Hey all, I’m here to revive the thread and take a look at things in a different perspective. I don’t know how much if any of this was addressed above (I didn’t read the whole thread, sorry) but after a lot of thought, I’ve come to a realization that Kurugaya is the main love interest of Little Busters. You have every right to call me crazy for this right now, but let me explain. [As a disclaimer, I feel it’s necessary to state my bias. Kurugaya is indeed my favorite heroine from LitBus for a number of reasons. The main reason is that [in my opinion] she acts the most like a real person out of all the Little Busters crew. I’ll try not to let my bias sway my explanation.]
Kurugaya is the only heroine who’s affection Riki actually seeks out. Seriously! With Komari the romance was a byproduct of Riki helping her come to terms with the death of her brother. I doubt there would have been any romance without the struggle they went through. The situation with Haruka, Mio and Kud wasn’t much different. Riki began spending time with each of them, and as a result, he became entangled in their personal problems, and the strife brought them together. Even with Rin, she asked him out on a whim after seeing the risk of another girl liking him.
And I know you could argue that after reading Refrain Rin is the girl for Riki, but I personally believe that Kyousuke’s plan is the exact reason why Riki and Rin’s love was not true. Kyousuke sort of forced the two of them to care for each other in order to survive in a world where everyone they cared about had died. I don’t blame him, that definitely makes sense. I feel, however, that their romance would not last without the circumstances more or less forcing them together. They’re both just too awkward in the same ways, and I can tell you from personal experience that that doesn’t work out.
This brings me to Riki’s romance with Kurugaya. As shown by the Loli-Loli Hunters portion of Kurugaya’s route, Riki falls for Kurugaya. This affection is not circumstantial like it is with Komari, Mio, Kud and Haruka, and is not forced by external manipulation like his romance with Rin. In Kurugaya’s route, he simply develops a crush on a girl he thinks is really cool. Never anywhere else in the novel does Riki so actively look for love. I feel like I’ve gone on long enough about that, now let me explain why I think Kurugaya ends up as Riki’s canonical girlfriend.
In the Refrain anime Kyousuke makes it clear that before the bus crash, the original five Little Busters (himself, Riki, Rin, Masato and Kengo) were not close friends with the other five (Komari, Haruka, Kud, Kurugaya and Mio). The fact that they are all close friends and reflect on their fun times together after getting out of the hospital shows that they remember the events and emotions they felt in the dream world. This is made even more clear (in the visual novel) when Riki sees that all the girls seem to have fulfilled their lives and gotten over their regrets, except for Kurugaya. You can’t view Kurugaya’s true end until after getting this scene. If I’m interpreting it correctly, that is because Kurugaya’s true end takes place in the real world, some time after the events of the bus crash. After the crash, Kurugaya confesses to Riki, helping bring closure to her past regrets and putting the two together in a relationship.
While I’ve had this theory for a few months now, I’ve recently thought of more. This is sort of a stretch so please bare with me. This favoring towards Kurugaya makes even more sense if you look at Jun Maeda’s recent song “Hikikomori no Uta”. Assuming the song is autobiographical (which is the way I take it), one can see the similarities between the young Jun Maeda’s dissatisfaction with his life at the time the song takes place and Kurugaya’s apathy towards everything. I’m really stretching here, but I feel like maybe Maeda favored Kurugaya a bit himself, as he wrote a bit of himself in her. After hearing the song, I like to think he puts a bit of himself into all his characters. (Just to make sure that I’m not being dumb, I know he isn’t write the character routes, but he did write all the characters basic personalities and the common route along with Rin and Refrain, correct?). Anyways, if this is the case, and he favored her a bit, maybe that’s why her true end takes place after Refrain. Again, I know that this is a pretty big stretch, and based heavily on assumptions.
Hopefully that all made sense, I just spent an hour trying to formulate all my thoughts into a cohesive thing, and I know the last paragraph isn’t very articulate so I apologize for that. Anyway, I’d love to get some opinions on my theory.