Over the past decade, visual novel studio 'Key' has seen much success for their work on titles such as Kanon, Clannad and Air. If you have watched or read any of these series, you will likely be familiar with Jun Maeda's distinctive form of dramatic storytelling.
Do not expect another Clannad: After Story. You will not find it here.
At first glance, there is one startling difference in Key's latest adaptation. It is not animated by Kyoto Animation, the studio responsible for handling the majority of Key adaptations. Instead, the esteemed and beloved (not really) J.C. Staff is at the helm. For many this is
a name that will undoubtedly be a cause for concern. In Little Busters, it is.
The story follows the misadventures of Riki and his four childhood friends. Set during the leader Kyousuke's final year in high school, the group of friends decide to make something of their remaining youth- not by overtly rebelling, but by practicing and playing baseball together. They cannot form a team with only five members though, which is why Riki and Rin are set to recruit more people from their school. Preferably females, as Rin is the only young lady in the group.
Little Busters' cast of characters is its strongest trait. No— not because they are especially well-written or unique, but because they are endearing- because they are entertaining. It isn't easy to make a group of anime characters feel like genuine friends with one another, but Little Busters manages to achieve this feat with its wonderful group dynamic. Even the later members contribute to the show in a significant and believable way. The characters truly do make the lighthearted segments a joy to watch.
Being part comedy, it's a good thing that the jokes are often fresh and clever. Of particular note is Masato. If you remember Sunohara from Clannad, he is a bit like that. Masato and all his muscular glory (and utter lack of brain cells) are the cause for many jokes. Usually at his expense. And usually met with a kick to the face from Rin.
It's a shame, since any appeal the show has is frequently pushed aside in favour of cringeworthy melodrama. The individual character routes were not very good in the visual novel and they are most certainly not any good here either. It would be one thing if these arcs were merely mediocre, but with J.C. Staff's lack of directorial talent they are made absolutely dreadful. The omnibus format also does little to help the rushed pacing, resulting in a format that feels highly formulaic and superfluous. One of the girls has troubles, Riki helps them to overcome it, one or two episodes of comedy follow— repeat, repeat. Thankfully the lighthearted segments are so entertaining, as otherwise you would probably detest each character by the end of their route. It is that bad at times.
The two worst offenders are Mio's and Haruka's routes. In Mio's route, the viewer is treated with illogical and contradictory character actions further complimented by a hilariously contrived deception on the writer's part. Plotholes? Everywhere. And it does not even attempt to answer them with anything besides equivocation. The climax could maybe be explained if the characters were taking psychedelic drugs at the time, but looking at it from a realistic perspective it does not make any sense whatsoever. Watching Utena may be less confusing.
Haruka's route will also make you want to scream in frustration. Her tragic backstory is implausible (why the hell were the people taking care of her not convicted of abuse?) and the motivations of the antagonist, Kanata, are silly at best. The rest of the route is comprised of more cheap plot twists and embarrassingly cliche melodrama. Heck, there's even a scene where the weather changes from sunshine to storm as soon as Haruka starts crying. How much more cheesy can you get? Little Busters seems to experiment with the limits.
Things do improve, though. After a decent start and two terrible arcs, the last third of the story provides a satisfying dénouement showing how each of the characters have grown over the course of the series. The last episode in particular is quite nice, with the long-awaited baseball game being played in high spirits. Some might argue that this improvement is too little too late. They might be right.
One area where Little Busters does not disappoint is with its soundtrack. There may not be anything on the same level of "Dango Kazoku" to mess with your emotions, but the soundtrack as a whole is solid and surprisingly memorable. Then again, it's pretty hard to make mistakes when you are deriving almost all music from the source material.
Little Busters' endearing characters are complimented by a highly talented cast of seiyuu. Yui Horie provides a convincing role for a male character (though does little to make Riki any less bland) while Masato's seiyuu does a wonderful job at delivering the comedy. Rin and Kud on the other hand will probably kill your heart from how adorable they sound.
There isn't much to praise about the art, but it certainly isn't bad. Just average. Just middling. For a TV anime it is passable, but when comparing it to previous Key adaptations you will definitely notice a significant drop in quality. Off-model faces are frequent and many scenes are reduced to panning and 'talking heads': devoid of any animation besides the character's mouth flapping. For an adaptation of one of the most successful visual novels, you would normally expect the artwork to at least be above-average. Not here.
As an adaptation, it is worth mentioning how it compares to the source material. Is it a bad adaptation? It is. If you want to experience the story as it is intended, it would be in your best interests to give the visual novel a read instead. On its own merits and as a condensed version of the story, however, J.C. Staff's adaptation is merely passable. It doesn't completely butcher the story but with the rushed pacing, poor characterization (especially with regards to Riki), lackluster art and incomplete story— most of the charm that made the visual novel so beloved is nonexistent here. At least there's more cute Rin scenes, though! Maybe that is the one and only good thing.
Little Busters will not be winning any awards for its writing or production qualities, but when taken as an entertaining comedy with likable characters, it is at least worth a watch. Putting aside the expectations, you will certainly find some enjoyment in Key's latest animated venture.
Hopefully, too, J.C. Staff won't let us down too much in the sequel. I can think of few things that would be more disastrous.
This will be a temporarily review until the anime is completed, I created this so that people won't get any misunderstandings from others UNTIL the technical reviewers come by when the anime is completed. I've also decided to create this review for the sake of those viewers who played the visual novel, and for those who havent since I'm tired of reading all these reviews made up of self-satisfaction, and sadly by biased and unperceptive views.
➟ "COMPARISONS AND BASELESS ASSUMPTIONS"
First to those who played the visual novel, please stop comparing the visual novel to the anime, they are done on completely different ways and is
different on a fundamental level. So please don't use the visual novel's high standings as an EXCUSE that the anime will be the same. Using 'because it's a Key story' as a reason to watch [is a different matter though*], given that the same person wrote the same scenario as the whole of Clannad (and other various animes adapted from Key's work) is a plus and a good reason to watch this anime.
Second to those who are only here for the anime, please stop talking like you know everything about the anime when you have not completed the story yet (the anime is still AIRING). The slow pacing is not an excuse, many animes had slow pacing (not just for the first few episodes, it can even be over half the series) yet in the near end was seen to be praised very highly removing all those doubts for the beginning of the anime. I do not want to see people making such assumptions. As for the massive hype to you anime viewers, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A SOLE REASON AS TO WHY IT IS HYPED, DO NOT ASSUME NONSENSE and overlap it with the anime's weakpoints or disabilities.
➟ "CYNICISM AND SINCERITY"
Generic? I will not use this as an excuse but give this anime a break, the visual novel was created in 2007, though it was after Clannad, it's not a surprise there will be some generic settings and characters in this anime. Actually not everyone gets tired of these sorts of things, but those who do get tired... if you can overlook that, then go for it and watch it especially for the romance, drama and Key magic given. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY GIVING A DAMN ABOUT THE REPETITIVE USE OF GENERIC SETTINGS NOW OF ALL TIMES. There were so many other series that aired before this that was way more generic, and i don't see people going on about that?
As for the JC Staff hate on adapting this Little Busters, and wanting KyoAni to pick up this adaption, here is a powerful and deep quote for you guys:
"What dawned on me recently about Little Busters was that despite the premise of Riki building a baseball team via harem creation, the real focus on the show is not romance, but actually friendship, despite the Key label.
And that answers many questions I had behind LB and its production.
…It is this focus on friendship by the LB source material that it is well-loved by fans, and why JC Staff picked it up, and why, like you, I find it so charming and comforting."
-Slashe@from a blog on lostinanime.com
➟ "HIGH EXPECTATIONS THROUGH IMAGINATION"
...It's like what everyone always says: You WILL not be able to satisfy everyone since they all have different tastes and expectations. If it's not your type of anime, if you don't like Key animes, if you hate LB!'s comedy, sequence of plot or pacing, then you don't have to "bark" so loudly about how bad it is.
-For the visual novel players, it's an ANIME so obviously they will leave out many things that aren't deeply or specifically relevant to the plot. If they leave out a favorite scene of yours then find an another scene that the producers DID animate and is already giving you.
-For anime viewers, DON'T USE YOUR IMAGINATION on what you want to happen, or have expected this and that just because it's a popular anime right off the bat (no matter how many times I need to repeat this, i'll say it over and over, THE ANIME IS STILL AIRING), ...and compare it to the anime, because it will ruin your enjoyment on what the anime is already giving and portraying for you.
➟ "WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS ANIME?"
I will also include the anime's traits and argumental downsides (negatives/cons of the anime that many people whined/complained about) to give new viewers a fair reason to watch this anime if they're looking for one. If you love animes with slow paces continuing to build up to the climax (LIKE CLANNAD (THE FIRST SEASON), STEINS;GATE, AND POSSIBLY MADOKA MAGICA), that goes by a omnibus format, then this anime is perfect for you.
