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.
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 the later released Little Busters! 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.
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 TV series adaptation, produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Yoshiki Yamakawa, aired between October 2012 and April 2013. A second season produced by the same staff titled Little Busters! Refrain will begin airing in October 2013.
"Naoe Riki was a child when his parents died, leaving him hopeless and depressed. What saved him was a group of four kids referring themselves as 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."
------------------------------ Little Busters! Ecstasy Release date: 2008-07-25
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.
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.
"The Little Busters' trip was a complete success, and summer vacation has finally begun. Everyone heads home for a bit to see their families. Everyone, that is, except for Naoe Riki (who has no family) and Noumi Kudryavka (whose family lives in another country). One day, an accident occurs that floods the men's dormitory, which leaves Riki with no place to stay. Luckily, Kud is willing to lend a hand, and she's also looking for a roommate."