Little Busters! - Common Route Discussion

Discussion thread for the common route in Little Busters. The common route refers to the beginning section of the game up until the start of the character routes, what you start off in when you click ‘new game’. In the Anime this is a bit more difficult to determine, but it’s basically all the in-between stuff between heroine arcs, like the recruitment of the baseball team, the random things the group gets up to and the baseball game. For the purposes of discussion, Rin1 content is also permitted to be discussed here. Please tag any other content outside of the common route with [spoiler].

What would you rate this route?

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0 voters

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Today marks May 13th. This date commemorates the beginning of Little Busters! “Kyousuke’s back!” In commemoration, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about the common route. Feel free to talk about any of the common route, but I’ll try and prompt some discussion by posting about the events that take place on each calendar date of Little Busters as they pass. What do you think of that idea?

We’ve had plenty of discussion of most of the character routes, but we haven’t had time to discuss the common route, which makes up a huge bulk of the story! In my opinion, Little Busters would be meaningless without the common route. While it initially appears to be lacking in any kind of plot, what it does achieve is thoroughly establishing all of the characters, the dynamics of the group, and creating a fun and peaceful daily life to contrast some of the more serious twists the plot takes later in the story. Considering the context it was written in, I think it’s what really makes Little Busters a masterpiece. Even Refrain, which everyone praises as one of the best routes of any Key game, wouldn’t mean anything if the common route didn’t exist and we didn’t spend time with the characters, learning to love each of them.

May 13: Kyousuke returns from his job hunt at 6:49 in the morning, upon which Kengo and Masato get in a fight while Kyousuke mediates, starting the trend of the battles which later become the battle rankings. Masato gets beaten up by Rin’s 3-section staff versus his eel pie~ Riki thinks back to the time he met the Little Busters and got in the newspaper for attacking a bee hive. Not a lot happens, it’s a very unique and hilarious start to the story. That said, it definitely sets the pace for the wacky tone of the common route, while suggesting a sad childhood Riki once experienced that contrasts everything we’re seeing here.

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That start…

Just before Litbus released I had been reading an early partial patch of Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai!.. which I didn’t like very much.
When I opened Little Busters and was met immediately with a dramatic fight about to start… I was ready to quit…but then I saw the battle system >A< and the Cat fight~

I love this idea! I’ve always had the notion of playing a VN simultaneously with the date. Thanks for the updates, Aspi. I’ll be following this :wink:

May 14: The next morning, the group assembles in the cafeteria having seemingly forgotten everything that happened the day before. Rin introduces Lennon to the group (Kyousuke providing the name). With Riki and Kyousuke sharing the wish that ‘things stay like this forever’, Riki suggests that they do something fun as a group. Kyousuke starts the baseball team.

Riki experiences a nightmare he keeps seeing, but can’t remember what it’s about once he wakes up. We’re introduced to his Narcolepsy, and the story shows a bit of it’s grim side before returning to a casual classroom scene. Looking for Rin, we discover her playing with her cats. We have the scene with Kyousuke reading the manga in the classroom. He tries to assemble everyone to play baseball, but it takes some convincing. Initially Riki is the only one to agree to submit to Kyousuke’s reasoning and join the team.

That night, we have the scene with the aphorisms (Even cats fall from poles) and Rin’s infiltration of the girls dorm, ending on the battle with Sasami. “Wait, wasn’t that different from the original mission!?”

“I’m sure I’m just getting tricked…”

May 14 is definitely a suitable introduction to the series. We’ve seen all the wackiness of the group, but there’s also some clear emotion behind everything. I really appreciate hearing Kyousuke’s motivation for starting the baseball team, as an expression of his identity. And of course, Riki’s mention of his narcoleptic nightmares provides a massive contrast to everything else, a tiny crack in an otherwise perfectly happy youth through which a grim reality is visible on the other side. The first of many.

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Okay, this is awesome.

Epic Sasami battle :3
I gotta say, they ended up being some of the hardest battles in the game, even harder than Mask the Saito. Of course THE hardest ones were the mysterious creatures; I never even finished that sidequest

Ehh, I disagree. Once Rin reaches a certain level of skill, the sasami fights become a piece of cake. The mysterious lifeform fights are definitely troublesome, though.

May 15: The day starts with the group meeting in the cafeteria as usual, but they’re late to class, resulting in them having to throw Rin all the way up to the third story classroom. We’re also introduced to Haruka who’s looking for an idiom dictionary, and you have the choice of giving her the soiled dictionary Masato just returned to you or not.

Kyousuke instructs all the Little Busters to scout the school for new members while reporting their location on their phones in a train conductor-like fashion. Riki’s search search leads him to the rooftop where we find Komari. She asks Riki if he has a favourite place that he can be at ease, and he responds with “Wherever my friends are”, while thinking to himself that he can’t exactly “feel at ease” despite that.

If you choose to look for Rin, then we’re introduced to the first of Lennon’s letters: to deal with the caterpillar problem. It’s put aside for the moment, as we head into our first batting practice, with Rin as pitcher and Riki as batter. Rin’s first few terrible pitches earn her the title ‘Legendary No-Con’. Masato complains how he’d much prefer some kind of battle over a sport like baseball, and in response Kyousuke creates the battle rankings. We have another scene of Rin scouting the girls dorm for members, and a battle with Sasami. If you’re playing EX and up and ‘know the secret of the world’, you’ll get a scene here which puts you on the path to Saya’s route, but I won’t go into detail about that here.

May 15th served the purpose of introducing a couple of the heroines, the plot of the ‘secret of the world’, and also the minigames Little Busters has to offer. There’s enough intrigue to keep readers in seeing what else Little Busters has to offer, and also the fun minigames should hopefully be compelling to play to most people. I know I had a blast with the batting practice and battle rankings each playthrough. Nothing more peaceful and relaxing than hitting a few balls around with your friends.


May 16: We’re starting to set into a rhythm now. A lot of the scenes that play out here are subsequent entries in little series’. We have Haruka entering the classroom making a ruckus, Rin’s tasks, meeting Komari on the rooftop, batting practice, infiltrating the girls dorm… May 16 is noteworthy for being the only day we ever see Kengo wearing his school uniform. He ended up triggering a trap laid in the classroom by Haruka, forcing himself to change out of his Kendo uniform. If you follow Rin’s path, you also get the first of the letter tasks: dealing with the caterpillars at the school gates. Rin is also given her second task, to solve the boys’ dorm bathroom hygiene problem. We’re introduced to Kurugaya who ‘abducts’ Riki while he was busy looking for Kyousuke to play a prank on him and have some idle chatter. I really do enjoy their conversations.

When we see Komari on the rooftop, we’re introduced to her ‘spiral of happiness’ theory, something I really used to connect with a lot. After their conversation, she volunteers herself to join the baseball team. We also get the scene where Haruka dashes through the halls, throwing marbles to slow her pursuers. And after that, we have Komari joining the baseball team! Komari’s initiation is one of my favourite gags (especially in the Anime). We’re also introduced to Kud as Riki is returning to his dorm, helping her carry her luggage. What surprised me here is a little detail I never paid attention to the first time I read it: Rin used to share a room with Kud, but Kud had to move out once the repairs of the old dorm wing were completed. They must’ve retconned this in the Anime. Rin also organises a cleaning roster for the boys dorm bathroom (revolving around the Little Busters), completing the second task in the same day.

Looking at Riki’s inner monologues, I get the feeling that he seems a bit more negative in the VN than the Anime. Not significantly, but I get a slightly different aura from him. Behind his internal monologues, I occasionally catch a glimpse of a protagonist who’s a bit troubled and tired with the world. Maybe I’m looking into it too much, but especially with his interactions with Komari, he seems to treat her happiness as something difficult to comprehend. Does anybody have any thoughts on that?


May 17: Starting with the group meeting in the cafeteria, we have this scene where Kengo resists pulling a face in spite of the Masato and Kengo stuffing sausages into his nose, which baffles the others as to why he wouldn’t even try to stop them. Scenes like this remind me of the other side of Kengo that we only see after his development later on. Kengo’s just as silly and fun-loving as the rest of them, despite first appearances. We also get a rare insight into Kyousuke and Rin’s relationship from a comment he makes while Riki is asking him if he knows what Rin is up to. “All I can do is watch over her until the day she finds a clear purpose of her own.” He’s really more like a father figure than a brother.

We also get to see Kurugaya’s epic battle with Masato unfold (as long as you allow it to). This is always a blast to read. Following that, here we’re given the opportunity to access ‘Kyousuke’s One Question - One Answer’ if you scanned the QR code the day before. I’m not sure on the exact number, but there’s around 100 questions in total, enough to sink a few hours into. Some of the things in there are among the best comedy in the game, so it’s very worth checking out if you haven’t done so. I compiled an album of a few of them a while back that you can view here.

Rin also gets her next task, to save the cafeteria, and begins work on that. If you choose to see Komari, we’re introduced to the picture book she likes, about the hen that forgot it was an egg. A subtle foreshadowing for later events. We’re also introduced to the last of the main heroines, Mio. I always felt like Mio gave off a very distinct aura from the rest of the Little Busters. The others feel more at home in the chaotic environment of the group, but Mio is quite different. Even the music speaks volumes about the kind of atmosphere she creates around her. Makes sense that she’d be the last member to be recruited.

