Little Busters! ~Refrain~ Episode 1 [First Impression]
To succinctly describe the relationship between this season and the last, Refrain would be to Little Busters what After Story was to Clannad – I think that’s the general consensus drawn up by many Key fans. And I do hope they’re right – with even the title stylised the same (~Refrain~) I have pretty high expectations of what this will offer. As far as I know, this’ll cover Kurugaya’s arc, Rin’s arc and Refrain – the latter being the “true” end to the story (and also the one with tears and feels everywhere). I haven’t gotten far in the visual novel, so this will be a first time experience for me. I suppose that’s a good thing, and my impressions won’t be clouded by prejudice or expectations.
That being said, I had the general feeling that everything was moving at a pretty fast pace today – in the first season, sometimes you had these episodes which focused fully on slice of life, while today we only had the pancake party (which made up just under half the episode). With drama, feels and the supernatural having an increased impact on the show, less slice of life is probably a good direction to head in. They’ve sort of built up these wonderful feelings of friendship and happiness, which I’m pretty sure will collapse once all the ominous foreshadowing littered throughout the episode comes to light. Shattered glass or wilting flowers, anyone? Not to mention all that pathetic fallacy through the rain. I think I have a fairly good idea of what’s going on – past Key works have involved the supernatural and tragedy pretty heavily (Air, Kanon, Clannad) and Mio’s arc last season only gives this argument more strength. If we take Kyousuke’s decision to “start anew as many times as it takes” in a literal sense (as in, a time loop), then suddenly it’s clear why Riki has a feeling of deja vu – it actually has happened before. With some Kurugaya romance to boot. It’s just that he’s forgotten (or perhaps he’s been made to forget). Oh, and the narcolepsy fits into that somehow.
We also embarked on Kurugaya’s arc – with her as smart as she is, I’m not surprised she has haters. Actually, the level of bitch hate here is still quite high. Those two girls really had some nasty, nasty stares, and one poor Hanazawa Kana girl was just caught up in it all (once you’re voiced by HanaKana, you’re very unlikely to be a bad person). By all means, you don’t have to like someone – but it’s rather distasteful to take it out on their friends rather than confronting them directly. What if poor Kud accidentally stepped on the tacks in her shoes? I… dislike this exhibit of bitch behaviour. The straw that broke the camel’s back, though, was that girl’s threat to break up the Little Busters – I bet she’s really scared shitless now. Even I was shocked by how terrifying Kurugaya got… but I admit that magnificent kick was very satisfying.
It’s a powerful start, and I’m pretty happy with this. The animation quality spiked up, the story’s getting more intriguing and we had a great new OP/ED – it looks like we’ve hit the ground running with this one.
Aren’t you looking forward to discovering what the secret of the world is?
Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed