These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Kirbopher's in-universe character, Kirbopher15, even lampshades this in an early episode where he says "God, I love this music!" When the Wily Stage 2 theme starts playing as battle music.
Especially the song used when Alpha battles the D-Bug dragon in Episode 60, Part 1. It's called Travel Demon.
Fridge Brilliance: Kirbopher15's odd power-up from the D-Bug comes up in the form of '1111'. Years later, TOME is made. Check the date it came out... see what he did there?
Fridge Logic — RubyRulz, one of the Netkings, relies on using his opponent's cache of all the opponents he has ever fought to change his form and use different attacks. Without the cache, he has no attacks, and no way to defend himself (Nylocke defeats him by deleting his cache). At the end of the first season, we learn that he and the other Netkings fought against that season's Big Bad, a massive Virus, and managed to seal it away. So what exactly did RubyRulz expect to do against a creature who probably doesn't even HAVE this cache?
Notice that they didn't use a battle grid for that fight. He probably just "borrowed" the cache from one of his allies.
The policy of the Netkings is that if you defeat one, you must then try to defeat them all, as proven after Alpha's fight in episode 23 where he (kinda) defeats Zetto and Webmaster appears immediately...didn't Nylocke defeat Zetto about two episodes before that?
It was in a tournament that Zetto himself set up — he probably requested that the other Netkings suspend that rule for the duration of the tournament, to prevent them from showing up with a challenge mid-tournament in the event of him losing.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The ambiguous ending to TTA Episode 73 becomes a lot sadder knowing that the person GameCrazed is based on has since passed away.
That being said, the whole concept of Alphazet is MEANT to be taken as Narm. The first time it's mentioned? Alpha gets an Imagine Spot of he and Zetto doing the traditionalFusion Dance for a few seconds, until Zetto breaks it, lets out a Big "NO!" and proceeds to beat on Alpha repeatedly for several seconds.
The Scrappy: Sk8rboi. Kirb stated that he hated the real person so much, he made him the annoying little villain that anyone could beat.
Tear Jerker: Although the ending that TTA ultimately got is pretty heart-wrenching, what Would have happened had it been completed just makes one want to cry.
TOME (the In-Universe game, not the reboot) would have been removed from the internet, prompting Webmaster to host a final tournament while it's on its last leg. At an unspecified part of the tournament, Alpha finally goes up against Zetto (which had been built up since the Z-Tournament) to face each other for one conclusive time. Right as they load the Battle Grid, with all the characters cheering behind them, Alpha and Zetto lock fists, as the screen fades to white and showing a panorama shot of TOME. Then it fades away. This ending is arguably more touching than episode 73, even with the Funny Anuerism cited above.
YMMV for the Continuity Reboot of TOME
Alternate Character Interpretation: Was Rubirules a Jerkass who only wanted to "revolutionize the world's technology" to become famous or a man with good intentions who genuinely wanted to make the world a better place?
Asspull : Rubirules being the main orchestrator of Zetto and Kizuna's plans from the very beginning. Despite no hint or suggestion that they had been working under someone at any point in the past 15 episodes and 8 shorts, the last episode drops a convenient flashback of him organizing them to hire hackers to look for the Forbidden Power AND trained Neomutant on the side to play them, Alpha's group, and the Netkings, then has him do a complete 180 and become a maniacal Utopia Justifies the Means-type supervillain, right down to the "explaining his plan that can't possibly fail at this point, but does" speech. Prior to that episode, he was barely distinguishable from the other Netkings other than appearance and base personality, and had not had any prior interaction with Zetto or Kizuna, even in the episode that was dedicated to his time being in the same group as them but the episode insists that this was, in fact, his plan all along.
When SOFDTI is first discovered in Episode 00, Rubirules is noticeably excited, even saying things like "This is way beyond the scope of the individual game" and to "think of the possibilities". He's noticeably aggravated when Execk suggests they focus on finishing the game first.
An argument against this is that there would have to be a reason behind the admins and the Netkings not doing anything about the hackers (or even acknowledging their existence) for the past season so there had to be somebody on the admins or Netkings' sides intentionally directing their attention away from the hackers, who most likely isn't Zetto or Kizuna as they presumably split off from the Netkings and haven't talked since.
In addition, Tigerlily/Kizuna shows up in Episode 6, attacking Nylocke for seemingly no reason. This is later revealed to be her checking up on another antivirus component hidden in Nylocke's character. During the fight with Rubirules he reveals himself to have been the one who created Nylocke's character model and likely the one responsible for putting something in it.
