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Stars Above Discussion Thread:

 1 Fringe Benefits, Fri, 20th Jan '12 7:49:57 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Greetings, everyone. This is the discussion thread for mine and Forzare's ongoing Lucky Star/Puella Magi Madoka Magica crossover fanfic, Stars Above. Since the idea for the fic was born on the TV Tropes forum, I figured it only appropriate to turn to the same forum for questions/comments from our readers.

Those of you who haven't read the fic, or haven't gotten around to the latest chapter, the link is provided below.

Warning: This thread will contain spoilers.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7371211/

edited 26th Jan '12 11:30:09 AM by FringeBenefits

 2 Rareitor, Fri, 20th Jan '12 10:11:26 PM from the house of cards. Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Mad Doctor
Should I edit this post with my thoughts on each chapter so far? It would be so that it is all compiled here and not on KHSAD I mean, or would that be unnecessary?

EDIT: WALL OF TEXT GO!

-SA chapter 1 - 3

nothing

-SA chapter 4 ici

Well, I do have to praise you for keeping such good flow in this chapter. I could easily follow both timelines, and neither one of them was more interesting than the other, even so I suppose it's because of the similarity of both scenarios. This similarity did have leave a small issue at the end, the points that cut of each timeline were radically different in mood, although both have closure within. This is not unexpected considering the setting they happen in, but the fact that they were similar to begin with, as I said, does cause the ending to clash and shatter the sense of 2 stories told simultaneously for a reason.

I should add that this is a VERY strong nitpick on my part, because it could be that next chapter rekindles the sense of importance they both had. The "problem" in specific is: while Kagami and Homura's story cut off with an incredibly interesting question and no answer, the Oriko/Kasumi/Madoka (because of the stories they are from) did not and, indeed, had a conclusion in comparison. I can see this making sense because of WHO the story is really about of course.

Please note that I probably am saying completely stupid and senseless things, you should be wary when reading.

SA chapter 5 ici

This chapter of Stars Above is very well developed on the side of Mitakihara, it all makes sense in context. On the other hand, Ryouou, I felt the very first part (Kagami and Homura after the battle) was rushing for some reason, as if it were something that needed to be finalized in some sort of hurry. The nurse's office scene did feel correct, both Tsukasa and Konata as far as I know them (read: nothing canon) were proper and felt natural. I cannot say anything regarding the nurse unfortunately, except there was a strange feeling of excessive leniency; I am unsure if this is her character or just your interpretation of her.

The very last part - which I have to say feels like a staple of yours, and one I personally enjoy - was something that within reason and context (despite the ambiguous nature of Demons in comparison to Witches within the Puella Magi universe - not counting Oriko since I haven't read it) feels new and maybe invasive. My opinion is that you may have introduced more than was strictly necessary regarding this group, that may be slightly distracting, as much as villain development would matter in the story. I have a question, it may sound random but, did you think of the Narrators when writing that?

-Addendum from later comment(I want to keep this, for later analysis maybe)

The Witches, albeit of similar sources, are individuals through and through (familiars don't really make an exception). Demons however, are supposedly embodiments of emotion or a source of energy given semi-individual form, as such they are all connected in a sense - born of the same thing. Plus, should they grow by feeding and so gain more cognitive abilities, evolution is no alien phenomenon and therefore could take place.

-SA chapter 6 ici

I am scared, and you are so going to get flamed for going after Miyuki this fast. Also, the "doppelganger in the mirror" thing I haven't seen in quite a long while.

I feel that you wrote Kagami's feelings as love too early; she didn't sound as confused about what they where, but she was about the fact that it "felt" like love. As you also wrote, she hadn't had that much experience before, so it feels like the "love" wasn't as ambiguous as the situation would suggest - maybe it's just a personal nitpick or preference, but eh, I might as well say it.

The scene were Homura jumps through the multiverse's seams was very realistic I'd say. There is a small chance that people would see it as exaggerated though, and I could see why, but it is somewhat of justified by a "my powers weren't mean to do that" logic, which in turn can be analog to pushing a hastily modded engine past its limit (don't take this literally, I may just be spouting bullshit in my ignorance).

Another thing, you should totally write an original post-apoc story sometime.

