Little Busters! ~Refrain~ Episode 7: May 13
As with… a lot of things throughout this show so far, the primary emotion I felt this episode was confusion, so as always, you’ll have to forgive me for my ignorance. I’m sure it’ll all piece itself together soon enough, but I’m not seeing it quite just yet. From what I’ve gathered, they’ve decided to reboot everything for the Refrain route – as it’s completely separate from your standard heroine routes (which start out the same but diverge eventually) I don’t think J.C. Staff had much of a choice. Admittedly it was slightly confusing at the start though – it took me some time to realize that this wasn’t how things went the first time, with no Kyousuke there to break up Kengo and Masato. Riki (who doesn’t command the same level of respect Kyousuke does) fails to stop them, and the injuries sustained by both Kengo and Masato act as a pretty blatant sign that something is not right.
Rin’s even worse off – I know Komari and the rest of the girls contributed a lot to her character growth, but I swear she was never that reserved to begin with. Actually, that’s not really the correct term, is it? She seemed really out of it… sorta lifeless I suppose. Almost like she’s been traumatized by something, and hanging around children and their naive innocence is a coping mechanism for her. I didn’t actually think she’d respond to baseball that well – she looked like her old self again after throwing a couple of pitches. Of course, it’s not her first time playing baseball on that field; none of them are new to it, it’s just that Riki and Rin aren’t aware of that fact.
And I don’t even know what’s happened to Kyousuke – calling him traumatized and lifeless would really be an understatement. For a guy who’s always appeared cool and collected, this hikikomori version of Kyousuke is actually pretty jarring. Like in the original world, Kyousuke knows the secret of this world – but he’s been so distraught by it that he does nothing except sit in his room all day reading manga. It’s like the kind of depression people get when they’ve suffered a great personal loss – like when someone’s died or something. This time round, both Masato and Kengo are aware of what’s going on – and I found Kengo’s actions rather strange to be honest. If he’s aware of what Kyousuke did with their baseball team, and is against it, surely he must have known what would happen if he prompted Riki to “think of something fun” to bring them together again. In fact, Kengo was pushing Riki for both that fun activity, and his love for Rin. This is definitely a different world – a world where Riki will take on the role of Kyousuke as the ringleader, and attempt to gather the Little Busters together once more.