News Japan's Kids Station Cancels Its Hetalia Anime Run (Updated)
posted on 2009-01-15 22:06 EST
The Kids Station television channel in Japan has announced that it has cancelled its plans to run the Hetalia - Axis Powers anime "due to various circumstances." The anime adaptation of Hidekaz Himaruya's manga would have premiered on January 24 at 25:52 (effectively, 1:52 a.m. on January 25). The official website of the Hetalia anime confirms the television run's cancellation, but indicates that the anime will still be distributed over the Mobile Animate service for mobile phones and over the Animate TV service for broadband web users.
A number of online Korean protesters had called for the cancellation of the anime due to what they characterized as an insulting portrayal of the Korean character in the manga. A petition on the Daum portal site includes over 16,000 unverified names as of January 15. Kids Station told the Yomiuri Shimbun paper earlier this week that "it was unaware of the criticism in Korea. However, a Korean character does not appear in the anime version."
The "cynical gag" manga takes the stereotypical characteristics of about 20 countries and regions, and anthropomorphizes them as (mostly) bishōnen characters. The story re-imagines various historical eras including World War I and II.
Image © 2008 Himaruya Hidekaz, Gentosha Comics Inc./Hetalia Production Committee
Update: More background information added.
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