Just recently, Key announced that JC Staff would produce the Little Busters anime. Unfortunately, this was not well received by the fans. It stirred a lot of harsh criticism since they expect Kyoto Animation to make it. From what I have seen, this makes me wonder if the rage is justifiable or the fans are too entitled?
In the past two days, I read three opinion pieces regarding the whole matter. Therefore, I felt the need to share my own thoughts on why their decision isn’t as bad or rather, marks a transition to the New Key. (Image Source)
If you know already, I am a big fan of the visual novels Key/VisualArts produced. Although the visual novels take a considerable amount of time to complete, I enjoyed the characters, melodrama and the music. With that, their popularity eventually spawned anime adaptations by Toei Animation for Kanon, Air and Clannad. If you read my review of the Clannad movie, you can tell that Toei did a poor job not because the washed out animation, but it was not faithful to the source material. Kyoto Animation got this right when they made their own adaptation of Air back in 2005 before producing the Kanon remake and Clannad years later. As a result, fans thought that Little Busters should have the same treatment or it’s ruined forever. This eventually contributed to most of the rage shortly after the recent announcement, mostly because many perceive JC Staff as a “hit and miss” studio.
In the recent years, JC Staff earned a bad reputation for producing a lot of mediocre Light Novel adaptations. Although they are not as capable of making shiny looking animation style like PA Works and Production IG, this doesn’t mean they are bad in any way. The studio has produced some great anime like Nodame Cantible, Honey & Clover, Toradora and a few others. This proves that they are capable of doing it when they work hard enough and have the right production staff. It’s just gets overshadowed by everything else that doesn’t receive the same attention. For this reason, people felt concerned because they might not give the same devotion and/or mess up the intended presentation.
Lastly, I think Key wants to make this change to represent the new era. It’s a known fact that we haven’t received the classic melodrama story for years as Jun Maeda transitioned away from same style of story and writing following his work on Tomoyo After: It’s a Wonderful Life, which continues Tomoyo’s arc in Clannad. Not only that, you can notice this change In the recent productions such as Little Busters, Angel Beats and the recently released Rewrite since he has a limited role, especially in the latter where he only works on the music. Having JC Staff animate it instead of Kyoto Animation is probably a sign that they are moving on.
Overall, I think the rage over JC Staff doing the whole thing is unreasonable. I’m very optimistic that it won’t fail as long they have a good production team and have a reasonable amount of control on the project. So yes, I want the anime to succeed to prove the naysayers wrong. If it turns out bad, I may as well eat crow for a whole month. Even so, you shouldn’t judge until they actually air the first few episodes. Otherwise, you will set yourself for disappointment.