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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 Binge/Archive Panic — Mack's first year at MU ends with ch. 496; the second year is up to ch. 243. Also: 117 chapters in Jamie's Tale, 12 chapters of As The Underworld Turns, and 77 chapters of Other Tales (assorted side stories).
  • 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.
  • Character Alignment: One of the few D&D tropes not directly spoken about or alluded to in some obvious way, but being essentially a D&D world, most of the characters have a clearly recognizable alignment:
    • Lawful Good: Mackenzie, Amaranth, Dee, Two. All of whom are very different from each other, personality-wise, making them good foils for each other.
    • Neutral Good: Ian, which makes sense. As a bard, he can't be Lawful.
    • Lawful Neutral:
      • Embries. He's there for a very specific reason: to keep order. This does not make him a particularly nice or good person, and he recognizes that.
      • Dell McAvoy from Law comes across this way too, for basically the same reasons.
    • True Neutral: Callahan. She shows some Lawful tendencies at times, particularly in her official capacity as a professor, but that's balanced out by... well... everything else she does.
    • Chaotic Neutral: Puddy. She's probably the character who comes closest to explicitly stating that they have a specific alignment. All she wants to do is whatever she wants to do, and she will twist any rule and abuse any loophole in order to get her way. She also has a disturbing amount of practical knowledge about blackmail, picking locks, hiding or disposing of evidence, etc...
    • Lawful Evil: Mercy. A truly chilling villain, especially since she is meticulously careful to do all of her horrible deeds completely within the boundaries of the law.
    • Neutral Evil:
      • "The Man" is solely interested in his own schemes and will manipulate, deceive, and/or destroy anyone it takes to get what he wants.
      • Mackenzie when her demon side takes over; it makes her viciously psychopathic.
    • Chaotic Evil:
      • Barley comes across this way after she goes off the deep end.
      • Iona. Her inability to restrain herself ends up getting her killed.
    • Chaotic Stupid: Steff.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unfortunate ImplicationsWhooo Boy.
    • Apparently, the proper reaction to being horribly abused and turned into an unstable, emotionally extremely fragile and insanely self-loathing wreck is to fetishize the abuse - throwing about every single element of Safe, Sane and Consensual to the wind along the way.
    • Mack's aversion to ever having children seems to imply that if you have "bad" genes, it's a moral imperative not to have children and pass them on.
    • Use of the Fantasy Counterpart Culture trope often invokes quite a few [at best] uncomfortable stereotypes, and this series is no exception.
    • Mack thinks that she has bad blood. She thinks she's evil, remember? Were she to have kids, they would inherit her evil blood. Ergo, her aversion to kids is merely an extension of her own self-loathing, which has in-universe Unfortunate Implications.
    • One chapter discusses one of the responsible methods of dom/sub relationships, a "blacklist"... a list of things the sub does not want to do under any circumstances. Mack makes such a list for Amaranth... and not too long after, Amaranth uses the threat of doing something from the list to make Mack behave. The unfortunate implication is that making a blacklist is just a way to give the dominant a method of emotional blackmail over the submissive, and that if you don't want your dominant to bully you, you'd better not make one. This is overall related to the unfortunate implications of discarding the elements of Safe, Sane and Consensual mentioned above.
  • 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 be 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.
    • 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 a horrifying array of abuses. She very quickly gained the sympathy of both the rest of the core cast and the audience.


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