Little Busters: Episode 5

Recap: It seems that Komari really did remember her brother after all. Rikki visits the old man in the hospital, and learns that Komari did have a brother, and that he died, but Komari believes the whole thing to be a dream.

Rikki, and Komari watch a meteorite shower, and she falls asleep only to remember the story of The Little Match Girl when she awakens. After the Meteor shower Rikki, and Komari share a date which starts well, but ends by finding a dead kitty in a ditch bringing back Komari’s memories of her brother, and causing her to break down.

Citing “The Little Match Girl” should probably be considered cheating, but I am okay with that.

Lifesong’s Thoughts: I think this was probably the strongest episode of Little Busters yet. I guess it’s a bit ironic that Komari brought up Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match girl considering that I was suspecting her of being an abuse victim just last week. For anyone who does not know what that is: The Little Match Girl is basically the original Sad Girl in Snow story from long before Jun Maeda used the concept in Kanon, Clannad, or Angel Beats. There was a part of me that wants to rage at the way it was just throw out to pull my tears, but it worked so I wont. Saying “The Little Match Girl” while watching a meteor shower should be enough to evoke feelings of sadness in just about anyone who knows the tale.

One of the things I find is always true with any of Jun Maeda’s stories is that I am never really 100% sure of where the story is going until it gets there, but it is all crystal clear once I do. Komari’s route played out like that for me, and I was pleasantly surprised to see what was made out of the whole dream theme as Komari came to the realization that the dream she couldn’t remember was one she didn’t want to remember, or something like that. I guess we will have to wait till next week to get the entire story. Not all memories are happy ones, but does that mean we should discard them?

Sad girl in rain.

On another note I started reading the visual novel this past weekend, and honestly enjoy it quite a bit more than the anime. The structure just feels a lot more solid. I got a kick out of the cat named Hitler, shame they felt the need to cut him out as he does kind of add to the somewhat morbid feel that Little Busters gives off in the visual novel.

Stuff like the explanation of Rikki’s Narcolepsy, and mention of using a fire extinguisher to save Muscle-chan’s life during the bee raid give the visual novel a slight edge that the anime doesn’t have. That edge also makes sense of Rikki’s personality so it’s kind of a shame to see how it was ignored in the anime. All that said, I am very happy to see that the visual novel is living up to the praise heaped upon it. Once I finish it I will be sure to do a full write up for it.

This whole setup is incredibly similar to Kana Imouto.

So what do the rest of you think of Komari’s date episode? Did it live up to your expectations? Or is the sadness in Little Busters not quite sweet enough to be worthy of tears just yet? I’ll be honest the only tears this got out of me were for The Little Match Girl reference which despite my earlier complaint really was well placed. Also, it’s seems so incredibly obvious that Kana Imouto was used as a point of reference for Komari’s story. Not that I am claiming it’s plagiarism or anything, Maeda still tells his own story here, but between that dead kitty, and Komari’s dead brother there are some really strong similarities here.

10 thoughts on “Little Busters: Episode 5

  1. I really liked how they handled the “Date”. I wasn’t sure how they would handle it without making it romantic but they did a good job by simply having Riki pretty much ignore that aspect. This is another episode I felt was pulled from the visual novel rather well. Komari is a lot more annoying than I remember, but that’s probably just because 70% of the lines in this episode were her’s. The pacing did seem a bit awkward to me but I don’t know if that’s because I’m use to the much slower pace of the VN or some other reasons.I’m still very happy with how this anime is progressing and have no major complaints.After you pointed out the background animation issues last week, they did stand out again to me this episode, but were not bad enough to bother me. If anyone complains about story issues with this episode, then they’d probably complain about any of the most minor differences; there would be no pleasing them.

    I’m glad to hear you started playing the VN. There’s so much more detail and the structure is better simply because they can separate routes rather than stack them like in anime.I noticed recently that in the first few episodes Riki barely “thought” anything so we never really got into his mind like we did in the VN, until episode 4 I think. This episode nearly all of his lines were his thoughts, similar to the VN. This should help his character grow some more, because when we view him without knowing his thoughts, I find him very boring. About the VN,I generally don’t like following guides for games but apparently doing the routes in a certain order makes it take less playthroughs, and certain things make more sense in the order suggested by the guides.tlwiki’s guide is pretty basic and spoiler free.

    • Komari’s voice is kind of hard to listen to for long periods of time. It probably takes talent for an actress to make her voice sound like Komari’s does, but it’s not so pleasant on the ears. I imagine someone is going to throw rotten tomatoes at me for saying that, but there it is.

      I can’t really complain about the lack of movement this episode because everything was so pretty. That scene on the lake looked pretty fantastic even without much movement so I’ve saved that complaint for the next action scene.

      When I started reading visual novels at first all I did was pull up guides, and go through like that, but when Katawa Shoujo came out I stopped doing that, as the choices really do add to the sense of attachment a visual novel gives out. For Little Busters I am thinking I will try to follow along with the anime, and worry about completion/locked scenes whenever the translation for EX/ME is finished. I assume the anime will probably follow a logical structure.

      • You might be waiting a while then lol. EX also has nothing to do with the main story which is the main reason I didn’t wait for it.Katawa Shoujo was pretty different as well because the choices were pretty limited comparatively. It was almost impossible to not get an ending. The main reason I brought it up at all though, was because of that part where I mentioned that certain things connect better when done in that order, but as the other person said it probably would be better for unbiased reviewing to either not play the VN until after the anime, or follow along like you plan to do. I personally did my first play-through as honest as I could and ended up with Rin’s first route. Komari’s was suggested to be done first, which screwed me up for certain CGs until after I beat Refrain. But I love Rin, so I’m glad she was my first XD.

