Ansem Retort: Combining comedy and cancer into a delicious fruity mix.
Ansem Retort is a Black ComedySprite Comic wherein characters from the Kingdom Hearts series move into a Reality TV Show Mansion. Hilarity Ensues.It can be found right here.Warning: Ansem Retort may be considered offensive to Buddhists, orphans, homeless, fat people, New Yorkers, midgets, anyone affiliated with Reality TV, Oprah, Dr. Phil, Muslims, Catholics, Mexicans, Dick Cheney, the Republican party, the Green party, the Democratic party, God, Yaoi Fangirls, the 1927 New York Yankees, the Special Olympics, the Jewish, sithlords, British royalty, the US military, Jesus, Jimmy Carter, Santa Claus, the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Walt Disney, the population of Florida, the country of Tibet, Keanu Reeves, fans of the movie High School Musical 2, Iron Man, Ozzy Osbourne, children whose parents are divorced, New Jersey, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, gays, pro-life supporters, and pretty much anybody who can be offended...Oh, and Canada.Yeah, it isn't the nicest of webcomics out there. Read at your own risk.Ansem Retort ended in December 2012. Probably. Author Duke had previously said that there would be No Ending, he'd just stop updating the comic when he was done with it, and that's exactly what happened.
This comic provides examples of:
Aborted Arc: The whole Roxas trapped in Sora's brain arc with DiZ and Deus. According to Duke, he has no plans of starting it up again.
On the other hand, DiZ just made his first appearance since the storyline was scrapped...
There was also the thing with Skull-Fucky. The initial Season 7 arc was going to be based around someone looking for it. Then Duke took several months off writing the strip and forgot where he was going with the storyline, so he dropped it in favor of the time travel storyline - taking time to lampshade it in the process.
Alternate History: Thanks to Xemnas's manipulations, Chicago got destroyed and Canada was the Soviet Union instead of Russia. So far, Riku's the only one to notice that history's being changed.
Though Zexion and Axel notice that history's being changed thanks to Riku slapping them.
And Larxene started revolutions in Egypt, Libya... and McDonalds.
Art Evolution: A minor example; after seven seasons, Duke finally uses a font that's not the infamous Comic Sans.
The font was made larger and became easier to read from #328 onwards.
Asian Speekee Engrish: Yuffie can speak proper English, but when she speaks in Engrish people always assume she knows kung fu.
Sora: Please don't kill me, skank version of Jackie Chan!
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Axel reaches "Reverse Nirvana" due to his mind being so filled with evil and chaos that he actually attains total inner peace. This makes him an evil Buddhist god with mind bullets and the ability to nuke cities at will.
And apparantly, the only other person to reach this state was Black Mage.
Zexion:THE KITCHEN! Just throw his bloody corpse-to-be on the kitchen counter.
Back from the Dead: Matt, the demon Marluxia killed in Season One, returned in Season Two to referee the murder-off. Arguably, Darth Maul as well. It was thought that this was done with Yuffie, but it turned out she just had an identical twin sister... also named Yuffie.
Big Bad: There have been various nemeses, but so far Xemnas appears to be the worst of them. Although depending on how you look at it, Ansem could be the Big Bad behind the main cast.
Black and Grey Morality: The closest we have to someone who is 'good' is Naminé, and she works for Zexion's administration. Sora's too stupid to know right from wrong. Riku, Kairi before she got killed, and maybe Marluxia are more neutral than evil, but everyone else? ...yeah.
Body Horror: Every single surgery act Zexion has ever performed. This includes: replacing somebody's lung with the ass of a monkey, creating a heart out of a Hot Pocket and some straws, putting a firecracker in Riku's liver, and merging Cid's DNA with oreos just because he could.
The mother of all brick jokes: #562, Naminé notes she thought Riku "had really died there" and he tells her that he did and it'll make sense once they get to it. Ninety comics later, it turns out that Riku is a Time Lord and can regenerate while keeping his face. Riku did die, but he got better. This was foreshadowed all the way back in #599. Holy crap.
In #206, Darth Maul tells Ansem that he tricked Yuna and Girl Rikku into going to the Vatican and trying to dig to the center of the earth. In #672, Yuna and Girl Rikku explain that they were totally in the Vatican and they were totally digging to the center of the earth.
Comic 334 happens to be very similar to comic 668, even ending on nearly the same line. The author admitted on his Formspring account that this was indeed intentional.
