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"The events of this film have convinced me of what I already believed, Kuribayashi-san. The kami themselves were responsible for the Transition. They brought Japan back to this year so that the war could be avoided and so that our nation could become a greater power, but at the same time the memory of the defeat in that other time would serve as a warning to our people for generations to come."
General Masaharu Homma, upon viewing Letters from Iwo Jima. 10 November 1939, Transition +48 days
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As One Star Sets, Another Rises is a timeline and novel posted on AlternateHistory.com written by theg*ddam*hoi2fan, in which on 21 May, 2015, all the territories currently belonging to the State of Japan with everyone and everything on them, finds itself inexplicably ISOT back to the year 1939, two years after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and two years before the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

Needless to say, having a militaristic and expansionist Imperial power suddenly replaced by a pacifist conservative democracy that is over 70 years more advanced compared to the rest of the world will fundamentally change history in unpredictable ways...

The timeline follows various individuals both up-time and down-time, both inside Japan and beyond, and examines the political, social, and economical impact that the Transition has on the world from their perspectives.

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The story is currently ongoing, with it's discussion thread can be found here and here (the original thread was over 500 pages, so it was locked), and it's story-only thread here (requires free membership to view).


This story provides examples of :

  • Action Girl: Patsy Spencer, flying ace, has upgraded to a powerful ground combatant in recent updates.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: General Zhukov leads the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and is killed by the Japanese counterattack. However it's clear that he commanded the invasion only because it was his duty to do so, and not because he himself wanted to go to war. It's made even sadder when the general knows that he can neither retreat, surrender, or even refuse his orders, as doing so would risk the lives of his family.
    • Karl Hanke, to a certain extent. Yeah, he's committed terrible crimes, but he honestly felt he was fighting for a stronger Germany, and he knows he'll be too hated to be allowed to live.
  • Alien Space Bats: How Japan gets transported though time, how the force behind it works, and why Japan still manages to keep it's orbiting satellites is left completely unexplained as of right now, with the story much more focused on the social and political aftermath of the Transition instead of the cause behind it.
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  • The Baroness: Silver-Gun Wu, whether as jumped up bandit/petty warlord or provincial police commissioner, is the sort of person who gets "creative" with any enemies that live long enough to be captives.
  • Badass in Distress: Patsy Spencer, a young British flying ace in the "all-Jewish" (some members changed their names and pretended to be Jewish to get a chance to fly) Maccabeus Squadron, is shot down over the Occupied Netherlands and caught by an SS patrol. Fortunately, she's rescued by Simo Häyhä before the SS officer can kill her.
  • Badass Normal: Audie Murphy, now a Marine. A one-man racist-punching Nazi-killing machine of pure courage.
  • Bad Boss: If you fail Josef Stalin, no matter how inconsequentially, you are better off just shooting yourself and saving everyone the trouble.
  • Big Bad:
    • Adolf Hitler, for obvious reasons.
    • Josef Stalin, in the longer term (i.e. at least for the rest of the '40s and probably the '50s). The British have been warned about his OTL actions by the Japanese, and have significantly altered their approach to the Germany problem as a result. Stalin still manages to build up and hastily modernize some of his military by 1941.
  • Boring, but Practical: Mexico, under Lázaro Cárdenas, makes as little waves as possible in international politics and starts developing its oil industry and raising standards of living under the auspices of the Japanese.
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Doctor Watanabe Midori, a young woman living by herself and practicing medicine on Toyohara. In 1939, it was absolutely scandalous for a single women like her to live alone away from family, being a doctor and treating Koreans.
  • Character Development: FDR initially avoids being too pro-uptimer and pro-interventionist, in order to avoid alienating the isolationist and Southern wing of the party. But gradually, he becomes less and less tolerant of the injustices of racism and sexism, being willing to publicly call out these injustices, especially when they threaten uptimers, and sends troops to put down the Oregon uprising, and send troops to defend black Mississippians from racist rioters.
