Rin’s route is amazing, but most of its meaning and effect comes with Refrain. I read Refrain immediately after Rin2, and I’m starting to feel really bad for those people who had to sit there after the mysterious end of Rin2 and couldn’t read Refrain because the patch wasn’t released yet. I mean, it just feels like, similar to Rin1, the ending wasn’t the ending.
I think the reason Rin’s route feels very weird, confusing, and out of place is because those were the feelings they wanted you to have; that is kinda how Riki felt. It is literally the embodiment of all my feelings leading up to Refrain. First Rin’s confession scene comes out of nowhere, which is exactly how Riki says he feels. I definitely liked Rin, but I wasn’t sure why, and it kinda give my a strange feeling. But that was only the beginning.
Then it starts to feel like everyone is turning on you, especially Kyousuke. Kyousuke, the guy you look up to most, your best friend, who is so amazing he seems like a god, wants to send Rin away. He stops anyone from talking to her. He stops you from going to comfort her. He is the one who set everything up with Lennon, which might not have seemed like such a bad thing before, but now it seems like he’s some calculating villain. It seems like he wants to split up all their friendships. What the hell is going on!?
And then Kengo appears. Kengo appears like a savior. I had never really liked Kengo before. I had never really understood him. But now I loved him. “I will protect you forever, Riki. If you run away, you can NEVER let go of Rin’s hand. If you want this to stop, you must defeat Kyousuke.” So even Kengo was against Kyousuke now.
And then the CHEAP TRICKS scene. A scene I had heard about, but didn’t know the context of, and didnt know when it was coming. And it was the weirdest thing yet. WHAT THE HELL DID KYOUSUKE JUST DO. The CG with Kyousuke in the rain. “Called game.” EVERYTHING HAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING!? (When you see the same scene again in Kengo’s episode of Refrain, this became one of my favorite scenes. Combining all the “what the hell is going on” from before, with all of Kengo’s anger, with all the realization of suddenly starting to understand everything that was happening the whole time with you knowing… it is crazy.)
Suddenly, something that would normally make no sense, running away, seemed like the only option. And the craziest part, the person we’re running away from the most is Kyousuke. At first it seems like everything is gonna be alright: there is plenty of money, there is a place to live, Riki is with the girl he loves the most, and while Rin doesn’t really understand what love is yet, Riki is the only one she really trusts.
But then everything slowly starts to fall into darkness. Where’s grandpa? Narcolepsy attacks. More mouths to feed. Running out of money. Grandpa’s not coming back. Police questioning. Everything. Is. Falling. Apart.
The very last scene, I had no idea what had just happened. I had no idea what they were talking about. “How many times have you been to Kyoto?” All I could do was sit there. Shocked. Watching as everything collapsed. As the credits started to roll. As I recognized the song.
Once again, after I had experienced Refrain, that whole last scene: the darkness, letting go of Rin’s hand, sitting in the classroom, everyone talking about the fieldtrip, Regret playing; realizing everything that had gone wrong, feeling all the regret; it also became one of my favorite scenes.