Queen of All Oni is a Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction by Eduard Kassel.The story is an Alternate Universe Fic story diverging from canon at the start of Season 4. The basic question is, what if, instead of releasing Tarakudo, Daolon Wong's botched spell instead reawakened Jade's Superpowered Evil Side, the Queen of the Shadowkhan?From there, the story follows as such: Jade, like Tarakudo in canon, seeks out the masks of the Oni Generals, while at the same time seeking to increase her own powers. Meanwhile, Jackie, Uncle and Tohru, with the help of their allies, seek to not only stop Jade, but ultimately save her from the darkness before it consumes her completely.The story is highly praised by its reviewers, who enjoy the darker tone and the compelling plot, both of which are rare among JCA fics.Now has a character page in need of work.
This story provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: It seems that when Drago was sealed away by Lo Pei, Shendu intentionally left him that way in order to "build character".
Jade's parents almost veer into this from Parental Neglect; Tarakudo uncovers that after injuring herself exploring (sliding down a banister), her mother's reaction was to spank her for disturbing the adults' party rather than concern for Jade's well being (she ran into a statue at the end of the railing and had severe bruising and was crying). Jade truly considers going to live with Jackie to be the best thing that ever happend to her before she went evil.
Adult Fear: Jade turning back to evil, and later being tortured by Lung.
Affably Evil: Tarakudo, as well as Jade, whose personality is more or less unchanged following her Face Heel Turn (other than wanting to kill Tohru and having fewer morals).
Monsieur Verde is also pretty affable. Though considering he's loosely based on Dr. Facilier, that's to be expected.
Kuro's such a nice and polite guy, you almost forget he's demon General.
Agony of the Feet: Right cuts off Lung's foot to prevent him from escaping, just before killing him.
Air Vent Passageway: Drago apparently did this to break into Section 13. He lampshades the fact that it's a cliche.
Allohistorical Allusion: The haunted mansion Jade takes as the Shadow Hand's headquarters is the same one that appeared in a Season 5 episode of the show.
When Finn removes Ikazuki's mask, he comments that he's got a good thing going with working for Jade, and doesn't need "another demon riding [his] ass." In canon, Finn ended up with Ikazuki's mask stuck to his rear for most of an episode.
When Jade gives Ozeki full control of Captain Black's body, he comments on how if she hadn't, he would have had to manipulate Black's love of the law in order corrupt him, which is exactly what happened in canon.
Before El Toro knows the full reason for Jade's absence, he comments that it's good she's not there, or she'd be needling Paco about his Halloween costume (which is exactly what happened in canon).
At different points (and for different reasons), Jade and Jackie both comment that it's a good thing Paco didn't get Kuro's mask (like in canon).
During the interludes involving Hero, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Jade's heroic nature, he confronts another Aspect of Jade called Ambition and comments that she used to dress like Captain Black, an obvious reference to the "J-2" episode.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: When Captain Black ends up masked, Jade infiltrates Section 13 via his shadow, and then uses her magic to awaken General Ozeki (the Oni of the mask), who fully possesses Black and proceeds to attack the base as a diversion so Jade can steal the other masks in the Vault. Fortunately, intervention by Uncle and Agent Wisker just narrowly averts this from succeeding.
Drago breaks into Section 13 in an attempt to steal the Talismans, but is distracted by Karasu long enough for the heroes to show up and drive him off.
Finn also counts, as he aspires to move up in the Shadow Hand's ranks, and actually says to Viper that he's a better criminal than she ever was because he's more ambitious.
Kuro probably qualifies as well, given he compliments Finn on his own ambition.
Ancient Keeper: Nameless, the giant feathered serpent that guards the Vault of Endless Night, is implied to have been around since Aztec times.
Ancient Tradition: The Brothers of the Three Shades, three monks following in the footsteps of the Sages who sealed the Shadowkhan and Oni away originally.
Animal Motifs: Jade definitely has a snake theme going on by this point.
It might be inherent — when the Oni Elders tried to kill Tarakudo, it was by using a conjured monster in the form of a snake, and he comments on their "snake obsession".
Karasu is described as having bird-like features.
Anthropomorphic Personification: When Tohru enters Jade's mind, he meets Hero (a flamboyant adventurer representing Jade's brash, heroic nature), and Mother (a faceless woman representing Jade's resentment towards her parents). Hero also mentions several other personifications, the most prominent being The Queen (the representation of Jade's dark side).
Hero also mentions Ambition, Envy, and Resentment as having joined with the Queen, but we've yet to meet them.
Ambition is represented by an adult Jade wearing traditional Chinese armor (according to Hero, she used to wear a knockoff of Captain Black's outfit).
We've also met Prissiness (Jade is a pink princess outfit), Frugality (Jade in business ware and glasses), and Punk (a teenage punk Jade who presumably represents Jade's rebellious nature).
The Queen is eventually revealed to be an adult Jade wearing an adult version of Jade's canon Queen dress and a crown of shadows.
Greed (who claims the proper title is Desire) is an adult Jade who's literally half-human and half-Shadowkhan — one half is human and dressed in a copy of Captain Black's clothes, while the other is Shadowkhan and wearing white robes (the clothes join in the middle seamlessly).
Hero's First Mate is a steampunk-cyborg named Science who, presumably, represents Jade's scientific knowledge. And we at one point see him fighting Fury, represented by a Jade wearing a straightjacket.
Hero had one enemy that was the Hook to his Peter Pan before the Queen's coup, who symboliezed restraint, repression, and generaly being obedient and taking the safe path. Hero claims that if that guy was in charge, Jade would never have done anything. This person faces the Queen in a case of Evil vs Not Quite Evil in controling the three keys to Jade's person, claiming Home, where Jade's soul is kept. The only place he is never found is the representaion of the appartement in Hong Kong where Jade used to live. He is called Father.
Apologetic Attacker: Jackie, Tohru and Viper (though not as often) are this towards Jade, seeing as they care about her and are only reluctantly attacking her.
Ascended Extra: Verde was originally only created for two scenes, but the author liked him enough to expand him to recurring villain.
Asshole Victim: Lung is the first human character to be killed in the story. He's also a Smug Snake, so no one complained when Right cut him down.
Before him, Kaito was really asking for it when Jade ate his mask and absorbed his essence.
As You Know: Lampshaded and justified during Drago's first confrontation with Karasu. Karasu sums up Drago's Back Storyfrom the future, and when Drago asks why he's discussing what they both already know, Karasu comments that he's just keeping Drago distracted long enough for the heroes to show up and deal with him.
The Atoner: Tohru views saving Jade from the darkness as part of his continuing redemption for his own sins.
Viper says this word-for-word when Jackie wonders how Kuro's mask ended up buried inside a cliff face miles up in the air.
It's commented by people on both sides that a cavern the size of the Vault of Endless Night couldn't possibly exist under Mexico City unnoticed; everyone admits it must be the magic of the contents warping reality.
Back-to-Back Badasses: Jackie and Viper, repeatedly. For the wizard equivalent, Tohru and Uncle have done this at least once.
Badass in Distress: Viper gets kidnapped by the Shadow Hand in chapter 12 and gets taken hostage again after being beaten by Right in the later fight.
Happens to her again in the Vault of Endless Night; it gets lampshaded by Paco.
Badass Normal: Not only do we have the canon ones, we also have Blankman, Jade's foreman. He apparently knocks out all the other applicants for the position in under two minutes without breaking a sweat (sadly, we don't get to see it). We later find out that he's a master of savate de rue, a French martial art built around boxing and kickboxing (though he does enhance it with magic, so he's kind of cheating).
There's also the Sages, who don't have anything other than martial arts to work with, and still manage to fight Jackie, Viper, Uncle, Tohru, Hak Foo, and Jade and her Shadowkhan to a standstill.
Agent Wisker, Captain Black's Number Two, is able to go toe-to-toe with a fully magically-empowered Jade, and keep her busy long enough to ruin her plans.
Detective Ramirez, who helps the J-Team out in Mexico, seems to be a perfectly ordinary man, but apparently deals with magic on a regular basis.
Bad Future: Possibly. All we've seen of the time period Karasu and Drago come from is that Jade is still a Shadowkhan (now known as the Matriarch), which doesn't bode well for the heroes' efforts to save her.
Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Blankman seemingly shoots at Jackie during their fight in the Vault of Endless Night, but in actuality was aiming at the monsters surrounding them.
