There is a commonly accepted head canon that the reason Romano bullies, pesters, and (attempts to) taunt Germany is because of a childhood scar from the death of the Holy Roman Empire. It is believed that he is protective of his younger Brother, and does not wish for North Italy to be hurt by being abandoned/left behind by Germany. Romano sees the similarities between Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, and is aggressive to him because of it.
But, you see, this head canon is not possible granted the canon. It contradicts the Series and to be honest I’m really tired of hearing/seeing this head canon. In Episode 6 of Beautiful World, ChibiMano is shown with a fear for Germans.
South Italy admired Spain’s hard working nature, and woke up early to pick tomatoes, claiming that he’d work “hard and show him.” However, when he catches sight of Spain, he’s speaking to German Soldiers. The sight of the Germans alone is enough to make Romano freeze and tremble in fear. Chibimano had a fear of Germans, I believe, so his treatment of Germany has to extend further back than merely the Holy Roman Empire. Why? Because, in this episode, the Holy Roman Empire would have been alive and well, removing him as a possible factor for his hatred of Germany in the future.
As a matter of fact, Romano is immediately frightened that the soldiers want to hurt Spain,and throws himself in front of the soldiers and batters at their chests in an attempt to “hold them off.” Why? It’s as though Chibimano is insecure that these Germans want to hurt and take away his only ‘family,’ his only ‘care taker.’ Maybe, maybe this brings up fears within Romano of someone else.
When Spain badgers South Italy for an answer on why he acted the way he did, he admits he was afraid Spain was in danger– why? Because there were German soldiers with him. Alright Let’s get to the bottom of this.
We all know that Chibimano was ‘least favorite’ next to his Brother, and that the Roman Empire seemed to favor his younger Brother. However, whether you think South Italy liked his Grandfather or not, you have to admit that his Grandfather’s death left him in a deplorable situation with many insecurities. He became bullied by other countries alongside his Brother, and became a territory with inheritance to “chalk up.” Romano most likely thinks that his Grandfather’s death ruined his life, I’m sure. Alright. History time.
Straight from the Wiki page, it was Germania who killed the Roman Empire and orphaned Romano. Earlier, with Spain, Romano was afraid that he was going to be orphaned yet again out of complex. It wasn’t the Holy Roman Empire that caused his fear of Germans, not at all. On another note, South Italy and North Italy were separated; South Italy probably never met the Holy Roman Empire often, or knew him very well. There’s someone he does know, though.
Germania used to work as The Roman Empire’s Guard, right? Romano most likely has a very good memory of what he looks like. On another note, according to this Wiki, Romano thinks that North Italy takes after their Grandfather more in talents and in appearance. Germania killed the Roman Empire, orphaned Romano, and left him without family. I’m not saying that Romano’s distaste for Germany isn’t related to fears for his younger brother’s well being— or in this case, his life. Romano’s fear?
Repetition. The resemblance he sees is between Germania and Germany, not between the Holy Roman Empire and Germany. Romano has already admitted to seeing resemblance between the Roman Empire and North Italy, as well, so he fears the scenario will play out again and he’ll lose his younger brother. He is afraid that Germany will betray North Italy and hurt him, he is afraid of Germany, in general, for his appearance. He’s an adult, though, and he’s not going to step aside and let his sibling be taken from him. The complex is a protective one, one to keep his Brother safe, just as he did for Spain.
That is why he torments Germany, and also explains why he is not bothered by Prussia. Does Prussia take after Germania? Do those two look alike? No.