As of January 8, 2010, the anime series’ international distribution is being handled by Funimation. The series was later adapted into drama CDs, and an anime series created by Studio Deen has also begun streaming online.
An anime adaptation of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on July 24, 2008. It is directed by Bob Shirohata (Gravitation, Diamond Daydreams) and is animated by Studio Deen. It was originally scheduled for broadcast on Kids Station on January 24, 2009 but was later canceled. The cancellation only affected the Kids Stations broadcasts; plans to make the series available through mobile phone and Internet streaming were not affected. The controversies arose when numerous Korean protesters called for the cancellation of the series, claiming that the personified character of Korea was an insulting representation of Koreans. Kids Station claimed that the Korea character does not appear in the anime and that it was “unaware of the criticism in Korea,” and cited “various circumstances” as being behind the decision to cancel its airing of the anime, but they did not provide further information as to the nature of these circumstances. A second 26-episode season of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on April 16, 2009, and a third was announced on December 10, 2009. As of March 7, 2010, the title of the anime has been changed to Hetalia: World Series. A fourth season had been announced for Hetalia and premiered on September 10, 2010. This season featured the new characters Denmark and Norway.
On January 8, 2010, Funimation announced it had acquired the rights to release the first and second seasons of Hetalia in the United States and Canada. Funimation later began streaming Hetalia on their website, Hulu, and YouTube with Japanese audio and English subtitles and announced that characters would have accents in the English dub. Via Twitter, Funimation clarified that the series was rated TV-MA due to “some instances of profanity, crude humor and adult situations”, and that they base ratings on entire series rather than individual episodes. The first DVD was released on September 14, 2010. Funimation have announced at Otakon 2010, that they have the license the Hetalia: World Series and will simulcast the episodes and release them on DVD in 2011. In the UK, the series will be distributed by Manga Entertainment.
Certain Animate stores will carry Hetalia-themed Purikura booths for a limited time, with a total of 10 anime sticker options.
The series has made its North American television debut on December 23, 2010 on the Funimation Channel.
The fifth season of Hetalia, titled Hetalia: The Beautiful World, was announced in the September 2012 edition of Comic Birz. It was announced that it would be produced by a new staff and utilize a new illustrative style. Romania also appeared as a new character. On June 21, 2013, Hetalia: The Beautiful World concluded. It was released in an English dubbed version on July 22, 2014 by Funimation.
A sixth season of Hetalia, titled Hetalia: The World Twinkle, was announced in the January 2015 edition of Comic Birz. It began airing in July 2015 and concluded in October 2015. It was released with an English dub on November 8, 2016 by Funimation.
A feature-length animated film adaptation was announced on September 23, 2009, and was released on June 5, 2010. The film is entitled Paint it, White! and the eight main characters as well as supporting characters such as Liechtenstein, Sealand, Prussia, Finland, Cuba, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Romano, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, Poland, Canada, Iceland, Spain and Baltics are set to appear in the film – the main plot of the movie involves a vast majority of characters being transformed into grey-white faceless aliens called Pictonians. At Otakon 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced the license of the film. The English dubbed version made its premiere at the Anime Weekend Atlanta convention, taking place from September 30 to October 2, 2011. It was released on November 22, 2011, and each DVD came with a green bandana as a bonus.
The Allied Powers consist primarily of the characters America, England, France, Russia, Canada, and China. These characters are often depicted as comically failing to reach consensus in their war meetings. The representations of countries that were also part of the historical Allies of World War Two make additional appearances.
is an energetic young man. In the series, he was found by France and England (at first) before France left him in England’s care after America chose the latter over the former, then later grows distant from him which eventually leads to him fighting for his independence.
America is very similar in appearance to his brother, Canada, who is often mistaken for America. America has blond hair, starry blue eyes, glasses representing Texas, and a noticeable cowlick representing Nantucket. In the World War II sections of the anime and manga, America wears an American Army Air Force Officer uniform, and a vintage leather flight jacket. He is the self-proclaimed leader of the Allied Forces, and his catchphrase is “I’m the hero!”
Although his ideas for solving international problems are often absurd, and he is usually oblivious to the opinions of others, it has been stated that he acts this way purposely. America’s ideas and inventions are grand, but rarely go anywhere. He is often portrayed as loud, obnoxious, egotistical, immature, childlike and interfering with other characters’ businesses with little regard for whom his actions affect. Yet despite his misgivings, he is shown to be a kind-hearted person who cares deeply for his friends. He is also shown to be extremely intelligent in several fields.
He is a brave adventurer and natural explorer, wanting to try things no one has ever done before, and he usually spends his free time either trying new foods, being around friends, or making movies and has a fascination with superheroes which he aspires to be himself. He has a prominent case of phasmophobia, which is ironic considering his friendly acquaintance with an alien named Tony, who lives in his house.
