Little Busters – 05

Little Busters - 05 - Large 17 Little Busters - 05 - Large 22 Little Busters - 05 - Large 32

Well, whaddaya know – Little Busters is a Key adaptation after all.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 01While the events in this episode were certainly foreshadowed last week, the change in tone was still pretty stark – especially in the second half of the episode.  This was really the first time that the Key/Maeda Jun gene seemed to kick in with full force, and the melodrama grow thick enough in the air that it felt like humidity in a Tokyo summer (or so I’ve been told – I’ll find out next year, but a Chicago summer I can definitely vouch for).  And with that, I suppose, the series has well and truly begun after a four-episode prologue.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 02It remains to be seen how an arc centered around Komari will hold up.  My gut says that it hopes this is wrapped up relatively quickly, because Komari can be kind of a lot to take.  Given my normal sensitivity towards moe for its own sake I’m not bothered by her so much as I would have expected, and I can’t say why – it’s a pretty shameless character truth be told, but somehow – like Little Busters itself – the reality is more appealing to me than the concept would indicate.  There’s actually a pretty nice chemistry between she and Riki, who likewise has more appeal than I can quite explain – he seems a straightforward good-guy cipher of a lead, but perhaps it’s the sense of vulnerability in Riki that gives his character a depth that transcends the trope somewhat.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 03Of course, even if nothing else happened Komari’s arc would have been worthwhile just to hear Horie Yui doing a punk voice – it’s every bit as endearingly silly as you’d think, because Riki is no more a punk than Hochan herself.  But he’s managed to endear himself to old man Koujirou enough to get him to the spill the truth about Komori’s brother Takuya  (Komomiya Yuu, also young Kyousuke) – or at least some small part of it.  Riki himself has already figured out that the “white flappy things” Komori sees in her dreams of her brother are likely bedsheets on the roof of a hospital, and Koujirou more or less confirms that what Riki suspects happened has happened.  But this being Key there’s most assuredly more to the story, and magical realism has an appointment with Little Busters, perhaps as soon as this week.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 05Komari’s breakdown at the end of the episode was certainly the most stark moment of the series so far, but the tonal change was just as great in the scenes leading up to it.  I liked the sequences with Komari and Riki on top of the school looking at stars, and chasing down her memories in a rowboat on a lake (don’t they teach little girls that the first rule of rowboats is “DON’T STAND UP!”?). There was an agreeable sense of melancholy that was more substantial than anything the series has done to this point, and both scenes represented some of the loveliest art JC Staff has presented in the first five eps.  The pantsu shot seemed a bit extraneous to be honest, but this is a Key VN so it’s to be expected I suppose.  “Ecstasy” notwithstanding, Little Busters maintains a more innocent feel than Key’s other works, at least to my eyes.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 07In case you missed it Kouehi Kawase, the producer of LB, announced this week that the adaptation will certainly continue beyond two cours – “If you watch the 26th episode there will be a message that you want…  We know 26 episodes are too short.”  That’s about as unambiguous as you could want, though the details are still unknown – but it does imply that the adaptation is going to take its time and adapt each route with some faithfulness to the source VN, for better or worse.   As with any romance VN there are probably going to be arcs I wish were shorter and those I wish were longer, but that JC Staff have chosen to open what could be a very long adaptation with Komari is interesting – I certainly can’t say yet whether it’s a good idea or not.  But I’m enjoying myself enough so that I’m looking forward to finding out.

Little Busters - 05 - Large 08 Little Busters - 05 - Large 09 Little Busters - 05 - Large 10
Little Busters - 05 - Large 11 Little Busters - 05 - Large 12 Little Busters - 05 - Large 13
Little Busters - 05 - Large 15 Little Busters - 05 - Large 16 Little Busters - 05 - Large 18
Little Busters - 05 - Large 19 Little Busters - 05 - Large 21 Little Busters - 05 - Large 23
Little Busters - 05 - Large 24 Little Busters - 05 - Large 25 Little Busters - 05 - Large 27
Little Busters - 05 - Large 28 Little Busters - 05 - Large 29 Little Busters - 05 - Large 30
Little Busters - 05 - Large 31 Little Busters - 05 - Large 34 Little Busters - 05 - Large 35


  1. B

    I dunno how I feel about that news. I enjoyed Clannad well enough but even with only 23 episodes it was almost too much to take. Key adaptations tend to work best for me when they are short and sweet (Air, original Kanon, Angel Beats). Hopefully each arc of this one will be different enough that it can maintain my interest the whole way, I don't know how many cours of Komari I can take to be honest.

  2. B

    Agreed, Clannad was long winded (AS was another 26eps)and the characters weren't particularly interesting. I'd sooner recommend the Dezaki film version which follows the main narrative and doesn't linger at the end.

  3. R

    I can't say if this will be a good thing or a bad thing, personally I can't stand Komari either, but from memory she's really unimportant outside of her route/arc. It's a very long visual novel (50+ hours to finish – that's hard to cut down), as was Clannad (also 50+ hours), whereas Angel Beats began as an anime, and Kanon and Air were both much, much shorter (about 20+ hours each), so with all the extra content it kind of makes sense for this to be longer.