Bastard Understudy: This is played with in an interesting way when Jade recruits the Bat General; she tells him that if he sides with her against Tarakudo, then he's free to try and take the throne from her if she doesn't work out as ruler, terms the General agrees to. In other words, they're agreeing that he'll be her Bastard Understudy.
Jade herself, following the below-mentioned Break the Haughty, decides that it might be wiser to play this role to Tarakudo, as she realizes she may not be in a position to outright overthrow him yet.
Lung was Daolon Wong's apprentice, and tried to kill him when he had learned enough. That obviously failed, and he went into hiding, waiting for Wong to die so that he could replace him. Jade calls him out on this, and calls him pathetic for it.
It seems Drago was this to the Matriarch. After she freed him from Verde, he learned as much from her as he could, then went back in time in order to eliminate her at her weakest and become the Big Bad himself.
Batman Gambit: Uncle knows that Wong knows how to summon Tarakudo (who the heroes need to interrogate), but that he won't unless there's something in it for him, and also that he'll just double cross him the first chance he gets. So, Uncle and Captain Black stage a jailbreak in order to get Wong out and lure him into a false sense of security, then set an ambush for him for when he inevitably betrays Uncle during the summoning.
Earlier, when Jade needs to get Tohru to come out of the shop's protective wards so she can capture him for Ikazuki, she has some of her Shadowkhan sneak attack Uncle, knowing that Tohru will come to his aid, allowing her to capture him.
Jade's "Operation: Steel Lightning" is essentially one — she plans on letting the newest mask "accidentally" end up on one of the good guys (it was meant to be Jackie, but ends up on Captain Black instead), forcing them to tap into its powers (which she accomplishes by tossing Black off a tower), hitching a ride into Section 13 in their shadow (with the mask's awakened powers hiding her presence from Uncle's protective wards), then using a spell to fully awaken the General and having them distract the agency while she breaks into the Vault and steals the other masks and the Talismans. And it almost goes off without a hitch, with only Wisker's unforeseen interference preventing a victory.
Blankman also has shades of this — he's basically Jade's accountant, but he's able to go toe-to-toe with Drago and Jackie in a fight.
Karasu seems to serve the same role to the Matriarch's daughter that Left and Right serve to Jade.
Battle in the Center of the Mind: While Jade is being tortured by Lung, Hero gathers together as many of the uncorrupted Aspects of her mind as he can and launches an attack on the Jade (the ship that represents Jade's consciousness) so that he can retake control from the Queen. Their crews beat each other senseless, but before they can fight each other personally, Jade's mind literally cracks as she's driven crazy, and the ship nearly capsizes into a maelstrom. When Jade's mind is stablized, the Queen resumes control and captures Hero.
Bigger Bad: Tarakudo, while sealed away, is still active, and is waiting in the wings for his chance to take center stage.
Big Bad Wannabe: Lung tries, but he's not really even on Jade's level, let alone Wong's or Tarakudo's.
Drago takes a stab at taking the Big Bad position himself, but Karasu and the heroes take him down with minimal effort.
Daolon Wong himself rather comes off as degrading to this in-story, given his pitiful attempts at regaining his power and the Humiliation Conga he goes through (Tarakudo even calls him a wannabe at one point).
Big Eater: After her transformation, Jade's metabolism and appetite shoot through the roof (though canon shows she had a big appetite even BEFORE this).
Black and White Morality: Uncle uses this train of thought, which is why he is initially reluctant to let Viper aid them in fighting Jade. However, he eventually realizes that his narrow-mindedness is only hurting their efforts, so he agrees to let her help them.
Agent Wisker definitely has this, as he's willing to use lethal force on any criminals, and pretty much sabotaged the Hostage for MacGuffin exchange below by bringing a fake mask, as he was unwilling to risk something that dangerous for a thief.
Likewise Detective Ramirez, who makes it clear that he won't hesitate use whatever means necessary against Jade, and that the only reason he doesn't arrest Viper is because none of her crimes were in his jurisdiction.
Black Magic: There are apparently two types — the dark chi magic used by wizards like Wong and Verde, and the shadow magic used by the Shadowkhan and Oni. Jade starts studying the latter after she learns that her transformation has made it impossible for her to use the former (apparently, chi magic can only be used by humans).
Blood Knight: All the Oni to an extent, but it seems Ikazuki and Ozeki really like combat.
Body Horror: Among other things, Jade has apparently gained contortionist abilities; the description of her initial use is rather disturbing.
Which is nothing compared to when she compresses her entire body into a snake shape in order to escape Section 13.
Break the Haughty: The incident mentioned below under Hoist by His Own Petard, combined with the total failure of her plan in that chapter and Scruffy's betrayal, breaks Jade rather thoroughly, and she decides to scale down her plans a bit.
Brick Joke: When trying to shatter the Dog Talisman, Left resorts to using dynamite, but is stopped before he blows up the whole room. In a later chapter, when trying to free Jade from an enchanted dog carrier (see Hoist by His Own Petard below), he whips out a stick of dynamite; Right snatches it from him before he can use it.
That's more of a Running Gag by now. The chainsaw, meanwhile, is closer to this.
When asked what she did with Wong, Jade says "he's in the closet" (which Ratso takes to mean something else) and doesn't elaborate. The following chapter, it turns out she literally locked him in a closet.
General Ozeki and his sumo tribe could be seen as this to the Shadowkhan as a whole.
Bus Crash: As soon as he's no longer relevant to the plot, Daolon Wong gets sent to prison, where he dies of old age as soon as that becomes relevant to the plot.
But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played for laughs — Ramirez's reaction to seeing the creatures in the Vault of Endless Night being unleashed is simply to say that he hates Mondays, before going into the fray.
Call Back / Continuity Nod: The theatre Jade uses to audition for a foreman is the same one Finn used to try and form a new gang when he quit the Dark Hand in Season 2's "Tough Luck".
And Jade's first lair is Valmont's penthouse from Season 1. Also, when she breaks the Dog Talisman, she remembers when Jackie blasted them at the beginning of Season 3.
In order to temporarily summon and interrogate Tarakudo, Uncle is forced to get help from Wong in order to balance out the spell — he then compares it to the Season 2 episode "The Good, The Bad, The Blind, The Deaf, And The Mute", where Wong needed Uncle to balance out a spell of his own.
Naturally, there are plenty of references to the original episode where Jade was first transformed into the Queen (mostly about how she had the Shadowkhan spank the Enforcers)
Jade's first few attempts at a wand are all built around using her hair as a power source, a reference to the Earth Demon episode, where Jade used a strand of hair and a flower to make a temporary wand.
In-story, the fact that Ratso stayed loyal to Jade during Valmont's little coup attempt is brought up a couple of times, in reference to her liking him a bit more than the others.
Shendu's defeat at the end of Season 3 is brought up at one point (Section 13 apparently refers to it as the Battle of the Zoo). The same chapter also makes reference to the Magistar cult that Jackie and Jade took down in "The Chan Who Knew Too Much", and the tower where Captain Black encounters Jade for a fake hostage exchange is the same one from "The Rock" (which is actually the reason Jade chose it).
Jade's inspiration for Operation Steel Lightning is the events of the penultimate season 1 episode, when Jackie was split in two by the Tiger talisman and the evil half handed the other talismans over to the Dark Hand.
Jackie is referred to as "superhuman" by Ratso at one point, echoing a similar comment he made in canon after one of Jackie's more Badass moments.
Uncle still thinks that El Toro is a thief because of his mask. Also, later in his introductory chapter, Jade reminds him of when they first met, and compliments him on his pragmatic use of the Ox talisman.
Uncle comments at one point that he used to be an actor, as shown in a season 2 episode.
Finn gets Kuro's mask from Paco the same way Captain Black got Ozeki's from him (by hitting him in the face with it); Jade lampshades the similarity.
Blankman's comments suggest Jade really is the Ben Shui order's Chosen One, as was suggested in canon in Daolon Wong's first appearance.
When Jade first sees Nameless, she comments that she has experience with giant snakes, most likely referring to the one that originally guarded the Snake talisman.
Before descending into the Vault of Endless Night, Blankman arms the Enforcers with electro-swords like the type they used back in Season 1 when the Dark Hand was still well funded.
Calling Your Attacks: Hak Foo, naturally. This gets lampshaded by both Jackie and the White Sage, who ask where he comes up with the names for his moves — the latter actually tries doing it himself, but gives up after awhile.
