First Impression: Little Busters!

Little Busters! - 01-01

Let’s start up the season’s first impression post with the highly anticipated Little Busters!.

Now I must first clarify that I have not played the game nor have any knowledge in Little Busters! story background and settings. So, bear with my inexperienced comments. What a shame that I still call myself a Key fan.

Little Busters! - 01-02

I was introduced to Key’s world thanks to the anime adaptation of AIR, Kanon and CLANNAD, I enjoyed watching those titles because the story and music are absolutely amazing.

Previous Key anime adaptations are all handled by the anime studio – Kyoto Animation and directed by Ishihara Tatsuya. Of course, after the previous success, most of the fans including me, anticipated that Little Busters! are going to be lead by the same director as well. However, when the news reported that J.C.STAFF will be the anime studio that’s responsible for Little Busters!, that particular announcement shook the world.

Well, J.C.STAFF’s quality is acceptable and I’m not really hate them or what, but breaking the tradition and go for another studio and director doesn’t seem a good move at all. The expectations from the audience are very high on this due to the successful milestone set by the previous project team.

Little Busters! - 01-03

First, the main staff who works on this project.

Director – Yamakawa Yoshiki

  • Di Gi Charat series (Character design, animation director, episode director, storyboard)
  • Hatsukoi Limited (Director, storyboard)
  • Hells Angles (Director, screenplay)
  • Kill Me Baby (Director)

I’m not sure how accurate the list could be, but have a glance through a few of his past works. This actually makes me worry.

Source

Script, Series Composition – Michiru Shimada

  • One Piece (Script, storyboard)
  • You’re Under Arrest! (Screenplay)
  • Shugo Chara! (Script, series composition)
  • Rurouni Kenshin (Screenplay)
  • Dr. Slump (Screenplay, script)

Her 30 years experience in scripting and screenwriting is indeed no joke, but most of her famous projects are 80s and 90s anime. Her latest works perhaps, One Piece.

Source

Fate of LITTLE BUSTERS! is in your hands!!

Chief Animation Director, Character Design – Iizuka Haruko

  • Inu x Boku SS (Chief Animation Director, Character Design)
  • The iDOLM@STER (Chief Animation Director)
  • Jigoku Shoujo (Key Animation)
  • Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi (Chief Animation Director, Character Design)

Another experienced staff with high potential. She also involved in other famous titles such as Zero no Tsukaima, Working!! and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, but only a few episodes of it, so I didn’t have them listed. From the soft animation of Ookami-san, I can say that her work is safe. The animation feels soft and lack of “kick”, I think she’s much more suitable to work on slice of life anime.

Looking forward for her to show something different or a breakthrough in Little Busters!.

Source

Music – Maeda Jun, Orito Shinji, Togoshi Magome, PMMK, Miwa Manabu

Sound Director – Motoyama Satoshi

Music is directly reused from the visual novel, perhaps with some “remix”, but I’m confident that it’ll be great. What’s left is depends on sound director’s overall control over the BGM.

Little Busters! - 01-04

Story

I’m writing this as an audience with completely ZERO experience in Little Busters! story and settings.

The first episode is confusing.

I’m not sure if I missed something or what but I still don’t get the background setting of Little Busters! What’s with the school? Fighting in school cafeteria? Where are the authorities?

I don’t mind if the character’s story being purposely divided into different episodes throughout the whole series, but at least bring us into the world in the anime. That way the audience could understand the story better. Anyhow, I’m looking forward for the next episode, maybe 1 episode isn’t enough. The scripts / conversations are interesting. I guess Little Busters! would be about Life and Friendship.

Animation

Good but could be better.

The animation is quite consistent and not that disappointing. Just that the minor details are lacking and some awkward screen change here and there, eg, the scene when Riki looks at the sky when he’s following Komari to the school roof. That wide angle zoom out is a kinda fail.

I can’t evaluate much because first episode tend to be “better made” because it’s crucial in grabbing audiences’ interest with good graphics and animation.

Sound

Godly tunes.

What else you can ask from the Key Visual Art’s music composers.

The sound director did a fairly good job, I’d say that the BGM selection is just right however the transition in-between BGMs ain’t that smooth. Motoyama-san please, show us something better in the upcoming episodes.

Little Busters! - 01-05

No pantsu shot.

Little Busters! - 01-06

Little Busters! - 01-07

I miss KyoAni version eyes.

Little Busters! - 01-08

How do you think of the first episode of Little Busters!

One thought on “First Impression: Little Busters!”

  1. Raki says:

    I’ll be honest here that my expectation for Little Busters was high (maybe too hard) but not as much when the first trailer come out. I feel guilty for comparing it just based on it’s opening credits because it says a lot about the anime adaptation. Primary, it says a lot of JC staff’s effort to follow the source material and trying to mimic KyoAni’s success with other Key’s franchise. (KyoAni turn a simple key-frame opening credit of Air and Kanon from the visual novel into an accurate animated version of it) While LB’s VN has a much better OP than its predecessor, but I would like to say that KyoAni literally basing on Air, Kanon and Clannad VN’s OP include details and visual cue timings while JCstaff felt more like adapting which is OK but it feels a bit rough around the edges

    The character design looks more closer to the original design, I guess c: except for Komari and Kudo 😛

    The first episode was confusing, even for someone that has played the VN.(mostly about how it all fits together) My personal complaint might be the pacing of the story as it felt it was rushing and broke it’s coherent during the episode.

    BGM is good but same complaint as you with the fluidity of the transitions.

    Let’s see how it goes

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