After Kyousuke’s complete failure from last time, the ball is now in Riki’s court as a loop takes shape.
While this episode was slightly confusing since I haven’t finished my first play through of the visual novel, it’s apparent that a loop has happened. Basically, we see Masato and Kengo fighting again with one difference: Kyousuke is completely out of the picture. This was predictable since his plan was a complete failure and he actually made Rin become more timid. Because of this, I think he will probably play no part in this loop and therefore, everything will rest on the shoulders for Riki to make himself and Rin stronger.
It seems that the emotional impact also carried over, which can explain why Rin is worse off now compared to the very first episode. It’s not surprising that she will only interact with children and not with anyone else besides Riki. Even so, it seems that he will be the only one that can change her, which is why he is going to be the leader to rebuild Little Busters. Hopefully, he will try to create more friends for Rin rather than sending them off so they can support her.
Even though Riki is not as physically strong compared to Kyousuke, he is kind and knows how to solve problems. While not all the secrets got revealed, I hope he finds them all to take them off the path of doom. Still, I agree that it feels lonely seeing only Kengo, Masato and Rin. Hopefully when Riki recruits all the girls back, I think this feeling will go away. We’ll see.