Since no one has taken this one yet – and since I did a post regarding this anime before – I think it’s high time for me to step up to this challenge. Here’s me, Kenta Misaka, writing on Little Busters!, one of the most highly anticipated and controversial adaptations of the decade.
Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love slice-of-life anime, especially the ones made by KyoAni & Key… despite not seeing all that the latter has to offer yet. However, since I haven’t played any of their respective Visual Novels yet (and that includes Little Busters), I’m watching this anime as what it is; an anime, not a VN adaptation. I did so with Clannad & Air, and it’s worked out pretty well so far.
The main character’s an effeminate boy named Naoe Riki (Horie Yui), who was once troubled by the loss of his parents only to be taken in by a group of Little Busters – musclebound goofball Inohara Masato (Canna Notobushi), kendo stud Miyazawa Kengo (Oda Yuusei) beloved sempai Natsume Kyousuke (Midorikawa Hikaru), and his articulate little sister Rin (Tamiyasu Tomoe) – for some life-long fun. As far as these characters go, we have a strong, likeable cast. Riki is quiet and slight androgynous in his appearance & actions (if that makes any sense). Rin is very awkward & anti-social, but approachable nonetheless. Masato is the big buttmonkey of the group, with his silly antics leaving a big impression. Kengo is that one guy trying to be cool, coming off as funny blockhead instead. Last, but not least, Kyousuke – the third-year who’s at the heart of the Little Busters, who can be a nonsensical oddball at times, but stands as the emotional spine of the series.
What I found a bit disappointing was that this introduction lacked that emotional hook so common with these kinds of works; sure they mentioned Riki’s tragic past, but they never offer a simple flashback, and it’s not brought up again for the rest of the episode. I’m sure they get to that later. On the otherhand, the humour that drives it was pretty good if a hit-or-miss. One “key” factor about the humour, however, was that it was old-fashioned & nostalgic; more than often, I’d chuckle or burst-out laughing at many of the gags that made me think, “Huh, well that certainly takes me back.” It is based off a game made in 2007, but I remember feeling this way with Angel Beats & Nichijou, too.
The art is commendable and is easily one of J.C Staff’s best looking work yet; the animation is fluid, and colour palette is vibrant, and the character models are easy on the eyes (figuratively & literally). Nowhere near as great as KyoAni/P.A. Works, but it stands well on its own.
Overall, the characters, music & art are great, all coming together to create a strong opener. It’s nothing too special… yet, and given it’s a Key production, I’ll stay on my toes. From here on out, I expect great things from you, Little Busters!
Mission Start! ^w^