YMMV / Tales of MU

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Tales of MU encourages this, including having a Spin-Off that gives a completely different view of some characters and events. Every major character and most minor ones seems to spark competing theories. Is Mackenzie Blaise a Mary Sue, an unrepentant sociopath, or just a normal girl who happens to be Cursed with Awesome? Was her grandmother's treatment of her horrible child abuse or going above and beyond the call of duty to raise a dangerous child? Is everything Amaranth's fault after all.
  • Archive Panic: Mack's first year at MU ends with ch. 496; the second year is up to ch. 322. Also: 117 chapters in Jamie's Tale, 12 chapters of As The Underworld Turns, and 77 chapters of Other Tales (assorted side stories).
  • Base Breaker: Amaranth. She still has plenty of fans that tend to see her as an oblivious but kindhearted nymph that has good intentions and a positive support that encourages Mac to express her sexuality. Others have grown to dislike the character for taking the limits of what could be considered a healthy dominant relationship to an extreme. There's a decent argument to be made that she enjoys the role too much to see it as a problem, coupled with Mac's addictive masochism, making the dynamic come off as abusive.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: At one point, Mack begins to panic during a crucial moment. Steff responds to this by... yanking down Mack's pants and smacking her ass repeatedly with a stick. This apparently makes her focus and she sets off to resolve the situation.
  • Draco in Leather Pants/Misaimed Fandom
    • Despite Puddy several times approaching Moral Event Horizon moments, and being a generally vile person, she has an extremely loyal fan-following on the forums, even in the face of hostility to and attacks on other fan favorites.
    • The Man. As demonic as he is portrayed, his Wicked Cultured is often mistaken for Affably Evil.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Shiel the kobold started out this way, with frequent race-baiting and Straw Feminist arguments that bordered on Insane Troll Logic. She seems to be growing out of it lately, though, which is making her into a more interesting and likable character.
  • Fan Nickname: "Mack Daddy", for Mack's absent demon father.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Mack in the early chapters, especially with regards to the prejudice and bigotry of which she is routinely the victim, but which she also routinely exhibits to others. To be fair, much of this was taught to her as she grew up by her Knight Templar grandmother. But between the Mechans, the Arkhanites, Winnie, and just about anyone who disagrees with her, she gives as good as she gets on the Jerkass front.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some are really just reading because of Two's extremely likable character. Others are just in it for the admittedly interesting World Building, and regret so much time is put on college sex antics rather than the tons of interesting stuff in the world at large.
  • Marty Stu: Dan Harris, (AKA Aidan), for no apparent reason other than to provide a way for the author to heavy-handedly discredit Martha Blaise's half-demon-child-rearing skills.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Mercy waves to everyone else from deep inside it.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A very odd version of it, in that Mack is not going to be allowed to be straight, or celibate, or monogamous by turns. Not only does the story conspire to get her into sexual situations, Amaranth even ordered her to perform a specific sex act with Ian on demand, at any time he wanted, after Mack admitted wanting to do so. Ian balked. He got over it.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Various bit characters are generally portrayed as bigots for treating Mack as inherently dangerous or unstable due to her demon blood. However, even within the first month of her time at school, it's easier to count the number of cast members that she hasn't come close to killing than those she has, and in most cases she was set off by happenstance or her own mild negligence in feeding herself. In practical terms it's very legitimate to worry about someone who can't make it four days in a row without a potentially-lethal accident or outright attempted murder, and Mack is also presented as one of the most stable and emotionally balanced of her subspecies.
    • Obviously they don't have to be dicks about it, but being a dick about a statistically imminent threat to your actual life is at least somewhat understandable and isn't really on the same order of unjustified aversion as actual racism.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Amaranth's imminent desire to see the good in everyone, combined (ironically enough) with her high intelligence makes her extra susceptible to this trope. She's used to being the smart one and takes it for granted she's right about everything, never quite realizing what a Horrible Judge of Character she is. This means she pulls off some really boneheaded stunts and gives Mack a lot of really bad advice, all the while thinking that she's doing what's best for her.
      • What high intelligence? Her big "I'm an intellectual" scene only really tells us that she can read, which admittedly puts her one up on Barley but isn't exactly a high bar to jump, and that she did reasonably well on the equivalent of a high-school placement test, essentially a GED. Most of her attempts at insight involve psychology (which she's hilariously bad at), and even her attempts to express her own morality often fall apart logically to the point that even the normally oblivious, love-blind Mack can pick it apart in moments (though she usually surrenders anyway). She believes in 'science', but never evidences any understanding of the scientific method, just blindly asserts things that science discovered in our world as articles of faith (things that, in the setting, are blatantly untrue, making her basically a flat-earther). It's something of an Informed Quality that she has any intellect at all, which makes the fact that she's hyper-defensive about her low IQ, and the fact that that defensiveness prevents her from fixing the situation, kind of tragic.
    • Mack herself has some huge moments of cluelessness, mostly derived from a total lack of social experience.
  • The Woobie: Two. Because of her "programming" (namely, to want to do what she's told), the early parts of the story imply, and show in only a small part, that she has suffered a horrifying array of abuses. She very quickly gained the sympathy of both the rest of the core cast and the audience.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TalesOfMu