Little Busters Anime: Information Breakdown

Art by Zen.

It’s been a very long week or so since the announcement of the Little Busters! TV Anime. I myself have been working hard, navigating droves of news and discussion about it for both myself and for you. It’s probably the most excited I’ve ever been over an Anime series in my life, so I feel it’s something of my duty to dig deep and learn all I can about this adaptation, to form my own stance on it in the face of a maelstrom of strong opinions, and to provide my readers with all of the established information in one convenient location. It’s getting crazy, and I’m just barely keeping my head above water, but I’ve gone the extra yards and stayed on top! Allow me to provide you all with a breakdown of what I know so far about the Little Busters Anime, and what I think about it so far.

First, let me begin with the PV, our first little glimpse into the Little Busters Anime. The PV featured the characters Riki, Kyousuke, Rin, Komari, Kud, Kurugaya, Haruka, Mio, Kengo, Masato, Saya and even Mask “The” Saito. Only characters really missing are Kanata and Sasami. Shortly after, the cast and crew behind the Anime was revealed, all on the official website. It confirmed that most of the voice cast of the original Visual Novel would be returning to their roles, except for Riki and Sasami, but more on that later.

Producer: Kawase Kohei
Director: Yamakawa Yoshiki
Series Composition: Shimada Michiru
Character Design: Iizuka Haruko
Animation Production: J.C.Staff

We now know who is behind the Anime. Now is when the discussion heated up, and when more and more information started to leak. I departed for Twitter, the Fluffy IRC and the Animesuki thread to start tapping into the discussion and get all the info I could find. Oh boy, so much rage I had to search through.

Back to the PV. In my experience, reactions to it seemed to follow a curve. First people were in awe to see an animated Little Busters, but then after a while more people started commenting that the Animation looked rough, and not so aesthetically pleasing. Opinions, opinions, opinions started clashing, mad meets madder…

Opinion: “The PV for the Little Busters Anime looked poor quality.”
Fact: “The PV was not animated by J.C. Staff.”

“To be clear (mostly in case anyone else might be confused), they already explained that the animation in the PV was contracted out and assembled by Key (just to show some of the game CGs animated), so we shouldn’t assume that the animation shown in that PV has anything in common with the real production.” relentlessflame on Animesuki.

The source of this info is tweets by the head of Key, Takahiro Baba himself.

@vavasyatou: いやアレは発表用のやっつけじゃないかな。TGAで連続画像もらって動画にしたんだと RT @baskebu: @vavasyatyou やっぱり声は同じがいいですしね! ところで、アニメ化発表のときのPVは、リトバスアニメの制作をする会社が作ったんですか?

Q: @baskebu I like the fact that the same cast has been chosen for the anime! By the way, which studio created the promotion video that came out when the anime adaptation was announced? Is it the one in charge of producing the anime series?
A: @vavasyatyou I think the video is a quickie work done just for the announcement. I heard they (JCS) sent us a series of pictures as TGA files, and we animated them.

@vavasyatou: あのね、言っておくけど「絵」はさにあらずだよ。動画化をうちでやったというだけなんだから。。

“Let me make something clear here. When I said ‘a quickie work’, I meant the quality of how we made the video, not the quality of how they drew the pictures used in the video.”

(Translation credited to @zazadango)

To be fair, they did say that the original pictures that the animation was based off were drawn by JC. But thinking that the PV is any valid indiciation of the final quality of the Anime series is a pretty baseless assumption. We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.

Pictured above: The background of the LB Anime official teaser site.

And now, another counter.

Opinion: “J.C. Staff has done some pretty poor quality adaptations of stories before, there’s no way they can adapt Little Busters well.”
Fact: “The one in charge of Series Composition, Shimada Michiru, has never worked with J.C. Staff before.”

“Suffice it to say, though, that the lead writer/story planner for this show does not work for J.C.Staff and has never worked as lead writer on a previous J.C.Staff production. So the value in comparing to past works is limited.”relentlessflame on Animesuki. (Your posts sure are proving helpful~)

I have personally verified this by looking her up on Anime News Network. By this, we can conclude that J.C. Staff’s track record of Anime adaptations is no indication on how this series will turn out. It’s starting to seem like all the hate at J.C. Staff is misdirected. I have more to say about Shimada, but I’ll save that for later in the post.

