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What do you get when you mix a grimdark superhero universe (Worm) with Derp doG (Ōkami)? According to author Unwelcome Storm, it's a hilarious romp through Brockton Bay with Taylor and her childhood friend, Sunshine the dog as they negotiate with gang leader and actually-a-dragon Lung, help revitalize the local Asian community and drive the local superheroes insane.

Constellations can be read at Space Battles and Sufficient Velocity forums, as well as on Ao3.

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This show provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: A girl and her doG.
    • Or, more accurately, A doG and her Miko.
  • Adaptational Badass: In Worm, Danny Hebert was a vanilla human with a job at the Dockworkers Union. Here, he is the Protectorate Minion Master Chessman.
  • Adorkable: Taylor, especially when she's playing with Sunny or Squeeing over meeting Protectorate heroes like Armsmaster and Legend. When she finds out her father is the Protectorate hero Chessman, she wonders if she can get all the autographs.
  • The Alcoholic: Played for Laughs, anime style; Sunny has an enormous affinity for sake, to the point that she can effectively be threatened by unplugging her minifridge (which just makes her summon a mini-snowstorm overnight, that only fall on temple grounds).
  • Always a Bigger Fish: After Emma enjoys her last bullying attempt on Taylor, her mirth is suddenly stymied by the fact that several ABB punks are now on her case.
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  • Androcles' Lion: Taylor and Sunny first meet Kayden and Aster on one of their walks around the town, and they hit it off on account of Sunny playing peek-a-boo with Aster. Later, when Purity is tasked to destroy the shrine and disrupt Protectorate attention by Kaiser, she stops when she sees the girl and her dog in the courtyard playing her flute, and instead sits down and has tea with her.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: Or exterior decorating in this case; Sunny dug hundreds of miles of underground tunnel, got Taylor to fix up the shrine, decimated the E88's cape roster, convinced Lung to buy up the shrine land and the surrounding properties and gift it all to Taylor... so that the dog could dig up a hot spring on the adjacent lot.
    • Then Sunny engineered the takedown of Coil, including the Undersiders stealing a good chunk of his money before the police found it. Tattletale then turned over a tithe of the take to Brushstroke and Good Dog as thanks, providing them more than sufficient funds to build and furnish the hot springs, including the construction of a well-stocked bar.
  • Angel Unaware: For everyone unaware of Sunny's true identity. Which is pretty much everyone.
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  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: Oni Lee removes his mask while sitting down to dinner with the Alcotts and New Wave, because it'd be rude to have it on. When one of the other guests asks about him being worried about his Secret Identity, he finds it amusing because even he doesn't know who he is.
  • Apron Matron: The "Baachans", and their willingness to make Taylor know everything about being local Miko.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Taylor asks Lung what made him, and what waterfall did he climb to become a dragon? Lung is forced to think about his defeat at the hands of Contessa and how he got his powers in the first place... and he's not happy about the implications.
  • Bad Dreams: Carol Dallon has one after an argument with Victoria, involving a glass wall coming down between her and her family.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In his talk with Taylor, Lung states that her idea of unionizing and inspiring his subordinates through care and compensation rather than fear is useless because the resources he'd need to do so are tied up combating the Merchants and Empire 88. When Taylor clarifies that he could afford to be nicer if the E88 was no longer a problem, he agrees. Sunshine proceeds to clear out the E88's cape roster over the next week.
  • Betrayal Insurance: Victoria tries to set up some in the possible event that her mother finds out that Chekov was given to the family by Brushstroke (a cape with a Master rating) and gives the kitten away out of paranoia, so she publishes Chekov's picture online and into the public eye to forestall Carol's reaction. Carol is stunned when she hears her daughter's rationale.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Amaterasu is incredibly friendly and affectionate, but when Lung backslaps Taylor, Amaterasu responds by smiting him with a literal Bolt of Divine Retribution ...from clear skies.
    • The skies were cloudy for the entire rest of the city before the strike, with only a small patch of clearer skies directly over the shrine for the meeting. Lung's only warning of the incoming bolt was the briefest glimmer of a spark in the clear sky directly above the shrine, before the lightning strike came down upon his head.
    • And just to drive the point home a little further - Lung was wearing his mask at the time. His metal mask. Which melted onto his face. Oni Lee had to cut it off him.
    • Another occasion is when she goes after Skidmark and the Merchants for attacking the Hebert household Let's just say the sun that morning was less warming and more oppressive.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: To anyone unaware of her antics, this is what Sunny appears to be, especially when she's playing peekaboo with a baby or getting random passers-by to pet her.
  • Big "YES!": Tattletale's reaction when she finds out a plan by Sunshine to take out Coil is in progress, and her part to play in it is paying off.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: Lung, feeling slighted, decides to backhand Taylor. Sunny takes this... poorly.
  • Broke the Rating Scale: According to Clockblocker's PHO post, Taylor's threat rating includes "Shaker: Yes" and "Dog: Dog." Normally this might be put down to Clock being Clock, but in this case this is entirely possible.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Danny and Taylor's relationship is strained to the point that Danny cannot even ask an open-ended question about her. Even after outing himself as Chessman to her, his first question is if she got all her homework done. Things do seem to be improving a little after that incident though.
  • Character Development: After Taylor's summer project of fixing up the shrine attracts the terrible attention of Lung (even though Sunny successfully chastises him), she tells Sunny that she doesn't want to be a hero and all she wants to do is hang out with her doggy friend. After the Merchants invade her home and Sunny goes to teach them a lesson, Taylor successfully negotiates with Oni Lee on her own and tells Sunny that it's not fair to let her do everything on her own and that she wants to help out with Cape business too.
  • Character Witness: Mr. Henrick, Taylor's older neighbor whom she often helps out, and as it turns out, the former school superintendent. When Taylor gets accused of siccing gang members on Emma, everyone, even Danny, seems to not believe her until Mr. Henrick barges in and stands up for her, telling them how much of a good girl she is and how she sometimes comes home crying. The case against Taylor falls apart after this.
    • Alan Barnes tries to be one for Shadow Stalker. Unfortunately for him and Shadow Stalker, Danny Hebert, in this story a cape named Chessman, finds out about this less than an hour after the above encounter with Henrick and how Alan accused Taylor of gang membership and drug use until Henrick shut him up. Sophia Hess isn't heard from again, implying that Chessman pointed this out to Piggot and had the Character Witness revoked.
  • Chekhov's Gift: Throughout the story, characters have given Taylor and Sunny a gift of a handful of beads, which she has placed in a partitioned box with segments corresponding to the 13 zodiac animals. Time will tell what significance this will play.
    • Nezumi, the rat: Oni Lee.
    • Ondori, the rooster: Mrs. Henrick, her neighbour.
    • Inoshishi, the boar: Baachan, Yuuta's grandmother.
    • Saru, the monkey: Haru, Yuuta and Souta.
  • City of Weirdos: Yuuta receives absolutely No Sympathy for being bothered by a shrine maiden riding off on a wolf the size of a donkey.
    Souta: How long you lived in the Bay?
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Taylor soon becomes one for all of Sunny's antics, especially when they involve capes.
  • Crash-Into Hello: On a visit to the Protectorate HQ, Sunny plays fetch with Taylor by throwing a toy Armsmaster halberd from the gift shop, and when Taylor tries to grab it, she runs right into the real Armsmaster right as he steps out of the elevator.
  • Cute Kitten: Taylor finds a boxful of free kittens and ends up giving one to the Dallons. They name it Chekov, and he soon becomes a very influential part of the family. Amy Dallon, AKA Panacea, also has a new hobby: taking pictures of Chekov doing adorable things, such as sleeping on an oven mitt inside a drawer or trying to fight the Rodents of Unusual Size through the TV while watching Princess Bride.
  • Declaration of Protection: Oni Lee says as much to the Alcotts and New Wave about Dinah.
    Oni Lee: My sister did not choose this, but others chose for her. Dinah has not chosen this. Others have attempted to choose for her. I do not agree with their presumption; that is why I do this.
  • Debt Detester: Let's just say that Lung's not happy about finding himself in an honour debt to the Miko and the Ōkami she serves, and is willing to do things like assault Coil's base under grounds of breaking the unwritten rules to repay it.
    Lung: (paraphrased) And I'm paying debt to Ōkami, if it's the last thing you do!
  • Double Take: Battery, Lung and Purity all do this when they see Armsmaster having Sunny's head on his knee and petting her without even realising it. Assault even does a Spit Take.
  • Due to the Dead: Sunny grows a red spider lily outside the shrine for Coil's mercenaries that tried to kidnap Dinah on the grounds, and who were killed by Oni Lee in retaliation.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played for laughs here; when Sunny gets the idea to dunk Taylor in the shrine's ceremonial fountain, Taylor threatens the dog that if she does, she'll unplug Sunny's sake fridge. The next day, Taylor finds the entire shrine (and only the shrine) buried in snow, and Sunny sitting next to a wine rack made of ice.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Pretty much everyone who thinks that Brushstroke (Taylor) is a parahuman and Good Dog (Sunny) is her projection.
    • Knowing Brushstroke's identity and her relation with the ex-Dockworker's Union member Danny Hebert, Kaiser assumes that the recent gutting of his parahuman forces is retribution for what the Empire did to the Dockworkers.
    • Coil starts out his plans to waylay Brushstroke and her interfering Good Dog thinking that she made a deal with Lung and the ABB for protection. But after Lung breaks into his base at the Ōkami's behest, he realises he got it the wrong way round; Lung is the one in debt with Brushstroke.
  • Evil Is Petty: When Lung requests a meeting with the Miko, he has to engage in a full-on tea ceremony, which requires either hakama or a suit. Lung walks in with no shirt, takes pleasure in throwing off Taylor's rhythm for the ceremony, and is disrespectful despite being civil, which makes Taylor very annoyed and she demands recompense for the rudeness.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Chessman, while remembering the evidence provided as to why Taylor is a good girl, suddenly realizes that her walking her dog is unusual because he doesn't own a dog.
  • Extended Disarming: Oni Lee has to go through this when Mrs. Alcott finally agrees to invite him for dinner. Final count is several grenades, several knives and one shortsword.
  • Face Fault: Sunshine does one when, even after confronting three Merchant home invaders, generating his portable army, blowing up the wall of his house, and outing himself as the hero Chessman in front of Taylor, all Danny can say to his daughter is ask if she's done her homework.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Armsmaster is so busy telling Brushstroke about certain rogue cape laws (including penalties for Master effects), that he doesn't notice Sunshine walking up to him, putting her head on his knee, and him absent-mindedly starting to pet her.
    • The sentries that Oni Lee placed around the Alcott home must not have been doing their jobs, if they failed to inform him that he'd be going to dinner with New Wave.
  • Fisher King: Sunshine's presence around Brockton Bay has had the city still getting the spring sun even during the winter months, something Dragon has noticed.
  • Flat "What": A frequent occurrence for the PRT when Good Dog is on the loose, ranging from getting a nose-print onto a camera at the top of a telephone pole to stealing a local heroine's bike and going for a ride. While drunk.
    • Coil himself has nothing but this to say after Good Dog sneaks up on Aegis and Kid Win under a cardboard box, cons Kid Win into a ride on his hoverboard, then beats the crap out of a bunch of E88 goons with CQC. Especially when Kid Win lampshades the whole thing while riding with Sunny.
      Kid Win: Snaaaaaaake Eaaaaateeeeer!
      Sunny: Woooooo~!
      Coil: What.
  • Food as Bribe:
    • How Myrddin gets from Chicago to Brockton Bay for his bimonthly tabletop gaming session and back in any appreciable time: he pays for Strider's dinner and a movie nearby, Strider gives him a lift.
    • Taylor promises Velocity some dango if he convinces Legend to stick around long enough for an autograph.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the moderators on PHO, Bagrat, has an alternate account named "mots doux à l'oreille" who had vetted Brushstroke's account as "Verified Priestess". The Gratuitous French he uses may link him to a certain flute-playing character from Ōkami.
  • From Bad to Worse: From Taylor's perspective. Having both Oni Lee and Assault, Battery and Armsmaster present in the shrine (and praying things don't turn bloody) was bad enough, but then Lung showed up. And then Purity came for a visit as well. Taylor had to ask Purity if Skidmark was anywhere in the vicinity.
    Taylor: You didn’t happen to see Skidmark or any of the Merchants on your way here, did you?
    Purity: No, I can’t say I did... why?
    Taylor: Just checking.
  • The Gadfly: Sunny. Why yes, Sunny, staying out of trouble most certainly means hijacking the local superheroes' vehicles and having them catch a Nazi in the process. Twice.
  • Get Out!: What happens to Skidmark after he gets Sunshine on his case: she drags him to the highway, shoots some ink bullets at his feet, and basically runs him out of town.
  • Glad I Thought of It: Lung may try to take credit for some of Brushstroke's actions, like saying the Truce Zone of Pawprint Shrine is his land and his idea. But one look from Sunny reminds him who's really giving the orders around here.
  • Gone Horribly Right: When Yuuta notices someone taking down Taylor's flyers, he assumes it's anti-ABB sentiment and sets out to find the perpetrators and stop them. It turns out to be a Jorogumo that tricked Emma into helping her because the flyers had a Protective Charm on the back. Yuuta winds saving Emma and killing the Jorogumo and then puts up Taylor's charms all over ABB Territory and the Shrine area after the encounter. His grandmother now wants to set him up with Emma and Oni Lee has officially made him responsible for protecting ABB territory from further Youkai attacks. Oni Lee also threatened Yuuta with death if he does a bad job or fails to compensate Taylor properly for her talismans.
    • Then it becomes this trope for Oni Lee himself too, since conscripting an underclassman and someone who Taylor considers a friend (and indirect subordinate) has put her on his case.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Maybe not "graceful" per se, but the slightly chubby Haru, who's a swimmer, somewhat counts. More precisely, he may not have the speed for the speed trials, but he does have the stamina for the distance trials.
  • Grail in the Garbage: In preparation for her tea ceremony with Lung, Sunny gets Taylor a wall hanging for the shrine, an old painting named Zhou Maoshu Appreciating Lotuses. Considering this is a Japanese national treasure that was stored in the Kyushu National Museum, and exactly what happened to said island, Lung and the baachans have every right to be shocked when they see it right before their eyes.
    • For a Western equivalent, picture finding the original of Da Vinci's Last Supper on the wall of a neighborhood church - after Rome gets destroyed.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Chessman, Dragon, Director Piggot and even the Chicago Protectorate cape Myrddin have a D&D tabletop group. And Dragon ropes Armsmaster into joining.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • Let's just say the E88 capes have a very bad time when Sunshine gets on their case.
    • When Sunshine decides to go after Coil, the snake villain finds his escape plans and multiple timelines cut off one by one, until his only possible future is being arrested by the cops for speeding.
  • Identity Amnesia: Even with his memories slowly coming back, Oni Lee still doesn't remember who he once was, only bits of the sister he used to have.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The reaction of everyone when they find out that clearing out the E88 to get Lung to buy up the land containing the land and the surrounding properties and gift it all to Taylor was all so that Sunny... could dig up a hot spring on the property.
    Taylor: So I brought out some sake from Sunny's stash, does anyone want to-
    Lung: Yes.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Armsmaster comments to Taylor that Good Dog has a Master effect that coerces law enforcement officers to pet her. Taylor answers that Sunny doesn't need to coerce anyone to pet her - he's doing it right now. Armsmaster is... shocked when he realizes it.
  • Implacable Man: Coil finds himself on the wrong end of two:
    • Lung, when the ABB leader breaks into his base for apparently violating the truce.
    • Good Dog, when Coil sees her chasing after him on the interstate. And even splitting timelines just puts her right in front of him.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Taylor has to reaffirm to everyone that she isn't a cape, just a regular girl with a very weird dog. Very few people believe her.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Lung gifts the land properties for the shrine and the surrounding lots to Brushstroke, Purity comments that he got them cheap since his gang cratered the property values. A moment later, Sunny digs up a hot spring on an adjacent lot (that Brushstroke now owns), and the property value of the land suddenly isn't so 'cratered' any more.
  • Ironic Nickname: Sunshine's cape name is Good Dog, which Miss Militia finds highly inappropriate when Sunny steals her motorbike.note 
    Miss Militia: Hey! Stop! That is a Protectorate vehicle— stop, Good Dog! Wait, no-- Bad dog! Bad dog! Irresponsible dog!
  • Irony: When Taylor first meets Oni Lee at the shrine, her first instinct is to find some way to keep the situation from escalating.
  • Kissing the Ground: After the insanity that was the Cape tea party at the shrine and finding out that Sunny went to the trouble of clearing out the E88 and manipulating Lung just to own a hot spring, Taylor is so happy to return to Winslow and normalcy that she hugs the building.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: The ABB members who are tasked with cleaning up the area around the shrine soon take to wearing jackets labeled with Local 433. Stylized a certain way, it's not hard to imagine how ABB -> 433.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than canon Worm. It's a world where Taylor is an unknowing Shrine Maiden in training for a trolling Wolf God of the Sun, and is attempting to revitalize the city through urban renewal rather than fisticuffs with random jerks on the street.
  • Miko: Between her red and white outfit and the shrine that she's clearing up, this is what everyone thinks Taylor is. And considering who is her companion, they're not exactly wrong. As the story goes on she's been slowly accepting this role.
  • The Minion Master: Chessman's (Danny Hebert's) power. He can imbue little toys or figurines with his power and grow them into pawns - full-sized, animate versions of themselves that will follow his orders. And they can be anything from dolls, to toy cars, to toy tanks.
  • Mugging the Monster: A trio of Merchants find themselves on the wrong end of this trope. Breaking into the home of Brushstroke, a known rogue with pacifist leanings is one thing. Breaking into the home of Chessman, a member of the Protectorate and known to keep literal armies in his sleevies, is another...
  • Mythology Gag: One Word Of God from Wildbow stated that Taylor triggered with the Administrator Shard because her father wasn't suitable for it, but he was earmarked to be the one who triggered. Here he actually did.
  • Noble Demon: Oni Lee may be an assassin - but he takes the safety and neutrality of the Pawprint Shrine very seriously and saves Dinah Alcott when she is almost kidnapped.
  • Not a Morning Person: The whole Brockton Bay Protectorate turns into this the morning after an exceptionally bizarre Halloween. Except Armsmaster and Velocity, much to the others' displeasure.
  • Not Helping Your Case: When denying Sunny is her projection, Taylor admits she first met the wolf when she was eight years old and lost in a quickly darkening forest. As Assault gently points, such a situation would be extremely scary for a young girl.
  • No-Sell: Sunny shuts down Skidmark's slide fields with a flick of her tail.
  • Now You Tell Me: Oni Lee is tasked to deliver a message to Taylor that Lung is coming to the shrine in 30 minutes, and he delivers it... after himself, Lung, and three Protectorate Heroes have already sat down for tea.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Chessman (Danny) and his debut on the cape scene, detailed in a separate post: In retaliation for an attack on the Docks by the E88, he crashed an E88 rally with three fully-grown Sherman Tanks.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lung's reaction when he learns that the E88 have been cut down to size, and that he now has to follow up on his deal to the Miko to clean up the ABB.
      • And especially when Oni Lee tells him what Kami the Miko serves, and he realizes that shortchanging either the Miko or her Kami on the deal, or potentially connecting them with illicit activities, is a Very Bad Idea.
    • Oni Lee has a minor one when he realizes that by conscripting Yuuta (whom he didn't realize was a first/second year) to get ofuda from the Miko, he accidentally poached both a minor and someone under her authority to do the work of the ABB.
    • Coil has several of these reactions in quick succession:
      • When Lung breaks into his base after the dragon is told by Oni Lee that Dinah's kidnapping attempt ended up on shrine grounds, and that Tattletale is cutting off his security.
      • When he realizes that Lung and Tattletale are attacking him at the behest of Brushstroke, and what that means:.
        Good Dog was coming.
      • When he sees Good Dog chasing him on the interstate. In multiple timelines.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Taylor has this reaction after she is dropped off at the Undersiders' base and Sunny goes haring off on her own, and somehow infers to Tattletale's power something that causes her to react excitedly.
    Taylor: Well, if the pattern holds true, I’m here to regret yet inevitably benefit from whatever that is.
    • The Undersiders then rob Coil of most of his funds, and give Taylor a $3 million cut of the takings in exchange for Sunny setting this up.
  • One Degree of Separation: Haru, one of the ABB gang members that ends up helping Taylor fix up the shrine, has a cousin that turns out to be Bakuda.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: At the conclusion that Taylor is a Master with a projection who triggered several years ago and never even knew it, Assault agrees that she is Chessman's daughter. Danny breaks his nose.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A lot of characters have to be put through Master/Stranger protocols after they find themselves petting a wandering Sunshine or end up caught in one of her wild antics.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Sunny, AKA Amaterasu. Her powers and abilities are from being a goddess, but everyone assumes that (because of their experience with Capes) that Taylor and her are a pair of capes named Brushstroke and Good Dog.
    • In addition, the sudden influx of Youkai on Halloween leave more than a few capes stunned at the surge of weird occurrences.
  • Papa Wolf: Let's just say that Danny doesn't take it well when some Merchants break into his house looking for Taylor.
    Danny: You think you can come in here?! You think you can come in here and hurt my family?! They’ll bury you in a shoebox when I’m done with you, you son of a bitch! You tell Skidmark he is fucked, do you hear me?! Now you get the hell out of my house!
  • Paranoia Gambit:
    • After having 7 of his capes arrested in one week, Max Anders would love nothing more than to retaliate and show that Kaiser and the Empire are nothing to be trifled with... if not for the snowy white dog, standing on the outside of his 20th-storey office window, looking right at him.
      • And when he calls his ex-wife Kayden, the next thing he hears after she steps away for a minute is the breathing of a very large dog. Kayden telling him that the dog and its owner are regularly over to babysit doesn't help his nerves at all.
    • Lung becomes uncomfortably aware that there's more to Brushstroke's gift of a hot spring voucher than meets the eye, especially after her Ōkami gives him a little wink.
    • An All There in the Manual example; Chessman's presence on the Brockton Bay cape scene is one of these, since it is well known that he can start animating and growing his pawns from a distance, and no-one knows how many pawns he has hiding around the city, just waiting to be empowered...
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Between her Power Slash brush powers and being strong enough to tear off bumpers, no car that Sunshine sets her interests on is getting away intact, especially not Coil's little getaway Prius.
  • Perception Filter: One of Amaterasu's powers. Nobody notices anything odd about an extremely large, pure-white dog buying things from stores, walking around without a leash or owner, sitting on a bench and drinking sake from a bottle, etc.
    • Taylor seems to be able to see the red markings that only appear for people who see Ammy as a god, but it's unclear if she can see them all the time, or only on occasion.
    • Unless Sunny WANTS them to notice the weirdness. Then people absolutely can see that there's a white wolf big enough to crush a man's head in her jaws walking around.
  • Physical God: Amaterasu, to an extent.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Sunny's effect on Tattletale's super-intuition: not only does she stymie it to the point that all Tattletale can do is point at her and say "Dog!", she can actually photobomb it and keep the random information coming.
  • Politeness Judo: Oni Lee finds himself treated to this by Taylor: after she sits him down to tea, she brings up an uncomfortable subject knowing he'd not be able to excuse himself without being rude.
    • Lung becomes aware that something's up when Brushstroke gives him a voucher to her future hot spring built on his property, but knows there's no way to refuse.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: When a bunch of Merchants break into the Hebert household to look for Taylor, Danny a.k.a. The Minion Master cape Chessman, has one order to give:
    Chessman: Queen to A7.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Lung, when he walks into the shrine and attacks the parahuman shrine Miko for apparently encroaching on ABB territory. But he soon finds he got the context wrong: the shrine is the Miko's territory, tasked by the Kami that is her companion, and he just encroached on her territory. And the Kami is not pleased.
  • Properly Paranoid: When she hears about all the evil spirits that come out around Halloween, Sunny panics and "encourages" Taylor to place protectional ofuda everywhere around the shrine, even on the backs of advertising posters for shrine parties. The next thing we know, we see a spider demon get exorcised by some.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Piggot has a generally terrible day and then a hysterical Chessman calls her to tell her he doesn't have a dog. While in context Chessman is right to worry, he phrases his concerns so badly Piggot immediately has him thrown in the Master-Stranger protocol holding tank.
  • Reality Ensues: Taylor's actions help to revitalize the community, from planting flowers to painting walls, and help bring the Asian community together without needing to beat up people. Because of the improvements, property values increase, new businesses come into the area, and even the ABB start to get less hostile and become less out-and-out horrible. While this is in part due to a magical god-wolf smoothing things out for Taylor, the mundane parts of this are how real-life urban renewal works.
    • Taylor doesn't bother with a Secret Identity and casually gives her name when asked. Skidmark ends up by sending grunts after her to kidnap the apparently new cape.
  • Reality Warper: Sunny herself. Considering she is Amaterasu in the form of a wolf, this comes with the territory.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • Lung demands to meet with the Miko (whom everyone suspects is a cape) of the newly-restored shrine in his territory in a tea ceremony. Taylor prepares a formal ceremony, has Lung sit in seiza for four hours and then demands two sidewalks from Lung as recompense for his rudeness and deliberate disregard for the tradition of the ceremony. With Sunny sternly watching him, Lung agrees.
    • Pretty much every way Sunny gets the Protectorate heroes to take out one of the E88 capes; cause some havoc, draw the Protectorate and E88 into it, and leave the E88 cape in a very, very bad position.
    • The things that Good Dog/Sunny pulls are so weird yet inexplicably effective that several of the Protectorate submit themselves to Master-Stranger protocols (although given that Miss Militia had her bike stolen by a drunken dog, it seemed like a very reasonable step to take at the time).
    • Normally, walking uninvited into Somer's Rock in the middle of a Brockton Bay villain meeting would be a bad idea for anyone not a villain, but when you're Brushstroke, dressed in a kimono, riding in on a great white wolf, and stating that you were invited, especially after said white wolf subjugated, crippled and dismantled the top three gangs in the city, there really isn't a way for the villains to kick you out.
      • This even applies to villain hideouts. When Grue finds Brushstroke at the doorstep of the Undersiders' secret base, apparently having been dropped off there by Good Dog for no apparent reason, he decides to welcome her in rather than risk the divine wrath of her companion.
    • This trope is summed up in this line:
      Dinah: Hi Mom. Mr. Oni Lee saved me from kidnappers. Can he stay for dinner?
      • But that's not the end of it; since her mum refused to let Oni Lee stay for dinner, Dinah has resolved to 'get lost' at the shrine every day and have Oni Lee walk her home until her mum caves.
  • Sacred Hospitality: When two capes of the ABB, three capes of the Protectorate and one cape of the E88 are in unexpected attendance in a Truce Zone shrine, Taylor really hopes they respect this.
    • "Tea time is courtesy time". This is basically Taylor's Survival Mantra, which she uses whenever someone visits the shrine.
    • Oni Lee also adopts the above mantra when he is invited to a dinner with the Alcott family, only to also find New Wave in attendance as well.
  • Sanity Strengthening: The damage Oni Lee gave himself through his teleports slowly heals after meeting Sunshine. For several days, his memories start trickling back.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shipper on Deck: Quite a few of the local PRT for Dragon and Armsmaster, if inference is anything to go by.
