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YMMV / Meta Runner

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Regarding Lucks, are his actions really just to protect himself and TASCorp, or is it also a twisted way of trying to atone for what happened to Lucinia? Though Belle's speech in "Fatal Error" heavily implies the former, there are hints spread throughout Season 2 that Lucks was not always as corrupt as he is in the present and that he may feel some semblance of guilt toward Lucinia's fate (his reaction to overhearing Masa say her blood is on his hands in particular). Plus, in the final seconds before his death, Lucks gives the implication that he had at least some idea of what Sheridan is planning.
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  • Angst? What Angst?: The promotions at the beginning of "Untitled Mario Video", "Mario vs IT", and "SMG4 Runs Out of Memes" shows Tari, Lamar and Theo respectively advertising the merchandise for Meta Runner in a cheerful manner. Considering what happened in the season 1 finale, especially in the case of Theo, it's weird seeing them this happy. Justified, since these promotions are evidently non-canon.
  • Author's Saving Throw: When it was first announced, some fans were concerned that the brothers were actually planning to release it on YouTube Premium, and thus it would cost money to watch due to the trailer not making it clear how the show was going to be released. These fears were assuaged when they confirmed that, no, it would be uploaded to YouTube normally, free to watch. (And, in fact, making it has cost them a lot of money, but they don't care and just want to tell a new story.)
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  • Awesome Art: The 3D animation looks absolutely amazing, and the style for Season 2 looks even better.
  • Awesome Music: The Season 1 opening theme "Always Running."
    • The Season 1 ending theme "Breeze" counts as well.
    • The show itself has some rather amazing background music to go with it, including the music that played during Tari and Masa's fight against Belle in Tempest during Episode 9 (Which contains similarities to the music during Belle's speed run in Episode 1), and the Triumphant Reprise instrumental of Always Running that played when Tari fought Belle while performing the Deep Mountain Clip in Episode 10.
    • The Season 2 opening theme, “Only Up”.
    • The Season 2 closing theme, "Steady".
  • Broken Base:
    • The initial reveal of the series caused a split between fans of Luke and Kevin's main series. One half of the base was amazed from the trailer and were okay with the series since it meant SMG4 was expanding into different ventures and were excited for a more serious web series. The other half wasn't as eager, feeling it was a ripoff of RWBY and actively fearing that the series would take time away from SMG4. Luke and Kevin went on to address the latter half's fear, assuring them that the Mario bloopers would still be uploaded weekly as they always have and that they hoped the fans would enjoy the series, but the debate rages on.
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    • The Art Evolution of Season 2 got this on its initial reveal. Many debated on whether it was an improvement from Season 1 or not, especially in the cases of Lucks and Theo.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Twice in quick succession in "Soft Lock", with Lucks getting punched in the face by Masa and Evelyn getting locked in her own gaming pod by Sofia and Lamar.
    • Also after being an unnecessarily petty, spoiled brat to Tari for a duration of her time working for TAScorp, Tari manages to defeat Evelyn during their match in corrupted Ultra Jump Mania. Watching Evelyn have a breakdown over it is immensely satisfying.
    • If you thought Masa decking Lucks in the face in "Soft Lock" was satisfying, it goes further in the Season 2 finale. With Lucks finally getting his wrongdoings exposed to the authorities and Masa giving him a proper beating in and holding him at gunpoint, with the same gun Lucks used to shoot off Masa's arm in the Season 1 finale as well. Top that off with Belle also giving Lucks a well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • And finally, as shocking as the moment is, Masa being framed to shoot Lucks in the face pretty much guarantees that Lucks' crimes have come to an end and he can no longer hurt anybody.