    I loved the Clannad anime and the characters, but couldn't stand the film (probably because I'd read the VN and everything felt wrong) though I do admit the first season dragged a bit, and the second probably should've been shorter (maybe 12 or 13 episodes would've been better).

    I'm hoping for 24 episodes for the main arcs, another 12 for Refrain (the equivalent to AS). That'll cover everything without dragging things out, and hopefully JC Staff will deliver.

  4. B

    Surely if they cut to the chase they could get this done in 26 (if not 39) episodes? I wouldn't expect them to animate absolutely everything like KyoAni tends to.

    Maybe story dense series in general would be better off if they raised the average episode count up to 39 again.

  5. R

    I honestly can't see any way for them to finish in 26 episodes. There's so much content in the visual novel, and the character stories alone should all take 4+ episodes each, which is about 20 episodes gone right there. Then we take the main story-line, and the after-story I can't see being less than eight episodes. With the two establishing episodes where we weren't in any routes in particular, and at least one more Komari episode, that's, 6+16+8=30 episodes at least.

  6. A

    There are five heroines left after Komari; and Rin has two routes so you have to add another eight at least. Plus some arcs will most certainly be longer then others (As there is more importance to some routes then others). 39 episodes may still not be enough. Also heard a rumor that they were gonna animate the extra routes from ectasy (The Eroge adaption of Little Busters). 52 episodes would definitely suit the adaption better.

  7. R

    Do you really think they're gonna do both Rin routes? It makes sense in the context of the game, but if they're taking the linear approach they seem to be taking in the adaptation (which I have no clue how they're going to make work with some of these routes, e.g. Kurugaya) they might not do both, they may end with Rin2 and skip straight to refrain. If they animate Sasami, Kanata and Kaya's routes, that'll definitely add more content. (and it'll help the japanese illiterate me in that I won't have to wait for them to be translated :P)

    Y'know what, you're probably right. If they do Sasami, Kanata and Kaya too, I can see the need for 52 episodes – 3 cours for the main routes and 1 cour for refrain. If they don't, imo 39 eps should be plenty.

  8. A

    Anyway… Found this episode fine. I can tell that things were definitely cut (Even though I never played the game myself). But all the important stuff was there and the pacing was excellent. Couldn't have done it better myself. (And everyone said J. C. Staff couldn't make a good adaption)

  9. H

    I honestly felt this episode was rather uninteresting. It felt like they were going through the motions, checking off the boxes in Komari's route, and just kind of soullessly moving from one scene to the next because that's what you do. There was almost no emotional connection to Komari. It's not that it was cheesy and laughable melodrama, it's that it felt like there wasn't any drama at all. Hey, they watched stars. Hey, they made wishes. Riki went and talked to the old guy. They went on a date. She finally remembered. It just felt like they had to get from there to here, and had to go through these checkpoints, so they did.

    I don't think I'd be accused of being an unemotional guy. But this show didn't do anything for me.

  10. s

    I'm more interested in how you were affected by Komari's breakdown. I've been reading on MAL how everyone thought it was so heartbreaking or emotional or whatever, but I didn't feel much. I was more intrigued by her circumstances. Wow, I sound like a mad scientist.

    On the subject of the episode count, I don't mind if this adaptation lasts longer. I don't read source materials (besides Fruits Basket and Hikaru no Go), so anime is my only gateway to these wonderful Japanese stories. The characters all look vibrant and deserving of full treatment. And a question to the VN readers: do the guys have arcs as well? I'll be disappointed if they're just there.

  11. B

    I haven't read the VN but this is Key so I'd be very very surprised if any male characters beyond Riki get major screentime. Key adaptations by and large always have 1 major male character only and the rest are auxiliaries at best.

    Expect the format to go like this: Riki gets closer to a girl, some kind of drama involving her comes up, drama gets solved as the writers mercilessly tug on your heartstrings. Arc over. Riki gets closer to another girl, some kind of drama involving her comes up, drama gets solved etc. etc. Most arcs will follow a familiar pattern too with a few lighthearted episodes full of jokes and silliness and then the drama hits and the arc does a 180 and becomes all serious business. Expect to see the other male characters mostly during the first part of that cycle.

  12. S

    They can't be called "arcs" but during the True Route (Refrain), each of Masato, Kengo and Kyosuke get an episode dedicated to them. In the game you actually see things from their perspective for a while.

  13. A

    The guys are incredibly important, more so than in any other Key work. In fact, I think most people would agree that the guys are the best part of the game. They may not play a large role in each individual girl's route, but they are central to the overall story. They are certainly more than "just there". You'll see when we get to Refrain.

  14. h

    "Arcs" in the romcom visual novel genre typically revolve around a chosen love-interest. The guys may have roles and their circumstances may be fleshed out significantly later on, but "arcs" for them implies the potential for romantic connection.

    …don't get me wrong, that would certainly be interesting in its own right, but I don't think that's how LB is set up.

Leave a Comment