-Addendum after a reply from you here

(Kagami’s feelings)I see... and I understand, it's more of the fact that the only possibility or explanation for the unknown feelings (given then and there, even with Konata having spoken about it not that long before) was downright love and there wasn't much "what could this be?, this? or this? or that? or LOVE!?" which MAY (notice this is VERY subjective) have been more realistic, so to speak.

(Homura’s jump through multiverse)Overclocking does sound pretty accurate now that you say it, because of the overheating and excess energy used or released, in that it does not necessarily mean permanent damage but it does indeed put a strain on the system, device, etcetera. Since the energy has nowhere specific to go the pain and heaviness felt by Homura seem adequate; I could see people reading it and feeling you exaggerated, though.

-SA chapter 7

Can’t say much about the very first part since I barely know about anything outside of Innocent Malice canon, but then again I’d have to read it all again if I wanted to remember everything. What I can say is that the deception used was unnervingly natural, both considering your style and the PM tendencies –especially Kazumi Magica.

The nurse’s office scene was interesting to me. Kagami seemed to be more heavily burdened here than shocked and with questions running through her head nonstop; I think it was an interesting contrast to what had happened up until then – can’t comment much on the other 2 girls’, or Misao since she IS awake, “bonding” moment.

I have to admit that I like the way you portray Madoka through Homura, it’s always so natural how Homu speaks to her like her god… and her friend.

There was something strange about the Tsukasa & (not)Miyuki part. While I do understand the intentions and purpose in it from the Demon’s perspective, Tsukasa’s reactions and trains of thought felt rushed in places, like they seemed to go somewhere and then suddenly change. It is particularly on her first overreaction and the very last couple of sentences on her part that it feels this way. This may be just how I see it, but it could be more of me not understanding Tsukasa’s personality and character enough; it could just be me over thinking it, or –incoming completely crazy statement on my part- maybe it’s Tsukasa who’s over thinking. (I have considered that some of her reactions might be affected by the Demon’s influence outside of natural means – magic that is)

One last thing: Oriko’s very last line really drives the point -in the story itself- that Homura is just as important as the Hiiragis, was it intentional? Or were you just giving an indirect nod and parallel to the other Oriko’s decision to send Homura through the space between dimensions and into the story’s main timeline?

-SA chapter 8

Did you exaggerate Strike Witches through Konata on purpose? Or was that a small mistake? (the nopan part)

Now HERE I can see the Demon’s effect on Tsukasa better than at the end of last chapter. To make one of my weird and complicated analogies: last chapter I barely saw her drink a glass, now I see her drunk.

Dawn of the First Day: 216 hours remain – and no, I couldn’t resist making that reference (as inaccurate as it may be)

When Kagami asks Homura about her feeling lonely, her answer wavers because she misses Madoka or, due to Kaname’s current nature, because she isn’t so and yet is?

Morning Rescue… I C WUT U DID THAR

I have to be honest and say I don’t really know what effect you were going for with the inverse relation of “time left till the end” vs “Homura opening up”. It is relatively predictable as you wrote it, but somehow it does not feel like it had a particularly interesting purpose aside from giving the reader the impression that while Kagami and Homura were bonding, their end was edging closer each passing day. It actually might have had a bigger impact if it was not advertised this way. On that note, the transition between that and Tsukasa’s impending arrival, alongside the chasing Demons, might have been just a bit too abrupt, but I can understand it from Kagami’s perspective, as her sister would indeed take over her thoughts with such news.

Mayor props on the Tsukasa death scene, oh, and the battle too.

That very last moment, before Homura destroys the last relatively solid string of hope in Kagami’s mind, when she starts thinking about how most MG shows work, I actually found morbidly funny; the Puella Magi series is not like every other MG show.

:3

edited 23rd Jan '12 10:44:05 AM by Rareitor

OH GOD WHY AM I A CAR!? - Forzare
 3 Fringe Benefits, Fri, 20th Jan '12 10:12:41 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Yeah, that would be helpful, thank you.
 4 Forzare, Sat, 21st Jan '12 3:53:47 PM from Hinamizawa
Reason and Madness
I still don't feel like I do enough for this story to get co-author status. :V

edited 21st Jan '12 3:54:44 PM by Forzare

 5 Fringe Benefits, Sat, 21st Jan '12 5:49:04 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
STOP THAT. The really interesting stuff about the Demons were your ideas.