I am aware that there are people out there who:
-hate this anime's moe-tification. (but some look forward to it and adore it)
-hate this anime because of the (again) slow pace, because it bores you. (but some enjoy the atmosphere and (again) the slow build-up tension giving you the mysterious feeling of anxiety to the climax)
-hate the cast of character's personalities, you must be one hell of a intolerant person. (but other's can connect with those characters whether it's because of their personality, or experiences)
-hate random panty shots. (Some don't mind nor care. Seriously, will a non-ecchi anime showing a SINGLE panty shot (or two) kill you?)
-hate the character's voices and/or VAs. (The voices are completely normal, and fine, many including myself love it because it fit's their personalities so stop barking so loudly about the voices.. and stop using Komari's voice as an excuse to drop it, you just havent watched enough anime to hear worse VA's. Komari's a popular character so you might be killed if you start hating about the voice outside of MAL). There is actually another popular heroine or two that actually has the same VA as Komari's, true fact and true story.
To conclude this review, if any of you ever go on assuming baseless facts about the plot, or questioning the idea of the anime and it's current setting without clearly knowing the entire story, and the reasons why each character is acting that way when the anime is STILL CURRENTLY airing/have yet to be completed. Then YOU are a narrow-minded person blindly looking for a reason to hate for your own satisfaction and unmet expectations (like those people who thinks an anime that contains 'hentai' in it's title would actually 100% contain it...)
Thank you for reading this very unrefined review :)
Now for my current rating for this anime:
-Good pace, not consistent enough but it improved as it continued pretty drastically. Seems like the staff couldn't get a better team together for the beginning because of the budget, which the current halfway point is quite the opposite now.
-Art is pretty, moe is cute, animation was bad but it apparently improved as the anime continued. Seems like the budget of Little Busters was reversed from lowest to highest.
-Beautiful, melancholic music, very memorable.
-Seemed simple at first sight, but it seemed I was wrong and that the characters could be more double-sided and dynamic than I expected. The cast is full of many different personalities.
-My enjoyment is going up the bar since the beginning of this anime.
I don't think I've ever been more frustratingly annoyed by a TV show before. I'm truly almost at a loss for words... To people who know absolutely nothing about the original work (like my self), the first 5-6 episodes are seemingly worthless.
The characters presented in this anime thus far have been the most cookie cutter, generic, run of the mill characters, and they make each episode more painful than the last due to their utter lack of character development. A muscle head, unbelievably weak and annoying main character, an aloof carefree vagabond, a painfully 'shy' character that if separated from her childhood friends
would probably find a dark ally to sit in and make ear piercing, siren-like whining sounds until she expired because she is simply "too shy" to receive help from any stranger, and finally an airhead who doesn't have the strength to lift a baseball bat.
The visuals are on par with other series from this day in age, again, a very generic location for the setting of the story and animation by JC Staff does not help this anime's cause by any stretch of the imagination.
The story lacks any trace of a gripping or even remotely worthwhile plot; every aspect of the story thus far has played out numerous times in other senselessly generic anime series.
I don't think there is much more to say about this series. If you enjoy slice of life anime that lack any sort of character development and a generic storyline with sprinkles of fan service, then this series is for you; otherwise you would be wise to pass on it.
There are many things in this world that can break a person's heart. Whether it's a tragedy, a memory, a breakup, a betrayal, or just because, these things can affect an individual's well being beyond repair. It's not like a physical injury where the wound heals. It's emotional and affect's a person's heart. Once that's damaged, it can be very difficult or in many cases, become unhealable. Luckily though, there are ways to go through this process.
For starters, friends are probably one of the best medicines. In fact, friends are one of the most valuable things that should be treasured in this world. It's
not purchased at your local grocery store. It can't be collected like baseball cards. It can't be earned like points from a video game. Rather, a friend is a someone who looks after your well being and someone that you hold mutual affection for. When you're having a bad day, they are there for you and someone who can understand the situation. Through friendship comes forth a connection as people learn more about each other and more about themselves. If you look back through those memories and your photo albums, you might remember some of those memories of childhood. These memories that are built with your friends are irreplaceable and as long as you treasure them, nothing can take that away. With these friends, you learn to climb the stairs to adolescence through experiences while learning about the world. You know what that's called?
It's called growing up.
At last it's here! Fan of the popular Little Busters visual novel have always dreamed the possibility of an anime adaptation. Now, that dream has become a reality. The long awaited LB visual novel has become an anime series. The series is handed by J.C. Staff (Toradora! Sakurasou Pet no Kanojo, Hatsukoi Limited) who are already known for their high school settings involving students in a lighthearted environment in a zone of drama, comedy, romance, and emotions. Now, this could cause some mixed feelings for people especially for die-heard fans coming from the visual novel. In fact, the visual novel released in 2007 became ranked second for national PC game pre-orders in Japan as well as holding the number one top seller spot that summer. The polls set up later that year also gave the franchise a strong impression in all categories with the exception of visuals in terms of its rankings. This may all sound impressive but can the anime series live up the hype? Can Little Busters gives the fans what they want and deserve? Or rather, how can it be appealing to the fans (both VN players and anime original fans)? Is it worth watching? These may all be questions some people may wonder about. Well, let us find out what Little Busters offers from its anime adaptation.
First of all, the series is based off of a Key's work. They are known to bring viewers to tears with their strong emotional dialogue, visuals, and the soundtrack to present them in a way that is heartwarming. In fact, their previous works such as Air, Kanon, and Clannad (with its sequel Clannad After Story) all accomplished this in some way or form that have left a strong impression of emotions to fans. In this adaptation though, there seems to be a bit of lacking in that department. In fact, this series seem to shift more into the department of comedy rather than emotional appeal. Well, let's get to the part later but this is my original impression on the series after its first episodes.
LB takes place at a high school in Japan. From there on, we have Riki Naoe, the main protagonist of the series. He is a ordinary boy with nothing much to stand out with his features; the girlish look, expressions, weak build that can sometimes can be mistaken as a trap when dressed in a specific way. Furthermore, he has a sad past that we can call a tragedy considering the death of his parents when he was young. He also suffers from a case of narcolepsy, where he suffers from a lack of sleep. Yet at the same time, we can see that Riki is a very kind boy who is gentle and has a tendency to help others in need. As fate calls for it, Riki is helping to recruit others with his group of friends known as the Little Busters.
The team has it all.
We have the muscle and hotheaded member of the group - Masato Inohara. He is a roommate of Riki and a devoted friend of his. Often known for his quick anger and strange ideas, Masato is seen as loyal and sometimes a little bit too enthusiastic with things related to his friends and himself. We have Kengo Miyazawa whose loyalty is unmatched by anyone in terms of devotion to the team. His skills in kendo is one to be feared coupled with his personality. Then, there's Kyousuke Natsume who is known as the leader of the team. He is seen as the senpai (because he is older) and often has a head of strange ideas that can be abnormal. Yet, it is clear that Kyousake has the guts and skills to be the leader for his ways of thinking and loyalty. Now, that's just the boys side. Let's get to the ….*ahem* better part: the ladies of the team.
The main female protagonist in the series is Kyousuke's little sister, Rin Natsume. She is seen as a timid girl with weak social skills and often or not, hangs out with cats which is she highly fond of. Despite this, she is skilled with pitching and values the friends as well as the experiences she shares with her friends. Then we have the more childish girl Komari who is often seen as a clumsy little kid but often makes a fun impression on the viewers with her expressions and gags. Behind that image though lies a dark past, one which has left a trail of pain and sorrow. In one episode, it even caused her to go into a state of shock just based on that painful memory.
On the more serious side, there is Mio Nishizono, a calm girl who maintains a mature and reserved personality. Being a book lover, she often likes to read rather than hanging out with friends. Her parsol hides more than just her appearance as like others, she also has an interesting past that is explored later on. Likewise, we also have the more mature girl (and one of my personal favorites) Yuiko Kurugaya. Although the same age as others, she is seen as the older sister type with a replica of the katana for showing off her extra features. Despite being mischievous and almost a trickster at times, she knows when someone needs help and offers it without a second thought.
By this point now, a viewer can see the many characters of the series and get a good idea of their various personalities. I mean, LB has it all in terms of characteristics – the hotheaded guy, the mature oniisama, the cute little mascot, the shy cat-loving girl, the normal boy who has a not-so normal health, and the leader who brings them all together. However, the problem lies in some of their characters being one-dimensional. The high school outfits most of the characters wear are also a bit generic in the sense that they don't stand out much. Except perhaps the school council president, most of the characters hardly cares about the way they are dressed at school. It is amusing at the same time though to watch what they do with the team especially out on the field together.
Despite some of the action presented in the form of duels at school, the series often leans more towards the comedy department. From the first episode, we can see that the duels themselves has little serious risk on the line besides the bragging rights and earning an embarrassing name (lol). At often times, these duels are portrayed as being over the top humorous with the objects involved. The duels themselves are also often cliched and has no typical strategy involved. I have not played the visual novel but from this anime adaptation, it seems to try way too hard and at times too random. It works out at times but at other cases just seems too purposeless and unreasonable.
