Little Busters! - Masato Inohara Character Discussion (Full Series Spoilers)

Discussion topic for Masato’s character and route (episode) in Little Busters. Feel free to talk about all of Little Busters! including Refrain but excluding the EX routes without spoiler tags. Any reference to EX routes or comparisons to other VNs must be spoiler-tagged.

What do you think of Masato? He seems to be a bit of a fan-favorite character among many, and probably the most beloved of the ‘comic relief’ characters from each Key game. There’s certainly much, MUCH more to him than just simple comic relief. Episode: Masato actually had me really emotional, and feeling a strong empathy for him and feeling bad for everything he’s had to endure to get to where he is today. The poor guy was just really lonely, and the Little Busters helped channel his energy from aimless rage into fun. Reminds me a bit of how in Clannad, Tomoyo’s rage was quelled by the presence of a family who loved her.

His birthday is the 6th of November.


Fucking Masabro holy shit.
So strong, and I’m not talking about his muscles. Fun fact by my count he’s the only character in the game who didn’t cry(Anime made him cry for Kud’s return but fuck the Anime).
He played his part perfectly, every time, without breaking like the other boys, he didn’t try and shove some agenda on Riki, trusting his friend to pick the right choice no matter how long it took, the single moment of hesitation he had being his goodbye, but it’s barely noticeable and he quickly overcame it to exit with a smile.

What a fucking champ.


Masato is so admirable, which makes him a personal favorite of mine- But in the end I can’t pick a favorite still because all the LB brothers are /so/ good.

My admiration for Masato of course lies in his stunning neutrality and wishes to, no matter what, play the good guy. In any situation that shows otherwise- He doesn’t want to let his friends down as being someone who’s always there for them. Masato keeps it real, and for that, I love this character. As with all LBs, there’s something to learn from him- Something that strikes the reader on a more personal level to better themselves or their outlook. That for me would be that unconditional support he gives, or doesn’t, to all the same and fairly.


I think that Masato was the most wingman-like buddy among all Key characters who were in a similar position to the respective protagonists. He’s always shown that he cares for Riki, lent him an ear and gave him an advice when he was stuck on a route in most cases (except, for example, Haruka’s route, where Kengo did that part instead) and he followed up on his words with actions if need be. If Riki was sheltering a girl in their room for some reason, Masato just went somewhere else without being asked. When Riki came back home soaked, with a mind-broken Komari and a dead kitten, Masato just took the kitten and went out (into the rain) to bury it like it was the most natural thing to do.

Masato had chosen his role, in the imaginary world: He decided to remain as he was prior to the accident and ensure that Riki and Rin would have a lot of fun when he’s around. He stuck to it and he executed it perfectly and in every situation. He was silly and funny when everything was ok. He gave Riki little pushes when there was something to take care of (Like when he revealed to the guys that Riki has been confessed to by Suginami) and he’d support him when there was trouble.

I’ll be honest. It was a very shocking moment when I realized that Masato had known everything from the start. I was like “Oh my god! He knew ALL of it and he STILL chose to act the fool. That experience must’ve totally changed him, but he behaved the way he always used to, just so Riki and Rin could be at peace and live a happy, normal everyday life for a while longer.” And then it was like Dominoes falling down one after another. Of course Rin couldn’t knock out this mountain of muscles as easily as he always made it look like. He just always acted that way, never striking back, cause it was more fun. Of course he’d grab the most ridiculous and harmless weapon in the battle rankings when facing a weaker opponent.

He decided to remain the lovable muscle idiot and his act was perfect. I can’t even imagine how hard that must’ve been. Even the stoic Kengo, who spent his life honing his body and mind, had weakened considerably - he was desperate - after the incident and assumed a rather naive position in the matter. Even Kyousuke became more cruel and calculating in order to further his own goal.
But this Kinniku baka always remained a supporter of Riki’s. He never interfered and he never tried to push his ideas onto Riki, letting him do his own thing. He always remained neutral and acted like nothing had happened all the time. And for that act of his, for that dedication, Masato has my utmost respect.

If I were the protagonist of any kind of fictional work, I’d want Masato by my side. I’d want this kinniku baka to back me up at all times like he did for Riki. I’d be hard-pressed to imagine a more reliable supporter.


You guys are saying how Masato was always loyal and never got involved in the politics of it all, but what about the baseball game in Rin2? It was very jarring to see Masato suddenly become the enemy, after all we’d been through up to that point.

Yes, it was quite the shock and at that time, really hard to understand. But Masato had several reasons to participate in that farce.
First of all, it’s part of his act, and still part of his nature to face his rival Kengo seriously. And that battle was as serious as it gets. Secondly, Riki knew very little of the actual conflict between Kyousuke and Kengo with their respective agendas. While it looked like Riki was challenging Kyousuke, it was actually Kengo trying to subdue Kyousuke while using Riki as a figurehead. By stepping in, Masato could counterbalance Kengo and thus create a Riki vs Kyousuke situation. That’s not a very fair matchup, but Riki really needed to defeat Kyousuke if he wanted to break free from his control. And lastly, Masato remains a neutral party, thus he should be there to keep things fair. Unfortunately, Kyousuke still outsmarted him and pulled off his cheap tricks.

