Well, the World Cup draw was yesterday, and during it, my thoughts naturally turned to Hetalia. You can imagine what I thought about Group C's draw. Remember that scene in Transmetropolitan that mentioned that Spider once submitted a five-thousand word article consisting of the word "Fuck" repeated five thousand times? That pretty much covered my reaction when I saw England and the US in the same group. When Real Life starts encouraging the batshit JOKER shippers, it's time to start counting my prescription pills and checking to see if I have enough sharp utensils for the backup plan.
Turns out that Hidekaz's thoughts also turned to Hetalia, given that piece of artwork on his blog. Well, at least he remembers that he also does Hetalia in addition to Chibi-san Date. And so far, there hasn't been a spastic flailing in the fandom regarding canon!Netherlands. Loads of squeeing, but no complaining. I have to admit I'm surprised at the lack of "Well, that's not how I thought he looked." This fandom does get attached to its head-canon in a rather intense way.
That being said, I'm split about my head-canon getting mildly Jossed. It isn't about Netherlands, though. It's about Cameroon. Let me say first that I am really happy about one thing: Cameroon bears a huge resemblance to its old colonial master Germany. I don't know if this is coincidence, or if Hidekaz actually consulted Wikipedia for a minute or two prior to drawing the sketch. But the acknowledgement regarding Germany's colonial history warms the cockles of my heart.
I'm also happy that we have a canon male African nation. I just wish that it hadn't been Cameroon. I used a male Namibia for a cameo in a Kink Meme fill that's in progress, mostly because I set Cameroon up to be female. What I wanted to do with that was set up a France/Seychelles-style relationship between Germany and one of his African colonies, except more dysfunctional because...well, it's Ludwig. I wanted the relationship to be heterosexual, because the only real potential heterosexual relationship available for Ludwig would be with Belgium; given historical canon, a Germany/Belgium relationship only really works if it's cast in BDSM terms, and Belgium would have to indulge in both sub and dom tendencies (if you want to do a Hetalia hardcore BDSM fic, one of your best fanon options is dom!Belgium/sub!male!Congo, a truly sick relationship). I'm not into that sort of thing.
But, having lived in Frankfurt for about three years, and with Ludwig originally being Hesse in my head-canon prior to becoming Germany, I know about dysfunctional Germans. I could easily deal with a Germany/Cameroon heterosexual pairing. Well, that's now out the window. I don't gender-bend, so Cameroon now and forever has a penis. If I want to do a Germany/African colony story, I'm pretty well screwed. I'm already committed to a male Namibia, and Togo was a German colony for only a decade. Burundi I see as male. That leaves Rwanda. There is no way in hell I can touch that one in a modern-day story without leaving a bad taste in people's mouths, including mine. Even doing a story with them pre-WWI would be dicey territory.
I'm not alone, though. I'm sure there are people who are steaming that Netherlands looks like a male Belgium with Denmark's hair (I'm not one of them; I have another Kink Meme fill that can use this in regard to Belgium). But it's going to get a little bit sensitive if Hidekaz does the other seven groups as some people are hoping he does. I'm personally going to be a little sad if Tix's South Slavs get Jossed with the addition of canon!Serbia and canon!Slovenia. Candesceres's phenomenal Portugal and Brazil would be casualties, and her extended circle has a well-developed Argentina and Chile (and a less-well-developed Uruguay if memory serves). And I'd take a hit as well; people liked what I did with South Africa having three nations representing them rather than one (if you want a reason why Hidekaz might not do the other seven groups, try to think of a way to do a single South Africa without offending someone or violating historical canon).
So what's the point of this? Part of the fun of Hetalia is doing your own nations, sub-nations, territories, colonies, etc, and being able to justify your conclusions based on history. I could get involved in a major argument with Cand about what she did with her British Isles characters over at Nationslash, but I'm not going to (Cand, I bow to you on Portugal and his extensions, but you need to bone up on the history of the other half of your ship; there's no way that England can be blood-related to Scotland, Wales, or Ireland). If you have the justification, go for it. Hetalia fans are given a huge playpen to fool around in, only some of which has been set in stone by Himaruya. Thanks to this and a dual-track canon, we've managed, mostly, to avoid the crippling wanks that have plagued other fandoms. We've mostly adhered to the maxim, "If it ain't Hidekaz, it's history", and it's been to our benefit.
I'm reminding people of this because it looks like we're going to be heading into the biggest continuity storm of all soon. In a response to one of Ceras' blogs, I pointed out that the anime has yet to resolve what's going on with HRE and the anachronistic alarm clock, and it's unlikely that DEEN is going to simply forget about that in Episodes 50-52. The most likely resolution to this will involve the Germany=HRE question. If it resolves, and if it turns out that Germany is HRE, I will bitch and moan for a while about violations of historical canon and probably punch the nearest wall. After that little catharsis, I will pick up and move on and adapt to the new canon. I just hope that should the opposite happen in the resolution and Germany not turn out to be HRE, that those partisans will do the same. The last thing this fandom needs is its own bunch of Harmonians.