Unless you have been hiding under a rock the past week or so it would have been pretty hard to not have heard the incessant whining of the KEY fan base about the announcement of the JC Staff anime adaption of Little Busters! The complaints have been so loud that in order to quell their worries, Baba Takahiro, the President of Visual Arts, announced on his twitter that the staff also shared their anxieties, but is confident in JC Staff. Personally, I saw this as completely unnecessary because while there are some valid concerns about JC Staff heading the project, they are being taken much too far past rationality. In fact, to be quite honest, the sort of behavior being displayed from the fan base has been downright disgraceful.
Little Busters! is a project that KEY fans have been begging for, for many years now. It was almost impossible to enter a conversation about an announcement of an upcoming Kyoto Animation work without people clamoring about whether they would adapt it or not. This persisted for a long time and it wasn’t until a recent interview with KEY that talked about how Kyoto Animation had no time in their schedule for Little Busters! that people finally began to quiet down about it. Considering that Kyoto Animation has been the main studio for KEY works more or less, and the length of time since the original visual novel came out, there was little hope anymore that a Little Busters! project would ever come to be. Luckily for the fans though, another studio with the enthusiasm to do it has decided to step in. But what do they get? They get an ungrateful backlash of entitled fans.
No, the fact that a Little Busters! adaption is finally coming is simply not enough. This is a project that demands the royal treatment. Only Kyoto Animation could do it right? Or at least PA works or some other studio with “topline visuals.” Obviously because this is the lowly JC Staff, this project is pronounced dead before it even touches the screen. In all seriousness, I truly have to question whether people here are fans of KEY or fans of Kyoto Animation. Seeing as how people keep demanding only the topline treatment to a source that many or most probably have not even experienced, I am led to believe it is the latter. The expectations and desires for this project are outrageous, and it just seemed like destiny that they would never accept a project not headed by Kyoto Animation.
Now, the complaints are all over the board, but mainly seem to strike at two key points: that JC Staff is incapable of producing a faithful script and that JC Staff is incapable of producing a quality visual experience. Yes I remember what transpired in past projects like Shakugan no Shana II, Zero no Tsukaima, or that “nonexistent” adaption of Tsukihime. But consider this, many of these projects are now four or more years old. Tsukihime their only other visual novel adaption was nearly a decade ago! This was a time when visual novels were a relatively unknown property and studios did not know yet how to handle them. People seem to only be remembering the bad things that happened years ago.
Have they not proven they can do a good job when they put their mind to it? I recall titles like Nodame Cantible, Honey & Clover, Toradora, Bakuman, Toaru Majutsu no Index, and even the latest Shana III that have all been praised by the source readers considerably for how well done and faithful they were. Index’s latest season in particular is cited as having excellent visuals. And if there is one reassuring sign that JC staff is going to put the proper level of attention to detail in this work is that there are hardly any projects they are working on in the near future besides this one. This is a studio that unlike Kyoto Animation is very large and takes on multiple projects at once. I think they get just how important this project is to some people, and are trying to go the extra mile. Add in the fact that KEY seems to supervising this project, and there is almost no reason to be freaking out like this.
So while I understand that there are some valid reasons to be somewhat skeptical, this outright rejection of this Little Busters! project simply because it has JC Staff’s name on it is very silly. They may be a bit of a hit or miss studio for sure, but when they turn it up, they most certainly can deliver. This is not a studio that ever deserved such unfair and irrational treatment, especially considering they have not even done anything yet. Look at all the information we have at the moment – some staff listings and a makeshift preview released by KEY with a disclaimer that it would not be reflective of what the actual series would really look like. There hasn’t even been an episode, preview, or even a piece of promotional art released yet people are already discarding this project as a failure? I am sorry, but this sort of attitude sucks. You clamored for the project, an enthusiastic studio with a known ability to do well when they try finally decided to take it on, and you have this ungrateful attitude? As much as I would have love for JC Staff to prove all the naysayers wrong, which they may very well do, I almost rather have not seen this project ever come to light. You guys simply did not deserve it.