Some Thoughts: Little Busters Refrain Episodes 4, 5 and 6

Riki and Rin & The Final Task & After the Escape


AlexI’ll start with this. I know the secret of this world, and I know how this story ends. I’ll try my best not to spoil things or drop too many hints by talking about it, but it’s inadvertible that some things will slip past me – so there are some very heavy spoiler warnings here.

Another day, another route… we’ve all got to move on from Kuragaya, because it’s time for things to really get kickstarted with Rin’s route. The conspiracy will unsheathe it’s sword and do everything that it can without revealing the truth in this route, and that’s why some people actually prefer this route to the Refrain route.

Things are obviously pretty awkward between Rin and Riki, as things start off with some stranger confessing to Riki. He starts thinking about who he really loves, and thoughts move onto Rin. However, even Riki can’t have expected things to literally go so well…after having a tiny chat with Rin, she just blurts out that the two should start dating. Ah well…

Considering that Kyousuke is Rin’s sister, Riki feels that he has to tell him first, and this all just demonstrates more of how the relationship between the two actually works. Kyousuke is always looking out for Riki, and watching over Rin and Riki together…waiting for the two to finally go out, and even after Kyousuke’s gone, he wants Riki to continue looking out for his sister.

Everything seems to be going great, with everyone acting relieved and…dare I say it, acting like things have come full circle, with everyone telling Riki to go to Rin’s side. However, in a very different manner to the original story, all of the girls then smile and walk off towards the light. Even I can’t place just what that means in the big picture, but I can only hazard an educated guess.

It’s been a while, but Lennon now appears out of the blue with what it’s calling the final task…and after they’ve solved it, the promise to the secret of the world will be revealed. And it’s all really simple…volunteer in homeroom. However, I highly doubt that two of them, who are sat in Riki’s room talking about what it’ll mean to be a couple now fully understand just what the task of volunteering in homeroom actually means for them…as they’re both struck with the innocence of that first love.

It seems to be innocent – show two inspectors from another school around the premises. Though, well…there’s actually a few more problems that what appears, namely in the form of how Rin has no idea how to talk formally to anyone. However, with Riki doing most of the talking and Rin bluffing her way through when needed, it all goes better than could possibly be expected. However, well…because she did so well Rin’s been asked to take place in a student exchange situation. Why? Well, at the other school, during a bus trip, there was a major accident…and only two survived. They want Rin, with her cheerfulness, to go to cheer everyone up.

More interestingly, only Riki and Komari seem to have oppositions to this idea. Kyousuke is leaning heavily towards her going, and Masato and Kengo have nothing to say. Infact, Masato pretty much says that he just wants to watch, and he’s always wanted to watch. Yet the decision weighs heavily on Riki, and he wants nothing more than some advice…since he knows that he won’t be the person Rin will love in the end. Quite how he knows that or why he thinks that is actually selfish on his part, and rightfully so, Rin gets angry when Riki provokes her into going, essentially ending his relationship with her before it even started. Because of Riki, Rin agrees to go, and everyone gets set up for it…as if, whoever sent the note knows everything would work this way.

Riki finally clocks the reason of the notes. He finally notices what they’re for, and that there’s a puppetmaster on the other end. Following Lennon to find the puppetmaster in question, Riki…runs into Kyousuke. It’s not much surprise to find out that Kyousuke has had a hand in everything, twisting everything the way he wants it to go. However, Kyousuke just laughs at Riki, and when the two of them are running away in the darkness, Kyousuke…lets go of Riki’s hand.

Everything’s shaping up really well so far, as Riki starts to notice that everything that’s happened is all part of Kyousuke’s plan. With Rin being chased off to a different school, all the energy has left in the Little Busters. All the girls have vanished, and Masato’s happy to watch. The only one left…is Kengo. With Riki finding a new person to rely on in Kengo, and only being able to send Rin idle advice whenever she asks for help over the phone, and with Komari being unable to contact Rin’s phone…eventually, Rin pleads with Riki. “I can’t do it.” “I want to go home”.

As Riki tries to leave to go to get Rin, Kyousuke grabs Riki by the arm and stops him from leaving. He challenges Riki to “endure” this, with pain in his voice as he walks away. He makes it so that Rin can come home at the weekends, but she gives up, and just collapses in Riki’s bed, not doing anything and not speaking. The only one Riki can turn to, Kengo…tells Riki that the only thing he can do is fight Kyousuke together. With Masato helping Kyousuke at the challenge of baseball. The four childhood friends starting each other down in the rain.The game all comes down to Kengo’s power and abilties, and in the end…he misses.

Falling to the ground, he stands with an angry expression on his face, and after shouting “Cheap tricks! Kyousuke!” he punches Kyousuke down to the ground, and does all he can to beat the crap out of him until Masato and Kengo get involved. With a cold, menacing stare in his eyes, Kyousuke just says “Called Game” and walks into the rain, with Masato behind…eventually, Riki decides that the only path of action is to leave everything behind and run away with Rin.

Granted, they montaged this part and skipped a large portion of it, and cut a lot of the important facts, like Kengo warning Riki never to let go of Rin’s hand, and as Riki realizes that he just isn’t strong enough to look after Rin…and to live means to lose. That brings Rin’s arc to a close.

It’s not as dynamic as Kurugaya’s arc, but it was never really intended to be, and it wasn’t really cut out to do anything on that scale. The running away scene could have served as an episode in of itself, because it serves to develop Riki to someone completely different, and actually shows a new image of Rin…the development of which is required in the only arc left, the Refrain arc. There’s a lot that’s chilling about this arc, and it’s quite a dark one in comparison to everything out. Things like Kengo’s scream and him loosing his cool are chilling, and Kyousuke just looking down on him…and how Kyousuke cheated the victory out of Kengo. That scene was amazing in the novel, and is equally amazing in this version… but from here, the Refrain arc begins.


2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts: Little Busters Refrain Episodes 4, 5 and 6

  1. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a
    comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps
    there is a means you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

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