Zetto's motivations alone seem kind of empty ("It cut off my arm, now it'll pay!"), and they only gained substance once he made a friend who got wrapped up in the situation. Before that, there had to be someone else behind the scenes pushing him to do it (and it likely wasn't Kizuna given how much she's shown to care for him)
Looking back on the episodes with the Big Bad in it after Word of God revealed that this was his plan since Season 1 and what clues he tried to leave towards the reveal, it becomes sort of obvious that the Big Bad is such from his first appearance. Rubi is the only one of the five Netkings who the Party of Five fight who seems to come off as a jerk during his fight, and his own statement that reveals he created Nylocke's model tipped off those fans who figured out in Episode 10 that Nylocke would be part of the Dragon Bug weapon (thanks to the image of the dragon shown when Kizuna talks about the weapon) that Rubi was involved with the whole thing as well..
Awesome Music: One of the definite highlights of TOME is Weston Durant's soundtrack - even though most of it was created for another, unrealized project, it still fits the series perfectly.
The Living Tombstone's tracks also fit the series very well. /File:Zero was nearly exclusively composed by him!
Flamegirl, big time. While some appreciate her Straight Girl personality and her secondary group of friends, others dislike that all of her development is focused on Alpha and find her even less substantial a character than him.
Rockoon's manic tendencies are either seen as rip-roaring hilarious or just downright annoying.
The execution of the Gemini Tournament was received as either a fun and climactic resolution to almost a year's worth of build up or a really rushed missed opportunity to highlight some fan-favorite supporting characters.
The redesigns of the main cast for season 2 have gotten very mixed reception as well.
Rubirules being the main villain. Some fans believe that it was an amazing plot twist up there with Kirbopher secretly being Zetto, others felt it was a bizarre Shocking Swerve with little buildup, and still others felt that it was an outright Ass Pull.
Designated Villains: Many fans are confused about why the heroes hate the hackers so much, because they come off as more of a nuisance than an evil group. All they seem to do is destroy some graphics, and grief players from time to time. However Gamecrazed is shown repairing the graphics of one area with ease so it doesn't seem like much of a problem to fix. And even their griefing only seems annoying rather than evil, since even one of the main characters Kirbopher likes to "beat down chumps" in the same way. One of the minor characters actually points out that you can just ignore someone taking a "cheap shot" like that also. Which makes sense since the traveler's guide says you can flee battles, and you don't lose your rank in non-grid battles. Another big reason for this confusion is the moderators seem to think it's non-problem, or don't pay it any attention.
And now that three of them are waltzing into the upcoming Tournament Arc, it makes you wonder if they're even considered threats at all. At least one has the decency to be in disguise.
While Neomutant seems to be entering with no problems, Rockoon had to make a Palette Swap alternate character... Rackoon.
According to the conversation in episode 13, the reason the main characters hate the hackers is because they feel the hackers are trying to rile up the Forbidden Power (and now believe that they are trying to use it to hold Netking Software hostage, thanks to Neomutant, which is completely contrary to the hackers' actual goal of containing it to prevent it from hurting anyone). Before the Forbidden Power became an issue, it was probably just because the hackers were annoying and were ruining the game experience for everybody else, like a real life Internet troll.
The hackers were harassing other players and tearing the game apart to complete their agenda. SOFDTI, through Gamecrazed, helped convince Nylocke to begin the quest to stop the hackers because she knew Rubirules's ultimate agenda involved putting people at risk so he could achieve fame and fortune.
Episode 4 of the reboot has gotten Rockoon and Granda more popularity.
Rockoon especially, who was so popular he got nearly two shorts to himself and redeemed himself as a good person at the end of the second season and more appearances than any other.
According to a poll conducted on the official Facebook page in the summer of 2012, both Nylocke and Kirbopher are more popular than Alpha, the ostensible protagonist.
Archy to some. Even though he's a minor character who was played up as a goofy newbie-like player from the get-go there was some very loud fan backlash to him being eliminated in the tournament so quickly which indicates he might be this. Some people apparently liked him a lot.
Rubirules and Execk for many, and their voice actors do not help. Many appreciated Rubirules' snarky, wisecracking personality, while others liked Execk's chill yet straightforward personality and badass voice, courtesy of Jon St. John. There was understandably quite a bit of backlash when the end of Season 2 revealed Rubirules to be behind D-buggers and actually planning to use the virus and antivirus for himself to change the world and gain fame and fortune.
Fetish Fuel: In-Universe. Nylocke found the unique form of fighting between Gamecrazed and Splat very interesting, becoming "Nylocke, Dragon of Peaked Curiosities!"
