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Aww, what a lovely episode! Like I said in my post on episode 5, I do like the episodes of Hetalia which focus on France’s development, and don’t just have him as the scarily affectionate rose-obsessed nudist gag character who doesn’t have any concept of personal space.
Today’s episode stars a 19 year old American tourist named Lisa, who suddenly feels the urge to travel to France. She winds up in Mont Saint Michel, and takes a photograph of big brother France himself. He rushes up to her, introduces himself…
|France, you forgot about adoring wine and haute cuisine and dissing British food.|
…and offers to be her tour guide, because she reminds him of someone.
France then regales Lisa with the story of the Hundred Years’ War, and asks her if she ever heard of Joan of Arc, the peasant with the divine message from God. Within four months, she turned the tide of the war, crowned a new king, and got back Orléans from English rule.
…And then she was captured by Burgundians, given over to the English, tried for heresy and then burned at the stake. I distinctly remember one of the blurbs on Stephen Clarke’s ‘haha I’m English and live in France so let’s take the piss out of the French’ books as saying: ‘Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers.’ However, I’m quite sure it wasn’t to do with any country per se, just the Catholic Church in general at the time. And there’s this.
France describes Joan as being blown in by a whirlwind, and that she was the miraculous kind of girl who only shows up once in every era. I quite like this, actually. There’s lots of fanfics and art detailing France and Joan as having a tragic romance, but my personal headcanon is that France merely admired her a lot for what she did to help his country, and will always raise a glass of wine for her on her Saint feasting day (May 30th).
“The stronger one’s patriotism is, the more often they end their lives in a tragic way.”
He also says: “When I saw you, I thought God does wonderful things. So be happy this time around. Now, my wish has come true.” Then France disappears. You know, because nations can teleport like that. (It explains how they travel so quickly to other countries, I suppose. Like Italy offering to drive Japan home, even if that never really made any sense at all.)
So… Lisa is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc? I see. Is she a gymnast by day, who turns into a phantom thief by night, and has a little angel companion? (My god, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne brings back a ton of memories.)
Anyway, Lisa goes back to the US, and tells her mother about her time in France, including the bizarre ghost man who walked her up the castle and then disappeared after dropping a rather mysterious message about Joan of Arc. One could also mention that France referred to himself as actually being there during the Hundred Years War, rather than just being some random historical enthusiast, but hey. I guess in the Hetalia universe, the regular humans know how to keep mum if they come into contact with a personified country. It turns out that America and Tony are eating hamburgers nearby, and overheard their conversation. Brilliant.