America is frequently seen clutching a hamburger or eating while speaking, yet he is self-conscious of his unhealthy habits and tries several yet ineffective diets to stay healthy. He also has uncanny superhuman strength, being able to lift objects several times his size.
In the anime series, his voice actor is Katsuyuki Konishi in Japanese and Eric Vale in English, both of whom also voice Canada. As a child, America’s voice actress is Ai Iwamura in Japanese and Luci Christian in English.
More commonly known as England or Britain is the personification of England and acting representation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He is depicted as an irritable man with big, bushy eyebrows drawn with five lines. While before he was a zealous privateer, 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 (in)ability to perform magic curses on his enemies.
He is usually recognized for his rather large eyebrows, blond hair (more in a punk-like style), green eyes, and his green Royal Artillery Officer’s uniform. In the English release of the anime, when asked why they opted to choose the name “Britain” over “England”, Funimation explained that it was a request from the Japanese studio. Tokyopop, the English publisher of the manga, refers to him as “England.”
Britain is most antagonistic towards France, with whom he shares a long rivalry, and has strong mixed feelings towards America, his former charge.
In one strip he notes that he has an older brother named Scotland. Himaruya has confirmed that England represents both the United Kingdom and England, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are his siblings. Among England’s other ‘relations’ are Sealand, a micronation whom England considers to be an annoying little brother due to his continued attempts to get other countries to recognize him as an independent country.
England’s voice actor is Noriaki Sugiyama, and his English voice actor was Scott Freeman but due to some legal issues, Funimation cut off all ties with him. He was replaced by Taliesin Jaffe in The World Twinkle.
is an overly-romantic, carefree man. In the series, he is shown to have a long-held rivalry with England, whom he raised. He makes sexual passes at many characters. France explains away his long history of military defeats as a joke from God, but he believes he is gifted with his “charms” and his supreme cooking skills. He regards himself as the eldest brother among the European nations and is referred to as such by some of them, though he calls Spain his elder brother in turn. Most of the time he does not bother remembering to speak English, instead using French, the “Language of Love”. He has long blond hair, clear blue eyes, and usually wears a purple cathedral cloak.
In the anime series, he is voiced by Masaya Onosaka in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English.
previously known as The Soviet Union, is the tallest of all the nations, and has a thick muscular body. He has wavy silver hair, purple eyes, a large nose, wears a thick winter coat and a silk scarf. Russia has a seemingly kind demeanor, but has suffered mental trauma following the strain of his bloody history, and as a result he has the innocence and cruelty of a child; sometimes he casts an aura of pure evil around him whenever such malicious thoughts enter his mind. He often terrifies the other countries without even trying, especially when he was the Soviet Union. He would abuse the Baltics and still stalks them in the modern day, especially Lithuania. Occasionally, he stalks China, while in a panda costume; and he holds a subtle rivalry with the Western nations, especially America. His primary target of resentment is General Winter, because despite using the cold to his advantage in war, he is also attacked by him every year. Russia has also been known to want Lithuania and other countries to become one with him. Russia also has two sisters: his older sister, Ukraine and his younger sister, Belarus. He becomes gloomy and depressed when either of them are on his mind because Ukraine left him to try to make friends in the EU and Belarus, is obsessed with the idea of forcing him to marry her. She seems to be the only other country which Russia fears. Russia happily promises that eventually “all will become one with Russia”. He dreams of living in a warm place surrounded by sunflowers, and vodka is his fuel. He says “kolkolkol” to threaten his subordinates when he is angered. Russia is often seen carrying a metal faucet pipe.
In the anime series, he is voiced by Yasuhiro Takato in Japanese and Jerry Jewell in English.
is the oldest nation in the Allies, being depicted as immortal as well as being over four (or five) thousand years old, and is regarded as the eldest sibling among the East Asian nations. He is the big brother of Japan and often depicted with a panda. His boss was introduced as a green Chinese dragon with an intimidating appearance. During the fight between the Axis and Allies, he fights Germany and Japan with a wok and ladle, which became his weapon of choice which also serves as a stereotype that China serves good food. He is a big fan of Hello Kitty and tends to end his sentences with the suffix -aru, a Japanese racist stereotype of how Chinese people speak. However, he replaces the customary -aru with the suffix -ahen, which means opium, when speaking to England, as a reference to the Opium Wars. He is kind of disturbed by and distrustful of Russia, reflecting Tsarist Russia invaded China and occupied Vladivostock before.(Since it’s a comic mainly talking about stories until WW2, it doesn’t matter with the Russia-China Alliance after all.)
In the anime series, he is voiced by Yuki Kaida (who also voices for Taiwan) in Japanese and Clarine Harp in English.