Hetalia, as you may have already guessed, is an extremely popular Japanese anime with all the characters as personifications of countries that deal with political and historic events as well as more general cultural comparisons, but it’s much more whimsical than that. Hetalia started out as a web comic, and once it gained popularity, it later adapted as a manga and an anime series, all written by Hidekaz Himaruya.
There isn’t just a few main characters, there are actually about 10 characters that can be considered to be the main roles, it just depends on the season. “Hetalia: Axis Powers” is the first season of the anime, and the main characters are correspondent to the title. Italy, Germany, and Japan; the Axis trio; are the three main characters of this season, and their relationships are quite comical. The main setting for the first season is during World War 1, but the show portrays the events in a much more light-hearted and comical way, which I at first didn’t deem possible.
North Italy, the primary protagonist and the title character, is a bright, energetic and sweet young man. He is depicted at various points in the story as the grandson and successor of the powerful but deceased Roman Empire (known as Grandpa Rome), and is recognized as the weakest character in the series who is a carefree and cowardly soldier that relies on Germany to resolve issues. His artistry and extreme love of pasta and pizza are references to Italian cuisine. His catchphrase seems to be “ne ne papa”, which is kind of creepy. Germany is the exact opposite of Italy, he is depicted as a hard-working, efficient, bureaucratic, and the designated “serious” character of the series. In the series, Germany is the leader of the Axis Powers, and takes responsibility for the training of Italy and Japan. Due to his hard training and regulated life, he is depicted as an extremely muscular man who won’t back down from a fight. Japan is a reclusive, painfully polite, and hard-working character that spent a majority of his life in isolation, so he has major difficulty in the matters of relationships, so it’s no surprise as to why he teamed up with Italy and Germany.
The remainder of the seasons, all 6 of them, focus on many other characters as well as the Axis trio. The Allies take the spotlight in almost every other season, alongside the Nordics. The Allies include America, England, France, Russia, China, and the usually forgotten Canada (a common joke in Hetalia is that Canada is constantly forgotten by all the others countries, even by his own brother, America.) America is the personification of The United States of America, and takes the role as leader in the Allies. America is a very hyper and headstrong character, but he is also an incredibly powerful and adventurous man who has a very strong and fixed sense of justice. America is frequently depicted eating hamburgers and milkshakes, perpetuating a common American stereotype. England, also known as the United Kingdom, UK, or Britain within Hetalia, is depicted as an irritable young man with big, bushy eyebrows, and is secretly a total punk. A former pirate, he is now a cynical and sharp-tongued gentleman. Some of his notable character traits include his terrible cooking skills, inability to hold his liquor, foul mouth, ability to see supernatural creatures, and ability to perform magic curses on his enemies. Britain is most antagonistic towards France, with whom he shares a long rivalry, and has mixed feelings towards America, depending on his mood. France is a romantic and carefree man, and he is considerably weak when it comes to war. Russia is a tall man whoat first appears to be innocent and sweet, but is mentally cracked from the strain of his bloody history. He adores vodka and sunflowers. China is one of the oldest nations, depicted as nigh-immortal and over four thousand years old (which makes him the oldest living character in the series). China also has a disturbing obsession with cute things such as Hello Kitty, but his character is probably the wisest when it comes down to it.
Hetalia is my main source of historical knowledge and was my main aid when it came to passing Aakre’s class, but I probably shouldn’t be too proud of that. I definetly recommend watching this show, it’s one of the funniest animes out there, as long as you can handle the stereotypes.