Saturday, 28 December 2013

Completed: Little Busters! ~Refrain~

The sequel to Little Busters!

Okay... time to put my biases out there.
I am a fan of most Key/Visual arts titles.
Clannad and Kanon are amoung my favorite shows.
However when the first season of this show aired i was not impressed.

In my review  I pretty much said that the show couldn't have any potential for thought provoking story lines cause everything is solved so easily... a problem arises and it is solved with barely any effort or even worse with something akin to magic (i dubbed it Magical Narcolepsy)

Then i did comparisons of moe characters from this vs moe characters from Key titles i enjoy and all i was pretty much saying is that those characters had arcs and interesting personalities where as LB characters are more like plot devices then anything else.

And then i Bitch for a few paragraphs about how none of the characters have to work for anything.

Knowing what i know after watching this season that doesn't bug me as much.... but this show still isn't very good.

Now... i'm about to spoil the hell out of both seasons so...

Short review -
This is not as good as Clannad or Kanon and if you have seen Angel beats some things may feel a little familiar (though not really cause the two titles are very different) but if you can make it through the terribly predictable boring first season the second season is minorly better... it at least does some interesting ideas even if they aren't fully realized by the end.

Longer spoiler filled review.

Okay i don't know how long this will actually be but the reason why everything in season 1 is so damn easy is cause everything is 'technically' a dream.

see there's a situation where a lot of students are in an accident and now they are living out an endless summer in another world to help the only two survivors be stronger in the real world.

however the one controlling the other world is running out of time in the real world and season two is pretty much the last time he'll be able to try and help them grow before it's too late.

So in one sense i forgive the easiness of it all a tiny bit BUT it's still really lazy and some of the things that happen in the final attempt are stupid and just scream of weak writing/writing yourself into a corner.

The best part of the whole season is the first half of the final episode... if the entire series had been dealing with the theme brought up in the final episode this may have been my fav Key/Visual art anime. and yes it technically deals with the idea of it in the background but it never confronts it.
Instead it's too busy saying "don't run away" and them turning aroudn and saying "okay run now" and then going back to "don't run away"

it's frustrating.

maybe i'm just wishing for the impossible... maybe a theme as dark as the one presented is just a little too heavy for a moe show but i think if anyone could do it... it would be Key/Visual arts...
also the second half of the final episode really bugged me

seriously... i'm spoiling the end... okay... continue on i guess..
so as they have pulled all the near dead students off the crashed bus they go to get Kyosuke who is blocking the broken gas line with his back. after just a few stes the bus explodes and commecial break.

then they skip to fall and everyone is out of the hospital except kyosuke cause he had the worse wounds.

okay well that's fine cause the others would have been no where near the explosion...
but then they talk baout how they can't figure out what to do without him...
um... wasn't the show about riki trying to learn how to step up and come up with things to do?
and then he... uh... attaches a rope to somewhere, is standing outside the window and sayign lets all go on a field trip.

um.... what happened to comatose.
did they actually die in that explosion? cause... that makes more sense then this.
also.... why are you getting back in a car? Kyosuke are you even old enough to drive?

WTF is going on....

i'm sorry but no... if kyosuke woke up from his coma i find it hard to believe that the hospital or his parents wouldn't contact his sister. also theres extra testing to make sure there isn't lasting damage... rehab... he was out for a few months at least... not to mention he would probably have burns... i just don't understand.

bringing too much logic to anime? yeah probably but it really annoys me that after all that... after that speck of something interesting and a little dark we once again get the "but then the day was saved cause of reasons and everyone is happy" once again. even after all that 'effort' there is NO EFFORT at the very end.


The good:
. . . what did i say in my other review...
hm the intro and ending songs aren't as good as the first season but they are still quite pretty and the intro song did grow on me over time.

wow i didn't have much to say about the good traits of this show... hm... well the second season is a bit better then the first... mostly cause half the cost are never heard from again. it is quite a bit darker even if the ending is the sappiest happy end i have ever seen

The not so good:
Magical Narcolepsy is still a thing that happens though not as much luckily...
problems are solves easily with little to no effort and the problems come up in ways that make little to no sense.

Characters are still place holders for character traits but when half the cast gets pushed aside the story and characterization does improve.

The bad:
The animation... as much as i am not impressed with Kyo-ani this would have looked a lot better had they done it instead of the people who i think did it (JC Staff?) i just... the animation feels really lazy, intro and ending songs look great but the show itself just look static and flat.
so Moe.... so very very moe....

The surprising:
The show never made me cry.

not once

I cry at the drop of a hat, you can mentions things in passing that have made me cry in the past and i may tear up or find it hard to speak... i am possibly the biggest cry baby ever... but no... for this... nothing.

When the really dark theme i refuse to spoil was brought up i nearly cried... mostly cause it hit too close to home... but then it was back to happy and no work for all the reward and those watery eyes dried up quickly.

I didn't care about the characters enough to get invested in it. in 38 episodes this show couldn't get to care.... thats a bit of a problem.

I know i sound like a i hated this show... but i think it's more complicated then that.

Do i begrudge watching it all? not really
will i watch it again? no
will i recommend it to people? probably not... unless they wanna laugh about magical narcolepsy

The first season is painful but if you can sit through it the second one isn't that bad... but if you want more interesting stories about life and the hardships in it then watch Kanon (2006) or Clannad. Both are infinitely better.

I still think had it been a story about childhood friends with little in common now that they are older it would have been way more interesting but hey... what do i know.

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