Many people are still questioning how the story will be handled, though. Without going into too much detail (spoiler territory), the way Little Busters is told is in such a way that it is completely impractical to retell the story in a 100% true-to-the-original way. Changes must be made for it to become an Anime series; this is just common sense to anyone who’s played the entirety of the game. Officials have reported that there will be changes made to the story, and things will be cut down to fit the structure of the series, but that the series will continue to remain loyal to the original.

@Key_RewriteHf: たとえば小毬の話にはかなり早い段階で分岐してます。ですが、起こることやその後の展開などはすべて原作準 拠です。

“For instance, Komari’s route begins much earlier than in the game. However, it doesn’t make any difference to the events that occur afterward or to how the story develops. Everything goes the same way as the game.”

(Translation credited to @zazadango)

dtshyk on MyAnimeList posts:
On the official twitter account of Key, one of the staff explained the production policy of the Little Busters anime. Although the order of the events might be different from the original game, there won’t be alterations in the story nor anime original characters. He said the length of the TV series is significantly long, but still it was necessary to shorten the original story to adapt it to the limited number of episodes. He added that the relationships among Rin, Komari, and other new members of the Little Busters team might be described more in detail than in the game.”

Most of this stuff is to be expected, but it’s reassuring to hear nonetheless. Here we have word that the series will be long (how long we’re not entirely sure), and that changes will be made to the story, but nothing too damaging. All in all, good news.

Art by hanyapunifu

An article by Anime News Network details some new information taken from a magazine scan.
“New voice actors for the game’s protagonist Riki Naoe, as well as the character Sasami Sasasegawa will be cast.”

Before I go on, this makes me a bit sad! I mean, I know that Tomoe Tamiyasu originally did the voices for all three of Rin, Riki and Sasami, but they were great performances! I had no idea until the credit roll that they were voiced by the same person. It’s going to be sad to hear the voices of Riki and Sasami be replaced, but I can only hope the new seiyuus are able to perform as much a touching performance as Tamiyasu once did.

Continuing on that article,
“The same set of interviews also revealed that the background music for the series will be taken from the original game. Similarly, it was announced earlier that the adaptation’s opening and ending songs would be taken from the game.”

To add to that, dtshyk from MyAnimeList posts:

“Game singer Rita announced in her official blog that she will sing the OP theme “Little Busters!” for the TV series. She had been frustrated because she couldn’t have an opportunity to sing a theme song of an anime. She sang many theme songs for PC games but the theme song singers were always replaced by someone when the games got anime adaptations. (e.g. Yosuga no Sora) She said the song “Little Busters!” is the most precious song for her and thanked Visual Arts and the anime producers for choosing her. The ED theme of the TV series will also be Rita’s “Alicemagic”.”

Your opinion may vary, but I’m very pleased by the news on the music front. The official website was also updated with the confirmation of the OP and ED. We’ll get to re-experience the amazing and timeless music from the Little Busters OST all over again. Some people criticise that the choice of Alicemagic as the ED may be too much of a contrast to emotional scenes at the end of an episode, but there’s nothing to say that Alicemagic will be the only ED used throughout the entire series. Either way, it’s an amazing song and I can’t wait to hear it used as the ED.

Only question remaining now is, will they be remastered, remixed or re-sung? Or will they remain as the originals? Only time will tell.

And now, a little something that may be a bigger hint.

“Mangaka Zen, the author of Little Busters! Ecstacy complained that she had been preparing for the April Fool’s joke of “Little Nya-sters” anime but Dengeki’s premature leak spoiled her effort. Zen’s joke illustration of “Little Nya-sters” anime It says “The mission will start this autumn.” She said, “Yeah you’re right. They leaked the information! I sacrificed myself to prepare the joke but our plan was completely ruined. It’s so funny huh? You can ridicule me! Hahaha! (sob)””

It’s a big vague, but do you think this is hinting at a Fall release for the Little Busters Anime? Again, only time will tell, but it’s certainly interesting nonetheless.

Art by Satomi Yoshitaka

I’ll leave a space here for updates. I’ll post more info as it comes to my attention.

Now that I’ve established most of the facts, I’d like to go a little more into how I feel about all of it so far.

I’ve made it quite abundantly clear that there’s been a lot of negativity circulating around the communities regarding the news, most of the negativity directed toward J.C. Staff’s involvement. It’s not KyoAni, it’s not the same, the masses announce. The project is doomed to fail, many express.