  • Colonel Badass: Chesty Puller, Mad Jack, and Patton, much like their OTL selves. The latter responds to a racist rebel movement in Oregon with overwhelming military force, crushing them in about a month.
  • Cool Boat: Many, many examples in the story, including the US Seventh Fleet stationed at Japan at the time of the Transition, and Japan's own down-time warships that was out at sea at the time.
    • The Nimitz-class supercarrier deserves special mention, being effectively a One-Ship Navy due to its sheer size and the raw firepower of its jet aircraft.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Soviet incursion into Manchuria and Karafuto resulted in the sinking of it's entire Pacific Fleet, and all tanks stationed in the Far East.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Abd al-Ilah, Regent of Iraq, plans to turn a certain child in Tikrit into a loyal follower of the Iraqi monarchy.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Oh yes. Uptimers are confronted with countless acts of bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The little-mentioned Mexico subplot. The president at the era when the story takes place is Lázaro Cárdenas, under whose rule Mexico expropriated the nation's oil reserves, but was consequently punished for it with an international boycott. Here, he instantly enters talks with the Japanese, selling them the oil nobody wanted to buy, kickstarting Mexico's development as a first-world nation.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Strom Thurmond is an unabashed racist, but despite his disagreement with Sam Rayburn, he was appalled when a fanatic tried to shoot him. Subverted with Theodore Bilbo who only thought the murder of a respected politician would be detrimental to his cause.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Reinhard Heydrich and even Adolf Hilter thought Jessie Wayne's antisemitic propaganda was a load of bull. Yes, the fathers of the most racist ideology ever thought an uptime Neo-Nazi's fears about minorities were a rambling, incoherent mess.
    • While most uptime Japanese are not known for their tolerance of other Asian people, many are horrified by the crimes committed by their ancestors against the Chinese.
  • A Father to His Men: Admiral Nimitz and Chesty Puller both fall here, making a point of nipping any downtimer abuse of uptimers in the bud.
    Admiral Nimitz: Well I don't see the problem. Damn it, man, you've served your country! If your country can't look after you and yours for the service you've done it - and what you'll be bringing with you - then it's not the country I thought it was.
  • Friendly Sniper: Simo Häyhä.
  • Future Me Scares Me: In one interlude we see a certain Margarita Carmen Cansino view a Rita Hayworth movie in Futureville; then promptly find a lawyer, sue for divorce, and secure leverage to renegotiate her contract with Columbia Pictures spurred on by horror over seeing her face being "replaced by a mask."
  • Grandfather Paradox: Discussed, with people from up-time meeting their own grandparents and parents before the latter was even married, and the butterfly effect meaning that anyone who was not conceived by the time of the Transition being automatically removed from the timeline.
  • Grass Is Greener: Many of the Soviet refugees who end up under Japanese rule more or less can tolerate Japanese xenophobia if it means not living under Stalin. As one refugee puts it:
    Baranov:"Boy, we lived in Stalin's Soviet Union. Country that we can buy three square meals a day in and where Black Marias don't come to door at midnight is paradise by comparison. Even if yellow people hate blonde Slavs, as long as they let us make living and eat decent food."
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rommel, after his family is liberated from Nazi custody and the Allies save him from his SS "bodyguard"/assassin.
  • Heel Realization: Many of the German people upon finding out about the OTL atrocities that the SS performed. Which eventually leads to an uprising which results in Hitler getting torn apart by the very people he had claimed he was trying to help.
  • The Hero: Legendarily talented Japanese admiral Yamamoto Isoroku is probably the closest the series has to a central protagonist, as his efforts to build a proper alliance system for Japan and avert the tragedies of the 20th century drive most of the protagonists' actions.
  • Hide Your Gays: Outright defied by the uptimer Americans, who are generally accepting of homosexuals being out of the closet and even married. It's a huge source of tension with the 1939-40 Americans.
