This week’s Little Busters! brings the formal introduction of Mio, aka that mysterious quiet girl with the parasol who’s always reading under that one tree. We’ve previously seen her around, but she hasn’t had any real interactions with the Little Busters so far. She’s in the OP and ED though, so it’s safe to assume that she will be the final member to complete their baseball team. Before we begin though, I must say that the events in this episode were rather unfortunate for her. To get struck in the ass twice in close succession and then lose your favorite book? Talk about having a bad day.
As we’ve previously seen, Mio appears to be a generic quiet girl on the surface. However, her interactions with Riki reveal that she might actually be more sharp mouthed than her demeanor would suggest. As a result of her quiet nature though, she doesn’t exactly have a very good reputation in class. It’s obviously excessively mean to say she so lacks presence that she is “shadowless”, but then again I don’t see Mio taking the initiative to interact with others. It’s suggested that she has some kind of problem with trusting people though, so I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. The only person who’s ever taken the initiative to talk to her is Riki, and she hasn’t turned him away yet. At least, not until he starts asking some more personal questions. In any case, some of the things she says to Riki really piqued my interest. Despite the gentle nature that we might expect from a typical quiet bookworm, there is a bit of darkness in her words. Her feeding of birds appears innocent enough on the surface, but when she explains to Riki that she’s trying to bind them to the ground so that she can have company, you can’t help but second guess her true nature.
I might even go so far as to say that Mio is easily the most complex heroine in LB! so far. Sure, Komari had her memory loss shenanigan, Haruka has her habit of getting in trouble, and Rin is insufferably “shy”. But all of these little “quirks” just don’t seem genuinely interesting or engaging to me. Not to mention Rin’s “shyness” actually annoys me a bit. Notably, Yuiko is the only girl in the group who doesn’t appear to have any problems at all. She even seems to serve as some sort of figure the others can depend on or turn to for help. Oh, and there’s also Kud. I almost forgot about her, but that’s probably because she’s had practically no development beyond “I need a roommate”, Engrish, and “WAFFLE!”. But I digress. Maybe I’m just a sucker for quiet girls who aren’t actually as docile as they appear on the surface. But hey, this is already more complexity than anything else we’ve seen from the other girls so far. Given that we’re barely under the halfway point though, there’s still time for this to change.
Going back to Mio’s apparent problem with trusting others, Riki manages to help her out a bit in this regard. Actually, it was Yuiko who did all the work behind the scenes, but we needn’t worry about minor details. Mio obviously believed that the disappearance of her book was just a thoughtless yet cruel prank pulled by her classmates. With Riki and Yuiko’s intervention, however, what really happened came to light, and she realized that there are actually nice people in the world. This little incident will probably get her to open up more to Riki, and I’m sure we’ll get to learn about her condition (if there is one) soon enough. And what about that poem that she was reading? I think most of us would agree with Riki’s analysis, assuming the English translation is “accurate”. It seems to be about a lonely bird unaffected by her surroundings (sound a bit like Mio?), which is a little sad. Yet Mio claims that it’s full of hope instead, specifically citing the bit about the bird being unstained by the sky and the sea. I’m not quite sure what how she figures, but it’s possible she’s interpreting it as the bird standing firmly against outside influence. Hopefully this will be further elaborated upon later on.