Posted on 13 November 2012 with categories: Little Busters

So in the end, Komari: a girl who couldn’t get over the death of her brother. As someone who tends to prefer characters with… at least a bit of independence, I do feel a bit let down. At least Fuuko and the Uguu girl had their reasons for having the minds of five year olds. Setting therapy aside, I really find her to be the most annoying Key character I have seen.

And yet, I actually really liked the rest of the cast in this episode. Riki was the only one who really was able to do anything, but I really liked the way in which everyone supported him. I also quite liked Riki as he tried to get Komari back on her feet. The story is here so simple that yeah, Komari did need to just get hit on the head a few times, so I liked their idea to do this with another picture book, and even though Riki was just terrible at drawing, I like how he still went through with it. That’s for me the biggest difference between the beginning of this series and Kanon: the Uguu girl also was annoying, but beyond that it didn’t have much else that caught my attention, making it a lot less bearable for me to watch.

I expected more from gramps, though. In the end he was also partially responsible for Komari ending up the way she did because he refused to help her, instead just staying away from her. He’s an important person in her life, and yet he just abandoned her under the pretext that she’d cry when he’d die. Well, in that case I’d better stop making friends if all I’m going to do is make people cry when I eventually pass on. This guy needs to be healed too here. Does he also have his own arc? I’d love to see that actually.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 9 November 2012 with categories: Little Busters

Ah, screw Sword Art Online. I’m still going to watch and finish it, but there is no point in blogging it anymore. I actually really liked the first half, but the entire set-up of the second half is just wrong. There is no way the creators are going to be able to make up for that. I’d rather focus my limited time on something else. Now, why that something else turned out to be Little Busters of all things probably needs some explanation.

– The best Autumn 2012 show that I’m not currently blogging is pretty much Jormungand. I really support what that series is trying to do and if you got through the first season, I do urge you to check out the second. I just don’t have any inspiration to write a full entry about it. I noticed that when writing about its first season.
– Saint Seiya Omega unfortunately has gotten much worse again with its second half, introducing a sting of no less than TWELVE over the top battles against all odds against golden saints that will probably only get good near the end again. It’s pointless to blog it at this point.
– Sukitte Ii na Yo is also pretty good, but it comes off a tad forced at times. It’s good, but when characters come with their past it feels like the creators are running down a checklist instead of genuinely try to tell a story.
– The best other alternative would be Btooom: short and sweet suspense. In the case of that series though, I think it lacks depth, and probably isn’t going to get much with just 1 cour. Not to mention that an analysis of the fight scenes would just devolve into a string of complaints about the bad physics.

Now, Little Busters has its problems. DEAR GOD, it has problems. However, I do have a few reasons why I want to blog it, which I’ll get to below. To summarize though: its five opening episodes are better than the first five opening episodes of Kanon, and worse for Angel Beats, Air and Clannad. Still, it has something.

This is pretty much my mindset while watching an episode of Little Busters: “HATE HATE HATE HATE hate hate HATE HATE hate… oh this is actually pretty good… this is surprisingly good, whoa”. And this not in the way in which other bad or dull shows have a few redeeming moments: while those moments are enjoyable, they usually don’t succeed in removing my annoyance with the series by being dull or still not doing anything significant. I remember how Guilty Crown had one good episode. Well, whoop-tee-doo, it didn’t make up for the rest of the show. Little Busters actually succeeds in this. I’ve blogged a number of other series that were clearly flawed, but had enough to make up for them (Zetman, Deadman Wonderland), and to be honest, I want to give a more nuanced view over this series. I do feel like it has been getting too much negative reactions because there are enough things to like about it, and I want to highlight this series from a different perspective.

Yeah, so what if Kyoani doesn’t animate this. I actually don’t consider them to be that much better than JC Staff to be honest. Yeah sure, their animation is better, but they also keep making shows I’m not interested in. JC Staff also has these series, but they also make plenty of interesting shows, on top of shows that sound cliched, but are surprisingly well executed (Kimi to Boku, Milky Holmes, Yumekui Merry, Kamisama no Memo-Chou, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Aoi Hana, Nodame Cantabile, etc).

Now, the worst part of Little Busters BY FAR is the voice acting. I managed to get used to all of the characters by now, except for ONE: Komari. Dear god, she is annoying. Every time she opens her mouth something horrible comes out. And it doesn’t help that she’s trying to be incredibly ditzy and klutzy. This girl. Who the heck thought that that voice would fit her well!?

Now, with the key visual novel adaptations, the worst characters also get their arcs in first, and that very much is the case here. Nanami indeed is the worst key character so far, although she still is not without her merits: her story is at least more interesting than Kanon’s Uguu-girl, the previous holder of this title. The people around her: I find them actually very interesting, that missing brother and the grandfather, to the point where they actually make up for her annoyingness.

What also is a huge plus for this series: the chemistry between the characters. That is something of a pet peeves of mine: if the chemistry is good, then I can let a lot of things slide because I’m enjoying myself. And it’s not like this show is particularly funny or anything, but the side-characters all feel genuine. The cast is also quite large and full of interesting characters that aren’t just girls, unlike what you’d expect from other visual novels. The chemistry in this series is not of the kind that is immediately enjoyable, but the kind that makes me go “that was actually pretty fun” afterwards. I like this effect a lot actually, and for that, plus the promise that this series has for its future episodes makes me want to blog it.

But dear lord… I do hope that upcoming Winter will be a small season…
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

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