Germany/North Italy is one of the most popular, semi-canonical slash pairing in the series Hetalia: Axis Powers, involving Germany and North Italy. It is also commonly referred to as Gertalia and Gerita (from both Germany and Italy or Italia). The pairing is also known as 枢軸お花夫婦 (Suujiku Ohana Fuufu), or Axis Flower Couple, in the Japanese fandom.
World War I
In the middle of WWI, Germany searched for the heir to the Roman Empire and wished to fight him. Coming across a crate of tomatoes in the middle of the woods, he opened it to find a panicked Italy hiding inside.
Germany proceeded to take Italy prisoner and kept him captive until he became too annoying to handle; when the war was over he literally kicked Italy back home.
In the webcomic, Germany soon discovered that Italy had nearly starved to death in a desert (from using all his water to boil up pasta) and had to bail him out. However, in the published manga and anime, Italy became poor due to the fallout from the war and convinced Germany (who was going through money troubles himself) to let him come back to work for him.
World War IIIn the lead up to WWII, Italy became aggravated that Germany was ready to go to war and took it upon himself to become the self-proclaimed "ally" of Germany. Germany initially refused Italy's assistance but he eventually relented, and the two made a promise to help if either was in a pinch. However, Germany soon found the alliance to be a source of frustration, since he continued to bail Italy out of desperate situations. It was even more frustrating because he had no one else he could genuinely call a "friend."
When the two were captured as prisoners of war, Germany refused to tell their captors anything; on the other hand, Italy quickly spilled all of his secrets, which humiliated Germany.
Germany was part of the Roman Empire like all Europe. The origin of the name "Germany" was derived by the Romans that after conquered Germany named the country.In 2008 a new Roman battlefield was found by archaeologists in Germany.
But Germany frequently disciplined Italy because he ran away from battle, flirted with girls, or forgot to put on pants after he woke up from a naked siesta. He also had to deal with Italy's older brother Romano, who hated him and tried (but failed) to enact his vengeance.
Italy became distressed when Germany didn't like the friendship posters he put up; Romano attempted to convince him that Germany hated him, causing the naked Italy to run through Europe to verify with Germany. Though a blushing (and naked) Germany told Italy that he didn't hate him, Italy insisted that Germany should clarify his words so he can understand. Italy became overjoyed at hearing that Germany "loved" him; when Japan came to check on them, Italy announced that he finally got closer to Germany.While camping out in the African war front, Germany and Italy saw a falling star. Italy wished for England to get a headache and go home, though Germany told him it wouldn't work. But after Italy turned in for the night, Germany secretly made his own (long) wish on the star. He wished that Italy would stop being a crybaby, stop eating pasta everywhere, stop pigging out on gelato, and learn to make actual hand grenades; he also wished that Romano would stop trying to get revenge on him and for a change in government, but the star could not grant all of those wishes. Instead, it granted Italy's wish by crashing into England's head, which caused him to get a headache and go home.
Buon San Valentino
In a story line left hanging, Germany began getting mixed signals from Italy's affection after they finished a war training session. He decided to get a book about communicating with a partner, and soon learned that Valentine's Day was approaching.
When they next met, Italy gave Germany a bouquet of red roses as a Valentine's Day gift. Italy was unaware that the gesture was a romantic one, while Germany began to believe that Italy actually did have feelings for him and not any girls that he would usually flirt with, (due to the fact that red roses are a German confession of love). Italy confessed that he did have a first love, but that it was a boy, which caused more confusion.
Germany soon felt pressured to give Italy an answer to his "confession", while Italy felt it unusual that Germany actually wanted to play soccer with him. Upon hearing Germany say "Yes", Italy believed that Germany read his mind and was referring to wanting to play another game, though Germany was actually giving an answer to the assumed confession.
After following the last chapter of a dating advice book, Germany decided to ask Italy out to dinner. He soon became nervous in planning for the date, and had to get a reluctant Austria to help him out. Germany confessed that he had no prior romantic experience at all, and that he'd only read a few romance novels.
During the course of the strips, Germany begins to feel more and more content with the situation as he thinks about the time he's spent with Italy, and noticing that he's actually starting to feel "happy".