Bridezilla: Both averted and used literally. When the cast is preparing for the wedding between Aerith and Axel, the bride is remarkably calm. On the other hand, Bridezilla, a Kaiju in a wedding dress, has destroyed half of downtown.
There isn't a single time that the Large Body hasn't been ridiculed/stabbed in his appearences.
California Doubling: Kinda. The Destiny Islands background from Chain of Memories did double duty as Mexico and Hawaii. Same for an Alice In Wonderland background: it was both an unspecified location in Eastern Europe and a hotel room in London.
Calvin Ball: Subverted by the person making the rules ends up losing.
Zexion: What do you mean you lost? You were making up the rules!
Naminé: She played a Monopoly "get out of jail free" card. How am I supposed to beat that?
Characterization Marches On: Zexion famously started out as a straight man compared to Axel and Marluxia, then became the king of all jerkasses.
Naminé's TV-watching habit disappeared after the first season.
Marluxia was originally supposed to be Axel's partner in crime and psychopathy. Then he came down with a severe case of Demoted to Extra. Now he's playing the Straight Man role that was originally intended for Zexion.
Naminé: Why did you put a firecracker in his liver?
Zexion: I don't know, but it'll probably be really funny later on.
Played straight in later comics, where Axel fights a shark, which turns out to be a werepire's only natural predator. AND it's named Chekhov. And then subverted once again, when the shark suffocates.
Subverted when Roxas aka "what Sora could have been" gave Naminé a password to be told to a man in red bandages. When said man in bandages presented himself to Axel, Sora, and Naminé, Naminé had flat out forgotten about it.
Roxas: That's fucking DiZ! Tell him '13 Points'! That's the fucking password you stupid fucking whore! I need to get the fuck out of here!
Believe it or not? That Riku always recovers from serious injuries is one. Or would this technically be Chekhov's Skill?
Cliffhanger: Played straight with the end to season four.
Cloudcuckooland: Apparently the story takes place here, seeing as just about everyone in the story besides Naminé is a Cloudcuckoolander. Zexion, strangely, shows signs of being a former Only Sane Man gone native, and Aerith went native as we watched.
Naminé's an interesting case: she started OUT as a Cloudcuckoolander obsessed with Saturday morning cartoons, but is now probably the closest thing we have to a sane person.
And Ansem Retort's also crossed over with some comic this troper can't remember, when Riku summoned a ghost to try to fix a betting pool, and with AR's affiliate Easy Skankin, though this tends to be more of a fourth wall breaking as the conversations are between Duke and Dingy, the Author Avatar for Easy Skankin.
Disproportionate Retribution: Darth Maul attacked Marluxia, complete with Force Lightning... all because Marluxia said mango-strawberry was a gay flavor. And then they both attacked Xemnas when they thought he called them box-openers.
And one time Aerith attacked an airline pilot just because the in-flight movie was The Devil Wears Prada. Axel declared it the best honeymoon ever.
Another example is when Axel and Zexion threw Riku in a volcano, nuking said volcano, tricking Riku into creating mustard gas, and then beating him up with failed retribution ideas...because he slapped them. It didn't even matter that the slapping was a good thing.
Fangirl: Taken to the extreme with Kairi back in Season 1; supremely ironic considering the actual Kairi's status among actual fangirls. Then they killed her off, because there were only so many jokes that was good for.
Flanderization: Pretty much the entire cast went through this. Sora and Zexion are probably the best examples, as Sora used to be just somewhat stupid and merely had amnesia before becoming completely retarded with short-term, long-term, and short-term memory loss, whereas Zexion was just one Jerkass in a cast full of them before becoming the absolute king of all jerkasses.
The memory loss turns out to not be Sora's fault, though. Its Naminé, having been flanderized into mucking about with his memory far more than in-game.
Interestingly, Characterization Marches On seemed to have the opposite effect on Marluxia; over the course of the comic he actually seemed to come closer to his canon personality.
For the Evulz: The motivation for easily a majority of the actions on this show is "evil for evil's sake". Axel used this as an arguement for why Zex should finance his wedding: to steal tax dollars just to prove he could.
Naminé: Why did you put a firecracker in his liver?
Zexion: I don't know, but it'll probably be really funny later on.
Fusion Dance: Axel and Zexion - they turn into Andrew Jackson.
Gambit Pileup: So far: Ansem's always planning something, there's a group of Eldritch Abominations that made Sora a demi-god for laughs, it's been revealed that Kitaniji hired Yuffie to sabotage the show, Aerith pretty much only dated (and then married) Axel to get back at Cloud... and then there's Zexion...
