「君が幸せになると、私も幸せ」 (Kimi ga Shiawase ni Naru to, Watashi mo Shiawase)
“If You’re Happy, So Am I”

About the best compliment I can pay to the second episode of Little Busters is this: I’m not quite sure why I enjoyed it as much as I did.

I’ll be honest – there was quite a bit in this episode that under normal circumstances would make me cringe (a lot of it involving a certain head-tilting moe moe kyun girl). Setting aside the foreshadowing elements (which were nicely handled) for the moment, the episode basically consisted of a lot of Kamikita and Rin vamping their personal strain of moe and a lot of fairly silly gags. But somehow, it worked, better than it did in the premiere, certainly – though I’ll be jiggered if I could tell you why. It just did – for me anyway. That’s usually the way with shows that rely on this sort of humor and atmospherics. I can’t say whether I’ll feel the same way next week or next month, but this time around I enjoyed Little Busters a lot.

Mind you, given a choice I would prefer it if the series didn’t focus too heavily on Kamikita, as she’s a bit of a load to take in. Key stories always have a girl like her (or even two) and I’ll give Maeda Jun credit, there are things he does that in lesser hands would be disastrous – and characters like Kamikita are one of them. There’s a certain unapologetic commitment to the cause that makes his moe characters tolerable, just as his unapologetic commitment to melodrama makes it effective as long as he doesn’t overindulge (which he usually does from time to time). And even I had to smile at the anteater panties gag, as that was at least a new twist on something that’s been done to death, and Kamikita’s “You…saw…nothing…!” response was pulled off with perfect timing. Timing is probably one key (sorry) reason why the gags worked better here than last week – the episode was like a boxer that lands quick jabs, then dances back out of range and waits for the opportunity to strike again.

We’re sure to get melodrama here, this being Maeda Jun and all, and we certainly see the first signs of it creeping in. Let me just state for the record that tying messages to a cat’s leg (or even worse, tail) is a cruel thing to do, though it’s a novel way to move the exposition forward. “There is a secret of this world” is a message that seems as squarely aimed at the VN player as Rin and Riki, but you couldn’t stage a Little Busters anime without inserting the phrase. There’s very much a VN quality to this episode – I’m assuming the adaptation is extremely faithful thus far – in the introduction of clues, the assignment of tasks and the application of titles (to Masato-kun, anyway). Normally this spells disaster for an anime, but in LB’s case it’s been pretty effective at drawing the audience into the story.

Another potential source of melodrama is surely Riki’s narcolepsy, introduced in concept early in the ep and in practice at the end. Narcolepsy is a misunderstood condition by most, and can actually be a very devastating affliction – and for the life of me, I can’t recall another anime character who’s had it. It should be very interesting to see a plot contingent on it, and it does add a sort of “moe” quality to Riki’s character too. Riki is a bit different than most VN leads in that he has some of the qualities often assigned to the heroines – he’s the sort of character other characters decide they want to protect (which takes us literally into moe territory anyway). We’ve already seen signs of this – Kyousuke is obviously protective of everyone, but Riki especially – and Masato and Rin too seem to see themselves as watching out for him. The narcolepsy is obviously part of this but not, I suspect, all – and we’re sure to see more development on this front. We’ve also seen that Rin is a bit more than a typical antisocial tsundere – she’s shy almost to the point of psychosis, especially around other girls.

It’s interesting to compare and contrast Little Busters to the other works in the Key portfolio. Of course all Key series follow a similar trajectory of starting out as slice-of-life stories, then slowly developing into melodramas of varying intensity. It’s possibly that LB is simply following that same path, but for me, so far, there is a difference in tone. This show feels more innocent than Clannad or Kanon, and more preoccupied with what might be called a traditional anime focus on wistful youth and the group dynamic than on the boilerplate Key tragedy-to-romance-to-tragedy express train. Time will tell if that notion has merit, but the most important thing for now is that it’s a good show – most of the gags work, as stupid as they are (Burt & Ernie puppets as baseball mitts being a good example), the kawaii is excessive but effective and the story is experiencing a nice slow build. For me it’s so far, so good.




