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Stereotypes in Hetalia World Series

Sunday 22nd July 2012

Matt Kamen on just how far Hetalia pushes its luck

Hetalia World Series

Hetalia returns for its third season this month, and aside from a title change – goodbye, Axis Powers; welcome to the World Series – it’s business as usual for the cast of Hidekazu Himaruya’s comedy manga turned rapid-fire series of anime shorts. But portraying entire nations as human characters based on their country’s most common stereotypes leads to some edgy and decidedly politically incorrect humour– and here’s our pick of the best of the worst!

Triple Filtered Vodka and Violence! Russians love vodka. How much? The late president of Russia, Boris Yeltsin – famously a fan of the hard liquor himself – had to crack down on illegal home brew variations by doubling tax on it, such was the people’s thirst for the drink. In Hetalia, Russia considers Vodka his fuel, shutting down without a steady supply and frequently drinking others under the table. However, just like the real country has shady chapters in its history, particularly during the Cold War, so too are Russia’s surrounding nations terrified of his darker tempers and penchant for cruelty. A drunken, violent giant – we wouldn’t cross him either!

Everyone Ignores Canada! Although he’s one of the G8 nations and in many of the world council meetings in Hetalia, most of the other countries ignore him, even though his ideas are usually the most sensible. He’s constantly overshadowed by America’s loud and boisterous nature, to the point that England and France – Canada’s parents, after a fashion – forget about him. Of course, this mirrors the real world where, despite Canada’s significantly higher standard of living for its citizens and more peaceable global outlook, the USA is the more vocal and feared North American nation. So spare a thought for Canada – nobody else will!

England Can’t Cook! National pride comes into play here, as Hetalia comes up with the spurious insinuation that British cooking isn’t up to scratch! Every time England cooks for his friends and allies, the end result is some disgusting culinary nightmare, food poisoning, or worse. Sure, we have some strange entries on our collective menu – black pudding being just one of the oddities – but clearly, the fault is on the rest of the world for having such overly sensitive palates, not on England for preparing sub-par food!

Japan is Shy! World Powers introduces a burgeoning friendship between Greece and Japan. When the duo go sightseeing together, Greece shows off his illustrious past, his pantheon of gods, his.... naked Spartan training sessions. Poor Japan is a bit taken aback and becomes very shy as a result, not wanting to discuss nudity or sex. Despite the real-world western perception of Japan as being home to bizarre sexual proclivities and weird, hyper-fetishised pornography, the country has a declining birth rate and over a third of marriages are statistically sexless. It’s nice to see that, along with mocking the rest of the world, Hetalia’s clearly not above teasing its home country’s own prudish behaviour – and for added insult, the English dub gives Japan a thick ‘Engrish’ accent!

Hetalia’s off-colour sense of humour has something to amuse or offend just about everyone – see how raucous it can get in the complete third season, on sale now!

Buy it now


The Transformers - The Movie Limited Edition, 30th Anniversary Steelbook (2-blu-ray Set + Digital Copy)

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The TRANSFORMERS – THE MOVIE 30th Anniversary Edition featuring the newly remastered movie from a new 4K transfer of original film elements.

The AUTOBOTS, led by the heroic OPTIMUS PRIME, prepare to make a daring attempt to retake their planet from the evil forces of MEGATRON and the DECEPTICONS. Unknown to both sides, a menacing force is heading their way – UNICRON. The only hope of stopping UNICRON lies within the Matrix of Leadership and the AUTOBOT who can rise up and use its power to light their darkest hour. Will the AUTOBOTS be able to save their native planet from destruction or will the DECEPTICONS reign supreme?

Bonus Content:
• ‘Til All Are One – A brand-new, comprehensive documentary looking back at TRANSFORMERS: The Movie with members of the cast and crew, including story consultant Flint Dille, cast members Gregg Berger, Neil Ross, Dan Gilvezan, singer/songwriter Stan Bush, composer Vince Dicola and others!
•Audio Commentary with Director Nelson Shin, story consultant Flint Dille and star Susan Blu
• Featurettes
• Animated Storyboards
• Trailers and TV Spots

For the ultimate fans and collectors, The TRANSFORMERS THE MOVIE Limited Edition, 30th Anniversary Steelbook comes with highly collectible Steelbook packaging, 2 Blu-ray set of the newly remastered movie (Both aspect ratios), immersive bonus content including brand-new featurettes, plus many more. This is a must-own collection to every fan's library!        



Fam, the Silver Wing 2

Andrew Osmond finds Emperor Hirohito in Japanese animation
The Sara storyline in Fam the Silver Wing seems to echo a view – many would say a myth – of Hirohito, encouraged not just by the Japanese but also by the victorious Americans when they rebuilt the country. Namely, it was the story that Hirohito was a helpless figurehead, at the mercy of his warmongering government.

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero

Andrew Osmond calls it like he sees it…
Actually, Aesthetica should be called The New Boobfest where Girls Fight Monsters and Lose Panties, From The People Who Brought You Master of Martial Hearts, Queen’s Blade and the Ikki Tousen Franchise. That tells us where we are!

Mysterious Cities of Gold: The Game

Some day we will find...
The game Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is rolling out as a digital download across multiple platforms. This month it becomes available on the Nintendo 3DS and Amazon, following launches on the Wii U, iPad, iPhone and Steam.

Nigeria's Astro Boy

Jasper Sharp on the oddest anime export yet
By the time you’ve read this, the eight 15-minute episodes of Robot Atom will have been aired by the Nigerian broadcast network Channels TV. Based on one of anime’s most iconic creations, Tezuka Productions’ Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu), this Nigerian-Japanese co-production brings a new slant to glocalization

Code Geass vs Death Note

If you liked that, you might like this
At heart, Death Note and Code Geass tell the same story. A teenage Tokyo schoolboy with a towering intellect, railing against the world, is given fantastic powers by a supernatural agency. He finds he can manipulate people like puppets and kill with ease. His power is bound by rules and restrictions, yet still seems godlike.

The World of Hideaki Anno

Evangelion's director in conversation at TIFF
This year's Tokyo Film Festival also included a festival within a festival, an awesomely thorough programme of screenings and live appearances by the maker of Evangelion. It covered Anno’s career from his early amateur films to his live-action, to his work as an animator and anime director.

Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water

Andrew Osmond on an anime classic, available at last in the UK
Hideaki Anno takes on Captain Nemo and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, in an anime series that began as a proposal by Hayao Miyazaki... It's one of the best-love anime ever, and it's only now getting a UK Blu-ray release.


Andrew Osmond on an anime with a distinctive look
Boy meets girl; boy and girl hate each other; boy and girl learn they’re both children of gangster families and must pretend to be lovers to prevent gang war. Naturally there are rival suitors on both sides of the fractious pair, ranging from a sweet girl-next-door type to a pistol-packing assassin.
Manga Entertainment Ltd and Animatsu Entertainment Ltd are proud to announce LeSean Thomas as their special guest of honour at this October's MCM London Comic Con.
Animation producer, director & illustrator, LeSean Thomas was our special guest of honour at last week's MCM London Comic Con. Now, we are extremely happy to share with you the teaser trailer for his upcoming project, Cannon Busters: The Animated Pilot.
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