  • Historical Domain Character: Far too many to list. Many of them appear in just a single entry.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Mussolini attempts to invoke this. It's debatable how successful he is, and even Winston Churchill is disgusted by his naked attempts to grab more land, but so far he's managed to make himself a useful link in the chain holding back the Soviet Union.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Fascist Spain briefly undergoes this after Franco's death and replacement by the considerably less stable Milan Astray. Invasion on three fronts coupled with a major Catalan uprising, Italian support to said uprising, and the historical severe famine all end this phase and effectively break Spain itself.
  • Honor Before Reason: The Kwantung Army stationed in China refuses to back down when ordered by up-time Japan to withdraw, launching the ‘Temporal Mutiny’. Despite the fact that they are cut off from supplies and reinforcements, have equipment that is 70 years less advance compared to the JDF and Japanese-based US forces, and is being attacked by the Soviets from the north.
    • Played with by General Kuribayashi Tadamichi at first, before the Imperial forces on mainland Asia learn of the Transition and suspect that the loss of contact with Japan was caused by a coup, with the general willing to obey the new government, but not necessarily support it. Ultimately subverted however, as General Kuribayashi along with Generals Masaharu Homma and Yamashita Tomoyuki backing the up-time government against the mutinying Kwantung Army.
    • Averted when General Masaharu, who believes himself to be a potential embarrassment to up-time Japan and requests that he be granted the opportunity for honorable suicide. The Emperor quickly and firmly expresses his disagreement with the general's sentiment.
    • Justifiably played straight by General Yamashita, who while agreeing that war criminals would be tried, insists that the trials should be fair and the accused properly-represented, and threatening protest by honorable suicide otherwise. Prime Minister Abe assures the general that Japan would not hold show trials, as it is a democratic nation and not the Soviet Union.
  • Humble Hero: Simo Häyhä, as he was in Real Life.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Eva Braun heard Hitler calling for his mother, right before his own men shot him dead.
  • Jerkass: Private Jesse Wayne, a Neo-Nazi US marine that seeks to help Nazi Germany win the war by giving them an iPad containing information from 2015, and destabilize the US internally so that a far-right government can take power.
    • Father Coughlin, a notable downtime right-wing radio preacher, infamous for his bigoted tirades, experiences a revival as part of the culture clash, and proceeds to be as much of a Politically Incorrect Villain as he can.
    • Theodore Bilbo, who also tries to whip up public anger in the South against uptimers.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Many downtimers have legitimate grievances about modern America-deindustrialization, crime, the military industrial complex-but they only use those facts to reinforce their bigotry.
    • Jan Smuts poses this question to the uptimer South African ambassador:
    Jan Smuts: “...the Cape Coloured population, I assume, also benefited from your Rainbow State?” He chuckled to himself as he saw the woman fume, and saw the British representative – a Mr Mackenzie – wince a little.
  • Kaiserreich: The British have decided to back the eventual restoration of the House of Hohenzollern, though it's implied that Wilhelm II will not be restored, and his grandson Louis Ferdinand the Prince of Prussia will be the new Kaiser. Justified as if the Allies succeed in defeating Germany quickly and prevent The Holocaust from happening, it's likely that Nazism could eventually gain a second wind a couple of decades down the line. With the Hohenzollerns historically opposed to the Nazis (with Wilhelm II once describing them IRL as gangsters), and the strong dynastic loyalty still existing in Germany to the Hohenzollerns, the Allies hope that the Kaiserreich can sway people's allegiances away from the Nazis and keep them down.
  • Karmic Death: Adolf Hitler, beaten to death by his own people. Something similar happens to Klaus Barbie when he's setting Jewish houses on fire.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: What J. Edgar's men do to Jesse Wayne.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Due to its nature as a fleshed-out alternate history timeline rather than a simple story.