Gilligan Cut: Several, but the most memorable is probably the one where Aerith claims that during her bachelorette party, that she and the other people there intend to "out-crazy Axel!" Cut to a news reporter with an airplane in the background, along with pictures of Axel and Zexion, saying "We repeat, the hijackers have been identified!"
Zexion: Topping our demands for the fourth straight season, more lesbian fanservice.
Joshua's take on how to deal with Yuna and Girl Rikku's stupid conversations.
Joshua: Yeah, I just wear earplugs and hope they start making out with each other.
Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Parodied when Xemnas's manipulations caused the Nazi occult experiments to occur sooner...but he could have saved himself a lot of time and effort by going to the original time in the first place.
Guest spot: More like Guest artist of sorts, Some of the sprites used in Ansem Retorts are made by a sprite artist that goes by the nickname Lost Digi Girl, her first appearing sprite was a little girl talking to Jesus in #362 and then Re-appeared in #667 #670 and the gay army ranger in 680,. There have Been Various others and Duke Acknowledges her often.
Now includes dancers in #709 at the bottom of the screen.
Sora: Man, if I had a nickel every time a roommate commited a crime against humanity... Namine: You would have $7.12.
I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: In a guest comic Duke did for Easy Skankin', Dingy tried to invoke this to get Duke to do a guest comic for her. Duke points out that her boobs violate the Geneva Convention, and she would have to admit she's lazier than a sprite comic artist. She refuses.
Ill Boy: Riku. Axel and Zexion infected him with AIDS to make him the poster boy for AIDS Aid.
It works because Riku is a Time Lord. The alcohol happens to be his TARDIS.
It Was His Sled: Parodied. When Darth Maul is watching the show to see if he's the Best Man for the wedding when Marluxia points out that Darth Maul was there in person when they choose the best man and tell him what happened. invoked
Darth Maul: Thanks for spoiling it, Jackass! This is just like when we saw The Phantom Menace.
Jerkass: Pretty much the entire main cast, but especially Zexion, who cheerfully admits it.
He's such a jerkass, he can use his douchiness to defy the laws of physics.
Jesus Was Way Cool: Jesus gets called in by Ansem to train the gang in preparation for their battle with Xemnas and Larxene. He gets along well with everybody, even Axel (!) (Well, he does cure hangovers, Painlessly!).
Judge: Objection overruled; go fuck yourself sustained.
Killed Off for Real: Kairi was killed by a demon in Season 1, and has managed to stay dead ever since. Red XIII was also killed when Riku tore off his face in Season 7.
Duke has stated that if Kairi comes back to life, he has officially run out of original story ideas. Given that one story arc featured Riku, Axel, Zexion and Marluxia going back in time through binge-drinking, don't expect to see her anytime soon.
Kill It with Fire: Almost quoted verbatim by Zexion when Axel engages in Operation Shoot the Messenger (which consisted of Axel killing everyone that didn't tell him where Larxene was quickly enough).
Long List: When the house got attacked a second time.
Employee: Yes, our main suspects are: Axel, Larxene, you, Cloud, Zexion, the former FOX president, the guy Zexion turned into a cookie, Darth Maul, God, Derek Jeter, a guy in red bandages, fat people, Axel again, a demon in Sora's head, and the Trix Rabbit.
Ansem: So we're blaming terrorists?
MacGyvering: Parodied; Zexion makes Riku a new heart out of some bendy straws and a Hot Pocket.
Manipulative Bastard: Xemnas has pulled two characters to his side, one by promising them drugs (Larxene) and the other by promising to help him find out more about himself (Red XIII)
One Steve Limit: Parodied. While the main cast was in hiding, the show had a substitute cast. One of the cast members was also named Rikku (albeit with an extra K). Darth Maul just called her 'girl Rikku'. By the time she showed back up in Season 8, her actual name was Girl Rikku.
Red XIII to an extent as well. He's still extremely violent, and can't be understood by the rest of the cast, but he's by far the smartest character, and the only people he mauls he either does so to eat them, or if it's Riku.
Joshua is quickly proving himself to be this in the rival reality show Shibuya Shore.
A very good example of this is, when asked about recent killings of reality show casts, Axel's alibi is that he was killing other people at those times, so it can't be him. Vexen then uses this as evidence that Barack Obama is the murderer.
