His voice is annoying and his character design is meh. And thats pretty much where the criticisms end. Because his story was incredible. And hearing his thoughts makes him an extremely likable character. So I’m really glad Riki was the protagonist of Little Busters!.
One of my favorite parts of Little Busters! is the purpose of the whole story. Like, I’ve sat around several times wondering if Key and Maeda started out writing the VN with the goal of Refrain in mind, or if it started out as just being about a group of friends called the Little Busters.
I mean, because literally the whole story is really about Riki getting stronger. (This fanart (Refrain spoilers) describes it perfectly for me.) Which is really what ends up making him relatable for me. He starts out as a good(likable) character anyway. Someone who was saved, who has an amazing group of friends, but who is still scared, whose fear is embodied in his disease. He really is weak, and weakness is not a quality people want to relate to. But his growth is really just flabbergasting. Similar to Rin, the way you slowly see him gaining self-confidence really uses the mechanics of a visual novel to the fullest.
And in the end, I realized I actually related to him the whole time. I am weak. We all are.
“We were all born alone.”
He even says. But none of us should ever stay alone (Fuck yeah, Mio’s route). And even when our friends have lost something dear to them (Komari’s route), or they feel like nobody loves them, even their own family (Haruka’s route), or when they are thousands of miles away (Kud’s route), or they couldn’t even understand friendship and feelings (Yuiko’s route), or they are just as weak as us, and we are are the only one who can protect them (Rin’s route) we have to be there to support them too. We make our friends stronger, and they give us strength. Even when it feels like everyone is against us, there will always be someone who still supports us (I love you Kengo). Even if the best thing they can do for you is just act fun as usual, as if nothing ever happened, and give you the utmost respect as a friend (I love you Masato). Even if they know that this is the end for them, even if they know only thing they can do is help you grow, even if the only thing can make it fun, and even when they think they’ve screwed it all up (NO, I love you more Kyouskue).
Therfore, Riki became strong. Therefore, we all can become strong.
Therfore the Little Busters are eternal.