Their attempt to run away ending in failure, it seems that everything has changed as this seventh episode of Little Busters! Refrain begins.
Perhaps the most marked shift here belongs to Kyousuke, who returns from job-hunting in Tokyo a broken man with no interest in his friends, instead locking himself away in his room, reading manga, and generally being decidedly emo. Things aren't much better for Rin, who has reverted back to a kind of child-like state where she wants nothing to do with grown-ups, or even Masato and Kengo, responding only to Rin and even then in a half-hearted manner.
With Kyousuke effectively out of commission and the rest of the cast missing completely, everyone seems to be looking to Riki to take the lead and find exciting and entertaining things for the remaining group to do - not exactly his forte, it has to be said. Ultimately, all he can do is focus on making Rin happy, which also proves to be easier said than done in her current state. When she responds positively to an opportunity to play baseball however - something which to Riki's knowledge they haven't done for many, many years - perhaps he's stumbled on the perfect opportunity to reunite the old gang? Not so, for both Kengo and Masato want nothing to do with it, leaving Naoe and Rin contemplating the fact that they might just be the only ones who haven't been let in on a particularly important secret.
Although I'm willing to cut it a significant amount of slack for the fact that it's clearly done deliberately, this is certainly a discombobulating episode of Little Busters, throwing us with gusto into the next stage of its story without doing anything to clean up the events at the end of the previous instalment or give us any grounding into where we are now. This certainly helps to bring us into line with Riki's own experience, which is a confusing existence of half-remembered events, half-truths and things which don't add up in his mind, although I'm not sure even that knowledge makes it a particularly satisfying viewing experience for at least the first half of the episode. That said, I am now really intrigued as to what's going on, so even if its story-telling is a little flat it's still doing enough to drag me along for the ride.