|Reviews for Kung Fu Panda: Book of Changes|
| nievelion 4/13/13 . chapter 33
I do so enjoy when the baddie learns his plans have failed and are falling down around him. I admit to being a bit surprised that Akshatha valued Rahas so much though. Somehow, despite the hints at honor we'd seen from the tiger, I thought he would never trust or respect anyone but himself. Doesn't make him any less villainous, but it's nice to get a bit of complexity from him.
"He considered the rest of the message – Ushi had been in contact with his allies, and had learned of the Emperor's whereabouts." Why do I get the feeling one of Ushi's allies is that general from the previous chapter who doesn't like Vachir? Particularly with this bit: "With the Emperor outside of his capital and only defended by his bodyguard, however numerous, he was extremely vulnerable; far more so than he believed." Though I suppose that could just mean some of the bodyguard have been subverted...
"...and noticed in passing that Mrs. Fong only belatedly snapped her shutters closed across the alley..." "Ping brought up yet more soup and relayed wishes for his recovery from a surprising number of people – as well as a truly delicious rice cake sent by the elderly Mrs. Ba." Looks like saving Ping, and then Shifu, has done wonders for Tai's rep. But really, having him do good deeds really is the best way to do that.
"The memory of his actions, good and evil, had faded as life went on and other concerns, whether important events or those of daily life, had edged him aside, until he was almost something new, a stranger here where he was raised. Without the immediate threat of his madness dredging up old terrors, he could, at least tentatively, be accepted as exactly what he appeared to be – just one more inhabitant of the Valley going about his business." This is somehow both encouraging and very sad at the same time. It's hard to explain.
"And deep inside, he feared that what Vachir had said all too often was true, that he couldn't be trusted, that no matter what he intended he might still lose control, that some small thing might set him off. He couldn't afford to lose control, not with his strength and skills; that was what Shifu and Oogway had tried so hard to teach him, and that was exactly where he had failed.
That was where he had failed…
Had that been what Oogway had seen in him, and turned away from? He had thought that being the Dragon Warrior was merely a measure of mastery, that his ferocity and deadly skill in battle were all that were needed to achieve his goal, if only he could manage that little bit more, that final degree of effort… But look at Po. He was in no way what Tai Lung had tried to be, and yet, there was no way the snow leopard would deny that he most certainly was the Dragon Warrior. There was something else, something he had missed, something he had passed over or pushed aside in his focus on the fighting skills that brought him such admiration."
The fact he can realize this, that now he is finally getting it even though he "didn't get it at first either", actually proves he can be trusted now. What Oogway was worried about, that he didn't know when not to fight, when violence wasn't the answer, is something he's learned along with control, thanks to Po, Mantis, Viper, Ping, even Vachir-and he doesn't even see it.
"... if the unthinkable should happen and Oogway should decide to withhold the Scroll, Tai Lung would continue to follow in his footsteps. He would take the disappointment with grace and accept, as Shifu had, the mantle of teacher, hoping in his turn to one day train that great one himself." Now that's interesting, we've never seen anyone have Shifu think of such a possibility for Tai.
"His son was gone, had been gone for far longer than he had admitted to himself...And that had nearly been the last time he spoke to his son. What if he had let that chance slip away forever? If Tai Lung had died, if he had lost the opportunity, set this one last time before him, to make things right…" This is all so very sad. Poor Shifu...
And this: "And in the morning, he had awakened to find himself leaning on Po, with an empty mat before him. And he knew Tai Lung so well, he knew what was being said as clearly as if it had been shouted at him. He had said, upon the leopard's first return, that this was no longer his home. He was no longer his master. ...he had, it seemed, taken the words to heart, and still believed them. He felt himself unworthy. He had gone, as soon as he was able; and he had turned Shifu towards Po, towards the true Dragon Warrior. Tai Lung accepted him in that role, accepted that the panda was the proper object of Shifu's attention and guidance – and that he was not." *tears up*
"Finally, he straightened, his face set with determination. No. This was Tai Lung. This was his son. He could not turn away from him again." There's the Shifu we know and love.
"Because he always does exactly what you tell him," Chuluun put in.
"He better," Vachir growled.
Vachir set his jaw stubbornly, but then sighed. "I'll do what I have to. But not without putting up the best fight I can."
And there's the good heart in Vachir we've been wanting to see. So much goodness in this chapter! Especially with the rhino's heartwarming offer. I am sure more than ever now where you are going with this...
"Yes?" Vachir queried.