At the dinner, Germany began to feel emotions that he hadn't previously felt before, and became jealous at Italy for flirting with girls (believing him to be cheating). Italy was oblivious to the jealousy though, and wondered if it was something else he had done. But after Germany handed him a bouquet of flowers and a tomato engagement ring, Italy became flustered and scared of his "strange" behavior. Germany attempted to wipe his tears away, which only caused Italy to become more frightened.
We then cut to Hungary and Austria, where Hungary discovers the book, and starts laughing over the advice.
As Germany attempted to comfort an increasingly disturbed Italy, his mind became flooded with more strange emotions and he became silent (causing Italy more distress). As his mind overflowed with emotion, he seemed to recall a hazy memory from the past.
Little is known about what happened to Germany and Italy after the events of Buon San Valentino at this time, or what happened to them in the years after the end of WWII in the series.
During France's rampage on Christmas Day of 2007, the two were seen together as they shopped for candy apples. The merchant (in actuality France) ordered both of them to take off their clothes as payment for the apples. In the deleted sequel to the strip series, the two were shown to still be naked as they celebrated Christmas.
In one strip it also shows them giving America the same birthday present (a newly built car).
Fan SpeculationsGermany seems to have a crush on Italy, as evidenced by always blushing in personal moments between them and becoming awkward around him. If Germany really was the Holy Roman Empire, it would be certain that he had one, but at that point of time he had believed Italy to be a girl. It is assumed that in the case of him being HRE, he lost all his childhood memories and forgot that he knew Italy.
In the reverse, Italy grew to deeply care for HRE, whom he was afraid of at first due to having been stalked by him. Germany was visibly shocked at learning that Italy's first love was a boy, which furthered his confusion and belief that Italy was in love with him.
However, it is debatable as to what Italy's exact feelings for Germany are. It is speculated that Italy may love Germany, but that he also may not know the distinctions between different types of love and therefore might have a different sense of "love" for Germany than what Germany himself feels. Other fans speculate that Italy might love Germany, but is held back by his promise to wait for HRE long ago.
Due to having had no previous friends or any sort of romantic interest, it can be inferred that Germany has a deep interest in Italy because he has never felt anything like it before. When Britain and France were spreading rumors about Germany, Britain told some rumors to Italy saying that "Germany [was] only pretending to be Italy's friend"; Italy promptly told Germany to which the latter assured the former that the rumors were not true that in fact, "Ich Liebe Dich" translating to "I Love You".
Germany is Holy Roman Empire?A common theory, mentioned above, is that Germany is in actuality HRE, having survived his apparent death in the Napoleonic Wars (or at the end of the Thirty Years' War) when he was dissolved. It is often speculated that he got amnesia due to his defeat, though some believe that HRE gradually lost his memories over time (or purposely blocked them out to focus on his goal to win in wars) and that his dissolution was what wiped his mind clean.
In the series, it is notable that Hidekaz Himaruya has not shown Germany at a younger age, and that there seem to be various hints connecting the two characters in some way. The strongest hint came at the cliffhanger of Buon San Valentino, when it appeared that Germany was recovering a memory of having seen Chibitalia (it seemed to be from HRE's point of view).
The two characters bear an uncanny physical resemblance to each other, though HRE's eyes are drawn differently, his eyes being a darker blue, while Germany's eyes are flatly colored and piercing, but the change may be due to amnesia, loss of memories and aging . When Germany's hair is not slicked back, he resembles an older version of HRE. In a scrapped illustration, HRE fantasizes about the day he and Chibitalia will become adults: An adult HRE is shown from the nose down and appears to resemble Germany in build and facial shape.
There seem to be personality resemblances between the two of them, due to the fact that HRE has the same fits of anger and he bears the same expression as the adult Germany, having a frown on his face and being serious most of the time. There is also some sort of antagonism between him and the young France, mostly caused by Chibitalia, which is similar to the way the adult France acts towards Germany and Italy. This is highlighted in episode 41, in England's train of thought: "Come to think of it, France is always saying heinous things about Germany, while only likely treating Italy in a rather affectionate way." Chibitalia also fears HRE, just like Italy is terrified of Germany at times.
