Alright so… time to get this bookclub back and rolling into action. I think one thing that has never been covered in the discussion so far and has probably been on everyone’s minds is: How the hell is Kanata even in this world? (and, by extension, what are her motives for being in this world)
I personally have my own thoughts on this, as I am sure many others have their own theories. However, I am going solely on memory for this post, so I am totally open to anyone challenging my memories (as if I haven’t fucked up misremembering stuff way too often as it is )
Anyway, to start off my theory, I would like to put down one fact. Fact: Kanata is not involved in the bus crash incident, nor is her life implied to be in any danger. That alone says that it may be impossible for her to have even been in the world. So far, the Little Busters dream world (and the only other dream world shown in the series) has been a construct of minds that wished to solve their regrets on the brink of death. Kanata does not fit that bill.
Where does that leave her, then? @EisenKoubu implied that she may be a construct of Haruka’s memories, but that is a bit too hard to swallow, especially in her route. In the Haruka route, that has more ground, as she seems quite one dimensional in that. But she exudes way too much personality in this one, personality that may not be known by Riki, the only observer at the time.
So allow me to posit my own theory: Kanata, in this route, is not simply a construct of Haruka’s memories; Kanata here is Haruka herself, controlled by what Haruka knows about her sister.
Trying to get evidence is a bit difficult for this but let me have an attempt at laying it on the table.
Point 1: We are only ever shown flashbacks and stories of Kanata that Haruka herself is aware of. (this might be the one I am probably wrong at) From what we see, all information about Kanata and her life shown in this route are event that, for some reason, also involve Haruka. Once Haruka moves out of the Futaki house, we no longer see much, if any, stories about Kanata’s life. This implies that what Kanata knows in this route is also limited by what Haruka also knows.
Point 2: The Kanata in this route and Haruka’s route are starkly different. It’ always bugged me how Kanata in Haruka’s route has always seemed so one-dimensional. She seemed like a stereotypical villain, doing odd things just to make Haruka spite her. If my theory is correct, this explains the sudden change in her personality; the Kanata in this route is the Kanata that Haruka accepts as not evil. Because in Haruka’s route, she could only see her as a one-dimensional villain. But once she learned from her route, she started to remember everything that happened between them, and started to remember what Kanata was really like.
Point 3: Haruka, in her own route, knows way too much. I refer, most specifically, to the bad ending of this route, where you choose Kanata-pretending-to-be-Haruka, driving Haruka to suicide. That isn’t something she would have known immediately, but the next thing we know, she loses her mind over it. It might be easy enough to chalk this to dream-world omniscience, but even the leader of the dream world himself, Kyousuke, needed a vessel (Lennon) to achieve this. And I’m pretty sure what happened in the nurse’s office stayed in the nurse’s office.
Those are my main points as to why I think Kanata in this route was actually Haruka donning Kanata’s identity. Haruka knew her well enough and accepted her true personality, enough to be able to interact with Riki as a completely different person. Which leaves one last mystery: her motive.
After Haruka solved her own regret, what other motive could she have to want to have Riki become aware of her sister’s problems? Well, exactly that; the fact that Kanata still has problems. She is still chained to the Futaki family, whether she like it or not. And that is something that Haruka herself could not battle on her own, especially considering her history with that family. Haruka wanted to save Kanata, and that alone was Haruka’s remaining regret, after solving her own, personal one.
Haruka invoked this route because she wanted to help her sister escape the struggles of being the Futaki family’s puppet. And because she needed the entire Little Busters’ help, she did it the best way she knew how: by tricking Riki. By having Riki learn from the Kanata route in the dream world, he would gain this additional strength and motivation to help Haruka save Kanata.
And we are lead to Wedding Busters, the culmination of this route. Not only is this a great finale, it is also proof that Haruka’s intents succeeded. She was able to convince Riki, through the dream world, that she needed to help her sister. It can be implied that the last choice in the story is her own doubt, wondering whether what she did to achieve this was the right thing. But Riki consoles her, and all is well.
So, that’s just my theory for now. Again, I would very much like this to be challenged, as I am not sure of all the details myself. Here’s hoping it can help bring more lively discussion as well~
(Obligatory HAH the Kanata you all loved was actually Haruka all along. We’re all Haruka fans!)8