「恋わずらいをいやせ」 (Koiwazurai o Iyase)
“Heal Lovesickness”

Time for one last diversion before we likely stick to “route” episodes until the end of the first season, but this stand-alone episode might just have been more relevant that it first appears.

These sidebar eps of Little Busters! have been a mixed bag in terms of quality, though I suspect I’ve appreciated them more than most viewers. This one fares pretty well in its own right, though it would be fair to at least ask why it was placed where it was – after one Kud episode and before what looks to be the full Kud arc. It seems like an odd choice, given that we would have had an interrupted arc focusing on Kud otherwise – I’ll trust that there’s a reason for this that will become apparent as we move through Kud’s arc. I suspect that it might have something to do with a major difference in tone between last week’s ep and what’s to come, but that’s strictly a guess.

It might also appear to be a strange choice to focus an episode around Sasasegama Sasami, who’s deep into the second tier of the character hierarchy. I’m personally OK with it as I found her earlier appearance (the cafeteria ep, which most viewers seemed to loathe but I liked in a big way) sparked some of the funniest material in the series. I think her silly feud with Rin is one of the more endearing distractions in LB – I like the dynamic between her obtuse self-obsession and Rin’s general not give a rat’s-ass tone towards her – and the antics of her Greek chorus and Rin’s constant mangling of her name (hey – it is hard to say) are the sort of innocent tomfoolery that’s right up this show’s comedic alley.

What strikes me, though, is that this was actually a Rin episode disguised as a sidebar episode about Sasasase and Aikawa, the hapless second-year crushing on her. Rin is obviously the main girl in Little Busters, but rather than the focus on her existing in bursts, she’s more of a general presence (I know her route is coming, don’t worry) that intersects with all the other threads. It’s ironic in a way that the most overtly romance-themed ep so far should focus on such minor characters, but the inside joke to me was that Rin was thinking about her own feelings for Riki even as she was focusing on the two mismatched lonely-hearts. She may not understand what it means to be lovesick on an intellectual or experiential level, but she definitely understands in her gut – when Aikawa described the pain in his chest when he sees Sasasase, you could see the recognition on her face.

The interesting contrast, of course, is that Riki seems to have been quite sincere when he gently chided Rin that perhaps they shouldn’t have interfered with poor Aikawa’s business because “neither of us have experienced love”. That gap in interest is sure to pose issues later, I would think. Meanwhile this episode was also as opportunity to get a look at just how much Rin has grown since the early arcs of the series in terms of conquering her phobias. She’s comfortable enough around the other she-Busters now to join them for a tea party, willing to accompany Riki to a strange guy’s dorm room, and even willing to humbly apologize to Sasasegawa to try and help the cause of romance along. Of course her actual schemes are disastrously stupid, especially the ones she hatches (“Meal A combo”?) after Sasasegawa admits she has a crush on Kengo (we sure haven’t seen much of him, have we?) but at least she’s come to the point where she’s able to make the effort.

While there were some nice comic moments here (Rin’s mangling of the word “hip hop” and Aikawa’s pathetic attempts to perform the same – “Spew!” – spring to mind) there’s another way these events tie into the main canon, and that’s with the note that was tied to the cat-tail, the third such one we’ve seen. I’d about forgotten about those notes, to be honest, it’s been so long since we’ve had one – but that makes two weeks in a row where we’ve had elements that point towards the mystery element of the story (Masato’s smirk being the other). I’d guess that suggests we’re inching closer to the point where that’s going to be a major plot component, though it would surprise me if we see anything definitive before the end of the season.




  1. The 2 halves of Kud’s arc are just too different for words & the transition had me at a total lost so dividing it up with an episode like this is definitely a good thing. Now maybe it can make a little more sense.

  2. Aikawa’s a pretty good catch himself, with his own cute looks and interest in hip hop. Rin and Riki solved the task in a very realistic way, which I admire, for a “matchmaker” story.

  3. Helping Rin with her tasks leads to her route, so we really needed to get them done before we run out of common route time. Glad we are on track for baseball as well; it’s a climatic event in the VN (no matter the outcome) and may perhaps be a good part to end the first season on.

    As for Kud, I can somewhat understand why they slotted in this episode before we got into Kud’s route proper. At the same time, I feel that episode 19 and 20 could easily have been swapped around. This episode ended up having a bit of a filler-ish quality to it (in various ways)–even though as a whole Rin’s tasks are an important part of the plot–and having Kud’s character development episode right before and the meat of Kud’s route after may diffuse focus somewhat.

    Still, Kud’s route is by far the most “suddenly stuff happens” kinda story so once we get into it we’ll have to blast right through. Perhaps the positioning of this episode is just to give some sense of passage of time before they really rev the engines, so to speak. How much more time or appetite will we have for light development after it? I am ever curious as to how they will structure our remaining episodes.

      1. Oh. I almost forgot to post the summary of the next episode!
        Show Spoiler ▼

    1. She has her own route in Ecstasy, because all girls love Riki. Alas, Riki’s one true love will always be Kyousuke. Kyousuke’s one true love is shounen manga. Together they form a star-crossed love quadrilateral with Kengo’s hair*.

      *These are lies, no matter how much I want it to be true.

  4. Just speculating, but I suspect that the real mystery of this series will be revealed in the dying few minutes of the final episode, leading to a cliff-hanger of sorts which leads into next season.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        That said, I still think baseball will be a better end point. We’ll have more time next season to get things done.

    1. She’s obviously an extraterrestrial being whose goal is to proliferate her race in Earth through Saya no Uta means. Well, kidding aside, she doesn’t really have a secret. More like, all you need to know has already been said in your face, or at least hinted at. Just dig deeper. Deeper

  5. Good episode!
    This was my favorite task in the vn and I loved how the anime adapted it.
    Next week is kud´s turn to shine, and i´m sure that no one will be indifferent to her story ;__;
    Show Spoiler ▼


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