Reviews for A Different Lesson
QueenOfTheStorms chapter 27 . 9/14/2021
Apologies, this review was meant to come a lot sooner. Work and technology crapping out on me was what stopped that happening :/ Ah well.

As promised, the honorable mentions of Ch26

- It was cool to see that Po was drastically improving in the field of fighting, even though it was a wide opening for Chao’s influence on Tai Lung to shine through - which was A LOT more noticeable, though I’m sure it was not your intention to be subtle with it this time.

- Po not finding the trip up to Wu Dan mountains any easier than last time *chuckles*

- I quite liked how you made it so everyone had an “element”. Of course it was a no brainer that Tai’s one was going to be fire as it tied in perfectly with the fire that surrounded him during the fight at the end of the movie with him and Shifu. (And I would have picked Shifu’s element to be either Earth or Air.)

- “…I want you to think of something that makes you mad?” “Do you want the short list or the long?” I laughed. I laughed a lot xD

- I was gob-smacked reading the part about the fireball; mainly because – despite the context being a little different - it gave off one of the biggest “Kung Fu Panda 2” vibes in this story, especially when Tai sent it sailing into the river – almost the same way Po does in the movie.

- Tai’s reassurance to Po about basically turning the lousy tipper thief into a vegetable if he ever saw him was amusing, with Po’s reaction indicating he’d never had that type of response to the story before.

- “The clerk was a horse” *Falls over laughing* That entire story was gold! As was the next one Tai told. :P

- The dumpling scene was amazing – you wrote that beautifully and I loved how you made it twice as comical as the original scene. Shifu looking like a pathetic scarecrow had me in stitches (I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons but this scene made a few episodes from that come to mind.) Of course Tai and Po working together from Shifu’s POV was lovely.

- Crane and Mei Lings discussion was … heated. Not that I expected anything different but good lord, so many things could easily be rectified and sorted out if people just stopped and listened. Coz I’m willing to bet nearly everyone has accidentally gotten the wrong idea about something in their life.

That being said; I do love it when an interruption happens right before a revealing moment, it both annoys and intrigues the reader at the same time.

- Zeng! (Bringing in my guilty pleasure Celine Dion Song “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”) :P The poor goose. Tai Lung going full on protective on him the second he saw him was one of the sweetest things ever, and Zeng realizing that Tai never had any intention to harm him and enjoys the safe feeling of being in Tai’s arms was so heart-warming – even if it was very short lived.

- That letter was very spine tingling – sent goosebumps right up the arm – but it did leave some serious anticipation for the next chapter – even if said chapter went to the last place I expected it to go at the end!

*Takes breath* There were more points than what I originally thought but thanks to 27 being a slightly shorter chapter I think I’ll have enough space for the entire review – it’s more the second half I want to comment on any way. (More than happy to elaborate on some of the points in 26 later) _

Good to know how obvious it was to Tai that the whole thing was a trap. It was one of those times where some of the readers fears got put at ease quickly.

Tai’s entire thinking process around Vachir got me curious – it seems to be implying that Tai had seen things that were along the line of murder in prison – do we ever find out what happened with Vachir in Chorh-Gom or is there another story that ties to it? I’m blaming this on the fact that it seriously has been quite a while since I’ve read this fic as a whole, so I can’t think off the top of my head whether it gets shown or not.

Gee Wizz what a roller coaster that argument was between the Five and Tai. Chao is setting everyone on edge now. Though I can’t really blame anyone – Under Chao’s influence or not – for getting all rallied up with one another. I can imagine that even without the added influence that this whole mission wasn’t going to be easy from the start for anyone.

Wasn’t really a huge surprise that Po was getting left behind OR that Mei Ling was going to stay with him considering how rocky her relationship is with Tigress, Tai and Crane.

I misread how long it took Tai to get to the valley from Chorh-Gom by himself the first time. I accidentally read it as one DAY not one week. I was so ready to question it before I read it correctly this time round *laughs*

That really must have been one uncomfortable trip to start with. And whether Chao’s influence was playing a part in Tai snapping at Monkey for accusing him of harming children or not, the fact that everyone agreed that Tai’s actions were justified shows just how out of line Monkey was, regardless of how high the tension was. I do have to agree with one of the other reviewers and wonder why no one has noticed that Monkey isn’t exactly right in the head? I mean he’s been under Chao for quite a while; I would have thought someone would have noticed something by now.

I think this could be the first time Tigress finally got chewed out for her treatment of Po at the beginning of the movie, and while I can see the never-ending reasons why she acted and treated Po the way that she did, it’s clear that she has some serious regret now. I did feel for her a bit here, but Mantis did have a point.

Seems like everyone has had their ‘Turn’ at getting angry. Yikes, Crane sure did lay it on thick to Tai. Considering he’s a little like Viper in the sense that he’s definitely one of the calmer ones there, that’s saying something! Shows that Chao can get under even the calmest of souls.

Right, here’s where it gets heated (in more ways than one).

Now the beginning of this part is unfortunately something that I got a bit confused with: what were Tai’s intentions here? Was he genuinely trying to give an opening for Tigress and Shifu to ‘reunite’ so to speak? Or was he trying to push Tigress into unleashing some seriously bottled-up fury onto the red panda? If it was the former- even IF Tigress and Shifu had agreed to try and attempt to have that overdue time together, I can imagine it would be horrifically awkward with everyone else sitting meters away, I personally wouldn’t want to have a semi heart-to-heart conversation with a mini audience viewing it. That and – as it continued, Tai getting harsher about it made it seem like he was trying to force Shifu into giving affection, which I already know Tigress would have hated. And if it was the latter – granted that this is what ended up happening anyway – then I suppose one could argue whether it was the right time to do this or not. Seeing as everyone is very irritated, dark minded and angry with each other, why not just get everything out of the way and be done with it? On the other hand, considering they’re all basically treading on eggshells around each other at the moment, maybe it wasn’t the best moment to poke at Tigress’ sore spots. So, what was he hoping was gonna happen here? I can’t quite put myself in Tai’s mind.

