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 decided to post them.
Keep in mind, our photography skills are less than spectacular.
It was a mystery to us to learn that some people had been to Disneyland and didn't know about Storybook Land, because that's practically all we ever remembered, especially because the idea of going inside Monstro's mouth was really really funny (especially because we knew you came out into a happy land on the other side instead of getting eaten).
Here are the three little pigs' houses:
Agrabah from a distance:
Agrabah up close:
With Casey, Jr. (the train from Dumbo and also a ride at Disneyland) in the background.
Inside the Cave of Wonders:
It used to be the Dwarves' diamond mine, but you can't fight popularity, I guess.
You're just going to have to trust us that it's there. It blends into the sky because "it's all so magical♪"
Snow White's house, hidden behind a little tree:
Part of Prince Eric's castle:
And another try:
Apparently we flew past Peter Pan's statue in London park so fast that it's all a blur!
Eh heh heh...
The village where Pinocchio lives:
Incidentally, those plants are all real.
How many people remember the cartoon where the giant sleeps under a big quilt? This is that exact quilt (made up of desert plants):
Last time we went on it, the tour guide mentioned the windmills, and the other people on the boat with us started looking at each other like, "What's this from?" and we were sad. This cartoon used to be on the Disney Channel all the time. Or maybe it was just part of Mickey's Halloween Treat for some reason. Either way, we saw it a bunch of times, and it scared us. I don't know if it scared us because we've always been afraid of big storms, or if we've always been afraid of big storms because this cartoon scared us.
Either way, this is the old mill minus the storm.
Toad Hall with its seven chimneys. For some reason we always thought that was pretty funny, too.
And behind the waterfall is King Triton's palace:
Before The Little Mermaid came out, and even a long while after (they didn't add the Little Mermaid stuff until after they added the Agrabah stuff (incidentally, they put Agrabah where Toad Hall used to be)), it was just a plain waterfall to hide the place they stored all the ride vehicles. The tour guides would point it out and say that they call that place Never Never Land, because they never never take us there. We thought that was really funny, too.
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.