As expected, this week featured Kengo’s storyline, and with it we got another inch closer to the big secret surrounding this series. More so than before, we really are getting an idea of what the secret world is, how it relates to Riki and Rin and what Kyosuke’s master plan and efforts have been about.
So here is my big guess, and we’ll see for sure in a week or two how close to the mark it ends up being, but… ahem!
I’m guessing that the world of little busters is a time loop that happened because of Riki, that much is certain, but it happened because Riki ended up experiencing a very huge loss the first time. That huge loss? Its pointing to the loss of Rin, possibly in quite permanent terms.
This is what all the evidence points to anyway, especially with the hints that Kengo dropped throughout the episode. His early anguish and meeting with Kyosuke did confirm what we’ve been hinted at for a while now, that Riki is at the center of this time loop world, and that he seems to forget everything each time it resets. Its entirely within reason then, that the reset actually is some kind of defense mechanism of Riki’s, one that has him avoid whatever extreme unhappiness happens at the end of this story.
Kengo’s motivations are made more clear this week as well, as unlike Kyosuke, his intention has been to let Riki remain protected in this sheltered world. Thus, Kengo refuses to join the Little Busters! and have history repreat itself yet again. And from the looks of it, no matter how many different approaches you take, this world seems to head to the same inevitable conclusion.
Of course, it seems that while Riki doesn’t remember the experiences on a concious level, subconciously it does seem that he’s grown through the many experiences he’s had in this repeating world that he and his friends seem to be trapped in.
Thus, Riki quite brilliantly is able to go head to head with Kengo in a one-on-one baseball match. Its definitely the classic feel good moment in anime at play here, with Kengo being constantly surprised at how Riki refuses to give up, and keeps getting back on his feet. Added to that, Riki’s brave actions are enough to inspire Rin to move forward herself, get stronger and ultimately defeat Kengo.
While Kengo’s defeat is quite the sweet moment, with even Kengo himself kind of relieved by it, the most interesting thing of note, is that everything here seems to revolve around Riki, not Rin and Riki. The most telling words come from Kengo moments before his loss are:
“So the two of them might be connected somewhere still? Well then I’ll show you as well Rin”.
That line, reveals quite the scary undertone to it. If Rin is connected to Riki somewhere, then is the real Rin actually not in this time-loop world? Did she really pass on or die in the “real world” or the “first world” and as such is thought by Kengo and possibly even Kyosuke to be dead?
That idea gives the world a whole new meaning, and it could very well be that this is all just Riki’s strong feelings of not wanting to accept reality are what created this time-loop in the first place.
There are still questions left, and a lot of them surround the final member of the Little Busters! Kyosuke. It was pretty clear from this week’s episode that Kyosuke may have been a living the depressive recluse life style on purpose, if only to further remove the one big crutch that Riki had come to rely on. Its pretty obvious to see that Kyosuke removed himself from the equation in order to have Riki grow even further.
With Kengo in tow, Riki is one step closer to bringing back the Little Busters! and more importantly, in potentially being a stronger person that can accept whatever it is that lies at the end of the road in wait for him.
It might be a bit premature to say, but I believe that the core of what Little Busters and Little Busters! Refrain is about, is childhood and the eventual growing out of that childhood and coming to terms with the harsh realities of adult life. In many ways, Riki and Rin represent the children that all the other members of the Little Busters! have worked hard to protect, sheild and nurture. Like any responsible adults, Kyosuke, Kengo and the rest have all wrestled with the problem of having to both protect the young ones that they care about, but also to prepare them for the harsh challenges ahead.
In Kengo’s case, whatever bad future is in store for Riki, he’s chosen to try his best to protect him from that. Looking back, perhaps even Kurugaya did the same earlier, but as both she and now Kengo learned in this episode, letting Riki simply live in a sheltered world without the option to grow up and face reality is both unrealistic and unsustainable.
The final scene of this episode, showed us a battered and bruised Kyosuke, probably at the hands of Kengo. Yet, despite all that, we see the guy smile a smile of satisfaction, and it seems that despite the setback, Kyosuke might very well be heading toward the big moment where Riki is strong enough to face whatever big tragedy awaits him.
What that tragedy is, and how it relates to the secret of the world, are the two big questions that this series has about 3-4 episodes to answer. From the looks of it, I’m confident in saying that what we’ll get will be well worth the wait.
The world is coming to an end? It seems like we’ll get ever closer to the rreveal. Three more episodes to go!
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