Little Busters! - Common Route Discussion

To me it certainly represents an idealised version of group friendship but that’s only my own schoolday experiences of course. I had a couple of best friends and a circle of friends but it was nothing like that shown in LB, and I can’t imagine us ever getting organised to play another team at any sport (soccer would be the most likely for those so inclined but none of us really liked the sport that much).

Also my school was boys only which does change the dynamics quite a lot, plus the age grades are different here so we don’t have “high school” for 16 - 18 YOs. At 16 here all the focus is on study and exams and by 17/18 people leave their school to go to college or work so groups therefore spilt up and start to go separate ways. There are quite significant changes in personal development in one’s teens so this kind of group would be most likely at around 15 YO here, before exam pressure, which is I think a little younger than the LitBus group.

So based on my teen experience there are creative liberties in LitBus but that’s not a problem as drama is so much a matter of “what if” anyway, and a broader selection of character types with their own issues is probably more interesting than the usual fairly stereotypical teen drama on TV for example.


Like others have already said, the friendship displayed is actually not that far from reality. During my last years at school, I’d even say I had a similar group of friends, and in my old class (had to repeat a year because of health issues) a few of them went to a vacation together and just decided on a whim to play DnD for the first time for all of them, and when they talked about that, it sounded like they had a blast. Also that meetup was after they already left school, and we all know that it’s a lot harder at that point to meet up like that.


When I first played LB, I had saved the Rin route for last. After seeing Riki experiencing different kinds of romance with different girls, I was curious to see how this one would be handled. In the first place, it was difficult to imagine Rin in any kind of romatic context since she didn’t exactly give off girly vibes.

So, how did Rin1 play out?

I was elated to see how simple it all was. No harem conflicts, no love triangles, no osananajimi romance drama. Riki and Rin had been reminded of the fact that Romance is a thing, so they just went for it without thinking too deeply about it. It all seemed so obvious.

And also:
“By going out with Rin, won’t I be able to stay with everyone?”
Actually, that’s kind of a lame reason. But since it’s working out so well, why not?

I have to say, though, the way Riki handled Suginami’s confession was not ok. I know Riki couldn’t help it, being a complete novice at this, but it’s still not ok. He went around telling everyone about his girlfriend, and by the time he had decided to inform Suginami, she already knew. This is kind of a huge dick move. Suginami confessed to him and he replied he needed more time. But right on the next day, she heard rumors of him hooking up with a different girl. This hypocricy must’ve felt incredibly shitty to poor Mutsu, who still tried to be positive about it. Bad Riki.

“But at that time.
---------- We hadn’t even come to know love yet.”

The route progressed, but the relationship between Riki and Rin didn’t. It felt different from the romance in the other routes. Sure, there was a bit of awkward blushing, Riki did not slack off on dutifully providing support and Rin tried her best, but it didn’t result in progress. Well, romance wasn’t exactly the focus and the route wasn’t long, either. But still, they didn’t take the next step, and as a reader, I didn’t even know what the next step should be.

I hoped it would be only a matter of time, but all they ever did was playing house. It wasn’t just Rin. Riki was still immature, as well. This became obvious when Rin was asked to transfer to a different school. He hated the very idea of Rin leaving, lashed out in opposition and became downright desperate. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that there is a correct decision here, especially considering that Rin hated the idea as well. But the way Riki acted was just so pathetic and it really put his weakness on display. He couldn’t even tolerate that Rin had acted kinda mature by considering the transfer when she was asked to and tried to deny the little progress Rin had made. He tossed around excuses and big prases like “strenghthen our relationship” or “let’s be together forever”, but the way he acted made it plainly obvious that he didn’t know what he was talking about.

In the end, Riki played the boyfriend card, knowing that Rin would do as he asked. At some point, he got assaulted by narcolepsy, but peacefully accepted it, thinking that he had nothing to fear with a reliable girlfriend by his side.

But was she really that reliable, when it was him who had made all the decisions?


Hmm, I’m not sure what to say about this route other than…

I don’t think I’ve ever been so endeared to such ridiculous characters. Masato is obsessed with muscles, but is one of the most lovable guys I’ve ever seen. Even during his crazy antics, all he really wants is to hang out with Riki, and he’s always trying to help out in his own strange way. Komari likes sweets waaaayyyyy to much, but her simple philosophy of happiness and the joy she tries to bring to everyone are just delightful. Rin is quite catlike, she even grows cat ears when she gets angry; at the same time get her fired up about something and she’ll try her best! Mio’s soft, gentle composure is refreshing, and she does try with her sense of humor. Kud is a little clumsy, but she has her own “very foreigner” way of becoming closer to Riki, and her love of Belka and Strelka is infectious. I didn’t get much of a vibe from Kengo, but he remains very dedicated to his training, while still making time to be with everyone during meals and in the evening. Haruka, of course, is always causing trouble. While that’s not exactly an endearing trait, she has an air about her when she’s acting as a genuine friend that you can’t ignore. I don’t know where to begin with Kurugaya, I’m not sure if I should be concerned with her behavior, or simply enjoy the fact that she has no filter, and somehow is an absolute genius while still acting as freely as she pleases.

