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Little Busters! – 16 »« Little Busters! – 14

Little Busters! – 15

OP1.5 Sequence

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「ムヒョッス、最高だぜ」 (Muhyossu, Saikō da ze)
“Hell Yeah, This Totally Rocks!”

Don’t worry, Chairman-san – I don’t think I’d have noticed he was a guy either.

A lot of the time with Little Busters, my enjoyment comes down to the fact that it’s doing things I’ve seen done before, but in slightly different ways. There’s much about this series that seems very familiar – for good reason – but closer investigation reveals that it’s less so than it first appears. That’s a distinction that’s in the eye of the beholder, of course, but I consider my resistance to the sort of cute-for-its-own-sake anime LB is tweaking to be higher than most, so I’m no pushover.

Stepping back and taking a look at what we got in episode 15, it doesn’t seem like it would add up to much. It’s another “slice of life” episode, one that isn’t part of anybody’s route but exists simply to entertain for its own sake and provide a little general character development. We got some BL gags, some yuri gags, lots of shots of the girls in nightwear doing cute things (and not just the girls), even some dessert porn. On paper I should be changing the channel right about now, but somehow – as is often the case with Little Busters! – the whole ended up being more than the sum of the parts.

In the first place, the episode was funny – and that has to be the first place when it comes to anime comedy, otherwise all is lost. But what charms me more than anything into liking an episode that I normally wouldn’t is the fact that it’s consistent with the general LB approach. As in, there’s not a mean bone in this show’s body – there’s a sense of good-natured joviality to what happens that undercuts the usually degrading nature of these sorts of scenes in anime. Starting with Riki’s scenes with the guys in his dorm, yeah, these are yaoi jokes – but they’re not mean-spirited. They work because the genuine friendship that exists between the four males (Kengo less than the others) has been well-established. When Masato says he’s glad Riki isn’t in love with Kyousuke because it would cut down on their alone time, I laughed – maybe I shouldn’t have, but I did – because that’s perfectly innocent and in-character for Masato. And I like the fact that when Kyousuke half-playfully fled the dorm after Riki “rejected” him, RIki shouted out “I love all the Little Busters!” unashamedly. It’s a bit dorky, sure, but how often do we ever hear an anime character say they love someone using the actual words – much less to a friend?

The slumber party scenes in Rin’s dorm room seem like a minefield – this is not a good place for most anime to go – but again, they work because even the sort of teasing Riki endures here is undercut with affection. He’s annoyed, but not really humiliated – especially when he figures out that Kuragaya has set the whole thing up for Rin’s benefit, as she wouldn’t have been able to tolerate the others’ presence for a sleepover had he not been present. And the fact is, Riki is just as comfortable with the girls as he is with the guys (more on that shortly). He’s just that sort of person – utterly without malice himself, not unaware of the opposite sex but neither obsessed with ecchi or stammeringly nervous when presented with their charms. I found the humor itself a mixed bag in these scenes – I’m not that crazy about seeing Kud and Komari become a kind of moe Greek chorus (I like Kud better on her own). But the swordfighting scenes – with their endless “I am in your debt. How vexing!” interplay were the sort of dumb joke that LB can make work by its sheer shamelessness and lack of pretense. Plus, seeing Mio in lighter moments – especially turned-on by trap Riki – is pretty darn enjoyable.

There’s another subtly clever part of this episode that fits into the LB pattern, too, and that’s the way it tweaks the conventions of the VN structure. It isn’t too often we get the lead asked straight out “Who do you love?” as Kyousuke asked Riki here, even though that question is basically at the heart of every romance VN. The show is also having fun with Riki’s obviously somewhat delicate physicality without being too mean about it – yeah, he really does look cute in a girl’s uniform and he’s just as much at home hanging out with either group of friends. I like the fact that the stuff that’s always the unspoken elephant in the room is just brought out into the open in LB like it’s no big deal. It’s tough to pull off stuff like putting Riki in drag without it seeming cheap or cruel, but I think LB pulls it off by making it just part of the fun. It’s all between friends here – that’s the theme that underlies everything in Little Busters, and provides insulation against the pitfalls that derail so many other anime that look superficially similar.