Because the series also takes place at high school, expect the common themes such as joining a club, making friends, relieving past memories, being school disciplined, and drama. Speaking of which, the series does occasionally pull itself through with the drama presented. J.C. Staff is known for some of their series that progresses drama in sequences. In Little Busters, it follows a similar fashion but only in arcs. The series itself takes these arcs and pinpoints individual characters who gets their highlights. In other words, it doesn't follow the usual linear storyline. Rather, it focuses on a more progressive character direction that is driven by LB's themes.
Unfortunately, the series suffers a number of problems that may be hard to redeem itself. The series often tries way too hard with its drama. In fact, one could call it as almost being artificially crafted from the the characters' development themselves. To add on more to that injury, there hardly is any development because some of the arcs either does one of the following: moves too slow or rushes it way too fast. It doesn't balance it together well. In fact, even some of the emotions portrayed in the various arcs lacks real passion with a weak feeling of realism. As there are even some filler episodes, the series lacks a true progression to fit material to be adapted. Then, there's the problem with the romance aspect of the show. For some reason, I cannot get into the feeling of romance into this at all. In fact, I hardly notice it being present because the show seems to focus far too much on comedy. Not to mention that, the moe like features, expressions, and sometimes random gags seems to become a distraction.
Then, there is a problem with adaptation. I have not played the original visual novel game even though it has a huge fan base. From the various comments, feedback, and other sources, the series seems to suffer a case of this especially involved with “things that should be there but aren't”. It's hard to meet everyone's expectations especially with a caliber of a series such as Little Busters but from an objective standpoint, that's not an excuse. J.C. Staff has a history of adaptations – some which transformed into a revolution while others dropped the ball. From the viewpoint of an anime-only viewer, I will say that J.C. Staff pulled off an alright adaptation. However, based on some technical backgrounds, the series just pulls way too many comedy with not enough what the fans actually may want. It's a bit of a disappointment but I guess we always can't get everything we want. To me though, this looked like a buildup to a greater medium.
The artwork of Little Busters comes together like a picture frame on a wall. It fits right but probably not all the way through especially in some of the earlier episodes. It does have its appealing imagery though especially with expressions on some of the characters' faces during various reaction scenes. For more of the fun factors, there is the moe incidences of some of the younger characters. The series adapts these scenes to seemingly give a lighthearted outlook because the series has a more pleasant feeling of fun and high school comedy. At other incidences though, there are serious scenes and even emotions especially in one of the later arcs. The background artwork seems only mediocre though and nothing seems to stand out. Along with the school uniforms, the series keeps itself with its generic designs.
As for music/soundtrack, the series maintains its composure of that lighthearted melody. Jun Maeda orchestrates the rhythms for the series whom is already known for his other works such as Air, Clannad, and Kanon. In general, I found the overall tone of the soundtrack to be above mediocre but not too unique. Most of the OST is lighthearted with a soft paced tone. Although beautiful and melancholic at many variances, it seems to be a bit repetitive and ultimately becomes somewhat overbearing in various scenes. It's almost as if the music is on repeat. The OP song, Little Busters! by Rita depicts the team members from the series formed by friendship, connections, and unity. It also shows some expressions from various characters that can be seen as melancholic or out of this world. (especially for Riki's case) The ED song follows a similar suit.
Ultimately, Little Busters is a charming little gem but occasionally loses its shine. By the way it portrays itself, the series suffers flaws from pacing, direction, a seemingly weak adaptation coupled with some edgy artwork problems. The series also misdirects and fails to bring emotions from what fans expected from the characters themselves. It's not pleasing when you realize that something so emotional can zoom so fast right through. The series does make its way with good comedy though and its colorful cast of characters. Along with that, LB brings for a heartwarming feeling to viewers especially when you're looking for something lighthearted to watch. The characters themselves forms the team known as Little Busters (the title of the anime itself) and with that, they walk down a future of dreams and friendship; at least for now.
To all you Key and Little Busters! VN fans out there, at least have the courtesy to read this before you down vote it. If you're a sucker for tons of melodrama and cute girls, by all means watch this. If you're the latter, read on.
Anyways, the moment I watched a character cry over her favorite park bench being destroyed, I finally gave up after struggling through 15 episodes of this anime. No matter how much I wanted to love this, I couldn't. And since this anime has 8 and 9 reviews as its top reviews, I'm going to shed some light on this anime
so people won't waste their time with this.
Right off the bat, I have not played the VN. If this was seriously true to the VN, then that's great for all you VN fans who have been waiting for this. If I have a nostalgic feeling for something, I also can be subjective to favoritism and like things more than I should. However, in this review, I will be treating the anime and VN as different entities and therefore make this an anime only review.
Before I start off, this is my personal opinion and only my personal opinion, so I'm not trying to say that I've watched every great masterpiece out there and know what "true" masterpieces are. I honesty have a high enjoyment factor with most things, so low ratings are rare for me.
Little Busters! desperately tries to combine sports, slice of life, melodrama, comedy, and a whole array of concepts, and to be quite frank, it doesn't work at all. Our main character Riki is your "I had a terrible past as a child" type of deal but quickly made friends with a group known as the "Little Busters" that helped him through his tragic times. Riki is essentially as bland as you can get. He's weak, indecisive, but when girls are in trouble, he'll magically gains confidence and become a legendary savior. Yeah, one of those guys. Anyway, the group has some pretty interesting characters that weren't all that bad, however, things pretty much go downhill from there.
Fast forwarding to high school, The group all decide to recruit baseball players to form some baseball team that later on becomes almost non-important, but that's beside the point. So this "baseball" team basically gives our MC Riki an excuse to walk around campus and talk to random girls, because obviously a manly baseball team would suck. And you guessed it! He definitely picks up quite the amount of females. Your female cast that is slowly introduced is your typical bland, generic, "I've seen this stuff too many times to care" type of deal. We have the perfect cool beauty, the short little adorable girl who shouts "wafu!", your silent, unemotional bookworm, blahblabhalbh
And sure enough, each of these females has some terrible awful past that totally seems out of place. Now we suddenly shift from recruiting baseball members into a full blown melodramatic case involving unbelievable sob stories complete with cheesy Key production supernatural twists. Riki, being our main character, is obviously devoted to helping all these females out with the best of his abilities, and of course, he always manages to fix everything. And in the end, they all go back to playing baseball and happy story all over again.
Oh right, and there's also some major important "secret of the world" plot while all of this goes on, but after 15 episodes, all we know is these secrets are notes tied to cats. Yeah. cats. And the slips say your generic ambiguous "what the hell does this even mean" quotes that in the end, you honestly don't care about this secret of the world.
The comedy is at best, mediocre. Gags get repetitive and used over and over. Most of the comedy is focused on the muscles freak Masato, who is always losing in fights due to his stupidity and getting himself in silly situations. Our little adorable character Kud offers some Engrish and adorableness that isn't exactly innovative, but still provided a few bright spots here and there. Riki gets himself involved in all sorts of situations with the ladies, and Rin becomes catlike and scared of people who try to befriend her. Besides the fact, these happy carefree episodes in between the serious dramatic episodes feel really awkward and out of place. I admit that one cooking episode was fun to watch, and was probably my favorite episode out of the whole series.
So what did we get in the end? Generic characters, generic and cheesy melodrama, decent and overused comedy, and some random ass baseball theme behind all of it. What am I suppose to like? The dramatic scene of a student council president breaking a school bench? The slice of life elements, even though they don't associate with anything SLIGHTLY related to school besides their baseball team?
I wanted to like this so much, which is why I watched up until half of episode 16. But I really can't take this anymore. The execution is terrible and I'm just going to play the VN and not waste my time. Thanks for reading, and please comment on my profile so I can improve my future reviews.
You probably have heard a lot of things about Little Busters, ranging from "This is an adaptation from masterpiece VN!", "J.C staff actually did a good job", "It's totally inferior to the VN" to "This is an absolute trash!".
Now, If you're confused about this polar reactions, then I think I should say that... Yes, Little Busters! is a very different anime every time you change your own mindset about it. That's why I think we need a technical review a bit early so you can probably guess the overall quality of Little Busters!, or probably just to see another point of view about it.
we get to the real question, "Is Little Busters! a good anime?", let me clarify things about my own position :
- I have played some routes of Little Busters! VN, but nothing beyond what anime viewers currently watch...except of Rin 1 (Rin's "fake" route), which only told one spoiler material (which is not really hard to be guessed for now anyway)
- As a result of that situation, I can only judge Little Busters! from the anime-only viewers view point. However, having seen Rin 1 made me realize something about the future of Little Busters! story:
"This sh*t hides a lot of things behind it's carefree atmosphere."