Chainsaw Good: According to Finn, this is one of the things Left tried using to break the Dog Talisman. Sadly, we don't get to see it.
We do get to see him use it during the fight in Lung's fortress, however.
Cerebus Retcon: The Parental Neglect (bordering on abuse) that Jade is shown to have suffered from puts the fact that she was sent to live with a relative she didn't even know in a harsher light.
Chekhov's Gun: Jade buys a magic dog carrier from Verde, with no explanation as to what she plans to do with it. It's a couple of chapters before we find out what she plans on doing with it (see Hoist by His Own Petard below).
The carrier comes up again, as Tohru uses the engravings on it to create a sutra scroll that can neutralize Shadowkhan magic. This is first used to bind a possessed Captain Black, and then Jade.
The hair Lung gets from Verde is used by him in his attempt to bind Jade to his will.
It's mentioned in an earlier chapter that Right's taken to wearing a daisho (a weapon set containing a katana and a short sword), but he only ever uses the katana. After Viper disarms him of it in their fight in chapter 12, he takes her by surprise with the short sword and defeats her.
Chekhov's Gunman: The unnamed Section 13 agent who appears in a couple of early scenes is eventually given the name Wisker, and is revealed to be Black's Number Two in the organization.
Chapter 1 — Jade transforms into the Queen, with Jackie at her mercy.
Chapter 2 — Jade and her Shadowkhan break the Dark Hand out of prison as a recruitment drive.
Chapter 3 — the Shadow Hand head to Hong Kong, following Jade's vision of Kaito's mask.
Chapter 4 — Valmont's tip leads Section 13 to the Shadow Hand's base, but Jade's already cleared out (though they find Wong locked in the closet).
Chapter 6 — Uncle visits Wong in prison and makes a deal with him as part of a Batman Gambit.
Chapter 9 — Captain Black and Agent Wisker prepare a Plan B for dealing with Jade behind Jackie's back, while multiple dark wizards are shown plotting as they sense Daolon Wong's death.
Chapter 10 — Jade lies comatose following her torture at Lung's hands and Drago is shown arriving from the future.
Chapter 12 — The heroes join El Toro and Paco in returning to Mexico after hearing that Jade's minions have been sighted there while Jade is shown plotting something with Viper's hair.
Chapter 13 — Jade is preparing for some sort of ritual, while the J-Team return home to find Jade's father looking for her.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Lung captures Jade's astral form and seals her in a magically inescapable glass container surrounded by bright lights that burn away at her shadow essence. He steadily increases the lights until she surrenders to him... which doesn't happen, so she instead gets driven insane by the pain.
Combat Pragmatist: Jackie and Tohru have a tendency to fight with whatever they can find, while Viper tends to either toss onions at Jade whenever she's distracted, or sneak up on her to blindside her.
When Agent Wisker confronts Jade outside the Section 13 Vault, he actually shoots at her. Non-lethal shots, true, but still, the fact that he took the direct approach definitely qualifies him.
He tries again with Hak Foo. Again, it doesn't work, but it's the thought that counts.
Left usually just fights with his swords, but when in a hurry, he resorts to chainsaws and dynamite to win a fight.
Blankman as well. During his fight with Drago, he enhances his martial art skills with magic, and when even that isn't enough to win, he whips out a mystically enhanced shotgun.
Though he zig-zags the trope when fighting Jackie in the Vault of Endless Night — he figures Jackie deserves better than being shot, but still uses his sword to compensate for Jackie's superior fighting skills.
The Consigliere: Business-wise (i.e. the Shadow Hand's criminal activities), Jade's foreman is essentially this — though it should be noted that only Blankman cares about giving her sound advice for her own sake; when Valmont held the position, he was stealing money out from under her for himself. Meanwhile, for the mask/tablet hunts, Left and Right seem more fitting for this trope, as they try to keep Jade focused and effective.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ratso shows a surprising bit of awesome during the fight in the Vault of Eternal Night, managing to kill a giant spider that had shrugged off Jade and Blankman's attacks.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The fight against the sages in their shrine is entirely in their favor; Dark and Gray hold the advantage against the Shadow Hand and the heroes the whole time, and White doesn't even seem to exert himself when continually throwing Jade, Viper, and Hak Foo out of the inner shrine.
Also, when Ikazuki usurped control of the Shadow Hand, it was greatly helped by his samurai wiping the floor with Jade's ninja.
Hero vs Mother, which is especially impressive given that Hero's hands were manacled at the time.
Uncle and Jade's Wizard Duel outside the Section 13 Vault. She has an edge for maybe two seconds before he blows her away.
When Left and Right attack Lung's fortress to save Jade, he puts up all sorts of defenses — Mooks, monster guardians, a supposedly invincible gateway, and Death Traps — and they completely mow them down.
Right vs Viper in chapter 12. She gets in a few hits, but he's simply stronger and more skilled than her.
When Kuro takes control of Finn's body during the same fight, he quickly overpowers the heroes and is only stopped by El Toro taking him by surprise.
Tarakudo easily defeated the Oni Elders, barely wasting any effort in the matter, due to their advanced age and weakness.
Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: When Viper mentions using an onion on Jade, Ozeki goes into a blind rage and screams that he'll "rip out your arms and gouge your eyes out, with your own thumbs!"
Cutting the Knot: When faced with a gateway that apparently can't be broken with magic, Left opts to blow it up with dynamite.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: All of Jade's Genre Savvy is now working for the other side. For example, when she leaves Valmont behind to be arrested, she immediately clears out her lair (though she does make the mistake of leaving Daolon Wong behind to be captured, though to be fair, this was due to "evil food poisoning" from EATING an Oni General distracting her, so she probably would have been more careful in her revenge).
Ratso is also surprisingly Genre Savvy — when Valmont double crosses Jade, he stays loyal to her, knowing that "these minion coups never work".
Also, after seeing the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder afflicted Shendu betray his allies in the past, the Enforcers know not to trust him as far as they can throw him with the Ox and Rooster Talismans, and shoot down HIS offer of employment when attempting to steal the Talismans.
After being weakened by her encounter with Lung, Jade decides to put the hunt for the masks on the back burner until she finds the remaining Teachings tablets and uses them to restore herself and gain power. But she's still sending her minions after the masks anyway, to keep the heroes distracted.
See also the Tailor-Made Prison she insisted on making for in case they ever caught a hero.
Finn shows shades of this as well, as when he's using Kuro's mask to fight the heroes, he hangs back and uses the Squid Khan to wear the heroes down without having to risk himself.
Demonic Possession: As to be expected from the Oni masks; Ratso is briefly possessed a couple of times by the Razor-tribe mask so the General can pass messages from Tarakudo, Ikazuki assumes complete control of Chow, and the Bat-tribe General is able to do likewise with Scruffy (though only with assistance from a spell Jade performed).
Jade also uses that spell on Captain Black, allowing Ozeki (the Sumo General) to take full control of his body.
Kuro is an interesting case, in that when he takes control of Finn's body, he asks permission first.
Dimension Lord: If one views Jade's mindscape as a dimension, the Queen now qualifies (though Home is still under Father's rule).
Divided We Fall: Uncle initially refuses to let Viper help in stopping Jade, as he doesn't want help from a thief. Tohru calls him out on this, and he ultimately agrees to work with her.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: After Jade breaks the Dog Talisman in her mouth and gets blasted by it's released energy, she briefly acts a little high before passing out.
The Dog Bites Back: Ikazuki treats the Enforcers like slaves, leading to them helping to defeat him.
The Dragon: Ikazuki to Tarakudo, as per canon. And when he temporarily takes control of the Shadow Hand, he forcibly demotes Jade to being his dragon — and the only reason she has a relatively high position is because he looks down on the human members even worse than he does on her.
Co-Dragons: Left and Right, being Jade's top Shadowkhan, arguably qualify for her Dragons. Hak Foo, being the heavy muscle, could also count (though he's more of The Brute), as could Jade's foreman (first Valmont, later Blankman).
Hiruzen was this to the Oni Elders, apparently serving as chief General and advisor.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Jade feels this way towards Jackie and the others, and it's part of her whole motivation as a villain.
Dynamic Entry: We get two accidental examples of this back-to-back in the chapter involving the first mask — Jackie falls through the weakened roof of the basement chamber of Shendu's palace, landing on a loose chest lid and nailing Jade in the jaw. When Hak Foo attacks him, Tohru also falls through the hole in the roof, landing right on top of Hak and knocking him out.
