January 19th, 2009

tadah

Hetalia and Storybook Land

Today has been one of those days of lots of self-pity and being angry with the world for no good reason. I think this means we need to make something or help someone, but right now it's time to update Live Journal. I guess that's making an LJ entry?

Anyway, I also remembered that we discovered Hetalia almost a month ago and I haven't mentioned it by name here yet. We had seen the name before, I think, but it wasn't until one week when we checked the Animate rankings that it really caught our attention. In the most popular "characters goods" rankings, something like Hetalia cookies "England" was ranked number one. This piqued our interest because one, it was cookies, and two, by its name, it would seem that this "Hetalia" thing had characters that represent different nationalities, and we wanted to see what that was all about.

We did some research and found out that the characters didn't only represent nationalities--they were personified countries. And the main character was Italy, and the full title (of at least one of the books of manga) is "Hetalia: Axis Powers." This intrigued us even further, because through college and even after, we kept running into people who knew German for various reasons, and since we know Japanese we always thought it would be fun to find someone who knew Italian and be the Axis Powers. (Athena points out that we did have a friend who knew Italian senior year of college, but she and our German-studying roommate were never really in the same place at the same time.) Not that we wanted to march on Poland or anything, just that we have an odd sense of humor.

So we continued our research and discovered that a lot of the manga is actually available online. (We think it originated as a web comic, but I never have the patience for that kind of kanji.) Apparently it started when the author was reading a world history book to help with their English, and they thought, "Hey, is it just me, or is Italy kinda wimpy?" So they combined the Japanese "hetare (wimp)" with "Itaria (Italy)," and came up with Hetaria (or Hetalia). And so there are a bunch of comics with Italy tormenting Germany by insisting on helping but being completely incompetent, and it's all based on history (though we're not sure to what extent). It kind of (really) has us wondering what an Italian person would think of it, and according to Anime News Network, they're not too happy with it in Korea, but we're actually really amused at the American stereotype.

Anyway. In other news, since lyschan expressed an interest in dioramas, we found our pictures of Storybook Land and Collapse )

And we just got a phone call confirming that there are plans to get together with people tonight, which is very happy! Yay! Celeste and her husband are planning to bring a dessert, and they called to make sure they got something we'll eat. They're so thoughtful♥

Today I'm thankful for thoughtful sisters and brothers-in-law, Storybook Land, Hetalia, having leftover cookies, and getting to know more about the deal with Kouichi.