Little Busters Season 2
Oddly enough, i’m not going to talk about the last few episodes which I haven’t already covered, because…well, J.C Staff adapted it so perfectly that the only complaint i’d have to mention would be faults or oversights in the original game, and I’d have nothing but outstanding praise for how it’s been adapted and transformed.
Refrain is the follow-on from Little Busters’s relatively slow and strange first season, where the majority of the cast get their arcs adapted in series 1, along with some fleshing out of the basic cast as a whole. I use the team relatively slow to describe series 1, as I actually found it so boring and dull that I gave up on the anime and moved onto the visual novel, where things were a little better (possibly due to my personal tastes) but still relatively slow.
Refrain takes the best two character arcs and the true end to the story, and adapts these two. As such, you’ve got the amazingly bittersweet love story of Riki and Kurugaya, the Rin arc and then the true ending, so where the first season had the bad stuff, you could say that this season has nothing but the good stuff. It’s a strange balance, but it does mean that there isn’t a single dull moment in Refrain to speak of.
The first arc, belonging to Kurugaya, is amazingly executed, and was met to outstanding praise from a large portion of viewers, unravelling a large portion of the secrets that are contained in the world this takes place in, and actually being some of the best writing that came out of Key. It’s got loads of magical moments and heart-wrenching scenes, so it’s exactly what you’d expect from Kyo-An…wait, this is J.C Staff?
To go off on a tangent here, it’s incredibly surprising for J.C Staff to produce something that’s this outstanding. They’ve got the soundtrack down to a key, remastering some of the best tracks from the visual novel, and improving on some of the lesser ones. They did display a tendency to use the best tracks in places where they weren’t originally used, so that comes down to how attached you were to the original scenes, but an argument could be constructed that these tracks are better for the moments which are being portrayed. However, looking over the end project, I don’t think Kyo-Ani could have done such a good job, as everything looks exactly like it’s meant to, and the saying “don’t fix what isn’t broken” applies here.
I’m not going to talk about the final arcs, but they’re both outstanding. There is a strange delay which wasn’t present and a bit of strange creativity used around the ending, but I feel that it actually works better this way, and it all creates that magical feeling that anyone would come to expect from Key, except this magical feeling is significantly stronger than the other products they produce, due to how this one is built around the idea and concept of friendship bonds, not love and romance.
Little Busters is a strange experience for me, but the anime adaption of Refrain was executed perfectly without any problems, and I couldn’t have hoped for it to be done any better.