Hetalia: positive or negative portrayal of nations?

Analyze whether the anime series Hetalia is a fun (sometimes educational) portrayal of nations around the world for anyone to watch, or a racist portrayal of countries’ worst stereotypes and prejudices while trivializing World War II, Hetalia’s main setting.

Specifically, this topic focuses on the idea of possible stereotypes, discrimination, and racism in general from Hetalia (whether from the original Japanese version or the English dub).

  • I believe that the majority of the perspective is coming from Japanese culture, no? Will you talk about Japanese culture and their views on the world, like China and America? Or are you mostly focusing on the idea of stereotypes, discrimination, and racism in general? – arielsilkett 8 years ago
  • Agree with Arielsilkett, it's mostly Japanese cultural perspective, to the point of other countries making jokes about the minutia of the japanese language in the subbed, which is taken out of the dubbed because it doesn't translate. – nsiegel 8 years ago
  • While I do agree with the two previous about how Hetalia is from the point of view of a Japanese man, I think it would actually be interesting to explore what Hetalia doesn't have. Yes, many of the stereotypes in Hetalia could most definitely seem racist (especially the portrayal of the Eastern Europeans), but I think it would be interesting to explore Hetalia from what could have been done with the plot and why. World history is really dark, especially when speaking of wars. The fact that Hetalia has many comic strips that revolve around WW2 and yet it still remains a slice of life. So I actually think you should delve more into the portrayal of the nations history. You mentioned the trivialisation of WW2, but there could be a lot more to that as well. Also think about how the nations supposedly represent the nations, but they reflect MODERN stereotypes. Italy was a fascist nation in WW2, so wouldn't Italy's behaviour reflect that? I don't judge Hetalia because of this, it's fine at what it does, I just think it might be interesting to think about what hetalia could have been if it were a more accurate portrayal of history. Interesting idea! You're headed on the right track! – QueenandLeonhardt 8 years ago
  • Hey, it's not like Western cartoons haven't portrayed races regularly. Hetalia probably does both, but honestly I doubt anyone really cares. The only country I felt was portrayed negatively was Ukraine, and that's because she was "endowed" and little else. I feel Hetalia puts a new spin on countries and, honestly, there wasn't really anything that offensive apart from some unnecessary sexual jokes. – OkaNaimo0819 4 years ago

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