「さて、わたしは誰でしょう?」 (Sate, Watashi wa Dare Deshō?)
“Now Then, Who Am I?”

Of all the series I’ve liked over the last couple of seasons, Little Busters! may be the hardest affection to justify.

In a court of law, a stipulation is when both sides agree to a certain set of facts, and that they won’t be argued for the duration of the trial. If I were acting in defense of LB, I would have a pretty tough case to make – because I’d have to stipulate to the following at the very least:

  • The female cast is mostly moe-moe.
  • I normally detest more for its own sake (though not moe in support of a greater cause)
  • Yes, the animation is not KyoAni caliber (though it’s fine for me, apart from the marble scenes this week)
  • The jokes surrounding Masato are basically slapstick, and they repeat every week with very little change
  • A little bit of Komori goes a long, long way
  • The seiyuu cast – apart from Horie Yui and Midorikawa Hikaru – has all the subtlety of a sack of hammers

And yet, I laugh. I smile. I wince, too, but not so often as to ruin the experience. Why is that? I hate to be a broken record, but I really can’t say exactly. This is a series that I know intellectually I should really dislike, yet I look forward to and enjoy every week. It’s not as though I love it or I’d rank it as one of the top shows of the year, but for a good-natured comedy with a hint of melodrama and romance, it’s entirely pleasant. Maybe there are times when in spite of the urge to do so, analyzing is really detrimental to the enjoyment of anime. Or would that mean sites that RC and LiA would be out of a job?

Since we’re here, I may as well admit to some of the lame jokes I found quite funny. When Masato said to Riki “Do you remember what I said? I don’t remember either…” When Kyousuke said “No, I’m joking.” And pretty much everything Kud said, including “How are you and I am fine thank you.” I also quite enjoyed the fact that there were actual repercussions to one of Masato and Rin’s silly fights – the broken desk actually ended up playing a part in the episode, and I can’t remember the last time an anime took a throwaway comic bit like that and actually worked it into the plot (though to be fair, there’s not much else about those Masato-Rin dustups that I’d keep, given the choice).

As for the larger direction of the series, we continue to see some somewhat surprising choices being made. After a very short (probably for the best) Komari arc we have what looks to be a one-episode interlude to fully introduce Haruka, and then rather than a Haruka arc, a jump to Kud next week – though whether for just an episode or a full arc I can’t say. Given that she’s my favorite of the girls so far I hope it’s the latter but I’m happy to see her get center stage. Haruka was fairly appealing in that role this week – there was enough that was unusual in her combination of airheadedness, deceit and physical dexterity to make her potentially interesting. As for her eternal blood feud with the Disciplinary Committee and its head, Futaki Kanata (Suzuki Keiko) I strongly suspect there’s more to it than meets the eye – or rather it’s the eye that suggests there’s more to it, as the two girls look strikingly alike. In fact Suzuki-san is playing both roles, which lends even more credence to the notion that there’s some connection between the two. If that’s the case I’m sure there’s going to be an arc centered around it sooner or later – in the meantime, bring on Kud and her tortured linguistic hodge-podge…

 

Preview

55 Comments

  1. It’s like this anime realises its silliness and just continues to have fun with it. I mean other Key anime had its moments of seriousness and dramatic flair from the early start but this one has that lighthearted and fluffy atmosphere in every episodes.

    vince
  2. Suzuki Keiko is using a much deeper voice for Kanata here than she did for the game, making her voice even more unrecognizable from Haruka, that at first I thought someone else was doing Kanata.

    BTW, it’s only recently I discovered that Kud is voiced by Wakabayashi Naomi, who is better known as Ritsuko from iDOLM@STER. I totally would not have imagined her with such a loli voice when she did Ritsuko.

    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm413960

    To show what I mean, here’s a fun iM@S radio clip of Wakabayashi simultaneously doing the voices of Ami, Mami, Ritsuko, Haruka, Chihaya, Yukiho, Yayoi, Iori and Azusa.

    Kinny Riddle
      1. Croos, I have no idea what you’re trying to say, it seems you must have misunderstood me. FYI I was complimenting Suzuki-san for her talent and effort, not complaining about how she’s overworked. Of course i’m of course aware that it’s common practice for seiyuu to take on multiple roles in the same series, often in the same episode or even same scene.

        Kinny Riddle
    1. I know what you mean. I wasn’t really convinced by the series after three epsiodes but kept on going b/c of the enthousiasm of fans of original work and the good name Key has. Yet, somehow this series falls short of not only my expectations, but also as a ‘regular’ anime.

      Arntor
  3. little busters needs more kud… luckily next episode seems to focus on kud…

    and honestly, she alone could save little busters in its still currently not so so interesting story unless, the staff JC staff placed does something wrong again like last episode where, they just go and animate the story like that not considering that there are NON VN PLAYERS who are watching… in short, rushed. of course only those who played the VN will say it is not rushed because they already knew the story.

    TheLastMan
  4. I enjoyed the episode but I was definitely getting worried about what they were trying to do when the whole thing was about Haruka so I’m definitely glad they’ll be introducing Kud next ep instead of going for Haruka’s ending as well.

