Monday, 4 March 2013

Little Busters! - Episode 21

Move over Space Brothers - Little Busters is about to tell you how space travel really is.

Okay, maybe not, but I digress... after showing us some further feline-centric improvements to Rin's baseball abilities and following a cleaning session in the Little Busters club room, it's time for young Kud to get some more of the show's focus.  More specifically, this means delving into big chunks of her back story, from the origin of her name through to her true home and its beliefs and rituals, and onwards to her relationship with her mother.

It's this final point which is the most important facet of this story arc, as Kud's fascination with space and the stars is clearly shared with (and indeed inspired by) her mother - not surprising, as said parent is in fact a cosmonaut.  As we're greeted with television reports of a controversial and potentially dangerous rocket launch on Kud's home island, we come to learn that the pilot of said rocket will be none other than - you guessed it - Kud's mum.  It's almost like they're setting up this entire plotline only to have the rocket explode on the launch pad or something.

If nothing else, I think it's safe to say that everything that this week's Little Busters attempts is carried out in an incredibly heavy-handed fashion - the building of Kud's back story feels like something that should have occurred organically throughout the series, but instead it's thrown over us like a tin of paint at this late juncture, and the entire plot regarding her mother's upcoming space flight might as well have pictured a rocket which featured a neon sign down the side that read "BUT WHAT IF I EXPLODE?!"  In short, this feels like another example of just how much Key's craft improved in later visual novels (assuming, perhaps unwisely, that this isn't simply J.C. Staff's adaptation at fault), as there's no subtlety or careful plotting going into what we see here, and thus most (if not all) of its impact is lost.

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