「ホラー・NO・RYO大会」 (Horā No Ryo Taikai)
“Dorm Meeting of Horror”

I can only imagine what the tenor of the discussion is going to be like this week.

Let me state up front that I enjoyed this episode, as I’ve enjoyed all of them so far to some extent. But I’m also not going to offer up an extended rebuttal against those who might argue that this episode proves there is no “there” there when it comes to Little Busters. And the reason, simply, is that I have no proof that they’re wrong. At this point LB seems very much like a slice-of-life comedy that revels in the art of high-school time-wasting. If you haven’t liked that up to now you probably won’t have liked it this week, and even if you did, I could understand if you said you wanted more.

There’s a flipside to that, though, and it’s that there are plenty of series that never get around to being more than that, and don’t catch the flak that Little Busters does for it – the “cute girls being cute” genre contains more of them than I care to count. Part of the problem may stem from the fact that this one focuses more on comedy and a mixed-gender cast than straight up CGBC, but I suspect the biggest reason is that this is a Key anime – and people have come to expect melodrama from a Key anime. Apart from the Komari arc and to a small extent the Mio ep last week, we haven’t had much of that. Add to that the fact that a sizable chunk of the VN base is upset that this isn’t being animated by KyoAni, and you have a series without much of a built-in support system.

As to the episode itself, not to be a broken record but it was fun – nothing spectacular, just fun. It made me laugh a few times – the “cheek demon” bit especially, along with the sheer preposterousness of the whole “Holy crap, it’s Tweety!” scenario and a couple of Kud’s “Wafu!” moments (especially when Tweety buzzed her and she bolted down the stairs). Not to mention that the silliness with Masato and Kengo in the Principal’s office was never explained at all (unless you count the puzzling “yes ghosts” bit with Kud) except Mio’s “You might want to burn that.” The reason all that stuff is working for me is that LB has no qualms about being extremely silly and random, and doesn’t seem especially concerned about justifying it. I find that refreshing, and the silliness more often entertaining that not, along with the relentless positivity of the piece.

All that said yes, I too am ready for something with a little more substance – if not bitter, at least something salty or a little sour to cut the confectioners’ sugar. This is a Key anime after all, and even with JC Staff’s very relaxed pacing the simple fact is that there are arcs out there with girls’ names on them, and those arcs will contain drama – and I think viewers would be a little more forgiving if the stand-alone episodes came as transitions between them rather than in an extended run the way they have. Perhaps the preview indicates that Mio’s arc starts next week – at the very least she’s going to be the focus again, and formally join the Busters. And she brings a certain gravity to her storylines that the other heroines so far lack. It won’t be enough to silence the critics, but it will be a welcome change of pace.

 

Preview

34 Comments

  1. I was pretty happy with this episode. They showed the reactions of all the groups in ways consistent with the VN (that said, Rin/Komarimax/Kud was a hysterically bad team, even without Kurugaya trolling them), animated events that we didn’t get to see in the VN (Masato/Kengo ghost busting), and even managed to roll the “Mysterious Lifeform” micro-arc into it as well.

    Shiden
  2. I’m not sure what you’re getting at, Enzo, but since this is the 11th episode I would think that most people who didn’t like LB would have been done with it by now. So in all likelihood that tenor of the comments, at least here, would mostly be subdued.

    Passerby
  3. So this is what moe girl porn looks like… Porn doesn’t need any god damn plots, just need moe girls doing cutesy things and hogging the camera. How sad do you feel to jack off over this, NEETs?? Wait a min, they would love it, LOL!

    Greeny
      1. Okay, maybe I was exaggerating, but the chances of an eagle finding its way into a building, hugging a human it spent time with years ago, and then didn’t run away when they approach it are pretty much zero. Granted, I was witness to a hawk that found its way into a classroom before flying around haphazardly and outside another window for several seconds, so that first part IS possible!

        starss
    1. there is areason to why things work like that in the LB universe and when you find out…meh if you stick with the anime untill refrain you have cried so much it maybe hard to think, but the everything that has happened makes sense

      leo
  4. I really enjoyed this episode! The different characters came together and each contributed so much of their own personality in the story. Komari’s also a lot more fun now that she doesn’t have the weight of melodrama on her.

