Okay, just finished LB anime for the second time, made an account just to ask this:
What the heck happened?
Um, maybe I’ll need to expound a bit more, eh? This whole post regards the Refrain arc, so I’ll have to spoiler pretty much all of it; sorry for the blurry post!
So, I have three main questions that don’t seem to be answered by the anime (don’t know about VN, haven’t played it):
a) How many people were in the constructed world with the Little Busters? It’s stated at that least the 10 LB members are there, but anyone else? In particular, this is about Kanata, the twins’ parents, and Komari’s grandpa, etc. Basically anyone who either provided new information or were altered by the experiences. I leave off Kudo’s parents because I read about what happened there.
It seems it works to just have the 10 + Kanata, with the others being “NPCs” of sorts created from the minds of the relevant parties (ala Kudo and her grandpa and mom). But, this means the girls really DIDN’T meet with their fathers and settle things with their family. And if Kanata wasn’t really there, then that means Haruka made up with an illusion, created either by Kyousuke, or by her own subconscious (I dunno which is worse, but both suck). Also, how did Komari’s grandpa give so much exposition to Riki if he was just a creation of either Komari or Kyousuke? Didn’t he know things that neither of them could have known?
b) How much did everyone know about the time loop and the real world accident (as well as the real month of June prior) as they lived in this constructed world?
We know Kengo and Masato knew everything, as Kyousuke says as much, but what about the 5 girls? If they knew everything heading in then it causes problems: why do they really seem to get very attached to Riki if they are aware it’s all a sham to benefit a classmate they never really knew all that well (since all the intros and problem-solving happen IN the constructed world)?
And, their reactions all along really seem to imply they are honestly finding things out for the first time (especially with Kanata/Haruka’s arc; how can you fake being that shocked at finding out the twin you hated so much was really protecting you and that you really loved her, and she loved you back, this whole time after the first revelation?).
So, I have to assume the girls didn’t know about either until later (just like Kudo has her “I remember” moment, so they all do, AFTER Riki proves himself and gains their affections. This seems to match up with Komari’s book about how the dwarves all disappear after the boy and girl solve their problems (i.e. regrets). It also doesn’t seem to be contradicted by anything in the anime. Kurugaya seems like she could have known from the start without it affecting her reactions that much, but the rest seem to have been in the dark through most/all of the first season.
c) What actually happened in that missing month between May 20th and June 20th? Nothing in the anime hints at it. Reading online about the VN, I guess there is more information, such as how I found out Kudo’s mom was really executed on live TV (ah, the Tevuan rebels going the ISIS route, apparently, ensuring they will be branded a terrorist cell by the entire free world, and inevitably hunted down and destroyed. Nice move, dumbasses. Just kill her in secret and make up any story you want, morons). I also found out that the girl from Kengo’s arc (Koshiki?) actually really DID kill herself. What other surprises lurk in that missing month?
That’s about it, I guess. It’s a puzzler, which makes it one of my favorites, especially when the clues actually tie together and are self-consistent (I’ll accept magic worlds and magic wishes with no problem as long as they stay consistent and the facts line up with the solutions we see later).
Also, the nonstop tear-jerkers from halfway through Refrain until the end (a little too unlikely for me, but I accepted Clannad as one of my favorites with all my heart and I got through Mai HIME’s cheese-filled final episode (of an otherwise fantastic series), I can deal with cheesy endings ;)). All in all, I have to say I quite like the series and am glad I took the time to watch it.