「(鈴ちゃんが幸せならわたしも幸せだから」 (Rin-chan ga Shiawase nara Watashi mo Shiawase dakara)
“If You’re Happy, Rin-chan, Then I’m Happy Too”

It’s always interesting with a conspiracy tale like this one to wonder whether the style of the series has changed, or just the way I perceive it.

I’m seeing ghosts in every corner and hidden meanings behind every phrase in Little Busters now, while in the first cour there were long stretches where I never even thought about the underlying mystery behind the series. I don’t think it’s all me – LB really has gotten more blatant about dropping hints on our head like 16-ton weights, I’m sure of it – though I wonder how much heightened sensitivity (hey, Hisoka got me thinking about it) has to do with it. I also suspect, however, that drunk with its newfound power LB is also dropping a few red herrings in there too, just to throw us off the trail.

I have to start on this episode by saying that for me a little Komori goes a long way. Well, I’ll be honest – any Komari goes too far, really. I find her pretty intolerable (and don’t ask me to justify why I do and still love Kud – if you have to ask you’d never understand). So stylistically speaking for me there were chunks of this episode that were pretty much a write-off just based on personal bias, but that said, I still think it was a pretty good one. And really for the fist time I get the sense of how Komori fits into the big picture vis à vis The Secret – or at least that she does fit into that big picture. The episode also featured a very funny bit featuring the usually serene Mio showing a whole different side of herself (well, we’re used to that in a somewhat different context) once she’s got puppets in her hands.

While this episode was mostly about Rin, I’ve been getting the feeling more and more that Rin is an outlier in this world, just as Riki is. She’s an odd one – nominally the main girl, but her role seems to come as a sort of constant that runs through stories that focus on everyone else. That’s true of Riki too, of course, though he’s more critical in all those other arcs and he’s the POV character, besides. Then there’s Kud-o’s comment last week about how she “has to help Riki and Rin” – further cementing the notion in my head that those two are connected in a way the others in this cast are not. The fact is that although the plot of this episode revolved around Rin and her knee-jerk decision to promise a puppet show the next day in response to another cat-tail message (seriously – don’t do that, Kids) it was Komari whose involvement seemed to speak more directly to the conspiracy.

What seemed odd here? First of all Komari’s story: not the diabetic-coma inducing tale of the try-hard Penguin, but the one about the eight dwarves who each get helped by a boy and girl, and then disappear after their problems are solved. That there was deeper meaning behind that was about as subtle as a sack of hammers to the head. Then there was the group of kids who Rin and Riki bumped into and for whom she performs the puppet show. They’re not the l’il Little Busters – the details don’t match up exactly – but they’re close enough to make me wonder whether or not it’s just a matter of character design. I mean, we even had the small, sickly-looking quiet boy and the tough kid with the wild black hair. As for Rin’s panic after the show when she was looking for Komari – only to find her on the roof, staring into the sunset – there was a trollish but not-trollish quality to it that leaves me wondering whether it was foreshadowing or a head-fake. Of Komari’s gift to Rin of one of her wishes – and her promise to “think of a great one” – I have no such uncertainty.

Of course Riki has finally figured out the weird thing about these notes with assigned tasks – they seem to imply knowledge of future events (such as the need for puppet shows or emergency cafeteria help). I can’t help but be put in mind of Kyousuke when I think of assigning missions, though I can’t figure out just yet why he’d choose such a method to do so when he’s perfectly willing to openly assign them face-to-face. And indeed, the first season is seemingly going to end with the Little Busters finally starting to fulfill the big one he laid out for them – playing a baseball game. Given how much attention that premise has gotten it would have been odd to break without something happening with it, so baseball seems like a good landing-spot for the season. And there’s certainly no shortage of possibilities for the second, if JC Staff does indeed announce it as a full two-cour one like the first – we have at least two major characters whose arcs could be covered, and Rin seems like a given – and then there’s that little matter of unraveling the mystery underlying the entire series.




  1. Still waiting patiently for the last episode to see the final impression on whether I should watch this anime or not. Hopefully this anime will catch my interest so that I can marathon anytime soon 🙂

    1. The second season will definitely catch your interest if it succeed at delivering the infamous Refrain part, so you may want to wait for the second season if you want to wait for the overall impression.

      While we’re talking about second season, I think I will notify Enzo that the “awaited announcement” will come immediately. It’s pretty much confirmed here from some months ago : http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=511559&show=0

      1. Now I need to wait for few seasons for second season to start. Anyway, thanks for the kindness of replying 🙂 Just looking for very good anime to watch…currently watching Muv-Luv Total Eclipse based on popularity of VN.

      2. I can’t guarantee anything, but my own hunch is telling me that they will do the proper job of adapting Refrain, so you may want to watch even before the second season start if you want to taste a bit of what LB looks like (at least in the surface).

        A bit of out of topic, but Total Eclipse (a side story of original Muv Luv, if you haven’t heard it already) is anywhere near the quality of the parent Trilogy (especially if you’re counting Alternative alone). TE is good enough to be enjoyable, but it’s nowhere as special as Alternative, since Alternative is a kind of epic roller coaster of life with a lot of character growth, life and death moments, crowning moments of awesomeness, etc.

