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The Dark Titans duology is a Teen Titans/Ranma ½ crossover by Lathis. The series consists of two fics: The Titans and the Lost Boy, written from 2006-2007, and Dark Titans, started in 2007 and still being updated, with the most recent chapter being posted May 31, 2011. The premise is very simple: take Jump City, insert the Nerima Wrecking Crew. Set to liquefy, serve chilled. In execution, on the other hand, it's actually a complex work.
The Titans and the Lost Boy begins with H.I.V.E. taking an interest in the legends of Jusenkyo and the Titans following them out to the Bayankala Mountain Range. By sheer coincidence, the Titans cross paths with Ryouga, who demonstrates his abilities by blowing up Cinderblock and helping the team take care of H.I.V.E. After a stopover in the Amazon village to repair the T-ship, the Titans return home and Ryouga goes back to his wandering...
...only to run headlong into Brother Blood.
From there the story kicks into high gear when Blood brainwashes Ryouga and uses his knowledge to target members of the Nerima Wrecking Crew for further "recruitment"\x9D, drawing the main cast of Ranma 1/2 into the action as they either unwillingly join H.I.V.E. Academy or scramble desperately to find their kidnapped friends and rivals. Meanwhile the Titans are faced with the unenviable position of being the only thing standing between Jump City and an army of brainwashed martial artists.
The story continues in Dark Titans, which changes things up a bit; instead of focusing on a single chain of events, the story is split up into distinct arcs, with each arc focusing on a different group of characters following the aftermath of TALB's grand finale with bits of the others thrown in occasionally for variety.
- Red XX?: Focuses on the Titans and their newest members dealing with the theft of the Red X suit. Also lays the groundwork for the other arcs via occasional focus on other groups.
- Big Trouble In Little Tokyo: The sudden appearance of Brushogun forces Ranma to assemble his own Super Hero team to deal with an enemy he can't possibly handle on his own. This is the most famous and downright brilliant part of the story, with some Leaning on the Fourth Wall for extra flavour.
- This Ain't A Scene: Cologne matches wits with Lex Luthor, but Jinx and Happosai are in town as well...
- Titan Rising: Ryouga discovers a way to resurrect Terra, but her control issues are worse than ever and she's going to need a mentor. Meanwhile, Jinx and Happosai continue their training trip across DC America, setting their sights on Gotham City as the ideal place to test Jinx's skills.
- Wedding Party: The Titans attempt to prevent Starfire from being married off while Blackfire makes a bid for the throne, Ryouga and Terra go camping, and Speedy learns the consequences of disrespecting others.
After Dark Titans comes Reflections Lost on a Dark Road, a crossover fic written by Lathis and Cap'n Chryssalid. It is also an extremely well-written fanfic, but is initially far darker and more disturbing than what came before.
In addition to the above, The Titans And The Lost Boy is now being rewritten in the form of a webcomic with Lathis doing the story and Lavender-Ice covering artwork. The first few strips can be found here.
This fic contains examples of the following:
- 20% More Awesome: "Yeah, dude, that was like, seventy percent as awesome as Terra's 'Stonami'! … Maybe sixty five percent."
- Aliens Are Bastards: The Psions.
- And I Must Scream: Played with during the "Titan Rising" arc. When Terra first regains consciousness after being de-petrified, one of her first thoughts before she managed to open her eyes was wondering if she had somehow been turned to stone but retained her conscious mind. Of course, she actually had been turned to stone, but wasn't conscious while petrified.
- Angst Nuke: Ryouga's perfect shishi houkodan
- Anti-Hero: DT Ryouga, Raven, and Ranma are types II.
- Apocalypse Maiden: Raven, just like in Teen Titans.
- The Apprentice: Terra becomes Ryouga's in order to control her significantly increased powers.
- Jinx becomes Happosai's apprentice.
