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Stray Dog Records is a Crossover Fanfic written by NepetaLeijon27, crossing over between Bungo Stray Dogs and Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. It is the author's largest work as to date, having a word count of 38833 and about half of the entire Bungou Stray Dogs cast appearing. Unusual for the genre, the characters from Bungou Stray Dogs and the setting of it remain largely untouched; but the plotline and worldbuilding mainly comes from Magia Record (although some events are from the manga).

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This story shows examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Subverted. Chapter 4's 'underground parking lot' eventually goes down to on the level of the sewers, but it is not the sewers.
  • Adaptation Deviation: Like mentioned in the summary, the story follows Magia Record's main plotline relatively close, but after chapter 6, things begin to deviate slightly until it reaches a fully originally written epilogue. It seems like the Magia Record plot is only a main guideline for the story, which, except from acting it out with other characters, also differs in interactions and many little things.
    • The sequel falls in between 1 and 2 on the Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification, as it deviates even more from the original Magia Record arc 2 note  This is kind of justified as during the time it is written, the original story isn't complete and there is a severe lack of English translations.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: In the epilogue, Odasaku says to have grown confused by the entire ordeal of a genderless, feminine pronouns-using being posessing his body up until chapter 9, and openly says it. Although Ango and Dazai are both okay with it, Odasaku does not explicitly take up new pronouns or a new identity, making it this.
    • In the sequel, Odasaku takes up xe/xir pronouns.
  • Back for the Finale: Everyone who has helped the Agency in the past comes back in the finale.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The mystery Puer Magi speaks to Mark in a moment where it 'is as if the world stops and stares at whatever [he]'s doing'. None of them have time powers, and Mark notices that Nate and Lucy are gone in this moment. The author confirmed that this moment was actually not at all some reality stop, but merely a manipulation of reality perception; or rather, simply Caecilia mucking with Mark's mind, stirring him to go to Yokohama.
  • Bookends: The first time we get to see Atsushi, it begins with the line: 'Although the rain starts to clear up, Atsushi would never say that this is his lucky day.'. The story ends with the line: The rain starts to clear up, and Dazai knows that, after all, he would say that this day is his lucky day.'.
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    • A minor variation on this appears at the end of chapter 2 and at the end of chapter 8. In the former occasion, a Mysterious Watcher says the following: 'You wait for me...Shuuji.'', notably calling Dazai by his real name. At the end of chapter 8, Atsushi says: 'You wait for me...Dazai.'.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twain in chapter 6. Also, Chuuya, Kouyou and Akutagawa in the finale. A minor one happens in chapter 7, courtesy of Kyouka.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Dazai when Odasaku says that he has joined the Rats in the House of the Dead at the tail end of chapter 4.
    • Atsushi, when he finds out that Fukuzawa and Mori are dating. Kunikida has to ask what's up.
  • Bland-Name Product: Discorpse, for Discord. It also returns in their other stories from time to time.
  • Blood Magic: Hawthorne has this as his personal magic.
  • Bound and Gagged: The state Naomi is in once the Agency finds her.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Hawthorne, up until chapter 8 midway.
    • Subverted in chapter 6 with the other half of the proto-Agency, something the author explicitly states as it is the point of diversion.
  • Body Horror: Akutagawa's Doppel is formed out of his left hand and the top half of his face. He can't see anything while it's active.
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    • Fyodor's Doppel forms itself out of his arms.
  • Broken Ace: Poor, poor Dazai. Introduced as a known Puer Magi in Yokohama with a ton of helpful friends, is still not over the loss of Odasaku, to the point where he still has a file about him sitting on his desk in his bedroom. It starts as early as chapter 3, where Dazai is extremely ashamed of the Doppel he has to summon when his Soul Gem grows dark. Then his entire past comes to haunt him... literally. His best friend comes back to life, only to have been warped beyond Dazai's recognition.
    (after Dazai shows to be very ashamed over his Doppel) Huh. So he does have a vulnerable side after all.
  • Came Back Wrong: Odasaku, who has been revived by Fyodor using the Book. He revived him in the wrong way by letting his witch form posess his body. In the finale, this is finally subverted when Odasaku's soul genuinely takes his place again, also by use of the Book (but by Dazai this time).