Hero's first appearance is during Tohru's journey into Jade's mindscape, where he saves the latter from Mother via a Curb-Stomp Battle.
Hero is obsessed with these — he smashes his ship against the Jade in order to make a dramatic entrance, and doesn't care that it cuts off any chance of escape.
Either Or Title: Every chapter has a (usually) serious and/or meaningful title, with a comedic subtitle.
Eldritch Location: The city of the Shadowkhan, judging by what Jade sees of it in a vision. For bonus points, the prose in that scene has a very Lovecraftian feel to it.
As noted above, the explanation for the Vault of Endless Night being able to exist unnoticed under Mexico City is that the magic contained within it warps reality to an extent.
Enemy Mine: Jackie and Jade briefly (and reluctantly, in Jade's case) team up when Valmont uses the first mask to steal the Ninja tribe away from Jade.
Hero attempts to form an alliance against the Queen with his apparent rival Father, but is denied.
Karasu tries to team up with the heroes against Drago, but they refuse to work with a Shadowkhan.
Enigmatic Minion: Blankman has shades of this. And when he finally gets some focus in one chapter, it makes him even more mysterious.
Even Evil Has Standards: When Tarakudo is conjured by Uncle and Tohru for interrogation, he compliments Jade's progress, and then offhandedly comments that she'd make a good consort when she's older. When Uncle and Tohru show their disgust over this, he responds that he did say when she was older, saying that he does have standards.
And Viper may be a thief, but she refuses to take part in Jade's plans.
When Jade contorts herself into a snake shape without knowing how to change back, she commands one of the nearby Enforcers to squeeze her until she shifts back to normal. Finn immediately backs away, as he finds the idea of putting his hands on a kid like that just a bit too discomforting, even if she isn't human.
Tarakudo considers it, but simply can't bring himself to simply abandon one of his own kind to torture and death, even though he knows her goal is to overthrow him.
When Hak Foo learned of Valmont's attempt to betray Jade, he mentally and internally reproved the idea because "philosophy of quid pro quo and contracts were the closest thing the mercenary had to honor". Note that, since "his agreement to Chan's girl did not technically cover this", he still decided to take a wait and see policy over that.
Later, during Operation Steel Lightning, when Jade gives control of Black's body to General Ozeki, she orders him not to kill anyone when he attacks Section 13 as a diversion for her stealing the masks.
Also, even though Daolon Wong wasn't of any use to her, she didn't kill him (though she did keep him close and locked up, because she's Dangerously Genre Savvy and remembers what happened when Shendu left Daolon Wong be after betraying him).
In the second interlude chapter, Jade says that she follows the rules that she sets for herself.
The Mexican mafia don't mess with magic, and work hard to keep anyone from uncovering the evils buried in the Vault of Endless Night.
Everything's Better with Samurai: Or worse, considering we're talking about Ikazuki and his tribe. Incidentally, he considers his tribe superior to all others... and considering how they wipe the floor with Jade's ninja, he may be right.
Of course, canon established that each tribe of Shadowkhan is deadly in their own right, it's just that the Shinobi tribe seems to have greater versatility in contrast to the samurai's raw physical power (basically, the Shinobi tribe is skilled at a lot of different areas, like the glider wings in their suits, agility and variety of weapons, etc., sort of like a jack-of-all-trades tribe), not to mention the fact that Ikazuki has a LOT more experience then Jade does.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Uncle calls Wong out on this at one point, saying that trust and teamwork are things that he knows exist, but can't understand.
Drago has this as well, as Karasu points out in their fight. Because Shendu was sucha horrible father to Drago, the young dragon views offspring as an investment, something that could be useful later, and is unable to understand why the Matriarch chose Karasu, an elite warrior, to watch her daughter, and why Jade (AKA the Matriarch) cares about the ones she loves.
Ikazuki subtly shows he has a shade of this as well: he shows open disdain for human nobility, and can't seem to understand why Tohru still cares for Jade.
Evil Costume Switch: Naturally, first chance she gets, Jade trades in her normal outfit for something more evil. Specifically, she starts wearing a smaller sized version of one of her Shadowkhan's ninja clothes, along with a Black Cloak and a circlet crown (though she ditches the latter after Ikazuki's coup, until she can prove to herself she deserves to wear it).
Evil Gloating: Jade, despite knowing it's a dangerous distraction, keeps doing this and scolding herself afterwards.
Evil Makes You Monstrous: Jade's transformation into a Shadowkhan, obviously. Even more so after her encounter with Lung, as her nails grow into claws and her eyelids turn transparent.
While a description isn't given, judging by Tarakudo's reaction in the flashback, the Oni Elders were really ugly.
Evil Is Petty: Jade's entire motivation, other than amassing enough wealth to live a life of comfort, is to prove that she's "better" than her family. On top of that, she's also apparently spending her free time tormenting her Jerk Ass classmate Drew.
Daolon Wong also qualifies: even depowered and arrested, he still gloats about how his spell has ensured that the Chan family's future is ruined.
When El Toro costs him Kuro's mask, Hak Foo takes his as payment. Jade actually points out how petty this is, but does admit that they are evil.
Evil Power Vacuum: Daolon Wong was apparently the Darkest Mage, a sort of Arch Mage for dark chi wizards. Following his loss of power and his death, the spot is now available. Lung's whole subplot is his attempt to gain enough power to claim the position, and the narrative implies that Verde and Blankman are also candidates.
Evil Sorcerer: In addition to the canonical Daolon Wong, there's Monsieur Verde and Blankman.
Jade is becoming one, thanks to studying the Teachings.
Lung, Wong's former apprentice.
Evil Sounds Deep: It's noted how anyone who wears an Oni mask gets a much deeper voice.
Eviler than Thou: Ikazuki easily usurps control of the Shadow Hand from Jade, due to being a much more powerful and experienced General.
Eye Scream: The lights in Lung's torture device burn through Jade's astral form's eyelids, dissolving them. When her astral form is returned to her body, this is represented by her real eyelids being rendered transparent.
"It won't work! This is foolishness, my power will destroy you! YAAAGGGGH!" Kaito
"Parley! I have much I can offer… Wait! MERCY!" Lung
"Le roi est mort, Viva le roi!" translation
The king is dead, long live the king!
"A hundred years of torture! Then to be torn apart by a starved dragon hatchling! No, even more is – ACK!" One of the Oni Elders
"An answer cannot be given, only found." Hiruzen
Fantastic Racism: Judging by his conversation with Drago, Blankman really hates demons, viewing them as inferior races who can't accept that they lost the world to humanity. Which begs the question of why he's working for Jade...
Faux Affably Evil: Lung is quite polite, if a bit condescending. Then he starts torturing Jade to try and break her to his will.
Foreshadowing: Karasu and Drago both mention Tohru having scars in the future. During her Freak Out in the Vault of Endless Night, Jade slashes him in the face — presumably, this is what gives Tohru those scars.
The order the masks are being found in has been slightly changed (Ikazuki's is third here, opposed to fifth in canon), some of the masks are ending up on different people, and Viper is on the heroes' team in Jade's place. Oh, and the whole subplot about the Teachings, which wasn't present in canon.
Fragile Speedster: As Right points out during their fight, Viper is fast and can get in some strong hits, but can't really take any.
Freaky Is Cool: after Jade is saved from the Cold-Blooded Torture that nearly killed her, she looks decidedly creepier, which she says is about the only upside to the experience.
Freak Out: During the fight in the Vault of Endless Night, Tohru manages to capture Jade in an orb of energy, accidentally recreating (in Jade's view) the situation with Lung. This causes her to go berserk, thrashing and clawing her way out like an animal, attacking Tohru and slashing his face.
Future Badass: Karasu, the sentient Shadowkhan sent back in time to prevent Drago from altering history.
Futureshadowing: When Hiruzen posthumously spoke to Tarakudo through his own severed head, Tarakudo found the concept of a floating head fascinating.
Gendercide: Apparently, Tarakudo wiped out all the female Oni/Shadowkhan centuries ago — according to him, it was for being a bunch of old hags who "thought they could tell [him] what to do." He's pleased to note that Jade is a change of pace from them.
Specifically, it seems the Oni used to be ruled by a Matriarchy until Tarakudo overthrew them.
Genius Bruiser: Tohru, of course, with the "genius" part being his talent at magic.
