No matter how cheerful her presence on the baseball field with the other Little Busters, it's clear that on a deeper level Komari's brother is still casting a pall over her as this very state of affairs becomes the centrepiece of this particular story arc.
With Komari revealing some details of a new dream she had of her brother, Naoe begins to piece together what might have been his fate, and thanks to the elderly hospital patient he met last week he confirms that hunch, even if it isn't exactly the news that he wanted to hear.
Still, the unaware Komari remains cheerful enough, whether it's hunting for midnight snacks, watching shooting stars with Naoe or inviting him out on a "date" and a boat ride. Indeed, such is her behaviour that it's almost as if she's treating Naoe are a substitute for her unknown brother, to the point where she even effectively admits as much. On the way home from this day out however, a rainstorm and a dead kitten merge with the memories of the rest of the day to bring Komari what appear to be some unwelcome memories from her past...
It is perhaps rather unfortunate that I've recently been rewatching Clannad alongside the broadcast of Little Busters - in comparison, the former feels far more accomplished and measured in its story-telling, and although both shows can be equally contrived at wringing emotion out of their circumstances Little Busters feels far more clumsy and simplistic in its own attempts. I'm still interested in where this particular arc, and the series as a whole, are planning to go next, but this episode didn't exactly succeed in either moving or engaging me to any notable extent, which could spell bad news for a series that lives and breathes upon doing exactly that.