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YMMV / Story of the Century

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: As with the manga this fanfic is based on, a number of character's actions and motivations are subject to speculation, especially taking into consideration all the companion fics and the sequel.
    • Is Erin a well-meaning Iron Woobie who gets dragged into the plot by circumstances outside of her control? Or a selfish naïve girl who gets caught up in a mess of her own doing in search of a good story and is at least partly responsible for the deaths of Light, Rem, Watari and L? On the one hand, the story is littered with elements of Unreliable Narrator, which becomes most apparent when the ending reveals the whole story is a retelling from a journal she started keeping in the aftermath of a post-traumatic nervous breakdown. On the other, several of the companion fics—particularly the ones told from L's, Watari's and Rem's POV—do mostly back up Erin's account of events.
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    • Is L a sociopathic Insufferable Genius who dragged a harmless girl into a dangerous case for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, who was emotionally and mentally abusive towards basically everyone around him, and who refused to Take a Third Option just because he wanted to prove himself superior to Kira? Or is he a Stoic Woobie who is Lonely at the Top, dealing with a confused and obstructive witness, two murder suspects he’s got nothing on, and a team of dysfunctional cops and criminals who are ineffectual without his guidance? Moreover, instead of for the selfish aforementioned reason, did he actually go through with his Heroic Sacrifice out of a genuine refusal to let two dangerous criminals get away and likely kill any more people?
    • Were L’s feelings for Erin romantic? Or did he simply come to see her as a friend he wanted to protect from harm? Supplementary material and the sequel imply that he was inching towards the former case.
      • While we’re talking about it, are Erin’s own feelings for L genuine, or an unfortunate result of Stockholm Syndrome that goes unresolved?
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    • Did Misa always see Erin as a friend despite being the Second Kira and was sincere about getting her and L together? Or was she a False Friend who tried to use Erin to separate L from Light because she felt that entitled to Light’s time and space? After all, she shows no hesitation in trying to help Light kill her in the climax. Their relationship gets all the more complicated in the sequel.
    • Did Watari see Erin as L's chance to pursue a happier life once the case ended? Did he simply hope that she would be a Morality Pet for him on the Kira case? Or did he not like the two getting close out of fear that it would create an unnecessary and potentially dangerous distraction for L? He never talks about it in the main story, but the oneshot Heart implies it’s a little bit of all three.
      • In that same vein, should Watari have done more to nurture L's social skills and avoid bringing him up as a Tyke Bomb? Or did he just want to respect L for who he was?
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    • The companion fic Will makes us wonder: was Rem’s decision to help Light kill L and Watari a case of Idiot Ball and Poor Communication Kills, a bad choice that would maintain its impact into the sequel? Or was she trying to atone for inadvertently ruining Misa’s life when she first gave her the Death Note?
    • In the oneshot Enmity, does Kiyomi dump Light out of disgust at him seeing other women and lying about it (which, to be fair, he was, if to avoid attracting attention to his meetings with Misa)? Or was she never that deeply interested in him in the first place and in a show of hurt pride just used his being with Misa as an excuse to dump him before he dumped her?
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • L is simultaneously this and a Stoic Woobie. He's an Insufferable Genius with No Social Skills who treats everyone around him poorly, is frustratingly stubborn and cares more about beating Kira than getting justice for his victims. Nevertheless, he seems to be aware when he crosses a line, and very, very deep down he does care for the people around him, especially Erin. He even takes Erin's "The Reason You Suck" Speech gracefully and dies alone, regretful of how things turned out and hoping Erin leads a long and happy life.
    • Erin counts as well. She is constantly snarky to everyone, rude and unthinking at the worst of times, and has been self-centered and naïve to obnoxious levels at several points. But at the same time, she is frequently talked down to by everyone except Matsuda and Watari, has no real self-confidence, is subjected to immense psychological trauma and is ultimately pushed away rather cruelly by someone for whom she had developed feelings. It's almost impossible not to feel bad for her when you see how in over her head she is here.
    • Then there’s Misa. She's selfish, impulsive, insensitive and pretty Ax-Crazy when you catch her in a bad time. But, in addition to her harrowing backstory, she does have to suffer L's creepy behavior towards her and Light, witnessing Light write down his father’s name in the notebook, and getting implicitly rejected by him when they’re caught even when she fights to defend his honor all the same. The last we see of her in the main story, she’s sobbing helplessly and calling out to Light while he’s dying in his father’s arms.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • The Woobie: The whole task force, especially Sochiro and Matsuda, from having to put up with L's attitude and methods, to Erin and Misa pestering them from time to time. Sochiro is hit the hardest when he finds out his son was Kira all along, and then is forced to watch Light die in his arms immediately after. The rest of the team is left embittered, jaded, and with no more faith in L.
    Erin: Forget trust and respect; I don’t know how they even stand you after what you’ve done to them.

Example of: