Oh boy. Where do I start.
Well lets begin by a little disclaimer for those who don’t know me, I am…passionate…about Haruka. This route had a huge impact on me in my youth, I got feels of abnormal magnitude that haven’t gone away, so there may just be rambling gushing in this post.
I’ll start with the girls.
Haruka, Easygoing Noisy Girl
So Haruka is fucking love, her hectic bouncy personality is a thorough joy to read, her shitposts are a laugh, the melodic way she talks is a pleasure to listen to(huge shoutouts to Suzuki Keiko), I was drawn to her straight away, always being my favourite girl in the common route as I waited for her route to get translated all those years ago. She’s instantly and easily likeable and if you don’t like her you can fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck right off.
But enough about Common Haruka, lets talk more about the character beneath that thin layer of kookiness, the girl that is only hinted about in common, the broken insecure needy girl, the girl who’s entire personality is a fabrication crafted to get her attention and praise that she so desperately craves.
I want to protect that girl. I want to embrace that girl and tell her I won’t let anything bad happen to her. This is such an abnormal emotion to me, I do not have passion like this to another fictional…or none-fictional person. These feelings are genuine, they were genuine years and years ago and the persisted, resurfacing such as strongly today. Is this weird? Yeah, probably. Will people disagree with it completely? Yeah absolutely. I don’t care, this is love.
She’s perky yet depressed, kind yet selfish, stubborn and weak, a fundamentally flawed character. That’s what makes her a person, that what makes me want to reach out to her in times of need, her happiness is my happiness.
I’m sure I made some people cringe with that, but to me a piece of work that can make one feel emotion and write something so embarrassing without a hint of shame is truly something of quality.
So lets talk about that other bitch.
Man I wanna punch her in the face.
The exact opposite of her sibling, a moody sour smug cunt of whom the presence of is a rather unappealing prospect.
I know, I know she was scared, I know she felt guilty, and by all means, I know Haruka actively brought her scorn upon by her own actions intentionally, but I cannot accept some of the vile things she says and does, she deserved a punch in the face, I know she was actively looking for one and that stopping the S E V E R A L people who wanted to give her exactly that is a good thing, is the correct thing, but I don’t care, I want to punch her in the face.
I do not hate her. Let bygones be bygones and forgive her as Haruka did, that I can do easily, something a lot of people I know won’t do and still chose to hate her in the end.
So how about that fucking disaster of a family.
I W I S H T O B U R N T H E I R F U C K I N G H O U S E D O W N
While subdued this time, I vividly recall the genuine fury I felt towards the family, hereon refereed to as ‘scum’, for the absolute atrocities committed against the twins, Shou might be a bag stealing shithead but I have respect for the man who stood up to the scum. It annoys me to so much as see other characters refer to Haruka as Saigusa, that tainted fucking name that links Haruka to the scum. The scene early in common where Haruka insists Riki call her by her first name was the first thing to emotionally sting me in this reread. The fact that Kanata will dismantle the scums despicable traditions is both wonderful but also infuriating as it’s the only comeuppance they’ll ever get.
Again something to praise the writing for, even if it is a negative emotion like SEETHING RAGE, it make me feel something so strongly is an accomplishment worthy of praise.
So I’ve alluded too it but I think this route is pretty well written, the depths of Haruka’s despair are fully depicted, it doesn’t pull any punches, this route is moody and brooding, nitty and gritty a strong contrast to her bubbly common personality. It dives head on into a nasty ass subject, depects a person in shambles as a result and while I’ve heard it be called ‘overly dramatic’, I think it’s worth respected. And I don’t even want to think about that bad end.
I L O V E the contrast of Citrus(specifically Orange) and Mint, most obviously represented in their taste in scented shampoo as Riki, ever the deviant, sniffs the shit out of their hair. But it’s also present in their food tastes. Oranges are sweet, orange is a warm colour, minty tastes are bitter and is associated with pale colours. I looooove that alongside the usage of their dominant hand, these smells are the biggest clues when Kanata is impersonating Haruka. The hint for this is dropped super early on too, Haruka remarks that she got a whole bunch of flavoured sweets from Komari, except for Mint, she rejected the Mint ones, Kanata returns the favour later, saying it’s not eggs she’s allergic too, it’s Citrus.
You know what other smell is present in this route? FUCKING CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE. Riki says some fucking DORKY ASS SHIT in the more romantic scenes, Haruka even calls him out on this dorky ass shit, but frankly, one of my absolute favourite scenes, ever, not just Little Busters, or Key, ever, comes from one of those dorky ass lines in one of those cheesy ass scenes:
“What can I do that she can’t”
“Make me fall in love with you”
I melt. Every time, almost every line in that scene is good, but Riki’s lame ass deceleration is something I find profoundly enjoyable to read.
Not to say I don’t have some grievances with Riki in this route, once again I vividly recall back the first time, screaming at him to “EMBRACE HER, PROTECT HER, HELP HER RIKI”, as he hesitated early on, he gets better, but I do think he should have jumped in quicker.
So how about we talk about Kazamatsuri’s favourite karaoke song Melencholy of a Noisy Girl(good lord even her theme hints at the tonal shift her route takes).
So I fucking love this music, the perfectly flawless theme of common route Haruka, noticeably takes a backseat in the route itself, but one of the most memorable tracks in Little Busters, the energy, the strange instruments, the jumpy bounciness of it all, the DO DO DO DO DO and CLAP CLAP. It’s impossible to not sing along to this song, it’s impossible to not clap clap to the clap clap. I have sung along to this silly little melody of beeps and boops both drunk and sober with several Kazamatsuri members before and I will do it again, it’s charm is undeniable.
Right then, lets stop beating around the Elephant in the Bush.
“Nobody was in the wrong, I don’t have to hate anyone. There are no evil people in the world”
I STRONGLY DISAGREE
No I get it completely Haruka, you’ve lived your life having a ‘bad guy’, now that you know she wasn’t the villain you wanted, needed her, to be you want to let bygones be bygones, let go of your hatred and stress that you don’t think that way anymore, you don’t need to justify yourself as ‘the good one’.
But there is somebody at fault, there is evil people in this world, and while I really really really agree that you should just let your hatred leave and forget about it, I can’t stop hating the scum.
I don’t think the message the route was trying to stress is that ‘always forgive everyone no matter how horrible they are’, but some poor wording makes it seem that way so while I don’t dislike how the route ended, I think some better care should have been taken with it’s ending.
OVERALL, this route is good, not perfect, but consistently high quality and meaningful, in the end I will only be able to remember it well because, well, I’m actually in love with Haruka.