Hello minna-san! I’ve decided to tackle something I’ve never tried before to mix things up at Sekijitsu and that is to provide you dear readers a visual novel review on Little Busters! Considering this is my first time the structure of the post might be very… all over the place so bear with me guys. Also, if you do spot anything that I could improve on, please do comment down below. I will provide an insight on what a visual novel is within my understanding, a brief synopsis on the story and to wrap things up, I will also provide my overall thoughts on Little Busters as a whole, accompanied by a rating of course. The review could contain spoilers, read at your own risk and if you wish to play the game, I can provide links to both the download site and a walkthrough. With that being said, let’s start!
What is a visual novel?
First off, a visual novel is like those old-fashion books where you get to choose how the story progresses through your choices (which leads you to a different page) but with animated visuals. There are heaps of visual novels out there which target different audiences. Some visual novels contain 18+ content (eroge), some visual novels don’t have that, some are directed to guys, some are directed to girls (otome games) but all in all, a visual novel allows you to follow the life of a male/female protagonist, playing as that character while choosing different choices throughout the novel with each choice affecting the story in its own way; leading to either a bad end or a good end depending on the choices you make. There are usually several male or female characters in the story that you can chose to complete their route. It is up to you whether or not you want to complete every characters route or just that one favourite you have.
Little Busters is a visual novel aimed at the male audience due to the fact that you play as a male protagonist (of course females are welcome to play it as well, there’s no boundaries) but take note that it’s not an eroge as well so there are no sex scenes. The visual novel was produced by KEY with Jun Maeda (who is famous for Clannad, Air, Kanon and Angel Beats) being the main composer and a contributing scenario writer for Rin’s route. Of course, there’s no way we could leave out mentioning Jun Maeda’s brilliant contribution to the music composition in Little Busters which I always love hearing from him. As for a short synopsis, we follow the life of Naoe Riki who had lost both his parents in the past. Living with a pain in his heart like no other, four kids who referrers themselves as the Little Busters welcomed Riki into their circle and soon after dispelled the pain in his heart. Now in the second year of high school the gang continue to fight and live together and enjoy their school life. Throughout each of the individual females you can complete in the game, the story revolves around the Little Busters having the urge to play baseball which leads you to recruiting members (thus the girls you can complete are the girls you recruit) while enjoying the anime school-life you lead in the game amongst your friends. When you complete everyone’s routes, you will unlock the final route called Refrain (which is a continuation of Rin’s route so it’s advisable to leave Rin to last).
I’ve decided to give Little Busters 9 out of 10
In the past, I was waiting eagerly for Little Busters to be fully subbed into English along with others around the aniblog sphere. My expectations were majorly high due to the fact that Jun Maeda (who was the mastermind behind CLANNAD) scripted the main route (Rin’s route including Refrain) for Little Busters. Also to mention, Jun Maeda’s music is nothing less than beautiful; having the ability to sway your heart with his talented music composition and piano skills, you will fall in love (or admire) most of his works along with the majority in the aniblog-sphere already within that circle. Yet that’s not all, Jun Maeda also announced personally that Little Busters is his best work yet and boy did he mean it. After completing the game (I always strive to get that 100% completion) I can proudly say that Little Busters did more than surpass my expectations and prove Jun Maeda’s statement to be true. My knowledge on visual novels is of a toddler to others who have experience in visual novels as I’ve only played 3 so far (Fate/Stay Night, G Senjou no Maou and Little Busters!) but out of the 3, Little Busters is my favourite. As for the reason, that is exactly why we’ve all gathered here now isn’t it so?
Should you play it? Do. I. Have. To. Even. Say? Yes! This is a visual novel that must be given a try before knocked off the list. Maybe it might be too repetitive for you considering you have to go through 6 playthroughs to reach Refrain. Maybe you don’t like comedy, school-life visual novels and prefer something more dark and grotesque like what Innocent Grey produces. But for those who love comedy in their visual novels, those who love the school-life genre with romance mixed in and those who doesn’t mind repetition then this visual novel is a must play for you guys. Personally I hate repetition, but Little Busters was entertaining enough that I was able to play through the whole thing, achieving hidden CG’s; getting that 100% completion. You’ll want to hear Jun Maeda’s music. You’ll want to play Rin’s route because Jun Maeda is behind it and when you reach Refrain, I guarantee even those with a heart of a stone will at least tear up throughout the game at least once. If you wish to play the game but can’t find out where to download it or the walkthrough for it, I can provide links to both if you so desire it in the comments section.
Till next time minna-san!