Tai Lung's mouth tightened to a line. "I'll stay here."
Vachir nodded. "One of these days, I'll get a proper 'yes, sir' out of you, and die of shock," he grumbled.
That got a faint smirk. "If I'd known it was that easy…"
LOL! This is so wonderful...I wish I could have gotten to write something like this, but if I had we wouldn't have your amazing story.
Tai Lung flexed the arm, moving through a range of positions, causing the insect to grip his fur tightly and shout in protest. "No," he said, all innocence. "It's fine. You said something?"
"I hate you," Mantis mumbled.
*snickersnorts* And of course the image of Tai flexing his arm is just the icing on the cake.
"Unless this was one of those moments of false kindness writ large, to be snatched away just as he began to trust… He swallowed hard. That would indeed be the perfect punishment for his attack on the Anvil and the escape that had ruined their reputation, wouldn't it?" *hugs the kitty*
"It was like being swept up in the flooding river again; there was nothing he could hold onto. Po. He could hold onto Po." And now we see the true (or at least deeper) meaning of that vision.
The ending of this chapter was so heartfelt, so emotional...I love how you are showing all these changes in Tai, how everything is coming together from Po and Shifu, Ping and Vachir, his own determination to find himself and do good. It's all so beautiful and deep and right. Of course things couldn't end perfectly-I didn't blame Tai one bit for how he reacted to Tigress, because that was cold and harsh of her (even if her anger does justify this attitude), but I was still facepalming at his response-and I am pretty sure even without your foreshadowing from Vachir and Akshatha and the scroll from Yuan that things are not going to go as well as we'd like. But for now at least they are right in Tai's head-even if he was forced to change his reasonable and common sense decision, he still made it, which says a lot about him. And hopefully even with all the ways things could go wrong, him deciding to go because Ping guilt-tripped him (LOL...I can just see the look!), but also because he didn't want to disappoint the goose or see anything happen to Po, won't be the wrong move overall.
"No matter what happened after this, he thought, he would never see this place again." If Tai knew he were in a story, he'd know better than to tempt fate like that.
Lastly I have to say that unless your story somehow completely derails from the plot you've set up, I at last know I'll be able to make the reference to BoC in my own writing that I wanted to make. I'll explain in e-mail. :)
| nievelion 4/12/13 . chapter 32
The image of Vachir with rats piling up around him is far funnier than it should be. :p As was Ping being all put out over his good cleaver. Priorities, Ping!
"When Tai Lung had returned, Shifu had heard him in the rocks below the stairs, had known, as he closed his eyes for a moment, just when the snow leopard had vaulted upward to land softly on the steps before him." Nice callback!
The fight was amazing and intense! Shifu, Viper and Mantis vs. the rats-awesome. Tai Lung saving his father-even more awesome. Crane coming to the rescue just in time again-*cheers!* And snake vs. snake is incredible, while what Shifu did... *jaw drops* What a relief to have that cobra gone!
I knew you wouldn't actually kill Tai but damn if you didn't have me worried. The bit from his POV as the venom affected him was VERY well done, and I love how you had both the bit of PTSD as he connected rhinos with paralysis and the fact that even as he was poisoned and near death he didn't want to hurt Po. Seeing Shifu so frightened for him, and Vachir actually showing sympathy (as well as using his usual dominant barking to get Tai to obey, hah!) was quite powerful too. As was Tai's demented flashbacks to Chorh-Gom. Damn, while I did a few in ADL, yours here are so much more...arresting, intense, and realistic. And of course they provide the perfect explanation for why Tai was resisting. His nightmare of killing everyone was also so well done, and horrific. Not to mention killing Shifu by the Moon Pool, and then being bitten by the dragon (nice parallel to the snake bite). God, you really pulled out all the stops here!
Good for Vachir though in standing up to that arrogant general. (What is it about the ancient Chinese generals that makes us keep casting them in antagonistic roles? Oh wait-many of them IRL were assholes, or disloyal, or outright traitors and usurpers...) He's right too, going over his head to the Emperor himself may do the trick. Especially if in the meantime Tai proves himself.
"She hoped that, at least, they would have a chance to talk, to resolve the years of hurt and betrayal between them, and give Shifu the peace he had briefly gained before the snow leopard's return had torn open those old wounds again. She felt a tense knot growing between her shoulder blades. Even now, when he doing his best to make amends for his past, even while he was lying here incapacitated, Tai Lung was causing pain to those she cared about. What was it about him, that he could never stop hurting people, even when that was the farthest thing from what he intended? And how, when he was trying so hard, when he was so vulnerable, was she supposed to protect them?"