This review is composed by "THE GOOD THINGS" and "THE BAD THINGS" about Little Busters! TV animation. I will try to keep myself objective as an anime viewer only, but with some awareness about the general direction of the future story.
We could say that Little Busters! is composed by three main components :
- Common route materials : Slice of life materials with carefree and silly atmosphere. Serves as introduction and development episodes for the characters. Also, some of them are introduction for "Secret of the world", the main plot behind all of Little Busters! story. And baseball.
- Heroine route materials : At the first glance, it's generic KEY melodrama. Most of the story materials are related to each heroine's past, and of course they are going to end with "Everything is fine" happy ending.
- And then that's when Refrain, the main route of Little Busters will hit the fans. It reveals the "Secret of the world" which is always hinted at the entire part of Little Busters.
THE GOOD :
Refrain is claimed by many as Jun Maeda's peak of career as a writer, and generally it's a consensus that without Refrain, Little Busters! is nothing sort of special.
Well, I know. Refrain is not here yet. There's also a possibility that Refrain won't deliver as well as people claim to be, especially since it's under JC Staff's helm now. BUT knowing that there's something huge called Refrain and the so called "Secret of The World" probably could change your view point about the common route and heroine route episodes.
It's pretty hard to talk about this without go into details, but one thing for sure "There are a ton of clues that you can find in the series regarding 'Secret of The World'". It also connects a lot of seemingly random materials into one unity. Little Busters! scriptwriter also did a good job at incorporating them into very limited episodes, so kudos for that.
Speaking about character arcs, they are actually kinda decent. They are composed by a lot of themes, ranging from a simple symbolical story about memories to a complex story that involving astronauts, rebellion, life-death situation and magic in one package! However, they aren't without their glaring flaws...
THE BAD :
Individually, Little Busters! current story is pretty weak, mostly caused by amateurish direction and grade EX adaptation difficulty of original material. Little Busters! original material also had an obvious weakness : Although LB is a clever concept, it has a lot of writers which resulting in a lot of quality inconsistency in each of heroine routes.
There are other flaws : LB humor generally is very... silly and may turn some people off (although it's pretty funny and lovely if you gave it a chance to grow in you). LB also has a pretty disappointing route as the first route, since it's kinda sacrificed so people can see a sort of drama without waiting for 10++ episodes before some real drama starts. Some people are also complaining about the lack of "feels" in Little Busters!. It's a valid complain, although I have to say that some of them are coming from unrealistic expectation that they will cry at the first arcs of Little Busters. Folks, they were never meant as the primary power of Little Busters!, just like every other KEY works. Also, I have seen plenty of teary confessions from some watchers, so I think it's not anywhere as bad as people suggest.
CONCLUSION : 7. Individually it's only decent at best, but it has a lot of potential to be great later.
THE BAD :
J.C Staff weren't remembered for great art quality, and Little Busters! isn't even a good example of J.C Staff animation works.
A lot of "QUALITY" shots, strange usage of effects, strange expressions, etc... Just to name a lot of homework that needs to be improved for the next season. To worsen things, KEY usually was related to Kyoto Animation, which caused a high expectation of KEY works in terms of art quality.
THE GOOD :
However, they also did a good job at times, especially at some nature shots (although it's nowhere close to KyoAni quality). I think most people also have no problem with the character design, which is kinda similar to Na-Ga design(The man behind Angel Beats and half of Little Busters character design. One thing for sure, it will turn less people off compared to traditional KEY character design.
Conclusion : 6. Decent at times, but generally are quite bad. At least it has a pretty good character design.
THE GOOD : KEY are widely known as a company that incorporate amazing music to support it's emotional punches, and Little Busters is not an exception to that.
Little Busters! opening also known as one of the best KEY vocal OST, and it's remixed (again) for the TV series! Alicemagic, the ED song, is also a great song, probably even better than the pre-remixed version. Generally, they are not only serves as a good song musically, but they also give a lot of hints about the overall story of Little Busters!
Voice works are decent. However, they will be tested at Refrain, when they were expected to show a wider scale of emotions. I think we have to wait until then to fully score their performance.
THE BAD : The music director simply needs to be fired. Also, some people may be turned off by some character voices (ex : Komari).
Conclusion : 7. Good songs, bad direction.
THE GOOD : This is one of the part when Little Busters! shines.
Many people claim Little Busters! as a group of "uninteresting and stereotype characters". In contrary to that, I can safely say that it's a premature judgement and they should peek a bit deeper into their characteristics.
Little Busters! original cast are unusual, for the starter : 4 boys and one girl, that's something that people expect from some girl-oriented visual novel. At the first glance, they are composed by various roles, including the "leader", "normal person", "the idiot", "the cool boy", and a... "cat obsessed girl?". It doesn't seem special at first, but tell me any work which is composed by similar composition (Especially for a show that dig more into male demography). I know that even finding an example would be hard.
At the deeper analysis, it's getting more unique. The main character, Riki, is pretty much an ordinary boy at the first glance, but there's something really unique in his "normal" behaviors. Simply said, he didn't act as a main character of an anime, and I find it's really refreshing. And he even hid a lot of mysteries behind his usual daily life, something which probably he didn't realize for now.
The main heroine, Rin, is also an odd example. "Cat loving girl" alone wouldn't be unique, but I find her anti-social behaviors are anything but normal for a main heroine of a romance series (not to add that it's really different from usual anti-social characters, which is usually portrayed as a loner/very silent). But that alone won't make her special. Her subtle, slow but sure developments are what made her a lovable character, since she actually grows rapidly along the story progression, even though she haven't even got her own route yet!
We probably haven't learned much about the rest of the boys. Kyousuke for sure is charismatic, but for now we can only tell that he hides a lot of secret behind him. We barely know anything about kengo for now, and Masato is a... lovely muscle idiot. But, don't worry. They will have their own spotlight later, and it's also a grand one.
What about the rest of the (girl) casts? They are really varied, and most of them are having good qualities behind their seemingly-generic attitude. Kud, for example, bashed a lot for being a "lovable Wafu~ mascot", but behind that she also hides a lot of characteristics. For example, She's actually really smart. One of her favorite theory is many-world interpretation theory, and she actually can solve some conceptual physic problems on her own. To compensate, she also had a lot of problems on trivial things, and she actually has a severe case of confidence problem. Now, what part of her is generic, again?
And all of those qualities aren't even the main power of Little Busters! characters. Their main power are their own chemistry. This is the part when they really shine, when they slowly growing together as a group of a really tight-knotted good friends, and it will only getting better as the series evolving.
THE BAD :
Too bad, to see their real potential, you have to invest for a lot of episodes before they grown in your heart. You will also have a polar impressions about some of the heroines, although most likely you will like all of the original members of Little Busters!... which is barely even scratched for now.
Conclusion : 8. IMHO it's the main power of Little Busters! If you don't like them, probably it's your own loss.
THE GOOD :
Now, this is a serious question... "Is watching Little Busters an enjoyable experience"?
I personally will answer with "yes". It requires some patience to wait for the group to grow, but most of the time it worth the wait. The best part of the story haven't even come yet for now, but it's already progressing pretty fast since they already thrown a lot of more noticeable clues regarding "the secret of the world". Some of the routes also have potentials to bring plenty of FEEL, although they aren't really exceptional for now.
Like what I have said before, the 2/3 early part of Little Busters! are only serving as an introduction for the real story. I don't want to sound like a broken machine, but there are different nature of stories. This is the series where you can't judge the arcs individually. They are meant to be rated as a whole series.
It may be not as great as what you expect initially, but one thing for sure : It's a common consensus that Refrain is definitely better than the rest of the routes, since it tying the entire story into one unity of a story called "Little Busters!".
THE BAD :
It requiring patience from you, so it won't be enjoyable for those who don't even want to wait for that. Of course, there's no guarantee that you WILL enjoy it even if you are following them with patience, so I think you could just drop the series if the first +- 14 episodes aren't fitting to your taste.
Conclusion : 7. It most likely will worth the wait, although there's also a good probability that it just doesn't fit to your taste from the very beginning.
GENERAL CONCLUSION : 7.
J.C staff's adaptation turns out to be better than what everyone expect at the beginning. Sure, many will disagree with me, but there are a lot of people that enjoy Little Busters as it is right now. There is a myth that only blind VN players who are supporting this adaptation right now, but it turns out that many of LB fans are... newcomers. So, the only way to found out about your opinion toward this adaptation is by trying it by yourself.
In the end, it's a very hit or miss story. The story as for now probably isn't a masterpiece by any means, but it has a potential to be. Nobody know for sure if the rumored "Refrain" will be a success or not, but in my opinion they have laid a pretty solid stage as the foundation.
And if you're still unsure about this, just wait until Season 2 comes out. You won't miss the news if they manage to deliver Refrain brilliantly, and if it's the contrary, you can safely ignore the entire series.
Little busters! Another great anime created by Key, so far after watching the first three episodes it has certainly lived up to my expectations.