  1. I feel so sorry for Masato, he can’t escape from the curse of being the clown of the show (It doesn’t help that the VA of Masato happens to voice Lancer from FSN too.) Still, I wanna learn how did he managed to punch the fly to death! That and HUMAN SOAP BATH!!

  2. I know Komari is a moe-blob, yet everytime as Riki I engage her in the game, she just gives me a darn smile. And Komari and Rin together is just so…… HNNNG. lol

    Ever since Haruhi, Kyo-Ani just don’t do panty shots no more (K-ON striped ricebowl being the most prominent example), so perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Kyo-Ani decided to pass on this title?

    MASSIVE spoiler below concerning “Secret of This World”:

    Lets not do that, just in case. ~Enzo

    Kinny Riddle
    1. Enzo, for Christ’s sake, I had my spoiler tags on!

      I even specifically clicked “Preview Comment” to make sure they’re on!

      Now you edited my post to make it look like I spoiled by accident, and misleading some of the downvoters into downvoting me as a result.

      When has RC degenerated into a place where posters can’t even discuss with the spoiler tags on?

      Kinny Riddle
      1. My post, my rules.

        I won’t pledge to delete every one of these attempts to spoil the entire story, so read at your own risk. But it seems to me that the only reason to post a “HUGE SPOILER” tag is because you want people to break down and read it. Why spoil the entire series for someone who doesn’t know what I’m sure was under that spoiler tag? Contrary to what whiners might say I don’t delete speculation and in most cases, I have no more problem with spoilers than any other writer. I just think there are certain spoilers for certain series that ought not to be posted.

      2. Well, GE’s post; GE’s rules…

        But really calm down, GE. It isn’t a loss to you if some other poor idiot got spoiled, unless you are too, which I doubt.

        And unlike your own blog, this one comes with a spoiler tag, put there on the notion of freedom of speech (by the first bloggers maybe?).

        So there really isn’t a reason for you to remove spoilers. You’re going to drive away some of your readers with that attitude.

      3. “But it seems to me that the only reason to post a “HUGE SPOILER” tag is because you want people to break down and read it. Why spoil the entire series for someone who doesn’t know what I’m sure was under that spoiler tag? ”

        I’m sorry Enzo, with all due respect, but that is just bullshit.

        You make it sound like I want EVERYBODY to break down and read it, when obviously the only people I want to break down and read it are THOSE WHO HAVE BEAT THE GAME. I WANT to discuss the story with them. If there are other people who decide even after seeing a sign saying “DANGER, HERE BE DRAGONS” and still go in without equipment, then they only have themselves to blame.

        Stop trying to twist other people’s intentions.

        I really do not want to do this, but I’m going to have to take this to Big Boss Divine.

        Next time, explicitly say in your post that no spoilers are allowed.

        Kinny Riddle
      4. LOL at Cybersteel!

        Ok moving along… I think Enzo is entitled to delete or edit comments as he wishes – like he says, his post, his rules. I don’t think Enzo intended to make Kinny look like an idiot or anything by deleting spoilers; Enzo probably just doesn’t see the value of adding spoilers to comments on this post. That’s fine.
        You might want to make a disclaimer at the end of your posts though, Enzo. That way readers don’t get sidetracked by posting about topics you rather not read.

        About the actual episode: It was alright… It wasn’t an episode that I sat and watched all in one go since I got distracted halfway through =S But that’s also probably because I don’t feel very attached to the characters. I was actually expecting more from the anime (similar to Kanon and Clannad like you stated), but I guess it might take a while to pick up. Still going to finish it though =) Rin is so adorable! Komari is alright.

      5. The reason why there is a spoiler tag is because people who are ready to click it will click it at their own risk. May it contain spoiler or not its still their risk to click it. If the are the once who is itching to click it, its still their risk.

        You write by heart, mind, and time, we read them with respect and we also give feedback with our thoughts and time just to write as well.

        So PLS Enzo, tell us before hand that MAJOR SPOILERS(even with spoiler tags), are not allowed so that we would know.