  • Complete Monster: Derek Lucks is the corrupt CEO of TASCorp who would partake in any unethical method to advance his company. A cruel boss, Lucks abuses his Meta Runners and remorselessly allows his top scientist Dr. Sheridan to experiment on Lucinia Porter, only to then cover up the incident when both supposedly perish. Lucks takes an interest in Tari for her game jumping abilities and forces her to join his company under the threat of killing her friends, demonstrating this by shooting off Masa Shimamoto's Meta Runner arm; destroying Theo's physical form and holding him hostage, and later trapping him in a painful, corrupted version of his game, to serve as a bargaining chip. Resorting to torture whether for scientific purposes or just to get what he wants, Lucks proves himself to be a self-serving sociopath believing his own lies.
  • Creator's Pet: In the "Making of Our Own Animated Show" video, it was revealed that Evelyn was a big favorite among most of the Glitch Productions' crew because of how 'ridiculous she'd respond to things' and how exaggerated she is when making her a Love to Hate character in the first place, contrasting how many viewers consider her a scrappy.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: While Tari has an Alternate Universe counterpart in the SMG4 bloopers, Meta Runner is not a Spin-Off of SMG4 - it's actually the opposite, as SMG4's Tari was solely created as a teaser for Meta Runner prior to its release. She became a major character due to fan popularity.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Not explicitly confirmed, but since the moment they met, Belle seemed to take quite a liking to Tari. While this is obviously showing basic kindness and decency towards a stranger as a normal person would, as the series goes on Belle begins to show much interest and concern for Tari, despite them having become enemies by association. The fact that she calls Tari "honey" and "babe" in nearly every interaction, in addition to getting rather close to Tari's face when she lectures her on what Meta Runners do to be the best in a manner you could interpret as subtle flirting, which leads to the idea that Belle is gay, which some find somewhat fitting considering her personality And with the new theory as of Episode 6 that her old friend Lucinia may in fact be Tari (or at least associated/related to her in some capacity), it's possible, if you really go with this theory, Lucinia was Belle's crush/girlfriend, that is, if Belle actually is gay.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the SMG4 videos, the video "The Big Bad Bully", which featured Wario bullying the SMG4 Tari, was posted on the Saturday before the tenth episode's premiere, which pretty much put our Tari through hell before ultimately ending on a sour note for her for the season.
  • He Really Can Act: Not only does Anthony Sardinha do an amazing job making Dr. Sheridan sound like a madman, whether he's losing it putting Project Blue together or convincing Evelyn that he can make her dreams come true, he manages to not sound anything like Lamar despite sharing the same voice actor. Even his disguised voice doesn't sound much like Lamar.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hype Aversion: One of the biggest reasons this series is divisive among fans of SMG4 is because of the sheer amount of promotion and praise it has gotten, from having many videos' intros dedicated to it to the SMG4 channel banner remaining a promotion for Season 2 after it had concluded its run, which have turned off those who are uninterested from wanting to watch it.
  • Love to Hate: Evelyn got this reaction from some viewers immediately thanks to her bratty attitude. It’s also why she’s the favorite character for a lot of the production team.
  • Memetic Molester: Lucks, no thanks to his creepy "I want her." line from the trailer/Episode 4, which outright got lampshaded by Belle. It got to the point where Lucks' voice actor David J.G Doyle used that line to introduce himself as Lucks for both "Meta Runner Voice Actors Read Memes" videos.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "You are not getting away!" "I just did."Explanation(spoilers) 
    • Many people compared Masa's deep voice to Batman's, more specifically Kevin Conroy's voice.
    • OI!Explanation 
    • Spellbreak copied Tempest! Explanation(spoilers) 
    • "Say goodbye to your waifus! They're mine, now!" Explanation 
    • "This is the same guy who made (insert SMG4 video here)."Explanation 
    • The dreaded Cliffhanger endingsExplanation 
    • Masa's arm got revenge!Explanation(spoilers) 
    • It Was Sheridan All Along! Explanation(spoilers) 
  • Moe:
    • Due to the animation in this series giving more attention to detail than the bloopers, Tari gets to really stand out as just adorable, as exemplified here.