Lastly, we have Kyousuke.
He’s one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever seen in anything. He acts so absurdly, and at the same time has the most maturity out of the entire group. Kyousuke seems to almost have an aura of leadership about him, I was drawn to it and I’m not even in the story! He takes the basic idea of having fun while he still can, and turns it into a journey of meeting people and bringing them together as friends. This thought however, is where I pause to question, exactly how much did he do to actually bring them together?

It certainly feels like he’s the one who’s always there, gently nudging everyone closer. Of course, the person actually talking to them is Riki, or by extension you the player. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as I go through the other arcs.

Thinking about Rin1, the ending was fantastic; the way it cuts out of the blue to those lines of text asking you to try again, it sort of seems like the game is aware it’s a VN, but we’ll see (if I remember correctly this doesn’t happen in the anime, or at least not in this way). I did enjoy the bit of their relationship that Rin1 shows, although it seemed like Rin wasn’t really involved; Riki basically did everything except initiate it. I look forward to seeing if something changes in Rin2.

One final thought; it makes me curious the way that certain bits of certain scenes are repeated day after day. The most noteable example is how Riki thinks they’ve deviated from their original mission, etc, every time they have a night mission with Rin. Not sure if it has any meaning, it just stood out to me.


Now that I have finished digesting my thoughts, I must say this VN really intrigues me. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything that really would suit my taste. I have no interest in baseball, so having the game center around the sport to move the story forward strangely gripped me. Rikki himself as the main character wasn’t all that endearing to me. He is a kind character, and shows signs of a natural leader, but his personality demeanor doesn’t strike confidence in building up the character. The day cycle, being centered around school and practice, can only vary so much. All of these factors can make the plot seem slow and repetitive at times.

However, it is the supporting casts really made the game interesting and gripping. The strong willed personality of the male supporting cast was great! They had their weird quirks that really complemented each other, especially in those slap stick comedy moments. The strong willed and disciplined Kengo, the more childish Masato, and Kyousuke who share traits with both.

The female cast had a variety of personality which made every interaction refreshing and interesting for sure. From the strong-willed female cast members to the meek cast members, there is something for everyone. The snippet of human interaction also allows you to understand the personality of each character enough that you can decide on who you can start first. The foreshadowing is great and the mysteriousness that each character exhibits continues to draw you in.

Rin 1 really changed the tempo and color of the story. You hear about the car crash, you see the serious side of Masato, and you see the first real conflict in the story. All this ends with a cliff hanger?! No matter how you feel about the story, the innate human curiosity will cause us to dig deeper into the story just to see what happens in Rin 2 later on.

Overall, I could say that I came in with some hype, struggled to get into the story, and really enjoyed and anticipating of what is going to come next at the next route.


Fun facts:

Surely, many of you have noticed that the first line of the game, “Kyousuke’s back!” is voiced by Sugita Tomokazu, who also voiced Aizawa Yuuichi in the Kanon (2006) anime adaption?

Then, those who have watched or read Clannad may have noticed that Sasami’s 3 minions sound kinda familiar.

The most obvious case is the one on the left: Watanabe Sakiko. If you thought she sounds an awful lot like Fuuko, you’re right. She’s voiced by Ai Nonaka.

In the middle, we have Kawagoe Rei. She’s voiced by Akemi Kanda, who also voiced Fujibayashi Ryou.

Finally, the one on the left right is named Nakamura Yukari and she’s voiced by Ryou Hirohashi, the VA of Fujibayashi Kyou. (Yes, this is a tiny bit confusing)

So we might as well call them the cameo trio :ahaha:

Aspi’s chart is helping a lot, but I do think there are two new members that stand out in particular.

