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Magical Beehive Hairdos and an EarthBound-style adventure!

"Well, all of this does frighten me. To say nothing of how embarrassed I was at school yesterday, Im not entirely confident in my own abilities, to fight or to handle my new powers responsibly. For one thing, we’ve only gotten our first experiences in combat last night, and Ive always been somewhat of a klutz. However, I am quite interested in seeing the world outside Japan, and I am glad that Im not the only one among us to have my hair the way it is. In fact, Id rather be with all of you and put my own life and yours at risk than to continue going to school alone with this silly hairstyle. Ill do my best not to let any of you or the world down."
Miyuki Takara

Starbound, by Economy (formerly McKnight, DMXrated, and then SeaRover), was first published onto in 2012, inspired more than a year earlier from the author's nostalgia for EarthBound (1994) and wish to create something similar set in Lucky Star.

One morning, Kagami wakes up with her hair mysteriously arranged into a massive bun, which is first discovered by her mother. Much to her embarrassment, it can't be undone, but then she and Tsukasa discover the same thing having happened to Konata, and it also happens to Miyuki afterwards. From there on, the girls are marked for death, discover that they are now psychics, and even befriend an indirect relative of Tsukasa and Kagami's, before setting off for an worldwide adventure that not all of them want to go on (especially with their hair the way it is).

Also available on DeviantArt. An upgraded version has also been started on The Fanfiction Forum, though it has yet to continue past the first chapter. There is also a one-shot spinoff titled Starbound: Birthday of Destiny, which shows the events leading up to the main story, as well as those of chapter 1 through the perspective of the twins' aforementioned cousin.

Not to be confused with the same-titled video game.