    BTW my understanding was that the ghosts in the principal’s office were sealed by a real talisman. Once Masato pulled it off (thinking it was one of Kyousuke’s), the ghosts occupied the room until daylight.

    foo
  5. I’m hoping next ep will go more in-depth on Mio, because I’m kind of interested in her.

    As for this ep, unsubstantial as it may be, I had fun with it. This show has a real soothing effect on me after a long week, so I’ll keep watching it despite the criticism thrown against it. Though it hasn’t reached the level of the best Key series yet either, but then again, the series does seem to want to take its sweet time.

    Dvalinn
  6. I have no problem with the silliness – that’s what makes it LB! The beef I have with this is the lack of subtlety in the storytelling, and how jarring the narrative can be sometimes. The beauty behind the ghost scene in the VN was because we didn’t see the horrors in the office. By showing the audience what happened in the office it basically slapped you in the face with the big scary ghost in broad daylight, diminishing its magic and mystery.

    More Mio next week. Mmmmm yes.

    Selcca
    1. Yeah the last scene could have been so much better if Masato and Kengo had gone into the principal’s room and were forgotten until the end where they suddenly came back like that.

      HakumeiJin
  7. In my eyes, it was a weak episode, but it wasn’t unpleasant, and it was entertaining because it wasn’t predictable. On top of that, I can only recall one instance of the Masato “abuse” that turns some people off.

    I’m looking forward to next week and Mio.

    Player
  8. Komari flashes her panties again! that was such a random skirt lift XD
    at this rate we’re going to browse through her entire underwear wardrobe
    before season’s end.

    Helvetica Standard
      1. I think the skirt lift is just for fanservice. As I recall, I don’t remember it happening in the VN (when pairing both Komari and Kurugaya together for the courage test)
        Kurugaya does have mild yuri tendencies, so that might be one way to explain it.

        Helvetica Standard
  9. Well, this was more of the same, but I found the episode a bit more enjoyable than the usual stuff.

    If have to say though, the track during the “Mission/Battle start!” scenes is really starting to get on my nerves.

    Access
  10. Just finished rewatching the first Ghostbusters movie after finishing the Ghostbusters video game a few days prior. All I could think off was “who are you gonna call?” when they were trying to “bust” ghosts XD

    I will say that I was one of those expecting a drama tone to the series rather than a slice of life, but I must say I quite like this direction. Sometimes when the series is too drama laden, I find I have to get in the mood before watching it. Not so with LB, which is definitely a plus 😀

    Taiakun
  11. I am totally fine with this episode. After all I like to see good friends doing fun things. Especially Kurugaya. She is so much fun to watch XD

    Lol tht unexpected eagle. Btw can some1 explain to me why Mio ask them to burn the talisman Masato and Kengo found in the headmaster office? Exorcism?

    Hmmm Mio arc next week eh?

    d-LaN
    1. Just wait. I haven’t played the VN, but I know the drama’s coming. I think J.C. Staff is ‘thickening the meat.’

      Think of making a sausage: you take a bunch of crumbled meat and put ’em together into a cylindrical shape… thing. The thicker the sausage, the more meat you use. That’s what J.C. Staff is doing right now.

      But, it’s only a matter of time before they take that thick, juicy, ready-to-eat sausage, and SLAM IT INTO A MEAT GRINDER!!!

      … crushing our hopes and dreams…

      NoSicko
      1. That’s a perfect way to explain how KEY loves to “build the vanilla up” only to add salt and vinegar afterwards. They are the Drama Masters, just you wait @Benigmatica. Wait and see..
        (Sincerely: a sick KEY fanboy who’s read pretty much all of their works)

        Helvetica Standard

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