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View Poll Results: Little Busters ~Refrain~ - Episode 13 Rating
Perfect 10 16 34.04%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 13 27.66%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 6 12.77%
7 out of 10 : Good 8 17.02%
6 out of 10 : Average 3 6.38%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 1 2.13%
Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2013-12-29, 17:19   Link #61
Kanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Question - How many of the characters that we've seen in Little Busters! were their real selves?

For a key example, have we even met the real Kanata yet?
Only the people that were on the bus, so Riki's class + Kyousuke and Haruka (not sure what Haruka was doing on this bus though...). Kanata was nowhere to be found so she might have been a construct of Haruka's mind, which would explain why she acted like such a bitch at first. Or maybe being twin sisters and having the same wish, they were linked or something. I assume EX will explain it.
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Old 2013-12-29, 20:42   Link #62
Monoriu
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I've seen Clannad, Kanon, Air and Angel beats. I find this ending to be the weakest of all the Key anime adaptations.

I accept Clannad's ending fine, as I find it well-foreshadowed. The problem with the ending of Little Busters, for me, is that the way Riki and Rin saved their classmates is presented "realistically", yet it is anything but realistic. Once they got out of the dream world, there are no more supernatural elements. The rescue scene fails to suspend disbelief, because I can't believe that two untrained highschoolers can pull so many people out of a totally messed-up wreckage without causing further injuries and without calling for help.

I am ok with "a supernatural element caused a miracle that saved everyone". But if they do away with the supernatural miracles, then the animators need to put in more effort to suspend disbelief.
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Old 2013-12-29, 23:01   Link #63
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Originally Posted by Monoriu View Post
The rescue scene fails to suspend disbelief, because I can't believe that two untrained highschoolers can pull so many people out of a totally messed-up wreckage without causing further injuries and without calling for help.

I am ok with "a supernatural element caused a miracle that saved everyone". But if they do away with the supernatural miracles, then the animators need to put in more effort to suspend disbelief.
I personally never thought it was that big of a deal, that seems almost nitpicking. They probably did call for help. Sure it could have been added, but I could have cared less if they called for help. It doesn't play a major factor. You can imagine that they flagged someone down or what have you.

It would have been interesting if some students died, but I don't find it completely unbelievable that they couldn't have done what they did. In the novel version a student does wake up and help them. But really these small parts shouldn't take away from the ending completely. But to each their own.
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Old 2013-12-29, 23:29   Link #64
justsomeguy
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Is there any evidence they didn't call for help, since something like that is so obvious there's little point in adding a scene just for that. It's also possible that they couldn't, considering that they woke up outside the bus (How the hell did they end up out there, if Masato and Kengo were covering them, and those two are still on the bus? I would think it's more unrealistic to still be alive and intact after being ejected during a crash!), and might have lost their phones.

Considering that they crashed in a rural area and help is who knows how long away, pulling out victims and causing more injury is preferable to the certain death of letting everybody stay on a bus that's leaking gas and ready to blow at any time. Riki and Rin probably did cause a few further injuries, but it's safe to assume they took as much care as any normal people would to keep that to a minimum, or at least enough not to kill anyone.
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Old 2013-12-29, 23:53   Link #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
Is there any evidence they didn't call for help, since something like that is so obvious there's little point in adding a scene just for that.
If it's that obvious, the VN would have omitted it. But the VN did have a scene where Rin called for emergency help, I've been told. It only takes 15 seconds or so to show Rin calling for an ambulance. This episode (and the one before it) isn't so clearly crammed that it can't even spare 15 seconds to show Rin making an emergency call.

There's some very elaborate scenes in this episode and the last. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to shorten them a bit to scrounge up 15 seconds for an emergency call scene.


I don't see it as critical a flaw as Monoriu might, but it is a flaw. I honestly do find it odd that some people here are expressing such total non-concern about it. Isn't it better to present things in as believable and thorough a manner as is reasonably possible? Isn't it better to make the plot a bit tighter if nothing is lost by doing that (a little less naked Riki probably wouldn't be a significant loss, for example )? Isn't it better if Riki and Rin seem smart (and hence do the obvious thing) and not seem hopelessly reckless (even if things go miraculously well)?

