Yeah, that pic is practically the perfect description of our shipping differences regarding Sayaka!
Reminiscent of Shakugan no Shana? Hmm... The closest thing that comes to mind is Shana and Kazumi fighting over Yuuji, but something about the comparison (that doesn't involve gender) feels somewhat off to me. It looks like you have me stumped this time, sorry.
That's artwork by the artist Gonzaburou, isn't it? From his works we can see he also ships MadoSaya like you.
I like his art involving Sayaka, he's good, so he's been one of my favorite artists for that.
My other favorite artist Tatsuno Ryou takes care of stuff for the SayaKyou camp. (That was my #1 favorite picture, by the way)
Oh, right! I... forgot. (Sad, isn't it? ) And so, I greet you a belated Valentine's Day as well, Triple_R. Well, blue is my favorite color, so yeah, works for me. That picture was a great find, too, so thanks! It's a very nice variation to the "Will it be a cute girl, you wondered? Too bad! It was just Sayaka-chan!" Japanese meme that was going around in the image boards.
The translation of the text in the image is ("Will it be from a cute girl, you wondered? Too bad! It was from Sayaka-chan! ♪"). I'd love to answer the text with this line: "That's exactly who I wanted to receive it from! Not to mention Sayaka-chan IS a cute girl!"
I have to thank you as well for incorporating our feedback into your work! Truthfully, I did not expect you to change the Nisemonogatari reference to Karen because it doesn't directly affect the story, but I am happy that you did. I feel what Sol mentioned as the "humorous irony" of Karen being Sayaka's favorite character will strike other readers as well. It is highly appreciated.
When you outlined your reasons for initially choosing Suruga, those two reasons were something that did not immediately come to mind, but they made some sense to me as well. In the case of your first reason, a "union in form" of sorts between Sayaka and Kyousuke, I must say that it is a creative one.
For your second reason, while I am aware that your fanfic primarily revolves around romance, it had not immediately crossed my mind for Sayaka to be bi-sexual. Not until you mentioned it. Not to mention that until recently, I did not consider Suruga herself to be bi-sexual also.
At first I was thinking that perhaps you might write about an event that would sever the relationship between Sayaka and Kyousuke, in essence having Sayaka transition from straight to yuri, similar to the approach from your earlier fic, but I guess your current approach here might work just as well. It might be interesting to see how that particular approach works, and as you put it, without having Sayaka hold insincere feelings for Kyousuke, all the while considering romantic advances from Madoka.
Thanks a lot for the feedback! Well, you and Sol now have your wish: Karen it is!
The reason why I thought that Sayaka would take a liking to Kanbaru is that:
1. Kanbaru is pretty similar to Sayaka (the ways you noted, as well as pretty similar hairstyles, hair color, and body types) but Kanbaru also has a curse (Monkey's Paw) very similar to Kamijo. So for Sayaka, Kanbaru might represent a sort of union between her and Kamijo, lol.
2. Also keep in mind that this is a romance route story, in which Madoka/Sayaka is one of the routes. So I'm running with the idea that Sayaka is bi-sexual (don't worry, I don't think there's any way Sayaka's feelings for Kamijo could be in any way insincere, so Sayaka can't be 100% lesbian). Kanbaru is also bi-sexual, so I could see Sayaka liking that similarity.
But even with that rationale put out there, I can see now that it makes more sense for Sayaka's favorite Nise character to be Karen. So there you go, the change has been made!
AS Choice Awards 2012 is on! Don't forget to vote for Sayaka for Female Supporting Character. She's going to need every vote she can get to even have a chance to win this one since Kyouko is also up for the award (thus splitting PMMM fans) while Steins;Gate has just one girl up for it.
Yeah, the flashy "hax" Mahjong hands that the Saki players won with added a lot to the show's appeal! Like yourself, I also liked the moe and yuri elements of the show. Nice to see that we see more or less eye-to-eye on Saki.
Chapter 3 of my VN-style Madoka Magica fanfic is up by the way. Hope you enjoy.