        But still, as long as you don’t raise your hopes too high you will get a decent to good story. I recommend to read the VN before you watch it though, since it will lessen the real impact of BETA that you will feel in the VN (BETA’s first appearance is one of the defining moment of Muv Luv Alternative.)

  2. Well, Komari’s story were always suspicious for me(of course that penguin story didn’t count). Although her arc is somewhat sacrificed to show drama early, her arc actually contain a pretty strong-but-subtle symbolical message… Or at least that’s what I think when I was on her arc.

    But of course, this “girl-boy and eight dwarves” takes a cake in exposing a full blown clue in our face. Still, we can’t really guess anything specific for now. There are some clues that still missing from the big picture, which I guess we will see in incoming arcs.

    For the episode itself, I think Komari totally shines when she’s on the support role. I don’t really favor her as a heroine, but as one of the LB! member and Rin’s best friend, I can’t pick a better person for that role. She, and of course Rin, performs really well in this episode. Together with more clues to the main story, I think they make this episode becomes my favorite episode so far.

    Also, after seeing the next episode preview…Lol, I can’t wait for the next episode.

    P.S Err, my first message was a clicking mistake of mine, but why delete my entire messages? I haven’t read any arc past the previous episodes, so there’s no way my comment contains some future spoilers. I deleted some sentences though, just to make sure.

      1. Actually I was referring to the first message, but the second message is the fixed one and it’s also gone, so I thought I probably wrote something that leads into something spoilerish. Glad that wasn’t the case, though.

  3. I loved this episode. x3
    The puppet show had a better pace than in the VN and the rooftop scene…
    JC.Staff you were trolling me…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    It should be clear, who makes these tasks…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    And what is this?
    Am I seeing ghosts? xD

  4. They’re definitely mixing things up compared to the VN. They’re pushing a lot of development early, dropping lots of extra clues and, as Enzo noted, not really stopping to be subtle. It’s like they’ve got a list of important foreshadowing and setups they need to get through (and hey, they probably do) and checking them off very fast.

    I can’t remember exactly, but I don’t think the puppet show was one of Rin’s tasks in the VN, and I also don’t think it appeared until you finished Rin 1. It’s one of my favourite side events. Mio’s VA was absolutely fantastic in the VN and I’m really biased towards my first experience with it so I won’t compare the two renditions. Reglardless, I appreciate how JC Staff is putting in a lot of fun scenes and making them more relevant by tying them back to Rin.

    Last thing: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one doesn’t really get to appreciate the extent of Komari’s character without bowling her over with a baseball. It’s her defining moment.

    1. That’s what I was thinking too. Considering who they are written by (Although Little Busters came first) I wouldn’t be too surprised. There’s just the question of why, who and how.

  5. She really reminds me of Nanako from Persona 4.


    – Wasn’t it eerie when suddenly all of the people except Rin disappeared? (until she found Komari on the rooftop)

    – How the heck did the dwarves from the picture book disappear?

    1. Komari’s scene on the roof was definitely one of her stronger scenes even in the VN; stronger than anything in her own route, in my humble opinion. It is presented somewhat differently in the VN though.

      *Moderate spoilers for VN and anime*

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I will remain circumspect (with or without spoiler tags) because I hesitate to discuss anything substantial about the episodes these days. The unfolding of the plot of Little Busters was a very personal experience for me by this point in the VN (though structure-wise the anime has diverged somewhat). Others may wish to experience the same.

    2. For the second point: Show Spoiler ▼

  6. I still don’t like Komari either (Although I’m starting to get used to her). I’m not sure why Natsumi Yanase voices her like that when she’s clearly capable of doing excellent (and subtle) voice work (Chihiro from Ef comes to mind).

    Yeah, they really aren’t trying to be subtle are they? I couldn’t go through a lot of the episode without analyzing every sentence. And another thing I realize is that there really aren’t many wasted episodes. Whether it has to do with introducing the girls or focusing on their stories. Or focusing on the letters and the magic that have to do with the secret of the world. Only episode 15 really was pure filler (So it helped that it was hilarious) It seems the more I watch Little Busters the more I underestimate it.

  7. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to watch ep 23 last week so I watched ep 23 and ep 24 back to back. Because of this, I caught this little tidbit. Not sure if this warrents a spoiler or not so I’m doing the spoiler thingy. Show Spoiler ▼

  8. I was shocked when they used the Rooftop scene so early but I’m not gonna lie it still gave me chills to see it animated. That was a well thrown curveball JC XD
    *Discussion of VN readers*
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Fairly big spoilers for the sake of discussion. Actually, hugetastic spoilers. Stay away:

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. I didn´t think in that! Now that you say it, this makes the things more easy to resolve!
      but Show Spoiler ▼

  9. I’m glad Komari got another episode that she played a heavy part in! Think of it- she never did that again since the first arc of the show!! I love her cheery attitude and it turns putting on puppet shows come to her naturally, but the way her actress warying her voice a bit makes her sound like she’s crying on the instead, and it’s kind of bittersweet.

    SO if no one disappeared once they fulfilled a task, what did???

  10. And all those that know whats going on are just chomping the bit to talk about it. It not as much fun to watch the series and know what is going on, all we get to to is talk about what was missed or changed. For us, we have read the last page of the book and know that the butler did it.

    I would like to not know so that I could be totally confused and in the dark on were this tale is going; let those that do not know the pleasure of being befuddled.

    Show Spoiler ▼


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