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Alternate History / Anime & Manga

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  • In Astra Lost in Space, we're led to believe that its world history diverged from ours sometime in the 1960's, with the Cuban Missile Crisis resulting in WW3 and wiping out a big chunk of the world's population, leading to massive changes in the structure of the world. Though later revelations seem to suggest that there's something up with that history, given that Lina's time frame would set Earth's destruction a mere six years before the plot kicks off.
  • Can Even a Mob Highschooler Like Me Be a Normie if I Become an Adventurer? has monster spewing labyrinths appear world-wide in 1999, while the manga was released in or around August of 2022.
  • Cantarella features Cesare Borgia possessed by demons.
  • In Captain Tsubasa, starting with Golden 23, the Olympics in Madrid are consistently mentioned, and actually happen in Rising Sun in the early-to-mid 2000s. In real life, Madrid has placed a number of bids to host the Games, but has yet to receive them (most recently for 2020, which went to Tokyo).
  • A Certain Magical Index is more of a case of Never Was This Universe due to the existence of magic, but special mention goes to the United States being on its third Hispanic President, the G14 having been established, a second Costa Rican civil war having taken place, the existence of the Elizalina Alliance of Independent Nations (a union of nations and countries formerly part of Russia) and a non-nuclear power United Kingdom having retained its long-held animosity against France (in part because they were forced to give up their nuclear arsenal to France by the European Union).
    • As of NT 9 it is explained that the current reality the series takes place in is the result of reality being destroyed and recreated millions of billions of times, each with its own slight alterations to history and the varying laws of physics that make it different from the previous one. So it is very possible that the universe is still ours but the fabric of reality within it is not any longer.
  • The finale of the manga version of Chrono Crusade reveals that it falls under this genre. Demon's homeworld — a spaceship/fish/...thing called Pandaemonium — is called out of the depths of the Atlantic ocean by Aion, which causes a tidal wave that destroys New York City. Chrono goes after Aion to try to stop him, and they end up fighting in Pandaemonium. At some point in the process, it blows up, creating a ring around the Earth that's visible in the sky even in the 1990s.
    • The anime ending averts this by trying to stick to OTL. It's implied that Aion shot John Paul II.
  • Code Geass takes place in a timeline where things went really well for British imperialism; the Celts kicked Julius Caesar and the Romans off the island, Elizabeth I had male heirs, "Washington's Rebellion" failed due to Benjamin Franklin betraying the other Founding Fathers... all with the cumulative effect of making "Britannia" the only superpower on the planet as of the early 21st century. They were defeated by Napoleon, though, forcing them to abandon Britain and relocate to what had been the colonies — that is, North America, which is entirely under their control. Napoleon's Europe-spanning empire also laid the foundation for a faux-EU before he died (likely of poisoning by one of Queen Bessie's spies). It bears mentioning that there are certain factors present in the world of Code Geass that indicated that perhaps it Never Was This Universe. Such as Sakuradite and Geass itself.
  • Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou gives superpowers and giant mecha to everyone, and plonks them squarely after World War II. Political commentary and superpowered battles ensue.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) is set in a version of our world where alchemy worked. This is revealed when Edward ends up on the other side of the Gate, which is 1920s England. The manga however is a strict Alternate Universe.
  • Full Metal Panic! follows a present day where the Cold War never ended (due to Mikhail Gorbachev having been assassinated, and thus, the political reforms which led to the breakup of USSR never came to pass) and the arms race led to combat mechs on the battlefield — aided along by Black Technology, which comes the Whispered, rare individuals gifted with latent Psychic Powers.
    • By the end of the series, it's revealed that the villains' plan is to undo the alternate history, changing key events to turn reality into a peaceful one more in line with our own. The source of the Black Technology was, in fact, echoes caused by the Whisperer using her powers to probe backwards in time to find which events needed to be changed.
  • Gintama takes place in a world where sufficiently advanced aliens made contact with Japan before the Black Ships did, causing the country to modernize much faster than they did in real life.
  • .hack diverges initially around 2002 with the founding of the UN's World Network Commission in the wake of mounting cybercrime. But the real changes happen when a virus called Pluto's Kiss is unleashed on December 24, 2005, crippling thousands of computer systems worldwide and effectively crashing the Internet. This provided the ALTIMIT Corporation virtual monopoly over rebuilding the net and helped set the stage for The World.
  • Jin involves a Japanese neurosurgeon from 2000 being transported back to 1862. He introduces germ theory (nevermind that the germ theory was actually proposed by Girolamo Fracastoro as early as 1546 and with the works of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch already was pretty much the mainstream by 1862) and modern surgical techniques to Japan and the West, among other medical ideas. Butterflies abound from his actions. Among the results? The Meiji Restoration doesn't take place and the Tokugawa Shogunate survives.
