So we’ve reached the climax of the Komari’s brother arc. As most of us probably imagined (and as Riki himself figured), it turns out Komari’s brother had passed away when she was young. Komari has merely been suppressing her own memories, and the rest of her family seems unwilling to remind her of the fact. This has the makings for a good story, right? Well, perhaps. But this is where LB! falls short. Obviously the whole ordeal is supposed to make you feel sorry for Komari, but I just didn’t quite feel it. Even as she was bawling away in the rain, I couldn’t really sympathize with her one bit. So what went wrong? I think the main problem here was execution. I just wasn’t invested in the characters. I know, we’ve had five whole episodes to work with by now, but it feels like not much has been done to get us more intimate with them.
Sure, this arc itself could count as one such attempt, but it doesn’t really have the same impact if we don’t already have some established connection to the character in question. So far, all I can say about Komari is that she is very cheerful and ditsy. And that’s about it. I couldn’t say anything more. She just fills the role of that one silly, airhead character. And of course, since practically all of the cast is silly in some way to a certain extent, that doesn’t say much. There just wasn’t enough material to work with to make her emotions seem genuine. There’s no doubt that she was depicted as distraught (perhaps an understatement) at remembering her brother’s passing, but the whole ordeal lacked any impact whatsoever. I could have just read an entry under “break the cutie” on TV Tropes and it would have been about the same in my mind.
Perhaps because of all the bashing LB! suffered at the hands of hardcore fans of the VN, I had hoped that it would turn out to be better than expected. Of course, I can still legitimately say that it has been better than the steaming pile of shit the haters were predicting it to be, but it isn’t doing a particularly good job either. To my understanding, some events in the VN have been shifted around for this adaptation, so for all I know, this arc with Komari could have originally come about at a later time, when we would be more acquainted with and sympathetic to the characters. If anything counts as a first strike against J.C. Staff in adapting LB!, it would be this. There are still 21 more episodes to go though, so hopefully things will take a turn for the better.