Ni hao! = Hello!
Seraphim's wing covers in the Canada panel resemble those used by the characters in Haibane Renmei

Piro speaks:
and there's a reason the stereotypes arent very extreme - it's amazing what people tend to think about other cultures, even when they consider themselves well educated.

Piro speaks:
yknow, the whole point of this comic was to point out how stupid people can be about thier perceptions of other countries. Even myself - i consider myself to be very open minded, and never a victim of stereotypes, have found myself wrong or following some imbedded stereotype that i didn't realize i carried around. I am sorry if anyone was offended, that was never the intent.
The overlying point of this is a sideways comment on the whole issue of how we view Japanese culture. I sometimes wonder if our fascination with elements of anime and manga isn't in itself somewhat insulting to the japanese. Think about out - how do you think they feel about americans and others going over and oogling japanese schoolgirls because of what they've seen in anime and manga?
The japanese are guilty of these kinds of stereotypes in comics like you wouldn't believe. Howabout the Kimagure Orange Road episode where they are scared because they are in america and they might have guns? (all americans cary guns, right?) Actually, the whole joke about dom and ed is that they are 'gun toting americans' who happen to be asian, not from texas.
As with everything, you never know if your ideas are gonna come thru ok when you do a comic. Howabout considering this - when i leave the US, i am very concerned about what people might think of me because i am from the US. Nevermind the fact that we deserve much of it, doesnt mean that we all do.