  • Mass Teleportation: How 2015 Japan ended up in 1939.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The story is full of it. The story runs the morality gamut from the socially tolerant uptimers and their idealistic downtimer supporters, to violent racists and segregationists like Theodore Bilbo, and, of course, the Third Reich. In the middle are normal people who are wary of uptimer values, morally ambiguous and opportunistic politicians like Jan Smuts and Joe Kennedy Sr. who have to the placate the more hateful aspects of their society, to businessman and statesman seeking to profit from uptime technology.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Texas Representative Sam Rayburn, who risks his reputation to defend the uptimers, even calling out the American people when an uptimer Chinese American family is forced to flee to colonial Singapore after countless acts of discrimination.
    • Audie Murphy is a genial guy, just don't piss him off.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Jessie Wayne's has a naive view of pre-Civil Rights America. He gets a nasty surprise when he discovers that the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover is no less vicious about prying information from him than present day law enforcement.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Anne Frank, who in this timeline was rescued before she had to go into hiding, says in an interview that she hates her original self because up-timers keep treating her like a hero for something she hasn't done, and feels guilty for not having gone through the horrors the other Anne did.
  • One-Man Army: Several.
    • Sir Christopher Lee solos a bunch of Nazis to rescue the Bavarian royal family. He later does the same for Rommel's family
    • Mad Jack Churchill and the White Death take out an entire SS platoon that's about to execute an entire village in Holland.
    • Two words: Audie Murphy
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Mussolini, to an extent. When he sees just how overpowered uptime technology is, and how badly he was screwed in our timeline, he withdraws his support of Germany and makes token moves to undo his Nazi-inspired anti-Jewish policies. He's still an arrogant dictator who buys into his own propaganda, though.
    • Pays off big-time when his restructured military pushes easily into Austria and swiftly defeats hastily-levied infantry under the command of SS officer Odilo Globocnick.
    • The downtime leadership of South Africa, too, trying to keep limited minority rule around for as long as possible.
    • Stalin to an extent, sitting back and frantically trying to unscrew himself while playing the Nazis for chumps and eventually landing a good slice of eastern Europe.
    • Reinhard Heydrich, as in Real Life. He even starts a civil war between Hitler and Himmler when the cause is obviously lost, so as to gain Mussolini's favor and prove himself useful to any unscrupulous fellows on the other side.
    • The Mexican government quietly purges several people who would have gone on to father key figures in the narcotics trade.
  • Eclectic Band of Bad-asses: Mad Jack's team, consisting of a Crazy Awesome Englishman, a cheerful Finnish god of war, a plucky air-ace turned resistance fighter, and an uptime intelligence officer. Together, they kick Nazi ass.
  • Rousing Speech: Kaiser Wilhelm II gives one on radio, marking the beginning of a dedicated broadcast campaign meant to convince Germans of the utter vileness of the Nazi regime, and to explain why he is in Britain and standing in opposition to the Nazis despite the ongoing Allied invasion of Germany.
    People of Germany, I am Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht von Preußen, head of the House of Hohenzollern and formerly Kaiser of the German Reich. I realise that many of you will question why I am in Britain. Why I am speaking to you from an enemy nation, when the Fatherland is invaded. Many of you will think I have turned traitor. Indeed, Herr Hitler and his gang will call me such. To all the people of Germany, I say that I am no traitor. I am here, in Britain, to save Germany from the darkness into which the mad Austrian and his jackals wish to lead it. In the other history, the history from which Japan was sent by the intervention of God Almighty, he succeeded. In that other history, the Nazis slaughtered over eleven million people in great 'extermination camps'. In that other history, they killed millions of their fellow-Germans, and of foreign civilians unlucky enough to fall into their hands. Why? Simply because they disagreed with their religion or their convictions. I realise that this is hard to believe. Many of you will think this is a lie. A lie perpetrated by our enemies. Which is why I am telling you, much as it pains me. I love Germany, and I love the German people, more than I love my own life. I would never tell such a damning lie about them. As time progresses, you will hear from others, men and women who studied this horror in that other history. You will hear evidence. And I pray that learning this fact will lead you to reject Hitler, to reject the man who - if he is successful in his aims again - will blacken the name of Germany for decades to come.
