Um, hello. I guess that I'm nervous, as this is the first post in this community that isn't me sharing fanfiction or a translation. If this isn't allowed, I'm really sorry; I read through the rules and thought it would be all right. If you'd rather get fanfiction from me, I have a post up here at help_japan auctioning drabbles off for a V-Gift each, but that's a bit beside the point.
Anyway! I managed to convince my professor to let me use Hetalia as the topic of my final paper for my Japanese Film and Society class. This is the last undergraduate essay that I have to write; I'll be starting at graduate school this fall. I really want to make this a strong essay and clearly argue the point that Hetalia is useful for analyzing Japanese views of Japan and other countries. I treat it as a self-aware, intentional use of Hetalia, and I'm not trying to argue that Hetalia is racist.
So why am I posting here?
In short, I'm coming up with a ton of examples, but the paper can only be so long. I want to choose the very best examples for the final paper, but I keep feeling as though there are things that I'm forgetting that would be better than what I already have. Therefore, I thought it would be worth asking the amazing community here for suggestions. The assignment is basically an anything goes kind of deal, so I can't offer many guidelines. If you'd like to see what I've already written and planned out, just ask, and I'll post it.
Also, if I have room I want to analyze the Hetalia fandom, so tropes that are prevalent in your own region would be lovely. But that's only if I have room. Also, I will naturally share the final paper with the community if there are interested parties!
tl;dr - If you'd like to help, please share the clearest examples you know of characters being portrayed as stereotypes. (eg, Japan being able to read the atmosphere while America can't, food and culture differences between Japan and other nations, Japan making mini U-Boats that transform, etc.)
EDIT: I promise that I'm reading all of your suggestions! Thank you SO MUCH to those who have contributed thus far! I'll reply to each of you individually when I can, but at the moment I'm frantically typing up the essay. I hope to have it mostly done by tonight, at which point I'll post it here and ask you all for final thoughts. If I can get it done by then. Again... Thank you so much for your contributions, everyone! I am listening!
: My essay is a hideous mess of outline and essay, but I have all the info I need to establish my points. I just need to put it in order, flesh it out, and then fix it up. I'm utterly exhausted at the moment, though, so that will have to wait until morning. Sorry. Once it's done, though, I'll be sure to post it. Thank you again for the assistance, everyone!