Sunday, 2 December 2012

Little Busters! - Episode 9

It's time for some fun for the Little Busters and they're ever-growing baseball team, as an absence of any human drama allows them to cut loose and enjoy themselves for a while.  But will this peace and quiet last?

Of course not - aside from some worries about Rin and her continued shyness, one of her menagerie of cats Lennon has brought with it another mysterious message, imploring the reader to "save the cafeteria".  But does the cafeteria even need saving?  Aside from some arguable issues with one of its dishes in Rin's mind, everything seems to be running smoothly there.  When the cafeteria does run into trouble thanks to its staff all being called away for various reasons or calling in sick however, there's little time to wonder how the writer of the note could have known this might happen.

Instead, the Little Busters leap into action to take over the establishment's running to feed the hungry hordes that consist of their fellow students - a tough task which they approach with determination and vigour rather than any real culinary talents.  For the most part, they seem to succeed in completing this task, even if Naoe's role in proceedings is cut short by another bout of narcolepsy.  What's more, Rin suddenly seems to be just that little more confident when dealing with others, making this a case of "mission accomplished" on two counts.

As a central premise to this week's episode, and one that has been explored a little throughout the series, it's really rather hard to feel any power behind the tale of Rin's shyness for one simple reason - she doesn't actually seem very shy at all, aside from some forced scenes where she suddenly becomes unable to talk to the other girls.  It makes for a rather unsatisfying characteristic which really isn't at all believable, and in a way it serves to underline the rather charmless way Little Busters goes about its business at times - it simply gives you its story without any particularly notable efforts to engage you with it, leaving the whole endeavour feeling a little empty as a result.  For a series like this, an inability to engage the viewer is all but sounding its death knell, so hopefully it can adjust itself to pull this off a little more successfully moving forward - to be fair, it's managed it in a certain degree in some previous episodes, so it certainly isn't beyond the realms of impossibility.

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