  • The Kerberos Saga takes place in a world where Nazi Germany won in Stalingrad. It eventually leads to a total Axis victory... in Europe. Japan still falls in 1945. But it's the Germans who occupy and morph the country into a fascist dictatorship.
  • Kaiju No. 8: Kaiju attacks seem to have been a regular occurrence for a very long time in this world. Kaiju No. 2, which supplied Isao Shinomiya's personal weaponry, was eliminated in 1972, and Hoshina's ancestors were fighting Kaiju as far back as the 14th century.
  • Kiki's Delivery Service takes places in a Europe where WWII never happened.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub an early chapter introduces the entire manga as a possible explanation for a real life event: the disappearance of the real life Ogami and Yagyu clans from the historical record.
  • A Love Letter For The Marching Puppy takes place in an alternate early 20th century Japan where women were allowed to serve in the military.
  • In at least some early Universal Century timelines, it's implied that the circumstances leading up to the founding of the Earth Federation itself was due to an alternate outcome of the Cold War. This could also apply to Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, given the show's rather Anachronism Stew atmosphere and the After Colony calendar starting in the 1970s.
  • Moriarty the Patriot: The manga shows the founding of the MI6 before Dr. Watson published his first Sherlock Holmes novel, under the pen-name of Arthur Conan Doyle. In reality, A Study in Scarlet (first published in 1887) precedes the MI6 by 12 years (MI6 was formed in 1909). Of course, since the MI6 in this setting is founded by Moriarty (hence his codename "M"), while Sherlock Holmes is their Unwitting Pawn whose involvement in the murder case that became the basis of Dr. Watson's first novel is due to Moriarty's machinations, the manga couldn't possibly use the correct historical order.
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers takes place in a Japan where, during the Edo Period, a virulent new strain of smallpox breaks out that's over 60% fatal to men (but nonfatal to most women) and causes a Gendercide. The manga follows the court politics of a Gender Flipped Tokugawa Shogunate and its all-male Royal Harem, an incredible luxury in a Japan where fertile men are incredibly rare. By the tail end of the manga a vaccination programme exterminates the Pox just in time for the forced opening of Japan and the Boshin War, after which the successful (and male-dominated) anti-Shogunate forces destroy all history of the Shogunate ever having been women.
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days takes place in a timeline where Japan is divided after losing WWII, between the (Soviet?) "Union" and the US.
  • Read or Die takes place in a British-dominant world, complete with hidden superpowers. By the sequel, however, the Empire had completely collapsed, leaving the world at the mercy of various secret organizations and the United States.
  • The Demon Wars of 1918 changes Japan's history in Sakura Wars (2000).
  • Samurai Girls takes place in a Japan where the Tokugawa Shogunate has remained in power up to the 21st century.
  • In Schwarzesmarken, aliens invade Earth in 1973, leading to a NATO-Warsaw Pact alliance against them. And then come the mecha...
  • Strike Witches takes place in a world where aliens invaded in 1939 before World War 2 and forced the world to unite in order to stop them. Also the only way to stop them are by using magical imbued schoolgirls wielding rocket legs with characters like Winston Churchill and George S Patton making cameos. Officially the alternate history goes back further, with BC standing for Before Caesar, the German monarchy never losing power, and giving Japan a more active role in past events.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, the titular species has existed alongside humanity since at least the 19th century, although no one is sure where exactly they came from. The CCG, an organization created to investigate Ghouls, was founded in 1890.
  • Though not intentional originally, the 20 Minutes into the Future timeline of Super Dimension Fortress Macross tends to play out like this in the present day. As far as anyone knows, a massive alien spaceship did not land on Earth in 1999, to be rebuilt by the plucky earthlings, inadvertently sparking war between us and the Zentradi, causing the annihilation of nearly all of humanity in 2010...
  • In Zipang, a JSDF ship travels back in time to WWII, and the temporally displaced crew debates whether they should meddle with history or not, later on stopping one person who desires to do just that.
  • Chainsaw Man takes place during the late 90s, where the existence of Devils—living manifestations of humanity's fears- has shifted some things. The Soviet Union is still around, Hawaii is implied to be separate from the United States, firearms are under much stricter control due to the existence of the Gun Devil, and various superpowers are using contracts with Devils as a new arms race in place of nuclear weapons. It's later revealed much of this is directly due to Chainsaw Man. By eating the respective Devils that represent them, he erased World War II, the Nazis, AIDS and nuclear weapons from human history.