This paragraph shows so much growth in Tigress, it really makes me admire and have hope for her. At the same time it can't be denied she's right...but of course life is pain, and any time you care for someone things they do or things that happen to them can cause you more pain, so it's not as if Tai is unique in this. The fact she is still holding back, realizes it isn't his fault and it's not fair of her to take it out on him when he's incapacitated and trying to redeem himself is quite noble of her.
"You know where to strike," he had said, "but do you know where not to strike?"
And this is the perfect expression of what is at the heart of Tai's flaws, and his redemption.
She moved closer and leaned her head against his chest. "We look out for one another, Tai Lung. Even if you think you don't need it."
"Oh, you just like me because I'm so warm," he said, unable to resist teasing the snake.
"And soft," she smiled.
"I always suspected I was irresistible," he said with outrageous smugness.
Viper laughed. "And not at all conceited!"
"Who, me?" he asked in mock astonishment. Then, to Viper's surprise and delight, he hugged her gently.
This is so funny, so sweet, and so in character. Also: yay, more hugs, this time from Tai Lung!
| Blazemane 4/5/13 . chapter 33
I did read this in the space of two or three days after you'd published it, so you haven't lost my interest whatsoever. Actually, I can't remember whether or not I've told you this already, but I practically always read your new chapters within days; this semester in school, your story has been one of my main vices. A lot of other priorities sort of... get pushed to the side.
Don't feel badly; I don't think I've ever failed to do assignments on account of you. But I always get so excited when I get the email that says you've put up something new. And I often make plans along the lines of "O.k, I'll just read for a few minutes," or, "I'll finish it tomorrow, when this or this isn't hanging over my head," and then I end up completing ignoring my own ideas. I just can't stop myself from reading this story.
So, like I was saying, the space between your most recent uploading and this review isn't an indication of me having lost interest whatsoever. But these reviews often come so far after because I somehow end up taking lots of time to write them, and when I know I mean to do something which will take a while, my procrastination instincts kick in really badly-irrationally badly. "I can do it tomorrow," and then "later," and then Sunday, and then sometime during the week, and then Sunday, and then "I've really got to get on that," and then, "forget it; I'm going to do it right now."
Tigress didn't come across as harsh to me. As soon as Tai Lung thinks to himself that he isn't going to do something foolish and prove her point, it hit me that she was probably having a battle of wits with him, just like he suspected.
Yes, I figured she probably didn't trust Tai Lung, just like she said she didn't, and yes, a lot of the anger she showed in that last scene was probably fueled by real emotion. But it all came across to me as this really clever plan where she knew exactly what she was doing, so that as much as Tai Lung knew he was being engaged on some level and was trying not to get bested, he was losing without even realizing it.
And... when he starts admitting to all of the danger he expects they'll face right in front of Mr. Ping... check mate. Even, "You're pathetic, Tai Lung," didn't seem cruel or bitter-it seemed like the confident remark of someone who knew they'd won.
Now, with you taking space outside of the story to explain Tigress' anger, I have a strong suspicion that I was wrong and she wasn't planning it and she really was just livid. But for what it's worth, anyways, I thought Tigress seemed awesome here, not troubled.
"'It's okay, Dad,' Po reassured him. 'Everyone else is going with me.'
'And if everyone else was jumping off a cliff…'"
Ha! I read this and immediately thought of Kung Fu Panda 2. So that one doesn't work on Po. Also, the fact that Mr. Ping thinks that would mean anything indicates that Po keeps a lot of the scarier details out of the summaries he gives him...
I'm really enjoying Shifu's characterization here. There's this striking sort of idealism in Shifu's final determination to ignore Imperial orders and save Tai Lung. It fits him, and it's... well, it's what I'd want to see out of him. I like seeing that Shifu loves Tai Lung that much.
But Tai Lung's decision to go with the rest has got me a bit worried. Vachir won't be pleased for one thing; in fact, this all reads now like Tai Lung is being some sort of stow away, doing something he shouldn't with the encouragement and allowance of this tight-knit circle of friends in the Furious Five and Po (though, "friends" doesn't fit Tigress, I suppose). For another thing, Shifu's plan for keeping Tai Lung hinged on Tai Lung staying in the Valley, given that Shifu asked Mantis to tell Tai Lung not to leave. But this might mean that Shifu will follow the rest of everyone into battle now, and that would be *fantastic*.