- The Atoner: Terra, Ryouga
- Batman Gambit: Cologne pulls one off to demonstrate how outdated the customs of Juketsuzoku are. Nabiki pulls one off to escape H.A.E.Y.P. Academy, defeat the Headmaster, and obtain everything she needs to start her own team of supervillains. Cologne pulls one off to avoid working with Happosai. Lex Luthor pulls one off to obtain an army of meta-martial artists.
- Battle Aura: Ranma, Raven, Ryouga, Jinx, Starfire, Terra, Happosai, Brother Blood, Cologne... It might just be easier to list the characters that don't have a battle aura at some point in the story.
- Black Magician Girl: Jinx and Terra.
- Born Unlucky: Jinx. Abandoned as a child, taken in by Headmaster, raised to be a supervillain, obtained superpowers that work by injuring her (which she used so frequently that she stopped noticing the pain), causes bad luck to occur to herself and those around her, etc.
- Brainwashed: Ryouga, Mousse, Tatewaki, Nabiki, and Kasumi (but not Happosai, who was just bribed).
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Ryouga after the Headmaster attempts to increase his aggressiveness.
- Brick Joke: Fairly early in Dark Titans, Cyborg reveals to Ryouga that the T-Brella has a helicopter option. They then proceed to discuss the helicopter option until it drives Robin nuts. It is then never mentioned nor used again for the (current) duration of Dark Titans.
- Calling Your Attacks: Pretty much every member of the Nerima Wrecking Crew with a "special move" does this. Even Robin and Starfire occasionally do it.
- Later parodied by Cyborg.
Cyborg: Sonic Cannon Blast!
- The Cameo: Brushogun draws up copies of Sailor Saturn, EVA-01, Tetsuo, and Son Goku to fight Ranma and the crew for the final battle of the Tokyo arc.
- Chekhov's Skill: An indirect example. Early on in TALB, Cologne enlists Starfire's help to teach Ryouga the Hiryu Shoten Ha but doesn't bother to teach him the basic steps, saying that Ryouga already knows how it's done because he helped Ranma develop the same skill earlier in the main series. Sure enough, Starfire winds up using the techniques she learned by training with Ryouga to perform her own Hiryu Shoten Ha before the series is over.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The source of Brushogun's massive power-up. As opposed to his canon incarnation, Brush realizes at one point that his powers are at their most potent when he copies the work of another artist because people recognize and believe in those copies, giving them much greater power than any of Brushogun's own original creations, which is also a comment about the nature of fanfiction, with common reader dislike for any original characters.
- Collapsing Lair: Brother Blood activates a self-destruct mechanism in H.A.E.Y.P. after sealing everyone in the obstacle course with all the safeties deactivated in an attempt to take out the Titans and the Nerima Wrecking Crew at the same time.
- Combat Tentacles: Just one of many fun features of H.A.E.Y.P.'s obstacle course.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Billy Numerous vs Shampoo. No contest.
- Crack Pairing: Jinx/Ryouga
- Crossover: Teen Titans + Ranma ½. Technically, it's also now a massive crossover, including the worlds of Batman, Superman, The Justice League, and at least a mention of existing manga/anime (See The Cameo).
- Crossover Ship: Jinx/Ryouga, Raven/Ryouga, Starfire/Ryouga
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Mainly Ranma versus Brushogun; and Nabiki versus the Titans and Brother Blood; but there are plenty of more general examples, including:
- The final battle against Brother Blood.
- Kasumi escapes from a hostage situation by cursing.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Ranma vs Goku in the Tokyo arc. Ranma only survives because Brushogun copied Goku's character a little too well, and Goku calls off the fight as soon as he realizes Ranma isn't a bad guy.
- Dark Action Girl: Jinx
- Dark Is Not Evil: Raven
- David Versus Goliath: All the final battles of Big Trouble In Little Tokyo.
- Deadly Training Area: The Titans and H.A.E.Y.P. Academy use dangerous obstacle courses for training.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: When Ranma, Ryouga, and Raven take the Headmaster on 3 to 1 at the end of Titans and the Lost Boy. Normally, any of them would be able to defeat him (and in fact, Ryouga had, earlier in the story). However, all of them are half-dead at the time, making it a fairly even fight.