  • Character Tics: Not explicitly mentioned in the story itself, but the extra character page reveals that Caecilia has a nasty habit of clawing out the eyes on her wings. After that, others have to stitch them back in, and the thread disappears later on (like in medical context), explaining why she always has stitches in different places. This is obviously an in-universe explanation for her being drawn inconsistently.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Rats show signs of this once they kidnap Tanizaki. They:
    • Tie Naomi to a chair Bound and Gagged so she couldn't have shouted
    • Disturb the WiFi so that Tanizaki's phone (which they persumably left there) cannot receive messages
    • Disable the electricity, shrouding the entire house in darkness
    • Lock the door
    • Let down the shutters of the windows so no one can see what's happening inside
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chuuya. Also, this seems to be Caecilia's default state.
  • Defense Mechanism Superpower: In Yokohama, a contracted person can summon their own witch, named 'Doppel' for the time being. This can only happen if one's Soul Gem is fully tainted, and doing this will clean it afterwards. Fyodor set this up to slow down the hatching of witches in an attempt to rid the city of them.
    • Although the majority of the cast knows it, most of them don't like summoning it, whether out of shame (Dazai), or out of danger (Chuuya) or out of pure fear (Fukuzawa). Mori is an interesting case in that he doesn't like to summon it, but it is because he doesn't want to be seen as a Bad Boss, which it represents.
    • In a similar vein, they seem to be able to summon the defeated Emotions from their bracelet once they are on the verge of death.
  • Demoted to Extra: Although there is no hint of incubators not being in the city like their absence in Kamihama, they don't appear in the story, and when they are mentioned they are often done so in passing (i.e Dazai compares Fukuzawa to an incubator). It does seem like incubators still have influence but not as much influence as Fyodor currently does over Yokohama, as he set up the Doppel system all by himself.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Rumor Tanizaki, unlike Rumor Tsuruno in the source, talks with ellipses and is notably slurred. Seeing the context, it is all too reminiscent of the speech of someone who has used drugs a little too much.
    • The sarcastic way Odasaku invites Dazai to the Memory Museum is too passive-aggressive for a conversation between former friends and is more like confronting someone for cheating.
  • Embarrassing Superpower: Dazai certainly seems to see his Doppel as such. While it does destroy the Awaiter's Horse rumor in one hit, Dazai is not happy with it. An easy way to get him not to talk to you is simply to bring up the topic. In chapter 8, he says that his strange relationship to Odasaku is one of the reasons behind it, and he does that with such anger that Atsushi decides not to talk anymore for the time being (which he breaks soon enough).
    • By its description given at the end of chapter 3 and this part of chapter 8, it is heavily implied that part of this shame comes from that it reminds him of his biggest failure (losing Odasaku) and that it can change the fate of anyone except for him.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Caecilia, big time. She uses them as the main way to act out her powers, under which paralyzing and brainwashing someone.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: A variation. By the time of the sequel, several characters are revealed to be aware of alternate timelines and alternate universes.
    • Ranpo is probably the most overt example, who has grown aware of these things upon exposure to the Reality-Writing Book in the basement.
    • Dazai is implied to be one too, as the Book supposedly does not affect him due to his magic.
    • Odasaku, post-revival. When Dazai is surprised that xir's aware, xir says that 'being resurrected in the wrong way by the very same Book does that'.
  • Get Out!: Dazai to Caecilia:
    Out!(...) Out! Don't make it three times, then I will kick you out!
    • Caecilia to Atsushi:
    'Get out!' Caecilia shouts, but Atsushi is so petrified that he does not get out when she says him to. She clears her throat and wipes her face again to show her eyes. 'GET OUT!' At that hypnotic sight, Atsushi immediately runs out of the rumor barrier, back to the Agency office.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: At the end of chapter 6, Twain does a Big Damn Heroes saving Atsushi and Dazai from Hawthorne (aptly turning on the sprinklers mirroring the event in the manga) and becomes some sort of ally by explaining what happened. He promises to tell Lucy this too and later on, he returns with the entire gang.
    • In the following chapter, the rumor of this time is situated in mafia territory. Because Dazai suspects it is a strong rumor, he calls Fukuzawa to do some negotiations with the godfather. He succeeds in doing so, and Mori joins the troupe until the Rats are beaten.
  • Hate at First Sight: Atsushi and Akutagawa. Also, Chuuya and Dazai, although that is implied to have to do with the past of Dazai.
  • Hate Sink: Invoked. Caecilia is made to become this, despite the author admitting that they like her a lot.
  • The Heartless: Caecilia is essentially this to Odasaku. She becomes dormant by the end of chapter 9...although Odasaku can wake her up if the stakes are high enough.
  • Incoming!: The story starts with this phrase.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Related to the above. The reason why Dazai is very suspicious of Odasaku when he returns in chapter 6 is because he acts strangely intrusive and is very sarcastic, something he never saw of him back in the Dark Era. When it comes to appearance, everyone initially falls for the trap, that she's really Odasaku, because she has borrowed his body. But in character, she's his polar opposite, and it is implied that acting as if she's him is very hard for her - hence her exclamation that a weight is lifted from her upon The Reveal.