Full-length images: 2, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 28.

 

Preview

Little Busters   15   Preview 01 Little Busters   15   Preview 02 Little Busters   15   Preview 03
January 21, 2013 at 2:29 am
60 comments »
  • January 21, 2013 at 2:40 amOmega

    Operation “Blending in”, Mission complete :)

    So next is the more “serious” arc of Hinata and Kud. I wonder Anego would be last and after that, will there be LB EX heroine’s arcs as well?

    • January 21, 2013 at 3:13 amCybersteel

      See here.

      • January 21, 2013 at 6:21 amKamiorika

        That doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Pretty sure it’s just a cameo. I don’t know much about Saya’s route, but I’ve heard it’s very long. Since she hasn’t made any appearances (other than cameos), since her seiyuu hasn’t been listed, and since she hasn’t been in any of the news or promo images, I wouldn’t bet on her being in the anime unless they do an OVA.

      • January 21, 2013 at 8:46 amCybersteel

        thats not the only time she appears

      • January 21, 2013 at 8:56 am†Croos†

        1.) http://puu.sh/1QEe0
        2.) http://puu.sh/1QEh3 Show Spoiler ▼

        3.) cyber’s link

      • January 21, 2013 at 7:46 pmKamiorika

        I still think it might just be a teaser for the fans of the VN. I would think that if she was going to appear in the anime, that she would have a few more appearances that had more impact than that. Or that she would at least show up in the other PVs and promo images.

    • January 21, 2013 at 4:51 am†Croos†

      Cybersteel, I really think Saya’s story won’t appear not unless the anime version actually do a magic 2 episode in one go minimum.

      • January 21, 2013 at 1:40 pmHelvetica Standard

        or we might get something more like “Little Busters: Another World”
        I’d LOVE that. I’m all for Sasami!! >:D

  • January 21, 2013 at 2:41 amOmega

    Edit: Opps. i meant Haruka

  • January 21, 2013 at 2:49 amLinkark

    Dunno… I was expecting Riki to look more like a girl.

    • January 21, 2013 at 3:48 amTakurannyan

      Hard to get him look more like a girl when he is already so much like one. He is main “heroine” of the story after all.

    • January 21, 2013 at 5:25 am†Croos†

      I was expecting him to look like this though
      http://puu.sh/1QAgp

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:08 amCybersteel

    TRAAAP!

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:24 am†Croos†

    Here are my thoughts:
    1.) I really like how they animate the Newspaper Sword but they really missed one part. I really understand the time constrain though. They didn’t do Mio’s blade properly. It was suppose to hurt like a whip(see video here) when she hits Saigusa Haruka.

    Anyway, Full Version of the Newspaper Sword(Time: 15:52mins to 27:28 mins) if any of you are interested.

    2.) But I won’t forgive the part here.:
    It wasn’t time constrain but no proper music attachment.
    The part where the Let’s talk about love part was fine but the Kyousuke Depression part wasn’t , my prefered perspective of course..
    JC staff didn’t add a proper music to it.
    It should be something like this (See videio)

    • January 21, 2013 at 9:55 amD

      Listen to this part, while looking at this. Oh god.

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:31 amdangerism

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:51 amTakurannyan

    It’s crystal clear that Riki loves Kyousuke : x

    • January 21, 2013 at 4:17 am†Croos†

      I think its the opposite.

      • January 21, 2013 at 12:56 pmHelvetica Standard

        That’s dangerous territory you’re traversing, guys…
        Then again, both of you may be right (those two are totally into each other)

    • January 21, 2013 at 4:31 amd-LaN

      Factor in Masato and you have a Kyousuke–>Riki<–Masato love triangle XD Riki, you better play your cards carefully…..

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:36 amGilyu

      In the VN, you have two choices when he asks if you love him:
      >Yes
      >Lie to him
      … pretty obvious :-p

  • January 21, 2013 at 4:38 amMegas

    Bah, give Riki Kyousuke’s hair style and he would have look straight up like a girl, instead of Riki in a girl’s uniform.

