Finally finished this pretty long series, but i would say, it wasnt the best, even with the hype.
Its a pretty lengthy show, but it could be even longer, in fact. 2 seasons with 2 sets of OVAs, S1 has 26 with 1 OVA while S2 has 13 and the EX OVA has 8. It is originated from 2 VNs, Little Busters/Refrain came from the original, while EX came from Ecstasy.
Its kinda hard to summarise the plot as they combined elements from RomCom, Slice of Life with a bit of fantasy, psychological and feels, the elements here are somewhat similar to how Sakurasou goes, maybe because J.C.Staff.
Little Busters was fun to watch. Cheerful intro then serious then happy again then serious. It was a really hard roller coaster and i love it, and it gets more and more serious after each individual character arc, Kud has the most meaning out of all the characters. The OVA was a running gag which somewhat lightens the gloomy mood surrounding the series, i love it. Then after finished watching S1, i continued to Refrain. Felt really good as Yuiko’s arc felt really meaningful, and also she confessed to Riki, but suddenly, they pushed the additional members aside very abruptly with no conclusion with Yuiko. Then all of a sudden he started to date Rin, it was a bad couple imo. In fact, Refrain’s 13 ep count is far to short, its very obvious they cramming everything into a tight package. They should have went for a proper 26 ep, to bring Yuiko’s arc to a proper close. Refrain tried to be depressing, but being pissed about how they wrap up Yuiko make me immune to it, the feels would have been very effective if they did a proper job. The ending suddenly brought back all the members, and a sudden happily ever after. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! Feeling pissed, i went to watch EX, with a new character. 8 eps splitted into 3 different character arcs, i was a bit wary about it, so i lowered my expectations. All of them have a very low level of feels but Saya’s arc hit me the most, i was touched by her love for Riki, and her arc ending was splendid, excellent job even tho only 4 eps. Then Sasasegawa
Sesame Sasami arc came, what a tongue twister her arc only has 2 eps so was VERY wary, but decent job, but sometimes it felt pretty pointless to me. Then Futaki Kanata came, Saigusa x Futaki torture continues, the feels are pretty ok, ending was well done, and then it hit me again.
OMG, all of them came back… including Saya,
Sesame Sasami… SO much feels in just one scene. EX was pretty well done, but still unable to compensate for their butchering of Refrain. As usual, VN is definitely better.
Art is done by J.C.Staff. Maeda Jun did the storyline and music while Hinoue Itaru and Na-Ga did the character designs. Well done i must say. The characters are cute, background details are pretty ok and the colors used are very vivid. Nothing much to complain.
Music is a pretty well done also. OP for all except Refrain was good, ED were all addictive. BGMs are also pretty enjoyable to listen to, maybe because Maeda Jun.
VAs is a pretty decent list with some seniors who rarely voices anime. Horie Yui, Tamiyasu Tomoe, Midorikawa Hikaru, Kanna Nobutoshi, Kamonomiya Yu, Oda Yusei, Yanase Natsumi, Wakabayashi Naomi, Tanaka Ryoko, Suzuki Keiko, Tatsumi Yuiko, Kawaragi Shiho, Sakurai Harumi. Horie Yui sound very awkward voicing Riki at the beginning, but slowly got used to it, less awkward, pretty unsuitable. Suzuki Keiko, Yanase Natsumi and Wakabayashi Naomi all of them has a rather unique cute voice which i love.
Besto gurl? Definitely Haru-chin. Yuiko a close second.
Story: 8/10 (S1), 6.5/10 (Refrain), 8.5/10 (EX)
Music: 8/10 (S1), 7/10 (Refrain), 8/10 (EX)
VAs: 8.5/10 (S1, Refrain), 9/10 (EX)
Recommended. But Refrain may feel pretty pointless.
More coming soon