The authors also joke about "Basement Prussia" (the lovable loser of Hetalia canon) and "Bathroom Prussia" (the asshole that he appears as in AHEW).
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The 'verse tends to slide into this. When most (if not all) characters are either unlikable Jerkasss or brutally tortured, readers may not be sure who to root for at all. While history is indeed often dark and cynical, even then it can come across as needlessly cruel for no real reason, not helping that historical facts themselves are broken to suit the bleak tone.
Die for Our Ship: More than one Hetalia fan considers the portrayal of the Japan/England couple as bashing. The fact that Puel is a well-known US/UK fanwriter does NOT help the fic's case.
America and England don't have a lovey-dovey relationship in the fic either. It's more that the portrayal of England and Japan's relationship comes off as so Oo C and reliant on Ron the Death Eater to some readers (Particularly the part about Japan caring about England only as a pawn to further his personal agenda of world domination), they wonder if England and Japan were characterized like this mainly to show how horrible and unhealthy England/Japan would be. While deliberate drastic alterations of characters like this arent terribly uncommon in Hetalia fanfic, especially darker ones, well, the lack of even historical justification and the fic's premise being essentially "the world would have gone to hell if England and Japan had maintained their alliance" doesn't exactly help perceptions of that kind.
Fridge Logic: Out of all the copious Kick the Dog the Nazis are infamous for, rape isnt one of them (in fact, the Soviets and Japanese are more infamous for this). If they wanted to make Prussia irredeemable, he could have stuck the girls in a gas chamber, flogged them constantly, had them be experimented on, worked them to exhaustion, put them in an enclosed space to be burned alive, but for whatever reason the authors chose to make Prussia a rapist. Even if one accepts that Prussia is an almost comically irredeemable villain in this AU, and the many holes is historical research, one really has to question the decision to make him a rapist specifically.
Internet Backdraft: This is one of the best known APH fics, so it's to be expected. There's NO middle ground on this.
If you don't like it? Either you don't appreciate ~True Art~ (which is always angsty and contrived and what not), you're a butthurt Prussia or England/Japan fangirl who cannot stand their less-than-stellar portrayals, or You're Just Jealous of Mith and/or Puel's "online stardom" so you want to "slander" them.
If you like it? You're a Professional Butt-Kisser who want to look good by liking their stuff, a pompous Jerk Ass who looks down on the average fandom and think you're superior because of your tastes, or you MUST be one of these fans that relentlessly bully those who dislike it.
The authors's very polemic participations on other Hetalia wanks note (re: having them create the tv tropes page for their own fics - which they have admitted in public-; Mith's infamous declarations about fantasizing with the bloody murder of the admittedly idiotic Anime Boston 2010 (that she dubbed "Nazi-Con") cosplayers who did Nazi salutes while dressed as Germany; Puel referring to herself as "Fandom Educator" despite the dubious historicity of her fic, then calling the already polemic dub and its fans "racist" and having to backpedal after being harshly called out; and the three monitoring what other people say about the fic online to berate/harrass said critics and tell them not to do it in any way they don't want these people to) don't exactly help their cases. At least Puella has admitted that some of their most notorious actions weren't stellar, but if someone throws shit in such a notorious way, people will never forget it..
Prussia crossed it in The Seventh Door, when he brings Hungary to the cell occupied by an already-captured Austria, and brutally tortures and rapes her while forcing a helpless Austria to watch, and twisting the knife even more by telling Austria that "it's for his benefit".
Hungary may have crossed it for some readers, losing the sympathy points from the first incident when she coaches Liechtenstein to become Prussia's lover alongside her, so they can get benefits from it. Yes, a rape victim teaches another into giving sexual pleasureto their common rapist. Others may consider it more of a mere survival strategy brought by the harsh circumstances both of them are caught in, or as much a Kick the Dog moment.
Double squick: Hungary, who ALSO was raped by Prussia, coaches poor Liechtenstein on how to make sure she gets something out of Prussia's attention... via sex. Yes, a rape victim trains another into giving sexual pleasure to their common rapist. Doesn't matter if there were some "reasons" behind that, it's still ridiculously cruel and contrived. (And Out of Character as well as offensive.)
Hungary and Liechtenstein. The two more important female nations in the AHEW universe. They BOTH end up brutally raped by Prussia, who does this to show off his power over everyone, and then the two decide to use sex as weapon against him.. Needless to say, this is one of the biggest points of contention among fans and anti-fans.
Anon commenter 1: "I especially "love" how the authors and their whiteknights were all like "we're fixing the inaccuracy and problematicness of hetalia canon!" when no, they weren't. They were just making it innacurate and problematic in a way that was over-the-top grimdark and also really rapey. Noooo thanks."
Anon commenter 2: "Problematizing a Western-centric view of world history by... making the Western nations more fucked up, China more victimized, and continuing to ignore the rest of the world? ehhh no."