「佐々美、猫になる」 (“Sasami, Neko ni Naru)
“Sasami Turns Into a Cat”
Any episode that ends with Komari disappearing is A-OK in my book…
Little Busters! is a series of many moods, no question about it. Starting with the last few eps of the first season, though, they’ve mostly been pretty serious – understandably so, and those were collectively the best run of episodes in the series. Still, it’s nice to have an episode here and there that harkens back to the more carefree moments of the first season, and this is definitely such an episode. It’s sure to get more serious just as Saya’s arc did, but I look at this ep as a welcome break.
As an added bonus, the intro to Sasasegawa Sasami’s arc also features a healthy role for the regular cast (sans Kyousuke) who were almost wholly absent from Saya’s episodes (again, sans Kyousuke). I like this bunch with the notable exception of Komari, but as usual it’s Kud and Masato who provide the biggest laughs in the episode (Kud Wafter announcement when?). Haruka taking Kud for a spin is always good, but the highlight is when muscles-seeking Kid and Masato share a taste of his katsudon-flavored protein drink.
As for plot, the gist of it is that the imperious Sasasase is randomly turning into a cat (seemingly one whose owners moved away and abandoned it) for some reason – this is really one of those LitBus deals where I think it’s best to just play along – and Riki is the only one who can understand her when she “speaks”. She seems to turn back into a human only in his room, and only when she’s alone with him – which leads to some rather awkward (and painful) moments whenever Masato is awake (eventually Riki exiles him to live in a concrete pipe for his own protection).
There are some other odd goings on here – most especially the aforementioned disappearance of Komari – and Riki has seen enough weirdness by this point to figure out something is amiss with this world. Mostly, though, this is a setup to give him a chance to bond with Sasasegawa just as the first Saya episode did with her. And that’s perfectly fine – it was rather nostalgic to spend time with all those cast members who haven’t really been a part of EX, and Sasasase always manages to be pretty amusing whenever she’s involved in an episode. Next time things will presumably move pretty quickly as Sasasegawa only gets two episodes, and I assume they won’t get as tragic or plot-intensive as they did with Saya.