Rin has her showdown with Sasami to gain control of the baseball field, which is pretty funny to watch. Starts off like a manga, ends on a hilariously mundane note. We’re also introduced to A-chan senpai as Riki asks her about finding a room mate for Kud. I don’t think she was voiced in vanilla LB? She sounds so adorable in Memorial Edition. And as a side note, she actually got sprites in Perfect Edition I hear. Shame about the lack of Suginami sprites, ahaha… Not a lot else to say about May 17.

I didn’t watch enough of the anime to give my opinions how how they did Riki’s character, but I remember Riki in the VN got depressed easily. This is the kid who faints constantly, has a traumatic past, and makes negative assumptions early on. The scene that looks like it came out of Butterfly effect, where Riki accepts the event that caused his Narcolepsy (visualized as some weird metaphorical time travel) is the point where Riki stops thinking negatively and begins to have hope in the world. I actually think this was done well in the anime, but maybe that’s the VN knowledge slipping through?


Went and finished Refrain again just to make sure I didn’t have any scenes locked~! If I miss any harder-to-find scenes from here on, bear with me. Also, keep in mind that I’m playing Memorial Edition, so let me know if any scenes I speak about don’t appear in your version of the game.

May 18.

Riki wakes up to discover the entire cafeteria staff have disappeared! There’s no mistaking that this is what the letter from yesterday was talking about, and so Rin and Riki spring into action. They manage to cook breakfast with the help of the boys, and then rush off to class. Here we also get to decide on who should be Kud’s roommate. The choices are between Haruka, Mio and Kanata. This time I decided to go with Haruka, as I usually go with either Mio or Kanata. When lunch break starts, continuing Rin’s task, we get the cafeteria minigame where you have to give everyone the right meal. This is pretty tricky, but once you get a rhythm going you can rack up some decent scores.

Gotta give a mention to that hilarious scene of Komari getting stuck in the copying machine and Haruka printing a bunch of pages of her face. I got a good laugh out of that one. We’re also introduced to Kanata briefly, with an option to start going toward her route if you’re playing EX onwards.

We also get a really good scene with Mio. Personally I’m a big fan of her scenes, so don’t be surprised if I focus on her a little bit more than the other girls. The scene is basically about the two affirming their relationship with each other. At this point in time, Riki has only spent a few moments with her on a whim each time, so when Mio asks him “Do you want to know more about me?”, Riki tells her that he’s not sure. She doesn’t seem to feel rejected, all she does is invite him to ask again if he’s really wants to become closer to her, and that she wouldn’t mind if he never speaks to her again either. I love this kind of relationship of mutual acceptance of each other’s independence. It’s not the kind of conversation you’d hear many people have in our modern society, where we’re always trying to please each other. It reminds me a lot of a famous quote, the gestalt prayer. If you’re curious, look it up. I really dig that kind of genuine relationship.

Back on the baseball field, Kurugaya shows up asking to join the team. Surprisingly, Riki is a bit hesitant as he doesn’t want the team to be full of girls, but ultimately he’s unable to deny her. We also get to see Kurugaya protest against Komari calling her Yui-chan in the battle system, which is pretty funny to watch. Komari-max is the best name, by the way. That makes 6 members on the team, with 4 more to go! After batting practice the group hurry back to the cafeteria to serve dinner, and just after they finish up Riki is hit by a sudden narcolepsy attack; probably the first one we’ve seen so far. When he wakes up, Kyousuke (or Rin if you’ve progressed enough) is there to comfort him. A subtle reminder that there’s more to Riki than just the ordinary boy he appears to be. Because let’s be honest, it is easy to forget he has narcolepsy. Unless you’re watching the Anime, they really shove it in your face there, aha. The night ends with a change in Rin’s night missions. This time, she has to fight the unknown lifeform. It can be quite tough to face, and you have to face it four times, each time more difficult the last to defeat it once and for all and get the full story behind it. Fun fact, there are actually three different unknown lifeforms! The subsequent two lifeforms are unlocked after defeating the one before it, and each is tougher than the last. I’ve never defeated more than the first one, but I’m facing off against the second one right now. Mystery abound!

One thing that’s great about Little Busters is how the game evolves after each repetition. In the beginning Rin is very weak-willed and shy, but as the game progresses she gets filled with confidence to the point where you’re not even sure if she was ever as shy and nervous as she was initially. This is something that you can’t get out of a novel, something that only a Visual Novel could accomplish.

These really are getting longer each time…


I think this makes the whole shift toward positive thinking much more of a big deal. Like when you’re going onto Mio’s route, and you have to choose between good and bad intentions. Riki really does show a lot of development…

May 19. After some weird confessions of love between the original five, we’re treated to Haruka’s amazing impression of Kurugaya. In class, Riki finds himself looking in Mio’s direction, commenting how little of a presence she has in the school, and musing over how her classmates call her ‘shadowless’. We get prank photos from Kurugaya, the shocking revelation that Haruka is part of the maintenance committee, the newspaper sword battle, lots of fun scenes. We also hear about Miyuki Koshiki for the first time, and Riki begins to feel like the Little Busters are wasting their time while Kengo fights for something important. Then back to the stupid, we get a scene of Masato crawling out of the classroom on the floor, with the option to join him crawling through the corridor and scaring the girls walking around.

