Brand New Day by Rio Azules
- Recommended by NKSCF
- Pairing(s): None mentioned, but subtle signs of Shu/Lala-Ru.
- Synopsis: Following his return from Hellywood, Shu tries to adjust back to life back home in Japan, but finds that he can't help but feel that no one enjoys life as much as he does. Attempts to reconnect with his family, teachers, and students leaves Shu unable to fit in, especially around women, who he can't help but see as "fragile" compared to the ones he met in the other world.
- Comments: An excellently written one-shot that shows a realistic portrayal of Shu's inability to fit back into the home he'd always known before trying to save Lala-Ru. Spectacular characterization and plot development flow from this story, crafting a wonderful story and an effective followup to the series itself.
- Recommended by Keene The Man
- Pairing(s): Pairs Sara Ringwalt with Original Character Matthew King, but does little beyond that, save for very subtle signs of Shu/Lala-Ru, but those are debatable at best.
- Synopsis: To celebrate his girlfriend's birthday, Matthew "Matt" King takes Sara Ringwalt out to dinner, but after that, they find themselves captured by a group of people from the future who claim that Sara is a person named Lala-Ru. Working together, Matt and Sara try to find a way out of Hellywood, finding more about themselves and the world that they have been forced into along the way.
- Comments: I have a confession to make: I despise anime. I really do. So when I say that this was brilliant, I mean it. I first found out about Now and Then, Here and There thanks to this fic, which was written by the same guy who wrote Breaking the Deal, a Spider-Man fan-fic that introduced me to his writing. Curious, I checked out the anime online first and then read this, being wonderfully surprised by its intricate plot and wonderful characterization, especially giving back stories and even names to some of the characters that didn't get as much screen time as the main characters. It contains a lot of Biblical references, sometimes a bit much, but more often than not they tend to work out in the fic's favor. Definitely comes highly recommended by me.
- Caellach Tiger Eye: A small piece of advice, however, for anyone who cares: the overall plot does not change. That is to say, everyone who lives and dies, and the final results of the story, are almost exactly the same for the characters (besides the OC lead, of course). The effect of the writing is mostly strong - no, excellent - on its thematic focus, but do not go in expecting the plot itself to be altered in any way. Subjectively, I consider writing fanfiction in such a way pointless, but that doesn't mean it's bad - just not what I search for in fanfiction (my preference is AU). If the aforementioned spoilered information disagrees with your likings then this fic may not be for you, but it is beyond a doubt an excellent read from an objective perspective. Take from that what you will.