        You mentioned Jun Maeda in your review,he actually only did Rin’s route and the True Route (Refrain). There were three other authors that did the other 5 routes. So technically he had nothing to do with this episode’s story at all.Komari’s route is by Yuuto Tonokawa ,apparently. The main route (Starting of the VN up to baseball match) as far as I know, is Jun Maeda. That is mixed into Komari’s route in the anime, but is easy to separate from her personal story. This is probably the reason that my favorite route was Rin’s and Refrain.

        I also wouldn’t really say the VN is “way better” since the story is basically the same so far. It’s far more detailed, but for some people that actually makes it worse. People like me, and I assume Daniel, prefer all that detail and will always find the VNs to be better,but I do know many people that disliked the VNs for Clannad and Kanon compared to the anime due to an overload of details and such. Sorry for the long post, I just really love this franchise and enjoy discussing it with people.

    • Don’t be sorry; I blog because I love discussing anime, and visual novels. Also, I love Key’s stuff so I am equally guilty of writing tons of words about it. Best part of being a nerd online is being able to find like minded people who want to be nerds with you.(instead of the usual run for the hills screaming)

      I think VN’s do appeal to a slightly different crowd than anime does. I would define it as something along the lines of wanting fiction at a distance versus looking for total immersion. Or another way to to put it would be to compare the value of instant gratification versus long term emotional investment in a story. Which in my opinion makes visual novels, and anime conflicting formats in nearly every way. I would also say that a lack of instant gratification has a lot to do with why so many visual novel adaptations are frankly awful as a truly direct adaptation is going to have severe pacing issues, and require a ton of episodes, episodes the anime is not likely to ever have.

      After watching Komari’s date episode it seems to me that the director for Little Busters is taking notes for how to work in the dates scenes from KyoAni’s adaption of Kanon where the protagonist just nonchalantly goes on friendly dates with all the girls in a way that really doesn’t feel very romantic at all. Personal I am totally cool with that approach; KyoAni’s adaptation of Kanon is easily favorite Key story at the moment. At some point in the near future I really want to read that visual novel as well.

      As far as Jun Maeda’s involvement with Komari’s story goes I see that you are correct. I knew that there were other writers who worked on Little Busters, but was under the impression that Jun Maeda worked on all the routes. Now that I am looking for a source to back that up it seems that I was mistaken. Also, I have a bad habit of using Jun Maeda’s name when I should really say “Key”.

      It can be interesting how obvious writer changes inside a single visual novel are when you know what to look for. Even when they follow the same formula, and I assume a single outline of some form. I don’t think having more than one writer working separately on different routes is necessarily a good or bad thing, but it is insetting how different writers can realize their very similar stories in different ways for different impact all inside the same work. Of course if you can pick up on this change easily without looking for it that is probably a sign of something going wrong.

      • In regards to the multiple writers, the only route I didn’t really care for was Kurugaya’s. But I never did finish her “true” end, which is locked until Refrain. After I finished Refrain I was too emotional to go through her route and then things got busy with Fall anime and real life things. My opinion might change after I finish her true/good end.But overall, I really liked all the other routes very much, and combined with Refrain they all served their purposes very well and had some sort of connection with the canon ending that worked rather well, in my opinion. Little Busters! took an interesting and different approach to writing and routes than what I was use to in Visual Novels but obviously my love for it means that It worked really well for me.

        I’ve only managed to find one English review of KEY’s newest work, “Rewrite” but they made it sound even better than Little Busters! So once some things IRL work out, I plan on finally getting started on learning Japanese so I eventually start reading more VNs that never got translated or are just taking a long time to get translated. Also, I’m glad to see someone else exists that liked Kanon over Clannad! I have to watch Kanon every winter… I usually only rewatch anime once every 2 or 3 years.

  2. This is just a recommendation but, before reading the VN watch the anime, from that way your reviews about LB! will be more genuine because the VN is way better than the anime and if you came to like the VN your review will be more related to the comparison between the anime and the VN

    • I intend to stay behind in the visual novel for exactly the reason you pointed out. It becomes easy to miss a lack of detail when you already know them all. So you do not need to worry about me becoming a raving fan of the anime over something I read in the visual novel, not until I finish them both anyway then all bets are off.

  3. the main complain about this week episode in most of the viwers was of course komari breakdown many pepoles said it was have no impact unlike the vn but for me it was have some impact and it was good

    • Cool, glad to hear you liked it. For me the impact was a little off beat, but that may be largely because of how I was distracted by the similarities between Komari’s story, and Kana Imouto, which I feel fine pointing out, but can’t really fault Little Busters for.

    • For me in the VN, her breakdown didn’t really have an impact for me until later. I dont know, maybe I just didnt process it until later or It just wasn’t too surprising for me, they foreshadowed a lot of her issue for a good hour or so before it happened. With that said, this is also one of those things that I think only would affect people the first time they see it happen. People that played the VN really shouldnt feel much impact unless it’s a been a long time, IMO. My friend who never played the VN felt they did a good job but he was distracted by the inconsistency in her eye colors. Apparently, when zoomed in she had some bright green on the bottom of her eyes but when zoomed out her entire eyes were dark.

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