This story provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Rokuna's hair was green in Mon Colle Knights. Here, it's brown.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Mondo, originating from Mon Colle Knights as simply casual and upbeat, is flanderized to be "cool", in direct contrast to Miyuki upon first meeting her and appearing himself. His habit of hitting up on girls is also gone, even though he does brag to two different parties about having spent a night with a whole bunch of girls at Rokuna's house.
  • All There in the Manual: For anyone interested in sneak peeks or proof that the fic isn't dead, the author frequently writes about it on LiveJournal (more specifically, under entries tagged "starbound". He also has an account on Charahub, where he has listed various characters and their current personalities.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: A result of the poltergeist that invades the twins' house.
  • Artistic License Geography: The main four agree with Rokuna to meet up somewhere in a forest between her house and Konata's. Google Maps will reveal that there are no woods anywhere near Konata's house, whose real-life coordinates are specified on the wiki.
  • Author Appeal: The author himself is a fan of Beehive Hairdos. Also of brown hair in general, hence Rokuna's hair color.
  • Backstory: A little bit provided by Rokuna's great-grandfather's diary, written in 1912. note 
  • Beach Episode: The beach where the main four went with Nanako and Yui before turns out to be the same one where the first Plot Coupon lies.
  • Beehive Hairdo: The Magé Stones can only function by residing inside a girl's hair that's long enough to house it in a bunched-up state.
  • Birthday Episode: Starbound: Birthday of Destiny.
  • Bonus Material: Starbound: Birthday of Destiny, written almost a year after the main story, but starting off a day or two before that.
  • The Cameo: Ayano in the very first scene.
    • Minoru is surprised to see Konata's hair updone in the scene following Miyuki's first.
    • Fuyuki appears in the scene right after, noticing that Miyuki hasn't left the girls' room since earlier on before offering to get someone to bring her home.
    • Almost all the girls' friends make a group cameo at Rokuna's house in chapter 5, except for...
      • Minami, along with Honoka and Cherry, who the party visits along their way to the beach.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: While she first appears in homeroom after Minoru tells Konata about Miyuki's incident, Nanako's actual involvement in things begins with a cutaway at the end of chapter 2, when she's playing her MMO and receives the news from Konata. From there, she drives to Konata's house to speak with Soujiro, before paying the party a visit at the twins house and being directed to Rokuna's. Who better than her to drive them to the beach once the first Plot Coupon is revealed.
  • Continuity Nod: Carrying a proud tradition of the anime, the fic starts right off with Ayano and Kagami talking about something unspecified that stinks. Tsukasa and Konata also slip this in in chapter 4.
    • Chapter 2: Konata mentions that time in episode 1 when Miyuki walked into a business sign.
    • Chapter 3: Konata calls dibs on leader-position while she and her friends are at a fast food joint. Kagami vetoes her, citing how she got all of them lost in the woods during the OVA's camping segment.
    • Chapter 4: The Summer Festival where Kagami caught Gyopi is brought up when the mains are chatting with Rokuna's friends.
    • The end of chapter 5 is naturally a throwback to episode 6 of the anime.
      • Kagami also mentions the way Konata greeted her and Tsukasa early in the episode after.
  • Cultural Stereotypes: Planned to be mostly averted. During a special Mexican-style dinner with which everyone commemorates the beginning of the party's departure into the world, though:
    Konata: During a meal like this, I'll bet Kagami could totally use a sombrero. If only to hide her hairdo.
    Kagami: For your information, most Mexicans themselves do not wear those, and wherever we go, you better not make insensitive jokes like that. Got it!?
    Patricia: Just ask one of my friends back in America. I once asked her if they have Taco Bell where she lived before, and she totally took it the wrong way.
  • Cute Kitten: Tsukasa pets one at a pet store, and even squeezes it against her face.
  • Dead Fic: The last update was June 30th, 2019.
  • Don't Look At Me: Kagami and Miyuki, regularly, about their new hairstyles. Mondo, briefly in chapter 5, when Rokuna decides that the two of them should show off some tight, revealing swimwear together.
    Rokuna was so flattered by everyone's comments, that she failed to notice at first how truly mortified Mondo was. The boy gritted his teeth, not used to wearing speedos, let alone in a room mostly full of thoroughly-dressed girls commenting on his nearly-naked male body. Rin, Chitose, Patricia, Ayano, Yui, Yutaka, Hiyori, Matsuri, every single one of them.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted. Unlike his MCK counterpart, Mondo does not actually hit up on any of the girls, the reason the original Rokuna comically beat him up, although though he does refer to them as "chicks" and "hot-babes". This trope is not one that the author is fond of, given how rarely it's played with the gender roles reversed.
  • Embarrassing but Empowering Hairstyle: The Magé Stones grant their hosts sixth senses and psionic powers to hone, but need a lot of hair to nest in first. Kagami and Miyuki don't like it.
  • Expy: Rokuna's friends Rin, Junko, and Chitose are those respectively of Lei Lei, Beginner, and Hanazono no Utahimenote  from Mon Colle Knights.
  • Eye Scream: A crow pecks at Miyuki's eyes after she and her friends first enter the woods. Thankfully, all it does is break her glasses.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The initial powers that Kagami, Miyuki, and Konata are respectively able to use.
  • Foil: Mondo to Miyuki in terms of mannerisms.
  • Fur Bikini: Rokuna, cosplaying as Lum in Birthday of Destiny.
  • Heroic BSoD: Everyone present after Ichirobei reveals the coming events before retrieving his grandfather's diary, and then at the twins' house when all there enter and behold the destruction left in the poltergeist's wake.
  • Lethal Chef: As per Mon Colle Knights, Rokuna's cooking in chapter 2 is so overly rich in garlic that Miyuki becomes nauseous and goes outside upon trying some of it out.
  • Meaningful Name: Mikami, the Goddess of Good Fortune. "Kami" is Japanese for both "hair" and "spirit".
