lexxiescott (lexxiescott) wrote,

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i iz snarly

i saw a note on one of my communities that there was a review of Hetalia's movie, Paint it White in Otaku USA magazine. it's one that is carried locally, so i finally managed to track down a copy of it and got it to read at work today. the first paragraph pissed me off and i wasn't able to finish it because not only the tone but the content was biased and off-putting for a fan. please allow me to quote the opening paragraph:
"I'm not exactly within the established fanbase for Axis Powers Hetalia, a series that is first and foremost beloved by teenage girls - and some much older ladies - who are into implied male/male romance of the mostly underage variety. To the eyes of me, a guy in his 30s, Hetalia is to anime and manga what Justin Bieber is to music and The Twilight Saga is to books."
uhm, excuse me?
i am perfectly aware that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but this feels like going too far to me. i didn't make it much farther within the article because of the tone he took talking about history and how Hetalia deals with certain events within history.
again, please allow me a quote:
"Historical events, such as wars and alliances, are thus depicted as goofy arguments and friendships/"pairings." The first question rational humans would ask of such a premise given the fact that "Axis Powers" is in the title is "how do they depict stuff like the Holocaust or Unit 731, the place where Japan killed over a half million people via human experimentation during that time frame?" The answer is "they basically act as though those things never happened"...say, kind of like Japan does in real life!"
this makes me wonder about the editors involved in this magazine. it really does. one more quote, if you will, and then i'll share my response to them.
"Some fans become so invested in the series that they actually crack open a history book to learn more about Otto von Bismarck to ensure their hardcore slash has authenticity."
add to this that the writer was watching the dub, which lacks a great deal of subtle qualities the seiyuus bring to their characters, and the whole article reads as written by someone who doesn't know what the hell he is talking about, other than slight homophobia.

my reply to the magazine. i did my best to remain objective and professional, though i feel parts of it do have a *snarl* or two in them. i find a lack of objective in a review to be offensive. not to mention i feel like i've been attacked as a fan.

Please let me start by saying that I am a 32-year-old female who is a fan of Hetalia Axis Powers in all forms. When I saw mention in one of my livejournal communities that there was a review/feature in your magazine on the movie "Paint It White" I was excited as I haven't been able to find nearly as much as I would like about Hetalia in English. I'm also fortunate enough that my local bookstore carries Otaku USA, so I was able to buy it on my way to work.
The review was the first page I turned to, and I was immediately offended within the first few lines of the article. As I read, I found that I was more offended and could not finish what I was reading. I realize everyone is entitled to an opinion, however, this is not the article which should have appeared within your magazine. The one on your web page by Ms. Potts should have. It is obviously written by someone who is familiar with the style of Hetalia, has listened to both the Japanese and English versions, and realizes exactly what the show is about.
Namikawa-san, Yasumoto-san, Takahashi-san, Onosaka-san, Konishi-san, Sugiyama-san, Kaida-san, and Takato-san are the heart and soul of these characters and any review should have included the requirement to listen to the original Japanese version in addition to the English version, as Ms. Potts proves in her more enlightened article on the show. Hetalia is satire and is well-done for those who are able to recognize it for what it is. A great deal of fun with a slight underlay of history, perhaps enough to encourage fans to want to learn more about the history of the world upon which they live.
I find that I wonder exactly what the opinion of Mr. Surat truly is about slash fandoms. As a fan of not only Hetalia, but a number of anime and manga, I also enjoy reading and writing slash. I find no shame in this, but do take offense at the comment in the opening paragraph that the fandom is mostly "beloved by teenage girls - and some older ladies - who are into implied male/male romance of the mostly underage variety." In every fandom I belong to, underage is considered one of the most taboo (unless we are dealing with underaged characters, and even then, they are aged in a number of pieces to avoid underage slash) and most likely to be flamed by readers. I quoted this article to another friend who is not much younger than I, and she is equally offended by the statement as I am. We both agree that the tone of the article within the magazine is biased towards a pre-conceived notion and was written by one who does not have an open mind.
My friend is the one who located the excellent article upon your web page and brought it to my attention. I will no longer buy your magazine. I am an otaku and proud to be one, however, this is not the first time I have been put off by something within the pages of your publication. This is just the first time I have felt so deeply offended by a feature. Fans are welcome to love what they will, everyone has an opinion. Mine is that you have your features backwards and the article within the magazine was published to warn fans away from the show, not bring more in. Hetalia Axis Powers is a wonderful fandom that deserves support from both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

amanda found this http://www.otakuusamagazine.com/Anime/News1/Hetalia_Axis_Powers_Paint_It_White_4456.aspx
and is the article i reference in my letter to them. it is worth a read as the author understands Hetalia and what it's trying to do.
oh well, at least i got a cool poster out of the deal. but i am so never buying this magazine again. ever.
Tags: hetalia axis powers

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