—Chapter Three sums it up perfectly.
Differing Paths... is a Dark Fic
, based around the characters of Azumanga Daioh
, taking place five years after the end of the series, long since any of them have seen each other. The plot begins with Tomo working for Tokyo police against a cat burglar. Said burglar is revealed to be Sakaki, who was trained from an early age by her father and Kimura, members of a clan of thieves. Due to an injury and being accused of manslaughter, she is removed from the force, and most of the story follows her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Sakaki.
Notable is the constant Mood Whiplash
, Shout Outs
, Lampshade Hanging
, and the exaggeration of the main characters' personality traits. Can be viewed in its (currently in-progress) entirety here.
Provides examples of:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Kaorin, naturally.
- Anti-Villain: Sakaki, who could easily be interpreted as the moral superior to Tomo, having been forced into the whole robbing-and-murdering thing.
- Black and Grey Morality: Pretty much everyone in the story has their Kick the Dog moments.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Well, it is a Dark Fic...
- Break the Cutie: Sakaki's training. Later on, the death of Chiyo's parents and her entry to the police force.
- Cerebus Rollercoaster: Pretty much all the way through. The largely content-free chapter one is followed by chapter two's Downer Ending, which is followed by the third and fourth chapters, which are entirely Played for Laughs. Chapters five, six, the second half of chapter seven, and chapter eight go back to the bleak tone, which are then followed by chapter nine and ten, where it takes a turn into hilariously over-the-top action.
- Chunky Salsa Rule: Tomo takes advantage of this in the fight with Kimura, though she does take the time to Double Tap just in case.
- Determinator: Tomo.
- Eye Scream: Tomo, in chapter two.
- Fingore: Tomo's method of interrogation/revenge on Kaorin.
- First Episode Spoiler: Tomo's eye getting sliced open, and her subsequent removal from the force. Also, The Reveal of Sakaki in chapter five is about midway through, but it just as important to talk about the later chapters.
- Guns Akimbo and Gun Fu: Tomo's fighting style.
- Hollywood Healing: In chapter ten, Tomo returning to health after being crushed by a boat... In only eight hours.
- Kick the Dog: Tomo torturing Kaorin.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Konata mentions that it seems like she's seen Tomo on TV before.
- Made of Iron: Tomo, Up to Eleven.
- Meta Guy: Konata, of all people.
- One of Us: Hi there.
- Pet the Dog:
- A minor one in chapter ten, when when Tomo spares Chiyo.
This is like something out of a piece of pulp trash. Well, I suppose it sort of is.
- Shout-Out: Tomo listening to God Save the Queen on her her way to Miyama's office.