It’s time to report on what the long-awaited anime adaptation has to offer. When it was announced, Little Busters! the anime initially got heavy flak for Key having J.C.Staff do the production (or is it the other way around? I won’t care, anyway) instead of having a popular studio do it. Adaptation of Key’s works had been known to be excellent, even if some had recurring quirks or loopholes. Does the anime adaptation of Little Busters! go along with the pattern? Upon seeing the first episode, I think I can agree with the critics, somewhat, on throwing acrid flak on this.
I think I’ve mentioned it several times before, and I shall say it again; the anime adaptation of Little Busters! has very very bad visuals. I said that just basing on the trailers and teasers, so I have to suspend my initial impression when I first watched this. But alas, I was right all along. If you expect quality that matches, or at least emulates, Na-Ga’s artwork; prepare yourself to rage over the visuals. Visuals here aren’t of quality indeed, and this would be the finding even if I rewatch this several times. If K and Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! has a problem with the novelty of the character designs, Little Busters! anime has a problem on illustrating their designs. There might be no off-modeling throughout the episode, but detailing on the character design is poor, sparse, and underwhelming. Background and setting arts? Forget them, they could be mistaken for mere sketches or doodles with the amount of effort exerted on doing them. The worst part of the visuals is the animation. Yes, they do the job but the quality treading the line between “failure” and “poor”. Lighting is too dark than the scene warrants, character movement is rough, and scene transition is kaputt.
The audio presentation for the first episode is “good” at best. It’s sad that the visuals make it hard for you to spot the greatness of the audio. Voice acting is actually very good, they fit the characters and are in the proper pitch. Background music is quite on the synthetic side, and many who played the VN (and paid attention to the VN) notes that the BGM from the VN was recycled for use here in the anime. It does the job of setting the proper moods and tone, but it could have been a lot better if they used a rearranged score for the anime as different media have different requirements. Which reminds me, I need to play the original VN again, but this time I should pay more attention to the story and presentation elements rather on the progress. Opening and Ending theme songs are performed by Rita, a singer more known for her songs in visual novels. They are also remixed versions of the original songs used in the visual novel.
The writing, plot, and story would be familiar to those who consumed Key’s media before, and of course to those who played the original visual novel. Seeing the first episode made me realise that I’m not paying much attention to visual novels I play, and it also tempts me to play the visual novel again. Like all of Key’s writing, the first episode is lighthearted and comedic but with some hints of the depth of the plot. Strangely enough, hints of the depth is missing on the episode. The script, however, still contain thought-provoking lines and situation — which is still part of Key’s works. As for the writing themes in the first episode; you’ve got themes of friendship, justice, and companionship in the first episode. At this point, it’s too early to tell if the direction is a failure or not. What I can say is that the overall writing seems to be dampened.
The first episode of Little Busters! anime adaptation may have suffered a handful of flaws, but it still doesn’t mean that this is complete rubbish. If you’re a big fan of Key’s works, or if you like the sound of the story/plot/themes, watch it. Rather, watch this series for the story.
Images Used are under Fair Use.