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YMMV / A Castle of Silence and Bones

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: China, instead of his usual happy disposition, is pliant, silent and broken. Japan is psychotic, obsessive and violent under a thin veil of creepy calmness that sort of resembles a twisted version of his canon inscrutable and polite character.
  • Artistic License – History: While more realistically understandable than a certain infamous fic, there are still some rather egrious examples if one thinks about the Alternate History aspects of the story:
    • Taiwan’s death. Taiwan was actually a model colony, and as such received much, much better treatment than other parts of the empire. Though while it's implied otherwise, if death of culture means death of a nation instead of, say, Death of Personality, it's more likely that she would have had a slow, but painless (after the aborigines are genocided that is) end as she was gradually, meticulously brainwashed, her life being slowly sapped from her, blissfully unaware of the suffering of the rest of her family or her own loss of self until her last breath....
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    • Japan’s obsession with China and only China (with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Macau, the Micronesian politities, etc., or even the already revealed at the time Vietnam and Thailand, being barely mentioned if ever), could be seen as such, as this Co-Prosperity Sphere thing was basically Japan going Yandere over all of Asia, not just China. China did still get the worst of it though, so it’s one of the less noticeable historical inconsistencies.
    • Also, according to Imperial plans, Japan should have probably been grooming Korea to become an extension of him, forcing him into a lackey position until he was able to do his bidding himself, as was the plan with the Real-Life Koreans in Imperial Japan; they were notably straight-up annexed into Japan, not made a vassal state like most of the rest of the conquered territories.
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    • Japan, the personification of the Japanese people, killing Asahiko. The dramatic weight of the scene aside, not only is there the Fridge Logic with this explained below, but considering how the Empire was supposed to be a glorious, harmonious Co-Prosperity Sphere uniting the Asian Peoples under the watchful eye of the Glorious Tenno-Heika, it doesn’t make much sense if one is there for the Alternate History premise and thinks too deeply about it. For perspective, it would be like the North Korean people before media smuggling became more commonplace killing their Dear Leader completely willingly; there is a reason that the name of the Emperor was used to rally the Japanese people, despite the Emperor having little actual power. No amount of Pan-Asian nationalism and Phillopon-induced madness could lead to such a scenario outside of taking the in-story events at complete face value. Granted, Kiku does indeed show a more accurate creepy attachment to Hirohito.
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    • See Alternate History Wank on the main page for another more egregious example.
    • It’s generally agreed upon by historians that invading the Soviet Union/Russia and/or especially continental United States and successfully fully conquering them is virtually impossible. While it’s plausible for Taiwan or Hong Kong, maybe slightly plausible that France could maybe die depending on how one determines the death of a nation (though how that works is a question in it of itself), and maybe England, being very generous to the Germans, supposing that Operation Sealion somehow succeeded and the Kriegsmarine didn’t utterly suck in comparison to the Royal Navy, and leaving aside the fact Hitler would have rather had the British sign a peace treaty than actually try to invade England since his main target was Russia, but it crosses into ridiculous and blatant Alternate History Wank once it’s shown that America was still in the war and both he and the Soviet Union/Russia - not just, say, Ukraine and Belarus, Russia himself - are in real danger of dying. Note that Japan had already been burned by the idea of attacking the Soviet Union because of a previous experience, so Germany would have needed to take down the Red Army with basically just himself and his allies to the point of Russia’s almost death despite also being wracked by partisans and taking on the industrial might of America and the full force of the British Empire. Even if this incident didn’t happen and Japan and Germany were to coordinate, Russia could keep on going for literal decades retreating and pestering them, stretching out their logistics to their breaking points (remember, Napoleon actually succeeded in taking Moscow, but he still failed), and Stalin was if anything a massive Derterminator who would see through that being the case. And despite works like The Man in the High Castle, even if the United States didn’t actually “win” WWII in our timeline, it was still a major powerhouse a literal ocean away, not to mention its massive size, making the already overstretched logistics an absolute nightmare for both sides; merely landing on America’s shores is an even more implausible scenario than subduing the Soviet Union. So much so that doing so was never in the plans of even the notoriously power-hungry Axis. It doesn’t need to be said that subduing both is about as likely as flying pigs. The world would have been a bit more realistic if the author actually dialed back the darkness and made America stay out of the war and still alive and well, probably made Britain sign a peace treaty to become neutral, while Russia still, while his siblings would be dead, gives his occupiers trouble even by the time the fic takes place, putting pressure on Japan as well, or was merely forced to sign a peace treaty and became smaller but was still very much alive and kicking; America and Britain could be handwaved as being merely apathetic, allowing the Axis to run amok outside of their boundaries.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: As can probably be discerned, this fic is not for everyone. For some it’s beautifully dark, with undoubtedly high-quality writing and fascinating psychological horror elements, but for others it could seem dark for the sake of being dark, not being helped by how the characters have changed, the rather egregious Dropped a Bridge on Him/Throwaway Country/Alternate History Wank before the story begins, and, much like All He Ever Wanted, be considered too rapey, even if it is more narratively integrated than in AHEW; as such eliciting this reaction in these readers.
  • Fridge Logic: A possibly rather unfortunate example in an otherwise Tear Jerker of a scene that would probably make your head explode if you tried to think of it too deeply: Kiku murdering Asahiko... and said emperor having a relationship with a nation in general. Good luck trying to figure out how the heck that would translate to real life, as this is still supposed to be an alternate history, with the nations representing their, well, nations. This is probably why most Hetalia fanfiction trying to be realistic try to keep normal humans and nations separate. Even if the assassination was supposed to be analogous to a successful coup or something, Kiku’s “affair with China” motivation would be a Mind Screw in it of itself to translate.
  • Mind Game Ship: Japan x China, if it wasn't made obvious already.
  • Tear Jerker: Quite a few, despite the edginess.

Example of: