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I rose to my feet with a start, suddenly full of resolve.I smiled. “You and I have to go on an adventure.”
“I guess that pretty much decides it, then.”
“Erm… decides what?”
— Cirno & Purple Steve, chapter 3
Cirno & Purple Steve is the story of Cirno Excalibur, who found a pole in his back yard, got struck by weird lightning, and went with his new talking pole to go fight the demons.
CAPS is a Web Serial Novel created by Conrad and Shade Collins, written by the former, and illustrated by Victor Collins. It updates on Mondays, though the schedule has been inconsistent.
The story is told in Anachronic Order, jumping between the main story of Cirno and Purple Steve's demon-slaying adventure, backstories, and the story of Kelvin and Blue Bob. The main story itself is also rife with erratic Time Skips and occasional skipped chapters.
Tropes used in CAPS
- A Boy and His X: Cirno and his Lightning Rod Thing.
- Aliens Are Bastards: The Furrow Dubs pretty much epitomize this trope.
- Alien Invasion: See above.
- A Minor Kidroduction: Opens with Cirno telling a story about how much he hated mowing the lawn as a kid.
- Anachronic Order: As detailed above.
- Backstory: All "Part Negative" chapters tell pieces of the backstory.
- Black Comedy: There sure are a lot of dead people in this comedy...
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In chapter 2, “It’s a long story, with roots in childhood trauma. I don’t feel like telling it again, so I suggest you refer to Chapter One.”
- Again in chapter 7, also in response to a question about why Cirno was holding a garden hose attachment in a rainstorm. “Long story. I recommend consulting Chapter Two.” The fourth wall is rather flimsy in this series all-around.
- In chapter 1degreeR: "Unexpectedly—unless you’re a Cirno and Purple Steve fan—the staff responded."
- Brilliant but Lazy: Cirno explains in chapter 5 that he didn't want to do schoolwork growing up because he preferred to spend his time drawing pictures and didn't care about school. When he was threatened by his father to do better in school or get a job, he went all-out and graduated with an above-4.0 GPA and many scholarships, and was the class valedictorian. During his graduation speech, he said, "can I go back to drawing pictures now?"
- Call Back: The end of chapter 1degreeR calls back to the end of chapter 1.
- Character Filibuster: Cirno is known to break into these on a whim, and even starts the story with one.
- Crossing the Desert: To a minor extent, Cirno does this in search of Demons, though he's more preoccupied with Super Mario Land.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Combined with Harmful to Minors with Cirno. Everyone in his family seems to have died in some kind of terrifying way, mostly when he was quite young, and his best friend in middle school was a psycho killer.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Cirno hangs out and plays Dungeons and Dragons with Fullmoon Scarlet shortly after learning that the latter is a horrible murderer.
- Disregard That Statement: When Cirno admits that the whole beginning of chapter 5 is a lie
- Distracting Disambiguation: Subverted—Cirno interrupts Purple Steve for using the correct term, "Furrow Dubs," asking that he use the term "Demons" because it "sounds better."
- Dysfunction Junction: No one in this story exhibits socially acceptable behavior, usually because their friends are all dead or insane.
- Energy Beings: Purple Steve is a being made of Pure Energy.
- Energy Weapon: Purple Steve can be used as one, most often in a way similar to that of a Laser Blade.
- Establishing Character Moment: Claire Itou is introduced through an enraged internet flame war which basically displays her permanent attitude (pissed).
- Fullmoon Scarlet: "“Say, Fullmoon? Is, uh… is that blood?” I asked, very shaken, but still resolute enough to humor myself. “Yes, Cirno. Yes it is.” And with that, he stepped into the room, took off his shoes and backpack, and plopped himself down on one of the crimson sofas. “Come on in,” he beckoned."
- Fantastically Indifferent: Cirno most of the time. In response to Fullmoon's Establishing Character Moment, he details: "Upon sights like this, some people are unable to retain their rational mind. They think, “my God, this child is the spawn of hell!” or, “I’m going to be killed!” or simply, “AAAAAAAAH!!!” These, however, were not my reactions."
- Friendless Background: Cirno didn't have any friends until meeting Fullmoon Scarlet and the Dungeons and Dragons group in middle school.
- Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue: Justified in chapter 11 because it actually takes place in a featureless plane.
- Grail in the Garbage: While not special in and of itself, the garden hose attachment that Purple Steve takes over was a random piece of garbage tossed into Cirno's overly long grass. Other good stuff is found there as well, such as a Game Boy and a hollowed-out moose skull that Cirno turns into an instrument.
- Hand Wave: We know what Purple Steve is and what he can do. Why and how he is and can, we don't need to know.
- High-Pressure Blood: During fight scenes.
- Interrupted Suicide: Subverted in that Kelvin does actually die in his introduction, but is immediately resurrected by Blue Bob.
- It Runs on Nonsensoleum: Purple Steve. Also, explanations as to what the Furrow Dubs are and do.
- Kubrick Stare: Fullmoon Scarlet's permanent expression.
- Let Me Get This Straight...: Cirno uses this in chapter 2 during Purple Steve's chain of Infodumps.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Purple Steve is primarily a lightning bolt and can do pretty much anything you imagine lightning doing so long as there's a conductive current nearby.
- Like Is, Like, a Comma: Blue Bob uses this constantly, others occasionally.
- Limited Social Circle: Cirno's pool of friends seems to consist solely of people who were in his old Dungeons and Dragons group and former friends of his late brother.
- Mamet Speak: Often close, and definitely in Cirno and Claire's conversation from chapter 7.
- Mook Face Turn: Cirno uses this in chapter 11.
- Mr. Exposition: Purple Steve, being the only one who can explain most of the story's supernatural aspects.
- Mysterious Employer: Whoever Narita Izaya was talking to at the end of chapter 8.
- One-Man Army: Cirno is this in chapter 6.
- Perpetual Expression: Fullmoon's Kubrick Stare.
- Phlebotinum Battery: With Blue Bob, Kelvin has superpowers. Without him, his heart will stop.
- Playing Both Sides: Narita Izaya seems to be doing this.
- Plot Parallel: Kelvin and Blue Bob run an obvious parallel to Cirno and Purple Steve
- Pop-Cultured Badass: When he isn't playing Pokémon and spouting lengthy anecdotes about why he eats Cheerios, Cirno single-handedly massacres entire armies of demons.
- Posthumous Character: Cirno's older brother is quickly becoming one.
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Subverted. The dialog is fairly heavy with realistic diction.
- Rebellious Spirit: Cirno is one to a point of chaotic neutrality.
- Rousing Speech: A really strange one at the end of chapter 5.
- Serial Killer: Fullmoon Scarlet.
- Shout-Out: In chapter 1, a shout-out to Pokémon Red and Blue: "I found a Game Boy in working condition, which posed a dangerous distraction when I’d already kicked Gary Oak’s ass before remembering why I was outside."
- In chapter 2, the Tape Man story is based on real events surrounding the series creators, as they'd used a similar tape man in a series of web videos called Project Awesomeness.
- In chapter 3: "The “news,” as it has a nerve to call itself, is, in the great words of Perry Farrell, “just another show.”" references the lyrics to Ted, Just Admit It... by Janes Addiction from their Nothing's Shocking album.
- Also from chapter 3, "It sounded like the usual kind of loony story you might get from people hauling ass down Route 95," is a shout-out to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
- Shout-Out Theme Naming: All of the characters are named after combinations of the creators' favorite characters from other stories. For instance, Cirno Excalibur is named after Cirno from Touhou and Excalibur from Soul Eater.
- Each chapter title is named after a song that the author was listening to while writing the chapter.
- Sidekick: Purple Steve.
- Sir Swearsalot: Claire Itou, although everyone in the story swears frequently.
- Starts with a Suicide: The Kelvin and Blue Bob side-plot.
- Super Detailed Fight Narration: Compared to the rest of the story, which has very little in the way of describing anything.
- Take That: In chapter 2, Cirno describes his experience watching Nickelodeon after finding out how much more popular it is than Cartoon Network. To put it lightly, he didn't care for it.
- Talking to the Dead: Cirno ended up doing this when he was locked in a room for a week with Fullmoon's dead parents.
- The Insomniac: Claire.
- The Nineties: CAPS is set in 1998.
- The Tower: The first demon base that Cirno finds is in Chase Tower, the tallest building in Houston, Texas.
- The War Sequence: Chapter 6.
- Unreliable Narrator: Cirno, to such an extent that he outright admits to lying about certain things.
- Unspoken Plan: Used in chapter 11. An odd case in that there is no set-up for the plan.
- Unusual Chapter Numbers: Chapters in Part Negative use negative numbers relative to how far before the story's beginning they take place. Chapters in Part Temperature end in DegreesR, the measurement for temperature on the Kelvin Scale.
- Unusual Dysphemism: Many of them, especially from Claire, whose first line includes the phrase "fuckstick bitchMcNugget."
- Volleying Insults: If Claire doesn't like you, a conversation with her will likely end this way.