God Save Us From The Queen: Jade, naturally. Of course, she isn't really the queen of anything; however, she insists on being referred to as such, and her minions — the Shadowkhan ones, at least — do so.
Godzilla Threshold: Whatever Captain Black's Plan B is, he definitely views it as a last resort with a lot of collateral damage, and hopes he never has to use it.
Viper tries on Right in chapter 12, but he catches her foot.
Brother Dark had more luck several chapters earlier.
Guest Star Party Member: Detective Ramirez only aids the J-Team when they're in Mexico City. After that, he disappears from the story.
Halloween Episode: Chapter 12, though it's only a focus of the plot for a short period of time.
Heroic BSOD: Jackie and Tohru, following Jade's transformation. Uncle, not so much, though he does go BSOD when he thinks that he's holding the team back, and when Tohru is captured by Ikazuki.
Tohru's been bordering on a bigger one ever since he sensed Jade being in grave danger (her encounter with Lung).
Heroic Sacrifice: Flashbacks show that the Shadowbinder Sage created the Oni masks by sacrificing his own life force to empower them, entrusting them to his students to use.
Hidden Villain: Tarakudo's first few appearances are as a mysterious voice that guides Jade in the astral realm (though it's pretty obvious to the reader who it is).
Hoist by His Own Petard: Jade commissions Monsieur Verde to construct her a dog carrier that suppresses shadow magic, so that she can contain an Oni mask possessed Scruffy long enough to negotiate with the General. At the end of the relevant chapter, Tohru captures her in it. She escapes, but it's not a humiliation she soon forgets.
Honor Before Reason: El Toro is so determined to win the Lucha Libre championship and win back the honor he lost by cheating with the Ox talisman that he doesn't help going after Jade in the Vault of Endless Night. Paco calls him out at this, asking how winning a belt is more honorable than saving Jade from the darkness. El Toro decides Paco's right, so he forfeits and goes after the others.
Hostage for MacGuffin: In chapter 12, Finn (newly empowered by Kuro's mask) kidnaps Viper and offers to release her in exchange for Ozeki's mask. Turns into a more traditional Prisoner Exchange when the heroes defeat Finn, Right defeats Viper, and they exchange prisoners.
How Do I Shot Web?: Ratso gets the Razor Khan mask, and is initially unable to summon any Shadowkhan, due to no one in the Shadow Hand (even Jade) knowing about the whole "darkness within" thing. It takes a brief meeting with Tarakudo in the astral realm to clear that up.
Humanoid Abomination: The Matriarch has shades of this; she's not shown in detail, but it's implied she's taken the form of a naga (a snake-human hybrid).
Human Ladder: Well, Shadowkhan ladder, but same thing — when Jade throws Captain Black off a tower in order to trigger his mask, the Sumo Khan form one of these to catch him.
Humanity Is Superior: Blankman firmly believes this, pointing out how humans are the ones in control of the planet, whereas all other races (demons, The Fair Folk, etc) have been driven to the fringes or been sealed away. Which brings up the headscratcher of the fact he works for Jade...
Humiliation Conga: After Valmont's attempted coup, he gets beat up by Tohru, before Jade has her Shadowkhan strip him and dump him in public, where he ends up getting arrested. And this is after the months of living like a common thief before Jade recruited him.
Daolon Wong fails to restore his power, gets beat up by Jade's Shadowkhan, locked in a closet, sent back to prison, tricked into helping his enemies, sent back to prison again, and then dies of old age. You almost feel sorry for the old bastard.
Drago's attempt to steal the Talismans is thwarted by Karasu, his bank robbery attempt is interrupted by Blankman, to whom he loses the subsequent fight, Karasu prevents him from stealing the immortality power from Scruffy, and he gets sent back to the future, where the Matriarch has him beaten with metal baseball bats.
Informed Ability: Blankman's magic skills; they were one of the reasons Jade hired him, but aside from a reference to protective wards he's placed over Jade's mansion, he's yet to be shown actually performing any magic.
We start to see some magic from him in chapter 10 onwards.
This trip seems to have mostly been to introduce Jade's mindscape as a recurring subplot.
Jade takes a more traditional journey when she's being tortured by Lung and meets the Aspect representing her desires — who's quick to point out that the fact that they're communicating means that she's going insane.
Katanas Are Just Better: Played straight and subverted. Right fights with one, but Left fights with a pair of broad swords.
Ikazuki and his tribe all fight with these as their primary weapons, as to be expected from samurai.
Kick the Dog: Or, as the case may be, " Force the dog to wear an Oni mask so that you can make a deal with the demon, then blast the dog when it turns on you".
When Ikazuki temporarily takes control of the Shadow Hand from Jade, he slashes her across the forehead for failing to retrieve both Tohru and the appropriate mask removal potion. He then places a spell on her that keeps her from summoning any Shadowkhan other than Left and Right.
In that same chapter, Jade threatens to burn down Uncle's shop in order to get the heroes to fight her, which even she admits is a low blow.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Jade killing Kaito (the Ninja General) and absorbing his essence. Considering this is an Oni we're talking about, and that his last acts were to lie to Jade, help Valmont betray her, and then mock her when it looks like the heroes are going to capture her, no one was complaining.
Nor was anyone complaining when Right brutally killed Lung. In fact, at least one reviewer applauded this and referred to it as "justice".
Tarakudo's murder of the Oni Elders. Considering they were, as he put it, "whoring out" the Shadowkhan to wizards and demons just for pilfered chi to prolong their own lives, everyone felt the hags had it coming.
Killed Off for Real: While he isn't killed per say, Daolon Wong dies of old age in prison, and his apprentice Lung plays it straight when he is killed by Jade's bodyguards for what he did to her.
There's also Kaito, killed when Jade breaks his mask and absorbs his essence.
Large Ham: Hero is as much an incarnation of this as he is of Jade's goodness.
Laser-Guided Karma: When Jade complains about getting more beat up during fights than she did when she was one of the good guys, Uncle blames it on her karma.
Also, when Valmont betrays Jade, even though he was all but living on the streets before she employed him, she has him stripped naked and dumped in the middle of a Hong Kong plaza full of tourists.
Kuro also muses that Tarakudo's rebellion was this to the Oni Elders; they were unwilling to create new Oni with their own magic, and so resorted to taking human souls and using them to create new Oni, which led to Tarakudo, who eventually overthrew them.
When Lung, Daolon Wong's apprentice, captures Jade to try and bind her to his will, he underestimates her stubbornness and nearly kills her, leading to his own demise (look above).
Leave Him to Me: Tarakudo to Ikazuki in regards to his duel with Hiruzen. Though it seems he was going to lose, had Ikazuki not defied orders and helped him anyway.
Leeroy Jenkins: Apparently, Jade's attitude towards charging into battle is one of the things Hero personifies. Notably, ever since the Queen became the dominant Aspect of Jade's mind, she's become more strategic.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: Since the only method Jade has of finding the masks is astral projection, which she can't really control and doesn't really trust, she's using the Sinister Surveillance listed below to track Jackie and the others, allowing them to lead her to the masks.
This is also how she managed to find the first tablet of the Teachings, which is also a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero moment — if it weren't for them, she wouldn't have learned about the tablets, which in turn means she wouldn't be getting as powerful as she is.
MacGuffin Guardian: The Sages guard the first tablet of the Teachings of Eternal Shadow, while Nameless protects the second (on top of his duties as warden of the Vault of Endless Night.
Mad Bomber: Left, surprisingly, comes off as this.
Right: What is it with you and dynamite?
Left: I like the boom.
Madness Mantra: Jade's thoughts as the pain of Lung's torture slowly drives her insane:
"Gotta get away, gotta get away, gotta get away, gotta get away, gotta get away, getaway, getaway, getawaygetaway..."
Magic Wand: Jade has some serious bad luck in trying to get one: the first one explodes the first time she uses it, the second melts (despite being made of wood), and the third is nullified by the protective wards of the Sages' shrine, so she abandons itnote ironically, this one worked. Once she gets the first tablet of the Teachings, however, she manages to create a pair of fans that serve as this for her, and actually work right.
Lung and Drago both try this on her at different points; Lung gets closer to succeeding than Drago, but for all his efforts, he fails and dies. Drago never even gets close to her.
Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Drago comes back in time from some unspecified point in the future in order to eliminate Jade and other potential threats to his own rule in the future.
Manipulative Bastard: It is strongly implied that Tarakudo is influencing Jade's subconscious in order to drag up her resentment and frustration (primarily with her parents) in order to drive her further into the darkness.