We get another scene with Mio if you choose to see her, which had this gem of a scene that made me spit out my drink. I said it last time, but I really dig their relationship. I feel like there’s something more to their bond than the convenience of the plot setting him up with each of the girls. In this scene with Mio, we have him thinking how he really wants to extend his hand to Mio and bring her into the Little Busters circle, even knowing full well that she won’t be able to play. Riki sees her solitude and is reminded of himself in his younger days, and wants to be the one to help her escape from that isolation and have fun with everyone. I can’t say the same for all the other girls he recruited because he was asked to. This time, she declines his offer because of reasons she doesn’t fully explain, but she quietly comments to herself that she doesn’t think the time will come that she’s ready to open up to him, while wearing a sad expression.

Following that, we have Haruka’s inauguration into the Little Busters’ baseball team. With a sniff of the baseball mit, Kyousuke allows her to join. Afterwards we catch a scene of Haruka and Kurugaya hanging out together, talking about how they first became friends a year ago. After that, Haruka asks Riki that he start calling her Haurka instead of Saigusa, and her name changes in the text box to represent this. “I like it more than my last name. That’s the only reason.” she tells him before running off.

We then get to see Rin commence her next task, curing Aikawa’s lovesickness. We also get a scene with helping Kud with the moving process. A notable interaction can be seen when Rin discovers a box that Kud tells them is “okay not to open”. Could that be what I think it is? We also have the continuation of the unknown lifeform quest, if you defeated it the first time. Upon a second victory, we’re introduced the Tanaka of the Biology club (aka Bio-tanaka), who reveals that the lifeform is a creature Kyousuke was once acquainted with who became mutated from eating Tanaka’s bio-cookies. Turns out the first one is a bird, the second a Japanese Serow. The third? Not sure~


May 20. It’s Sunday, so things are quite speedy. Kyousuke decides to go for a trip outside of the school, inviting Riki to join him. You have the choice to say yes or no, and if you keep saying no it for the sake of it, it leads you to saying you hate Kyousuke, and the mood suddenly turns unexpectedly sour, everyone glancing at Riki with disapproval over the player’s careless decision. Following that leads to one of my favourite moments in the game, where Riki chases after Kyousuke telling him how much he really loves the Little Busters. They spend the next few moments screaming “Little Busters Saikou!”, and in the following scene, Kyousuke repeats the same line he usually does, but with his voice gone. IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS MAN.

We then get a scene where Komari is asking for donations in town. I’ve been contemplating it for a while now, but Komari doesn’t seem to have many friends outside of the Little Busters does she? Here she explains that she used to move around a lot, so she hasn’t been able to keep any long-term friendships. It’s a little bit lonely, but it’s reassuring to know that the Little Busters are there for her. We also see the finale of the unknown lifeform missions, where Rin must fight the creature two times consecutively. If you lose, Bio-tanaka mentions how the darkness executives, a group of people who “bury the problems nobody can solve in the dark.” If you win, the creature is saved and escapes into the sunrise. Not much of a reward, but hey, it’s satisfying :stuck_out_tongue:

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I remember how much I laughed when the next scene had Kyousuke with a super raspy voice. Amazing.


This common route reminiscing is gonna make me start shipping Mio x Riki soon enough, I swear.

And yeah, probably the thing I like most about Komari is that she is a really nice person. That whole spiral of happiness thing works wonders

All according to keikaku…

Komari is my number 2 favourite LB girl. She’s the paradigm of happiness and joy and sweetness. You just wanna hug her. It bums me that there’s such a hatedom around her…

Also, I’m noticing in my replay that the game really does hint at trying to ship Masato x Kud and Kyousuke x Komari. Maybe not as romance, but there’s some bonding there. Masato is like a big brother to Kud, and Kyousuke seems to admire Komari’s joy-spreading, even if others don’t think much of it. Poor Kyousuke tried to imitate Komari and everyone called him creepy and he put up a fuss about it, hahaha… He really is pure-hearted.

I don’t like her because [quote=“Aspirety, post:19, topic:311”]
She’s the paradigm of happiness and joy and sweetness.

Really not the type of character I like. I don’t understand why there is a lot of hate around her though… Isn’t that the type of character that is normally really popular? ^^; She was even pushed as one of the central characters, especially when dealing with Rin, but that didn’t raise her popularity? @.@

Oh, when did Komari and Rin even become friends? I totally missed the hinting of that until Rin2/Refrain… >A<