say "ciao~" to the spinning,

spinning world of hetalia!

let me explain.

i got into hetalia when i was in middle school. to be exact, at the beginning of 6th grade. it took one episode for me to be obsessed, and it consumed the next three years of my life. if i remember correctly, the reason i looked it up was because a fanfic (which i definitely shouldn't have been reading) made a reference to FRUK, and in the authors note they confirmed that yes, it was a hetalia reference. i wanted to see what the hubbub was about.

after 8th grade, i sort of lost the passion for it. a lot was going on in my personal life- as well as my friend's personal lives- which had soured it for me. also at that time i was realizing that some of the jokes are... a little much. i hold that it isn't overall as bad as everyone thinks, but there's a reason everyone avoids it, and i don't blame anyone for that. i saw references to it every now and then, people joking about the problematic country anime, and i laughed, and i moved on. in the past year though, i started... thinking about it more. really, not even the past year. the past two months, as of november 2022.

it started with a good friend of mine making a joke that essentially amounted to "god, i wish i was immortal," and like any totally normal person would, i thought of the hetalia episode where the french people think france's life must suck since he's immortal. a few days later, i saw the movie on sale at a used book store for three dollars. at such a low price, i figured it'd be funny to buy and show it to my friends, and we'd get a kick out of it, and then i'd never actually watch it again. that night, when i'm showing it to my friends, most of them- except for one- reveal that they'd never seen hetalia.

which simply would not stand.

i'm sure you can guess what happened from here- my friends and i all hopped on a discord call to rewatch a few of the first episodes and the entirety of beautiful world (seriously, we watched all of beautiful world that night) and my autism latched onto it hardcore. i haven't stopped thinking about it since.

i can't really deny that hetalia has been a huge part of my life. it was all i talked about in middle school, like, i was extremely annoying about it. i met a lot of really good friends through it, and as stupid as it is, the silly country dudes got me through a lot of shit parts of my life. and the songs still slap. you can't pretend they don't. it might be heavily flawed but it's MY heavily flawed piece of media i treasured when i was too young to understand what was bad about it.