Man in White: The Mexican crime boss known as the Cuban dresses entirely in white.
Mauve Shirt: Jade is quick to refer to Agent Wisker as one (and this is after she had previously called him a Red Shirt).
Meaningful Rename: Tarakudo was born Minimoto Tametomo, but changed his name after becoming an Oni.
Mêlée à Trois: The fight in the sages' shrine — it's Shadow Hand vs the Three Shades vs the heroesnote who are only fighting because the sages are True Neutrals who fight everyone and don't give them a choice in the matter.
The fight in the Vault of Endless Night is the J-Team (later joined by Nameless) vs Shadow Hand vs the various creatures escaping their prisons.
Mental World: Jade's mind is represented as a sea of clouds (literally; the clouds act like water) filled with islands of bizarre landscapes that represent her memories and views of the world, and is inhabited by beings who represent different aspects of Jade's personality (see Anthropomorphic Personification). There's also a pirate ship (known as the Jade) that sails it, which seems to represent her consciousness, as whatever aspect controls it appears to be dominant; when Jade was good, Hero (her inherent goodness) was captain, whereas following her Face Heel Turn, the Queen (her Superpowered Evil Side) seized control.
There's also the center of the mindscape, which Hero describes as "Home", which is represented by a grander version of Uncle's shop with light pouring out of it. Hero isn't sure, but seems to think it represents Jade's soul.
It's also, fittingly enough, an Empathic Environment — according to Hero, when the Queen took control, it shifted from perpetual day to permanent twilight. Then, when Jade is driven insane by Lung's torture, there's a storm, followed by the sky cracking open and the sea turning into a maelstrom. After she recovers and the Queen assumes complete control, the sky repairs itself, and it becomes night fully.
Mexican Standoff: A brief one occurs during the initial fight for the second mask — Tohru captures Jade, so Right retaliates by holding him at sword point, and Uncle in turn aims his wand at him. It's quickly broken up when Ratso accidentally gains the mask, which provides enough of a distraction to allow Jade to escape.
Middle Management Mook: Jade's foreman is described as her Number Two (using those words), which would imply The Dragon, but is much closer to this trope. Blankman in particular is never shown in the field, leaving all the grunt work to the Enforcers. Valmont, at least, tried to act like The Dragon (particularly Dragon-in-Chief), but it was clear Jade held Left and Right in higher regard than him.
Finn actually wants to be one of these, as it's a step up in his opinion.
Monster Progenitor: When Jade is recovering, she has a vision of the origin of the Oni race — the first Oni was a Half-Human Hybrid named Kagehime who escaped from the Underworld and created the first Shadowkhan (Hiruzen) from her shadow to help her get food.
Mood Whiplash: Chapter 10 switches back and forth between Jade being tortured by Lung, and Hero's comedic-dramatic attempts to retake control of Jade's mind.
The flashback to the end of Tarakudo's rebellion against the Oni Elders. After barely succeeding in defeating and killing Hiruzen he then goes to confront the Elders... then he gets a good look at them, and is so disgusted that he momentarily forgets why he's there and just complains about how ugly there are, before killing them.
Mooks: The Ninja tribe Shadowkhan serve as Jade's standard troops until Ikazuki hexes her, stopping her from summoning them.
There's also the ghouls haunting the Shadow Hand's mansion headquarters, who Jade uses as security (though as proven during Ikazuki's brief coup, they're not very effective)
Lung uses animated terracotta soldiers as his minions. Tarakudo calls it a cliche.
Mook Maker: It seems the purpose of the Elders was to create new Oni by raising Shadowkhan up to sentience. When they stopped doing this to save their own dwindling magic, the Oni resorted to taking human souls and using them to make new Oni.
Mook Promotion: The two Shadowkhan that Jade uses as bodyguards (Left and Right) start out as ordinary Mooks, but eventually gain sentience and the ability to speak. They later are even allowed to take off their masks and show their faces.
This promotion also allows them to escape the above-mentioned hex.
This is the very thing that made the Elders special — before they deteriorated, they did this to normal Shadowkhan.
Mundane Utility: When Ratso gets the Razor Khan mask, Jackie worries over what Jade will do with two armies of Shadowkhan at her disposal. We then cut to her pitting her ninja against Ratso's... in a baseball game.
The first thing Jade is seen doing once she learns about her contortionist abilities is using them to win a bet against the Enforcers (unhooking her jaw in a snake-like matter in order to swallow a massive sandwich whole).
Jade gets this a lot — her magic fans were created to serve as Magic Wands, which they do. But at one point she uses one to, well, fan herself with.
My Card: Blankman gives Jade his business card when she hires him. As you might expect from his name, it's blank.
My Greatest Failure: Uncle blames himself for Jade's return to evil; apparently, the last time Jade became the Queen, it left behind a scar on her chi. He didn't pay it any attention because he didn't think it was a threat. Unfortunately, this scar is what allowed Daolon Wong's spell to reawaken the Queen persona.
Various dark wizards are shown sensing Daolon Wong's death.
My Species, Right or Wrong: Kuro betrayed the Elders to Tarakudo because he believed the latter's promises of a new era for the decaying Oni race. Since that didn't work out, he's considering switching loyalties to Jade (if she can prove herself a worthy leader).
Never My Fault: Jade's reaction to the above Kick the Dog moment — she absolutely refuses to see the results of it as being her fault.
Noble Demon: Hak Foo tries to pass himself off as one. El Toro doesn't buy it.
No Immortal Inertia: The Oni Elders were so ancient and decrepit that when Tarakudo killed them, their skin turned to dust.
Noodle Incident: When Karasu arrives in the past, he expresses surprise that the Matriarch's spell worked properly, as she apparently always messes it up. He cites "the bull" as the most memorable example.
Not Quite Dead: As the latest peek into Jade's mind reveals, Kaito (the Oni General whose essence Jade consumed early on in the story) seems to have survived to some extent by attaching to one of the Aspects of her mind.
Number Two: Agent Wisker seems to be this to Captain Black. While he's not actually Section 13's second-in-command, he seems to be Black's top field agent and go-to guy for emergencies.
As mentioned above, Jade's foreman is this for the Shadow Hand, running her criminal empire for her. However, while Valmont might, loosely, have also qualified as The Dragon as well, Blankman most certainly doesn't.
Science is Hero's First Mate.
The Oathbreaker: How Karasu refers to Drago — apparently, he served Future Jade for a time, but eventually betrayed her.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When all the people competing for the position of Jade's foreman are ordered to fight for the spot, Blankman knocks out all the others in under two minutes. Without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, we don't get to see it — we see Jade telling them to fight, and then the narrative cuts ahead to afterwards.
For a comedic example, Left tried an increasingly desperate and ridiculous series of methods for breaking the Dog talisman, but we only hear about it second hand from Finn. Which is a real shame, since apparently, he at one point used a chainsaw.
The fight over Kuro's mask at the beginning of chapter 12. We only see the beginning of the fight, the rest is cut for the sake of the chapter's length.
The duel between Tarakudo and Hiruzen. One flashback ends with them about to fight, and another opens with Tarakudo just having killed him. And it seems he only won because Ikazuki defied his orders and helped him.
Offscreen Villain Darkmatter: Lung apparently has, in addition to his main fortress, a series of well-supplied safehouses he can flee to in case of emergency, including at least one island. This is a result of what happened when he failed to kill Wong — he was forced to flee, and lost all of his resources in the process, forcing him into hiding. It ends up being for nothing, though, since Right kills him before he can escape to use them.
Meanwhile, Jade's use of this trope is justified somewhat, since by the first time she reencounters the heroes following her transformation, she's already built up the Shadow Hand into powerful criminal entity with help from Valmont (and later, Blankman), to the point that she apparently pays the Enforcers on a regular basis. Also, in a play on this trope, when Jade is forced to abandon her first lair, she's reduced to living in hotel rooms until she finds a new one.
Older Than They Look: Blankman is described as looking middle-aged, not in the late 80s-early 90s range he actually is in.
Operation Blank: "Operation: Steel Lightning", mentioned above. The Enforcers are quick to point out that the name makes no sense whatsoever, and they (along with Hak Foo and Blankman) start suggesting names that actually have to do with what the Operation entails, but Jade shoots them all down — she chose the name because it sounds cool, so she keeps it.
Jade's search for the second tablet in Mexico is dubbed "Operation Blazing Wolf". No one comments on the name this time.
