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YMMV / Shoukoku no Altair

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Türkiye is not universally accepted as the good guys by all readers, with some arguing that they're just doing the same thing Balt-Rhein is doing, imperializing other countries for the benefit of their own, the only difference being they're doing it more insidiously, by making the other countries reliant on Türkiye for protection. On the other side of the spectrum, supporters of Türkiye insist that if nothing else, the Turks aren't being unnecessarily violent and cruel about it, and that the world would be better under their more even-handed rule.
  • Alternate History Wank:
    • Considering the world of the story is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to 1500s Europe/Middle East, some accuse the author of this, especially concerning Venedik and Urado allying with Türkiye.note  The lack of a Fantasy Counterpart Culture for Poland, which played one of the biggest factors in the Habsburgs defeating the Ottomans, makes some believe it's a bit of wankery so that the Turks can win.
    • One issue many history buffs have with the story is that the Fantasy Counterpart Culture roles are basically reversed from what they actually were in real life. Far from being the plucky underdog, the Ottoman Empire was the giant blob of a country threatening to eat all of Europe. It was actually Austria that had to play Xanatos Speed Chess to unite the squabbling city-states of Germany and Italy against the Turkish threat. Predictably, this also extends to the real-life versions of Venedik and Urado, who form the backbone of Türkiye's coalition: the Republic of Venice and Hungary were Austria's closest allies against the Ottomans, not with them.
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Türkiye is far less likely to be accepted as the "good guys" in Europe due to the historical context of the story, especially in countries that have had historically poor relations with the Ottoman Empire. It's especially present in Austria and Germany, the real-world model for Balt-Rhein.
  • Base-Breaking Character: The protagonist Mahmut is one, as he's presented as an extremely capable military commander, diplomat, and hand-to-hand combatant despite being fairly young for one so extraordinarily world-savvy, and most importantly, managing to always grasp victory in the end, even when outnumbered or seemingly outsmarted, and never losing faith in his worldview, even when facing setbacks or losing people important to him. For some, it's an endearing and relatable character, but others are not so kind, viewing his victories as contrived and lacking in tension, and don't consider him the hero the story would have you believe he is, even though there's room for ambiguity.
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  • Designated Hero: As noted below, many fans believe that Türkiye is guilty of the very things Balt-Rhein is accused of, including excessive militarism, aggressive expansion, human rights abuses, and imperialism at the expense of the city-states that surround them.
  • Fridge Brilliance: If you're familiar with Turkish and European history, you would notice that many things in this work are recycled/revamped versions of real history, that can sometimes give the readers hints about what's going to happen next.
  • Historical Hero/Villain Upgrade: Downplayed as the countries in the story are Fantasy Counterpart Cultures rather the actual countries themselves, but still present.
    • The Turks are portrayed as a force of benevolence with a highly meritocratic society where the various internal factions have little issue getting along, in contrast to the autocratic, expansionist, and cutthroat society of Balt-Rhein. The real-life Ottoman Empire, while still more meritocratic than its neighbors, not only had its own Deadly Decadent Court, but had a system that actually encouraged such scenarios note . They were also unapologetic imperialists themselves, who punished rebellion brutally, and were quite willing to invade other states for their own ends.
    • The Balt-Rhein Empire is portrayed as viciously expansionist and very brutal in its conquest of other states. Historically, the Holy Roman Empire was much closer to The Federation is practice, and rarely had the political unity to expand its borders. Also, it wasn't a simple autocracy like Balt-Rhein, and was actually an elective monarchy where the Emperor's power was quite limited.
  • Informed Wrongness: Mahmut's desire to defeat the Empire via peaceful means is criticized by the story as a naive way of thinking, and his silent agreement to Zaganos' decision to declare war on Balt-Rhein and crush them rather than trying to negotiate is meant to represent him maturing. However, it's undermined by the fact that his negotiation was actually working. In fact, his Gambit Roulette kept the casualties in the Centro area as small as it could possibly be. Furthermore, not every member of the Imperial government is the hyper-militant type; as seen frequently, there would definitely at least be a few Imperial leaders who would be willing to cooperate with him. With those examples in mind, Zaganos's claim that the Imperial government is hopelessly corrupt and the only way to fix it is destroying it completely holds little water.
  • Mary Suetopia: Türkiye starts having shades of this after the Civil War arc is completed, with any remaining internal strife ending, allowing the internal factions to get along fine. The leadership is universally egalitarian, and even Zağanos' (who is presented as the Token Evil Teammate) darker moments are generally only directed against the Empire or other characters depicted as "evil". The potentially negative consequences of their own imperialism are never dwelt on, and are almost always treated as a good thing.
    • By contrast, Balt-Rhein is depicted as a Straw Dystopia from the outset, with the soldiers routinely committing war crimes For the Evulz, and the only potentially good ones being either ignored or killed off. Their cruelty serves in direct contrast to the supposedly benevolent imperialism of Türkiye. It's made clear that coexistence between the Turks and the Empire is impossible, and that it's entirely the latter's fault.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Whenever Türkiye does something that could be considered morally questionable (sacking cities, engaging in the slave trade, using PO Ws as cannon fodder, etc.) it's presented as Values Dissonance. In contrast, when Balt-Rhein does something similar, the series goes out of its way to show how terrible it is. Any Imperial characters who talk about the Empire being reformed are barely given the time of day by either the story or the protagonists.
    • Nations that are not aligned with Türkiye are also portrayed as being in the wrong, even if they are still opposed to the Empire. When a number of city states form their own anti-Imperial alliance, the protagonists are shocked that they'd choose that opposed to standing behind Türkiye.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Aside from the above mentioned Eastern-European readers who root for Balt-Rhein for their own reasons, as the series progressed, and the roles switched (Balt-Rhein becoming the underdog against the invading Turks), some root for the Empire through their display of Villainous Valour. There is also the fact that there are legitimately good, likable Imperials who seek to reform the Empire and bring peace.
  • Stealth Mentor: Some fans tend to think that Zağanos is this to Mahmut, instead of being merely a Manipulative Bastard. This becomes more prevalent at Chapter 77, where Zağanos pointed out the errors in Mahmut's urban planning of Chielo Province without addressing those to the latter explicitly. Instead, he shifted the brunt of his insult to Zeki, who happens to be the last person speaking before he delivered his lengthy speech.


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