Of course, this all goes to show the power that Mr. Ping has as a father figure. Tai Lung is prepared to disregard Vachir. And he is prepared to swallow his pride and let Tigress think that she might have gotten the better of him. Because one thing he can't handle is to go head to head with Mr. Ping now that he's actually gotten to know him.
It's good to see, though, that Mr. Ping values Po's life more than the business that Tai Lung can accumulate for him. I shouldn't be so surprised, but... then again, if he's that afraid for Po, what does that he mean he thinks of Tai Lung, sending him into battle like that? Maybe he still can't see Po as a warrior, while, in his mind, Tai Lung is still something of a legendary one?
Anyways, I do like that Tai Lung first decided to stay in the Valley. His priorities truly have changed.
...This plot you've set up with the emperor in danger of an ambush is rather nerve-wracking. Akshatha seems confident that there won't be enough time for anyone to save him. Things are coming to a head here, and I'm really excited!
| North Hayward 3/28/13 . chapter 33
This story is starting to drag a little, but i still have hope that you will pick up the pace a little with the comming chapters.
Even though this chapter was a little slow i still enjoyed it and out of all the storys i have read yours is the most thought out and grammicly correct book i have read so far. So keep up the good work and post soon!
| The One Named MoonLight 3/21/13 . chapter 33
Wow, really awesome, I just have one little bit I wanna say...
I don't exactly recall Tai Lung not having much of an attitude. Sure, he gives a sarcastic reply or something every now and then, but I'm sure he's got more of a personality, he won't settle for being pushed around by someone.
Please don't kill him!
Anyways, so wonderful, I've been keeping up with this story for a while now and it's lovely!
| akajust1 3/18/13 . chapter 33
Ok I finally finished chapter had to read in between my class's which was annoying as hell to do...and in class but I had to avoid the teachers...tigress and tai's conversation was lol...:)
| fan girl 666 3/18/13 . chapter 33
love that Mr. Ping gave Tai Lung a look and now he's coming
| dajuanwilliams 3/18/13 . chapter 33
more plz next c apter wnt show itself
| HannahGT 3/18/13 . chapter 33
I can't express how epic this story is. One of my favorite for Kung Fu Panda EVER! LOVE IT!
| dajuanwilliams 3/18/13 . chapter 1
omg stfu who cares if its a poxtigress threre is nothing wrong with it. the adventure is wat matters and its likely ganna happen in the show or 3rd movie so ur saying ur giveing up kfp and that's like saying u hate mix anything racist. keep writing in ur own way anyway it goes its probably ganna turn out awsome. this is to everyone who is a x of anything wat happens happen
| kungfupandalover 3/5/13 . chapter 32
Please don't abandon this story! I love this story and i would be heart broken if you don't continue.
| The One Named MoonLight 3/1/13 . chapter 32
Awww...poor Tai-Tai, all sick and stuff. Well, at least he proved he's not bad, and the conversation he had with Tigress was probably the first conversation they had together without ending up at each other's throats.
Can't wait for the next chapter!
| Guest 2/25/13 . chapter 31
Great chapter as usual. But please, I BEG you, dont get Tigress and Po together. It would oficialy ruin the storie and i will stop reading it. Now if you want to get a love story in their have tigress meet some other tiger( not Askshatha ) and have them get together, but i have read to many fanfics with Po and Tigress gitting together
| kungfupandalover 2/22/13 . chapter 25
This is by far the best chapater i have read. The recrutes giving their lives for the villegers, Tai Lung stopping and helping the rhino, Bayu's last stand, and tigress' silent support of Vachir. It was defenatly a rollercoster of emotions
| Blazemane 2/17/13 . chapter 32
I wondered when and if the moment would come that Shifu would come close to Tai Lung again, and I figured that when that moment came, maybe it would be after some intense conversation or struggle between the two of them.
You didn't give him a single line of dialogue in this chapter (and after Tai Lung was bitten, you didn't even give him any more internal narration)-you just had him act. Rahas' death seemed much more like justice (or revenge!) than self-defense. Immediately afterwards, you had Shifu mirror the moment after Oogway paralyzed Tai Lung by his dropping down next to him again. Then he wouldn't be moved from Mantis' room. And Tai Lung gets to to know the jist of the situation because he woke up with Shifu on his shoulder.