    HakumeiJin
  5. I always wonder why Enzo ends up reviewing the wrong shows.
    I know I’ve said it before, but shows like this aren’t for you Enzo
    let someone else blog them. (someone who has actually read the VN, perhaps)
    You just judge a book by its cover far too quickly, It’s a KEY adaptation
    after all, like you would say, no? Why would LB need justification at all..?
    Let the bloody plot kick in, for God’s sake! it has barely started!

    Helvetica Standard
    1. I think Enzo is the right guy.

      From what I read from Enzo’s post for Little Busters! I see that he already spoil himself a bit but I think he didn’t totally spoil himself all of the info.

      It is better for Enzo, who haven’t seen the game completely, to review this. People who already played the VN to write for LB! anime is a good idea but they give hints unknowingly.

      1. If you’re thinking there are similarities between AB! and LB! wait an hypothetical Saya’s appearance.

        For chara design, Na-Ga made AB! charas, and (the best) half of LB! charas, Itaru Hinoue (Key’s cofounder and main chara designer) made the other half of LB! charas

        JY
  6. Sicerely, I liked past episodes, but this one I disliked a lot. I am starting to hate rin, how easyly she can call crap to Masato… He could be a idiot, but he has a great heart. Rin in the other hand is violent to her friends and changes 180° her attitude with girls, I don’t buy it.

    Wanderer
    1. Oh come on.

      Its just stupid nicknames that friends come up. Heck I even call my friends with weirder names and my friends would laugh at it. Its just for fun and Kyousuke didn’t invented those battle system so they can become enemies.
      Its just a friend fun game.

    2. I’m not that crazy about the Rin-Masato stuff too far either. It does seem to cross the line from friendly kidding to downright mean at times, which puts it at odds with the tone of the rest of the series. Not to mention it’s already pretty repetitive.

      1. They’ve made their relationship kind of awkward (even on the VN as well)
        I can only tell you Show Spoiler ▼

        please, just give the show a couple more episodes. So far it’s been great and
        faithfully adapted to the VN. (Although we VN readers know where it is headed we feel things are happening at the right pace, but even if non readers feel it either rushed or slow-paced, you’ll grow to love it.)

        Helvetica Standard
      2. I’ve come to really love Masato as a character. He is a great friend and incredibly sporting with their mean jabs and seems comfortable with himself (after all he IS an idiot). Of course I understand he has his own drama going on.

        Rin, though, really is being a bi*ch. It’s not so pleasant to watch them interacting.

        rufe
      3. I personally don’t recall what Helvetica Standard put in spoiler tags as being the case. Rather, neither that statement nor the opposite statement was the case IMO.

        But yes, this is on JC Staff. The LB VN has a built-in “battle system” (full-fledged randomization of weapons, random matches between LB members like Rin and Masato, HP, etc.). Some of the battles are part of the story (like all we’ve seen so far, I think?) and so they occur regardless of stats and the RNG, but normally if you play the LB VN, you will have tons of matches, tons of winners and losers, and note this is important, the winner always gives a random silly “punishment” nickname to the loser, which means that Masato giving Rin the bad nickname isn’t unusual at all. It’s just that JC Staff isn’t animating those random battles, and also something about their characterization of Rin doesn’t really convey the subtlety that Croos cited where it’s 100% clear they’re basically just doing a boke and tsukkomi act which is reflexive self-expression with no deep emotional involvement.

        On a side note, Haruka is the best.

        Player
      4. That’s why adapting LB! is a very tough job, there’s a helluva ton of things that aren’t really suited to be adapted to TV series, not to mention LB! had a totally subtle foreshadows and misleading sillyness unlike -a girl in the sky-, -sad girls in snow- or -girl and robot in a scenery of white-. Even KyoAni would be in a really though difficulty to adapt early parts of LB! (since early part of LB! VN is eve a more gigantic chore), and that’s why Key already rejected numerous offer to adapt LB!, including offers from Warner Bros. Dunno why they decided to accept that after years of rejection.

        But well, let those who are bored of waiting stop halfway. If J.C managed to adapt Refrain with style, news will spread.

        zeroyuki92
  7. “Of all the series I’ve liked over the last couple of seasons, Little Busters! may be the hardest affection to justify.”

    I know that feel man. But I totally dig the “group of childhood friends” thing, and I really enjoy how the characters have fun, the mood they make and the overall atmosphere of the setting.

    SnooSnoo
  8. I would like to call attention to a horrendous animation error. When Kud is slipping on the marbles as seen in this screenshot(https://randomc.net/image/Little%20Busters/Little%20Busters%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2021.jpg) she is wearing slippers, which is not all that unusual in a Japanese school. Not 3 seconds later Riki catches her and she is wearing large boots.

    It’s shit like this that make this adaptation horrible. The quality issues are worse than Kanon 2002. I hope Key is taking note of how horribly JC Staff is mismanaging their IP that they properly remake it with KyoAni or PA Works or hell even Shaft at this point.

    But what I’m most disappointed in is that Key apparently didn’t learn their lesson the first time around, and now LB is suffering because of it.

    Tarage

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