Despite this, holy hecker, what an outbreak! You did an amazing job of having it all pour out of Tigress like that, and I’m pretty sure most of it wasn’t actually Chao’s doing for a change. Shifu really did have that coming to him sooner rather than later, I’m almost surprised nothing like it happened in the sequels – despite the fact that Tai never returned, it was never really addressed – unless you count the 2 minutes in SOTFF where Shifu acts the smallest bit affectionate towards her. Everything was well said and her final “you have no idea how much I hate you right now” was such a punch to the gut. I don’t get tired of your * straight out of the oven* deliveries.

Something little here; I don’t know why Tigress would be sticking only to two legs when she ran out of there. She would cover a lot more ground faster on all four legs, I can imagine she would be wanting to get out of there as fast as possible and if her ankle kept giving her twinges then I would have thought using her front paws would stabilize her a bit more. Maybe she secretly did want Tai to come find her? Even though her first words to him would disagree with that remark completely. *Shrugs*

“He needed to hear that … the harsher and more in-your-face the better” and then almost directly after that “I just thought the least I could do for you and Shifu was to bring you closer together. The way he and I have been getting on lately” which was then followed by him giving her sarcasm and what what would have happened if he’d left it up to her to handle. *Raises eyebrow* Sorry, I just can’t understand Tai’s head right now. :P

Tai bringing up all the things he did for Tigress while she was recovering could have gone south very quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad she didn’t get it into her head that they just bribes all along but I think Tai took a bit of a risk saying that.

Of course, even though it started to get heated in an argumentative way, with Tigress still thinking Tai had the hots for Mei Ling, and Tai getting even more annoyed; it took one surprising turn that I wanted, only half expected, and absolutely LOVED!

This part was something out of a movie (Hilariously, the only movie coming to mind is “The Notebook”) Too much emotion pent up, too many hormones going haywire, too much anger, too much of basically everything all at once and it all must go somewhere. I couldn’t have picked a better place for it to go. :D

This was incredibly hot and juicy! My Taigress heart literally exploded. From that first kiss all the way up to the erotic grand finale was incredible! How you managed to write this scene so damn erotically and beautifully but also so non-explicitly and with no trace of what one may call “filthy smut” was amazing! It was intimate and sexy and hot in all the right ways, with just the right amount of humour and awkwardness surrounding the clothes situation. You gave such little description of the actual sex itself and still managed to paint such a vibrant picture of it with everything that surrounded and lead up to it.

This scene was one of the many in this story that showed off your impressive writing skills. I was ecstatic when I finished reading this chapter for more than one reason … and maybe a little out of breath *fans herself wildly* ;)
QueenOfTheStorms chapter 25 . 4/22/2021
I very nearly missed this chapter. It was always on the list to review so I’m glad that I stopped to check in my haste to get to my favourite one (or one of, at least).

*winces* I feel for Tigress at the start of this chapter. While lying in bed doing nothing for a day is – on the odd occasion – welcomed after a bad work week, it’s certainly not something I could handle for a month and a half, no matter how battered up I was. I can completely understand Tigress wanting to get back up and running, especially once you add in her companions who are trying their best to cheer her up, and only some vaguely succeeding.

So Tai is allergic to dust and Tigress is allergic to flowers. *Sniggers* the image of her fur frizzing and poofing out only reminded me of the animated “Beauty and the Beast” bath scene when the beast shakes himself off. Possibly not quite the image you were going for but it made me laugh nevertheless.

Tigress doesn’t seem the type to have much a sweet tooth IMO. Fresh fruits are always better than dried fruits so have to agree with her there. Bit of a shame on the necklace, though. I must say I secretly think she may have liked that necklace and may have time for *some* trinkets due to having had her eye on a jade and ivory comb back in Ch 17. She just thinks that the necklace is a bribe like everything else. That’s the theory anyway.

Tai Lung’s thoughts on Zeng ran along the exact same line of thinking as my own mind. Especially when he stroked his head once he escaped Chor-Ghom. I too, did not believe it was intended to be any sort of sadistic gesture. Maybe Zeng might come around once Tai’s rescued him (still can’t remember exactly what happens with the poor goose).

Both Po and Tai Lung are ticklish? Oh that’s great. xD Some of the quirks you’ve given Tai have surprised me quite a bit.

Okay, while I am first and foremost a Taigress shipper, (and a Crane/Mei Ling shipper) I’m not exactly against the idea of Tai and Mei Ling together. They would look quite good as a couple (and Tai even seems to agree with this on some level.) And a small part of me was even happy for Tai that he was finally getting a small bit of satisfaction on the love/lust front, even if the rest of me was thinking exactly the same thing he was. “No! Tigress!”

“How could he betray Tigress this way?” To some extent he’s not *really* betraying Tigress. Yes he wants her and she badly wants him back though her stubbornness to admit it is going through the roof at this point. But, like it’s pointed out, they’re not together and she’s not making any indication that she wants to be together. Tai’s – albeit unwelcome – urges for Mei are reasonably justifiable. Their kiss was quite juicy ;)

“Love of your life, stripy fur, has a pair of fists that’ll smash your face in if you even look at another woman.” A.) LOL! And B.) If that’s what Tai’s thinking she would do even though they’re not together, then he must be realizing to some extent that she maybe does want him (and Mei Ling is definitely correct in what she says later on about Tigress making her move if she realizes that she’s waited too long.)

I’m going to guess that Mei didn’t quite plan for Crane to overhear her speil to Tigress about wanting Tai if Tigress didn’t. That or she didn’t think he'd mind as she didn't think Crane liked her back (They’re not together at this point, are they?”)

Tai’s reaction to that was a little unexpected and maybe *just* a touch out of character for him at this point in the story. I wouldn’t have thought he’d go for her throat. I would’ve thought he’d pin her down by her chest or take hold of her arms instead – something intimidating but more to scare her then physically hurt her. (Let’s face it, if anyone had walked in and seen that sight, Tai would have been toast.)

Still, it was amusing to read that now Tai has a solid army of people fighting in their own way to make Tigress come around to him. And it was funny that Mei Ling’s scheme actually worked better than Viper’s. Though I can’t say I’m surprised – Viper definitely seemed like she had a hard time understanding what Tigress liked to start with (though later on the chapter her efforts did come through rather nicely.)

Tai’s playtime sessions with Yi was absolutely gorgeous to vision; especially Tai pushing her on the swing. I’m not gonna lie – going on the belief that it was a full size swing that was built and not a child’s swing – I did imagine a sort of romantic scene that could of come into play later on in the story where Tai would find Tigress on the swing at some point and he’d sneak up behind her and push her on it as well (I actually saw Tigress enjoying that as well after some initial shock.) It did look quite cute in my mind.

The whole part about the doll was beautiful. I’m still surprised that it was a coincidence that you used a doll without knowing that Tigress actually did have a doll in the orphanage as I explained was shown in one of the SotFF end credit shots. I thought for a second that this fic came out before SotFF and they must have taken it from you instead (guess who forgot where Mei Ling and the Bao-Gu orphanage came from. LOL! xD) I guess it was just a very cool coincidence.

“I was 3 years old when I was brought to the orphanage, and that was a year before you were taken to Chorh-Gom.” Interesting how Tigress remembers that now, when back in Ch 4 she was referring to Tai as “a ravening killer who had nearly destroyed the Valley of Peace years before her birth.” Got the times a little mixed up there.

That doll would have looked absolutely beautiful after being restored, that was such a touching scene and Tigress’ whole reaction was spot on.

Taigress is finally starting to get somewhere. Yay! Enjoying her favourite food, book and reminiscing a forgotten song from her childhood all thanks to Tai. (and Viper; her techniques finally paid off too!) Random question, but was there by any chance a specific tune/song you had in mind when it came to Tigress’ song from her cubhood. Only asking because there are a couple of songs that I thought of that could fit rather well so I wondered whether you had any songs of your own that could’ve fit the bill.

There has always been something so satisfying about setting up dominoes into patterns and animals and then watching them fall into place. The dragon head with the scroll would have looked awesome, even if it may have prodded a sore spot for both of the felines to look at.

2 major things that build up and keep a relationship steady: trust and honesty. The conversation about the Wu sisters was brave of Tai to say and Tigress believing him when he said he’d never join their side under any circumstance shows how far she’s come in regards to him in a short amount of time. It was a very heartfelt scene to read and visualize. They’ve definitely come a long way since the beginning.

– And it was nice to see that the chapter ended on a nice note and it didn’t go straight to custard like moments with the felines have done in the past, though your authors note (and the chapter’s title) really does fill first-time readers with dread that something horrific is waiting just around the corner. :P

The next review in line should be relatively quick this time round as I’ve been eager to get to it for a while. I can’t wait! (You know which chapter!) :)
QueenOfTheStorms chapter 24 . 3/4/2021
Let’s agree that 2020 was crap and not the year for anyone or anything! Couldn’t get this review out in time for Christmas like I’d originally hoped, all original plans for the holidays went right down the drain for me :/ so uhh ... Happy early Saint Patricks Day? Late Valentine’s Day? *laughs* (Another combined review BTW.)

Ch-22: I highly doubt I was the only one who got fooled by the beginning of this chapter. That was very clever on your behalf, and very in character for Po to do something like that. It was Monkeys “we should hang out” line that I clicked what was going on, but you sure got me there. I was half happy, half confused by how fast things were getting resolved first time I read it. (Nearly thought you may have lost the mojo) Very well done!

Po trying to imitate Tigress and Tai Lung falling madly in love with each other followed by Tai Lung catching him in the act– hilarious!

Tai Lung being ambidextrous kind of does make sense, but Po thinking he was lefty made me rather happy due to the fact that I too am a lefty (and I not long ago came off of a course which I was the only lefty there). It’s always a little amusing how small things can make one happy sometimes, even if, after reading further on, it was implied Tai was born a right-hander.

Tai also has a secret sweet tooth – too cute. (and kinda makes sense that desserts were a no no growing up) And broke into Po’s stash. I suppose that’s a funny bit of karma to Po for breaking into Monkey’s stash :P

“heh … no hurty” Reminded me a little of Kuzco from “The Emperor’s New Groove” No Touchy. xD

“Cause I’m about as dangerous as a bowlful of noodles.” That line caught me off guard first time I read it. Laughed for quite a while. XD

Well Tai, that is just rude :P though the image of him sitting on Po after nerve striking him looking smug made me laugh.

Ch-23: This first section was so evil of you to do to us Taigress shippers. Did guess that it wasn’t actually Tigress but whether I figured who it actually was before it was revealed, I can’t remember. Either way – ouch! Why did it have to be Tigress herself that caught him in that position?! You really did love torturing our spotted feline didn’t you? Was almost a little bit surreal :P

“Did he sleep in the nude?” LOL! I’m seeing Tai wearing a minimum of shorts to sleep at least, but it doesn’t seem entirely out of character for him to wear a shirt as well.

Aaaaaaand Tigress snapped. Granted there were countless reasons on why her claws finally got the better of her mind but she’s off to potentially get herself killed. Then again I think everyone has at least once had the “I can do it on my own” thought over something that absolutely cannot be done solo. The results are never good.

Pretty sure everyone has also had a fight with their own thoughts as well, so Tigress inwardly arguing with herself is all too relatable.

Anger *really* got ahead of Tigress here (despite trying to tell herself to not give the Wu sisters a chance to make her snap). Even though she’s the Furious Five’s leader, she really didn’t stand a chance against all 3 of the sisters. Especially Xiu, (even a fight up against just her would be a risky one. Tigress would fight justly. Xiu would just be brutal.)

Slightly odd question, but are the names of the Wu sisters pronounced the way they are spelt? Specifically Chun? Pretty sure I’m pronouncing Jia correctly, and I don’t even know about Xiu. (never been great with Chinese names :P) It’s something small that’s always slightly bothered me. Haha.

One vicious cat fight and horribly twisted ankle later … kinda knew that fight was not going to end in Tigress’ favour. That’s what happens when Miss Stubborn Stripy gets a bit *too* stubborn. (Geez I sound a bit like Po later on in this chapter.)

Speaking of – Woah! Who the hell would have guessed that Po of all people could get – well – angry? I’m not sure whether to call this in character or not (though I guess, the fact that we never actually saw him angry in any of the films means you – once again - had free range on how to make him act when he was – and you managed to pull it off!)

