Little Busters! - Kudryavka Noumi Route & Character Discussion

Discussion topic for Kud’s arc & character in Little Busters. Feel free to discuss anything from Kud’s route, but we understand that you may need to draw reference upon the events of Refrain to discuss certain aspects. Anything reference to events from other character routes or Refrain, please mark with [spoiler]. Her birthday is the 12th of June.

Kud’s arc has been a bit of a hot topic for many fans. It’s definitely one of the more divisive arcs of the series, with opinions ranging from really good to really bad. What did you think of Kud’s arc? How did it compare to the others?

What would you rate this route?

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It was definitely one of the more complicated arcs, and takes a bit of thinking to figure everything out. It’s certainly a part of the story which changes a lot once you’ve read Refrain, like two sides of one story. Many argue that her route isn’t very character-driven, and true, I don’t think Kud is the strongest character. But nonetheless, her struggle and how real everything felt shocked me when I first read, and I felt really invested. I feel like the VN did it better than the Anime, as the removal of the romance, which is a core aspect of Kud’s route, left it with some really unexplainable remains…

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Kud’s route was the only one that made me shed some tears at the ending, and I appreciated that.
To be honest, I only figured out that her mom actually did die in the rocket launch after reading about it on TVTropes. After knowing that, the impact was all the more stronger


I’ve been thinking about Kud’s route a bit lately. One common criticism I hear is that the route isn’t character-oriented at all. Riki and Kud don’t really do a lot, they merely respond to horrible things that happen to them.

But… Isn’t that the point? I think the point of Kud’s route, something that not many other Key routes before have dealt with, is the idea of two ordinary people getting caught up in a catastrophe on a national scale. An overwhelming disaster that they’re powerless to fix or prevent. Riki can’t save Tevua. The whole route screams of ‘powerlessness’, and I feel like that’s what the writer was trying to convey. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. Rather, I think they did a terrific job with it.


Then the criticism is that they don’t like the point made by the route. It’s a totally valid criticism; people just might not like it. Like when you meet someone for the first time and dislike them for no reason~ :stuck_out_tongue:
An example is my opinion on Umineko (since the Umineko thread is going strong.) It is well written, but I don’t like the plot of it. My criticism would be that “a mystery novel that is open to interpretation has no real meaning,” but that’s totally subjective. For some people the meaning of Umineko may have inspired them.
Kud’s route may have inspired people… Even if the world leads you into a situation where you have no control, there is somewhere you can go - somewhere where you belong. Buuuut for me, it was just meh. They were powerless, did nothing meaningful =3=

Really, while we may label it as “criticism” it is just personal preference~

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First off, that “criticism” makes zero sense to me.

People sure are quick to criticize stuff.
It’s not like Tevua is 100% of the route. It’s only like half of it. And the other half is about a girl making her dream come true: to start dating the boy she was in love with ever since the first time they’ve met. How is that not Character-oriented?

Now back to the Tevua arc.
Sure, the two of them are caught up in something huge and reacting is the only thing they can do.
But even that is only what happens “on the surface”. And once you use your brain (and knowledge from Refrain) and get to the depths of things, you’ll see that it’s pretty much purely character-oriented.

In the first place, the “correct” answer is the obviously wrong one if you use common sense. The smarter choice gets you to the Bad ending. There’s a civil war going on in Kud’s home country, so returning there literally means risking your life. But you have to choose that because otherwise Kud will not get rid of her regrets. You’re making a choice that’ll affect the (worst case short) rest of your life based on what’s important for the character.
Why? Because Kud regretted not going to her mother’s side earlier because she’s afraid of facing her AND she’s getting along with Riki, so she’d rather not leave his side again.

Also, everything that happens after Kud leaves the school is a metaphor on her regrets.

All that imprisonment and being used as a sacrifice. These things are happening because Kud (subconsciously) wants them to. She sees herself as a “useless gear” that failed to become nearly as awesome as her mom and was afraid to face her. So if she could die on her mom’s stead and calm down rioting people just a bit by becoming a sacrifice, then she’s totally fine with that.
The cave and the chains she’s bound with symbolize her regrets that mentally bind her. So overcoming those regrets is visualized by shattering the chains with the “useless gear”.
I’ve written this stuff in more detail here (possible refrain spoilers):

(It happened soon after completing refrain, during a chat with a friend, and said friend uploaded it like that.)

For better insight in her route and character concept, you should research the terms “Sputnik” and “Kudryavka”/“Laika”

…so I really don’t see how this route could be not character-oriented at all o.O


See, I understood all that, but still thought it was pretty meh. I never really understood why until recently. I believe that it was executed terribly in the VN.
I really enjoyed the route in the anime. It’s been a couple years since I read the VN, so I’m not too sure what the small differences are, but in the anime Kud felt a lot more like… a person~ I never really connected with her in the VN.

However, Kud’s route was the first one I read, as she was the character I liked most going into in… so that probably affects my judgement.

I think the reason why people criticized it as not character-oriented (I honestly never heard that criticism but w/e) is because of comparing it with other characters’ routes. Let’s face it, all the other girls in Little Busters have some sort of personality and/or mental defect. And that’s why all the other routes are heavily character oriented: because the problem lies within the character.

Kud’s route, on the other hand, relies on the events that transpired, and how Kud reacts to it. Sure, she became insecure about it, but wouldn’t most people feel that way after such an extreme tragedy? Wouldn’t we all want to have had some use in helping ease such tragedy? And wouldn’t we all, as human beings, hesitate to do such in the real world?

