Despite the relatively weak showing last week, I thought that the conclusion of Komari’s arc was pretty good. I think I had said a few episodes back that Komari’s excessive optimism annoyed me slightly. Now that I’ve seen how she is without her cheeriness, I must say that perhaps it’s better for everyone if she just stays cheerful. It’s just painful to watch her cry. Well, more accurately it was painful to hear her cry. Even her regular speech is easier on the ears than her wailing. So what exactly made this episode better than the last? As previously mentioned, the problem with episode 5 was that we weren’t really invested in Komari. Her breakdown didn’t feel very genuine, and in fact it seemed just a tad bit contrived. It’s like they were blatantly saying “Look, here’s a cute girl. Now watch us make her cry. You’ll feel sorry for her.”
This episode however, brought the gang back together. We’ve already seen that they’re close friends who help each other out through tough times, and this was a perfect example of such a scenario. In fact, the impact of this was greater since Komari is a new addition to the Little Busters. From the moment Riki brought Komari back to his room, and Masato considerately gave them space without asking any questions, my opinion of the show started improving. I’ll admit, the “solution” to Komari’s chronic amnesia was a little underwhelming and cheesy, but the problem itself wasn’t very well developed to begin with. The better part of the episode in my opinion was the support the rest of the Little Busters showed in helping Riki walk Komari through her troubles.
If I’m not terribly mistaken, Little Busters! is supposed to be about a group of friends and their interactions. This episode gave us precisely that. And it helped wash away the bitter taste of the less than satisfactory attempt at creating some tragic “drama”. I might even be willing to overlook that if the intent was to display the camaraderie between the Little Busters all along. It’s true that the rest of the crew didn’t directly contribute anything towards Komari’s “recovery”, but just seeing them watch over Riki in his endeavors was more than enough. Besides, it probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for them to intervene directly anyway, as Kyousuke pointed out. Hopefully we’ll see more development on the part of the characters and become more invested in them before the next big tragic hit, because that’s going to happen again, knowing Key.
While Little Busters! has been off to a bit of a shaky start, thing’s aren’t looking completely hopeless yet. I would like J.C. Staff to be able to pull this off well enough that some of the stigma associated with them will be dispelled. I’d rather have more “decent” studios than less.