And anger actually broke her walls … of all the emotions the I thought one would have to throw on her to do that; anger … is … actually the most reasonable one, come to think about it. I think I may be able to see your thinking behind it being Po to be the one to do that too. He’s the last one you would think would actually get mad, therefore be the one who stood the most chance to get through to her. Could be completely wrong with that but still, sounds somewhat right. (Last minute realizations are great! :P)

The hug at the end _ it is moments like this one between Po and Tigress that just fuel my belief that they are only supposed to be close friend. I ship their friendship so much! _

Ch-24: *Bursts out laughing* Mantis has a point and only he could get away with saying something like that. (Also love how karma for this specific event is a bitch to Tai Lung later on in the story.)

Mantis, ya little eavesdropper! xD It was hilarious reading this from Mantis’ point of view, listening to the arguing and combining that with his own dirty thoughts at some lines. The things that get implied … LOL!

To start with, Tai basically gave Tigress a slightly mellowed down spiel of what Po gave her (and didn’t work nearly as well xD)

“but in how many of those little fantasies of yours was I wearing any clothes?” *Runs hand down face* there was a correct answer for this, and Tai didn’t give it. Oops. LOL!

Vipers line “When a woman asks you if you think about her naked, you say … no!” is that the Ghostbuster’s reference? “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a God, you say … yes!” It’s actually one of my favourite parts of that movie. I also caught the Labrynth reference at the very end of this chapter as well, though I haven’t found the Wizard of Oz reference yet, still looking for that one. Haha.

I became Viper when Tai Lung started flexing in front of the mirror. (Your A/N on that made me laugh and feel called out at the same time xD).

Tai Lungs love speeches need work. Tigress would definitely have handed her fist to him on a silver platter. Made me laugh though xD.

I remember the first time I read that Mei Ling was now in on Tai Lung’s pursuit of Tigress; I was so sure that because Viper and Mei Ling were separately going to help him out in their own ways, it was going to clash terrible somewhere along the way and make him look like an idiot ( as you put it – a recipe for disaster). I don’t recall it happening which I’m glad about but I was so worried when that came into light. LOL!

Another 180 turn on genres. Poor Zeng :( It’s been so long since I read this whole story, that I can’t actually remember what happens to him. Is it a sign for me to re-read this again? Possibly … ah well makes it all the more better for me reviewing this coz I can do it like I’m reading it for the first time again _
Sly-carrots chapter 44 . 3/1/2021
I need to give more credit to where its do. There are so many elements to this story that makes it spectacular and you can easily tell the genius behind this amazing adventure gave their all towards the creation of this gold. So thank you for your miracle work.
Sly-carrots chapter 45 . 2/27/2021
Incredible read, nothing like i ever seen before. Thank you for the journey.
Sly-carrots chapter 41 . 2/26/2021
I knew it. Totally guessed he would be back.
howardrhonda828 chapter 19 . 11/26/2020
So, I know I haven't said this before, but I didn't actually read all the way through this fic the first time around, so after this point, I genuinely don't know what will happen next, so easy on the spoilers in your responses!

Anyway, giving Crane a furry friend in the form of "Mei Ling" was pretty creative. I truly didn't see it coming. It also makes him matter more as a Furious Five. He's not just background noise; his past and his story matter.

Interesting that Tai Lung met these sisters on what was essentially the same mission. For different reasons of course, but they almost met by "fate" or something, with them both taking out those bandits.

Also, THAT'S what made Tai Lung swear off of alcohol. Now I get it.

Making it to where Po is the Dragon Warrior in spirit, while also still having much to learn in actual kung fu combat gives the scene tension. Po isn't a Gary Stu. He's still a bit novice with his skills and I like that.

Ooh, hanging the secret of Tai Lung's parents over his head as a tantalizing carrot. Again, no spoilers on this one!

I can't really critique in-depth on the fight scene because... unless it's in a visual medium, it's hard for me to properly visualize and I'm not really drawn to those things intrinsically. I do remember the character beats though, like Po using one of the sisters' faces as a punching bag after stepping on her foot, throwing apples at her, and stuffing one apple in her mouth.

Po has a playful attitude even when he's fighting, and I remember the characterization of the fight more than I do the technical actions.

One thing that confused me was the sleight-of-hand I think one of the sisters used to injure Po with the garrot. What exactly happened?

Also, wow, he actually said Po's name for the first time, and it's when the panda is actively dying. It's kinda bad that that's what it takes for some people. When it's practically too late to care. That's why you gotta tell the people you love that you care right NOW! Don't wait until later.

Sorry for the PSA, but yeah.
howardrhonda828 chapter 18 . 11/23/2020
"I like to watch you sleep sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean often." Oh my gosh, Pearl should hook up with Shifu as to why they like to watch their children sleep! But yeah, I think that's one of my wholesome things ever, especially with how Tai Lung doesn't look so haunted when he sleeps. It's like he's in his purest state.

So now we get a clear picture of how Shifu messed up in raising Tai Lung. He taught him to value strength above everything else, and that an open display of emotions was "unmanly" and "weak" when the exact opposite is true, and he sheltered him from the rest of the world, including the very citizens that lived below him, so Tai Lung didn't have chances of connections, mingling, fraternizing, etc.

It's sad that Shifu still believes it would have been appropriate for him to die for his mistakes in raising Tai Lung, but inspiring that he also thinks that since he's still alive, he must do everything in his power to try to right his wrongs.

It's heartwarming that Tai Lung is genuinely disgusted by the tasteless and graphic way the goat was killed, as even during the worst of his rampage, his kills never went beyond the bounds of common decency. You know, he never ate anybody's heart after disemboweling them or anything crazy like that.

And what a twist: that the message was written in Mongolian and that could only come from Chorh-Gorm.

And again, Tai Lung is happy to be traversing with Po! That companionship is really rubbing off on him.

Ah ha, Tai Lung has trust issues, because in a way, Shifu abandoned him when he needed him most. That too is sad and I can attest, it's hard to overcome. I did wonder if Shifu or Oogway ever visited him in that prison and apparently it was only a handful of times every few years.

Po continues to be an empathetic, compassionate creature and Tai Lung still craves it! LOL.

As Tai Lung switches his thoughts to Tigress, I didn't think Tai Lung would've presented the orchid to her in a boyish and nervous matter. I would've thought he would've attempted to play it off, adopt his usual sarcasm and aloofness.

