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DGFischer

  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 68 / M

Little Busters! EX

May 23, 2022

In my experience with the productions coming from JC Staff, there is this bit of the Midas touch to this outfit.  But, see, I did not actually mean this as a compliment.  Remember the tale.  Midas acquires the ability to turn stuff to gold with his touch.  He masses a bunch of wealth by turning stones and wooden bowls into the valuable Au.  Good to see the glitter and glitz.  But then, food and family members get converted to bling.  Not so good.  Gets to the point that the Midas touch becomes the Midas curse, and the older and wiser king was blessed to be rid of it. 

Same thing with JC Staff.  The anime A Certain Magical Index comes to mind.  First season: Solid plot lines with fabuloso animation technique ... with a touch of sleaze.  Season two: Sleaze factor increases, the plotline goes down the sewer.  Season three:  Haven't seen it yet.  Might wait for some sweet girls to climb Mt. Fuji in some other series before plucking up the courage to see if I'm sane enough to take on a third dose of ACMI.

And, while we're at it  ... release Mewkledreamy Mix ASAP!!!

Wait, we were reviewing Little Busters EX.  Let's get to that Midas touch thingee again.  The evolution of Little Busters (be it advance or decline) could be summed up thus.  Little Busters! (2012): fun-based.  Little Busters! Refrain (2013): fear-based.  Little Busters! EX (2014): fan-based.  The third go-around of Riki and his gang (or maybe, Riki with cameo appearances by his gang) was merely Riki extending his harem by three more girls.  Saya Tokido, a non-speaking role of a person I can't place in the original run (perhaps the girl who tossed Masato the banana in that epic cafeteria battle with Rin ... I really don't know care).  Sasami Sasasegawa, Rin's rival in all things baseball.  Kanata Futaki, Haruka's estranged sister and top-notch totalitarian.

In the eight episodes, Saya claims the first four in an Indiana Jones spin-off/parody.  Saya is searching for the treasure deep beneath the school which is guarded by shadowy beings (the dark essence of school alumni summoned to eradicate all who seek the treasure ... strike one).  Saya goes into Mai Kawasumi mode to blow away the darkling executives (bogus naming of phantom beings; I would have gone with dark overlords ... strike two), packing pistols nicely holstered to her garters.  Riki, who demonstrates an extraordinary degree of dumb luck helps Saya through the traps until the final showdown with the boss.  Then the truth eludes us.  Is Saya Riki's friend from early youth (pre-narcolepsy days for Riki) or a VG character re-enacting a game where she fails at the last level more than once?  Once you get past the Saya arc, things tame down a little, but inconsistencies remain.  Sasami keeps turning into a cat (Riki explains that this is the results of an alternate school dimension in danger of disintegration ... fouled away) and finding her way into Riki's bedroom.  Kanata's problem deals with the Futaki-Saigusa family schizophrenia which leads to better treatment for Haruka if Kanata accepts an arranged marriage (even though the first season resolved this mess ... strike three).  The Little Busters assemble to bust up this deranged stab at matrimony.

The weakness come with the inconsistencies, especially in the timing around the Refrain situation.  And the fanservice seemed to be the driving force behind this brief run of episodes.  A scene of the girls changing in the baseball club room.  Saya standing up from a hot spring, her nudity obscured by enough steam rising from the pool (but not enough to keep shy Riki out of trouble with Saya).  Saya's crude remarks.  Scouring the gutter for that next schlock and awe.

And the animation seemed to match the poor quality of the plots.  It's almost like Riki needed the work to pay off some gambling bets on bad baseball.  The music was the standard fare of the Little Busters! franchise, but it seemed out of place.  I guess there wasn’t enough baseball.

The first thing that attracted me to the anime was the picture of Saya Tokido pointing her pistol at the viewer.  If I ever watch Little Busters! EX again ... this would have to be the motivation.

4/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall
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