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YMMV / The Grinning Snake

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation
    • Konoka. Is she a woobie who's willing to go to hell for eternity to get justice for her father and the many other people Shizuru killed? Is she an impulsive and vengeful girl who throws away a chance to see her father again in heaven simply because she can't get over his loss? Or is she a tragic figure, who sealed her and Shizuru's fates without knowing the entire story(perhaps thinking of her father as a better person than he actually was), and will have to bear the consequences for all eternity?
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    • Speaking of Konoka, when all is said and done, does she really think making a contract to send Shizuru to Hell was Worth It, or was she simply trying to convince herself of that?
    • Konoka's father. Is he a decent man who loves his daughter and died for his employer's crimes, perhaps because he didn't even think they were evil? Or is he an entirely willing accomplice to their schemes, whose only redeeming feature is having a family?
    • While Shizuru's meant to be seen as an unrepentant mass murderer, it's also possible to conclude that even if she's not willing to turn herself in for her crimes, she's trying to dissuade Konoka from seeking revenge for Konoka's sake, and not to avoid being killed, imprisoned, executed or sent to hell for what she's done. The fact that Konoka has some similarities with Shizuru's beloved Natsuki may help drive this home.
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  • Broken Base: How much you enjoy this fic will likely depend on your opinion on Shizuru. Shizuru haters love seeing her get what they believe she deserves. Shizuru fans may argue that the First District had to be wiped out to prevent them from seeking retribution on the protagonists, and/or that the author doesn't fully understand Shizuru's character.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The First District. The author complains about Shizuru killing "helpless old women"... who happened to be the leaders of the Obsidian Lord's loyal servants on Earth, a fact that makes it harder to feel sorry for them or to hate Shizuru for killing them. The files Konoka finds on her father's computer are highly dishonest about the organization's true mission, so Konoka most likely couldn't have known about this, though.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: While Konoka does have some inkling of what she's sacrificed in the name of revenge, it's quite likely that she'll end up regretting it and having to live with what she's done.
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  • Misaimed Fandom: Some reviewers (and possibly the author) seem to be under the impression that Konoka did a good thing by sending Shizuru to hell.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Shizuru. While her misdeeds are canon, her smugly unrepentant attitude, in stark contrast to her tearful My God, What Have I Done? moment after coming back to life in canon, causes her to come off as this.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: While the author clearly dislikes Shizuru and believes she got her long-overdue comeuppance, some, such as Shizuru's fans, sympathize more with her, and may not believe she deserves to go to hell for massacring an evil organization.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Considering what the First District did, it can be hard to buy the author's insistence that the three women in charge of the organization were "helpless old women." Depending on how culpable Mr. Kokuto was, he may also come off as an Asshole Victim who doesn't deserve to be avenged, let alone at the cost of his daughter's soul.
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