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Last checked: March 18, 2015
Little Busters! (リトルバスターズ!, Ritoru Basutāzu!) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key. It was released on July 27, 2007 for Windows PCs and is rated for all ages. Little Busters! is Key's sixth game, along with other titles such as Kanon, Air, and Clannad. An adult version of the game titled Little Busters! Ecstasy was released on July 25, 2008 for Windows, unlike Kanon and Air, which were first released with adult content and then had later versions with such content removed. Ecstasy was later ported to the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 3.
The gameplay in Little Busters! follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the six female main characters by the player character, which increases to nine in Ecstasy. There are additional minigames added into the gameplay, such as battle sequences that resemble fighting games or baseball batting practice, which serve to give the characters experience, obtain accessories to use during battle, and improve their statistics. Both Little Busters! and Ecstasy ranked as the best-selling PC game sold in Japan for the time of their release, and Ecstasy would go on to sell over 100,000 units. Key went on to produce an adult spin-off called Kud Wafter in June 2010, which expanded on the scenario of Kudryavka Noumi, one of the heroines from Little Busters! and Ecstasy.
There have been 13 manga adaptations based on Little Busters! and Ecstasy published by ASCII Media Works, Kadokawa Shoten and Ichijinsha. Comic anthologies, light novels and art books were also published, as were several music albums. There have been two Internet radio shows hosted by the voice actors of Rin and Kyousuke Natsume and Kudryavka Noumi. A 26-episode anime television series adaptation, produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Yoshiki Yamakawa, aired between October 2012 and April 2013, and an additional original video animation (OVA) episode was released in August 2013. A 13-episode second season produced by the same staff titled Little Busters! Refrain aired between October and December 2013. An eight-episode OVA series titled Little Busters! EX was released between January and July 2014.
Riki was a child when his parents died, leaving him hopeless and depressed. What saved him was a group of four kids calling themselves the Little Busters. They took Riki out and played with him during his time of need. He really enjoyed being together with them, and his grief gradually faded away. Now in his second year of high school they still hang out, fight and live together, and enjoy their school life.