Stargazer Summoner Review:
The Constellation System:
Well, this has been a long time in the making. I was planning to release this a part of a huge, unstructured review after I reread Summoner and do my research but I'm not at 100 chapters yet so until then, this will do.
Unlike aspects of Stargazer Summoner like characterization and worldbuilding (?), the constellation system is something I can jump into and analyse without having to go back to refer to previous chapters. I have a clear understanding of the constellation system - I think, correct me if I'm wrong - so here goes:
CONSTELLATION SYSTEM REVIEW GO:
From what I understand, powers in Stargazer Summoner work according to the limit of one's imagination. If one can imagine anything, they can conjure up anything, as long as the powers themselves are linked to the user's patron god and if the user has the necessary power reserves to pull said power off. Powers range from Mayumi Senpai's deadly petal style, Connor's necromacy skills, and of course, Tomoyuki's constellation system.
What I find funny about Tomoyuki's constellation system is that it kinda cheats the restrictions of powers in this world. Want a petal shooting monster? Tomoyuki can create one. Want an undead minion to fight for you? Yeah, Tomoyuki can do that too. Tomoyuki can literally create anything he wants, and that makes the constellation system powerful. Sure, he might not be able to summon petals of the same sharpness as Mayumi Senpai but the fact that he can do summon petals in the first place makes him a threat. Variance is a threat, and so far, Tomoyuki is the only one in this series that shows so much variance with regards to his powers. Thats...kinda important.
With so many tools at his disposal, Tomoyuki can potentially counter a lot of things - which is why I'm a little surprised at why some readers think his ability is weak and why some characters in the story (cough, cough, Blair) think so lowly of the constellation system. Its lowkey broken, I would say, but it ties kinda well with Tomoyuki's character so it remains okay.
What I don't think is okay however is the vagueness of the constellation system.
As readers, we don't get clear insight in how the constellation system works. For starters, how does Tomoyuki even come up with a constellation in the first place? Does he just think of it and poof, it exists? I find that this was better explained in Manga City, during Tomoyuki's creation of Draco for instance. We learn that Tomoyuki has to learn more about dragons in order to make a dragon constellation. He seeks his dragon loving brother for advice, he thinks about how a dragon should be. Finally, after a few chapters, he creates and showcases Draco, the dragon constellation he created. The constellation system is better explained there.
In Stargazer Summoner, I don't think the constellation creation process was touched upon much, and its a shame because it needlessly makes the constellation system a little more unclear. More questions are brought up as a result of the exclusion of a constellation creation process. How many constellations can Tomoyuki make in a day? If he can make a lot of constellations in a day, why doesn't he just create a constellation everday, regardless of how effective they are, just to increase his arsenal? Can Tomoyuki create a constellation that immediately counters his opponent's ability in the middle of a fight?
All these questions and more are raised and I hope that if you do make a story like this one again, you'll include the creation of constellations.
Secondly, the drawbacks of the constellation system.
Before I start delving into this, I'll like to make one thing clear. The you can only use a constellation once a day limitation? That wasn't really made apparent. It was only until chapter 60ish (or was it 80ish?) that Tomoyuki brings this up and I feel that it would be better for the readers if you had addressed this sooner. Sure, Tomoyuki switching constellations during fights did hint at this limitation but it wasn't very clear so yeah. Address this sooner.
Now where was I? The drawbacks, right. The main drawback of the constellation system is that it only could be used at night. That's a good limitation for a lowkey broken ability and its interesting to see how Tomoyuki skirts about this issue, particularly in the fight with one of his bullies. The problem is, we don't really see the impact of this limitation, given that Tomoyuki is mostly using the system at night in earlier chapters and by the time chapter 40 hits, Tomoyuki already has access to Unlimited Constellation Works, (UCW) making the limitation sorta useless, so I dunno, thats one problem with this drawback. More interesting ways of skirting around this limitation (Before UCW hits) would do wonders in justifying the power of the constellation system.
Another drawback is that Tomoyuki suffers psycho wounds along with his constellations. Damn, thats a huge limitation right again. But again, we don't really see his drawback hit. Sure, Tomoyuki takes a WHOLE LOT OF DAMAGE from this limitation, that I can't deny, but its almost like this damage is...negligible. I can't really articulate this point - but I can say is this limitation doesn't add a whole lot to fights. Like, urm, some of the fights are from manga city, which didn't have this limitation. You add this limitation in. The fights stay the same, feel the same regardless of the psycho wounds, urm get what I mean?
Even when Tomoyuki is put in a position where his psycho wounds are severely damaging him, he is also in a position where an enemy can straight away attack and defeat him, regardless of Tomoyuki's psycho wounds. It would be nice to see an episode where Tomoyuki actually loses in the middle of a fight due to his psycho wounds, to drive home the point that damn, this is a big limitation, or else the inclusion of this limitation might as well be pointless.
Thats all for the drawbacks I guess.
Thirdly, the applications of the constellation system.
The constellation system is a lowkey broken ability. Its just not shown as broken in the story, which is kinda justified by Tomoyuki just creating the myths he likes? I dunno. I'm led to believe that Tomoyuki can create a constellation that gets stronger whenever he make a pun as long as he loosely fits that into a constellation but he doesn't because he just hasn't thought of it. That...that is overpowered. Get out of here Kobayashi, you don't stand a chance against this constellation. Tomoyuki can make overpowered stuff, just like how card game designers make overpowered cards despite them still retaining balance.
Its, its just that this aspect of Tomoyuki creating potentially overpowered stuff wasn't touched upon much, aside from Antareas, and straight up powerhouses like Draco. The constellation opens room for tons of innovation, which is something Tanaka doesn't touch upon much, which is yet another shame for its a missed opportunity to a lot of creative things. Hercules as a condition for summoning Cerberus was neat but thats just it, and the condition isn't that hard, just summon a powerful weapon to summon another powerful weapon.
I'll like to see more innovative applications of the constellations system. How about a constellation that can be summoned more than once a day? How about a god tier constellation that has Tomoyuki "sacrifices" tens of constellation in order to use it? How about if you use like the weakest constellation for 3 minutes, you unlock a really powerful special move in exchange? How about a really useful constellation that triples the psycho wounds in exchange. That...that will tie neatly into my comments of psycho wounds being useless.
My point is, it would be great for the story if Tomoyuki could move away from creating powerhouse constellation and create conditional but powerful constellations. That will make good fights better I'm sure.
there is no lastly.
I spent an hour to write this unstructured mess that is more unstructured than the actual review I'm going to write. I am confused. There are just too many justs and neats and nices here. My points here will probably be better in my actual review. I dunno. In spite of the gripes I mentioned here, Stargazer Summoner still has a decent power system that could be further improved. I'm not expecting JoJoeque levels of creativity mind you, just more creative usage of the constellation system.
That, that will neat.