Feb 7, 2014
tukky12 (All reviews)
Little Busters Refrain is (loosely) based of the key visual novels who have notably produced some great shows such as Clannad, Kanon and Air. Little Busters Refrain is no different. For a LB refrain is the sequel to Little Busters and in my opinion (and widely regarded to be) much much better than the first season, not that LB was bad in any way. This 2nd season is 13 episodes long.

I should mention at this point that this again would fall under the category of high-school life (almost all of the action occurs here), fantasy and slice of life perhaps. As we have come to expect from key, LB Refrain is just as emotionally hard hitting in its own way but I will leave you to decide that for yourselves.

Now for the actual show itself. It picks off basically where LB left off and continues to develop characters stories from there. However the way it goes about this is in much more depth and each and every episode will invoke strong emotion. They only give themselves 13 with it all to do and they pull it off pretty well. You may be wondering if it is possible to further develop the characters stories in such a short time however the pacing and the mixture is just right.

Where LB was a rather nice, slow setting into the story, you really have to feel that it was all building up to LB Refrain. Be warned, LB Refrain takes a much darker angle right from the outset, some sensitive themes are explored and are very thought provoking. It goes to show that not everything can always go smoothly and it is here that you can really start to connect with the characters.

STORY + CHARACTERS: The story itself continues in the high school, we still don't know the answer to the universe (to those who have watched LB) and the episodes go through with each character. They all have very different stories and they are all fascinating in their own right. The characters you may have thought to be on the fringe suddenly make much more sense and everything is never as it seems at first ;). The best bit of this show in fact how well all the episodes were integrated with each other right from the first episode of LB to the last of Refrain. When you reach the climax, which personally I found very satisfying you can come to appreciate everything that has occurred in the previous episodes, it all suddenly fits together with amazing effect.

One thing I found with LB Refrain which was distinctly different to LB was the way they just dropped bombshell after bombshell without really ever giving you any chance to recover, the plot gets thick and very fast. In order to wrap up the show in 13 eps, each of the eps feel meaty and full of content and in fact the intricacies all make it more pleasurable to watch a second time once you know what is actually going on.

The soundtrack was very good I thought, the music complemented the action just as you would expect from a key adaptation and once again it was used to add an extra dimension to the atmosphere, made you feel something a little extra. The OP in my opinion was especially pleasant as well.

As a final word on LB Refrain, if there were one thing that I would stress the most, it would be that you have to keep yourself aware and keep your mind open. The story really does take you on ups and downs in the 13 episodes and it executes it so well in such a short period of time that there are various emotions that are evoked. The characters of this anime are probably some of the best worked characters or rather collectively they are the most interactive bunch with everyone having an affect on the other.

Expect the unexpected on this emotional rollercoaster that is Little Busters Refrain.

Kyousuke, Rikki, Rin and co. make for one heck of a show with perhaps my most favourite story line full of twists and turns.