So Tai Lung didn't engage in carnal pleasures because it felt it would've been "too easy". Why am I not surprised? He's always about challenges!

When you truly think life would be dull and empty without your partner, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. As Garnet said, a partner is meant to compliment you, not complete you. If there's something broken inside of you, a partner alone cannot fix that. In fact, things might get worse, not better. Love doesn't heal all wounds. And then there's the abusive side of things, where if the man or woman tries to leave the relationship, the other partner either gets violent or suicidal and it's sad for all involved.

Anyway, we have the classic "It's quiet, too quiet" scene with Tai Lung and another big surprise: Tai Lung actually KNOWS these villains!
howardrhonda828 chapter 17 . 11/21/2020
The tale of Tai Lung and WuShon fire demons was certainly awe-inspiring! It's great that this time the ones telling the story are the ones who actually experienced his heroics first-hand! It's also a pretty cool touch that THAT was the dream Po always had, only he would insert himself into the role of Tai Lung. And to do all that at the age of 15? Man, did Tai Lung have an invigorating life or what? Well, you know, until it all went to shit but still!

And Po walking in on Tigress and Viper having a "moment" was classic. I guess he took their kiss and makeup session a little too seriously at first with their smeared makeup, teary eyes, and the way they were embracing each other!

This is also one of the most light-hearted and fun chapters with the Five all having a slumber party and participating in Truth or Dare. I didn't know China ACTUALLY had a thing like that, only with the name "Truth or RISK" instead of "Dare".

Viper having to threaten to tattle on them to Shifu if they don't participate was pretty funny too.

I just had a mental picture of Mantis bathing with a sponge on a stick and it's one of the cutest things ever.

And Tai Lung actually is a "40-year-old virgin", just like in the 2005 sex-comedy movie! LOL! But I can totally see it. Of course he wouldn't be focused on humping anything that moves when he was training to the greatest kung fu warrior in all of China.

But still, that IS funny. Tai Lung really never let himself have pleasures like that. I'm sure, even with how harsh Shifu normally is, he would have at least allowed THAT. I mean a man has needs after all.

"Well I can tell you it wasn't with one of my own kind, otherwise I wouldn't be here today."

True! Thing is, I've done some research on mantis mating and it turns out that the female mantis doesn't ALWAYS devour its male partner. In fact, only a few species do and not always under natural conditions. It's actually kind of a mystery why it happens. Some biologists say it sometimes comes down to simple hunger: well-nourished female mantises are less likely to turn their partner into a meal than a starving one.

Also, I really can't imagine what other bug or small animal Mantis could have possibly made whoopie with without it being, ya know, awkward! And classic Mantis: "She found out that size really doesn't matter!" Eugh!

Yeah... does a mantis even have a penis? Not in the stereotypical sense, no. I... I'm thinking way too hard about insect genitalia right now!

And Tai Lung gets his dignity knocked down another peg with Po being dared to re-enact what their "legendary battle" was like, down to all the slapstick fumbles and comedic timing. Oh man, I would've paid to be in that room to hear (most) of the Five laughing.

But then Tai Lung gets back at Po by daring him to bend over and touch his toes without bending his knees which is just cruel! I actually did want Po to be able to do it now since he'd said he'd been working out, and he DID slim down a bit in the second movie. But no, he releases his sucked in breath and messes up at the last second.

But to be fair, why does no one realize that Po is at a healthy weight for a panda? I mean, do they expect pandas to be skinny? He's not just some "fattie" and honestly, that's body shaming! If he didn't eat so much, he'd literally die from malnutrition/starvation.

Anyway, I'm glad Viper chewed them all out for that dare and called them out on bullying Po, which is something they really should have gotten over. That's also a good point that even Tigress, while she was disdainful and contemptuous of the panda in the beginning, didn't actually enjoy taking jabs at him or making fun of him like Monkey, Mantis, and the others.

Even though this was mostly a light-hearted chapter, I liked the addition of a serious "Truth" question with Tai Lung being asked what his biggest regret was besides not obtaining the scroll and he described an incident where he couldn't save everyone from a bridge collapsing at the Thread of Hope.

That's something that every hero has to face; the realization that they are not all-powerful and can't prevent every tragedy. Even Superman struggles with this, and that guy's practically a deity.

But to quote Grandad from Boondocks after Huey asked him what do you do when you can't do nothing but there's also nothing you can do: "You do what you can."

The next answer to the "what was one of your favorite pastimes?" was also pretty heartwarming. For all his earlier derision towards genteel activities like "reading tea leaves", Tai Lung admitting that he actually enjoyed fishing with Shifu showed a more casual side to the cat. Also yes, how appropriate for a feline to like this sort of thing.

My favorite dares after that was Tai Lung hero-worshipping Po for a change, even if it was done in a melodramatic and highly exaggerated fashion, like at the Thread of Hope, and then having Tai Lung bury his muzzle into Po's belly and blow on it.

That was just pure fluff!

I find it interesting that Viper can still sell her venom to other people even though she doesn't have any fangs. How would that work?

And of course the last dare would follow the usual romantic convention of daring two parties to kiss each other, with both sides protesting heavily before giving in and actually doing a damn good job of it.

I gotta say that the banter was pretty well-done though, especially the whole, "I wouldn't kiss you if you were the last man on Earth"/"Well I AM the last man on Earth! The last REAL one anyway!" exchange.

Oh man though, missed opportunity for the Five to learn about Tai Lung's Leopard Claw Nerve Strike technique! I think that actually shows some progress that he'd be willing to teach it to them if they happened to ask. That means his pride is going down.

And finally, poor Shing Fai. You know, I actually thought it would be THIS poor fellow he ended up meeting a grisly end by the main evil entity of the story and that would have broken my heart. I mean, he's so helpless! Elderly too!

But no, instead he sees his goat friend all disemboweled and bloody. I'd be wetting my pants if that were me. I'm surprised you didn't write a scene where the goose had urinated from fear.

What a way to change the mood though. Fun light-hearted and fun to downright horrifying! It never felt jarring though. It just means things are getting more serious.
howardrhonda828 chapter 16 . 11/13/2020
Warriors with enough training can manipulate their chi to control the elements? Yep, this is officially Avatar. And I love how Tai doesn't actually know how he did what he did with Shifu, holding fire in his hands. He just... did it. And yeah, even Po was performing moves off the cuff in their battle for the Dragon Scroll.