During the above, Jade name drops something in the works called "Operation Painted Lemur". Tohru is stunned by the absurdity of the name, which Right agrees with.
Oracular Head: Tarakudo, of course. But it seems he got the idea from Hiruzen, whose spirit talked to him through his own severed head one last time after he killed him.
Original Characters: Blankman, Monsieur Verde, the Sages, arguably Left and Right (being Shadowkhan, but ones that become actual characters), Lung, Karasu the time-traveling Shadowkhan, Hiruzen, the Elders, Agent Wisker, Detective Ramirez.
Parental Neglect: Jade's parents were apparently always too busy with work to pay her any attention, and sent her to live with Jackie to get her off their hands.
She once said she thinks they had her by accident and sent her to America to get her out of the way, which puts her initial Episode 1 behavior in a new light.
Parental Substitute: Played with, in that it's Uncle who points out that Jackie is "Jade's father in all but blood and title", and that he's aware of it even if they aren't.
Meanwhile, Left's tender interactions with Jade suggest he's becoming this to her as well.
Politically Incorrect Villain: Ikazuki looks down on Jade because of her age and inexperience, which is probably understandable, but he also lists her being female as one of the reasons why she's unfit to be a General. Possibly justified by the fact that he originated in a feudal period, where there wouldn't have been much respect for women.
Actually, going by developments later in the story, it's safe to say that his dislike of women is a result of participating in Tarakudo's rebellion against the Elders.
Pragmatic Villainy: The Cuban refuses to get into a turf war with the Shadow Hand because 1) he isn't sure he'd win, and 2) it's a win-win situation if they don't interfere — either the Shadow Hand fails to enter the Vault of Endless Night and are killed, or they succeed and remove a piece of dark magic from Mexico.
Punny Name: Well, not really, but everyone thinks that Agent Wisker's (who has large sideburns) name is "Whisker".
The Gray Sage's real name is Gin Grey; it's pointed out in the narration how fitting that is.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Hero is attempting to form La Résistance against the Queen's control of Jade's mind, but the only Aspects he's managed to gather so far are Prissiness, Frugality, and Punk. As you can imagine, they're far from the ideal crew, and Hero can't stand any of them.
He gains a few more effective members by the time they launch attack on the ship representing Jade's consciousness. They still fail, though.
Rant Inducing Slight: After getting tossed out of the sages' shrine at least a dozen times, Jade outright demands Brother Light give her the first tablet of the Teachings... which he does, saying she could have simply asked. This causes Jade to snap a bit, and she goes on a rant where she accuses the Light of messing with her and the tablet being booby trapped, before saying "screw it" (literally), grabbing the tablet, and running off with it.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Hero attempts to recruit Father for his fight against the Queen, Father refuses, stating that Hero is reckless and impulsive, and just as dangerous to Jade's well being as the Queen.
Drago gets two close together — during their fight, Blankman calls all nonhumans (demons included) pathetic for losing Earth to humanity and not being able to accept it. Shortly after, Karasu explains exactly why Drago will never understand how the Matriarch thinks.
Also, whenever the Oni seize control of their hosts, their eyes start glowing red.
Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Jade's astral form is a snake (specifically, a naga — a snake with a human head). She takes on a similar appearance when she contorts her body as way of escaping capture when she's bound.
And then there's Drago.
Subverted by Nameless. He's a giant snake, but a good guy.
The Resenter: This forms a huge part of Jade's villain persona: she resents her parents for always ignoring her and shipping her off to relatives she didn't even know she had; she resents Jackie for never giving her the gratitude and respect she thinks she deserves; she resents Uncle for picking Tohru (a practical stranger) over her (family) as his apprentice; and not only does she resent Tohru for being apprentice instead of her, she hates him for bringing her back down to normal last time she was the Queen.
Rousing Speech: Subverted. Hero tries to give a dramatic one of these to his crew before they attack the Jade, but keeps getting interrupted. Eventually he gives up and just orders the attack.
Royal Brat: Again, she's not actually royalty, but Jade is a self-appointed queen who's essentially throwing a darkness-fueled temper tantrum for not getting the recognition she thinks she deserves.
Running Gag: Jade's string of bad luck with wands, and Left's apparent obsession with blowing stuff up.
Hak Foo complaining "I wanted that mask" whenever a new mask winds up on someone else (this is actually carried over from canon).
Agent Wisker commenting that prisoners should be knocked out upon capture so they don't escape.
People closing the blast door on Shendu's alcove in order to shut him up.
El Toro's entrance into the story has started one of these about people saying wrestling is fake.
Jade's tendency to give her plans bizarre and nonsensical code-names. (See Operation Blank)
Sealed Evil in a Can: Tarakudo is still sealed away in the Shadow Realm, but seems convinced he'll be out soon. Meanwhile, Jade is taking great pains to ensure that this doesn't happen to her.
Shendu has had a few cameos, still sealed in statue form and locked away in a Section 13 vault, as per the Season 3 finale.
Jade spends most of chapter 10 with her astral form trapped in a sphere.
Apparently, Drago was sealed inside a sword by Lo Pei centuries ago, and wasn't released until some point in the future, where Verde forced him into servitude before the Matriarch liberated him and earned his loyalty (until he betrayed her).
The various things sealed in the Vault of Endless Night and guarded by Nameless. We see lots of Big Creepy Crawlies and zombies, and it's implied that there are worse things down there as well.
Speaking of Avatar, Left's use of a pair of broadswords is apparently based on Zuko's Weapon of Choice.
Ozeki's obsessive, fanatical loyalty to Jade (including referring to her as "the Royalty") and Jade's unease about it is meant to mirror Inferno's relationship with Megatron. Though one could argue there's a bit of Lugnut in there as well.
Another Transformers reference — during a flashback to Tarakudo's coup, he begins a duel with Hiruzen by stating that "One shall rise,one shall fall."
Shown Their Work: The author seems to be quite the expert on Japanese culture, history, and mythology.
In particular, the myth of Izanami was incorporated into the Shadowkhan's origins, and the Genpei War was incorporated into Tarakudo's backstory.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Ikazuki rants to Tohru about the weakness of humans, Tohru replies that it was humans who defeated the Oni originally, and that even now they need human bodies to possess in order to do anything.
When the blindfold Jade starts wearing following the encounter with Lung allows her to shrug off an onion to the face, she gloats about it, only for Viper to throw a cut up piece of onion into her mouth, shutting her up by leaving her sick for a bit.
Sixth Ranger: Viper joins the team to replace Jade as member who doesn't obey the rules and can think outside the box.
El Toro and Paco join up in the second half of the story.
The Slow Path: How Karasu seems destined to return to the future, given that he used all of his return potion on Drago.
Smug Snake: Lung, who views himself as the next Daolon Wong, and tries to force Jade to serve him. He is so certain about his abilities that when his plan backfires and nearly kills Jade, he actually blames her for it. And when her minions show up to save her, he completely breaks down, showing just how pathetic he really was.
Drago somewhat comes across as this, considering how easily his plans fall apart.
Spanner in the Works: Wisker manages to keep Jade from successfully completing Operation Steel Lightning by fighting her, keeping her busy long enough for Uncle to show up and beat her with magic.
Karasu was this to Drago; without his interference, Drago would have succeeded in his plans to alter history.
Squishy Wizard: Lung may be a powerful wizard (though not as powerful as he thinks he is), but he has absolutely no combat skills.
The Starscream: Valmont is recruited by Jade to head up her criminal activities, and he plans on betraying her as soon as he's secretly stolen enough of her money to set up shop elsewhere. Then he gets his hands on the first Oni mask and control of the Ninja Shadowkhan, and tries to kill her. Needless to say, once the mask is removed he ends up in a world of hurt.
Jade herself becomes the Starscream to Ikazuki when he usurps her position as leader of the Shadow Hand; she refuses to help him fight Jackie, leaving him to his defeat.
A series of flashbacks document Tarakudo's own SoD — he was a human warrior who sold his soul to the Oni for a chance at revenge against the enemies who wiped out his family. After his death, he became an Oni himself, was made a General, and eventually overthrew the Oni Elders and their Matriarchy system.
Left and Right are pretty stoic as well, though they do show emotion a bit more often than Blankman does.
Storming The Castle: A rare villain-on-villain example, as Left and Right assault Lung's fortress to rescue Jade, and completely curb stomp everything in their way.