If you have played the VN(visual novel) of little busters, you will surely not be disappointed in the anime, the anime does a brilliant job on adapting from the VN, the characters and music are identical to the VN.
The story so far is really similar to the VN which is fantastic to know that the anime will be like the VN, so for those that are wondering what the story is about
It is about a boy named Riki that suffers from
a disease that caused him to have sleep attacks occasionally. When Riki was a child his parents died which left him homeless and depressed but a group of kids called little busters reached out to him and let him join the group of friends. Since then he has been inseparable to that group.
The anime has done a great job in capturing the character just like they are in VN and even though you haven't played the VN, you will love the characters easily.
The music in the anime is exactly like the music in the VN which is always a good thing.
The art of the characters looks better in the anime than in the VN the characters such as komari seems a lot more cuter in the anime which is a plus :D
Overall Little busters! is a great adaptation of the VN so far and hopefully it shall continue to be like the VN. Anyone that loved the VN will certainly love the anime so far and even though you haven't played the VN it will provide a really good first impression as it is a great slice of life anime which really nice story and characters.
J.C. Staff, I was wrong about you! I was actually one of the many who was extremely disappointed about Kyoto Animation not picking up the job. Since Kyo-ani did a good job with Clannad Air Angel Beats and Kanon, you know they Key (Maeda) line up. But from what I have seen so far, J.C. delivered.
Little Busters! is a Key Visual Novel scripted by the Jun Maeda we all know love and hate. And it isn't like most of the visual novel adaptations. It simply can't be, it's too well known, the references are very firmly imprinted in the readers' minds. And in this, I
believe J.C. has done well.
Music, Little Busters! is a very good song and I am very happy, I AM VERY HAPPY they kept a remix version of that song as the opening, same for Alicemagic for the ED, it's staying true and appealing to the veteran readers. I can watch the anime hear the song and remember the VN. It's a very cool feeling. The same can be said for the BGM in the anime, those are OST tracks directly from the VN and can allow a veteran reader to refer to the awesome moments in the VN that the scene is corresponding to.
Plot, so far it is accurate, to some degree, There were some cool
gags skipped or shortened but that as anime time allotted goes, is to be expected.
It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the plot is written in seeing how Little Busters! plot looks like a storyboarding nightmare and you literarily require several play through to beat it, with plot information added during each different play through.
We'll see, but for now I love the show. It appeals a lot to us veteran readers. so far I don't think I would mind J.C. Staff doing Rewrite. we'll see
First of all, Little Busters! is still Airing. So this review is based on how many episodes i've been watching. So for people who hate someone who reviews the anime when it stills Airing. Please, we just want to 'guide' some people who hasn't watch the anime yet. So that they can tell whether it is a perfect anime for them or not based on episodes that have been aired. And note that i will edit and update this review till the anime finished airing. Though, for now i will be tallk more on comparison between the anime and
Little Busters! or LB for short is an anime that adapted from VN. If u know Clannad, Air, or Kanon (Key Trio) this is another great VN from Key. It tells a story about Naoe Riki whose father and mother were dead when he stills a kid. Spend his remaining day in sorrow and sadness, comes 4 kid that pretended to be called "Little Busters". Sadness that always been tailing Naoe now has gone because they comes to his life. And so they still spend time together in High school...
Well, that's for the synopsis. The story itself is great (in VN). As expected from Key. As for anime, good news that J.C.staff really adapted the story carefully. Although, the time frame looks different from the VN. And a lot of scene from the original story (VN) is edited or deleted here and there (Clannad too, but managed to be as great as the vn). Lets hope that J.C.Staff had a good reason for this. As for me, i really enjoyed the pace of the story. It likes when i'm watching Clannad. Slow and Entertaining. Lots of Comedy here. But anyway some part funnier in the VN though. An example is the old man Kojirou's screaming. Back in the VN i was laughing for 5 minutes or so when Riki comes to his rooms and he Scream like hell, too funny. In anime? a little boring.. But now i get it, Little Busters is a tale of friendship and adolescence. So, maybe they focus more on LB Team Friendship than a comedy, though the comedy now gettin' better. And of course for the drama too.
Art.... i must say that the art... is average. Yeah right it is colorful and the background is beautiful. And the character face.. looks similiar from the original VN. Great. Too bad it looks pale. But now J.C.Staff seemed put more effort on this anime. The animation got better and better. Good news for fans. And keep this up J.C.Staff!
For some reason, the animation style looks similiar to KyoAni's. So for people who love Clannad and K-on! Art, you will love it too. Plus, if you are a moe seeker, enjoy the ultimate moe in Little Busters. Although, some people hate the extensive moe in Little Busters.
But.... there are random panty shoots in Little Busters. Too bad, if it can be like Clannad (no panty shoots) it will be perfect, i think...
The Opening "Little Busters" is great. Just great! I believe people sing along the opening when they watch Little Busters. Best Opening so far in my opinion for Key's anime. And to be honest, i played the VN because i saw the intro in youtube and love the song LOL. And for the ending, again its the best Ending for Keys VN (and Anime). Although the BGM is not that great.. the best BGM will be Clannad i think, Little busters BGM, is good, just average. Good news that J.C.staff used an unused track in the VN. And its good.
And now character. You know Characters from Keys always seem interesting.
First, the main male, Naoe Riki. I love his character, really. Clumsy but can be cool sometimes. Always picked up by Kurugaya. Has a baby face. So long, he's alright. Just, in Komari's Arc when Komari fell to depression, how can he be that calm? It seems that he has this in his mind, "Ah next episode Komari's Arc ended so everything will be alright."
Feel unnatural there. But, later on, he matured a little by little. As he and the teams always work together to solve the teams or individual problems.
And now Rin, she is the main male (right?). To be Honest, among all the girls, she is my favorite. Dont know why but her shyness is just cute. And i like her when she kicks Kuzu, ahh i mean Masato LOL. And i was "NGGGHHH" when she played with the cats. Moooeee.....
But i feel like crying when she cried and hug Komari when her Arc ended, sweets.. And she get many char development till now (episode 17). Good thing that the development easy to notice so thats the viewers can feel the development and the character deeper.
Kyousuke, i just LOL'ed. All he did was almost out of place. Like creating a battle game that use a random weapon. And the way he test someone who want to join Little Busters team, LOL. Clannad funny because there are Sunohara, Little Busters funny because there are Kyousuke and Kuzu ahh i mean Masato.. Kinniku Yay Yay~ But sadly, in the first few episodes, he shines so much, bring the heavy content comedy to the viewers. But the comedy content that he (with Masato and Kengo) brings now decreased little by little.
For people who read the VN. Maybe you will notice that some characters seems different (personality). That because J.C.Staff edited some scene from the VN as we have talked before. But in exchange of edited scene, they added more friendship themes on this anime. Its now brings the viewers more about how LB team communicate with each other. It, for me is a great thing. As you know that, in VN, especially romance genre, when the story (of each arc) is near the end, its only about the main protagonist and the main heroine in the arc. It just the lovey dovey couple. But J.C.Staff didn't do that in the adaption. Because they want to show more the relationship of each member of LB!. They want to show more the Friendship among the members. Which is great.
Little Busters is a funny and (will be) heartwarming anime this season. I have high hopes for this anime. Although its too bad KyoAni break a contract with Key to animate Little Busters. But its alright if J.C.Staff can keep up the good work, as we know the quality of the anime has increased. And Little busters! reached 2nd place together with Chuunibyou (Yes, KyoAni's anime) in the "Most Popular Fall 2012 anime" polling with 1060 votes while the 1st place (Sword Art Online) is 1082 votes. So, J.C.Staff did their best to produce this anime so that it can rivaled the KyoAni's anime : Chuunibyou.
So for people who complaining :
- Why it is J.C.Staff who produce Little Busters! not KyoAni ?
- The anime is slow-paced
- Why it has a lot of Moe here and there?
- I hate the voice of She/ He
- I hate the personalities of His/ Her
Well, first. As we know from above, Little Busters! managed to get the 2nd place in the polling. Meaning that J.C.Staff is doing their best. And don't forget that J.C.Staff has a lot of great anime that they produce : Toradora, Sakurasou (still Airing), Shakugan no Shana, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Azumanga, Bakuman series and many more. So believe and enjoy their hard work.
You hate Moe? Can't say much, its your taste. But i believe, Animes that adapted from Key's VN (And Jun Maeda is the story creator) always had a extensive Moe-ness, slow paced, and the same comedy-style. Clannad, Air, Kanon is another example. So maybe Key requested that their VN adapted anime must be like that. You know the remake of Kanon by KyoAni? That happened because Key unsatisfied with the Kanon 2012 version (the predecessor of kanon 2006 by KyoAni). Maybe the 2012 version : didnt have Moe?, too fast-paced (13 episodes). Clannad, Air and Kanon is high rated despite that they have moe-tification, slow-paced. If Little Busters follow their Senpai, i think it will be success too and satisfy the viewers. Which is great right?