  • Rousseau Was Right: Many, many Germans, from the Hohenzollerns, to Sophie Scholl, begin resisting the Nazis once they learn about their OTL atrocities. In one epic moment a German mob, lead by man old enough to remember Bismarck attack a group of SS soldiers trying to kill Berlin's Jews.
  • Rule of Cool: Nintendo realizes that they're exceedingly unlikely to survive as a company in a world that has neither the capacity to create or interest in videogames. So they decide to finally enter the filmmaking business, and team up with Studio Ghibli to produce films based on Donkey Kong, Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda - and they later decide to further team up with Disney. Konami later follows up with a Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin animated adaptation starring Bela Lugosi, Jimmy Stewart and Conrad Veidt. Later on, a two-bit actor, Ricardo Montalbán, is tapped by Howard Hughes himself to star in a Star Trek film.
  • Sanity Slippage: Adolf Hitler wasn't all that sane to begin with, but losing World War 2 so badly is making it worse. Not helped by Heydrich's treachery.
  • Schizo Tech: Because of the Transition, countries allied with, or friendly to, Japan see everything from direct transfers of serviceable 2010s-era technology, to ersatz repurposings of 1970s-1990s technology for the 1940s. As one example, Toyota tools up to produce 1970s Corollas for export based on the E20 line from our era.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: So many examples, from Jan Smuts is trying to preempt South Africa's slide into pariah status by slowing expanding enfranchising black natives, to Caroline Kennedy trying to save her aunt from lobotomy.
  • Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility: Type X due to the Transition, but afterwards a rigorous type I.
  • The Sociopath: Reinhard "The Butcher of Prague" Heydrich is evil even for a Nazi, having no qualms about using horrific weapons of mass destruction, betraying both factions within his government, and even mass murder if they get him political power. A crazy neo-Pagan SS officer in the occupied Netherlands also earns the moniker "the Beast of Veenendaal" for extremely sadistic war crimes.
  • Take a Third Option:
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Winston Churchill and a Mossad agent are not joyful about having to work with Mussolini to accomplish their goals.
  • Time Travel Romance: Well, yes. Hokkaido-born JSDF volunteer courting Karafuto doctor and downtime Negro reporter moving in with uptime Brazilian-born hāfu factory worker are just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Token Good Teammate: Erwin Rommel to Those Wacky Nazis, as in Real Life. However, recent updates have hinted that he is considering a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Tranquil Fury: Stalin could send countless soldiers to their doom after a catastrophic military defeat, and the only sign of annoyance would be the scratch of his pen.
  • Uriah Gambit: The decision of the Australian Cabinet to promptly send the ship they inherited from the 21st century to the defense of Britain had elements of this. If HMAS Sydney comes home dripping in honor, glory, and the political capital needed to introduce it's skippernote  to White Australia it is all to the good; if possibly undesirable elements aboard cannot hack it and gets the tub sunk... it makes things less complicated.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Adolf Hitler, like OTL, loses it over the Reich's failures. When he's torn apart by a mob, his last words are begging for his mother.
    • Klaus Barbie spectacularly falls apart after getting kneecapped.
  • Western Terrorists: The Defenders of Oregon blow well past the line on this with the insurgency launched after the rapidly suppressed riot in Futureville.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter Forty Eight of Part One of the TL, December 1-16, 1941, is a pretty normal chapter until the very end, where the Nazis detonate a fuel air bomb filled with coal dust and radium in Bruchsal, killing over ten thousand French soldiers and fifteen thousand German civilians.
  • A World Half Full: Despite the violence and confusion created by the Transition, overall, the world its getting better thanks to uptimer history and technologies.
  • Willfully Weak: Consciously invoked by Japan, with the intent of showing they are not the brutally aggressive sorts the world needs to unite against given the tech disparity (and the sincerity helps).
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Using uptimer information, Hitler decides to have Rommel killed, after the guy secures his victory.
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