「答えは心のなかにあるんだ」 (Kotae wa Kokoro no Naka ni Arun da)
“The Answer is in Your Heart”

And so ends the Haruka Arc – or was it the Kanata Arc – and I can’t imagine anyone could complain about a lack of drama now.

I have a few issues with the way things were wrapped up here, truth be told, though I suspect they’re more with the source content than the execution – and all in all, I think this arc ended in a pretty satisfying way. Certainly, there was more to gnaw on here than with the Komori Arc, and the pacing was much better as well. I won’t say things were brought together with a lot of emotional subtlety but again, this is Key – in the world of Maeda Jun, emotional subtlety really isn’t the point.

Once again I need to start with the finish and reverse-engineer my reaction to the episode – interestingly enough it’s the second week in a row that’s happened – because what happens at the end is what’s sticking in my mind. There are some wholly admirable elements to the conclusion, but if in the end Haruka’s summation is “That no one is evil the world”, I have to take issue with that based on the evidence presented (not to mention personal experience). What about the sick bastards who forced the twins’ mother to marry both of her best friends? The same people who left bruises and scars up and down Kanata’s body (and mind), and literally threw Haruka out of her Dickensian shack when she screwed up? No, there are evil people in the world – and I don’t think one needs to believe otherwise to be happy.

Here’s the thing – I’m right on board with everything up to that point. Especially when Haruka says “I don’t need to hate anyone. I can love myself.” And I wholeheartedly agree with the notion that she decided she didn’t need to know whose kid she was – at that point it was largely irrelevant, and would only have unnecessarily complicated the healing process. It’s the whole “it’s no one’s fault” thread that starts to lose me, because it clearly is someone’s fault. To my way of thinking it’s not necessary to absolve her family for Haruka to move on – she simply needs to take her own advice and stop defining herself by hating her sister, and believing that happiness is a zero-sum game between them. She doesn’t need to deny the existence of evil or absolve anyone of blame – she simply needs to realize that as terrible as what her family did to her (and perhaps even more to Kanata) was, she doesn’t have to hate them for it – she simply needs to forget them as completely as possible and move on.

It’s certainly possible that I’m taking Haruka’s “I wanted to believe it more than anything – that there was no one evil in the world” too literally. Perhaps it’s not a celebration of her newly rediscovered love for Kanata but an admission that she’s been too naïve all along in believing that about her family – but I didn’t see it that way. For the record, I suspect the whole “two fathers” thing was BS and both children belong to the man their mother truly loved, as I believe the “criminal” Haruka believed was her father probably spared their mother the trauma of having to consummate a second marriage to a man she didn’t love. He emerges as the hero of the piece, if anyone does – he was the one who took matters into his own hands and took great hardship on himself in an attempt to free the girls from the clutches of the ghouls who were ruining their lives. That he failed in the attempt is tragic, but it doesn’t reflect badly on his intentions.

It was clear from the beginning that this episode was going to cover a lot of ground – there was no pre-open, which I believe is a first for Little Busters – and while it certainly did, I never felt things were being rushed. Among the stronger moments were Kud’s reaction to the general tide of rage against Kanata – I suspected she’d end up in that role – and the brutally stark tone of Kanata’s “confession”, where she described the indignities she’d been forced to suffer, right up to being blackmailed by the threatened murder of her sister. It’s tempting to pick at the wound of the mistakes both Haruka and Kanata made – and each made plenty – but the sensible lesson of the arc is that spending our lives searching for someone to blame and someone to hate is pointless. They’re kids, and no kids could be expected to have made good decisions when placed in the position they were in. In closing, I think Riki’s words make a good coda because they sum up the essence of LB very well – “There’s no Kamisama here – just us.” Life is not the zero-sum game that Kanata described last week – rather, we can choose either to promote happiness by helping other people, or to promote despair. It’s our choice and no one else’s, and we need to take the responsibility for the choice we make. Dengana mangana.


Full-length images: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 33, 35, ED 01, ED 04.


ED3 Sequence



  1. This episode…… made me cry. Sure, the idea of the Kanata just politely ASKING to separate from the family sounds easier than the conflict made it out to be, in which case I wonder why they couldn’t just do that years ago, but this is the kind of ending to an arc we love to see. It’s just so heartwarming.

    You DO NOT throw your child into a mud puddle and close the door behind you, family institution or not!

      1. Well, I don´t think that is a plot device because:
        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. The anime completely blew away the VN this time. The VN tread muddy water way too long with the romance part. The anime got rid of that & saved us at least 3 hours of drivel! BRAVO!!!

    Now I wonder just how they are gonna do Kud’s arc w/o the romance. That should be a masterpiece.

  3. I’m pretty sure ‘no one is evil’ meant in the sense that she was thought to be born evil, because her father was ‘evil.’ That’s what tortured her heart for so long, that’s the answer she was really looking for when seeking closure. It’s the difference between doing evil (the examples you mentioned) and being innately evil (which she now believes doesn’t exist, she doesn’t have to worry that she may be innately evil and condemned).

    1. I think you are right. Maybe it was something that the anime or the original script did not convey very well? I think the words used were to generic to convey the actual meaning.

      But considering the timing of being confessed who the father is, it is just like you said. She initially thought that one of the fathers was evil. And so she wanted to know if she was a daughter of an evil father. But it doesn’t matter anymore since neither father are evil. They were just good fathers protecting their children.

      But on the other note, i find it difficult how can two men can impregnate twins at the same time.

      1. As far as having twins from different fathers, it’s the same thing you commonly see in animals like dogs or cats. It’s very common for puppies/kittens from the same litter to have different fathers for each. It’s basically the same thing for humans, though much rarer. The usually cause is that instead of a single egg being release, 1 or more are released, usually a few days apart. Having identical twins (or identical looking) from that process may be exceptionally rare, it’s not impossible. Here it was likely more of a plot device.

  4. I agree with you Guardian. The ending was good but the process was shaky.

    Among the things you mentioned, it was weird on how they can dissolve the situation so easily by saying that they will no longer live with the support of their grandparents. It was supposed to be that their grandparents had so much power that they tore them apart from their parents. I mean, otherwise a mother and a father will fight in court with all their might so that their children won’t suffer what their mother had to go through.

    I mean, if their grandparents had the power to tear them apart from their parents from the beginning; they should still hold the power to control them in the present. I don’t see how the grandparents would just allow their grandchildren just go away just because they say so.

  5. Nice episode. I knew Kanata was acting harsh towards Haruka for a “reason”.

    One more thing, it’s hard to imagine that the father (“criminal” one) murdered someone after seeing how he is very kind and caring. Did he “accidentally” murdered someone in Saigusa’s family during the feud or something?

    1. He didn’t kill anyone – the charge was “attempted murder” which could really mean anything. I got the impression he set a fire to try and use as a cover to help escape with the babies or something like that, and got charged with attempted murder, but that could be a misread on my part.

      1. Hmmm, its strange because all this time I thought he murdered someone. Just when did the anime mentioned that is was “attempted murder”? Back in episode 16, I remember seeing on the flyer which he was arrested for murder and attempted arson.

      2. That what I got from it as well. The 2 guys staged a fight which resulted in a fire, which was the escape cover for the other 2 while Shou stayed behind to take on the BS charges that such a powerful family could easily make stick. The anime actually made that more clear since the VN was so damn vague that no could tell what they did.

      3. The charge is “arson & attempted murder”. They took some liberties with the translation which can easily be misunderstood. 殺人(murder) & 未遂(attempted) are connected in the flyer.

        It’s actually possible to be charged of attempted arson if you are caught in the act or the target fails to ignite. But the target definitely caught fire here so it’s definitely no attempt.

    2. That is strange. When we first see him, he’s in a drunken stuper and is completely broken and mean-spirited. I suppose he woke up with a hangover, realized he was behaving badly, and went back to work at the orphanage.

    1. Her absence was kind of puzzling as well.

      Though VN readers could only speculate as to JC Staff’s arrangement of her absence, since Mio and the others were largely absent in the VN version of the sisters’ arcs.

  6. Haruka’s arc was a funny thing indeed. In the very beginning, all the VN fans were in a rage over the very first episode and by the end they were pretty happy with the way the arc turned out anything. I’ll give JC Staff the credit they deserved. Compared to what I heard the VN is like, the anime version of Haruka’s arc was a masterpiece in emotional subtlety. Personally the bench scene did lose a lot of points for me, but all things considered, the end was result was fine with me. If I had any real problem with the finale, it was that Haruka perhaps came to her decision too quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I think in the end it was the reasonable thing to do and there’s no denying the whole friendship angle this adaption is taking made it slightly more believable than the romantic, but that doesn’t mean it should have happened so quickly.

    Other than that, I think, based on the info I’ve found, that this anime adaption was a rousing success. I give it a seven out of ten. I still found Mio’s route to be better due to the much more restrained drama (In my opinion at least), but Haruka (And/Or Kanata)’s route definitely had me feeling the most emotions like people said it would. But a seven out of ten is appropriate. Next is the start of Kud’s route (I am a Japanese Stupid!) which seem to take a break the next week and then the route will be finished in three episodes which will make Kud’s route the longest so far and I suspect we will either finish Kurugaya’s route for the season or focus on what I believe should be Kengo and the first Little Buster’s baseball game. As much as I love Kurugaya, I’d like the latter to be true and save her for the inevitable season 2.

      1. This. And who wouldn’t like that, anyway? I’d love to have 39/40 episodes of Little Busters, not just 26. Would be even better if there’s no break and it continues airing on Spring.

      1. But remember that we are talking about j.c. staff, the studio that summarized 6-hours routes in 3 episodes. I haven´t played clannad but I think that the after story and refrain have the same duration.

      2. For those who wonder why refrain is so long it is because it´s divided on 5 sub-chapters that complements the story. I think, separated in episodes of the anime, how it would be:
        Masive spoilers!!!!
        Show Spoiler ▼

        In total: 12 episodes to cover refrain. I think is fair.

  7. Nice to see Kud stand up for her room mate despite all the opposition, I felt bad for her being stuck in the middle like that. Would it be going too far to think that, to some extent, Kanata thought of her as a surrogate little sister?

    It felt so good to see the sister make up and finally meet their mother after so many years. And the “criminal” was in fact the greatest hero of this story and and IMHO as much a father to those two girls as any man could have been.

    1. I’d say that idea isn’t too far off the mark, considering the scene with them two eps ago.

      This was by far my most anticipated arc and I’m pretty satisfied with how it went down. I too found the “no evil” aesop quite clumsy, but I do like the significance it holds for Haruka’s personal journey, in that the narrative she constructs for her life no longer needs a bad guy. Looking forward, I’d like to see how the sisters’ interpersonal dynamic differs.

      1. I’ll be honest with you guys…

        Show Spoiler ▼

      2. Now that you say it, and if we consider that possibility, it´s probably that the end of kurugaya route would be the cliffhanger of the first season.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      3. I would love to see that happen, but I don’t think so…

        Show Spoiler ▼

  8. For those who wants to know more about the route, you can read this:

    This is from the Episode 18th thread of AnimeSuki’s forum. The poster went into pretty detailed depth about the differences and also more into the route.

    Anyway, after watching this route, I could no longer consider this a Haruka route. It truly is a Haruka/Kanata route. To be honest though, I think Kanata really shines in this route. All the assumptions and impressions about Kanata from the beginning till now have been completely changed. We now know that all the things she did is for a reason and it was simply all for Haruka. To protect her precious little sister, she’s willing to do everything that she can including hurting Haruka to prevent worse pain for Haruka. Not only that, she’s willing to do something that tremendously hurts her to the point where she finally broke down and also something that could have potentially eat away at her if Riki have not intervene and jump start the entire reconciliations of the sisters.

