Korean protests call for 'Hetalia' anime cancellation
Japan's Kids Station cancels its 'Hetalia' anime run
'Hetalia' anime seen by 200,000 on Web, 60,000 on phones
"Axis Powers Hetalia" is originally a series of Web comic shorts by Hidekaz Himaruya. The series is essentially a cynical political satire of the world at large taking place during World War I and World War II. The various countries involved are represented by human characters that are stereotypes of their nation - for example, America wears a leather jacket, eats cheeseburgers constantly and likes to stick his nose in everyone else's business.
Towards the end of 2008, it was announced by Studio DEEN and KIDS STATION that a series of five-minute animated shorts based off of the Web comic would begin airing in January 2009. This sparked protest from Korean citizens, who began petitioning to stop the show due to the portrayal of their country. They eventually succeeded in their cause and on January 14 the show was canceled.
However, the station decided that the show would still be distributed online and through mobile phone services. The demand for the show overloaded the servers involved and the website involved, animate.tv, had to temporarily shut down.
These three stories from Anime News Network cover the story pretty well overall. It was a big developing story and the updates they provided within the stories, as well as the additional stories themselves, help to tell the audience what happened.
Despite this, I think they could have done more. The stance the Korean protesters took wasn't explained very well and I think that could have been improved a lot. Fact is, Korea and Japan haven't exactly been the best of friends... ever. If more research was done into the tension between those two nations and the protest could have been explained more, I think it would have made the articles a lot better. Simply saying "Korea doesn't like it so they're protesting" doesn't do enough.