It's time to return to our pre-Christmas story of Mio Nishizono, the forgettable girl who occasionally seems to crop up sporting a decidedly different facial expression. But are they even the same girl at all?
If nothing else, a period of absence from school certainly confirms just how forgettable Nishizono is - first, people forget things that she's done, then they start forgetting even her name and who she is, with only Naoe seemingly able to keep a hold of his memory of her. As soon as Mio returns to school all is well again however, returning everything back to how it was. Nishizono herself doesn't seem to be quite so positive about things however, hinting that she'll soon vanish for good.
This proves to be an entirely correct evaluation of proceedings too, as a beachside walk with Nishizono sees Naoe come face to face with that "other personality" - seemingly a different, but near-identical, girl who calls herself Midori. The real shock to Naoe's system comes when Nishizono drops her parasol, revealing that she actually has no shadow - shock enough to trigger his narcolepsy. When he comes around, Riki can't remember why he was at the beach or who with, and thus goes about his life in blissful ignorance until a book given to him by Mio sends his memories flooding back and allowing him to realise that Mio's "shadow", Midori, has effectively taken over her friends life.
It seems like an absolute age since we came to this kind of crossroads in a major story arc of Little Busters, so if nothing else it's somewhat refreshing to actually have some notable drama to chew over. It's hardly subtle stuff, but it is at least somewhat interesting and I'm quite keen to see how the whole thing gets resolved - it's the first time I've been able to say that about Little Busters for a while, so perhaps it can finally work just a little of that Key magic to bring a sense of worth to a series that has been going through the motions for a little too long now.