Thursday, 26 December 2013

Little Busters! Refrain - Episode 12

It's time for Riki and Rin to face up to the harsh realities of the real world to which they're about to be returned - a challenge which is easier said than done.

As promised by Kyousuke, the pair awaken to find themselves in pain and aching all over, but ostensibly safe a suitable distance from the devastating bus crash which seems to have taken the lives of all of their friends.  Having picked themselves up and dusted themselves down, Naoe realises that they need to get away from the area before the bus's leaking fuel catches alight, but having made good his escape with Rin, Riki simply can't followed Kyousuke's instructions and worry only about his and Rin's own survival.

Thus, Riki turns and heads back to the crash site in the hope of saving his friends and classmates - a decision made all the more difficult by what looks set to be an attack of narcolepsy.  Meanwhile, having left Rin alone in safety she has to face her own emotional distress, as memories of how Kyousuke saved her from darkness and introduced her to myriad friends comes flooding back.  From trying to avoid and hide away from the terror confronting her, Rin uses these memories to steel herself and find a more positive outlook as she too returns to the crash site.  But can anything be done to alter the destiny of Rin and Riki's friends?

Having pitched its emotional content pretty much perfectly in its previous episode, I'd argue that this week's Little Busters! Refrain tries a little too hard to expound upon those emotions - it isn't entirely misplaced, but Rin's feelings are readily apparent without spending half of an episode focusing upon them and why they exist.  This results in the show's penultimate episode losing a fair amount of its emotional energy and slowing its pace, which leaves me curious to see where and how it's going to end with only a single episode left to run - hopefully it can find its way to deliver a strong climax, given that it still has a fair amount to work with.

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