As for people who hates some of seiyuus or some personalities (maybe changed a little from the VN), as we know, although J.C.Staff changed a bit of scene in order for friendship themes cause but despite that, they put an effort to keep the originals being kept if possible. So they have to keep the original seiyuus from the VN although some of them didnt satisfy you. However, some characters suffer a seiyuu changes, because of some reason. Example : Nishizono Mio.
Well, if you understand those, hopes that you now can view Little Busters! differently = free of doubts. So that u can enjoy the show to their fullest. But of course i respect personal opinion and taste. After all i wrote this review so that you can decide whether this anime is for you or not. Not to urge you to watch it no matter what.
And for the closing, i enjoy this anime very much. Enjoyment = 9. For people who love Slice of life or Drama and love a heartwarming tale with comedy. And love the friendship themes but alright with the ultimate moe-ness and slow paced (KEY VN adapted anime styles) , Little busters is for you. Do watch it.
Coming from a person that has no idea what, "Little Busters!" is, I felt the need to write a review since the majority of people watching this are also new to the series. When I first heard of the show it seemed like some glorified anime that should be put on a pedestal. Unfortunately, it is not.
To start off, the story seems awkward. A group of students decide to create a baseball team because it's their leader's last year before graduating? Original yes, but it seems bland and pointless. However, I have heard and read some discussion that the plot thickens and gets extremely emotion
but until then, it gets a 4.
Next, the art. I want to say that it's amazing and really nice to look at but I can't. It looks the same as anime from a few years back so it's nothing unique or amazing when compared to some other anime. However, budget must be taken into account when it comes to this so I'll be flexible here. Art gets a 7.
Sound plays a crucial part in anime and for "Little Busters!" the sound is good. It's not horribly bad but at the same time, not amazingly good. It's neutral. The OP is catchy and the ED is pretty generic in my book but it's a good formula so I can see why they stuck with it. Overall, sound gets a 7.
Now comes character. In most animes characters play an important part. In Little Busters, it feels as if the characters are blobs and nothing more. There's a generic muscle head, samurai, impulsive leader, shy girl, moeblob, etc. We've all seen them before. The main character, Naoe, who's voice I cannot stand is pretty much a sissy that's diagnosed with Narcolepsy. We find out that his parents died and he becomes isolated which is a nice back story since he's the only character that actually gets one. In the end, characters could be better but for now, it gets a 6.
Lastly, it all boils down to enjoyment and whether one actually has fun when watching the anime. I will give this a good score because even if there's no real story, or amazing art, or enchanting sounds, or great character development. As long as I enjoy the anime, I'll continue watching, and "Little Busters" does just that. It's fun to watch since they have a good sense of comedy and the characters are all likable. So this gets a 8 here.
Overall, "Little Busters" seems to foreshadow a deeper plot that we have not seen yet as they are mostly just introducing the characters to us right now so until we get further into the show, it gets a 5/10 for now.
I will try make this short as possible, less ranting more productivity.
Story ~ 6 ~
A good story from my point of view, but for Visual novel fans of the original series don't expect it to execute the story as in the Visual Novel, please let this story stands on it's own.
Animation ~ 5 ~
It's mediocre for this type of anime, but to be honest the Art need improvement, to match up with the story it's presenting, then this might be compelling to the Visual Novel fans.
Sound ~ 8 ~
It's very good as like in any Keys license anime, one of few things that make us
love Keys title in the first place, it's directly taken from the Visual Novel, it shouldn't be an effort for them to put it in...
Character ~ 6 ~
Like in any keys title, some you will like and some you will hate, but similar in any keys tittle expect a tragic back story from the character, but I do feel like the execution of the character is like "Just read the script!" or that may be just me....
Enjoyment ~ 5 ~
Yes I do enjoy it to a certain extent, this is probably due to my love for the original Visual Novel, my fanboyism is fighting against me from writing a hate review here, so bare with me. Those who are new to the series you will or might enjoy it, and if you got the time, try to play the Visual Novel and you may end up loving the whole series all together.
Overall ~ 6 ~
Worth watching for those new to the series, for those hardcore Visual Novel fans better take this lightly, if you take this to seriously you will end up hating the adaptation version of it, but if you wont accept it, I admit JC Staff need improvement in executing the story and art, rather than trying to suck the remaining bucks out of us, well that's just my opinion.
*Full review re-edit on the end of the series (expect some harsh wining)*
If you're like me and you're thinking about watching this because the visual novel was made by Key, don't. Watch it with an independent mindset, free of Clannad, Kanon, etc. If you don't you're just gonna find disappointment.
The story was definitely not as good as Key's previous works. Yes, it followed the general plot of a high school boy helping multiple girls cope and effectively saving their lives in one way or the other, but it simply was not as engaging. There were many story elements that could have been left out. For example, Riki's narcolepsy. So what? It did not influence
the progression of the story whatsoever. There was also no romantic interest, but the friendships gained throughout the series filled in the hole nicely for those who don't mind the absence of romance.
As expected, it was beautifully animated. No complaints.
The music lacked variety. There was probably one tune that played in every emotional scene throughout the show. Variety is always good when the anime is only about friendship and nothing else is going on. Otherwise the show becomes drab very quickly. Also, the female voices were THE MOST annoying I have ever heard. I was relieved when Kurugaya would speak as she was the only normal sounding female voice in the series. This anime is not for people who detest whimpering, crybaby voice work that sounds like Asian porn.
The characters were good with each having his/her own unique personalities. Each fought their own battles, emerging as victorious, developed characters. They were funny when they were supposed to be, and emotional when it was expected. However, I could not get around how they acted like 5 year olds throughout the whole show. If the producers were aiming for a moe approach, they definitely failed. I saw nothing cute in these characters at all. Maybe it's because i'm not into that stuff. But panty shots of bears and ducks on teenage girls aren't really my thing. I found it awkward and completely unnecessary to the story.
It was definitely not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. Towards the middle of the season, I was struggling to keep watching. I have a policy to watch an anime all the way through once I reach a certain point, so there was no going back. The story was boring and the characters were annoying. As usual, Key was aiming for an emotional tale that would grip our hearts and make us feel the pain the characters felt but this simply was not the case this time. It was just, meh. I would recommend this like I would recommend SAO: I wouldn't. Unless you like mediocre anime that relies solely on fan service to get viewers.
So if you just finished Clannad and want to watch another one of Key's visual novels animated, do yourself a favor and skip this one and watch Angel Beats or something instead.
There is a second season titled "Little Busters: Refrain" and i'm going to be watching it when it airs toward the end of 2013. Who knows? Maybe it will pull an "Afterstory" on us and crush our hearts to bits before an amazing ending. Hopefully it isn't as painful to watch as Season 1 was.
There is one thing I can say about this show "Under-Rated"!
This show has been treated as quite "generic" and too "slice-of-life". I say to those people "You obviously haven't watched the damn thing"! This anime is exactly what you'd expect from a Key anime, very emotional. A lot of the scenario's in this show are pretty unique and are something you really DON'T expect.
So it's about a group of friends that decide to form a baseball team as a way to enjoy their last year together, seeing as Kyousuke, the one who essentially holds the group together, will be graduation soon. This is
sort of just an excuse to bring together all the characters, like the Drama Club in Clannad. The main MEAT of this story is "the secret of the world". Now, I'm going to look at this from an anime viewer's point of view (I have indeed played the VN), this plot point is quite interesting. Riki and childhood friend Rin receive a letter telling them that they must complete a number of tasks to discover the secret of the world. As the anime goes on, this plot point becomes much more interesting with plenty of hinting and foreshadowing, especially in the most recent episode.
Although I like the art in this anime, I have to say that it loses points due to poor animation in some of the earlier episodes. Some of it is WAY too noticable and just leaves a bit of a poor taste in my mouth. But the episodes that do have good animation, are REALLY good. Episode 14 for example looks absolutely fantastic and if every episode was like that then I'd easily give the art a 10/10.
The soundtrack for Little Busters is great. It perfectly fits the show and the emotion in it. It's also just well composed overall. The only problem I have is some of the placement with the songs with some times. The sound director seems to like playing a track for like 5 seconds and then changing it.
The characters in this show are great and lovable. Every character isn't 2-dimensional. They have all have a personality that stands out, they have very interesting ways of talking (such as certain characters having a certain phrase or word that they commonly use such as "Wafu!" with the character Kud and "Kiniku! (Muscles)" with Masato) and along with that, they all develop in interesting ways and have some pretty tear-jerking backstories.
I thoroughly enjoy this show, and if it goes the same way as the VN does, it will DEFINITELY become my favourite anime. The comedy is fairly funny (although gets a little repetitive at times), the drama is well done for the most part and it's really just a huge variety of emotions which makes it really interesting to watch.
Overall, it's a good anime, worth a watch and with the way they're going currently and me knowing where the story goes later, this anime looks to be very promising and could probably get into the top 15 animes by the end of it's second season.
