Annotated Anime: Little Busters!: Refrain Ep. 8


It Kud have gone better

Tired of Kyousuke being miserable all the time? Not to worry, because he doesn't even turn up for this episode. Fine by me, but it means we are faced with cleaning up his mess instead, which proves to be a bigger problem than it sounds. Ha, sounds like an accurate description of this series as a whole. 

So while I attempt to keep up with this show and all of the craziness that comes with it, you guys are free to look at the words that come from my fingers and determine that yes, I am indeed missing the cryptic messages that may or may not be in this show. 

Seriously, I'm so confused. 

We're back with Riki and Rin trying to reform the Little Busters in what seems to be an alternate world. For the record, it seems likely that everyone except these two knows that things went bad in the original world, but this is never explicitly mentioned, which isn't helping so much when trying to figure out what's going on. As Riki ponders recruiting Masato into the reformed group, we get to see a little bit about his past, and how he joined the original Little Busters when he was a kid. Weirdly, this gives us a lot more information about what Kyousuke was like back then, and really opened my eyes on just how little we know about the guy.

Even when he's playing nice in the first season, he's relatively hands-off on everything the Little Busters do, but you can see that he was the core of the group when they were all children. This gives us some good hints as to why everyone seems so damn depressed without Kyousuke around, and why the events that happened in the original world are so different from a world where Kyousuke is just wasting time away from human contact.

Rather unsurprisingly, grumpy new-world Masato declines Riki's offer of joining a reformed Little Busters, instead claiming that he'll "probably start proving" he's the strongest, and that he and Rin should stay away from him if they don't want to get hurt. It's a pretty random place to take the conversation, but it raises some interesting questions. We'll come back to that in a little bit.

To celebrate declining the offer to rejoin the Little Busters, Masato decides to go around the school attacking anyone that comes near him. Not only that, but he's trudging around the school in a daze with bright red eyes. Well, that's not the weirdest thing that's happened in this series so far, but it does seem incredibly odd when we know Masato as quite a kind character. He seemed to be alluding to Riki and Rin earlier that this would happen. Why would he do this voluntarily, and if it's not him in control, why did he know it would happen? Confusing stuff, and it doesn't seem like it's going to be addressed just yet.

So, in the spirit of the Little Busters of old, they plan to stop Masato by setting up an elaborate trap. We soon see that this is similar to how Kyousuke originally had Masato join the Little Busters. Does this mean this is some kind of ordeal to pass leadership to Riki? Kyousuke did mention last series that he was passing that title to Riki, so perhaps this is him being dropped in the deep end to somehow figure all this stuff out. It would also mean that Kyousuke has some crazy powers, being able to rewind time, wipe the memories of select people and setting all this stuff up, but like I said earlier, it's not the weirdest thing this show has done.

The trap succeeds in gluing poor Masato to a statue, but in a display of sheer strength and ridiculousness, he uproots it and continues after Riki, with the crazy bust still stuck to his back. Running about the school with a statue stuck on you is pretty insane in itself, but Riki wears the superhuman Masato down by doing a few laps around the school and even climbing a hill. Now, I knew Masato is strong, but was he ever meant to be this strong? Does his glowing red eyes mean that something is going on behind the scenes and allowing him to do all this? Who knows!

But you know what? I'm really happy that this confrontation ended with Riki and Masato coming to a good ol' fist fight. Not only did it emulate the encounter between kid Masato and kid Kyousuke yet again, but it shows exactly how much it means to Riki to snap the big guy out of his daze. Riki is definitely a pacifist, so seeing him even consider a fight is pretty awesome to see. Luckily a few jabs to the gut were enough to bring Masato back to the real world, and we even get to see that Masato was going crazy because he was seeing everyone who confronted him as an identical copy of himself. Yeah, I'm not sue what's going on either, and it yet again raises questions about how he knew something like this would happen.

Let me clarify that I am quite enjoying this show, but I am finding it harder and harder to keep track of what exactly is going on. I'm fairly certain that we'll get a eureka moment in a few episodes time, especially with Key's track record with supernatural shows like this, but until then I'll continue to just nod my head and write you folks some nonsense. Until next week!

[Don't refrain from watching this show! Catch the latest episode on Crunchyroll.]

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