It has been almost a year since I updated the site, let’s get started with something I wanted to try last year as well.
On the first day of Christmas my waifu gave to me…
an adaptation that came from Key
The first anime I will talk about is the anime adaptation of this Visual Novel that had been wished for and anticipated by a LARGE number of people for many years now. It is not easy to talk about the Little Busters anime since it seems that everyone has a different opinion on it right now. However before I give my own opinion on it, there are certain interesting things that I want to point out regarding the many different opinions behind it.
When the animation studio behind the anime was announced to be J.C Staff and not Kyoto Animation as so many had hoped, the shitstorm that followed was a sight to behold. It gave way to a ridiculous amount of over-reactions and resentment from people who had hoped to see more of the successful KyoAni-Key duo. There is also the fact that J.C Staff is a very hit or miss studio, they have worked on many series that were both loved and hated by fans. However there are many that only seem to focus on their failures without realizing that the studio has produced just as many great shows even in the current season.
But even without considering who animated the show, the biggest cause behind the large number of opinions (at least in the west) is the accessibility that Little Busters had from the start of its airing compared to previous Key-based anime. Unlike Air, Kanon, and Clannad, Little Busters had a full English patch ready for anyone to use before the anime started. It allowed people to experience the original source material as their first exposure to the series which lets them realize all the changes or omissions an anime adaptation needs to pull to fit the format.
Most people who watched KyoAni’s work on Air, Kanon, and Clannad did not have the same privilege and therefore their first exposure was the “revised” versions that KyoAni would feed to them. Without experiencing the source beforehand these people did not have the means to tell what was different, what wasn’t included, or how well it was presented compared to the original. The mindset when going into a new episode was much more relaxed. The term “ignorance is bliss” best describes many people’s first time watching those titles, without realizing just how much they actually did cut or remove from the Visual Novels.
So we return to Little Busters, who on a weekly basis now needs to satisfy the large number of people who come into a new episode already set with their own mental image of how THEY want the scenes to play out. This undoubtedly ends in a much larger portion of viewers that end disappointed when things don’t go they way THEY wanted regardless of whether the episode was well produced or not. What about those that come into the series fresh and still don’t like it? Well, that is a completely different matter at this point. Sorry if this was too long of an introduction but now comes the question…what do I think of it?
As one of those that had already experienced the source before the anime I can say proudly that I love the Little Busters adaptation. I am not blind enough to see that the animation is mediocre at times and that the first couple of episodes had some small issues with the pacing and directing, but in both cases things have improved over the weeks and this is a faithful adaptation of the original source material. This is in no way less enjoyable than the anime versions of Kanon or Clannad in my eyes. The story in Little Busters takes longer to build up than it did for Kanon or Clannad but in my opinion the reward is much greater than ones for both series in the end. I realize that in the end this wasn’t much of a “review” and more of a complain against the unfairly harsh criticism this series is currently enduring, but if you enjoyed the previous Key titles all I can say is that you give this a shot. It might take a while for it to pick up (just like the original source) but I have faith in the staff’s decisions so far and I have yet to find any major flaws in this adaptation. If things continue at this pace, when everything is said and done I know I will be able to look back at this anime and say that the long wait was completely worth it.
(PS: Did you like the anime adaptations of Steins;Gate, ef, and Higurashi as well? Btw did you read their source material BEFORE you watched their anime version? Let me know in a comment, don’t be shy)