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Webcomic / {MUTE}

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And in the end... can there really be a happy ending?
The comic description

{MUTE} is a sprite comic gone drawn created by Shard, or Niv as she is known here. It is a comic about a mute robot who kills people, according to the author. That robot has an uncanny resemblance to a deceased friend of the comic's heroes, and they must overcome this if they wish to overcome the robot itself.

It is a finished webcomic as of strip 300. It can be read online.


{MUTE} provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Already Met Everyone:
    • A strange variation — while Niv has made many comics in the past, many of them are no longer in a place where they can be read. Thus, many of the characters know each other without explanation. This provides confusion for some people who are new to the series.
    • Happens a little more straight when Katai fights Rage Matt. The fight apparently resembles a past one between Kat and Rage Matt, which was something that happened in RP only. Niv realized this would be a problem, though, and provided scenes to display the resemblance.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: To the point that it irritates some people. Groups of characters (Team SMG, The Police Triad, the Cafe Workers, etc.) will generally get an "arc" of 10, 20 or sometimes 30 comics to themselves — and then it will swap points of view to someone else, often on a cliffhanger.
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  • Angry Eyebrows: Happens a lot. Go to any fight scene and you're sure to find them somewhere.
  • An Ice Person: Slash and Kitani, half of the time.
  • Anyone Can Die: The general mood set by {MUTE}, though some characters don't die even though they logically should because they're needed later on.
  • April Fools' Day:
  • Art Evolution: Pre-200, {MUTE} randomly drawn panels which have steadily improved in quality over time. After 200, this becomes more evident, since everything is drawn.
  • Art Shift: The randomly drawn panels, and then the comic's shift to drawn comics post-200.
  • Berserk Button: Rupph when it comes to Kat's death. She did not take it well.
  • Berserker Tears: Matt gets these when he starts his fight against Katai.
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  • Better Than It Sounds: Niv constantly calls it a comic about a robot that kills people.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Viola, but this might not apply since it only happened after Xerox was killed by Katai.
    • ANA. Oh dear god ANA.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: Kat was one of these prior to the events of {MUTE}. Whether it's just Plot Armor or because she has Katty's soul, Katai seems to be one as well, albeit not exactly a hero... Not so much after she got her ass handed to her by Ray.
  • The Cameo: Most of the characters in the comic are this. The ones that aren't are the girls and Damaru.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Shard and CD, full stop. CD especially. Other characters like Ana, Rasha and Viola will display traits of this as well, though not as prominently.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted — when confronted by eight people early on, instead of the standard two or three that tend to confront her throughout the series, Katai runs away instead of taking her chances against them.
  • Death Is Such an Odd Thing: The general reaction to the fact that Kat is dead at the start of {MUTE}. It doesn't help that she was a Boring Invincible Hero before that.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Katai toward Des, which is ironic considering that Katai is a pyrokinetic.
  • Drinking Game: Not in the comic itself, but when Niv swaps to a drawn medium, she personally invokes this.
    Niv: I'll probably adjust how I color/make backgrounds, so here's a fun drinknig game — take a shot every time I apologize for my crappy backgrounds! You'll be drunk by the time we get to 220.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Katai has to do this once she learns how to think for herself. It doesn't seem like anyone's about to let her do that, though.
  • Evil Knockoff: Katai originally seemed like one of these to Katty, which worked quite well since Kat is dead.
  • Flash Step: This is one of Ray's abilities, as seen here and here.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Both Bane and Viola sport a scar on one of their eyes, Bane on his left eye and Viola on her right.
  • Go Out with a Smile: This seems to be a popular trend...
    • Xerox. Rage Matt could be counted, since the last we saw he was smiling.
    • Apparently, Kat went out like this as well.
  • The Gunslinger: Damaru is one of these. He has various different weapons (though most of them are guns), each one with a different ability/ammunition.
  • Handicapped Badass: Arguably, Viola, what with the whole being blind without the helmet and lack of the ability to move her right arm and all.
  • Human Shifting: Viola and Xerox have this ability, much to Bane's irritation. They disguise themselves as Bane's partners, just to piss him off (and BET on his reaction!). It doesn't help that Viola is a prankster outside of {MUTE}.
  • Info Drop: Kat to Katai, and Damaru to Shard, in {MUTE} 100.
  • Kill It with Fire: Kat's standard solution to problems. When she becomes Katai's spiritual guide, she advises her to do this against Dark and Kitani. Katai does not approve.
  • Lightning Gun: Damaru uses one of these. It's called the Voltage Gun.
  • Local Hangout: The "Nameless Cafe" has become this, as most scenes where characters are gathered for whatever reason take place there.
  • Making a Splash / Shock and Awe: Rupph has these as her abilities. They can be quite a deadly weapon when she's not completely and utterly pissed, which she is more often than not.
  • Mood Whiplash: After the lighthearted, silly side-story involving Cloudcuckoolander CD, {MUTE} swings right back around to Matt in the afterlife.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: Played with. To quote the comic description, "There is no good. There is no evil. There are merely beliefs and impulses that come from situations."
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Doctor Hoku Suchi, who created Katai.
  • Nice Hat: Kitani has one.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Kanos is a lot taller than the rest of the cast, and Ganato is a human. Elf. Thing.
  • Oh, Crap!: Damaru has so many of these moments in his fight against Katai that the fans actually started counting them out of frustration.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Played with; Hoku doubles as a scientist/roboticist and a medical doctor, but he studied to be both and does have the credentials required for that sort of thing. He's not exactly the best programmer, though, what with Katai not listening to him anymore. It turns out that his wife was the programmer, so he didn't study it.
  • Out of Focus: Every character except the ones in the current "arc" will suffer from this.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Katty, Dark, Matt and Katai do this, though in Katai's case it's because she has Katty's soul.
    • Kitani does it half the time.
  • Plot Armor: Several characters in {MUTE} seem to have this, despite Word of God saying that Anyone Can Die. A strange example happens in the case of Matt, who actually dies, only to be brought back to life later on.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Katai. She can communicate through her thoughts, but only a few people can hear her, and so far, half of them have wanted to kill her.
  • Shopkeeper: Ganato, only with the "Nameless Cafe" instead of a shop. Damaru later makes it the 'hub' for the anti-Katai movement, which Ganato objects to. Dark tells him that it's at least helping business.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Much to her dismay, every single female character in {MUTE} was created by Niv herself.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Rage Matt for Matt. It comes out after Katai kills John, apparently Slash (who didn't actually die) and Glandor.
  • The Speechless: Katai. She tries to communicate through thought, which Des and Ray can hear.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Kat's line that "Maybe Katai really can have a happy ending..." is quickly shot down when we swap scenes to the cafe again.
    • Behind the scenes, Niv told Dark's creator that if he changed Dark's sprites again, she'd kill his character in {MUTE}. Guess what he did?
  • Unexplained Recovery: Slash, though he didn't actually die, and Matt.
  • Unstoppable Rage: What Rupph tends falls into after her Berserk Button has been pressed.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: CD's entire arc had basically no point. He doesn't show up again, and the only indication that this is actually a canon event is that Black, who made his debut in the arc, appears afterwards. According to Niv, this was done for CD's owner, who was planning on making a comic that would explain where CD got to. However, he never got around to doing this, so that detail just fell through unexplained.


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