Like it or not, this does bother Monoriu and me. Would it have bothered anybody if the 15 second emergency call scene was there?
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Old 2013-12-30, 00:09   Link #66
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If it's that obvious, the VN would have omitted it. But the VN did have a scene where Rin called for emergency help, I've been told. It only takes 15 seconds or so to show Rin calling for an ambulance. This episode (and the one before it) isn't so clearly crammed that it can't even spare 15 seconds to show Rin making an emergency call.

There's some very elaborate scenes in this episode and the last. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to shorten them a bit to scrounge up 15 seconds for an emergency call scene.


I don't see it as critical a flaw as Monoriu might, but it is a flaw. I honestly do find it odd that some people here are expressing such total non-concern about it. Isn't it better to present things in as believable and thorough a manner as is reasonably possible? Isn't it better to make the plot a bit tighter if nothing is lost by doing that (a little less naked Riki probably wouldn't be a significant loss, for example ). Isn't it better if Riki and Rin seem smart (and hence do the obvious thing) and not seem hopelessly reckless (even if things go miraculously well)?

Like it or not, this does bother Monoriu and me. Would it have bothered anybody if the 15 second emergency call scene was there?
I wouldn't have minded it, but I never really thought about it until I read here in forums about it. I was more concerned at the time in the game of how they did not even describe or show much of the crash at all. I had no time to even think of them calling for help. I think I read it but I don't recall. i think I will have to replay that part again.

In instances when I was in various accidents the last thing I did was call for help. So I think it may just be personal opinion. I do understand for the sake of realism that it should have been added and would have been good to add. I guess even showing them looking for a phone would be good too. But it doesn't take away from the story as much for me. I also imagined that their phones were in the bus or they lost them.
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Old 2013-12-30, 00:30   Link #67
justsomeguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Like it or not, this does bother Monoriu and me. Would it have bothered anybody if the 15 second emergency call scene was there?
Well, you and Monoriu's basic assumption is that they did not call for help, while I (and presumably others) generally assume that obvious things occur without having to make it explicit, and do not find it disturbing to omit such. Riki has hardly been depicted as stupid, it is very odd to assume that he would not think to call for help just because there's no scene of it. Note that 15 seconds is unnecessary, a 1 second shot of Riki on the phone would be more than enough to depict what's happening. Sure, that 1 second scene of Riki on the phone will be "better" in some way, but the lack of such is so minor a detail that I think it's extremely nitpicky to even call it a flaw. That said, this "flaw" cannot even be said to be this episode's; it can easily apply to the previous.
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Old 2013-12-30, 01:34   Link #68
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I think the game handled that part better, honestly. For those that care:

Spoiler for VN ending:


I preferred in the game that there was a pretty big sense of urgency with the rescue. In the anime, that was absent and it was obvious that everyone was going to make it. (Like Rin's little dance at the end of the last episode... and playing 'Song For Friends'... again... ugh...)
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Old 2013-12-30, 01:50   Link #69
Meltyred
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Originally Posted by DaBackpack View Post
I think the game handled that part better, honestly. For those that care:

Spoiler for VN ending:


I preferred in the game that there was a pretty big sense of urgency with the rescue. In the anime, that was absent and it was obvious that everyone was going to make it. (Like Rin's little dance at the end of the last episode... and playing 'Song For Friends'... again... ugh...)
The Anime did have that big explosion in the end that could have shocked people who didn't already know the outcome.
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Old 2013-12-30, 03:59   Link #70
Guardian Enzo
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I think my reservations about the ending can be summed up in one question: would Refrain have been a better series if Episode 11 had been the finale? There's no question it was the emotional climax, but that's a separate issue. In choosing this route - where everyone walks away (eventually) healthy and happy, is LitBus diluting the power of its core message? To some extent I think the answer is yes, and that's why - despite the affection I have for these characters and the joy I get from seeing them live on - my feelings about the ending are mixed. I won't go so far as to call the True Route a cop-out, but I think it is fair to ask - if there are no consequences for what's happened, what was the point of it all?

To put that another way, if you frame the series around the question naked-universe Riki asks at the beginning of this episode - "is it worth it?" - the answer is a lot easier when the reality is what we got here than if it had been what we got at the end of episode 11. My answer would still have been "Yes" - it is worth it, because life is hope, and because even if they were gone the people who loved Riki wanted he and Rin to carry on and support each other. But making the question so much easier to answer robs the premise of some of its emotional power, at least for me.

