I figure I'll post this here, as it's a guide to how the "Chibitalia" story changed through its different incarnations. The anime version managed to thankfully preserve some of the original ending, even if it mainly worked off of the published version to start with. The published version itself is a headache to read, with how so many strips were switched around or outright left out (the only plus is that omake with Spain and Romano, and it's a pity that the anime has yet to show anything with the two of them). The original webcomic version has the most material, including little aside-illustrations that the published manga left out (though some got reincorporated into the anime, while others stayed gone) and various footnotes. So here we go then!
Original Webcomic (2006?)
I'm not going to bother detailing the entire thing, as it would make this super-long! Here is a link though:
I have noticed that this site is missing a scanlated version of the last part of the prologue, though. You can see where the "slow growth" theory on Romano comes from too, with Himaruya's note on it.
Hetalia Vol.1 Version (2008, edited)
- The entire prologue with Italy being bullied was cut out. Gone are the early appearances of Romano, Austria, and Holy Roman Empire. Child Austria was drawn much differently too, looking like a mini version of his teenage and adult selves (glasses and all). Gone is also the explanation for why the Italies didn't age as fast as France, Spain, and co.: Since they didn't set about on conquering or fighting and instead painted, they remained small.
- All aside-illustrations are dropped, including the sections with footnotes. This includes "Before Italy Became The Target Of Bullying", the notes on the Italian Wars, and other things. I'll mark down the dropped illustrations that were of special note, such as:
- Italy's punishment for defacing Austria's painting was left out, so there is no Italy-strapped-to-a-tree bit with the "DO NOT FEED PASTA" sign hung over him.
- After Italy is thrown in a dungeon for "stealing food", the next strip in the webcomic featured Hungary's first appearance. The published version instead skips to HRE asking Italy to teach him how to paint. The little illustration with HRE painting Italy in "her" sleep afterwards is dropped.
- The "mouse" strip, which originally occured after Hungary's appearance, is moved to this next spot.
- Hungary's appearance is moved here, after the mouse strip. The strip with the villagers heckling Austria is moved to take place after her debut.
And now, here come the bigger changes:
- The strip that takes place after HRE runs away in the webcomic, where Austria realizes that he's all alone, is moved AHEAD in the chronology. This creates a bit of weirdness.
- The strip with HRE packing to leave for war is included after this, also moved ahead in chronology (it took place after the above in the webcomic, but keep reading...). He gets ready to leave, but he spots Italy arriving...
- Now for the big change in the ending: Italy suddenly is no longer holding the bucket of water, and the entire setting has changed, as HRE approaches "her" in the field. He asks Italy to become the new Roman Empire with him, but "she" refuses. HRE runs away, never to be seen again, as the published version ends.
This entire section originally came before the two moments above, and it creates an odd bit of continuity confusion. The entire "kiss" section and actual ending is naturally gone, due to the fact that editorial likely couldn't handle the panties bit OR the kiss.
An omake strip follows the ending, and is probably the only good thing about this version (IMHO):
- Spain narrates about how young Romano is a clumsy and cranky problem child, always crying and twitching uncontrollably. A villager explains that Romano must have chorea, and that the cure is music. Spain begins to sing and play music for Romano to make him dance, only for Romano to become "cured" (and very annoyed) quickly and headbutt him. A footnote details a myth about the Tarantella being used to cure chorea.
Hetalia Anime Version (2009, hybrid of published version and webcomic)
As the anime mainly follows the published version at the start, the prologue strip is dropped. But there are further changes:
- Grandpa Rome is no longer an old man when he takes Italy to live with him, but is shown as his younger warrior self.
- France's "Well, I've always thought you were quite a nasty kid" comment to HRE is dropped, along with HRE's retort.
- "Before Italy Became The Target Of Bullying" IS included. The aside illustration where the Italy brothers become bullied is animated, though they get kicked around like soccer balls by the others (rather than being slapped about). Also, whoever did the animation work for this segment clearly failed to remember that young Romano has a haircurl. He appears in both shots without it (the painted shot of the happy brothers, and the shot of them superimposed on the Italian peninsula). It also doesn't help that he's terribly off-model and looks practically nothing like Romano o_o. I guess one can let it slide since it was such an early episode in the animation process, but it's sad when SD adult Romano resembles his child self more than his anime child self does there, haha.
- The aside illustration of Austria stepping on Romano is animated for the "Italian Wars" segment.
- HRE's accidental view of Italy's panties is slightly changed, to remove the fact that the mouse crawled down "her" panties.
- Austria realizing that he's all alone is still in its published position, but HRE collecting his belongings is not. Instead, the anime moves to the field scene, and cuts off at HRE running away. Or so it seems...
After a ten-episode hiatus, the Chibitalia segments are resumed in episode 21:
- After running away, HRE returns to finish packing his belongings. When he's about to leave, he encounters Italy. A "To Be Continued" note appears, indicating that the "true" ending is to come.
The Anime Ending (Episode 22)
- The anime ending follows the webcomic ending. Well, sort of. There's a change that was made that pissed off quite a few Japanese fans on 2ch and other places, and caused a bit of a rage.
- Spain approaches Austria with the offer to help him out. A concerned Hungary stands back and watches. Hungary's hair is drawn a lot wavier in the anime than it was in the manga, but it looks pretty that way.
- HRE apologizes to Italy for all he did, and prepares to leave. Italy tells him to wait up, and gives him a gift:
His deck broom. Yep, the "panties" scene is gone. This is what sent some Jfen into a rage. I actually heard of the spoiler on the Friday when it first went down, but held off on posting about it since I wanted to see how the execution went. I can see why the anime changed it, though it feels a little weird in a different way (and...Italy didn't have the scrub brush with him before that shot, so did he pull it out of his panties or something?).
But anyway, the kiss scene IS intact, as well as the "900s" line. Well, sort of. HRE no longer openly says the line to Italy, but instead thinks it (as he moves in for the kiss). Or maybe he did say it without opening his mouth, since Italy asks "Really?".
I'm surprised the anime even kept the kiss, considering that they're little boys (though the point of the scene is that HRE still thinks Italy's a girl).
So the "true" ending of Chibitalia stayed intact for the most part, aside from the panties.
- The anime does include one extra post-credits bit: HRE sweeps the floor with Italy's mop, and gets pleasure out of doing so. I presume it's a replacement for the webcomic omake doodle where HRE realizes that Italy wasn't wearing "her" panties when they kissed, and becomes all blushy and flustered over it.