    Piggot: Piggot noticed the faint sound of disappointment in Dragon’s voice, and made a mental note to adjust her bet in the shipping pools.
  • Shrines and Temples: Taylor and Sunny find an abandoned one and make a project out of fixing it up. And then they get the whole Asian community to help.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Mr. Henrick becomes this during the Barnes accusation of Taylor at her school.
      • This in turn makes Danny one for Alan Barnes's credibility as a character witness in Shadow Stalker's hearing.
    • Happens again when Armsmaster sends Velocity to ask around about Brushstroke. He promptly gets waylaid by the baachans, who distract him with dango. After Halloween, he also comments that he may either now have a girlfriend or is engaged, he's not entirely sure which.
    • Oni Lee becomes this to Coil's attempt to kidnap Dinah Alcott; when the girl runs into Pawprint Shrine to try and escape her kidnappers with Oni Lee in attendance, he makes short work of her pursuers and brings her home.
      • Extra credit for Coil trying to get rid of the obvious spanner, by getting the Undersiders to "officially" invite Brushstroke and Good Dog to the meeting at Somer's Rock, only for a different spanner to snarl up his plans.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Sunny has pulled both on several people, often in places a normal dog has no business or capability getting to.
  • Survival Mantra: Or Sanity Mantra in this case: Taylor has to repeat "Tea time is courtesy time" to herself to reassure herself that nothing will go wrong. Given the procession of insanity that is her life now, it's not surprising.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: After getting on bad terms with Sunshine, Lung finds himself and the ABB having to make amends to Taylor by means of monetary renovations. Between buying up the land for the Miko, and her new ideas of legitimately building up businesses around the shrine, Lung soon has this opinion - that even if the ABB will be much better off, he'll never get away from the Ōkami.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Things really haven't been going Emma's way at all. She was mugged, almost killed, latched on to her rescuer Sophia as her new friend, abandoned and turned on her old friend Taylor to prove her strength, had her bullying confronted by the ABB, suddenly had Sophia removed when her Character Witness came under scrutiny, tried to find a new friend in Karen, only to find out that Karen was a Jorogumo wanting to eat her. Yuuta befriending her after rescuing her from said Jorogumo and not abandoning her was the first good thing that happened to her for a while, and it's taking some time for her to rearrange her thoughts.
  • Truce Zone: Pawprint Shrine, where peace is enforced through strength of will of the Miko Brushstroke and her Good Dog, and if that fails, divine retribution.
    • When Coil's men continue to pursue Dinah Alcott after she flees onto shrine grounds, Oni Lee kills the would-be kidnappers for violating the truce and walks the girl home. Then Lung goes after Coil personally, trapping Calvert between a timeline where he gets incinerated and one where he gets arrested by the PRT.
  • Wham Line: As early as chapter 2: "Amaterasu smiled."
  • The Unsmile: "{X} did not smile—he/she showed his/her teeth." Used twice in the the same scene with both Emma and Souta, after the former throws ink on Taylor and breaks her inkpot and the latter (and several other ABB members) confront her.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Upon seeing that Good Dog apparently dropped Brushstroke off at their hideout and ran off somewhere, Tattletale's power instantly garners Good Dog's plan to fully take out Coil and immediately runs for her computer to cut off Coil's electronic escape plans.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Thanks to the influence of the baachans, Taylor is slowly adopting the mannerisms of one during Shrine Business. How else would she manage to chastise Lung for taking credit for declaring the shrine neutral ground in front of the Protectorate?
    • Or when she convinces Dauntless to let her away from questioning at the rig and get to hosting Oni Lee at the shrine by simply asking if he's going to make her late for tea.
  • You and What Army?: Chessman's powers make him perfect at pulling it off.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Implied in the later chapters, as more of the Asian immigrants and refugees find out about the shrine, and Sunny's true nature. The presence of onryo and other Japanese beings of myth are reported throughout the Asian quarters.
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