  1. Komari. First, there’s her tireless attempts to become Rin’s friend. Then there’s her social skills and tiny contributions to the Little Busters group as a community. For example, she got some Donuts on May 20 (Sun), so she goes over to share them with the original Little Busters. She quickly received recognition for those things and also for her personality that simply makes her comfortable to be around. Riki realized at some point that Komari has a notable amount of influence among the Little Busters. On May 23rd, she motivated both Kurugaya and Kyousuke (who hates cleaning to the point where Riki is the one coming over and cleaning Kyousuke’s room!) to join the others on cleaning the clubroom. On the evening of the same day, there’s Masato’s “The 1st Let’s Make Kyousuke Wave the White Flag Championship~!”, which everyone misunderstands as an attempt of actually competing with Kyousuke and they therefore leave. Well, who was the one who got them to return, cleared up the misunderstanding and got them to participate after all? Fue? It was Komari!

  2. Kurugaya. She’s already got a decent reputation before joining the Little Busters. Kyousuke, Masato and Kengo recognize her skills. We sometimes get the vibe that she might be about on even ground with Kyousuke if both were to get serious. The girls, despite being somewhat wary of her predatory tendencies, actually depend on “Onee-san” occasionally. Kud will ask Kurugaya for help with finding her a roommate, and Kurugaya is already experienced in it since she has helped several people with just that. If Riki gets a bit closer to Mio, he will handle the search for her book, with Kurugaya providing support. If he doesn’t interact with Mio much or fails at helping her with the book, Kurugaya is the one to take care of the problem and also to bring Mio to the little Busters as a manager.


Rin is actually the character I’m having the most trouble believing right now. I’m pretty antisocial myself, but I can handle myself reasonably well if I’m talking to someone I don’t know well while also with someone I do know is there, because you can bounce off the two as needed (IE: Rin + Riki + any one of the new LB girls). At the same time, she can still go on the “missions” into the girl’s dorm with only mild reservations and interact with complete strangers (I say mild because she always ends up going after putting up a fuss anyway) just because the rest of the original Busters are telling her what to say over the phone. I haven’t entirely finished Rin1 yet, so maybe she gets better, but it’s just a little too odd to me that she still struggles after being around the new girls for extended periods of time, and she is only really entirely alone with the new members once that I can remember. (When she hangs out with the new members solo in the girls dorm before the sleepover.) Not saying her behavior is impossible, but it struck me as a little bit off. Although you can criticize Riki having similar struggles with his own demons.

I’ll admit, this didn’t really bother me until the one scene in the baseball club room where Masato actually did a good thing but still kind of got shit on anyway. I did think the scene was actually really funny up to that point, but then it really put me off and made me feel really bad for him. No wonder he focuses on his muscles: he actually used his head for once and nothing changed.

I think it represents real friends groups as best as it really can. Most friend groups revolve around one or two active personalities driving the more passive ones. Most of the group seems content to interact among themselves until someone brings them together, like in most friend groups I’ve had. I don’t think the chemistry between them is overly embellished, although you could argue that a lot of the super highs and lows of their struggles are dramatized for effect, but so far, all of them are within the bounds of what you might experience in youth, albeit some are more on the extreme side of things.


I’m now on Kud’s route, and this time making a choice not on the walkthrough I got the “Kick the Can” segment. Is this only available on Kud’s route, not sure if you can get it any other time? That was actually quite fun since I could see myself doing something this ridiculous.


Won’t lie, A-chan senpai Dorm head is best Girl by far…needs more screen time :naze:


Well I’ve finished common + Rin1 (last saturday actually) but haven’t had the time to post about it… until today :yahaha: I may have to catch up with all the new replies as well because, boy there sure are a lot of them. Real proud of the activity this Bookclub is getting :happy:

So, what did I think of common route after reading it a second time? Man I forgot just how funny it was! Yes, the humor is very much hit-and-miss (especially some of the ones involving Haru-chin, no offense), but a lot of them are quite on-point and relevant, even 10 years later. It’s the kind of humor that gets more funny the more time you spend with the characters so I think that has greatly affected how I think about it, now that I’ve read the VN once and watched the anime as well.

As for the characters, I think I may have gotten a new endearment over them. Komari is great (though I still dislike her VN sprites, honestly), Haruka is always fun, Kurugaya seems more awkward (and thus, more relatable) than before, Mio is the eternal tsukkomi, and Kud is actually not as bad as I remember her being. Actually, I find her personality the most pleasing out of all of them, ironically.

It’s also much more interesting the way that the common route portrays Riki and Kyousuke’s relationship. There’s a looooot of implied romance between the two and, regardless of how it is intended, it kind of gives a dynamic to their relationship. I can’t speak for myself, but I feel that they are in that age when they are starting to explore the essence of romantic relationships, thus making them more open. No, I’m not saying that Riki or Kyousuke have a thing for each other :nonono: However, the fact that they can see each other in that sort of relationship without outright rejecting the idea because “Nope I’m not gay” gives more dynamic as to what they really feel for each other. These two are totally dependent on each other, no matter how much or how little they realize it, and that gives so much more meaning to the Little Busters.