But I ask you, why? As I’ve sought to prove, most of the cynicism over J.C.’s involvement is unfounded. All of you who have opted towards cynicism are choosing to ignore the possibility that this could become something beautiful.

Key is a name associated with peerless quality. In their lifetime, just about everything they’ve created is golden. The adaptations of their works are pressured to uphold Key’s status, and many have succeeded. True, most of Key’s Anime Adaptations up to this point have been handled by Kyoto Animation. But just because Kyoto Animation has rejected Key’s offers to do Little Busters due to being too busy on higher priority projects, you dismiss the possibility that anyone else could do it justice?

Little Busters is getting animated! This is something fans and supporters of Key alike have been praying for for years! Many of us were starting to believe that it would never come, but Key didn’t want to let down its fans. They knew what everyone wanted – hell, they wanted to see it animated just as much as us – so they took the steps they most strongly believed would lead to a successful and worthy adaptation of Little Busters. I believe Key has a strong relationship of trust with their fans, trust that’s been earned over consistent quality across all their works. But now I see so many people so eager to throw away all of their trust in Key over this announcement, believing that they’ve completely disregarded the fanbase and can never regain that loyalty again. And this is only when it’s just been announced.

I’m sure many of you have trusted Key to produce quality before, why can’t you trust them again?

“It’s not Key I don’t trust, it’s the staff behind the Anime.” I hear many say.

And yet you so fervently reject Key’s choices in who will produce the Anime?

“Baba Takahiro, the President of Visual Arts, tweeted on his Twitter account that he and the staff of Visual Arts shared the anxieties and expectations among the fans over the production studio of the Little Busters! anime. However, he made a decision when he saw the enthusiasm of J.C. Staff and Warner Bros. Japan for producing the TV anime. He said J.C. Staff and Warner were great companies and asked the fans to trust them.”dtshyk on MyAnimeList

It’s fair to be skeptical, I won’t deny you that right. But here is Baba himself asking the fans to trust their decision, to trust in the production team. This wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. Key have had years to deliberate the best course of action to please the fans, and this is the decision they chose.

“Baba revealed that the series composer Shimada Michiru had completed the original game including the hidden episode with her daughter. After finishing the game, she checked if she missed something by reading 4.7 MB of the text data of the game scenario.”
dtshyk on MyAnimeList

This last piece of info may not mean much to some, but it means everything to me. The series composer, Shimada Michiru, is a big fan of Little Busters! To me, this speaks incredible volumes, and reassures me more than anything that I can trust in their work. This gives me hope.

Art by tyawan.

Allow me bring it all back to the motif of Kakera Complex. Played Umineko? One of the biggest quotes throughout the story of Umineko is very relevant here, you may have heard of it.

“Without love, it cannot be seen.”

I love Key. I trust them. And I can see that a lot of love is going into the development of this Little Busters anime. That’s no objective fact, it’s something that I feel. I believe in the love being put into it, it lets me believe that this adaptation can become something amazing.

And even if it isn’t as good as the original Visual Novel, it’s still an animated Little Busters, I mean how cool is that? I don’t believe this anime is going to soil people’s perceptions of Little Busters, all it’s doing is bringing it to the more mainstream otaku consciousness, which as far as I’m concerned is a good thing! Even if it’s terrible, which I don’t believe it will be, it will just get LB more attention as people will flock to the Visual Novel to see what the big deal is really all about. Only good can come from this. But even still, I’ll remain faithful.

Art by ariburo

So, then. Are you willing to have faith? Isn’t it okay to believe?
I choose to believe in what I love, and believe in the love of others.

Make me proud guys. I give you my blessing.

And once again, a big thanks to Twitter, the Fluffy IRC, and the Animesuki community for enabling me to write this post.

And I’ll be sure to update this post when more info becomes available!

28/6/12 UPDATE

The designs for Riki, Rin, Komari and Kyousuke have been published.

If you think they look the same as the PV, you’d be right, the PV was animated by Key based on keyframes provided by JC, so they shouldn’t look any different like this. The difference should show itself when they’re eventually animated.

Also, given the lack of air date confirmation, it seems to be a certain that the anime won’t air during the Fall season as previously speculated. There should be a lot more details unveiled in october.


A little late with the updates, but let’s try and go and cover everything I missed. New character designs have been revealed!

Kengo & Masato
Full Colour Look!