- The Empath: Raven
- Eviler Than Thou: Headmaster teaches Nabiki the hard way what it means to be truly evil.
- Evil Laugh: Ryouga indulges in some while alone in Terra's cavern. Midway through, he stops to verify that he is indeed alone, then continues.
- Evil Plan: The Headmaster plans to build power using a school for supervillains. Brushogun plans to make bad guys using his superpowers to cause destruction. Nabiki plans to betray the Headmaster and escape with four of his most useful students while the Teen Titans and the Nerima Wrecking Crew defeat him for her. Lex Luthor plans to obtain an army of meta-martial artists. Probably to use against Superman.
- Eye Beams: Starfire
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Kasumi
- For Want of a Nail: Because of the Teen Titans' influence on the Wrecking Crew, various changes are made to Teen Titan storylines. Examples? Red X never gets the suit. Kasumi does. Ranma meets Lieutenant Daizo. Daizo never ends up controlling Brushogen or turns evil. Anything else? Oh yes. Ryouga rescues Terra.
- Genre Savvy: Lieutenant Uehara, Ranma, Akane, and Brushogun during the "Big Trouble in Little Tokyo" arc.
- Jinx regularly attempts to predict Headmaster's lines just before he says them in The Titans and the Lost Boy, and usually comes very close.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Ryouga, Starfire, Raven, Terra, and Jinx.
- Got Volunteered: How Ryouga ended up training Terra.
- Growing the Beard: Dark Titans starts off kind of slowly because Lathis is using the Red X arc to lay the groundwork for the rest of the fic. Things really take off near the end of the arc and continuing into Big Trouble In Little Tokyo.
- Heroic Vow: Played for laughs. Ryouga repeatedly makes vows during the "Titan Rising" arc that he repeatedly fails to accomplish in the timetable he sets.
- Heroic Willpower: Various examples throughout the fics, but the battle with Brother Blood at the end of The Titans and the Lost Boy is particularly notable. Heroic Willpower is about the only thing keeping Ranma, Ryouga, and Raven standing during the fight.
- Hope Spot: Mostly for the relationships in Dark Titans. Every time it looks like one girl has an advantage over the others in any given Love Dodecahedron, something happens to either smack them down or elevate another girl to similar status. Even Robin/Starfire isn't totally safe from this.
- I Need to Go Iron My Dog:
Robin: "My crime files really need alphabetizing."
Starfire: "I believe that it is my turn for which to patrol our fair city!"
Cyborg: "Ah . . . I think I left the nuclear pile sitting out again!"
Beast Boy: "Look, a distraction!"
Kasumi: "Oh my! Look at the time, I have to go do the shopping."
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Teen Titans and Ranma ½ are completely unrelated. They also take place on different sides of the planet, which is how they could theoretically happen at the same time.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Jusenkyo curses fall under this, so Ranma, Ryouga, Mousse, and Shampoo all count. Gizmo and Mammoth also manage to acquire Jusenkyo curses early on in the story.
- The Jinx: Jinx
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Played with. When Brushogun summons his minions for the final battle of the Tokyo arc, Ranma gets an epic Oh Crap moment when he sees Son Goku on the opposite team.
- Lady of Black Magic: Raven
- Laughing Mad: Jinx near the end of The Titans and the Lost Boy.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Brushogun
- Lethal Chef: Starfire and Akane
- Also Raven, although partially justified in this case due to trying to use ingredients labelled in Chinese.
- Like Brother and Sister: Starfire and Ryouga, but they have considered a relationship at times, as they get along well, and were initially presented as almost exactly equal in strength.
- Love Dodecahedron: Ryouga has apparently picked up Ranma's "luck"\x9D with relationships.
- Magnificent Bastard: Nabiki takes to her new supervillain status like a duck to water, even planning and executing a rebellion of H.I.V.E.'s students against Brother Blood right under his nose while manipulating the Titans and what's left of the NWC into helping her. She even decides to stay a villain and becomes the tactical head of the H.I.V.E. Five when the rest of the NWC goes back to Japan or joins up with super hero teams.
- Meaningful Echo: During Ryouga's hiryu shoten ha training, Starfire says "I am sorry friend Ryouga, but I must do my utmost to thrash you soundly." Later, when Ryouga has been brainwashed into fighting the Teen Titans, Starfire says the same line just before she takes him on alone.
- Beast Boy comments that he's fit as a fiddle when Terra wants to head down to the gym to watch Ryouga train so that he can accompany her, to which Kasumi replies "If you are implying that you are as healthy as a delicately crafted piece of wood being held together by so much string and glue . . . then yes, I suppose you are." Then, after Terra nearly kills Beast Boy, upon awakening, Beast Boy uses the same line.
- Meta Fiction: The Brushogun arc.
- Monumental Damage: In the "Big Trouble in Little Tokyo" arc, Evangelion Unit 1 destroys the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
- Most Common Superpower: Raven and Starfire. Notably, not Jinx.
- No Sense of Direction: Ryouga. Fortunately, his Hive communication device came with a GPS.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Kasumi. She appears to be The Team Normal, although she is the Supreme Chef and is studying medicine. Secretly however, she is a better hacker than Gizmo and is the one who stole the Red X suit.
- Ominous Multiple Screens: Played for laughs in The Titans and the Lost Boy. When the Headmaster heads to the security suit, there are several screens that would normally display what's going on all over the academy. Unfortunately, Nabiki had Gizmo gut the system, so none of the screens actually show anything.
- Opposites Attract: Ryoga is increasingly paired off with Jinx, who, prior to the events of Titans and the Lost Boy and Dark Titans, was a super-villain, and is still very antagonistic.
- Otaku: Gizmo displays a few signs of this.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Robin confesses to feeling like this in regards to Ryouga. Before, he was the martial artist in comparison to teammates with superpowers. Now, he's the weaker martial artist.
- Pair the Spares: Ryu and Natsume, or Ryu and Ukyo. Either of which makes sense, although the latter leaves Konatsu alone.
- The Paragon: Goku. Generally Cyborg, and handled so well that one can't help but wonder if DC Comics is now making him into a Breakout Character because of it.
- Perky Goth: Jinx
- Person of Mass Destruction: Terra after being de-petrified.
- Pettanko: Jinx and Terra
- Power Creep, Power Seep:
- Initially, in Titans and the Lost Boy, Ryouga (and by extension, the rest of the Ranma crew), as well as Starfire and Cyborg are all drastically reduced in strength. As the story progressed, the author has been slowly been bringing them back up to their levels displayed in the animated series source materials. Ryouga and Starfire are represented as close in strength as a concious choice by the author, as, although her greatest blatant feat of strength was far beneath manga Ryouga's, she was sometimes able to challenge Cyborg. Cyborg, whose top showing in the animated series include tearing up an office building and using it as a bludgeon, which matches Lime keeping open a closing ravine, is presented as ten times stronger than either of them. It would be about 3 times stronger compared with manga Ryouga, but that may be irrelevant.
- Since the author is using the Ranma anime and Titan's animated series as alpha canon (for observable combat feats, as opposed to trying to extrapolate from static page images), and the Ranma manga and Titans Go comic as Beta canon, quickly followed by the DCAU and other animated DC shows as third canon, followed finally by the actual DC comic lines for the lowest level of canon, this means that although the speed and skill feats for the Ranma crew are still superior to the Titan's cast, unlike the manga's supersonic speed and unearthly skill, it is not by an insurmountable level. Again, this was done as a balance issue, as the manga has showings far in excess of those shown in the anime, although comics Cyborg and Starfire were actually usually presented as far less physically extreme than their (much more compelling) animated series counterparts.
- As a reverse counterpoint, another notable case of this trope is Starfire's flight speed. Despite her ability to fly FTL, both in the animated show and in the comics, she has been dropped to sub relativistic speeds in regards to Reflections.
- Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner:
Starfire: "I am sorry friend Ryouga, but I must do my utmost to thrash you soundly."
Starfire: "Tameran ... is not... DEAD!
- Precision F-Strike: Kasumi. And it was FREAKING AWESOME.
- Rescued From The Buttmonkey Heap: As one of the page author's friends put it, "Look, Kunou is evolving! Kunou evolved into Large Ham!"
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Apparently a victim of a larger vocabulary than the author can spell; at one point Ranma is shocked when an opponent with a hole blown through them fails to have a "grizzly" wound; another time the reason the Joketsuzoku fail to be impressed with money because they're "aesthetic" warriors.
- Running Gag: Used magnificently. Nobody can lay a hand on Kasumi while she's at HIVE to the point where even Brother Blood is affected by her Yamato Nadeshiko-ness. So when Blood foils Nabiki's Batman Gambit by putting an energy blade to Kasumi's neck and telling Nabiki she's not ruthless enough to be a real supervillain like himself, it comes completely out of left field for both the readers and the characters.
- Sassy Black Woman: Bumblebee
- Secret Stab Wound: Jinx near the end of Titans and the Lost Boy.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism: H.A.E.Y.P. Academy has one.
- Ship Sinking: Ryouga finally came clean to Akane about being P-chan before the story began and got a chewing out to the tune of "I never want to see you again!"\x9D for his courage. While Akane later felt bad about her reaction and apologized, by that time Ryouga had moved on and started to form his own Love Dodecahedron.
- Shipper on Deck: Kasumi for Ryouga/Jinx. To the extent that she has been subtly sabotaging Raven's budding relationship with Ryouga. Cyborg and Ranma are also pro Ryouga/Jinx, although they aren't actually interfering. Starfire ships Ryouga/Raven, and does what she can to support that relationship.
- Spanner in the Works: The only reason Blood didn't try to recruit Ranma was because Ryouga gave him an inaccurate assessment of his skills.
- Actually, Ryouga gave him an accurate assessment of Ranma's skills. They didn't recruit Ranma because of his presence potentially leading to infighting between the other recruits. That said, Ryouga not mentioning Akane on the list of Nerima's fighters does fall under this trope.
- Split Personality: Kasumi shows signs of this at the end of the "Red XX" arc.
- Stay With The Super-Beings: TALB ends with the Nerima Wrecking Crew breaking up into about five or six different groups; Ranma and Akane go back to Japan, Nabiki takes off to lead the HIVE Five, Kasumi and Ryouga stick with the Titans, the Kunou and Ukyou join Titans East, the Amazons try to go home but get derailed into visiting Metropolis, and Happosai takes Jinx under his wing and goes on a training trip that eventually takes him to Gotham City.
- Strangled by the Red String: Used as a plot point. Brother Blood literally brainwashes Ryouga and Jinx into being in love with each other.
- Stupidity-Inducing Attack: Brother Blood briefly considers doing the "drooling vegetable" variation to Ryouga, but ultimately passes on that in favor of making him a slave.
- Superpower Meltdown: Ryouga's uncontrolled perfect shishi houkodan near the end of Titans and the Lost Boy.
- Super Strength: Starfire is handled as a little stronger than Ryouga, and Cyborg as a little stronger than Lime.
- Supreme Chef: Kasumi
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Jinx's message to Ryouga on the cusp of Happi's test.
- Team Mom: Kasumi
- Took a Level In Badass: Everyone. Yes, even Kasumi.
- Training From Hell: Jinx's training under Happosai.
- Unequal Pairing: Ryoga and Raven ever getting intimate would result in him unwillingly crushing her body while she fried his brain. Cyborg and Kasumi also qualifies. In terms of personalities they should work out great, but he largely is and looks like a machine. If he remodelled into a human-looking body with extreme movement fine-tuning it could work though.
- Wimp Fight: Despite being skilled combatants, Ryouga and Starfire manage this when their grapple degrades into pinching, biting, and hair pulling.