Straight Man: It's been pointed out by the reviewers that Wisker is pretty much this to the protagonists.
On the villainous side of things, Blankman, Left, and Right pretty much share this role, compared to the more quirky other members of the Shadow Hand (Jade included).
Suddenly Voiced: Left and Right's ability to speak comes out of nowhere, taking everyone by surprise. We later find out this is simply part of a Shadowkhan's natural development when aided by a Queen.
Super Strength: Apparently this is a fringe benefit of becoming a Shadowkhan/Oni.
Sword and Gun: During the fight in the Vault of Endless Night, Blankman has his revolver and a rapier, while Ramirez at the very least has a gun and dagger.
Sword Over Head: Tarakudo did this to Ikazuki for daring to interfere with his duel with Hiruzen (even though it allowed him to win). In the end, he just cut off part of his helm and plunged his sword into the ground.
The Syndicate: Jade recruits the Dark Hand to serve her, rechristens them the Shadow Hand, and quickly becomes a major force in the San Francisco criminal underworld.
Take Over the World: Subverted. The Enforcers assume that this is Jade's ultimate goal, like the previous Big Bads they've worked for, but she's Genre Savvy enough to know that that never turns out well. She does suggest they take over Australia at one point, but then reveals that was just a joke.
Take That: During one of the glimpses to Jade's mindscape, we see that the Aspect representing Love has been stuck in a barrel and no one is willing to let her out because "things are complicated enough; we don't need lovely-dopey stuff in the mix". Now, take a guess what the author's stance on shipping is.
Tailor-Made Prison: When Lung captures Jade's astral form, he seals her inside a glass sphere that can't be broken from the inside, and rings it with industrial-strength lights, denying her any shadows to work with. (They also make handy torture devices.)
There's also the cage Jade has prepared for if they ever capture a hero — held upside down by a chain, feet handcuffed together, wrapped in a straightjacket, neck tied to the floor to restrict any remaining movement.
Technical Pacifist / Martial Pacifist: Brother Light/the White Sage claims to be a pacifist. When Jade calls him out on this — pointing out how he's spent the past several minutes tossing her around the shrine — he responds by saying that he isn't the one hurting her, the things she's slamming into are.
Terminator Twosome: Drago travels back in time in order to eliminate Jade and any other threats to his future rule, while Karasu is sent back to stop him.
Title Drop: In the chapter where Jade absorbs the first Oni mask, she declares her intention to become "the Queen of All Oni!" And later, when Section 13 raids her abandoned base, they find a mocking note she left behind, which she signs using the title.
The Nose Knows: After a while, Jade develops an enhanced sense of smell.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Jade apparently feels this way towards Tohru; when Ikazuki attempts to take over Tohru's body, Jade snarls that Tohru is hers, before Ikazuki glares her down.
The Quiet One: Even after Left gains the ability to speak, he doesn't unless he's spoken to. Apparently, he feels that he shouldn't speak unless it's something worth saying.
Drago betrayed the Matriarch and tried to write her out of the timeline, even though she — against the advice of her advisors — gave him a chance to redeem himself, rather than simply seal him away again. Both Karasu and the Matriarch herself point this out when fighting and punishing him (respectfully).
Underestimating Badassery: Jade figures Blankman is a pretty good fighter but can't match Jackie. He ends up fighting him to a standstill.
The Usurper: How Ozeki refers to Tarakudo, who apparently overthrew the Oni's original Matriarchy system. Ozeki only pretended to serve him afterwards in order to live long enough to see the Matriarchy be restored (which he interprets Jade's fall to darkness as).
Villain Ball: Currently being juggled by Jade, who keeps lapsing into standard villain pitfalls (monologuing and overestimating her abilities), but always realizes when she's doing it, and tends to learn from her mistakes.
Villainous Breakdown: When his plan to break Jade to his will backfires and starts killing her instead, Lung starts cracking, and then breaks completely when her minions show up and start mowing down his defenses.
Drago completely falls apart after his every attempt to gain an advantage in the past is foiled, and starts ranting about how he isn't going to bother with tactics anymore — he's just going to destroy everyone and everything in sight and see what happens. Fortunately, he gets sent back to the future and imprisoned by the Matriarch before he can do any of that.
Villain Episode: True, Jade is the main character, but Chapter 10 focuses almost entirely on her dealing with Lung, with the heroes only showing up in two very brief scenes.
The following chapter likewise barely shows any of the heroes — it's all about Drago's attempts to alter history, Karasu's attempts to stop him on the Matriarch's orders, the Queen consolidating her hold on Jade's mind, and Jade herself recovering from the events of the previous chapter.
Villain Exit Stage Left: Averted. Lung attempts to escape when Left and Right attack his fortress to rescue Jade, but Right intercepts him and kills him.
Villain Forgot To Level Grind: Averted. The whole reason Jade is after the Teachings is so she can increase her powers and stand a better chance against the heroes.
Villains Out Shopping: See Mundane Utility above. Also, when the Bat-Khan General attacks a theme park, Jade and the Enforcers stay off to the side enjoying some carnival food, and are discussing riding one of the rollercoasters when the heroes show up to fight them.
Villainous Rescue: Despite knowing that doing so will use up his power and ruin his own chance at escape, Tarakudo teleports Left and Right to Jade's location when Lung captures her, because he will not let one of his own kind be tortured and killed by a mere human.
We Will Meet Again: Both Hak Foo and Jade threaten to return to the Three Shades shrine in order to defeat the sages (though the latter's threat is cut off by falling down a hill).
Right gets in a final warning before he and Finn exit stage left in chapter 12.
Blankman settle for a simple "Until next time" when he and the Enforcers flee the Vault of Endless Night.
What the Hell, Hero?: After a brief fight, Brother Light lets Jade take the first tablet of the Teachings; when Uncle demands to know why he did so, he simply gives them scrolls that (upon decoding) will lead the way to the other tablets, then the Sages throw them out of their shrine.
Tarakudo says this almost word for word when he sees that the heroes are not only NOT on their way to rescue Jade from Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Smug Snake Lung, but that they aren't even AWARE that she's under attack!
Paco calls out El Toro for caring more about his championship match than helping stop and save Jade. It convinces El Toro to do the right thing.
Worthy Opponent: How Tarakudo felt about Hiruzen, to the point that he saw to it that his body was treated honorably after his death.
How Blankman feels about Jackie, which is the only reason he doesn't shoot him.
Wrong Genre Savvy: When she finally gets the first tablet of the Teachings from the sages, Jade assumes it's booby trapped and will cause the whole mountain to turn into a volcano and in the resulting fight she'll drop the tablet in the lava just when she assumes she's won. None of this happens.
Though in fairness, this was part of her slight-induced rant, so she may not have actually believed any of it.
Xanatos Gambit: In the second half of the story, Jade turns the hunt for the masks into one of these — she's more interested in the Teachings in order to increase her power, but is still sending her minions after the masks to keep the heroes distracted for as long as possible.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Wong's first lesson to Lung apparently was that "it's not how good a planner you are, but how good you are when the plan fails." Lung doesn't seem to have learned anything from this — when his plan for Jade starts failing, he simply blunders ahead with it, and then panics and flees when her minions show up for her.
As her quick rearranging of her plans to adjust for a blip or two in chapter 9 shows, Jade is MUCH better at this.
You Didn't Ask: When Jade tries to get the first tablet, nothing she tries can get past the monk guarding it. Eventually she screams, saying why he won't just give it to her already, and he promptly does, saying all she had to do was ask.
You Exclamation: Drago's reaction to running into Blankman in the past. Of course, Blankman has no idea who he is yet, so he's just mildly confused.
This is also Ozeki's reaction to being confronted by Tohru, for some reason, to the latter's confusion.
This is part of the hints that he may have a greater connection to the Shadowkhan and their backstory — the original Shadowbinding Sage was a villian who was aided by his enemies and became a good guy and a sage, and was also noted to be very big.
You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: Paco's reaction to seeing the giant paper airplane Blankman and the Enforcers use to escape the Vault of Endless Night.
You Kill It, You Bought It: Jade eats the first Oni mask, effectively killing its General (Kaito) and absorbing his power, assuming full control of the Ninja tribe.
Your Mind Makes It Real: The damage Jade sustains to her astral form at Lung's hands translates onto her body when she's returned to it.
Zerg Rush: Ikazuki comments that one of the reasons he was able to overpower Jade was due to her reliance on this trope — he prefers quality over quantity.