Whatever qualms I may have about the ending it's undeniably fitting to leave the cast as we last see them - playing innocently as children, smiling, laughing and most importantly, all together. Kyousuke isn't weak and on crutches but his old, smiling self, stronger and more unstoppable than ever. If one were in a metaphysical frame of mind they could almost imagine that what we were seeing wasn't the real world at all, but in fact a sort of Heaven or dream - because surely, for these children, this is the Heaven they would wish for. I don't think that's how it was intended, but with Key you can never be sure. Perhaps the idea is that what we're seeing is whatever we bring to the seeing, and that whatever answer you arrive at, the ending is a happy one either way.
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Old 2013-12-30, 06:21   Link #71
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I'm gonna go with the negative interpretation. The dream world continues with stability...
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Old 2013-12-30, 06:49   Link #72
Haak
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Agreed. That was definitely the vibe Refrain had been giving until the 2nd last episode (which is why, honestly, parts of Haak's review post on this thread, and some posts on the Episode 12 thread saying that this turn of events was "suspected", really makes me raise my eyebrows).
From a narrative point, it was indeed building up the tragedy to be inevitable and something that they'd just have to deal with. But once it was apparent in Episode 12 that there was nothing to logically suggest that they were all dead, it became a matter of choice for me: Would it be better if Riki just followed the narrative and accepted their deaths just became they told him to, or would it be better if he actually tried to see if they could be saved. Ideally, I would've preferred if he did everything he could to save them and they still died, but for me the important thing is that he thought about it logically and tried.

Remember, all i said was that "I honestly like the fact that Riki decided to try and save them". I didn't mean to say I like the twist that they could be saved. That's another issue.
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Old 2013-12-30, 06:51   Link #73
paladinenvec
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Spoiler:

1.-The series focus on friendship over romance.
2.-Kurugaya's face on the night of the fireworks.
3.-Kyousuke is awesome.
4.-The focus to get stronger and get over things feels better and well developed if i compare it with other animes.
5.- Rin
6.- The ending
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Old 2013-12-30, 07:19   Link #74
Ceral
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The ending was an ending, maybe it did not fulfill all my expectations but it was happy and provided me a sense of closure with the anime. J.C. did a good job to not draw things out to try to make things more poignant, if they went the other path they may have left a bad taste.

I'm gonna say 7/10 for this anime series. The sobfest that was episode 11 and Kurugaya's route were high notes as far being well constructed, engaging episodes. There was just a lot of unpolished scenes that made me scratch my head and think twice. Just in this episode some of the sound effects were a bit cheesy and out of place. It takes away from an otherwise serious scene. The jump from the bus explosion to the Rin & Riki scene in the classroom seems clumsily put together and off. To just move on to the beach trip seems weird. I think it says something that the most enjoyable episodes for me, were the OVA, and filler episodes. It's really too bad Kyoani decided they've become allergic to Key materials. As for Kud Wafter I can't imagine J.C. doing Kud Wafter, just the subject matter, with Kud and Riki being lovey-dovey half the time would be quite abnormal to consider for an anime adaptation. The feel of KW is so relaxing and care-free, it's a complete 180 from LB, especially the anime version since they avoid romance. A KW anime adaptation would be the most unexpected anime adaptation announcement I'd ever heard of, just for that I'd be interested in seeing it. But what I really hope is next and coming soon: Rewrite + White Fox, let's get it.
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Old 2013-12-30, 08:13   Link #75
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
From a narrative point, it was indeed building up the tragedy to be inevitable and something that they'd just have to deal with. But once it was apparent in Episode 12 that there was nothing to logically suggest that they were all dead, it became a matter of choice for me: Would it be better if Riki just followed the narrative and accepted their deaths just became they told him to, or would it be better if he actually tried to see if they could be saved. Ideally, I would've preferred if he did everything he could to save them and they still died, but for me the important thing is that he thought about it logically and tried.

Remember, all i said was that "I honestly like the fact that Riki decided to try and save them". I didn't mean to say I like the twist that they could be saved. That's another issue.
Ok, I see what you're saying here.

