Tokyopop Presents Hetalia: Axis Powers

Apr 30th 2010

It's world history as you've never seen it before when Hetalia - Axis Powers manga is unleashed on American soil this Fall!

Los Angeles, CA (April 30, 2010) – TOKYOPOP is thrilled to announce the release of the international bestselling manga Hetalia - Axis Powers. The Japanese webcomic by Hidekaz Himaruya has swept the internet in a worldwide campaign, and its tankobon has sold more than a million units in Japan alone. Now the English-language edition will breach bookstores everywhere this Fall, just in time for International Hetalia Day.

Hetalia is an utterly hilarious and thoroughly politically incorrect view of history, where each country is anthropomorphized into bishōnen characters. The main plot follows Axis Powers Italy, Germany, and Japan from the fall of Rome through World War II. Hilarity arises when spotlights shine on each country's stereotypes, including Italy's singular euphoric love for pasta and America constantly yelling, “I'm the hero!”—sometimes muffled by a mouthful of hamburger. Also, countries rarely understand each other, as seen in statements such as, “In America, it is common to see men and women in various states of undress basking on the lawn.” (However, a quick visit to TOKYOPOP near the Southern California beaches this summer may prove this statement to be true after all!)

TOKYOPOP editor Cindy Suzuki says, “Hetalia is going to be very exciting. It will be a challenging project on many levels, but we are working closely with our friends at FUNimation as well as the Japanese publisher of the manga in hopes of bringing the fans an authentic product.”

Hetalia is certainly no stranger to controversy. Recently the anime show was protested in Korea and taken off the air, and some comments on manga and anime forums point to an inherent racism. When political relations are depicted as emotional relations, the effect can be a bit uncomfortable.

TOKYOPOP Associate Publisher Marco Pavia—who, despite all of the vowels in his Italian-sounding name is also half English—weighs in on the potential controversy.

“In Hetalia, no country is spared from the satire,” Pavia admits. “When I read the first comic one evening—while waiting for the water to boil as I was preparing to cook pasta—I found myself laughing hysterically. Because I grew up in a somewhat international household, where I could imitate quite a number of accents, I find it better to embrace what makes us truly unique.”

Axis Powers Hetalia arrives in bookstores everywhere September 10, just in time to celebrate the annual International Hetalia Day in October.

Finally, this press release, written by Stevie Wegrzyn, a TOKYOPOP intern of Polish descent, puts to rest the answer to the question, “How many Polish people does it take to write a TOKYOPOP press release?”

About TOKYOPOP:
Founded by multi-cultural media visionary Stuart Levy, TOKYOPOP is hailed as a leading youth-oriented entertainment brand and an innovator of manga creation, with a revolutionary artistic vision that transcends countless platforms. From the introduction of the first-ever extensive manga publishing program in North America, to the development of its manga-originated intellectual properties into film, television and digital entertainment, TOKYOPOP has changed the way teens experience pop culture. The company's global reach has expanded to Europe and Asia, with offices in the UK and Germany, in addition to its Los Angeles and Tokyo operations. With millions of fans logging onto the new social networking site www.TOKYOPOP.com, reading its books, which are licensed in 41 countries in more than 20 languages, and watching its DVDs and television programs, TOKYOPOP's award-winning catalogue of licensed and original properties has made the company a visionary in an ever-growing teen entertainment marketplace. Visit www.TOKYOPOP.com for additional information.


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