@Rare:

RE: Chapter 8:

  • No, I did not intentionally misrepresent Strike Witches, that was a mistake on my part... but somehow I think it fits Konata to exaggerate like that. It's funnier that way, too, IMHO.
  • That's a terrific analogy about Tsukasa, I should totally use that.
  • I knew somebody was gonna make a Majora's Mask joke, so I'm not all that surprised that it was you. XP
  • Homura's lonliness is supposed to be a little ambiguous. There are a lot of different ways to feel lonely even when you're surrounded by friends... I sort of wanted to get across that her feelings about Madoka are complicated.
  • Kagami and Homura's bonding time: I wanted the "normalness" of their opening up to each other to contrast with the impending doom of the... timestamps, I guess you'd say? I wanted the reader to see that there was a friendship growing there, and possibly even a one-sided crush on Homura's part that she didn't completely understand, but what I didn't want was an "Oh, all of a sudden they're best friends/lovers" moment. I felt it was important to show that the relationship was gradual, and awkward at times.
  • "Morbidly funny" wasn't quite the reaction I was going for, but thank you for the complement anyway. I'll chalk that one up to your being certifiably insane. XP

edited 21st Jan '12 5:59:59 PM by FringeBenefits

 6 Fringe Benefits, Sun, 22nd Jan '12 9:10:28 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Chapter 9 is finished, I'm just waiting on Forz's final look-through before I post it.

This might me the most magnificently depressing thing I've ever written. ALL HAIL ME.
 7 Enthryn, Sun, 22nd Jan '12 9:30:52 PM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Ah, I look forward to it!

...but if you're exaggerating, I might be disappointed. "Magnificently depressing, " that's treading close to the domain of ones more expert in such a craft. Are you claiming such a thing, I wonder?

-beat-

Hm, that sounded ridiculous.
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 8 Fringe Benefits, Sun, 22nd Jan '12 9:38:48 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Well, Forz called the first half "depressing as fuck", and I managed to depress myself when I was writing it, so I think that bodes pretty well.
 9 Enthryn, Sun, 22nd Jan '12 9:49:12 PM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Very well. I'll be sure to hold it up to the standard of a hypothetical Bokurano/Lucky Star/Now and Then, Here and There darkfic-crossover, and I will never read anything you write again if it's less depressing than that.
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 10 Forzare, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 3:52:15 AM from Hinamizawa
Reason and Madness
ENTHRYN

Y U NO COMMENT ON CHAPTER 13

Fringe, I'm reading it now. You sent me the draft while I was asleep. :V
 11 Enthryn, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 7:44:27 AM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Ah, sorry! I don't really have much to say about it. It's a good chapter; the emotional breakdown was well-portrayed, and I like the timing of it, too. But it's a short chapter, so there's not a lot to comment on.
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 12 Fringe Benefits, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 8:47:39 AM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
And here it is... I sincerely hope it doesn't disappoint.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7371211/9/
 13 Enthryn, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 10:59:54 AM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Nope, the chapter didn't disappoint. That was pretty depressing, all right. I especially like the parallel with Sayaka that Homura makes.

Oh, and I've noticed that you're really good at writing emotions with the right level of subtlety. That's something that a lot of writers have trouble doing well.
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 14 Fringe Benefits, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 4:04:46 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Excellent, I'm glad you, er... enjoyed? Were depressed by? Had your expectations met? Help me out here. XP

You're not kidding most writers have trouble with subtlety. Half my questions to Forz and my Tasakeru co-author are usually something along the lines of "Is this too much? Is he/she overreacting? Does this feel real?", etc.

edited 23rd Jan '12 4:05:58 PM by FringeBenefits

 15 Rareitor, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 4:09:11 PM from the house of cards. Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Mad Doctor
I think the only time I got in your face about subtlety was in my comment on chapter 6, is that a good sign?

Yes, before you ask, I will eventually get to checking out this new chapter.
OH GOD WHY AM I A CAR!? - Forzare
 16 Enthryn, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 5:13:08 PM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
"Enjoyed", I'd say. Portrayals of characters are what I usually care about most in fiction, and the emotional dynamics here are quite interesting.*
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 17 Rareitor, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 5:52:01 PM from the house of cards. Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Mad Doctor
SA chapter 9

Kazumi cameo? Yes please; really appropriate how you describe her in the Pleiades.

You had been waiting for the right time to have Kyuubey suggest turning Kagami, and consequently shutting him up with (threats of) violence, hadn't you?