  • January 21, 2013 at 5:53 amKinny Riddle

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Busters/Little%20Busters%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    Gentleman, the true heroine of Little Busters – Naoe Rikiko.

    Kyousuke was probably going all “YAHOOOO!” when he received that, before going all cool and telling Riki he’s cute, Riki in turn giving him a meaningful blush.

    Of course, there’s also that confession Riki gave to Kyousuke prior to being kidnapped by the girls.

    • January 21, 2013 at 5:56 am†Croos†

      and then we can get an original anime end.
      Yaoi route. XD

      • January 21, 2013 at 10:36 amCybersteel

        I don’t know about LB, there’s a muscle route, but in Clannad I had gotten to the Sunohara – BAD END – Yaoi route.

  • January 21, 2013 at 7:10 amMiep :3

    Did no one got the feeling, that…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    -
    This episode was great and it looks like the next one is starting with the Haruka/Konata-Route :3

    • January 21, 2013 at 7:44 am†Croos†

      My reaction
      Now that you said that.

    • January 21, 2013 at 1:30 pmHelvetica Standard

      HUGE, HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD (read only if you’ve already read the VN.[All of it])
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 21, 2013 at 7:14 amd-LaN

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Busters/Little%20Busters%20-%20OP1.5%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    Totally not channeling P4 there.

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Busters/Little%20Busters%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    Heh.

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Busters/Little%20Busters%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    I support this ship.

    I got a pretty good laugh outta this episode. Kurugaya is even more devious than Kyousuke XD Imagine the chaos they can cause if they team up ;) I do feel a bit weird tht the guys is a bit too forgetful in saving Riki….. But oh well.

    Riki is one lucky basket… He not only gets to enter the girl dorm, he also manage to fool Ms President :O

    • January 21, 2013 at 7:39 pmVaans

      He even manage to fool the scary(and cute) Kanata. :p

  • January 21, 2013 at 7:52 amedo

    Are they really gay or It was a joke?

    • January 21, 2013 at 8:05 am†Croos†

      Only Kyousuke knows.

      • January 21, 2013 at 10:39 amCybersteel

        God Only KNows?

  • January 21, 2013 at 8:19 am†Croos†

    Don’t worry, Chairman-san – I don’t think I’d have noticed he was a guy either.

    If I remember correctly I think only Rikki can go to the girls dorm legally for unknown reaason.

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:34 amCybersteel

      Because of his Nyarkolepsy

      • January 21, 2013 at 11:11 amSeven

        Yeah, that makes sense
        “Oh you can’t sleep? Might as well go hang out in the girls dorm.”

        wait…

  • January 21, 2013 at 8:30 amstarss

    We needed a light episode like this after the serious arc, and it’s great seeing Mio loosen up a bit. Look at her standing confidently in the first screenshot from the OP, and her being a little voyeuristic in the episode! :D

    This whole ep was amusing to, even though I question how traditional it is for high school girls to kidnap a male student for a sleepover against his will. :D

  • January 21, 2013 at 9:46 am†Croos†

    The actual hatred why Komari gets hit a lots from Kurugaya takes back from KomariMax Vs Yui-chan part
    I bet Kurugaya didn’t want to lose again.

    • January 21, 2013 at 11:30 amLinkark

      Komari forgot how to defeat Yui-chan

  • January 21, 2013 at 11:29 amMCAL

    Ritoru Basutāzu Saikou!

    This was very entertaining. 11 more episodes to go with hopes for a second season near.

    P.S. Of course Enzo would put a sole picture of Kud in the opening caps. This is not a criticism by the way, so don’t reply to this like it is one.

    • January 21, 2013 at 5:04 pmGuardian Enzo

      As you’d know if you were reading the full posts the last few weeks, Mochi is capping this show for me.

      • January 21, 2013 at 5:30 pmMCAL

        Ah! My bad Enzo. Like I said though, I wasn’t trying to critisize. I love Kud too, although I find Kurugaya the more interesting character. Also, I hear Kud’s route is very quirky. Sounds like more Engrish fun is comming our way soon.