Fridge Logic: For a Tournament Arc that has emphasized very deeply about teamwork, would only allow players to compete if they had partners, and even had the Webmaster gave an opening speech all about how the Gemini Tournament was about finding the best duo of players, it's bafling that Kirb had to "fight" Zetto and Kizuna without Archy with no given explanation. If there was some explicit stated reason like Archy couldn't get back on or Kirb purposely set himself up to die "to get this over with", it would be different, but there wasn't and it leaves questions of the confused kind.
The fact that Kirb purposefully threw the match because he and Zetto are the same person might have had something to do with it.
Ho Yay: There's some between Alpha and Kirbopher in the sense of The Rival and Vitriolic Best Buds. Also, Nylocke and Gamecrazed, as they always seem to be hanging around each other, since GC's first log-in, according to Nylocke. Gamecrazed is more than willing to take a hit for Nylocke, and Nye is always extremely concerned whenever something happens to GC. There's also Episode 6, "Dragon Drama", which includes GC sensing when Nye is troubled, Nye breaking his cherished persona and venting to GC, who understands completely and is nothing but supportive, Nye, when startled by Hyprelynx, jumping into Gamecrazed arms (who isn't fazed in the least), and, lastly, GC giving Nye his beta item, Drain Edge, and the two agreeing to be partners in the Gemini Tournement. Whew.
In the Short Rockoon's Modern Strife, Rockoon is obviously heart broken for being ditched by Doubling which in of itself is nothing but the entire short has Rockoon talking like a bitter ex who just got dumped making insulting nicknames for him, saying that he ditched him, and talking about he no longer needs anyone and is better off.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: It's easy to think of the show as this, considering that many major details (such as the mysterious cat/Kizuna/Tigerlilly, the Antivirus, Netking Software, and the ;Sanctuary region) were introduced but not explained until the Season 1 finale, Plan Z, or Episode 00. This is also somewhat of a Base Breaker among fans because some find the Jigsaw-y nature of the show to be one of its best characteristics while others feel it distracts from the plot by making too many things big reveals. Chances are, you have to watch the entire series multiple times in order to get the full effect.
Narm Charm: The lyrics to Battle On! are very cheesy, but they're enjoyable anyway. Chris Niosi has said it's meant to replicate the theme songs to 90's cartoons, so it's justified.
Nightmare Fuel: Alpha when he obtained the Forbidden Power, the scream included.
and later, his Skyward Scream upon finding Kirbopher's character model limp and lifeless in then;Sanctury region immediately after the Infiltration Mission.
Ravenfreak being hit by the Forbidden Power, had Flamegirl not stopped Alpha, he probably would have died.
Satellite Character: A common complaint about Flamegirl (and to a lesser extent Alpha) is that their appearances so far have revolved around the relationship between them.
Tear Jerker: Nylocke's breaking character and telling Gamecrazed how he truly feels.
Kirbopher findng out Alpha signed up for the Gemini Tournament without telling him and his reaction, as well as him failing to put up a facade that he was happy with the outcome
The bit we hear about Alpha's life outside of TOME.
Kirbopher snapping at Alpha for wanting to attack the DBuggers.com base and not just being a normal person playing a video game and involving themselves in shit that isn't their business to begin with. It ends with Alpha quietly saying that he's sorry, but he has to do it and Kirb threatens that things won't be the same if Alpha returns. Alpha can only walk away quietly.
Alpha's Freak Out in Episode 14. Images of his friends flash through his mind as he's on the verge of tears before he lets out a single, blood-curdling, Skyward Scream after he finds that all his friends are either dead (as far as he knows) or missing, coming across Kirbopher's unconscious body. Particularly tearjerking as Alpha's main internal goal since the beginning of the series was to make friends, and now the ones he has are gone. The episode ends on this note, and to make matters worse it doesn't even play the main TOME theme during the credits, opting for a near-silent tune, emphasizing the sheer dread and angst that has been experienced by the characters so far.
Rockoon finally cluing in to who Skeight is after the latter finally gives up on him. He isn't just sad, he's absolutely devastated.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The Gemini Tournament had been built up as an event since November 2012. Skip to September 2013. Its first episode rushes through two-thirds of the entire tournament with barely any breathers. The fights with the Official Couple are the only ones that can really be classified as actual fights, while the rest are either insanely one-sided and quick or overshadowed by hit-or-miss comedy bits. There's also all the character-specific subplots (Kirb and his new partner Archy, Rockoon and his "new" partner Skeight,etc.) that were potentially set up during the "Pre-Tournament Arc" of Episodes 5-7 but were either glossed over or completely forgotten in favor of annoying slice-of-life drama. The entire arc also only lasts two episodes. Tournament Arcs in shonen are usually quite long, but for TOME, this arc could've been properly paced to use all of the trope's strengths and avoid its faults.
