I’d like to say we’re there, the big moment, but I’m still as confused and full of questions as ever. Little Busters! continues to baffle, mystify and intrigue with each episode, and the suspicion that we won’t get our answers until the end of the series seems more or less true.
The one thing that did happen, was that we got to see the thing that Riki was being warned for, Rin’s big moment of danger. The danger came in a form that should have been obvious, but wasn’t. I guess that’s the big trick Little Busters had up its sleeve. It had shown that the characters in this show were able to make it through the toughest situations with gutts, bravado and friendship.
Unfortunately, it seems like Little Busters! Refrain has cast aside that childish notion. In many ways, it seems like this story is about growing up into an adult and dealing with the harsh realities that come with it. The line that Riki uttered at the end of the episode was especially chilling, as it personified this idea to its fullest.
“For such a long time… I’d forgotten… That to live means to lose.”
And of course, that’s right before we’re treated to a familiar effect, the one of Riki’s Narcolepsy?
Going back a bit though, the way the events in this episode played out were… intense, interesting and pretty perplexing. Kyosuke made the transition from the puppet master in the shadows to full on villain… or did he?
As each of Kyosuke’s acts became more and more manipulative and sneaky, I kept sensing that he was doing everything for a reason. The whole issue that brought the Little Busters! to head with one another, was the issue or Rin and her return.
Rin, as nearly anyone could’ve said, couldn’t handle the immense pressure that she faced at her new school. Understandably too, Rin had just a while ago, been pretty shy herself, and expecting her to go and brighten the situation of a rather depressive environment was stupid. Its easy to point to the reality of the whole premise as stupid, because it is. In no sane world would educators try to dispel a depressive environment by inviting a student in to try and fix matters. That’s an impossible amount of responsibility for one person, and its the adults that are responsible for fostering a nurturing environment, not the students themselves.
That aside, Rin reached out to Riki, and Riki alone through out her ordeal. Not by choice, it seems that she wasn’t even able to communicate with her other friend, Komari. While I find the whole situation that Rin was in tragic, it got increasingly disturbing to see Riki blame everything that happened on Kyosuke. Whether its true or not, Riki even attributed to the cellphone communication problems that Rin and Komari were having to Kyosuke.
Kyosuke, himself, was an enigma that was hard to pin down. The conversation between Riki and Kyosuke was the one that stuck out to me. Kyosuke, almost desperately wanted Riki to endure.
Almost like it was Riki that needed to be able to take the pain of loss, or something similar that he isn’t able to. Despite how much Riki might want to believe that its all about Rin, the more obvious notion is that its Riki that needs to grow up.
Of course, leave it to Kyosuke to refuse to just lay it all bare. Instead, Kyosuke conceds and lets Rin come back over the weekends at least, as a way to try and appease Riki and prevent him from just rushing over to the other school.
When Rin does return though, she’s obviously pretty broken from all the stress she’s endured over at the other school. Riki is obviously devastated, and it becomes obvious to him that he’s not going to let Rin go through any more of this. Protecting Rin though? That means going against Kyosuke himself.
Riki doesn’t do it alone though, and finds a reassuring ally in Kengo throughout these events. Kengo, seems to share the same opinions as Riki in regards to the Little Busters! and even councils him when Kyosuke isn’t there. Its hard to tell how much Kengo knows, or Masato for that matter.
Regardless, Kengo goes with Riki to take on Kyosuke, and in classic Little Busters fashion, it becomes a baseball contest. Its Masato who joins Kyosuke, and the competition becomes about which team is able to hit a home-run first.
By using Kengo’s whole issue with that girl that liked him, Kyosuke is able to throw Kengo off, and have his team win. Kengo, of course, doesn’t take this well, and attacks Kyosuke. We get our first scene from the trailer that we saw at the end of the first season. It was a lot more tame than I imagined honestly, but its well done the nonetheless.
Kyosuke pretty much does his most despicable act yet and wins this battle by exploiting Kengo’s emotional weakness.
I’m still unsure why Kyosuke is playing the villain, and what his motivations are are going to play a big role in this whole secret of the world. That said, what Riki does next isn’t exactly noble either. Instead of upholding his end of the bargain, he takes Rin and runs.
This is I think, where Riki runs away from the issue instead of confronting it head on. Simply running away from Kyosuke isn’t going to protect Rin, and as at the end of the episode we see, the police end up finding them and catching them.
Riki’s realization that he’s too weak to protect Rin is pretty heartfelt, but I can’t even begin to understand where Little Busters! Refrain is going with this now. What I can say though, is that the tone for this series has definitely changed, and now its gone into full dark mode. Friends are at each others throats, there’s a sense of helplessness and pain throughout the cast, and most of the cast isn’t even there.
Its all very desolate, and tragic, and that seems to be the thing that Refrain has been transitioning to from the get go. The question is, whether we’ll continue to get more buildup to a climactic moment, or actually start to get some answers. Its hard to know from this episode, but we are at the half way point. It’ll be interesting to see where the series go from here.
May 13th eh? It seems like the next episode is going to cover some important date in the Little Busters timeline.
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