Little Busters! ~Refrain~ Episode 12: One Wish


Pict258It’s time to face reality at last – and Riki and Rin were met with a pretty grim one. It’s a stark contrast to the dream world and its many slice of life scenes, which is what the initial season of the show associated itself with. Even though we knew what would happen, the bus crash itself was extremely jarring. All that screaming… and all that blood! And amidst all that confusion, it takes a really good person to still look out for you and shield you from harm – that’s exactly what Masato and Kengo did, on top of looking out for them in the artificial world. Kyousuke wasn’t supposed to be on the field trip at all, but I guess it was his presence that made all the difference – not only did he plug up the gas leak, his mysterious Key magic allowed Riki and Rin to gain the mental strength they needed to survive. While I want the Little Busters (especially Mio) to survive as much as Riki does, I really must question his decision to disregard Kyousuke’s advice and return to the bus – the whole point of growing stronger was that, in addition to surviving, Riki would be able to protect Rin and not fall into grief. If Riki goes back and the bus explodes right there, everything the Little Busters did would have been for nothing. Well, maybe he might have been able to help them if he didn’t run back and promptly fall asleep 😀 He’s seriously gotta sort out his narcolepsy.

Pict296In all honesty, I was hoping for a bit more reality as opposed to abstract scenes, but by the end I really liked Rin’s character development. Most of the time we see things from Riki’s point of view, so it was a good change of pace to see how Rin’s taking things – especially the fact that, despite growing stronger, she has to cope with the loss of her friends. I still refuse to believe they’re dead, by the way. You’ve gotta save them Riki! While it was nice to see all the auxiliary girls after very much feeling their absence, the scene with Komari was most poignant of all. That moment when Komari disappeared, and her hair ornament hit the floor… damn you, J.C. Staff! Damn you! Stupid dust specks in my eyes…

It’s the finale next week, and I’m hoping it’s gonna be a great one. I’ve gone through a lot of this season with confusion being my primary emotion amidst the feels – but in the end, I don’t think I regret being an anime-only viewer. You end up having prior standards to compare things against if you’re familiar with the source material, and I’ve heard that dialectic amongst the VN readers over this franchise in particular is rather fierce. I have a feeling that a lot of these posts would have just degenerated into comparison had I been familiar with the VN. While it’s understandably inevitable (and I do it myself), perhaps the focus should stay on what the episode was, rather than what it should have or could have been. But yeah, maybe I’ll pick up the VN once this finishes airing!

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  1. Wanderer says:

    I would strongly recommend playing the VN once you finish the anime. While I haven’t watched the entirety of the anime that’s aired, I did watch most of the first season (through Kud’s route), and I found it strong and compelling in its own way. Worth watching, and varrying emotional impact. After I watched Kud’s story I decided to pick up the VN, which I am slowly working my way through. It has significantly more depth and development for the characters: you get to know them, to understand them, to FEEL them in a way the anime didn’t really have time to get into, although it did the best it could. There are some significant differences in the routes as well: aside from things being cut in all of them for compression, Haruka’s and Kud’s specifically had important details that were completely changed or invented for the anime, either for time constraints, or because the original story couldn’t work due to the concept of a visual novel with multiple routes not working when set on a linear storyline (certain character behaviors depend on them being romantically involved with Riki, for example).

    Anyway, I’ve played through Komari’s route, Rin’s 1st route (she has 2 routes before Refrain), Haruka’s route, and Kud’s route so far. Despite knowing how things would turn out in general, the FEELS… especially for Haruka and Kud-o… Honestly, after I finished each of those routes, I had to take a break from playing. They left me feeling emotionally exhausted, they’d gotten to me and wrenched at my hearstrings so much.

    Finish watching the anime first, by all means, but once you do I would definitely recommend getting your hands on the VN and experiencing it.

    • Magicflier says:

      If you play the visual novel, then you will truly experience how we felt when we watched the anime knowing the secret. Since you now know the secret, you can realize many small things and catch very cryptic dialogue that was simply ‘thrown in there’ to go with the flow when it actually is foreshadowing something big. The anime actually gave bigger hints so it was a lot more intriguing(and maybe even to the point of annoyance) than the visual novel, but all this foreshadowing that you wouldn’t normally pay attention to will now catch your eyes. Think of the visuall novel as an expansion of information and dialogue. XD

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