And ho boy, Tai Lung and Po should have known not to insult Shifu within earshot. "Were you wanting to do your twenty laps around the mountain before we left, or after we return?"

I loved all the interactions with the children at the Bao Gu Orphanage, especially Shifu giving out ginger cookies, even for small feats such as standing still or performing a proper kung fu bow.

Hm, I did think Tigress being kept in a cage was overly harsh and even abusive even if it was to protect the other children, but when she shared that story of nearly killing another child with her strength, even when she didn't mean to... yeah, it's unfortunate. Really, you'd think there'd be animal-specific orphanages where stronger predators would be kept with more appropriate creatures who weren't in danger.

And yeah, we all heard Shifu's leg snap when Tai Lung batted him away and we see him use a cane later on when he's training little Tigress.

But WOW, the way Tigress laid out how Tai Lung was only in love with the "idea" of her instead of the "real" her, it was harsh as hell, but undeniably, absolutely true.

It reminds me of what Garnet said to Jaimie in the episode "Love Letters". (The cartoon is called Steven Universe by the way.)

"Love at first sight doesn't exist. Love takes time and love takes work. At the very least you have to KNOW the other person, and you LITERALLY have no idea what or who I am."
howardrhonda828 chapter 15 . 11/8/2020
Okay, so ol' Monkey is trying to protect someone he views as a sister (and in earlier times, a potential lover) in Tigress. I can understand that. But he really must have a low opinion of Tai Lung if he thought the snow leopard, even when he was a villain, would ever "take advantage" of Tigress's frozen body after paralyzing her at the Thread of Hope. Yeah, he did some bad things, but never THAT bad.

I bet even Tai Lung would find rape disgusting, and God help anyone who ever TRIED to do such a thing to Tigress or really anyone. I can see him tearing the bastard's balls off.

Interesting that Tai Lung thinks that alcohol is a poison that no one in the right mind should engage in, when he was perfectly willing to drown his sorrows in alcohol at that tavern long ago when he had been denied the Dragon Scroll. Granted, that was the lowest point in his life, but still. I can definitely see him not making that a habit though. Kung fu requires intense focus and you can't get that if you're buzzed out of your mind.

I loved the foreman coming back to converse with Tai Lung and bringing his cute little daughter Yi along with him! I also love how Yi was enchanted by Shifu's large ears and eyes. They really do look appealingly soft and fluffy. I wonder if Shifu was the type who would allow a child to touch his ears or play with his fur?

And I wonder if that's a Chinese thing, where introducing yourself by your first name in an informal manner is actually a big deal? "My name is Shen Zhuang, but you can just call me Zhuang."

Tai Lung with a career in building and construction, huh? That is quite a prospect, isn't it? When you think Tai Lung, you don't think of a guy actually having a 9-to-5 job to earn a daily salary to pay the bills and feed his family now do you?

Once again, this reminds me of how Super made Goku, an accomplished martial artist, actually get a job where he drove a tractor and harvested fruits and vegetables to sell on the market to earn money for his family. It was actually pretty cool.

"Keep up all that moaning and groaning, and I'm gonna start thinking you're opening up a brothel!"

Holy moly, I bet that even had Mantis blushing pink! Zhuang, you are a dog!

The interaction between Xiulan and Tigress hurt my heart. Tigress was actually trying to mollify this woman and she just spat in her face, telling her she wasn't a real defender of the palace and that she couldn't even trust her with the Village's children, and then that she might have even be in cahoots with Tai Lung when she fought him at the Thread of Hope? And the worst part was that Tigress didn't even get mad and try to defend herself like she did when Wei dare insult her... she just looked like a chastised cub.

I'm glad the others stood up to defend her, especially Shifu who was like, "Apologize IMMEDIATELY."

And how can she say that about the children when none of them had so much as a scratch on them when they returned home to their parents from the daycare?

I also thought it was heartwarming that Tai Lung defended his master when Xiulan said that maybe it was Shifu's turn to go senile now, since she let the "mad killer" back into the Valley.

Also, what is Di Yu?

I loved how Po was the one to stop all the arguing by pounding his fist down on the table and threatening to sit on anyone who made even another peep. That just comes across as really awesome and really humorous at the same time.

But what he said here: "All right, okay. I read ya. But I bet you he's really sorry for that now... aren't ya Tai?" when he learned that Tai Lung killed her husband 20 years ago, came across as ... weak.

Even if he is sorry, that's not really something you can just say "I'm sorry" for. This reminded me of a quote Bobby Johnson said in the movie South Central.

"Jimmy, son. If you hit a man in his face, in time his wounds will heal. And later on, you can apologize, to that man. If you steal his goods, later on, you can return those goods, or you can repay him equal value. But if you kill... there IS no later on. There's no way to repair it with that man. There's no way to make it right with him or his family. His life is gone forever. You never come back from that."

And as an aside note, I never knew that the phrase "ball and chain" could also be used to describe one's romantic partner or wife.

But then again, Zhuang's perspective is interesting too. He's coming from the side of relative innocence; he never lost anyone in the rampage and was barely even alive by the time it was over. So it does make it easier for him to forgive. Even when he did carry some hatred and resentment for the snow leopard in his younger years, I love how it was actually Master Oogway who set him straight on that.

"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent to throw it at someone else; you're the one who gets burnt."

That's just such a good quote, and of course, it would come from Buddha. Oogway definitely seems like the type who would follow Buddhism.

"Hell, if I was a bastard I could be thanking Tai Lung for killing him, since I couldn't be married to Xiulan otherwise."

Hm, that's also interesting. It plays with the concept of how good things can flourish even in the bad. Like how a tornado, even in its destruction, can leave fertile soil behind for plants to grow and things like that.

And when they're sending out boats to the loved ones and Shifu is rather reticent and laconic about his family, I always did wonder what his backstory was. The cartoon series actually did give him a backstory, but I forgot most of the details of what it was.

Then we have Monkey getting captured by our main shadowy evil villain, which will definitely cause some tension!
howardrhonda828 chapter 14 . 11/5/2020
Another chapter that I would consider one of my favorites. First, you gotta love Mantis's pervy sense of humor for where that gnarly stick of Oogway's might have been used for. Like Tai, I think I may need brain bleach after that!

