Now we [Taylor Takoushian & Katherine Fanning] know probably none of you in this class watch anime, but thankfully one exists that we can relate to this class: Hetalia: Axis Powers. Originally a webmanga/webcomic by artist/author Hidekaz Himaruya, this anime recently became ridiculously popular, starring the personified countries of the world playing out their cultural stereotypes and histories with satirical humor.
And of course, there is glorious Russia.
Glorious, downright adorable Russia.
You just wanna hug him, don't you?
Believe it or not, Russia is portrayed as a very split character! He is introduced as sweet, soft-spoken, and filled with positive intentions, but it is rapidly shown that due to the strain of his bloody history, he has partially snapped. Russia frequently exhibits an intimidating aura. Russia is completely aware of his volatile personality, and generally has all of the innocence and cruelty of a small child.
Russia's character design depicts him with a slightly prominent nose, beige-blonde hair, blue-ish eyes and has him rather tall, about 182cm, and he is usually clad in a standard beige, winter trenchcoat adorned with a military medal, a scarf given to him by the character Ukraine (his "big sister" whom he misses dearly), and is seen holding sunflowers, vodka, and/or a faucet pipe. Sunflowers, because Russia hates the cold and longs to live in a sunny place filled with such flowers, vodka for obvious reasons, and the faucet pipe...... well, who knows.
In the profiles of the published manga, he is described as a large young man who is seemingly bighearted and innocent, but is in reality childishly cruel. He comes off as intimidating without even saying a word, his gentle smile and disposition only intensifying the aura of dread which seems to constantly hang over him. He is often described as gentle and naive, and not malicious, but insane. Though he is capable of being incredibly cruel-minded, Russia himself is unaware of it.
Russia hates the cold mostly because every year he is attacked by General Winter. However, General Winter is his most powerful ally in the face of war.
His given human name is Ivan Braginski, or Иван Брагинский, and in fan-works the diminutive "Vanya"/"Ваня" is sometimes used.
Himaruya, the author/artist, has also created various female versions of the characters, Ivan included. as you can see below.
Below, there's a video clip from the English-dubbed version of the show, here we get to see BOTH SIDES OF RUSSIA. (and a really freaked out France)
We hope you enjoyed this little expose on Hetalia's Russia.
Stay tuned for more blogs about him, his sisters, and his foreign relations with the other Nation people~!