  • January 21, 2013 at 12:23 pmWhee

    very fun ep! the sudden complete plotless slice of life ep worked out real well

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:09 pmCrunchie

    I like how all the shots of Kud’s room……doesn’t have any of Kud’s stuff in it.

    Did they forget she moved in with Futaki? XD

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:47 pmedo

    haruka is very playful as always but i think she has a thing for kuruguaya, yuri incoming

  • January 21, 2013 at 4:09 pmsmokex365

    It looks like it’s going to get darker soon. Looking at the 6th Opening cap it looks like one of the girls with a lot of bruises. It looks like the disciplinary team leader. I’m interested to know what happened.

  • January 21, 2013 at 6:04 pmPasserby

    It really is quite by design that Kyousuke is much more the protagonist type and Rikki’s more, uh, main heroine if anything. It’ll all click later on, I’m sure. For now, at least Rikki didn’t uguu.

  • January 21, 2013 at 7:05 pmDvalinn

    I quite liked this episode myself. Sure, it was more slice-of-life, but it was often funny, it had all the characters bouncing off of each other and pretty much every character got some time to shine. And like you, I quite liked Riki in these scenes – it seems like every character nowadays is either a pervert or completely embarassed in a situation like that, so it was nice to see someone take the middle ground for once.

    This episode felt quite soothing and nostalgic (because I remember all the sneaking into each others rooms during field trips – also just having fun, mind you – all too well), so it was perfect to cap off a week.

  • January 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm†Croos†

    This is the original version of the sleep over:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL16thwjd4M
    Feel free to watch it. No spoilers guaranteed if you already watch this episode.

    But its really amazing how the director was able to mix/mesh a lot of common route events(Kyousuke depression, Newspaper blade, Let’s talk about love) in one episode. Though it still didn’t make me laugh much unlike the VN.

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:28 pmLoveAsuna

      I want to see the couple Kengo x Riki and lovely Kudo arouse feeling like rapture…cool

      I think this episode is most engrossing episode I had ever seen. The character focusing episode like ‘Komari’ or ‘Mio’ fell my expectation that the story quality was low… in other words, boring…

      However, today’s sub-episode was great.. funny and delighted….

      Wish Kengo x Riki engaged….

      Kudo is the purified existant… don’t ever touch her Riki

  • January 21, 2013 at 9:45 pmnagi

    Kyousuke x Riki is my OTP.

  • January 23, 2013 at 12:37 amJinS

    Looks like the next two arcs are going to be Hinata and then Kud. Not sure if we’ll ever get a proper Kurugaya arc, unfortunately.

    Also, Mio’s umbrella is gone in the OP.

    • January 23, 2013 at 2:43 amukato

      You mean Haruka and Kud?

      • January 23, 2013 at 2:54 amMidori

        Its not their fault that they’re forgetting her name.

      • January 23, 2013 at 5:33 pmJinS

        Oops! Thanks for the correction. I’m pretty sure I did Haruka + Kanata = Hinata in my head =(

    • January 23, 2013 at 3:56 pmMCAL

      Look back to episode 2. There were hints that there will be a Kurugaya route 100%. Seeing the circumstances, her route will play out second to last. I am waiting patiently.

      • January 23, 2013 at 5:49 pmPasserby

        While it would be great to get Kurugaya’s route as well, I won’t go so far as to say that it’s a 100% chance certainty. Considering that we’re well on our way towards Rin’s route (tasks, tasks) Kurugaya’s route might be somewhat conflicting. It would take a bit of grafting to attach all of it to our all-in-one-playthrough anime adaptation. It’s also even more romance-involved than Mio’s route, so even if they do it substance may be lost in adptation.

        That said, Kurugaya’s route after Rin’s route (or at least her piano; it’s lovely) will be quite interesting.

  • January 23, 2013 at 2:22 pmTsukiyo

    Didn’t Kud moved to Futaki’s room?

    • January 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm†Croos†

      Yes? why.
      A-chan(voice by the singer of the OP, Rita) does go to Futaki sometimes since she is the dorm manager and Show Spoiler ▼

      .