Little Busters! ~Refrain~ Episode 9: A Friend’s Tears
Kengo’s always been a rather reserved guy; I can probably count the number of times he’s expressed such raw emotion with one hand – the last (and only) time being his angry outburst at Kyousuke’s “cheap tricks”. Both were reactions to the outcome of a baseball match, and both were conducted with the end goal of protecting Riki and Rin, albeit in very different ways. Kengo initially flat-out refused to join the Little Busters, but it definitely wasn’t out of malice or anything – after some sort of bad end (Kyousuke’s “failure”) Kengo now believes that Riki and Rin are best off being protected in this closed-off world.
He was initially as hostile as Masato was – he knew what Riki was up to immediately, and tried to discourage him as best as he could. I’m wondering whether Riki can just keep following the past precedents set out by Kyousuke – it’s worked just fine so far, but Kyousuke and his methods ended up in failure after all. Carving out his own path with baseball seems like the best way forward to me. That home run was beautiful, by the way! It felt like such a fitting end when you think back to their previous loss against Kyousuke on that rainy day.
In comparison to Masato, Kengo gives off the impression that he’s far more aware of what’s going on – though maybe it’s just because we were privy to more of his thoughts. Either way, Kengo gave us a bit more of the puzzle during his little chat with Kyousuke; they both clearly still remember their previous match. Kengo made it sound like Kyousuke was pulling all the strings, and controlling the “workings” of the world – if that applies here too, even when he’s a mental wreck, I wouldn’t put it past him to have messed up Masato’s mind and befuddled him. It’s now very evident that the world they’re in isn’t real – be it a dream world, or an artificial one somehow conjured up by Kyousuke, it’s “closed-off” as Kengo puts it. The actual world is probably the one featuring the bus crash and an injured Kyousuke… and if Kyousuke was involved in it, chances are the rest of the Little Busters were too. Sending Riki and Rin into a different world is probably meant to protect them or something – from whatever’s made Kyousuke shut himself up in the darkness.