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.
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?
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.
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.