Furthermore in the conclusion. A fight built up at the end of the first part and the following short is completely skipped, the remaining main character left in the finals throws the fight to make a rather cheezy point, and the tournament ends up having no stakes whatsoever, with an incredibly abrupt ending, making the entire lead-up to it feel like filler.
In addition to that, several character arcs that could've been used to resolve a lot of dangling questions from previous episodes were instead used to make cheesy jokes. There was little to no interaction between Nylocke and Gamecrazed and Hyprelynx and Elescope during their encounter in the Tournament, Rockoon and Skeight get little to no interaction between each other at all, and Archy is disqualified almost immediately before anything interesting could be done with his character. At least Episode 13 resolves the character arc between Skeight and Rockoon, but all the other character arcs the tournament was building up were completely glossed over.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Kirb/Zetto and Kizuna's plans and backstory like to paint them in a softer light, with the recap short Plan Z and Prequel Episode File://Zero implying that they are simply misunderstood and trying to do the right thing through less than moral means, hiring and associating with hackers to accomplish his goal of destroying the Forbidden Power. Zetto in particular, being a main character, is given enormous slack, with much of his conflict struggling with leading a double life between his old account being used for FP-business, and his Kirb account, which was made to enjoy his time in the game with Alpha and the others. However, considering the fact that he willingly experimented on Alpha and Flamegirl, having a hacker place an untested anti-virus program on her to both provoke and keep the FP at bay, AND captured Nylocke and forcibly merged him with a weapon for taking the FP down once and for all, his position ends up becoming a LOT less solid by the end of the second season.
Elaborated on in the Season 2 finale. It's in this episode that Zetto truly realizes the mistake he's made and gives a genuine apology to Alpha. Turns out, he wasn't even behind it all. It was Rubirules. As for Kizuna, her feelings are established so as to not make her completely unsympathetic (She simply wanted to stay beside Zetto, and her distrust of SOFDTI is due to her fear of the AI accidentally hurting Zetto again, or driving him crazy through his attempts to get rid of another virus like the Forbidden Power) but regardless, both of their actions are not justified by their feelings, and they are still just about as responsible for all of these things as their boss.
Vanilla Protagonist: Alpha definitely comes across as this to some people, especially because his friend Kirb aka Zetto is often seen as a much more well-developed character than him, which is inevitable given he'sLiving a Double Life. The last episodes of Season 2 try to rectify the situation on him coming across as an empty shell, but to an extent they almost make him worse off and push him into Designated Hero and close Wangst territory, partly because he spends a good half of the last episodes having emotional breakdowns and sniffing even though none of his friends are truly confirmed dead, especially given the MMO setting; Even though Rubirules' plan is to kidnap SOFDTI/Gamecrazed and manipulate them, Alpha's main concern is getting Flamegirl back, even saying that he'll leave Rubirules alone if he just gives Stephanie back, making it seem as if he honestly doesn't care what happens to SOFDTI. Alpha stops sniveling for a bit to fight off Rubirules using Virus Fusion, but once Rubirules knocks him back into his normal form, he goes back to "let's not hurt each other, just give me my girlfriend", which has the unfortunate side effect of coming across as really selfish, especially for a protagonist who was initially established as good-hearted and well-meaning. He demonstrates no care for Rubirules having ripped apart TOME and hurt his friends, only that he gets Stephanie back. It's arguably even more painful when Gamecrazed talks about how he met his friends who fought for him, and continue to fight for him, as it cuts to Alpha. SOFDTI even thanks them afterwards for saving her, and her home, blissfully unaware that Alpha just wanted his girlfriend back and Rubirules just happened to be in the way of that.
To be fair, Alpha knows nothing about SOFTDI being Gamecrazed or anything about her until the very end, so it's understandable that he doesn't have any real drive to stop whatever Rubirules is planning unlike Zetto or Kizuna.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The show has peppy retro music, a teen romance, a relatively simple and cartoonish art style, and it's about friends who play an online game together. But then there's a dangerous life-threatening virus, characters nearly dying or being legitimately hurt, a boy and his friends getting assaulted by mysterious and creepy individuals, broken friendships, hidden pasts, a decent amount of swearing, and lots and lots of emotional trauma. Have fun, kids!