Anime as a Teaching Tool
My oldest daughter's best friend is a huge fan of anime. She watches the programs, writes fan fiction, cosplays, sews her own chibi versions of the characters, and just generally celebrates anime in every area of her life. One of Roxy's favourite shows is Hetalia , an over-the-top satire of world events and relations between countries with some really hilarious characterizations of countries large and small.
When MamaOzzy and Roxy started talking about Hetalia I didn't pay much attention. I'm not a huge fan of anime or manga, so I kind of tune out when the kids get into a lot of detail about the stuff. I started to pay attention when I realized my eight-year-old was really getting into the show, but I really sat up and took notice when the girls began asking me questions about historical events, geography and international relations.
What was going on?
The girls were learning about world events through this animated series that portrays countries as characters and deals with real events in history in terms of the interactions between these characters.
All right, Hetalia! Now you've got my attention. Any anime series that can get the kids so excited about the events of WWII, relations between Russia and the Baltic states, or the existence of micro-nations such as the Principality of Sealand has got to have some substance to it! And even Roxy's social studies teacher was convinced to include a few of the episodes in his curriculum last year.
Hetalia is the creation of artist Hidekaz Himaruya, who started it as a webmanga. When it became clear how popular the comics were, an anime was produced by Studio Deen in Japan. The videos are now distributed in North America by FUNimation.
Image credit: Roxy (Homestuck) and MamaOzzy (Hetalia) cosplaying during the town's carnival weekend in spring
© Kyla Matton Osborne
N ote: This content was migrated from Bubblews, where it was originally published/.
Image Credit » Kyla Matton Osborne