Scarpia Ultimatum: Subverted. Sora tries to convince Xemnas to leave the others alone if he goes with him. He's shot down... by Marluxia, of all people, who's been getting more screen time than normal because of Xemnas attacking.
The Scrappy: In-universe, the substitute cast except for Red XIII. Ansem certainly didn't like them, anyway.
Serious Business: According to Marluxia and Darth Maul, smoothie flavors are worth fighting over. With weapons like Dark Side lightning and giant scythes.
Shaggy Dog Story: Season One, arguably. All that fighting and buildup to get to the FOX president (including a fight with Ansem, someone getting god like powers, and a dragon with a nuke on its back), and the president was beaten with a stab in the back. Zexion lampshades this with a 'screw you, we won'.
Shout Out: Far too many to say them all so let's just go with the most notable ones:
Show Within a Show: The events in the comic is a Reality TV Show. Several characters have the habit of watching the actual show (making this an example of Type 2).
Yes, including watching themselves watching the show. On a crystal ball.
Darth Maul:That's some parodoxical $#!@ right there!
And again with Darth Maul watching Shibuya Shore, while the latter's cast (including Joshua) watches them.
Joshua:This some parodoxical shit right here.
The Slacker: Darth Maul refused to go to Hawaii because he would rather sit around eating HoHos and crank calling prostitutes. He has also been known to do nothing but lie on the floor and eat barbecue sauce for 2 consecutive weeks.
He called Ansem for help because he couldn't be bothered to move four feet to get a remote. That should tell you something.
Suicide As Comedy: Invoked. Cid confronts Zexion about the surgery that turned him into a cookie, and asks what Zexion has to say for himself. Zex replies that if Cid slit his wrists right then, it'd be "the tastiest suicide EVER."
There's also the time when Riku demanded to know why Axel and Zexion got him a razor and a noose for his birthday. Their response: "Either you cut the emo crap, or you make good on the suicide promises."
Take That, Critics!: Apparently, someone complained about how much Andrew Jackson had been swearing. Duke's response was to have him say, for absolutely no reason, "bitch-ass nigger cunt".
Talking To Themself: Besides the obvious Aerith, we have Axel's bachelor party, when he and Zexion hijack a plane and are negotiating directly with the governor and his advisors. You know, Governor Zexion and his top advisor Axel?
There Are No Therapists: Well, why should there be? Ansem picked the cast members because they were so fucked up. There are, however, "mental health examinations" conducted by a psychic sitting in a crude approximation of a psychiatrist's chair.
There Can Be Only One: Parodied. Season Six started with various reality show casts being murdered, with Ansem Retort being the only one unharmed. Axel's response upon finding out?
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Zexion and Naminé. Disturbingly, since Naminé's a bit young for him. Still, Naminé's well acquainted with Zex's taste in hookers, Zexion takes a break on his way to a sexual encounter with a werepire to inform Naminé of what he's doing, and Naminé is apparently turned on by Zexi..., er, Guillermo del Zexiero lo Marquis' new name... Also, when his cyanide pills were replaced with mentos, he immediately knew it was she who did it. Oh, about Zex's taste in hookers - he likes them "blonde, stupid, and not dead inside yet". Naminé meets 2 of the 3. One could even infer that the only reason Zexion does not get with Naminé out right is because she's too smart for him.
They claim to hate each other, but they interact often and even call each other in times of crisis. Mainly because they're both a little more intelligent than the others (Zex chooses to be a crazy jackass). She even introduced him to her date for Axel's wedding. Not that it went anywhere...
As of Ansem Retort #625, Namine even has "Zexion senses". However, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll actually DO anything about him needing her help.
As of comic 700, this seems to be canon on Naminé's part.
Word Of God: Duke usually answers questions about unnecessary trivia on his Formspring, such as the full names of Larxene (Larxene Jones) and Marluxia (Martin Luxia Queenly); also, "Sora" is the character's only name.
Duke recently stated that Darth Maul is Marluxia's boyfriend on his Forumspring.
Worth It: Here. Of course, this was shortly after Riku was shown to be getting stabbed in his own daydream, so you could argue that being hanged with a lei is a bonus for him.
You Can Keep Her: Played with. When Belle tried to extract a ransom from Zexion to let Larxene go, Zexion refused and listed his demands to take Larxene off her hands. Cut to a week later, and Belle is giving in.
Exaggerated later, when Xemnas takes Sora hostage. Axel corners them, and Xemnas asks how Axel is going to stop him and save Sora. Axel says he's okay with one of two, and throws his own chakram at Sora.