Hetalia: Axis Powers (Axis Powers ヘタリア Akushisu Pawāzu Hetaria?) is a Japanese webcomic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by Hidekaz Himaruya (日丸屋秀和 Himaruya Hidekazu). The series' main presentation is as an often over-the-top allegory of political and historic events as well as more general cultural comparisons. Characters are personifications of countries, regions such as Hong Kong, and micronations such as the Principality of Sealand, with little reference to other national personifications such as Uncle Sam or John Bull. Both positive and negative cultural stereotypes form part of each character's personality.
The character roster is large and far from complete, but the main cast could be said to be the countries which made up the Axis powers and Allies of World War II - namely Italy (North Italy in particular), Germany, Japan, United States, England, France, Russia, Canada, and China. Hetalia (ヘタリア) is a portmanteau combining hetare (ヘタレ, Japanese for "useless" or "pathetic" in a cute or endearing way) and the Italian word for Italy.The main storyline's events occur during World War II, but the vast majority of the comics take place during other historical events, modern holidays, or at no specific time whatsoever. The series often uses satire and light-hearted comedy to reinterpret well-known events as well as less common historical and cultural trivia. Historical, political, economic, and military interaction between countries is generally represented in Hetalia as social and romantic interactions and misunderstandings between the characters.