Little Busters! Episode 13: Where the End Begins

“…What are you?”

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Summary

Riki realizes that something isn’t quite right, with many members of the Little Busters forgetting Mio’s existence temporarily. After Mio returns only to give him her book of poems and take him to the sea, Riki meets the ominous smiling figure, a girl named Nishizono Midori, who reveals Mio’s supernatural secret behind her parasol, taking her place within the school and replacing her existence.

Impression

“It felt like the world itself was dreaming.”

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Where do I start? I suppose I should begin chronologically, when Mio first fell ill and strange happenings occurred – rather, when Riki questioned Masato about her and Masato didn’t remember until prompted enough. I mean, Masato isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but it’s beneath his nature to willingly forget about his friends. The same applies to Rin, Komari and Kud, who all forgot Mio during the time she fell ill. That goes beyond her classmates usually blanking her, and Riki immediately caught on to the fact that something wasn’t right, which fell exactly in line with the creepy smiling figure that Riki saw in town and during the storm at school.  Then we had Mio’s request for Riki to tell her more about his childhood, as well as Riki receiving the book she treasures so much, which immediately rings alarm bells that there’s some kind of seperation involved, as if Mio was going somewhere far, far away. Mio’s resolve of being a solitary person is probably linked to this, which is why she’d rather not get too involved with a circle of friends as she’ll have to leave eventually.

I’ve been told about the show’s biggest reveal (in Refrain) but nothing about many of the individual routes, so I was honestly surprised to see a supernatural aspect being seriously introduced to the show for the first time in Mio’s route, if you discount the apparent ghosts in the office from that ghost busting episode. Mio hiding her lack of a shadow -making her literally “shadowless”- with her parasol would indicate that she isn’t…fully human, which opens up a lot of questions about who or what she is, or rather who Nishizono Midori is, who has the exact same appearance as her. That brings up the possibility that Mio and Midori are, for lack of a better phrase, two halves of one whole, as they both have no shadow. What a crappy time for Riki’s narcolepsy to act up as well, as we have no idea what happened to Mio after that.

Pi246What was more significant than Midori’s revelation was that Midori’s taken over Mio’s persona completely, and not even Riki notices the paradigm shift until he finds Mio’s book by chance, and suddenly realizes that she’s gone. But at the same time, she isn’t – Midori has become Mio, and the entire class has no memory of Mio’s old personality, and now accept Midori as a classmate. She’s friendly, but not in a “nice” way – more in that predatory, ulterior motive way where she knows that everyone has completely forgotten about Mio. She’s also hot, which gives me mixed feelings on this development. Riki’s shock faces mirrored many of mine this episode, as he realizes himself that he’s starting to forget too – and it must be horrible to be the only one that can’t remember. After all, if you’re the only sane person in the entire world, then who’s to say you’re not the insane one instead?

I felt it rather apt that Riki asked Midori what she was, rather than who she was, enforcing the idea that something supernatural is going on here, a new twist for Little Busters! that I’m really enjoying. Since Komari’s breakdown last season, she show has edged more towards its comedy side, and I’m impressed to see what it can churn out after slipping back into a drama-based storyline, something any Key work is characterised with.

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Vantage

I love cute things.

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9 Responses

  1. Lurenai says:

    Nice little review! I’m very pleased on how the adaptation is going for this route – since romance is being cut down from the routes (in order not to have Riki has a Don Juan), it’s quite pleasing to see Midori is still behaving in that way. Also, Midori’s voice actress is doing a great job: we can almost feel poison out of her teasing/provoking words. Mio’s route is one of the ones I was most anticipating to see (along with Kurugaya and Refrain), and I’m very satisfied for now.

    • Magicflier says:

      From what I read from your post, it seems as though you think Midori and Mio have different VAs but Midori’s VA is the same as Mio’s

    • Vantage says:

      Extra romance would definitely make it a little harder to move between routes without making it look like there’s been some backtracking going on. And both Mio and Midori seem to be voiced by Tatsumi Yuiko, who I’ve only heard before as Riko from Kiss x Sis.

      I’m pretty satisfied too – I do sometimes wonder how KyoAni would have handled it, but I’m happy with how JC Staff have done things so far.

      • Magicflier says:

        So far I heard many things and by adding it all up, i’ve found the biggest logical reason that KyoAni didn’t pick up Little Busters. It could be either this or they were simply just in too tight of a schedule which extended from 2008 to 2014? but it’s probably this:

        KyoAni was afraid of how complex the plot was, it wasn’t as simple as Kanon nor Clannad. Little Buster’s plot revolves around friendship more than romance and KyoAni is not relatively good at this plot-device. Another reason why JC Staff was chosen instead. Look at how great JC Staff is portraying the friendship-theme for Sakurasou no pet. Lastly the central cast of Little Busters is at a abnormal number.

        • Irustua says:

          Mmm the reason why KyoAni didn’t pick Little Busters! is because of its main plot, I can’t tell you with out giving spoilers but, a lot of people has tried to figure out how they are going to adapt it. For me it’s imposible with out boring the audience, but aparently JC has figured out how to do it… xD it’s confusing I know, keep watching it and probably you’ll know what I’m talking about.
          I actually read in a forum that a lot of staffs where thinking of how to do it but all of them were afraid that it could blemish Little busters!’s reputation. JC Staff is actually taking a huge risk at this.

          • Vantage says:

            Little Busters! definitely has a strong reputation as a VN, and a failure of an anime wouldn’t be ideal for them. It won’t happen here, but look what happened to Tsukihime.

            Oh wait, what am I talking about? There is no Tsukihime anime.

          • Magicflier says:

            Oh Tsukihime had an anime, I completely forgot. :D but that was from October 2003 though and is a bad comparison… JC Staff probably learned from their lessons already after adapting 3-4 other visual novels before this, don’t get me started on the directors who were in charge. @@

  2. Jiburi says:

    Oh Midori…. You and your rape eyes. I was expecting something weird will happen sooner or later but after it actually did, I couldn’t help but still feel really surprised at how supernatural this became… We’re now probably one more step closer to this “secret of the word” that the notes spoke of. :3

    • Vantage says:

      That is very likely – this route being supernatural does hint that everything about the “secret of this world” could be on a much bigger scale than expected.

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