      6. I suppose since my policy has been exactly the same for every mystery-themed series I’ve blogged (Mirai Nikki, Steins;Gate, et al) I didn’t think it necessary to restate it again. Maybe I shouldn’t bother – people seem to find the right to spoil new viewers a God-given right and it’s true, people have a choice about clicking or not clicking a spoiler tag. I choose to err on the side of caution (though again, no promises) for a show like this or the examples I cited, where certain very specific spoilers can ruin the entire viewing experience.

        It’s hardly for my own amusement that I even bother – if you follow my own blog you know I’m having a hard time keeping up with blog posts this season, never mind patrolling comments – and these LB posts have been later than any RC series I’ve done. It would certainly be easier just to say screw it and leave everyone to their own devices.

      7. Well, for YOUR information Enzo, I’ve not seen any of the other mystery series which you have aforementioned, thus explaining my being unaware of this entirely arbitrary unwritten rule you have enacted without my knowledge. Don’t assume the whole world knows about your “rules”. Like I said, next time if you don’t want people discussing spoilers even behind spoiler tags, please bloody say so.

        To say I’m quite angry is an understatement.

        Kinny Riddle
      8. While I have no love lost for the voting system, I don’t think that’s really the issue here.

        I’m sure there are arguments both for and against this policy. Offence was probably taken from the way it came into existence.

      1. I don’t really think that’s a good argument, especially for this show……which is rather well-known….so anyone can actually be blogging it. Now, if its an unknown show and someone is willing to pick it up, that would be another story.

  3. “Narcolepsy…and for the life of me, I can’t recall another anime character who’s had it.”

    Onegai Sensei, both Kei and Ichigo. (Sure they took some liberties with the actual disease)

    1. There’s also Komori Tarou from Ghost Hound, where his narcolepsy plays significant role in the story. Actually Tarou is so similar to Riki that he might be his expy. Probably he isn’t, considering timeline, but similarities are striking.

      1. It’s funny you mention Tarou, because I did think of him as another example of the moe male lead – but that’s a very different sort of show than a VN adaptation. I don’t really think of his condition as narcolepsy, though – I think it’s something unique to the series.

      2. Well, he have some other issues, true. But he also have narcolepsy – remember the scene on the shrine steps? Not to mention him sleeping in class and everybody (including teachers) letting him. He’s officially narcoleptic.

      3. You may be right, but I think of it as being slightly different. His condition is directly related to the death of his sister and the kidnapping, and he’s being treated for psychological rather than physiological issues. As in, he can’t sleep at night due to the nightmares, so he falls asleep in class.

  4. Personally,I like the interaction between Rin and Komari so much. It make the cuteness overload in this ep totally adorable for me.Great character development for both of them too.

    And..Main plot and some problems are coming!! I always know that key’s series will get darker soon,But this is really early.Well,it worked for me at least.I want to watch next ep now.

  5. that leader of Little busters! continued to be a laugh..the scene in which he said he couldn’t undo his furrows got a huge chuckle from me….i hope he can continue to be a comic relief when things get dire in future episodes…

    1. If you watched Ef A Tale of Melodies and Memories you will remember her as the girl with the eye patch. I think she is called Chihiro there.

      Gotta admit though, that the seiyuu got better. Her voice is worst in the VN than the anime adaptation.

    1. They do live at school. Rin is popular because she is the brother of one of coolest guys in school along with the other guys who are consider to be really popular. She basically only hangs out with the most popular guys at school.

  6. What you have to understand about Rin is that for almost all of her life she’s been lead around by her brother and only really interacting with the Little Busters. To say that she is antisocial is an understatement. Really, she’s a lot like a stray cat. If you approach her too quickly she will hiss and run away. This was by design, down to the bell she wears.

    I’m not going to spoil anything, but realize that one of the reasons that Riki and company try to help Komari befriend Rin is because it’s incredibly unhealthy for her to only have four guys as friends. If she is ever going to be a well adjusted individual, she needs interactions.

    Next episode it looks like we’ll be meeting ‘Onee-chan’. That will be… interesting. Given the rate at which they are plowing through the source material, I’m not quite sure what direction they are going. GAME SEMI-SPOILER AHEAD: Show Spoiler ▼

  7. “I’ll give Maeda Jun credit, there are things he does that in lesser hands would be disastrous – and characters like Kamikita are one of them. There’s a certain unapologetic commitment to the cause that makes his moe characters tolerable.”

    Extremely well said, and I heartily concur.

    The difference in tone compared to Clannad and Kanon is marked, and the “group dynamic” factor can certainly be pointed to as one of the reasons why. Perhaps another factor boils down to the studio handling the adaptation. JC Staff has made some wonderful anime in the past around similar premises — though, granted, not quite similar enough to warrant direct comparison. Toradora is the closest in my book, although Ano Natsu shares a few key elements. The former is somewhat self-explanatory, while in the latter I’d venture to say it is namely the focus on a group of close friends (within which drama/romance begins to stir) that makes the comparison apt.

  8. I can’t say I ever grew too attached to Komari in the VN. Her voice was incredibly high pitched, her personality incredibly sugary (in more ways than one) and the shameless fanservice parts didn’t manage to get me on board. But she was a source of moral conflict for me. Each time I slogged her with a baseball and she made a gibberish sound, it felt good. On one hand, I felt justified. Each time she got hit, she gained stats. I’m a gamer; this was levelling. On the other hand…heh, she got hit. Snicker. I’m a horrible person!

    In this way she became one of the more useful players on my team. Life is strange like that.

  9. I’m really enjoying this show so far, and Komari is actually one of my favorite Key girls since I played the VN of Little Busters, since I also like Ayu from Kanon, Misuzu from Air, and Tomoyo from Clannad. She’s kind of like an Ayu, but her own brand of an adorable dork, with a touch of hyper that sort of reminded me of Minorin from Toradora, and full of cute little surprises, especially with what happens a few short seconds into this part of the scene if you watch the episode:


      1. Actually, in terms of male characters in general, this is not the first time she’s voiced a male character if you count Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru. But yeah, it does feel a little strange when you put it that perspective. All that we need now is for Riki to say “Uguu!”.

    1. Yeah,This is one of significant reason that make this series didn’t look that harem-ish and manage to feel somehow refreshing.

      If you let people watch first two eps without knowing about the source, I thought that only few people can tell that this show comes from dating VN. Instead this feels more like the story between “group of friends” that try to recruit the girls for their baseball team.XD It make overall direction looks better and have more dynamic for me.

  10. Moe….moe overload!!! Komari-chan :3 (4 some reason she feels like Madoka with her moe scale dial to max lol)

    Hmm…. why am I getting a AB! flashback when the “secret of the world” pop up… IT BEGINS.

    The males of LB! is really something. Not to mention Masato fly killing punch, his goofball role and his occasional smartness like the one at the end. And Kyousuke really something. Lol at recruitment test. (POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!)

    Lol nyarkolepsy. Cannot unsee/heard.

    This episode really shows Rin in a diff. light. Be4 I thought she the tsundere lead of every harem show, but in this ep it shows tht her attitude stems from the fact tht she antisocial and terribly bad at interacting with ppl other than Kyousuke and co. Good thing Riki and Komari around to help her.

    Any VN vs Anime comparison chart/web somewhere??

  11. Well, I don’t know anything about the games or the novels, but honestly, I found these two episodes quite boring. I guess the characters are alright (except for the new blonde girl who’s very annoying x.x) and the art is beautiful but that’s it. I really hope it gets better.

  12. I have only seen Komari here in the anime, but she’s such a lovable character to me o(-^o^-)o That cliffhanger just screams, “Watch the next episode!” even though that is impossible at this moment…oh, the suspense…(_ _);

  13. i fear that lots of people are going to dismiss Komari’s character as being “annoying” just because she is optimistic and looks on the bright side. I’ll never understand this double stangard with gender characters in that a male character can have everything and anything(pleasant personality, wealth, and glorification) but if a female character had any of these things she would be labeled a “mary sue” “goodie two shoes” or a “brat”. besides being open to emotional attachment is boring for a girl character right? All female characters should be pessamistic and have a cynical viewpoint of world around them because that will make them more “interesting” as a character right? Not a troll just an observation on characters like Komari.

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