    • Mondo's name is an ironic example. While he was flanderized as the "rad" member of the group, the name, which also means "extreme" and became a "radical" loanword in English, had nothing to do with that, and just so does happen to line up, although it originally did encompass this trope more intentionally.note 
  • Mood Whiplash: The scene at the pet shop goes from cute and lighthearted to tense and chaotic the moment an alien breaks in.
  • Mythology Gag: The very first scene is a combination of some early strips in the manga's fifth volume and Ayano's inter-chapter appearance in volume 6.
  • The One Guy: Mondo. Word of God states that there will be another one along the way.
  • Papa Wolf: Played straight and inverted simultaneously during the poltergeist attack, where Kagami saves Tadao with a baseball bat after he himself re-entered the house to save Tsukasa. Played again when both he and Soujiro (along with Yui) drive the Starman Jr. away from the latter's house while everyone else flees.
  • Pun: "Magé" is Japanese for "bun", but is also a homograph of "mage".
    • Yui says "headed for the hills" while talking to Rokuna in front of the twins' house. It was only the previous night that the latter and the main four agreed to meet at a certain hill.
    • In the same exchange, Rokuna says "out of the woods", which is funny since said hill was somewhere in a forest.
    • And then, Matsuri mentions "bigger fish to fry" when she and others are standing around her family's fishpond.
    • Chapter 4 begins with Mondo asking Miyuki some stuff about her hair and the Magé Stone inhabiting it after she leaves the burger joint restroom. Kagami, sensing the exchange and mistaking him for just another pest, asks him to get "out of [Miyuki's] hair" before noticing that Rokuna actually knows him.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: The latter half of Birthday of Destiny to that of the first main chapter, starting with Rokuna's end of the phone call Kagami makes to her.
  • Religion is Magic: Tsukasa recites a prayer to rid the pet store of a poltergeist.
  • Shout-Out: To both the Mother trilogy and unrelated stuff:
    • The very first lines in the fic are a spin on how Earthbound begins.
    • The latter half of the first chapter is an entire homage to the beginning of Earthbound, with some of EarthBound Beginnings thrown in:
      • Starting with the poltergeist attack, the same thing that starts the main story in EB0.
      • Kagami equips herself with a cracked bat, before running back in to save Tadao and Tsukasa. (Miyuki, Konata, and Tsukasa later arm themselves with a frying pan, a yo-yo, and a slingshot respectively.)
      • Konata answering a rattled Kagami at her door mirrors Ness having met Pokey at his own door.
      • Yutaka cooks onigiri for the main characters, mirroring Tracy giving Ness a cookie before he leaves. Yui's pep talk to Konata also mirrors that which Ness receives from his mother.
      • Whereas Ness, Pokey, and King leave to find Pokey's lost brother Picky atop a hill, the main four set foot to a hill to meet Tsukasa and Kagami's second-cousin Rokuna at an agreed-upon hill in a forest.
      • The first few enemies they fight are the same ones you fight along the way to finding Picky. Ditto for the boss they encounter after meeting Rokuna. ( On her part, Rokuna faces all different enemies from the trilogy, and only survives by running for her life.)
      • And like with Pokey and Picky from their own parents, an earful from their entire family awaited Tsukasa and Kagami once they got to Rokuna's house. (Good thing they have a much more loving family than the Minchs.)
    • The mana locations that the party must conquer are described just like the Sanctuary locations that Ness had to conquer in Earthbound.
    • Shigesato, as established above, was named after the very creator of Earthbound. He is also an expy of George from EarthBound Beginnings, complete with having kept a diary of relevant events.
    • Mikami is not only a yet-to-appear expy of Queen Mary, but is also known as the Goddess of Good Fortune. This title only appeared in Mother 2, at the end of the monologues you read while drinking some herbal tea. (Funny, how such a title carries the same "Luck" theme as this fic's source franchise.)
    • Ichirobei consumes a cup of pork noodles that Rokuna made, a food item from Mother 3.
    • The battle at the pet store closely mirrors the situation at the Fourside Department Store, with a Mook that invades the building and takes hold of the weakest party member.
    • While she has yet to appear, Robin's full name is after the song that plays when you fight Li'l Miss Marshmallow or an Unwelcome Gust in Mother 3.
    • And to other works:
      • Konata compares Yutaka to Ayu Tsukimiya in chapter 2.
      • Rokuna's horrid cooking is a recurring gag from Mon Colle Knights.
      • Patricia's first of two lines in chapter 5 is a reference to The Chris & Scottie Road Trip, in which a Taco Bell is shown in the background when the titular duo visits "Mexico".
      • Rokuna cosplays as Lum during Birthday of Destiny.
      • The cell phone that Chitose gives her has a keychain of Madoka Kaname attached to it.
  • Surprise Party: Held in Birthday of Destiny. Rokuna anticipates it long before her friends can pull it off.
  • Totally Radical: Mondo. Particularly noticeable during the party's time at Minami's house, he's basically the "total" opposite of Miyuki in terms of mannerisms, using slang and striking poses at every turn. Kagami finds it annoying.
  • Tuckerization: Rokuna's great-grandfather Shigesato was named after Shigesato Itoi, the creator of the Mother trilogy.
    • The following are archived in Charahub, having yet to appear in the story itself:
      • Maria was named after the author's sister and paternal aunt, both named Marie, and her last name is his own middle name and his mother's maiden name. Her parents, Ian and Mabel, and her brother, Peter, are the middle names of his father, mother, and brother respectively.
      • Nurşen derives her family name from that of a Turkish couple that the author's father was once friends with.
      • The author gave Claire her last name after that of his paternal aunt and her husband and son.
      • Desiré was named after a classmate the author had in 2nd and 3rd grades, whom he rarely actually spoke to. Her last name is after his maternal step-uncle who came illegally from Mexico.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Kagami, Konata, and Miyuki become this following Rokuna's birthday, starting with the Magé Stones themselves, then a poltergeist attack, some odd-looking animals, and an alien that's been pulling their strings before confronting them itself.