Thinking on it a bit more, I guess Riki would have to consider the possibility that the looping dream world he experienced was a typical dream, and wasn't real in any sense (i.e. he wasn't talking to the real Kyousuke, in any sense). In fact, most people would probably favor this interpretation over thinking that they actually did live through a real fake world (I know that obviously sounds oxymoronic, but hopefully you get what I'm saying here ).

So yeah, it makes sense for Riki and Rin to try to save their classmates because for all they know, everything they experienced over just about the entire show was totally fake, a pure dream.

And putting even this aside, Kyousuke could be overestimating the severity of the situation. Apparently, he did.
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Old 2013-12-30, 20:08   Link #76
BloodyKitty
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And putting even this aside, Kyousuke could be overestimating the severity of the situation. Apparently, he did.
Well, can't blame Kyousuke for that. I mean, he himself was severely injured, which might cloud his judgement a bit, but everyone was knocked unconscious, only Rin and Riki were far enough from the scene, and gas was leaking. Everything could go "boom" in just any moment of hesitation. It was a truly grave situation. That's why how Rin and Riki can save everyone is a miracle in itself.
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Old 2013-12-31, 00:08   Link #77
DaBackpack
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Well, Kyousuke obviously KNEW that the bus was going to explode, otherwise he wouldn't have clogged the leak with his back. He thought he was buying Riki and Rin time to wake up from unconsciousness and then run away, but it turns out that there really WAS enough time to save everybody on the bus.

In the worst case, Riki and Rin were knocked out long enough for the bus to explode anyway and kill everybody.
In the best case (which actually happened), Riki and Rin woke up and had enough time to get everybody out of there.
Kyousuke assumed the "average case" in which they only had enough time to run away. Honestly, nobody really had ANY idea how long it'd take for the bus to explode. Riki and Rin just got superbly lucky. They could have died at any second.
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Old 2013-12-31, 19:15   Link #78
Randrak42
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I think I read mention of Kurugaya's True Ending...and while I am a Kurugaya fanboy and would love to see it, it is highly unlikely that they will put it in even as an extra or ova or what have you...simply because of how Kurugaya's route was handled.

For those that care to learn about Kurugaya's True Ending in the VN:
Spoiler for VN, Kurugaya Ending:
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Old 2013-12-31, 19:50   Link #79
Akito Kinomoto
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Wow. A Key anime. And it had...a good...ending? What sorcery is this?!
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Old 2014-01-01, 06:16   Link #80
DragoonKain3
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Finally finished marathoning it! And yeah, there was no way I could've watched this week to week, so I'm glad I did marathon Refrain. Anyways....

While I would've preferred that Rin and Riki have only survived (and no, that's not my shippy side talking... it would've made the lessons learned from the dream world more poignant), the true happy ending didn't feel like an asspull that was the last series.

Sure, it had some things that were unbelievable. Like say, how 2 people moved maybe like 20 people, or how there were no casualties at all, or how Kyousuke can do a backflip coming out from the hospital comatose, or how the hospital doesn't even let family members visit. But hey, I bought the dream sequence where the members of the Little Busters all pariticipated in, I guess I can forgive the rest.

Art direction IMO was the best of the key work adaptations. From the very beginning the washed up, old school look gave the series a dreamy feel, and who would've thought that this was just a hint that this isn't reality we are seeing. Really interesting when you contrast it with how sharp the reality scenes looked.

That said, I do think the music is the weakest of all the Key adaptations. I dunno, it just seemed a wee bit repetitive, and some scenes could've used actual music. Doesn't help that I didn't like either of the Refrain's OP or ED, but eh, music is like lowest weight in my criteria.

Overall though, I very much liked the emphasis on the friendship part. It's very different from the previous Key works, but it still made me cry, and thus scores a lot of points for me since I'm such a romance junkie. The series overall sure could've used some trimming though, as I feel that all this could've been done over 2 cours rather than 3 if they didn't spend so much time dealing with each girls' problems. (heck, out of all the heroines only Rin and Komari seem to be that important to the plot, as such just befriending the rest could've saved them a lot of time)

So yeah, might not unseat Kanon as my favourite Key adaptation (first time is always special you know?), but sure does come close (though Air is more rewatch friendly being it only 1 cour).
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