  • Karma Houdini: The Rats, in a way. Fyodor was never at Fendthope to begin with. Ivan was there, but overlooked during the raid (which may have been the result of his magic) but is found by Lucy, Mark, Hawthorne and Mitchell. Instead of killing him, Mark and Lucy keep him as a prisoner of war in Anne's room, and it is implied that gets along with Anne just fine. Caecilia takes more damage (both wings cut off and Mark shoots her leg once) but is put into a dormant state. And Oguri...Oguri is implied to be complicit into the entire thing, as he's named as the Adjuster who made it so that Ivan and Ango could create rumors, but he is not mentioned at all after chapter 8.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Fyodor retells the story of the Dark Era with the names censored in chapter 6. Dazai gets notably uncomfortable.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: This snippet from the finale:
    On that cue, Kyouka summons Demon Snow, and Mori summons Elise. Fukuzawa unsheathes his katana and Kunikida gets out his notebook and pen. Yosano grabs her bag full of medical equipment, and Atsushi transforms his limbs into that of the tiger.
  • Lost in Translation: Mostly averted, as it uses the word 'rumor' instead of 'uwasa'.
    • In fact, this story was written before there was an official English translation of the game. For example, the Eternal Sakura Uwasa is called 'Rumor of the 10,000 Year Sakura', the Commoner's Horse Uwasa is 'Rumor of the Awaiter's Horse', etc.
  • Master of Illusion: Tanizaki's personal magic manifests itself as such, and he can even use it to make others hallucinate.
  • Mysterious Watcher: Caecilia in the end of chapter 2 and 3.
  • Ms. Swearsalot: Caecilia is a unique case in that the rest of the author's works are in cursing context fairly benign; she alone stands out like a sore thumb with her...vocabulary, which the author admitted to love writing. This is likely part of her character as The Heartless of the modest Odasaku. Crosses over a lot with The Snark Knight at times.
  • Mythology Gag: Oh so many.
    • The scene where we first meet Atsushi in chapter 1 is almost exactly the same as the manga's.
    • Tsujimura's involvement with Kyouka mirrors Kyouka having a transferred Ability using the technique Tsujimura taught.
    • Similarly, Akutagawa being The Dragon to Kyouka is likely chosen because he gave orders to her in the manga.
    • Mark Twain saving Atsushi and Dazai by turning on the sprinklers so that Hawthorne's blood would dissolve, happens almost like that in the manga.
    • The things that happen to Hawthorne in fact are also almost the same as in the manga.
    • Chuuya's Doppel is more like Corruption than anything.
    • A more straightly played reference, yet hidden, is to the author's other work, Only Void Remains. Said work (the adaptation of the Dark Era light novel) is canon in this universe, to the point that the last memory in chapter 6 is almost a word-to-word copy of the last chapter of Only Void Remains. Said work is named after this soundtrack (used as the first 'music' track of the story) from a game adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde. Guess what happens to Caecilia and Odasaku at the end of the first arc. The author admitted this was completely accidental.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Kyouka's parents were originally unnamed, but are named Izumi Seiji and Nakata Suzu, the names of the real Kyouka's parents.
    • Sigma's real name in this work is 'Sergey'.
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted. While Touka and Nemu mention at the end that although a lot of people got hurt, none of them were killed, this story absolutely does not hide the fact that the Agency (who are presented as the good guys) killed tons of Rats lackeys and mafia members. The only reason why the witch created from the energy did not kill people was because Tanizaki was holding up illusions.
  • No-Sell: Dazai figures out that the Awaiter's Horse uses similar magic as theirs (granting wishes) and that is why they can't make a dent. It is when Dazai summons his Doppel (curses) that it is destroyed in one hit. Not that Dazai likes it, though...
  • "Not So Different" Remark: The reason why Dazai sees himself as similar to Hawthorne is because they both have someone they love (Mitchell for Hawthorne, and Odasaku for Dazai) who they lost - but instead of just pointing out these similarities like Yachiyo did to Holy Mami, Dazai actively says that this is not the way to go for him, and that Hawthorne can still regain the will to live instead of succumbing to despair.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The sequel is titled 'Forgotten Promise'.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The censored Dark Era story gets cleared up when the proto-Agency views the memories of Odasaku. Which leads to them prompting the question as to how Odasaku is still standing in front of them.