Masato’s position can be seen more clearly in Refrain. When Riki decides on his own course of action, Masato leaves the group. He needs to stay neutral, thus he can’t support this newly-founded party. On the other hand, he can act as a referee in the Kengo vs Riki match. Kengo doesn’t object since he doesn’t doubt Masato’s sense of fairness.

PS: back to the game in Rin2, we all know how much Masato disliked the entire situation.


I wanted to say something about Masato, but it seems everything I wanted to say has already been summed up pretty well, so allow me to lighten up the topic then.

Does anybody have any idea how Masato x Kud shipping took flight? It just seems so unlikely (big guy like him with a small girl like kud) but there’s just something about the pairing that feels… right.

Maybe it has to do with muscle sensation being part of kud route?

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I think it’s just that they made Masato connect with Kud more than any other heroine, she’d always be the one cheering on his ridiculous things (and muscles) where the others may be yelling or kicking him for such things. Because of that yeah, the muscle sensation was in Kud’s route which only enforced the shipping and since she was probably the only person in the sensation not to be completely hypnotized she probably genuinely thought it was just a bunch of fun muscles.

I think there’s also the Love-Love-Hunters scene between Masato and Kud:
Masato’s “confession” line was to ask the girl to make him Bento every day… to which Kud unsuspectingly replied like “Yes, gladly”, since cooking is a hobby of hers. While Kud didn’t seem to suspect any romantic intentions, the deal came really close to be sealed.
So that could be a reason, too.


All the mentioned things. Kud is the only person who outwardly respects Masato aside from Riki, while the other girls have minimal interaction, or use him as a punchline.
That and you could fit what like four Kud’s in Masato’s mass, which is hilarious.


I found one more thing while checking the Kud Wafter Manga (Vol. 3, chapter 11). Apparently, Kud goes jogging every morning and she ran into Masato a couple of times that way. She even got a few pointers on warm-up exercises from our muscle expert.

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Episode: Masato was one of my absolute favorite parts of Little Busters!, and made me tear up quite a bit. It made me respect both Masato and Kyousuke a lot more, and after the Cheap Tricks mess was the part that finally made me completely trust and believe in Kyousuke again.

Kyousuke once mentions how Masato’s tomfoolery greatly helped keep the world going without complications, and I can so easily see that being true. Having him around in their dire situation must have made everything a lot easier on them. And huge respect for Masato for being able to keep it up all the time, not breaking character like, ever.

Of course, Masato is also great in his role as comic relief towards the reader. The muscles running gag was great, as well as his rivalry with Kengo. Especially after Kengo turns all Little Buster the two of them have some great scenes together. And in the early parts of the story, Masato’s antics do wonders in establishing the Little Busters as an incredibly close circle of friends that trust each other completely and unconditionally. Without Masato, the Little Busters just wouldn’t be the Little Busters.


haha I love that couple!

The whole thing is kinda lampshaded by the Masato running around screaming about it during his entire chapter, and its used in a slightly different way in his backstory. But it is literally, 100% the truth. He was there for Riki, and for Rin, and for Kengo, and for Kyousuke, the entire time, in the most perfect way possible. Without him, the whole mission would have failed:

Masato is the strongest.

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This is my opinion of the character and the Muscle Sensation route before reading Refrain. Kinniku yay yay~!

Out of all the male cast in Little Busters!, Masato is my absolute favorite (yes, even better than Kyousuke). Throughout the whole story, he acts as this huge woobie to Riki, and his seemingly-endless energy and idiot-with-a-heart-of-gold personality adds to his charm. He is the main source of much of the game’s humor, and even though he gets beat up and ridiculed often, it only makes me like him even more (and like the characters who hate on him even less. I’m looking at you, Rin).

The Muscle Sensation route is short, but still quite entertaining and very strange. What else can I say about it, other than…

Kinniku yay yay~! Kinniku yay yay~! XD


I’m really excited to see your response after reading Refrain :wink:


As much as I appreciate taking the time to share your thoughts, this topic is filled to the brim with Refrain spoilers, so keep clear from here until you finish it!


Masato is the broest of bros, just thinking about everything he did is enough to make me emotional.

He’s the one guy who never changed, never wavered, never second-guessed himself, who took everything upon himself and laughed it off. He never hogs the limelight, purposely staying as a supporting character. His selflessness is just… amazing. Even his comically insane strength makes sense once you learn the whole setting.

I’d have to agree that Episode Masato is one of the highlights of the whole game for me. The way it changes your perspective of his character is mind-blowing.


Agreed. He’s one of the most dependable characters in Key history.

I can’t help but to cry everytime i think about how much Masato loved Riki as a friend. He knew he was diying, but still gave his all to be the fun Masato that he always was