A Different Lesson/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Vachir
  • Badass Decay (averted): While Tai Lung does become kinder, gentler, friendlier, and an all-around good guy and hero, trading his villainous tendencies for snark, he remains as awesome and incredible a fighter as ever--not to mention he’s still quite able to unleash his rage and temper on the true Complete Monsters.
  • Complete Monster: Both Chao and Xiu take this trope and run with it gleefully. The acts Chao perpetrates are especially, and truly, unforgiveable, and they only get worse as the story goes on.
  • Foe Yay: Heian Chao is just a little too obsessed with Tai Lung and making him his own, whether the snow leopard wants it or not…
  • Fridge Brilliance: Chao is the perfect antagonist for Tai Lung. Why? Through corrupting and manipulating his chi, he intends to ‘take Tai Lung’s self away’. Not only is that at the heart of kung fu philosophy, it’s the problem Tai Lung had all along, not believing in himself so that he felt he would be nothing without the Dragon Scroll. Ergo, take away his self, and he’d immediately be back to the monster he was before.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: According to Word of God, an appropriate voice for Hai the elephant would be Dianne Wiest. This is the woman who, as the Evil Queen of The Tenth Kingdom, spoke the line, "If I hear one whisper, one rumor, that anything is amiss, I will kill your children in front of you." This is precisely what happened to poor Hai herself.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Two moments.
    • When Tai Lung is attempting to 'lighten the mood' on the way to Chorh-Gom by helping Tigress and Shifu reconcile, Tigress has this to say: "And since when have you become an expert on entertainment and leisure? Did you take up clowning when I wasn't looking?" No...but as she'll discover, Ping has. (And now that that image is in your head, just try and keep from imagining Tai Lung doing and saying all the things the goose did when Tigress was sick.)
    • In Chapter 38, Tai Lung's thoughts: "No one needed to know he'd been so caught up in romancing Tigress he might not have noticed if Po had started dressing up in a cheongsam. Oh gods...why did I have to go there? Someone kill me now, please...or at least murder my imagination." Well it may not be a cheongsam, but we have gotten to see Po dressed as a woman in "Ladies of the Shade". And Tai Lung's reaction is pretty apt.
  • Ho Yay: Very much unintentional, but some might see this for Mantis/Monkey and Zhuang/Tai Lung, as well as Tai Lung and Po.
  • Les Yay: There seems to be a bit of this between Chun and Tigress in the final fight.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Somewhat subverted, for while neither Tai Lung nor Po die, a number of instances occur where it looks like they have or will, and such was the skill of the writing that none of the readers seemed to believe the author wouldn’t have the guts to kill them off. This may have been helped by other matters such as the Disney Death of Mantis and the actual deaths of Zhuang and Vachir.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Xiu, in the extreme.
  • Moe Moe: Nearly every child in the story, including Tai Lung, but Yi especially stands out.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Though no one was planning to nominate either of them for sainthood, Xiu’s murder of Zhuang and Chao first killing children and then his fellow masters both made them utterly irredeemable and had readers crying out for their blood.
  • Nausea Fuel: The zombie Anvil of Heaven.
  • Never Live It Down (invoked in-story): Played straight at first, but eventually averted. Tai Lung eventually forgives Po for humiliating him, and Tai Lung himself is eventually forgiven for his rampage, but not until after a great deal of time, soul-searching, and grudge-bearing.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor (averted): Though Tai Lung and Tigress’s romance is important, particularly to his development as a character and his ability to resist the Big Bad, and quite a bit of time is devoted to it, it was always planned to be so. At the same time, there’s much much more going on in the story than just this, as the length of the main page can attest.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped (invoked in-story): While just about everyone gets to do this in the end, Shifu, Oogway, Po, and Tigress all especially have to beat it into Tai Lung’s skull repeatedly that he is not the Dragon Warrior, was never meant to be, and why--but also that this doesn’t doom him to be evil or mean his life and training are now meaningless. Also, when the time comes for Tai Lung to realize and accept that he and Po are meant to be brother warriors who fight as two halves of a team, their abilities and personalities reflecting the Yin and the Yang, this fact is ground in for him by Po’s fur colors.
    • In addition, any number of times the point was repeatedly made (whether to Tai Lung, Shifu, Tigress, or the villagers) that while powerful and terrifying, Heian Chao’s dark chi was always More Than Mind Control--i.e., that he was only influencing flaws and negative character traits which were already there, to make people do what they secretly wanted to on some level. Which meant that even once Chao himself was gone, these traits and flaws still must be dealt with in the usual manner to prevent tragedy and suffering in the future--and that no one he influenced could be excused of their actions because of him. He encouraged and manipulated them, but in the end most of their choices were still theirs.
  • Straw Man Has a Point: Most of the naysayers, from Tigress to the various villagers, have rather good points regarding the possibility of accepting Tai Lung back into the Valley, either based on him truly having done reprehensible things which need to be acknowledged and punished or by raising very legitimate fears that such a thing could happen again if he did not learn to control his temper or wasn't truly attempting to redeem himself. While Chang and Xiulan fill such roles, Vachir in particular has a number of points since not only did he lose family members as the others did, he was actually the legitimate authority in charge of imprisoning and punishing the snow leopard. Even the fact that Chang was a misogynist, Xiulan a rather self-righteous and narrow-minded shrew of a wife, and Vachir was revealed to be a torturous bully (and that the latter two both got possessed and manipulated into truly heinous acts by Chao) did not change the ultimate sensibility of some of their points--something which Tai Lung himself acknowledged as he struggled to change, prove himself, and remain true to his new path. Deliberate and intentional by Word of God as part of the fic's Gray and Grey Morality.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • A number of them, but mainly Zhuang's death and subsequent funeral.
    • Vachir's final moment, one of the most powerful moments in the fic!
    • Any scene where Monkey is feeling guilty for killing Mantis.