I love how Tigress actually chose to wear the orchid over her ear! I bet she looked real cute like that.

Tai Lung being hopelessly allergic to dust and sneezing explosively is a both a precious thing to read about and a pretty funny thing as well. Ha, imagine him with a stuffy voice and red, watery eyes.

Tigress thinking the Emperor was cute in younger days and Tai getting real jealous about it, calling him nothing but a "pampered pretty boy" again, speaks of his insecurity.

Okay, now I wanna know what the 'Kama Sutra" is. I bet it's something dirty. Very dirty.

Tigress coming across the old wooden tiles Shifu used to teach her how to control her strength back at the orphanage made me smile.

Po owning a Tai Lung action figure was actually made canon in KFP3! He's playing with him in the bathtub.

More cute Tai with him being painted in Oogway's lap as a cub, though he has to defend his pride by saying he was a little "hellion" at that age.

And Po wanting to show the villagers the baby picture of Tai reminded me of the Firelord's baby picture, again in Avatar.

"I think he kept all these things because...he hoped one day you'd change, that you'd repent what you did and ask for forgiveness...and then he would have released you from prison so you could come home."

(Could that be true? If so, that was so sweet. I mean it'd be very cruel if Oogway expected and even hoped that Tai Lung would rot in that prison.)

"I feel the same way, a lot of the time, about Shifu. How could someone so disciplined, so distant, ever feel something like that? Sometimes, though...what we think we see, and what is fact, are not the same."

(Nothing to say but heartwarming, and a lesson on life.)

And Tai had a teddy bear as a child. That's just so cute. But the villain is anything BUT cute as he corrupts Vachir!
howardrhonda828 chapter 13 . 11/3/2020
I love the image of Tai Lung playing checkers with the other children. Can you imagine Tai in one of those itty-bitty chairs?

And he knows Shifu well to figure that a "small" and "minor" task would be anything but from him!

And I like how Po isn't portrayed as oblivious to the other villagers' scorn but rather actively tuning it out and focusing on positivity.

Yeah, that whole "dewdrop" thing wouldn't be enough, even if the Dragon Warrior was the most devout of monks. People gotta eat!

Tai Lung's gone through some development for him to actually care about Po not liking him anymore when he revealed that he smashed up his father's shop and nearly killed him 20 years ago in his rampage. I can't imagine how awkward a conversation that would be, as well as uncomfortable.

And of course, Po takes it in stride, tells him the two of them smashed just as many buildings in their fight with each other, that the past is the past, and his dad is perfectly fine now so there's no need to worry.

Apparently, his father shares his "insanity" by also brushing it off, telling him the old shop needed remodeling anyway! LOL!

I kinda wished there had been more of an interaction between Tai Lung and Ping the goose, where we could actually see the written dialogue but oh well.

Haha, Tai Lung expresses sympathy for Po having to take and deliver orders in such a cramped space, especially given his size! And for once, he's not making fun of him with such an observation but being genuine.

Tai Lung, jealous of Po possibly having feelings for Tigress? Come on dude, don't be so insecure!

And of course, Tai would want the strongest oolong drink, which translates to "black dragon". Man, everything goes back to dragons with this guy!

Interesting that Shifu also didn't share what really happened to Oogway at the peach tree, so none of them know he dissolved into flowers. I wonder how "spiritually" aware Po and the others really are.

"Okay, okay, don't get your fur ruffled!" Haha, because Tai Lung is a snow leopard and not a bird!

And I love how in contrast to the villagers' scorn, Ping makes sure to serve his son and his friend first, giving them first-class treatment. He also gives them five-star food, when it would've been so easy for him to poison the dish or something if he were more resentful of Tai Lung.

Tai Lung's developed a bit of autophobia there, huh? Makes sense for things like silence and solitude to put him at unease, especially after all his time in Chorh-Gom.

And here we basically learn that when Tai Lung cried out "It's nothing!" at the blank parchment paper, he wasn't simply talking about the scroll. He was talking about himself. My heart breaks yet again.

I almost wonder whether Tai Lung would benefit from some form of professional therapy, but then I also wonder if ancient China had such a thing back then.

Po's speech afterwards reminds me of the Soothsayer's words in KFP2: "Your story may not have such a happy beginning, but that does not make you who you are. It's the rest of it—who you choose to be."

I'm not gonna lie. That part made me tear up a little in the movie, and that's not an easy feat when it comes to me. I'm not the sentimental type.

Tai Lung doesn't know what to do with the gift of compassion he has received. Here's what you do buddy: accept it, however odd or difficult that may be to do.

A younger, more innocent cub version of Tai Lung giving him an orchid flower. Cute.

And now we have our villains: the Wu Sisters! This should be fun.
howardrhonda828 chapter 12 . 10/30/2020
Ah yes, the chapter where Tai Lung endures bullying by yet another pachyderm. Instead of Vachir the Rhino, we have Wei the Elephant. I can’t help but think that that connection was on purpose.

I like that attention to detail of Tai Lung knowing that dull tusks would actually hurt a heck of a lot more than properly sharpened ones.

“And what exactly do you think I’ve been doing, you overgrown waterskin?” Another classic line.

“...glaring into his persecutor’s tiny, and in his opinion anyway, unintelligent eyes”

Burn!

I love how Tai Lung has finally gained the confidence to defend himself by bringing up his heroic accomplishments, all thanks to Po’s encouragement. Again, this is sweet.

At the same time I kinda agree with the foreman that whatever good things Tai Lung did in the past, they were marred by his horrific rampage where he laid waste to the Valley.

Forcing Tai Lung to address him as “sir” though was just a power trip on the feline, and I’m glad Tigress stepped in at that point, because the guy was starting to throw his weight around.

“Leave it to a woman to get all emotional and show too much sympathy.”

And now we can add misogyny to Wei’d douche list! Wow, I did not expect that to come out of his mouth!

Okay, badmouthing Tigress in front of Tai Lung was practically suicide. He deserved that brick to the back of his head!

I don’t know if the rest of the beating was justified, especially snapping the poor fellow’s leg, but by the way the whole crew cheered when Shifu banished him, it seems that Wei truly was a “hardass to everybody”.

