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Kitayume

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Kitakou Yumezakka, better known by its shortened name of Kitayume, is a webcomic site run by Hidekaz Himaruya. It began on June 19th, 2003 and is still running at the present. The website is best-known for being the home to the original webcomic version of Hetalia: Axis Powers (listed by Himaruya as Axis Powers Hetalia).

The site also features downloadable computer games, and features artwork for the three ongoing webcomics.

Kitayume snapshot (4-9-10)

A snapshot of Kitayume, taken on April 9, 2010.

Series

Axis Powers Hetalia

Main article: Axis Powers Hetalia (manga)

A webcomic about the nations of the world, personified as humans. The (unfinished) main storyline takes place in the era of WWII, and features the nations of both the Axis Powers and the Allied Forces as the regular cast. However, the majority of the other strips make up other time periods, including but not limited to the Medieval ages and the 21st century.

The comic is named for both the Axis and the lead character Italy, with Hetalia being a portmanteau of Hetare ("useless") and Italia (Italy). It started as a oneshot in 2006, but became a full series later in the year. Originally, Himaruya's prototype idea was a comic about a useless hero living in New York City, but he scrapped the story and reworked it into the personified nations concept.

Barjona Bombers

A webcomic detailing the story of a group of high school delinquents at Barjona High, and their adventures with their broadcasting club. The later lead character, Yamato Nara, has since appeared in the Noto-sama games following Hinaji's departure and in the deleted sequel to Christmas Rampage 2007.

There was also a game to introduce the Barjona series and Yamato, but it was removed from the site.

Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club

Stories about a high school broadcasting club, drawn by Himaruya when he was still in high school and the first title to appear on Kitayume (months after its March 2003 start date). The lead character, Noto Kanazawa, was the star of his own flash game series, entitled Noto-sama (with Hetalia characters making their first appearances in the 5th game). He also appeared in the Rampage sequel, in a crossover with the Hetalia characters.

Himaruya drew the comic with the intention of spreading the word about broadcasting club being a fun place to be, but found that the story took off in a bigger, unexpected direction. Before the success of Hetalia, both it and Barjona were the star titles for Kitayume. Kitakou was to originally have a visual novel simulation game, but it never went any further than an incomplete demo (which Himaruya later removed). There was an attempt to make another Kitakou game, Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure, which featured changes in designs and the story, however this too failed to get any further than a demo (though it lead to its own comic).

A published version of Kitakou was also planned, but has yet to surface.

Discontinued Series

These series were once part of Kitayume but have either been taken off the main page, or deleted completely.

Live-A-Live

A webcomic based off of the 1993 SNES game of the same title.

MoeKan

A young Korean girl named Sena attends school in the United States, but has to put up with having a Japanese classmate.

Shimojirou

A comic featuring anthropomorphic animal characters and their interactions.

Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure

A second, parallel universe Kitakou series based off the unfinished Pure game and taking place in Yokohama. While the original Kitakou was not intended to be connected to Barjona Bombers, this one takes place in the same continuity and in the same continuity as The Deserted House. The crossovers between this series and Barjona gave explanation as to how the innocent version of Noto (dubbed "White Noto") became the crueler character seen in the Noto-sama games.

The page was deleted in 2008, though Himaruya promised it would be back up after a renovation. Oddly enough, a few stories that were formerly Pure ones are now on the original Kitakou's page.

Games

Noto-sama

A simulation game featuring Noto and Yamato (previously Noto and Hinaji), from their respective series of Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club and Barjona Bombers. In the short game, they go around stripping other characters, including cast members of Axis Powers Hetalia/Hetalia: Axis Powers in the fifth and sixth installments.

Gakuen Hetalia (demo)

Main article: Gakuen Hetalia

A short dating sim demo featuring the characters of Hetalia, as high school students attending the World Academy W. The player character is Seychelles, a new student at the school.

A commercial PSP version is due for release in later 2010.

Zurou no Sunika "The Deserted House"

A visual novel horror game featuring Youko Kotohira, a high school student who finds a summer job as a maid at a mysterious house in Fukushima. Also features Nomaru from Barjona Bombers as part of the cast. The voice acting was done in collaboration with The Code for Flower of Iris.

Advance! Kitakou Broadcasting Club/Kitakou Broadcasting Club Pure (demos)

Two Kitakou-related games that were meant to expand on the Kitakou universe. They were later removed from the site, as both never got any further than demos. A drama CD by Flower of Iris was also planned at one point, but apparently scrapped.

Events

Kitayume has been host to various site events, most notably its April Fools' "hijackings". In 2007, France (of Hetalia) hijacked the site, leaving naked chibis of himself everywhere as he went on a fanservice rampage and stripped the other nations, in an April Fools-themed storyline. In Christmas 2007, France hosted the "Christmas bloodbath" event where he went around stripping the others once more. The story was followed by a deleted sequel in which Noto and Yamato decide to get revenge on Christmas, but wind up running into the nations (and being stripped of their clothing in turn).

Spain would attack the site on April Fools' Day of the the following year (on the behalf of France), though in 2009, Prussia would be the one to hack the site, transforming it temporarily into his own personal blog. In Christmas 2009, Himaruya decided to take a "Sudden Death" request challenge in which he would take several requests from fans, and also posted up new strips related to the event.

Blog

Main article: Bamboo Thicket (blog)

Kitayume also has its own blog, known as Bamboo Thicket. It contains production artwork for Himaruya's webcomics, as well as photos and stories of his day-to-day life.

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