Saturday, 9 November 2013

Little Busters! Refrain - Episode 6

As if having to say goodbye to Rin as part of her temporary transfer of schools wasn't bad enough, Riki also has to swallow the fact that the entire thing - and indeed the entire history of the Little Busters - was manufactured by Kyousuke as a way to help Rin in growing up and maturing.

Although Naoe has no problem with that concept in and of itself, the way Kyousuke has gone about it leaves him seething.  While Masato seems happy to remain loyal to Kyousuke no matter what, Riki at least finds a kindred spirit in Kengo, who also agrees that Kyousuke is out of line.

Inevitably, word soon starts to filter through from Rin that she's decidedly unhappy at her new location - surrounded by depressed people and unable to make any friends, she only withdraws further into herself and simply doesn't know what to do - a fact not helped by her being unable to e-mail Komari for some reason, which Naoe suspects is another part of Kyousuke's plot.  When Rin returns for a weekend back at "home" as little more than a mere shell, Riki decides that enough is enough, and with Kyousuke determined to send her back he and Kengo challenge him to a dual, which of course they summarily lose. Thus, there's nothing else for it but for Naoe to run away with Rin - another option which is only ever likely to end in failure.

While I remain intrigued as to where Little Busters! Refrain is heading in the sense of its wider narrative, it's struggling to grab me at all on an episode by episode basis - a lot of its plot points either feel poorly fleshed out or simply without anything to make them interesting, which leaves the series limping along seemingly unable to draw any real emotion out of its circumstances.  It's certainly still a million miles away from the Clannad anime adaptation, which seemed to know how to entertain and fascinate even when it was just going through the motions.  This really shouldn't surprise me given the mediocrity of the first series of Little Busters, but I was still expecting more here somehow, and remain disappointed at its inability to consistently deliver at this juncture.

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