While everyone is busy watching the latest fall anime shows such as One Punch Man and Noragami: Aragoto, I am catching up on the list of anime that I have been interested in watching since like 2010. One particular anime that was on this list and now I completely watched is Little Busters!
Before reading this review though, I just want to let you all know, there will be spoilers!
Little Busters! Synopsis
Little Busters! (2012-2013) is an anime based on a Key’s visual novel game of the same name. The story is centered on Riki Naoe, who lost his parents when he was young and started suffering from narcolepsy. Sad and lonely, Riki befriends Kyousuke Natsume and his gang known as the “Little Busters.” Now in high school, Riki and the Little Busters gang decide to create a baseball team. Riki becomes in charge of recruiting new team members. In addition, Riki and Rin Natsume, his childhood friend and the only girl in the original Little Busters group, are given mysterious tasks written on pieces of paper that are delivered by cats. The reward for solving these tasks is the answer to “What is the secret of this world?”. With these two missions, Riki helps others overcome their inner demons and solve personal problems.
In the anime, each story arc happens to be focused on a female character that Riki is trying to recruit for the team. Every story is heartwarming and unique. There is something emotionally aesthetic and morally enlightening in which viewers are able to learn from in the anime. For example, in Kudryavka “Kud” Noumi’s story arc, the Little Busters are faced with devastation and tragedy when the possibility of one of their own, Kud, may have lost her mother in a tragic accident involving the malfunction of a rocket ship. It is within this story arc, viewers should come to realize that natural disasters and tragedies happen. Rather than letting these scars remain scars, we must be able to face these tragedies head on by moving forward in life. It is these types of story arcs that are emotionally pleasing, and give viewers heartwarming feelings.
However, the side story arc involving Riki and Rin’s mysterious tasks to uncover the secret to this world, did not have an ending or answer. As viewers, we are left to wonder what the secret to this world is. (I am not sure if our answer will be revealed in the second season or if it is answered in the visual novel game.) Personally, it wasn’t a big deal for me to have an answer, but there may be viewers who are annoyed that they didn’t get an answer and are left with this open-ended question. So some form of conclusion would have been nice for this side plot.
I loved all the Little Busters! characters. They each have their own unique character traits and personalities. There is also a good balance of female and male characters. With a variety of characters, this show has a little something for everyone to enjoy. For example, Rin is a crazy cat lady, and Masato Inohara is an obsessive muscle man. One of my favorite gag moments is when Masato and Kengo Miyazawa duel against each other, and Masato always is at a disadvantage and loses.
Furthermore, every character is dynamic, where each of them must overcome a personal problem. When facing these issues, it is the power of friendship that gets him or her through it, and thus, they are able to become stronger individuals.
Art & Music:
When I first watched the trailer of the Little Busters! anime back in 2012, I was in for a surprise. I heard the opening song, “Little Busters” performed by Rita before back in 2008 from a mixed CD my friend gave me. I liked the song, but I didn’t know who it was or where it was from until now. So when I heard the song again from the anime trailer, I was really excited, and it was the main reason why I wanted to watch this show. In fact, I enjoy listening to both the opening and ending songs by Rita, “Little Busters” and “Alicemagic.” It’s cool how J.C. Staff used the same music from the original visual novel as oppose to making something new. Way to go for sticking to the original content.
As for the art, I was impressed by the landscape visuals. Every time a character contemplates on life, he or she is looking up at the sky, stars, or nature. Personally, I thought the art in those scenes were mesmerizing.
- One would consider this anime to be a harem since the main male protagonist is surrounded by girls; therefore, one could assume that there would be many fan service scenarios. However for this anime, it isn’t the case. We get heartwarming story lines and well-developed characters and relationships. A story focusing on the love of friendship.
- Each story arc examines the human condition. Characters must face their inner demons, which gives a sense of realism, and it allows viewers to easily relate to these characters.
If you like Clannad, I think you will enjoy this anime, Little Busters! as much as I do. There is a good harmony between light-hearted fun and serious, emotionally driven moments. I will definitely watch Little Busters!: Refrain and hope that I can enjoy it as much as season one. You can check out the series on Crunchyroll.