anime fandoms, including this one
Just be mindful! The source material isn’t perfect (to put it lightly) so tred respectfully, but have fun too! Even if you personally find your countries depiction funny because of how ridiculous it is, someone else might not, so respect them on that, and that especially goes for the other countries too.
It’s everyone equally poking fun at eachother but respect if someone says they don’t vibe with that.
And please don’t take stereotypes seriously, for the love of god, I keep calling them ridiculous for a reason I don’t know why you would but please don’t treat actual people from other countries like their stereotypes types seriously and make jokes about it, that’s just, no?? What?? Don’t,, don’t do that what
Take care you guys!