    • Theo stands out even more, due to his tiny size and his naive but bubbly personality.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the chibi versions of them (as well as every other character) used in Sofia's demonstration in Episode 6.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • Not only did Meta Runner earn $500,000 through Epic Games' Unreal Dev Grants, but the series also gained funding through both Crunchyroll and the Australian government! Yes, an internet cartoon is being funded by Australian taxpayers. And this was all pre-release, which shows just how much faith and interest the show developed.
    • And all of this good faith wasn't unfounded, either. It managed to hit #16 on trending for gaming on the day of release, and got to #20 on trending, period, the following day.
    • Episode 10, the Season One finale, managed to get to #13 in trending the day after its release, beating out the trending mark of the first episode.
    • Proving how much hype the show had gained since it was first announced, the trailer for Season 2 made it to #18 on trending the day after its release, and its finale did the same.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Lucks was already established to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive demonstrating it by giving Tari excruciating pain when her metallic arm was being experimented on in the real world. Even Belle believed that he was going too far and all but states that he was killing her. And if that didn't convince you enough, Episode 10 has him shoot off Masa's Meta Runner arm and threaten to kill him on the spot if Sofia didn't show herself, and breaks Theo's cartridge, holding him and his chip hostage and threatening to effectively erase him as collateral to guarantee Tari stays with TASCorp. Lamar's line sums it up well.
    • Evelyn crossed it in episode 7 of season 2, when she deliberately tells Lucks of Tari and MD-5's new plan the moment she sees something fishy. Keep in mind that this plan involves getting Tari out of TASCorp, which aligns with Evelyn's interests (and was made clear to Evelyn in her conversation with Tari in the previous episode), yet she calls her out to Lucks out of pure spite.
    • Dr. Sheridan crosses it in the Season 2 finale, when he hacks into Masa's arm and uses it to kill Lucks, framing Masa for his murder in the process.
  • The Scrappy: You won't be blaming anyone for hating Evelyn. She's pretty much the typical Alpha Bitch character whose only apparent purpose is to be a bitch to Tari, for little to no reason except to make the audience hate her in the cheapest way possible. (Episode 16, however, gives her some justification by explaining how she became jealous of Tari for all the attention she’s gotten despite all the hard work Evelyn put in to become a popular Meta Runner.) Her constant chattering and loud, irritating voice doesn’t help matters. She's so hated, there's an entire subreddit dedicated to Evelyn hate. The production team themselves deliberately created Evelyn for this reason and even go so far as to say that Evelyn isn't so much of a character as she is a "state of mind".
  • Shocking Moments: Lucks’ death in “Fatal Error”. On the one hand, Lucks probably had it coming to him. But what makes it so shocking is the timing and execution; not only does it come right after the heroes have accomplished their main goal of exposing Lucks’ illegal activity, but it turns out to be the doing of Dr. Sheridan of all people, by hijacking Masa’s arm to shoot Lucks in cold blood and pin the murder on him, shining the events of the entire series up to that point in a different, darker light.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Evelyn not only being defeated by Tari in "Soft Reset", but also being locked up in her own gaming pod. The following episode has her try to tell Lucks her plans for her new stage match, only for Lucks to abruptly tell her to be quiet. In the season 2 finale, not only is she defeated by Tari and Theo, but when she tries explaining herself to Lucks, he hangs up on her.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans were rather disappointed about how the show focused more on the plot and characters rather than world building the concept of a world where video games are everything, which had been a heavy advertising point for the show.
  • The Woobie: Tari has it SEVERELY rough for her. In no more than two weeks after waking up with no memories, a lot of painful stuff happens to her. Including being put through severe pain when Lucks had some TASCorp scientists tamper with her arm, being hunted down and captured by TASCorp, seeing all the friends she made put through physical and emotional pain when Operation: Silent Demon failed, has to witness Theo (Her first friend in all of this madness) vanish before her eyes and be used as collateral for her guaranteed surrender, and has to give herself up to Lucks and TASCorp. Yikes.


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