There’s much more I can discuss with common route in hindsight but maybe I should put that in the spoilers topic :yahaha: Spoilers are a serious crime, after all!

Hoo boy that one is a hoot. It’s one I never got during my first playthrough either. It is also one of the reasons why you should always, after finishing a route, start from the very beginning. The game is weird like that, I know.

I figure she would be pretty unbelievable because, hey, nobody is that antisocial, right?
Well I definitely think it’s possible; maybe even moreso in Japan, where a lot of people like to keep to themselves. Strangers don’t come up to you and start random discussion, so it becomes more difficult to adapt to meeting new people. just my two cents~





I almost cried just reading this discussion. It really just makes me overflow with emotion.There is so much good stuff here; so many thoughts and opinions coming from so many people. As a veteran, it’s nearly impossible for me to compute them all.

So let me say this. I love your theories. From the ones who treat this like a mystery that can or needs to be solved, overthinking every comment, every bit of narration; to the ones who analyze each character’s personality and relationships to their fullest, even though we know oh so little at this point. I love seeing how many important things you’ve picked up on, how many unrelated things you’ve stretched to fit your mindsets, and most of all the infinite subtleties you’ve missed (and I’m very glad you’ve missed). I cannot wait to see your reactions as things develop and change the deeper you get into this story.

Two things I will stress:

  1. Be open to every character and all of their interactions, especially Riki. I wouldn’t go to the extent that every line is essential, but perhaps I’d word it as “every scene is valuable". Not because you need every little part to fully understand or enjoy Little Busters, but because it is just like how every interaction you have with your own friends shapes your relationships. Riki seems to be consistently slept on in this regard, especially by newbies… and perhaps that is actually by design.
  1. That said, try your hardest to set aside your detective caps, even for a moment, and really, really enjoy these characters. The writers have done an absolutely stellar job at writing every single scene as a loveable, memorable interaction. And while the mystery is indeed one aspect of the story, this is not primarily a “mystery novel.” While it is certainly possible to happen upon a “(re)solution” to this novel, and while the execution of the foreshadowing is some of the best I have seen, the story was not written to be “solved”, it was written to be “experienced.” Not to say that you shouldn’t theorize. But you will likely have a good idea of what’s going on by the time you get there no matter what.

So really just let it all flow in and simmer inside of you. And when you’re ready (trust me, you’ll know when it’s time) do not be afraid to let everything boil over.


100% agreed. Speculations and theories have been nice and interesting to read, but a couple routes in now and I feel it’s important for people to take a seat back and enjoy the story the way it was written: a blast between a group of friends.

Little Busters’ worth in terms of plot analysis isn’t in its first time reads but when you go back through it with the knowledge you have and just how carefully it was included in every inconspicuous part. The journey until then, however, is just like you’d have IRL were you to have that neat group of friends by your side: you enjoy your daily life and interactions with them, suffer through worst days with them, and hopefully get back up again and return to the fun after everything is done with them once more. Again, like real life, no theories can be really made until a fateful moment where something, hell, anything does happen to spur it on.


Except for a freak like me who doesn’t find it all completely exhilarating and thrives more on the theories and mysteries of whys and wherefores…that’s what makes it more interesting to read for me than just a collection of scenes :help:

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I prefer the term ‘appropriated’ personally.


That’s, uh…

That’s like saying most of CLANNAD’s worth and interest lies solely behind the orbs of light and the illusionary world. :help:


But CLANNAD actually has interesting routes, so there’s more to enjoy than the mystery :smug:

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That’s our Taka. Laying the diss on the entire book club and all participants all at once!


Ah but you see for me that’s a false equivalence as CLANNAD “speaks to me” personally in ways that LitBus doesn’t (at least not yet).

And yes it was the orbs of light and the illusionary world that really drew me into CLANNAD in the first place

I don’t think it matters how/why any of us enjoy LitBus, and clearly for some here deeply analysing the VN and really enjoying for fun are not mutually exclusive.

I’m on Refrain now so can’t say much more here without spoilers…


Nobody is telling you how to enjoy LB, just a bunch of oldies are getting upset at the several people who are just grazing over the VN’s strongest and intended point in pursuit of this mystery that isn’t the focus and it’s making them upset to see this VN that is dear to them not being appreciated for its true strengths.