Text version of analysis section:
WARNING: This video will include spoilers for all of Little Busters and Little Busters ~Refrain~
The human mind is shaped by the sequence of events which that mind experiences. As such, it is not something that we can control, as much as we want to. Someone who never learns the skills to grow a strong mind will never have one, and those whose lives end in misery are often those to whom fate has been unkind.
Those of us who have this figured out consider ourselves adults, and we seek to take control of our lives as much as we can. We try to shape our own futures, and the future of the world around us, into an ideal form. We want other people to be happy and reach adulthood as well, whether those are our children, our siblings, or our friends. But at the end of the day, we can’t save everyone. Sometimes we can’t even save the ones closest to us, or even ourselves. Our time in this world is limited, and we’re always going to die before we can do as much as we hope.
Little Busters is the story of a young man who is trying to raise two of his close friends into adulthood, but his time is limited by the fact that he’s just suffered mortality. In his overpowering desperation, combined with the desperate last wishes of the others who are dying with him, he fabricates a universe where he can try and raise these kids into adults who can deal with his forthcoming death.
What Kyousuke learns, however, is that raising other people is infinitely complex, and nearly impossible to do perfectly. Time and again he grinds away at doing it right, and every time he messes up he has to start again, but with a little bit of progress. He has an experience comparable to completing Dark Souls, and like in Lodran, time and space are convoluted here. The universe is aloof in mechanics and time is short, but in the end Kyousuke finds that for all his effort, sometimes luck plays an even bigger role in making things turn out right.
Little Busters is also about the desperation to be happy before you die. The desperation to prove to yourself that life is more than loss and despair. Each of its characters are caught in Kyousuke’s limbo because they feel that their lives are incomplete and unsatisfied. Over the course of the show, they learn happiness before their time comes to pass on. Of course they’d rather live forever–everyone wants to live in happiness for as long as they can–but death will come eventually, and the best we can do is to be as happy as possible until it happens.
It is also a show about being able to move on, in spite of the fear that our best years are behind us. It’s about believing that even if you’ve lost your happiness for now, you will find it again. Just as Riki was dragged out of the darkness by Kyousuke, he can drag others out of the darkness, and be pulled out again and again if he falls back in. It’s about refusing to give up on the idea of happiness, and doing whatever you can to keep that happiness going.
I watched Little Busters with my brother Shade over the last four days, and the two of us had a more lengthy and casual discussion about the series which will begin now.