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YMMV / Innocents Shounen Juujigun

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Unmarked spoilers ahead.

  • Acceptable Religious Targets: Catholics aren't exactly portrayed in a positive light, especially the ones most involved the the Church.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Guillaume and Pierre were two bratty, spoiled, selfish, rotten boys. . . but their deaths were heartbreaking. Watching two young boys forced to kill each other for the sadistic whims of a man intending to throw them away could be almost enough to redeem them, especially considering just how young they both are.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Many.
    • Is Etienne a poorly written character with Ass Pull powers and a lack of any real development, or a genuinely sweet, good young man who just so happens to have God wanting him alive?
    • Is Nicolas annoying and immature, or doing the best a 12 year old boy in his circumstances reasonably could? Is he in love with Etienne and/or following hom out of genuine loyalty, or only using Etty's powers to advance his own goals?
    • Is Christian wanting to be a woman merely him trying to justify his feelings for Etienne, or does he actually want to be female? Is he nothing more than an unhinged and lust crazed teen, or does he really have feelings for Etienne... or maybe it's a mix of both?
    • Are Guillaume and Pierre annoying, spoiled brats, or children who only behave badly because they've been taught to?
    • Is Henri a weak, useless burden to the Crusade, or a brave young man who conquered his fears for the cause? And was his killing of mark nothing more than an excuse for gore and angst, or a moment of showing just how naive the boys really are?
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    • Is Micheal a reprehensible brat who deserved his eventual fate, or a misled boy who'd been practically brainwashed into what he did? And was he really a bit dopey and strange, or was it entirely faked?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Hugo is remarkably easy to beat, and puts up much less of a fights than one would expect from a fully grown knight. The only even slightly hard part was keeping him from escaping back into his castle. After that, it was as easy as Nicolas chopping off his head. Rather justified when Hugo reveals he's never actually been in a real fight.
  • Badass Decay: Hugo's image as a 'badass' is quite the facade, and he goes from a vaguely impressive villain to begging for his life in about three chapters.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Hugo's status as absolutely evil was pretty clear by chapter 7. By chapter 11 and on, most people had already guessed he wasn't what he seemed.
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  • Complete Monster: Sir Hugo at first seems an affable member of The Knights Templar, eager to help the Children's Crusade in their goal. It is revealed Hugo is paying townspeople to fake miracles to enhance the Crusade's reputation and earn more money for himself. When the kids cut ties with him, Hugo has bandits attack them for the money, killing multiple children. Hugo then convinces three of the boys to join him, raping them as an "initiation" and having them sway others to his side. When one boy resists Hugo's attempted rape, Hugo beats him and has him thrown out of the castle where the boy commits suicide in shame. Hugo then has his initial three recruits fight to the death for his entertainment in a "rite of courage" before he is ambushed by the young Crusaders Nicolas and Guy, having the audacity to plead for his life by claiming they were nothing before him just before Nicolas beheads him.
  • Creepy Cute: Michael is eerily beautiful, with strange, almost alien like features, and has one of the highest kill counts in the story, He still manages to be an adorable kid.
  • Genius Bonus: Etienne's story features a lot of subtle biblical references, including minor miracles that parallel those of Jesus. While fairly obvious to Christian viewers, non-religious readers may miss them entirely,
  • Growing the Beard: The second volume, especially any parts following the Forest of Demons, is where the story really starts to get going.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire premise of sending children out on The Crusades was a terrible idea from the start. Every bad thing that happens in the story could have been averted by some decent adult supervision, or better yet, not sending literal children to war.
  • Iron Woobie: Etienne can be considered this. Despite going through absolutely horrible things, including multiple botched executions, he remains a determined pillar of morality and hope. Not even actual death manages to stop him from going on to do great things.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Guillaume and Pierre both qualify. Both are bratty, nasty children with horrific stories and brutal deaths.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Hugo's rape of a select few member's of Etienne's crusade is this. He'd been nasty before, but this is the moment that really proves him to be abhorrent.
  • Nausea Fuel: Literally everything Hugo does to the boys.
    • Etienne's execution, which features letters carved into his chest, his half starved, filthy, beaten body, trumpet noises coming out of his mouth, white, blank eyes, and the hanging of his body on a stake.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Laurent has very little plot relevance. . . at least until he climbs Hugo like a tree and endures repeated stabbing to drag the man down to his awaiting execution.
  • One True Threesome: A platonic example with Etienne, Nicolas, and Guy, who make up the most functional, loyal team in the story. The three are extremely close, and all have their reasons for being deathly loyal to each other. Etienne, of course, is filled with love for literally everyone, and that kindness is what won over the two most prickly of his followers.
  • Theme Pairing:
    • Etienne and Michael, as the two hyper-religious, "pure" boys.
    • Guillaume and Pierre, the two loathsome, rich boy brats.
    • Guy and Nicolas, the two hot headed, rough, extremely loyal to Etienne ones.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Laurent and Lillian had a lot of potential to be interesting, but quickly fell to the side. Lillian became little more than a minor villain and shadow to Guillaume and Pierre, and Laurent was all but forgotten until his death scene. The two had a tragic backstory, twin telepathy, and a pile of development waiting to happen, only to get very little of it before being killed off.
  • Too Cool to Live: Guy was a bandit boy skilled in combat, deathly loyal to Etienne, and with a soft side that made him beyond lovable. He did make it to the end of the main story, but was killed shortly after in what was a rather half-assed plot point.
  • The Woobie:
    • Henri is a sweet, gentle, crybaby of a boy who goes through one of the harshest Break the Cutie lines possible. He goes from a precious 10 year old, to a broken, hopeless child willing to kill himself on a tree branch just to put an end to his own misery.
    • Remy is a 12 year old boy with leprosy. This would be sympathetic enough on its own, but he's also sweet, gentle, and completely optimistic despite his suffering. He's slowly broken by his fading health, and eventually dies while deeming himself so ugly and broken that even God wouldn't want him.

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