The time has finally come for another Key novel to be animated and have its story told anew. While it’s been four, almost five, years since that last adaptation, it feels like last week I was sitting in anticipation for the next episode of Clannad to air. While I’ve yet to play Little Busters!, I can say that I really enjoyed this first episode that J.C. Staff has brought to us.
I’ll be honest; when I first heard J.C. Staff was taking charge of this new project, I was hesitant to say the least. Hell, I still don’t know if they’ll do the game justice. However, after watching this first episode, I was able to watch and observe all the crazy antics that make a Key novel funny and enjoyable. In a way, it felt like another humorous episode of Clannad or Angel Beats!, and that’s not a bad situation to be in. However, I must re-iterate that this is the first episode, and what really matters is what goes on after this episode.
The story begins with the return of Kyousuke, a high school senior who completes the group of childhood friends who once called themselves the “Little Busters.” The group, consisting of five members: Kyousuke Natsumi. Rin Natsumi, Kengo Miyazawa, Masato Inohara, and Riki Naoe. At first glance, I had assumed the main character would be Kyousuke, as he’s the cool character with the aura of a cool protagonist. To my dismay, the story is told through the eyes of Riki Naoe, a junior who relies on the friendship and bonds these friends hold after he lost his parents at a young age. Luckily, the episode greatly follows the group as a whole, and doesn’t focus on one person.
During some random course of events, Kyousuke decides that the group should spend their time forming a baseball team, and the episode primarily focuses on the crazy situations that occur trying to build up a team. The episode is full of humor, and I found myself laughing at quite a few scenes. However, this also worries me as I know the feels will be coming at some point, for there hasn’t been a Key work that hasn’t left me feeling for the characters at one point or another. Either way, this first episode was great, and I’m greatly anticipating the following episodes.
Finally, I felt this episode began the series off right, and while it didn’t clear all worries I have with this project, it did ease some of my anxiety over J.C. Staff animating this series. While they aren’t Kyoto Animation, J.C. Staff did a great job with this first episode, and I’m really hoping the following episode will not only be enough to tell the story, but also complete the story without leaving out vial details. Either way, I’m going to be playing the game at one point or another; with that, I’d really like to see this adaptation succeed and tell the story without butchering it. Let’s hope this series doesn’t crash and burn!