It is an interesting parallel you draw between Kagami and Sayaka. Though I believe that both have similar sources, literal or not loss of loved one, it is peculiar how Sayaka buried herself in bloodlust to dull the pain (psychological at that point of course), while Kagami wishes to rid herself of it because of the emotions, and despair, already consuming her soul.

On a related topic, I almost had the impression that this situation was somehow similar to the time Homura had to mercy kill Madoka. I suppose having witnessed Sayaka’s realization of emptiness and inhumanity, and the consequences that brought about, is indeed a better parallel nonetheless -at least at that point, considering what happens later.

The twelve hours left segment: I can definitely understand Homura’s emotions, but the semi-ambiguous nature of the monologue almost makes me think she is not talking ONLY about her newfound feelings, but about something else as well. It’s probably nothing though.

Mami should have died first, head engulfed by Vittoria, problem?

EDIT: inb4 Forz complains that I haven't reviewed Nil.

edited 23rd Jan '12 5:55:28 PM by Rareitor

OH GOD WHY AM I A CAR!? - Forzare
 18 Fringe Benefits, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 6:40:52 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
  • Kyubey: Yes, that scene with Kyubey was a lot of fun to write. Homura was originally going to be aiming a shotgun at him until I caught my own continuity error*, but I'm happy it worked out just the same. Kyubey is a really interesting character to write; it's a neat challenge to put myself into his totally logical, amoral worldview. That said, though... the purpose of that scene was to show that while this Kyubey is a lot nicer than the one we see through most of the Madoka anime, he's still Kyubey, and he can still be a right little bastard when he wants to be.

  • The "12 Hours" segment: Hmm, maybe I was a little too ambiguous with that scene. She is only thinking about her feelings, not about anything else.

  • Mami: Mami was present in that battle purely so everyone reading it would expect that she would be the first to die. I was even going to have one of the other branches grab her around the neck at the same time the first latched onto Kazumi... but then I decided that the nightmarish imagery of what happens to her really demanded total focus from the narration, or it wouldn't be as effective.

One other thing, spoilered just for the hell of it: Kagami's Demon speech in this chapter contains a huge, ginormous clue as to the nature of the Nine. Consider me duly impressed if you can figure it out.
 19 Rareitor, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 6:49:31 PM from the house of cards. Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Mad Doctor
La Divina Commedia

Kind of sad that you'd have to abandon it in this context, Madoka would be lonely then... and you'd become an abomination.

edited 23rd Jan '12 6:55:45 PM by Rareitor

OH GOD WHY AM I A CAR!? - Forzare
 20 Fringe Benefits, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 7:28:49 PM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
Bingo! You're absolutely right! To be fair, though, that was Forz's brilliant idea, so give him credit.
 21 Forzare, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 7:30:01 PM from Hinamizawa
Reason and Madness
jesus christ
 22 Rareitor, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 7:30:57 PM from the house of cards. Relationship Status: Wanna dance with somebody
Mad Doctor
Huh, and he says his contributions are minimal?

[up]it's a lion get in the car!... wait what

edited 23rd Jan '12 7:32:01 PM by Rareitor

OH GOD WHY AM I A CAR!? - Forzare
 23 Forzare, Mon, 23rd Jan '12 7:39:24 PM from Hinamizawa
Reason and Madness
-shrug-

I dunno, it just feels weird being credited as a co-author when I don't do any actual writing. It's probably just me, though.

edited 23rd Jan '12 7:40:02 PM by Forzare

 24 Enthryn, Tue, 24th Jan '12 7:34:56 AM from Earth Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
Ha, I just noticed! La Beatrice Hotel?

...

OH DESIRE!
Prendre le bien, le mal et sans trier, accepter
Sans couvrir tes yeux, tout regarder.
 25 Fringe Benefits, Tue, 24th Jan '12 9:05:37 AM from in your basement Relationship Status: In the clutches of some Wild Love
Observer
No, its not named after that Beatrice, though the "Witch" coincidence is kind of freaky. I'm even less familiar with Umineko than I am with Higurashi... despite Forz's valiant efforts to get me through the first arc of the latter.

The hotel was named after the heavenly symbol of Divine Love from the Paradiso portion of The Divine Comedy. Dante's Beatrice was his muse, and she represented the concept of idealized love for him, though the feeling was one-sided. I thought the symbolism made it a good match.
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