I review: Little Busters
Little Busters - Refrain
(I am comboing them because I marathon'd them together.)
If you were looking for romance, it isn't here. It is more about friendship than anything. If you are a romance lover, it doesn't matter, because the story being told is so damn good.
Alrght so, I started Little Busters when it was coming out weekly. It had a slow start, and I didn't find it that entertaining for me for some reason. The first girl's story was kinda lackluster. I then stopped watching Little Busters at around episode
9, because I thought it was bullshit. After both seasons became finished, I decided to give it another shot (because I ran out of anime).
The humor of the show isn't as funny until the characters grow on you, then it becomes frikin' hilarious.
At first, some of the girls were really annoying, but as they grew on me, I started loving them. They aren't the cookie cutter pasted girls that I thought they once were.
As usual, each girl has a hidden problem, and boy were some of their stories REALLY out there.
I come across the supernatural. There is this under-laying supernatural theme going on.
One big, giant, supernatural theme. The show has this big mystery behind everything. All the girl's problems that have been solved, wasn't just forgotten like how some harems do. It ties in perfectly. This big mysterious supernatural theme is what kept me going and watching, and getting excited every time I was given a new clue.
The main character, as I thought, was just one of those super nice to everyone, goody-two-shoes boy. Well, he still is, but the fact that he is that for a reason makes it all the better. Everything that this show has given us, they give us a reason. They explain it, and you will believe it.
Never before have I seen a harem show that ACTUALLY focuses on other MALE characters. The male characters have a deeper story than any of the girls, because it ties in with EVERYTHING.
The music is good. When they want you to feel, they will make you feel. I don't quite remember it as much as I do with Clannad or Toradora's sad music, but it still gets the job done.
The animation is good enough. I don't remember any spectacular things about it, but they do show a good amount of movement, walking, and running.
NOW FOR LITTLE BUSTERS - REFRAIN
Brace yourself. Everything you just watched in the first show was only just build up. Refrain will take EVERYTHING you have just watched, and do something amazing with it. I could say the same thing that went for Clannad; The first show was just build up for Afterstory.
Just sit back, and enjoy the long journey you earned: By watching Refrain.
OVERALL, I give Little Busters an 8, and Little Busters Refrain a 9.
This show is best for marathoning (which I did) and was glad that I didn't have to wait weekly. Then I wouldn't have had the chain effect.
well then, where do i start?
i have read the many reviews about this anime to see i'll actually watch it, and the mixed opinions have something in common: this anime, at least to this point (episode 8) is BORING.
i hve watched and totaly agree with that. the thing is people who actually rate it high is just because of the visual novel, but as some other people said this is no excuse for rating a series so high. As of episode 8 , little busters is just a silly slice of life comedy series, and a mediocre one at that.
well this where the anime
itself is completely annoying. all of the chacarters are just plain boring, but what i hate the most are the voice actressess for komari (and some other girls), i can¿t stand it, and i have read some people actually dropped the anime because of that, well now i see why. people say there are worse but fortunately i havne't run into them.
music is fine, and i like the OP and Ed songs.
in the end, maybe i'm just biased because i hate a lot of thing the anime presents: slow pacing, overused jokes, annoying voice actressess and female characters mostly, a lot of moe (not for me),
thanks for reading
At first I thought this show was about baseball and let it slip by fast. Then I found out it was not and decided to give it a try. I regret it.
After having watched the first 6 episodes the anime was seriously below my expectations. Alas I read on the forums here that it gets better after about the 7th episode or so. So I pressed on. A waste of time, I tell you, I should've just dropped it right there and moved on to something that I could actually enjoy.
The anime suffers from bad story setup and lots of filler moments. What I mean
by the latter is moments that really had no reason to be in the anime except to prolong it. Little Busters could be told in 12 episodes in a way that it would be actually interesting to watch.
In it's current state, however, it was boring. It was so boring that I sometimes just left it playing in the background in small screen with "always on top turned" on and turned my attention elsewhere or even played music to make the experience at least a little bit bearable. I wanted to watch it all to give an accurate review.
Regarding the story, sure, there were some good moments or ideas but I've watched even worse anime that had those. Most of it was the usual stuff you could see coming from a mile away and when things actually got interesting for a moment, it was all ruined with a bad conclusion which either was very simple (but somehow still needed Riki's help) or it was solved with magic (as in - that's the way thing are, don't ask questions). Especially horrid was the 23rd episode. Just goes to show that no it doesn't get better after the 7th episode, it's just as bad till the end. However, it does make you think that it'll get better.
Soundwise, the BGM was forgettable, the OP and ED poor, or not my style, whichever you prefer.
Characters were interesting (generally) for a brief moment when it was their time to shine (their arc) but after that they became generic and dull characters yet again. The two huge guy friends were at times especially painful to watch.
The art being good is the only thing that saves this anime from an even worse score. That and cute voice acting. This anime might have the cutest "moe noises" ever. The most interesting part was actually the ending but with the disappointment that is Little Busters, I doubt I'm going to want to watch the second season.
Wafuu~ and skip this anime.
First things first, Little Busters has the theme and genre of (in ascending order of importance): Comedy, Romance, slice of life, drama and friendship. Also, I will give a special mention to tearjerkiness. Of course, this means that this anime will be for those who enjoy these themes. Those who do not may not like it.
Now, personally I believe a review should be written once the show has finished but I felt the need to write one down without the rankings being biased towards the visual novel and one which is written by someone who enjoys the above mentioned themes of this anime. Though take
in account that my ranking system may be much more lenient than others so I will give a range of points which may seem appropriate. (of course, towards the people who find interest in this genre)
This will be a review based on what is going on so far. However I will also write about certain advancements of themes in general in the hopes to allow people to understand that what is shown now is not going to stay the same for the remaining of the show.
Story: 8 (+1, -2)
So far, it follows an average slice of life theme where the main characters do what a high school students do best, mess around and have fun. However, there are hints of something strange throughout the revealed episode and also some drama developments. Both the gags and drama however, are dependent to a person. Some of it will appeal to you while some will not. Gags and drama will always be hit or miss. Personally, I felt these were well done since they managed to pull a out of laughs and jerked a few tears out of me.
Future insight- This slice of life theme is a way to get viewers to get to know the characters. The feeling of strangeness will develop into something big. There will be a wide variety of drama so if the first one does not appeal to you, then the next may.
One thing which can be easily seen so far is that the animators have split their budget to make the art vary a lot. The casual slice of life and comedy scenes will not seem too well done but on the other hand, the drama scenes had beautiful art which allows the characters emotions to be felt. The art style is close to those of angel beats but quality does differ.
The music is reused from the original Little Busters visual novel. The opening and ending songs have both been slightly changed to make it more upbeat which makes it more catchy and interesting. These songs are really good and have meaningful lyrics. The OST in the anime is also very good however, at times it is not used appropriately at the beginning of the show. This issue has improved since then. The soundtrack is also fitting to the mood in the anime. Happy and cheerful scenes is lightened more with bright music while the sad scenes have there tension and heavy feel increased by melancholic music.
Future insight- Some of the most beautiful songs and soundtracks have yet to appear. These are really something to look forward to.
The characters in this anime are undeniably common archetypes. We have an air head, moe character, a cool big sister type, a shy girl and a trouble maker as the female roles. These archetypes are also exaggerated a lot which effectively allows each character to stand unique from each other. This exaggeration also makes their interactions give a warm and fuzzy vibe. For the male roles, we have a muscle sidekick, a weak protagonist, a cool leader, and a kendo user. The interactions of the male creates a large sense of friendship when they help each other and when they screw around. However sometimes the interactions are taken a bit too far which lessens the impact.
Future insight- It will depend on a person whether they enjoy these characters or not. Some people may not like these cliche characters but what makes these characters unique from ones in other cliche animes is that most of the characters background is explored in their own drama scenes later. A quiet girl has yet to make her appearance.
Enjoyment:8 (varies too much)
I can only speak for myself here since everyone will find this different. I found the gags and slice of life scenes heart warming and uplifting. They bring a good smile to my face. The drama impacted quite a bit to me which allowed me to empathise with characters so far.
Little Busters, although has a lot of room for improvement, is decently shown right now and has great potential for some very deep drama once you can connect with the characters. The theme of friendship has been portrayed very well when the music, characters and story comes together. There was not a moment so far where I would feel bored.
first, before all of you reading this.