In another episode, HRE is shown to have the same type of dog, a golden retriever, which Germany also appears to possess, and the setting of his room is almost identical to Germany's room, with minor changes due to time differences.
At the beginning of Hetalia's ending theme, "Marukaite Chikyuu", HRE and Germany sing exactly the same words, different from the other characters' versions.A historical connection for the two does exist: The Holy Roman Empire is considered by historians to be the First Reich, while the German Empire and Nazi Germany are the second and third, respectively. Supporters of the theory will use this as evidence, along with the fact that the Holy Roman Empire's full name after the 16th century was The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation. Detractors of the theory offer the counter-argument that the Second Reich would better represent Prussia, for it grew out of the Prussian war conquests and annexations of the 1860s. The government differences between the Empire and Germany are also pointed out in counter-arguments opposing the connection. It is also to be noted that the terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich" are frowned upon due to their usage in Nazi propaganda, casting doubt if the Reichs connection would be what is intended for the character.
It is notable that HRE and Germany both share Germania as an ancestral figure (a father or grandfather, depending on the canon source), and have Prussia as a brother. But there are many offspring of Germania, so a counter-argument is that HRE and Germany could be brothers. The personality differences of the two characters are also noted in the counter-arguments, though the differences could be chalked up due to HRE's amnesia and growing up, as it can be seen in Italy's case, as well, because his personality has changed significantly since he was a child. It is also possible that Germany may simply be a "fragment" of HRE or a reincarnation of some sort, as the Empire split into many small states, including those that would come to make up the German Empire.
Prussia being an elder brother to HRE also seems to be a common misconception that was born from early fandom, while historically, their age difference would be the reverse (unless Prussia started out as Old/Baltic Prussia). To rectify this, some believe that the two are in fact separate, with HRE being a brother to France and Germany as Prussia's younger brother.
Another series connection drawn between the two is that Chibitalia gave HRE panties as a parting gift, while the adult Italy gave Germany boxers as a gift for Christmas. A strip featuring HRE and Chibitalia was also featured alongside the Christmas strip, and involved panties as well (HRE accidentally pulled Chibitalia's underwear down in trying to help "her" out of a box).
Himaruya once promised that Chibitalia and HRE would eventually get a "happy ending", though it is debatable what he might have meant by that statement.
After The War?
Fans will also speculate about the status of the Germany/Italy relationship after the end of the main WWII storyline. Historically, the two nations' alliance was broken due to the Italian armistice with the Allied Forces, and Germany soon invaded Italy. After the war ended, the two nations were not on good political terms for several decades due to what German forces had done to the country (war crimes such as the Cefalonia Massacre being one of many atrocities) and due to Italy's betrayal in the war. It is said that the two nations were still technically "at war" until 1949. Though an "alliance" of sorts was formed with West Germany and Italy during the Cold War for the European Coal And Steel Union, it is not considered to be an actual alliance between the two nations, for they were still on poor terms. In the present, the two nations are on relatively close political terms.
In series canon, Himaruya has yet to reach the later years of the war, so it remains to be seen how the broken alliance will be touched upon. There have also been no strips featuring Germany and Italy together in the time between the WWII strips and the 21st century ones (such as Meeting Of The World and their cameos in April Fools' Summary), so it is ambiguous as to what their relationship dynamic is in current canon or what happened to them in the decades following the war. They do appear to be on good terms in April Fools and Rampage, suggesting that their relationship carries on in some form, even if only just as a friendship.
In Christmas Rampage 2010, Germany, Prussia, and Austria are holding a Christmas party and invite the Italy brothers. When the widespread, trans-dimensional crisis occurs (the main plot of the strip), the Italy brothers and Denmark are the last ones to be checked for "the mark". Germany finds the Italy brothers in a snow storm on their way to the party and demands Italy to strip, as "the mark" is either on one's chest or lower back. Italy's response is that of the loyal subordinate he was during the war, saying he'll do as Germany commands, even if there are perverted intentions. This awkward situation does prove Italy is still faithful to Germany.
Italy's nightmare in Pact Of Steel has been interpreted as a foreshadowing to the broken alliance of the Axis, much like how his dream as a child foretold that he would meet Japan some day.