So yes, while it might have been supported by the character and her issues, the events in her route were not character-oriented, especially not as much compared to all the other girls’ routes.

ADD: I think the reason why people didn’t like it is because they probably took it too literally. Yes, it was a cheap shot if you take it literally; but it starts making sense once you revisit the facts after knowing the secret of the world.


Yeah. As Naoki pointed out, the route has a whole different layer of meaning when you consider the secret of the world. I reached a lot of the same conclusions Naoki did.

You can catch some of my thoughts in the blog I did:


The meanings behind all of it don’t change my opinion. I believe that the VN route was executed badly and that Kud was an undeveloped character who felt 2D. Compared to all of the other routes in the VN, Kud’s feels kinda forgettable to me.
I don’t know why the anime brought some life into it for me. Maybe it was that I was able to actually see what was happening instead of sitting through text describing a news report…

But that phone call! I think not knowing what was going on played to the VN’s advantage. It’s the same philosophy behind horror stories; it’s a lot scarier when you don’t know, because you imagine the worst kinds of things.

I will agree. Kud is the least developed of the Little Busters cast. That’s the point I was making. It’s not necessarily about the characters in Kud’s route, it’s about what happens to them.


That might be why I liked the anime then. If it doesn’t tell me what happened up-front, I’ll just presume that nothing notable really happened… x.x The atmosphere I got from it was too relaxed. I was like “Oh okay, so we just watch the news until everything passes?”

There’s another part of Kud’s route that basically EVERYONE has forgotten: The tale of the Bat.
It’s a story that symbolizes Kud’s identity crisis as she’s partly japanese and partly a foreigner, but doesn’t seem to belong to either group. Kud’s way of living her school life is derived from said tale and in short, it means that she lets everyone make fun of her in order to maintain peace.

Forgettable route? Least developed character? Don’t look down on the route and its character just cause you can’t remember important things -_-


Thanks for the backup :stuck_out_tongue:

Honestly though, I didn’t even think that qualified as a “tale.” It was just something that happened in the lead up to other more interesting stuff~ It was really just a quick way to bring Riki and Kud closer together. When compared to the Tebwa stuff, I don’t think that this discussed part of the route is particularly interesting. Besides, it wasn’t completely forgotten. I think Aspirety mentioned it once during the Suginami talks~

Kud’s route was very nearly my favorite until the ending. It had great character development, and an awesome plot. I remember streaming it and people were shocked at how much I was enjoying the route. Sadly, it was not to be as the ending was one of the worse ass pulls of a plot twist I have ever seen. I nearly quit the VN right then and there I was so mad. It felt cheap, and forced. In a sense, it perfectly sums up Little Busters as a whole. A great plot and fun characters hindered by the writers playing it safe with the story at every single twist (always picking the happiest of possible endings whenever possible.)

tl;dr you failed to understand the route and you didn’t even bother reading anything in this topic


I’m going to have to argue with you on this. I do not believe that Kud’s route, per se, has character development.
Let me apply it to the tale of the bat, which you have reminded everybody of. Yes, she struggles trying to fit in, and yes, it explains why she is the way she is… But, during the course of the route, does she try to fix any of that? Does she fit in more with the rest of the school (Little Busters excluded) after what happens in Tebwa? No, she doesn’t. She solves her problems, and remains the good 'ol Kud that everybody knows and loves.

Therein lies the lack of character development. Because Kud’s character doesn’t change much over the course of the route. Her character does not develop.

And this is where I side with Aspirety: There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The point of the route is not to develop her character, but to solve her regrets. I honestly think it was beautiful, in that regard.

You know, I think that is a common pitfall I see in many of Key’s works. A lot of people I have argued with hated Clannad because of the ending being, well, a cheap plot pull. That is one thing that I think people should stop trying to bother understanding with Key works. It’s not about how the problem was solved, or how the ending came to be. Key never tries to explain these (well, Rewrite did), but rather, focuses on the emotions behind the characters and rewarding them afterwards.

For lack of better words, Kud’s route is a very traditional Key route. And to the critics I say, stop trying to think about it, and just feel it. LB is a more emotional VN, as are all of Key’s works.


Sorry for putting up my thoughts on Kud’s route Naoki. How silly of me to do that in a Kud discussion thread. Nothing in the topic has any importance to what I said my thoughts were. So, by all means, continue telling me I don’t understand her route. Obviously that must be the only explanation as to why I disliked it.

And the ending to Kud’s route removed all the emotion from it. I really, really do not like miracle endings.

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Eeh personal preference then, I guess. I honestly thought of Clannad as the most “miracle ending” out of all of Key’s works :stuck_out_tongue:

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Is that a one-liner reply? o.o You got angry at me for doing that! >A<

Can you at least explain why you think people don’t understand the route? You keep saying people don’t understand or have forgotten, but you haven’t said anything that I consider a mind-blowing revolution that changes my view on Kud’s route. You know we all read through the same thing, right? Why can’t people just have a different opinion?

Oh, and from what I can tell, Solidbatman’s comment was an answer to the first post… The rest of the topic has nothing to do with someone’s opinions of the route.
I agree with it~ My reaction to the Kud route ending is similar to the reaction anime-watchers had at the end of Refrain - O.o