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Watched Little Busters! Ecstasy over these past couple of days.

That first story, four episodes long, sure does demonstrate how to execute non-video-game dungeon exploration right. That might be right up Brian's alley, given the tips he shared with me on how to go on about Starbound, chapter 6. (Not sure whether the party in that story will still remain on the ocean's surface to fight Umi-Bozu or end up exploring some kind of cave complex as I planned originally.)

More importantly, though, is the third story, spanning the last two episodes, and it is rather brutal.

So, come the final episode, we learn that Haruka Saigusa is not only Kanata Futaki's twin sister, but was once locked up and beaten pretty badly by their extended family in order to elicit Kanata's absolute loyalty, and they were kept apart from eachother and their parents ever since. This is yet another thing that reminds me of Cries Unheard, although if Yutaka's imprisonment was ever actually shown before that got deleted, it must have been one of those parts I steered clear of. (Ryuji and Yuka do much the same thing to both Tsukasa and Kagami following Kagami's heel-face turn in I Was Kagami Hiiragi.)

Moving forward, then comes an arranged marriage of Kanata to an unidentified member of the Saigusa family. To undermine this, the Little Busters all hatch a zany scheme to infiltrate the hotel where it's scheduled and take off with her. This is the kind of solution I asked Yincira for when I wrote the Hunt Club arc for Starbound, but she suggested I instead have that story's main characters just call the police, and coming from her, I wasn't surprised at all. Riki and Haruka notice someone not escorting Kanata to someone's car, but carrying her limp body over there from out of the school; that is reasonable suspicion of a kidnapping right there. The same person is the one who gives them the location of the wedding upon confrontation, after Haruka tells her to go ahead and call the police to stop her and her friends from disrupting the event, which is ironic because she could have called them herself on her family even beforehand.

I get that the writers probably wanted the mains themselves to take care of things, in order to emphasize the power of friendship, but it's not like the police were ever shown or stated to be ineffectual, nor do I assume anyone would have any reason to assume that by default. Magica Quartet accomplished the same thing when writing Puella Magi Oriko Magica: Extra Story. Yuma is abused by her mother, Oriko and Kirika eventually encourage her to reach out to authorities despite any short-term consequences, and whatever happens then involving Mako takes place entirely offpage, with Yuma next shown living a safe, happy life with her grandparents.

Finally, Haruka and Kanata decide once they're out of their family's reach, just to head back to their parents' house. That's all that's said in the subtitles, while the dub has Haruka suggesting they keep a low profile, which is also necessary, but honestly, don't tell me that they're not gonna bother seeking any sort of accountability. Along with that obvious kidnapping back at the school, they've got those scars on Kanata's arms and years' worth of abuse to report to the authorities, and potential stalking charges to add if their kin are seeking to reclaim them. At the very least, they should seek a permanent restraining order against them.

Similarly, though, Yincira once did wonder, regarding Kanon, why Kaori never seeks an order or worse against Jun for stalking her for what extends to at least a year when that show ends.

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