  9. This is the episode I’ve been waiting for. I liked Kanata since the beginning because I just knew there was so much more to her than she let on. This is, by far, my favorite episode, and although I agree some of the lessons like there being no evil didn’t quite ring a bell with me, everything else did. One of the best resolutions I could have wished for ;~;

    1. Actually there is something I’m not satisfied with at all. I wanted to see Magicians casting Purple Marbles of Hell and use it to obliterate the family. OVA OVA OVA OVA! By then, the sisters and their parent’s happiness can come true with no one to intervene.

  10. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. My apologies. And I was thinking since the Haruka/Kanata is covered by the anime, it should be safe. Guess I stand corrected.

        Can Enzo please put the tags for the last 2 paragraphs?

  11. We have so little time left! I know that we are going to have a second season, but would it also be 2 cour? If so JC Staff can push a lot of material over; Refrain won’t need 24 episodes.

    If we are to cram everything else left into this season, then things get a bit more interesting. Let’s see what we have left:

    – Kud’s route (incoming)
    – Kurugaya’s route
    – Rin’s route (1 and 2?)
    – Kengo
    – Baseball game
    – MUSCLE

    I would say that everything except Rin’s route (2) and the baseball game are largely skippable (even MUSCLE, but that is hard to admit). Rin so far has been a mix of 1 and 2, and with proper storytelling 1 is not required. Won’t take very long. Kud’s route we’re going to be doing. Kurugaya is difficult. Kengo is quasi-important to set up for a scene in Refrain, but we can go without for now. Baseball is too symbolic and climatic to pass up. MUSCLE is YEAH YEAH.

    So if I were to do it, and feeling ambitious, perhaps something like:

    – Kud’s route for 2-3 episodes
    – Kengo + Baseball
    – Rin 2-3 episodes
    – Kurugaya’s piano
    – Transition into Refrain

    If I was an especially baller director with expertise in breakneck pacing we could even have

    – Kud’s route 2 episodes, MUSCLE imagination sequence, set up climax of Rin’s route
    – Kengo + Baseball
    – Kurugaya part 1 for one or even half an episode
    – Rin’s route

    1. Whoops, cut off there. Naturally we’ll end with Kurugaya’s piano again to set up nicely for Refrain.

      Just some brainstorming of what they can possibly stil fit in. The more likely and saner option would be to end at the baseball game, push things off until S2, and have 2 cours for that.

    2. For what I have been reading this is how I think it should be:
      19 – Kud being bullied foir her nationality
      20 – sasami get closer to the little busters!
      21 – kud route
      22 – kud route end (maybe)
      23 – Koshiki accident
      24 – kurugaya route
      25 – kurugaya route
      26 – kurugaya route end

  12. Guess I failed at comprehension because I didn’t really notice what you brought up. But now I think you made a lot of good points that made me think a bit more on the conclusion. Well at least I thought this was the second best arc after Mio’s up till now, guessing Kud is next.

  13. Another great part of the episode was how Kanata was crying her eyes out and because of all the things she did to Haruka, even if they were to save and protect Haruka, she did not expect forgiveness from Haruka. She expects that Haruka will continue to hate and be mad at her but as long as Haruka stays alive, it’s ok. Haruka surprises her by hugging her and really did forgive her for everything that she did. Such a wonderful scene!

  14. Like some others, I think the evil thing was more about the old assumption of someone being able to be born evil, especially if they have criminal parents and such. I’ve seen the idea being handled in more shows than this one (I think Kare Kano did as well), and maybe it holds more influence in traditional Japanse families than ours (though I don’t think it’s completely absent here either, though). The only gripe I had was that it was so easy to escape from her family, considering these people were making murder threats before.

    Regardless, this definitely ended the strongest arc so far on a good note. Highly enjoyed it, and it was on par with some of the arcs in the Kyoani Key adaptations, in my opinion.

    Now more Kud time, yay.

  15. For those who complains that little busters! don´t have romance, I readed an article that said that the anime won´t avoid it completely! So the staff invites to keep watching!

      1. In english would be something like “The little busters anime wont be completely void of romance, it will be expanded upon soon so please keep watching ☆”
        Thanks to a MAL user for the translation.


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