Little Busters! & Little Busters!: Refrain Review (Spoiler Free)

So a while back I decided to take a look at Little Busters!. It was something that I’ve come across time and time again when looking around for anime to watch and finally it seemed like a good time to check it out.

And after slowly watching through both seasons of the anime, I can finally write about it!

Synopsis

Riki Naoe is a boy who after a traumatic childhood ended up becoming friends with an older, inspirational boy named Kyousuke. Following behind Kyousuke, he ended up making a group of friends that Kyousuke named the “Little Busters”.

Fast forward to the present, and the friends from back then are all attending the same high school. In order to make the most of their youth, Kyousuke gets the gang together to start a baseball team, which he names the “Little Busters”. However, they don’t have enough players, and so it’s often up to Riki to find more people willing to join them. In addition, Kyousuke’s sister, Rin, receives mysterious notes regarding a secret behind the world that will be revealed if she completes certain tasks…

Fun & Warm Slice of Life…

For the most part, the first season of Little Busters! is a stock standard slice of life. Of high quality, I might add, as the characters and their various arcs are excellent. Little Busters! is based off of a visual novel of the same name, so just like with similar slice of life anime, you can expect a “story arc” for each of the main characters.

Regardless of it’s VN nature being very apparent when you watch it, the story still flows very well as Riki recruits more members to the baseball team.

The content for the first season is essentially a fun and warm slice of life, with a few emotional or exciting moments mixed in when the various character arcs reach a climax. Despite the warm nature of the season though, it’s quite obvious that there’s something important that we don’t know, that Riki doesn’t know. Some sort of secret.

…Topped with Intrigue and Emotion

As I mentioned, the first season is primarily comedic in nature, with the occasional tense or emotional moment. Overall though, I’d remember it as typical slice of life content.

That all changes with the second season, Little Busters!: Refrain. The happy times fade away. Sun gives way to rain. Little Busters!: Refrain is a stark contrast to it’s prior season. Things get pretty crazy, we learn everything that we were wondering about in the first season, and in the end, it’s just a much faster paced and more exciting season of the two.

The first season was more slice of life, and the second was more of a thriller.

This scene was one of my favourites from the whole series.

Made by Key

Considering the Little Busters! visual novel was developed by Key, who also made Clannad, it’s no surprise when I say that Little Busters! felt exactly like Clannad. In quality of characters, storytelling, art, soundtrack, cute girls, et cetera. And also in it’s pacing, with how the first season builds the story and characters up, and then it all comes crashing down in an emotional second season.

I wouldn’t say that Little Busters!: Refrain is as emotional as Clannad: After Story, but like with Clannad, it’s a real change from the first season and there are many powerful and exciting moments in there. While it took me a while to get through the first season, I ended up binging the second one in a few nights.

Rating

Overall, I thought that Little Busters! and Little Busters!:Refrain were a great combination. Great characters, story, art, and sound. The two seasons are great to watch back-to-back, and provide a lot of content to get through.

Like with Clannad, I feel like these two are a package deal. You could watch the first season standalone, but you will be left wondering about the world’s secrets that were not yet revealed.

I’m giving Little Busters! + Refrain an 8 / 10.

I enjoyed the two anime, and the amount of content they had to offer. There were a lot of funny moments, exciting moments, and emotional moments. Several stick out in my head as very memorable, and even if I forget many details about the anime, I probably won’t forget those moments.

A great slice of life anime with an excellent, thrilling sequel.


That does it for this review. I haven’t been watching anime as much lately, so it really did take me quite a while to get through Little Busters!.

As much as I enjoy slice of life anime, I do find it difficult to binge, because it lacks that “I need to know what happens next” element. Luckily, the second season really kicked the story into gear and I finished it rather quickly!

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

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