A Fairytale for the Demon Lord
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(Be warned that spoilers abound below; the worst of them have been tagged, but it's hard to list any tropes at all for this work without spoiling some things.)
Tropes used in A Fairytale for the Demon Lord include:
- All Just a Dream: The ending reveals that the whole thing was apparently nothing more than a story that Puginn wrote for lulz, and maybe to show Odin a possible end to his fate.
- Black and Gray Morality: Somewhere between this and flat-out Evil Versus Evil.
- Blind Seer: Mimir.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Just about anyone and anything who fights the Nameless Knight and who isn't clearly the Big Bad dies in one panel, but most obviously Balder. He gets a bonus chapter complaining about this (along with several other villains who were unceremoniously killed.)
- Decoy Protagonist: The first chapter and much of the second makes it seem like the Demon Lord is going to be the main character. Or is he the main character after all?
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: The main character allows his own arm to be cut off so he can embed it in Odin's chest, then use his Charge Sword technique to summon a sword inside Odin's body. Of course, his insane healing abilities make this less of a sacrifice than it seems.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Puginn
- Evil Makes You Ugly The main character gets hit by this hard. It becomes a plot point when it means the Princess no longer recognizes him.
- Evil Overlord: Of course. The demon lords seem to be an entire series of identical evil overlords, not just one.
- Flash Back: The majority of the story is dedicated to showing how the Nameless Knight became the Demon Lord seen in chapter 1.
- Gainax Ending: Despite all the ridiculous plot twists that build up during the story, by the end they've mostly settled down...then the ending finally shows up, and turns the whole thing into a Mind Screw of MASSIVE proportions...again. It's such an unexpected twist that even Muninn is taken by surprise.
- Healing Factor: The Nameless Knight can recover from losing half his body near-instantly.
- The Demon Lord also has an innate regeneration ability, though it's much slower. It's because they're the same person.
- Healing Hands: The princess.
- History Repeats: Either this taken to literal extremes or a flat out Stable Time Loop; it's not yet clear which.
- Kick the Dog: Several, but by far the most dramatic is when the nameless knight coldly kills Liddel even after the boy has earnestly promised to trust him, simply to be completely sure that he remains silent.
- Love Makes You Crazy and Evil: The protagonist. Also, Mimir.
- Mission Control: Puginn fills this role for the protagonist, frequently.
- Noble Demon: The demon lords are often this; one of them even goes so far as to bless Odin's efforts as he fades away after the guy kills him, even while telling him that You Can't Fight Fate.
- Poor Communication Kills: The Nameless Knight could just tell the princess who he is, when she fails to recognize him, you know? At the very least, it wouldn't hurt.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain
- RPG Mechanics Verse: A subtle version -- subtle enough that it's hard to be sure -- but much of the technology and many of the rules of this world seem to subtly work in ways that match those of an RPG; in a way, it's like a dark take on what world like that would really be like. Unlike most, it's not at all played for comedy.
- Save the Princess
- Screw Destiny: Almost every named character has this as their goal in one way or another. Several characters will flat-out flip their lid if you mention fate in front of them at all. They all more or less fail in the end.
- Schizo-Tech: They seem to have technology capable of instantaneous long-range teleportation and communication, materialization of objects from nowhere, and prediction of the future. Yet to fight, they rely on swords.
- Well, since so many seem to be able to heal quickly, swords are just the easiest way to tear enemies to pieces. So there is nothing left to heal
- Spanner in the Works: The Nameless Knight, to Odin.
- Tomato in the Mirror: The Nameless Knight is the Demon Lord by the end of the story through what seems to be a Stable Time Loop.
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: This manhwa definitely qualifies as art, and it is quite incomprehensible. The top thread on the forum is titled "Shall we try to understand the story so far?"
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Puginn turns from a crow into a -- person.
- You Can't Fight Fate