I like the simplicity of it. You may well have things fleshed out between them in future chapters, but the reasonable conclusion from this chapter for why Shifu has acted this caringly simply seems to be that Tai Lung is "his son."
I'm a fan of the deliberate ignoring of grammatical rules for Tai Lung's nightmares; it takes the stream-of-consciousness-style narration and helps us feel how intently the character is trying to search for something or how intently they're trying to figure out what they're seeing. It matches really well.
Now... I'm trying to get my head around the nature of Tai Lung's nightmares... It seems like the thing "he'd never had the courage to face" it the fullest truth of his past. After all, the final nightmare he has isn't blind aggression against everyone, but a focused realization of what he was trying to do at the end of the first movie. He finally does kill Shifu and he gets the scroll, and his life ends there (because he didn't actually have a life to chase after through the Dragon Scroll? When he does take it from Po, he sees that it can't actually grant him anything or change anything about him, and he is left a murderer with a false goal).
But... how much of this hasn't he already realized? I feel like, just maybe, you're holding up these few days where Tai Lung must face himself in one of the most vivid ways possible as a moment of incredible change and realization for him. But if you are, then I'm totally missing where those moments of transformation come. The dreams are fascinating-you've written them well. But, like... what do you want for the reader to walk away with from reading them? Even if we're going to see Tai Lung reason through them later on, what am I missing that you would want for me to grasp from this chapter's content? Like I said, I feel like there might be something very important in there, and I'm just totally passing it by somehow...
I will say this much, though. After he seems ready to drown in his final dream (the imagery of him getting the scroll and then simply dying the next moment is particularly dreary, by the way) and the final words he hears are Po's "I didn't get it the first time, either." ...Whenever he wakes finally wakes up, his first instinct is to go Ping's noodle shop. So, if he is starting to come to terms with the lifeless futility that was his former dream of becoming the Dragon Warrior-if he is realizing that that life was a kind of death, or that it would only point naturally to his eventual death because that would be the only real end of his "getting" what he was looking for with the Dragon Scroll, or that he had to let that dream die (there are a lot of interpretations that can come from his dreams; I'm not trying to hear myself talk-I'm just really confused and not sure where to take things)-it seems like Tai Lung's "second time" trying to get things is the life he's finding at the noodle shop.
I can't... say what I'm thinking, I feel like, and it might just be more that my thoughts are only half-formed, so that I don't have a "thinking" to say. So I apologize for the senselessness of that mess of a paragraph. But... there you are.
Anyways, I don't trust this Yuan Jie character. We've seen thus far that Akshatha's managed to get a number of Chinese civilians on his side ahead of time, and if Ushi used to have a high military rank, it's possible he would know how to safely get back in contact with someone else high in rank, in spite of his desertion and betrayal.
More importantly, Crane completes a journey with more than one objective in enough time to come back the same day that Shifu thought he should "be back soon" (of course, he also thought Crane should have already been back). At any rate, he would have had to make his journey in the time of the events of the last few chapters. This means the general who ordered Tai Lung's execution would have had to have made that decision very quickly.
Tai Lung was a murderer, but he was once pardoned by the emperor himself. I can see how his second set of murders would throw that leniency right back in the emperor's face, of course. But this general is *not* the emperor. It seems like, if the very commander of the army that Tai Lung attacked in his escape from prison was asking for a pardon for Tai Lung, and this was a case with more than two decades of history, the general should have had reservations-left it in the hands of the one person whose opinion was actually being asked. If he knew Crane had to hurry on his way, it seems he could have sent Crane away without a decision on that matter and brought the question of Tai Lung's fate to the emperor's attention upon his return. Whatever the emperor said at that point could be carried out, then. Surely the palace has its own messengers...
What's unsettling about all of this is how convenient Tai Lung's execution would be for Akshatha's army (and it would actually be a small bit of "vindication" for Ushi, who would have preferred Vachir to just have killed Tai Lung all those years ago so that the two of them could fight together at Wusheng). I don't trust that general.
But I wonder now how Vachir (and Shifu) are going to go against the command from the capital for Tai Lung's execution. Shifu's initial reaction alone is going to be particularly interesting to see when he hears what those orders are.
And finally, I just want to say that Crane seemed awesome swooping in and taking Rahas out of the blue like that. He's just *there* all of a sudden (with a draft of wind announcing his arrival), and without a word, his first goal is to grab Rahas and fly him high enough to drop him. That doesn't strike me as a really calm way of doing things-he doesn't seem as mad as Shifu, but that sort of intensity is there. "You... lose now."