Apr. 12th, 2010

basilmemories: (A man of wealth and taste.)
Quick question, do you hate Hetalia? If you answered no, you don’t have to read this thing, if you do, keep reading.
Do you have very strong feelings about the series based on racial issues? If so, read on.
Have you read the series? If not, keep going.
Do you judge others entirely based on your opinions that you have gleaned from a incomplete viewing/reading of the material and/or the opinions of others? Great! Please give this thing a read.

This is a true story. I have a dear friend, a very, very dear friend whom I consider an intelligent person. She has a good grasp of history, tends to be a voice of reason when it comes to wank, and in general acts like the nice, sane person you want in your fandom. ...But get her around Hetalia and she becomes an uncompromising, stubborn person that is willing to shout “Oh look, racism!” at the smallest piece of the series that catches her eye. Pictures in magazines, merch, fandom secret posts, you name it, she’ll react to it and I just hope to god that I’m not around when it happens.

So it’s understandable that I was saying “oh FUCK” when the story broke about the asshats doing the Nazi salute. I don’t care where or when it went down. What matters is that they did it at all. No, it’s not fucking cool, and even if I begrudgingly admit that even something like that is none of my business if it’s done in a private setting, it doesn’t fly if it’s done in public. That “apology” doesn’t fly either, there’s too much of her pinning herself to a cross and expecting it to work. The only good thing is that I think some of the fandom that were starting to go down the bugfuck crazy road (as what happens in all large fandoms), have stepped back and looked more carefully at their past actions. People are being more sensitive about the cultures represented in the series, and that’s good, but it shouldn’t have happened at all. But in the middle of me cursing a blue streak at those cosplayers, another thought crossed my mind.

“Oh son of a doubleplusfucked bitch. My friend is going to hear about it. Fuck me with a rusty pike, this isn’t going to be fun.”

And she did. For the most part I tried to keep it to “yeah. Fandom was flipping their shit about it.” But the conversation still was headache-inducing because of a double-standard. You see, she hasn’t seen the series, or at least she hasn’t seen much of it. She doesn’t WANT to see more of the series because essentially she said “I could tell how it was going to end up”. Now that’s fine, I’ve bailed on series because I didn’t like it. I’ve even had some strong opinions on those series even, but I understand that I don’t have the complete view of those series. I can say “man X show portrays women badly” but when someone brings up proof that, no, it doesn’t, I’ll admit that my view is based on incomplete knowledge. She... really doesn’t do that when it comes to Hetalia.

In a number of cases, this seems to be the common mentality among people who hate the series. So then the question is for the average Hetalia fan, how do you have a meaningful discussion with someone who disagrees with the series? The question for the person who disagrees with the series is, how do I get my facts straight without watching the canon? Ideally my comment for the latter is “just watch/read it and come to your own conclusions, or admit that you might not be right” but that hasn’t gotten me anywhere with my friend and it probably wont get the average Hetalia fan anywhere with someone who thinks that the show is inherently racist.

So here is an essay on what is problematic, what some people think is problematic, and the parts you may have missed.

Common Assumptions  )

The flaws  )

In Conclusion  )

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