Little Busters! Weekly Update – Episode 5

Weak.

Unfortunately there isn’t much to say here.

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.

The Screenshots


4 thoughts on “Little Busters! Weekly Update – Episode 5

  1. On this one, I’m in complete agreement. This episode wasn’t funny, or surprising, or touching. It was just there. The show felt entirely too much like it was just going through the motions to end up with a crying Komari at the end, presenting scenes like they were checking off boxes. When we got to the end, I had no emotional connection to Komari at all, and her remembrance of her brother’s death had no impact at all.

    The thing I’m finding somewhat interesting is the varied reactions to this episode. The people who like the show, who like the VN, and like Key works in general, seem to think it was a huge success – staying faithful to the VN and being very emotional. But people like me, who don’t have any of that prior investment, were left completely non-plussed, almost bored. This leads me back to what I said last week, that this interpretation just feels rote and soulless, like they’re playing it safe to get all the parts of this VN in, and that’s just not working for it being an anime.

    • Ah yes. I had also read comments on Twatter praising this episode. As you say, it could just be people recognizing the scene from the VN and superimposing their experience from that onto the episode.

      Not having played the VN can be a bit of a handicap after all. I have no way of telling if the presentation of this scene in the VN was in fact better, thus improving opinion of the adaptation when it came about in this episode. If this is true though, you could say that the VN is what’s really pulling the weights here, which leaves those of us who haven’t played it out of the loop.

  2. Wow, the sight of a cheery airhead breaking down and crying does nothing at all to you guys? I didn’t cry, but it made me feels down seeing the light going out of her eyes….. And I didn’t played the VN. Let see how it plays out from here on.

    Well, each to his own so I can’t force my opinion on you guys. Her brother death must be REALLLY hard on her…. Oh, and Komari looks quite good in tht outfit of hers. And pats to JC for the nice background of the meteor shower and the lake.

    • Well, it’s weird. Usually, I’m the first guy to straight out cry, even at super contrived setups that you can see coming a mile away. I spent the *whole show* of Kowarekake no Orgel crying, literally. I cry every time I rewatch the Christmas episode of Toradora, when Minorin sees Taiga break down outside her apartment, and then rejects Ryuuji and her own feelings because she knows how much Taiga loves him. I even cry every time Tenshi ni fureta yo from K-On plays on my playlist, remembering how Azusa was affected by her senpais graduating.

      But this show just didn’t do *anything* that got me that invested in Komari, not last episode nor this episode. It’s too bad that her brother died, but for me as a viewer, that’s all it was. There wasn’t any immediacy to it, it was telegraphed obviously, so I kind of spent the whole show wondering when she would figure it out, and then when she did, it was just kind of like setting another flag.

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