And as someone once said on TV, “You can’t piss someone off, then tell them how mad to get.”

Shifu’s dressing down of the cocky fellow really was something to witness though. And at the end, “Get out of my sight.”

Damn! Just total dismissal.

Tai Lung meets another potential friend in that bull, and then Tigress takes him to the daycare where we see the little cowgirl Yi again!

And I like how Tai Lung, though long-suffering, is patient with the children and doesn’t lash at any one of them, even when they do annoying or painful things.

You gotta love the little red baby panda getting back at Tai Lung for ripping out Shifu’s whiskers as a child by ripping out his own! Karma’s a bitch!

Little Yi refusing to let go of her kitty even when it’s time to go is an adorable image, as is Tai Lung’s unwillingness to physically remove her or raise his voice at her. He just doesn’t have the heart to.

I would’ve loved to hear the entire conversation of how he made her go with that pinky promise.

And finally, Tigress’s jealousy returns when she sees Tai Lung getting the praise that she thinks she should be getting. Oh man, I just wanna give her a hug and tell her that she’s valid too!
howardrhonda828 chapter 11 . 10/29/2020
She knew, of course, that Mantis for certain and probably Crane as well believed her choice in the matter had more to do with the rippling pectorals and well-defined abdominals the snow leopard sported.

(Vipress attracted to Tai Lung-serpent attracted to feline? Geez, talk about a crack pairing!)

Though she had no reason to, she felt guilt that she'd led such a sheltered, almost charmed existence while he had been through so much anguish and torment.

(Ah, the Tumblr equivalent of “checking your privilege”. But in all seriousness, it makes sense for Viper to help Tai Lung because she wants to share her ‘good fortune’ with him. The gift of unconditional love, devotion, and kindness by her parents, without her ever feeling like she had to EARN it.)

That reptile pun was uncalled for Tai. This is the same guy who took offense (inwardly at least) at the whole “catnip” joke from Monkey, but still felt the need to crack one of his own at Viper’s expense! Tsk tsk.

“You know, I used to think people like your mother were fools. Sad, pathetic do-gooders who couldn't see the real way the world works, who'd keep mindlessly parroting their blind beliefs until reality bit them on the arse. Now...now, I don't know what to think."

Well, at least it was some progress anyway. Frowning, Viper said, "Every time I hear you say things like that, Tai Lung, it makes me see just how truly hurt you've been."

(Right? That mindset of Tai Lung’s is such a “who hurt you?” one, even though we already kinda know what did. He’s just so cynical.)

"Um...I'm sorry that I made you hit yourself, when we fought at the bridge," she finally said, lamely.

(Bwa ha ha! You know, since Tai Lung made such a big deal about Po “humiliating” him back when they first fought, I can see Vipress apologizing for attacking him in a “ridiculous” manner as well.
Then Tai Lung has to be a bit of a jackass about it, though not as sniffy about the act as he was with Po, by saying he’s “had worse, believe you me,” in a tone that suggests he’s mocking her abilities. Good thing Vipress set him straight on that!)

"Really? Then the next time my deceptive dancing defies your nimble nerve strike, remind me to bring that up again."

The snow leopard stared at her, dumbfounded, for several moments...swallowed imperceptibly...and then softly gasped, "That...that was you? You were the Protector of the Moon Festival, the one who took on the Gorilla Bandit all by yourself, and won? I...I heard about that from Vachir, while I was in prison..." All traces of jocular teasing and knowing cockiness vanished. "Forgive me, Master Viper. I meant no disrespect to a legend such as yourself. I was only saying I didn't suffer unduly, so you have no need to apologize."
(
Ah ha! Tai Lung turned simpering real quick once he learned that he was talking to a legend. And I’m glad, because this is more progress from him. He’s learning to be more respectful.)

"Fair enough." Tai Lung paused too, then smirked lopsidedly. "But no matter what, there's no way in hell you're turning me into a ribbon-dancer."

(I friggin’ love that line.)

I loved hearing more memories of little Tai in his childhood, and him playing with bunnies was the most sweet and heartwarming to me, as well as him watching dragon puppets from Shifu’s shoulder.

“The awe-inspiring spectacle, in far-flung Tengchong, of plains and mountains of fire—Oogway called them volcanoes”

(So Tai Lung didn’t know what volcanoes were? I wonder if this was when he was very small or if there are other things humans take for granted that sentient animals wouldn’t know the names for?)

“After that display of blinding speed and shimmering waves of chi washing across the battlefield, never again would he consider a turtle slow, no matter the reptile's usual languorous attitude.”

(I bet an Oogway in his prime would’ve been stunning to see! A turtle being fast reminds me of Ash’s Turtwig in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. I also love how even the Five were enraptured by that little tale.)

A terrible thought came to Viper, and suddenly she forgot all about defending Tai Lung as instead her venom, so to speak, was directed at him. "What did he do to you? Did he hurt you, Tigress?"

(Oh that is just precious. She may believe in the guy, but as soon as Tigress gives off weird signals like he might have done something naughty to her, Viper is hissing up a storm to make sure her friend is okay.)

But for a moment she was strongly tempted to snap her tail rigid and smack the striped feline hard on the rump as she passed—because she certainly deserved a paddling at the very least.

(I totally wanted her to do that, just for the mental image and the laugh. A snake spanking, ha!)

“I don't have a damn problem with heights—it's the sudden stop at the bottom that I take issue with!"

(SAME. Still though, Tai Lung with acrophobia? I was with Viper; he treated those ropes and that bridge like a damn jungle gym, but I guess it really was the “hot blood in his veins” that was blocking out all of the danger.)

"So—can you redirect your chi, and use it to shove the air, send out a blast of wind?"

(Oh, that is SO airbending. Aang’s name is written all over that.)

"Fine. If you're all so certain this is needed, I'll go out there and coax the kitten along if he freezes up. But he's going first; I'm not about to let him ogle my backside if I can help it."

(Geez Tigress, you’re not going out on that bridge with Master Roshi or another anime pervert!)

I love Crane flying down to save Tai Lung as he fell from the bridge in the same way he swooped down to save Tigress in the movie!

And please Viper, please don’t try to play matchmaker! But you just know she will, and those two DO need a nudge.
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