  • One-Winged Angel: Akutagawa explains that once you accept the grief in your heart, your Doppel is unable to fully seperate from you. He knows this because his Doppel removes the top half of his face and his left hand, while Dazai's doesn't.
  • Out of Character Is Serious Business: Happens twice with Dazai and Odasaku. The first time is in chapter 3, in which Dazai correctly deduces that the person in front of him is not real, because he never called Dazai his friend for the time he was there. In chapter 6 this happens again, when Odasaku invites the proto-Agency to a lecture in the Memory Museum. He acts strangely intrusive and Dazai cannot put his finger on it yet, until he wipes his face and Dazai immediately snaps and shouts Get Out!.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: The author is fond of this. Every time they draw a human, they have this.
  • The Reveal: Multiple.
    • Chapter 4's end reveals that Odasaku is still alive, and has joined the Rats.
    • Chapter 6 reveals that Odasaku is Caecilia using his body, and that Hawthorne has been brainwashed.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: In chapter 8, only the screams of Ango and Ivan are described as they're forced to create a larger rumor combining both of their powers.
  • Seers: A main theme since Odasaku is a seer, and appropriately clothed as such with his Soul Gem recalling the Third Eye. When Atsushi first sees him, he compares it to a fortune teller on a fair, and Caecilia inherits Odasaku's precognition power, as Kyouka and Kenji find out at their expense.
  • Sequel Hook: The story is part of a series.
  • Shout-Out: The finale (chapter 9) is titled Regina Duodecim Angelus. The roots of the author partially lie in the Homestuck fandom, which shines through this title, the words used to indicate a timeskip and several leitmotifs.
    • Akutagawa's doppel seems to be a huge one to The Spider's Thread.
    • Dazai replying Atsushi with 'Never mind all that'. The words spoken by the Mysterious Watcher at the end of chapter 3 also tie into it:
    'No puppet strings can hold me down. Patiently, I watch this town. Abnormal will soon be the norm. Enjoy the calm before the storm!'
  • Situational Sword: What the bracelets seem to be.
  • Slash Fic: Essentially, as it has Odasaku/Dazai and Fukuzawa/Mori as an Official Couple. However, with Mitchell/Hawthorne and Mark/Lucy too it can be seen as a Zig Zagged Trope.
  • Spear Counterpart: Magical boys exist, and are referred to as Puer Magi note . They aren't treated as different from magical girls, which is still a thing (see Kyouka, Tsujimura and Yosano). Despite most of them being well beyond the age where they can be called 'boys', they are still called Puer Magi.
  • Stealth Pun: Caecilia describing Ango's magic as 'a form of psychometry and weight manipulation' makes more sense when you know that the word for 'feeling' and the word for 'weight' are spoken exactly the same in Japanese.
    • Fyodor is the leader of the Rats in the House of the Dead, and his Puer Magi costume is described as being reminiscent of a king. He's a Rat King.
  • String Theory: From chapter 4 on, Dazai and Atsushi place all rumor hints on a corkboard, connected with red string on a map of Yokohama.
  • Take That!: To Arc 2 of Magia Record in the sequel:
    Of course the first boss fight isn't going to happen in chapter 1. That would be strange.
  • Truth in Television: Both Dazai and Mark shoot the leg of their opponents, who at the time, they do not want to kill but simply immobilize. This is real life practice among police, to aim for the legs when someone dangerous is on the run with a weapon.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kunikida and Dazai show signs of being this in chapter 2.
  • Voodoo Shark: Is literally mentioned in chapter 8. Tanizaki suggests that the reason that the Rats have been controlling mafia members is because they want to gather energy. Just like they did with him and the amusement park in the chapter before that. However, Yosano immediately gets on to it by asking what they would need that energy for, and thus, a voodoo shark is created. However this gets resolved as we found out what it is needed for in chapter 9.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Atsushi saving Dazai from drowning. When he finds out it is this, he freaks out, asking if Dazai has friends and if he should call someone.
  • Walking Spoiler: The true identity of Odasaku, until chapter 6.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 4: 'It's that I've joined the Rats in the House of the Dead' (cue a Big "WHAT?!")
    • Chapter 6: 'What is standing in front of you is nothing more and nothing less than an empty shell for me. My real name is Caecilia, and I am Odasaku's witch form.'
    • The name of Yumeno being dropped at the end of chapter 7.
  • With Us or Against Us: Subverted. The Rats (who take the Magius' place), instead of doing this, let Yumeno's curse loose on the city explicitly to gather energy, not from this principle.
  • Yandere: Louisa describes the copy of Sigma in the pocket dimension as such.
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