And the big news! If you haven’t heard yet, J.C. Staff released their own PV for the Little Busters Anime! And along with it a new webpage,

This new PV confirms many things. Firstly, we’re introduced to a new remix of the Little Busters! opening song, which will almost definitely be used as the OP for the series. Perhaps this video itself will at least be the basis for the actual opening video of the series. Expect a remix of Alicemagic for the ED!

And we’re finally treated to our first look at the characters fully animated by J.C. staff! I’ll leave it to yourself to conclude how you think it looks, but I love it. Not gonna lie, watching it brought me near tears again.

The PV includes a brief scene from each of the 5 heroine’s routes, heavily implying that each of those routes will be covered in the series. Expect no less than 2cour! And of course we can expect to see Rin’s route, but the status of the EX routes remains unconfirmed. And Refrain? Well, there’s a scene in there that looks a lot like a scene in Refrain, so it’s very likely we’ll get it. I can’t imagine it not happening unless the adaptation turns out terrible (not that I believe that at all!).

And then, at the end of the PV, we get some details! Premiering october! That’s right, we’re gonna get to see the Little Busters anime this fall! Get excite! The final cast is also confirmed, featuring Yui Horie as Riki Naoe, and Sora Tokui as Sasasa Sashimi Sasami Sasasegawa.


A recent news item has surfaced, and I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ll leave them aside this time and stick to reporting the facts. The voice actor for Mio Nishizono in the Little Busters Anime has been replaced with Tatsumi Yuiko, due to ‘maternal issues’.


The TV station to broadcast Little Busters! has confirmed on their website that the series will premiere on the 6th october and will run for 26 episodes. 31/08/12 Update: This has also been confirmed on the Little Busters Anime website.

The Updates Continue! 30/08/12:

More character art!

Bonus Sasami!


Riki Design
Boys Designs

And from an uncomfirmed yet seemingly reliable source, Shiina from Animesuki posts:
“An interview in Animage confirmed that the anime will have battles and nicknames. And missions, Kyousuke’s corner, famous lines, all the fun stuff!”

That excites me a lot, and serves as evidence that the series will span across four cours. How else would you cover all that material? Also if someone could confirm the source of this that would be great.

Final Update

Suppose I’ll do one more update to round up the news. Since the last update there’s been a few commercials released, and a new PV just now. The PV sums up most of what was in the CMs anyway, so don’t worry about them.

And as of writing this the advance screening for the first episode has just finished in Japan, and the response was very positive! See for yourself here.

It’s also further supported my belief that this adaptation will remain very loyal to the source work. I’m very excited to see what they do with it all.

Well, I think I’m going to conclude the news updates here! It’s just a little more than a week until Little Busters episode 1 premieres in Japan. Specifically, the first airing will commence at 8:30PM local time on Saturday the 6th of October. UTW and Mazui are teaming up to sub the show in English this season, but have said that they will drop it if an english stream is available any earlier than 24 hours after it airs in Japan. All that’s really left now is the last wait until the mission starts.

I hope my information breakdown has been helpful to people!

About Aspirety

Australian J-geek with a passion for Gaming and Writing. Psychology student, Nintendo/Key/Ryukishi07 fan.
This entry was posted in Musings, News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Little Busters Anime: Information Breakdown

  1. KEY says:

    Thank you ^ . ^

  2. Aaeru says:

    Nice assembly. just realized you took down the how-muscle-took-over-the-world-project-outline link. oh well, it’ll become possible once the anime airs and garners huge audience.

  3. Aaeru says:

    Reblogged this on Visual Novel Aer and commented:
    Updated Little Busters Anime info-dump

  4. Airetta says:

    Reblogged this on Airetta's Scrapblog.

  5. Pingback: Magical Suite Prism Nana « Airetta's Scrapblog

  6. Magicflier says:

    This one review has just overcome all the thousands of baseless negativity i’ve seen throughout the forums up until now, i’ll be sharing this around 😀

  7. Pingback: Little Busters Anime: Critical Response to Fan Backlash | Anime Blog

  8. Linkmstr says:

    Best Information Breakdown I’ve ever read. *w*

  9. Dizzyworld2 says:

    It makes me happy that there’s actually a blog that is objective when it comes to announcing the news XD (Including some bad news like Mio’s new seiyuu)

    UTW and Mazui are going to have a joint project to fansub Little Busters! if it doesn’t air on CR within 24 hours of the Japanese broadcast.

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