I will apologize if I do not use the English language correctly
yeah I do not really speak English fluently
also because this is the first time I made a review
so I do not really understand
when I heard that Little Busters! will be anime
I immediately download Visual Novel
so that I may know how the story
after I finish all routes
I became aware of the importance of life
warmth of friendship
happiness may be lost one day
unimaginable grief in this life
and there are still many things that I can not explain through words but you will know when to understand the content of the story
also been watching Angel Beats!, and Clannad, Clannad: After Story
story is almost the same as some anime from Key
all of them told me about school life with a sad story in it
I love stories like this
especially when Nishizono Mio (eps 13 and eps 14)
when I first played the Visual Novel
The first route I took was Nishizono Mio
I almost cried when completing its route
I do not know why
when I see the sad scenes in Clannad and Angel Beats I do not feel sad
but in this anime
I feel very sad, just because this scene
I feel the picture is not good
not like Angel Beats! and Clannad
but it is not a problem for me
more important is that the story is not the picture ^ ^
Now we move on to my rating
as I wrote above, the story is very sad but still good
yes as I wrote above again
the picture is less good than the other Key anime made
BGM in this anime I can say Heartwarming
This makes this anime makes the watch a relaxing time watching
character setting is perfect
because they all have a sad past
although there are boring
I am very relaxed when watching this anime
(Please read the Review before saying its not helpful just by the score. because you never know what might happen, you might actually change your mind!! ... which is impossible .. eh at least read the review before bashing) and there might be some minor spoilers. but no biggy :DD
Now that I finished this anime I can finally give it a proper review. Did I love Little Busters? OF COURSE I DID. I always had my doubts that somehow in the end the anime wont satisfy me, because it started slow and I thought that it wouldn't be true the the Original visual novel, and
me thinking that the whole series will just be finished in 26 episodes wasn't helping at all... But I was wrong because there is a season 2, and that made me really happy.
Now before I start the review lets state some facts. Little Busters! is originally a Visual Novel Developed by Key, The company that makes awesomely amazing series that would probably make the manliest man on earth cry, and I was never disappointing in any of their work . And here I can easily say that Little Busters! is my favorite Key series ( and I played/watched all of Key's Titles!! O.O )
So the main story revolves around this kid named "Naoe Riki" who is in high school.. enjoying the school life and just hanging with his childhood friends (Rin, Masato and kengo)... you know high school stuff. But all this changes when his friend Kyouske comes back from Tokyo and suddenly decides to create a baseball team by the name of "Little busters!" (weeh shcokerz!). So from there on they give Riki the mission of finding other members to join the team, and that is how our main character meets the other 5 girls, they join the team and they all become this cutey big family. So the story progresses like most Key titles with Riki listening to the other girls problems and help them solve what ever is on their minds, sounds fair enough right? well here is where it gets tricky, aside of all that Riki and Rin keep reviving these mysterious messages stating that there is a secret of the world they live in, and they have to figure out what that secret is, Riki and Rin start receiving different tasks that moves them closer to the answer. Now I don't wanna spoil anything, but I can say that the secret of the world is reaaaaaaally jaw dropping and ... just shocking (in a good way), it changes the whole view of the series.
Ok so was season 1 good and true to the visual novel? for me the answer is yes, because now that I finished season 1 I can tell where the developers were going when they made it. The main point of this season is to show us the characters in the best way possible, to let us explore the world of Little Busters! to let us see the characters such as Riki and Rin develop. They didn't rush the anime, they didn't go into the serious part, and they saved all that for season 2 (Refrain) which is a pretty good move because now we have seen all the characters, we know exactly who they are, we some them develop, now in Refrain we can relate more to them and understand them much better.
I have to be honest here, as much as I loved the anime .. I have to say that the art wasn't that amazing, It was a bit weird ... I am not sure what exactly was wrong with it, but i didn't like it as much as the Visual Novel's.
I think the character design is a major positive point in Little busters! because the characters were just amazing, at first you might see them a bit bland.. and a tad silly, but as you proceed in the series you will discover how awesome they are. Every character is unique and has his/her special design and his/her own awesome personality. All of them are lovable, I myself loved each and every character, and I think they are one of the most unique characters of any series i watched.
When has Key ever made bad music. The music is just freaking hawt!! ahm excuse me I just loved the soundtrack... so anyway, you might not notice the background music that much in the anime because its an anime, and you don't really focus on the music in an anime as much as when you are reading a visual novel. But the anime did use the same OST and all of them were used perfectly and they all fit the moment.
The voice acting was good. Great at times and just Ok at other times.
So if I want to compare the anime with the original Visual Novel then I can just say that it was true to it. even though it skipped some small details here and there, but the anime was quite long, 26 episodes I think that's enough to explain the main story of the series and introduce the characters and the comedy was awwwesome :DD. All that aside the anime did have some changes that I quite loved and weren't in the VN. such as showing that some of the characters know what the secret of the world is, which builds up a really strong impact towards them. And I also loved the story Komari wrote about the The boy and girl helping the 8 dwarfs, I thought that was a really nice touch.
So yeah.. All I can say is that I loved Little Busters! even if I didn't read the visual novel I am pretty sure I would have loved it as well. A lot of people are bashing the anime even fans of the visual novel... I think these people should just chill and enjoy the wonderful world of Little Busters! :3
Did people watch this show and expect there to be a romance? Haha! I didn't even realize that the show's tag had romance until I finished the show. Which means I wasn't shipping any characters and expect them to be all lovey-dovey towards each other. I also didn't read the VN version and never will.
(There will be some SPOILERS in my review)
[Story]: (5/10) (SPOILERS)
The story is not that interesting or even mind-blowing. The show focuses on Rikki as he tries to recruit more people for the "Little Busters" which is the name of their group and their recently created baseball team. I won't go
with his past life, flashbacks, or his conditions. The show focuses on 2 main things. The 1st is him recruiting more people for the "Little Busters" and the 2nd one is Rikki and Rin trying to solve the mysterious letters that they have been getting from a cat named "Leon".
Let's focus on the first one. Yes, Rikki successfully recruits more people which is mostly girls because their boy-to-girl ratio was 4 to 1. What happens after he successfully recruits a girl? What you get is 4 character arcs with forced dramatic moments and melodramatic moments. I mean, the character arcs did make me cry...a little bit... but one of them is just plain horrible and what's worse is all the character arcs are rushed. The arcs lasted for only 3-4 episodes. One of the arcs had some laughable ending that didn't really make sense. For example, Mio's arc had some potential but they messed it up with some imaginary bullcrap and ending that just doesn't make sense.
At least, the 3 remaining character arcs are good and it gave me a few emotional tears. The remaining character arcs that I loved are Komari's arc, Haruka's arc, and Kud's arc. I won't go in-depth with these arcs but all I will say is they're great to watch and will make you cry. Even if you're a man. Probably.
Let's focus on the 2nd one which is the "mysterious letter". I honestly don't know what the hell this is. Is this a filler or something? I just hoped that they solve the mystery letter and find out who has been writing that letter in the 2nd season. The mysterious letter is not the only episodes that happens in-between the character's arc. There are also some "breather" episodes that are just for the laugh and giggles. The jokes are repeated but they're still somehow funny.
I'm not even going to mention the ending. It's terrible. Did the creators run out of ideas or something that they couldn't come up with a decent ending. The post-credit scene did peek my interest and I'll be watching the second season just to check it out.
If you have seen Angel Beats before then you'd notice that the animation is very similar. The animation for AB is obviously better and I am not being biased here. Yes, I watched the 1080p version for both shows but let's not get on that. The show's animation suffered from lack of details to crappy character motion, etc. It's not a bad animation but it's not great either.
I can't believe they used the same opening for 25 episodes straight. This is one of the few animes where I was hoping that they change the OP as soon as possible but sadly, that didn't happen. I just skipped the OP after episode 8. The ED theme song is also horrible and I only listened to it for 1 episode only. The background themes are decent.
I watched the show in English Dub so I'll be reviewing the English voice acting. All of them did a terrific job and I loved most of the VA's except for one voice actor. The English VA of Rikki annoyed the living hell out of me. He sounded like an annoying teenager who hasn't dropped his balls yet for whatever reason. I know, he was voiced by a girl, that's why he sounds like that.
I loved every single character in the show except for one. That's the main protagonist. Riki just isn't that interesting of a guy. He's just a nice main protagonist guy that I somehow don't like. Does he have redeeming qualities? Hell no. He just goes around, helping and fixing the girls' problem before they are recruited. Yes, every girl has a problem and Rikki "fixed" all of them. This is an example of a forced dramatic moments. Every single girl has a ridiculous past-tragedy and they must overcome it. With Rikki's help, of course. How the hell did they all end up in this school anyways.
These dramatic moments are forced as hell but that doesn't mean I hated them. After seeing Komari's arc, Haruka's arc, and Kud's arc. The show successfully made me love these characters. Except Mio's arc. That arc was just terrible.
Most slice of life today has a crappy story but I don't really care for the story. My enjoyment rating is 8 because the jokes are hilarious and the forced dramatic moments somehow worked.
[OVERALL]: (6.8/10) --- Rounding it to -- (7/10)
All in all, this is a good anime series to watch. The show has a lot of flaws but the show also has a lot of good moments like the dramatic and emotional moments and the comedy episodes in-between. If you're looking for a drama series then you might want to check this out. If you're looking for romance as the tag suggests then don't watch this show. The show has no romance and that tag was just misleading.