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Ho Yay / Little Busters!

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Wow, that girl is definitely the cutest! Wait...isn't that the protagonist?

"Only homos, though."
Masato, about summing it up.

Ho Yay in Little Busters!

  • First of all, the truly incredible amount of ho yay between Riki and Kyousuke. Riki looks up to Kyousuke a huge amount, to the point of describing him mentally in almost poetic terms worthy of a lovestruck Shoujo heroine - in one of the first scenes, he says he totally understands why people come from across the school to watch Kyousuke (in the anime, why girls come to watch him), and that when he reads manga he looks 'divine'. But it goes further - Riki constantly thinks about the time he and Kyousuke first met and Kyousuke took his hand as being the pivotal moment of his life, as Kyousuke was the one who saved him from depression after his parents died and then introduced him to the others. Kyousuke isn't immune, either - he clearly cares for Riki more than almost anything as well, and is constantly doting on him, to the point where if the player can choose to have Riki tell Kyousuke he doesn't want to go shopping with him one time he becomes quite upset and asks if Riki suddenly hates him, and if the player has Riki say yes, he leaves, totally miserable. And as we can see in Refrain, goes through a hell of a lot, up to and including sacrificing his life, to protect Riki and Rin and make sure they'll be okay.
    • The other characters comment on it, too - Kengo can give Riki the nicknames 'Loves Kyousuke' or 'In a love triangle between Masato and Kyousuke' or 'Unofficial chairman of the Kyousuke fan club', while he can give Kyousuke 'Unofficial chairman of the Riki fanclub'. When they first meet, Kurugaya wonders if he's gay, and then comments "The line between friendship and gay relationship is drawn in the water, is it not?" And then there's Mio, the game's resident Yaoi Fangirl, who often notices the slashy moments between them and outright ships them together. And Kyousuke himself can give Riki the title 'People you wouldn't mind sharing an Indirect Kiss with GP 2007 Champ'.
    • And then there's the touchiness - holding hands is a major theme in Little Busters, explicitly referring to the time when he and Kyousuke first met, and it almost always occurs between these two. In one such scene, Riki wakes up after having fallen asleep during his narcolepsy to find Kyousuke waiting for him, speaking softly and bathed in the orange light of the sunset, and when Kyousuke tells him everything's fine and takes his hand, Riki thinks that 'at that point, his hand felt like the most reliable thing in the world'. In later playthroughs, Kyousuke's role is replaced, with only minimal changes, with Rin, the main girl. And yes, the game is very much aware of the Ho Yay here, given that Mio comments once that Kyousuke probably took Riki's hand a lot as a child and when Riki confirms it Mio sighs happily. And then there's that random time Kyousuke tickled under Riki's chin like a cat out of nowhere...
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    • Even overall Riki and Kyousuke's relationship is incredibly important to the plotline, and arguably just as much so as the Riki and Rin relationship. Major parts of Rin's route and Refrain revolve around how they interact with one another, always with great intensity of feeling, and one of the most dramatic, climactic moments in the series occurs when Riki and Kyousuke have to say goodbye forever, and scream at one another that they like each other and want to spend the rest of their life together while sobbing. And that's not mentioning how the entire plot of the game could loosely be described as 'Riki and Rin love Kyousuke so much that they wouldn't be able to take it if he died, so Kyousuke basically rewrites reality to break that relationship, only for Riki and Rin to rewrite it back to save him and the others once he's done.'
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    • But all of this, and more, is still topped by one other scene where Riki is asked point blank whether he has a crush on Kyousuke and he admits mentally that he does, but that he can't tell him because he's sure their friendship will collapse. And then a whole scene erupts with Kyousuke saying ambiguously romantic/sexual things and Riki getting very, very flustered and wondering what he should do. ('We're both guys, but it's Kyousuke, so...') At this point, it doesn't even feel like subtext anymore. The anime, sadly, took out this confirmation, but at least tried to make up for it by having Kyousuke act very depressed when Riki says he doesn't like him (complete with Masato and Kengo noting that it's natural he'd be upset considering he just got rejected) and having Kyousuke tell Riki he looked cute when he was crossdressing at the end, with Riki blushing in response.
    • Even the supplementary material gets in on it. In one official manga, when Kyousuke is happily praising Riki, Rin tells the two of them to stop flirting; in another 4-koma one, Kyousuke being a little too fond of Riki is an outright running gag. (For example, among others, there's a scene where Kyousuke, Masato, and Kengo are out, and he declares that they should say the name of their crush. He suddenly notices Riki and says his aloud in surprise, only to blush and hurriedly explain that he wasn't saying the name of his crush just then, while Kengo looks away disbelievingly.) In Zen's End of Refrain manga, we get to see Riki's extremely flustered, extremely blushy response to Kyousuke's out of the blue declaration of 'I love you'. (It was a code. Sort of.) And in the drama CD, closest to canon of them all, we get the boys changing together and Kyousuke complimenting Riki on how much he's, um, grown.
    • Riki has absolutely no choice but to admit he loves Kyousuke on Saya's route. This realization makes Riki a lot more conscious of Kyousuke, to the point that even Rin picks up on it.
    • Kaginado has pretty much picked this up and run with it with Riki's "tragic final scene" with his love interest in Episode 9 being his speech to Kyousuke.
  • Kyousuke isn't the only one to get Ho Yay with Riki, though - in several scenes there are jokes that Masato is in love with him, based on how much he cares about him and his distraught he gets at the idea of other people stealing Riki away from him. Riki is...much less receptive to this, however.
  • And it's not just the boys - Kurugaya is all but openly bi and commonly flirts with the other girls or gushes over how cute they are, claiming to Riki that she couldn't bear to be Kud's roommate because she wouldn't be able to control herself, and in the OVA groping her chest to tell her that small breasts are cute, too, while smirking.
    • And then there's Rin and Komari - their friendship wasn't too focused on in the VN, but it got a whole lot more screentime in the anime, and in the OVA we have Rin trying to grope Komari's boobs as she mimics Mio. And even in the VN there's that scene where Rin and Komari have a bath together and Riki can hear Rin shocked that Komari touched a 'weird place', and then Komari telling her that it's okay and that no part of her is weird...
    • And in one of the manga, we get this, with Komari declaring that if her 'beloved Rin-chan' died she wouldn't know what to do, and then leaning in to kiss her. Yeah.
    • Also in the OVA, immediately after Kurugaya tells Haruka that she can grow her breasts by having them massaged by someone she likes, Mio grabs at them, making Haruka very flustered.
  • Even the shipping fodder is huge - Sasami's tsundere rivalry with Rin, which she blushes hard when called out on? Kurugaya telling Kanata that she likes her strictness, but that she'd like her more if she were a bit more flexible, and Kanata actually agreeing to try? Kengo and Masato's fierce rivalry, or Kengo looking at Riki instead of the girls when they're planning the test of courage (Mio says it shouldn't matter, Riki says it does)? Haruka murmuring that she's fallen in love with Rin when the latter says something really nice to her, or Haruka being always super excited over Kurugaya and mentioning going on a 'lovey-dovey lunch' with her once? There are more potential slash ships in this game than in most all-girl or all-guy anime!
  • In the end, with all this plus the Ho Yay Shipping between Bara Bait Masato and Kengo, and other les yay ships between the girls such as Haruka and Kurugaya, and assorted random comments such as Haruka joking that she's in love with Rin after Rin says something nice to her or Komari being worried that she wouldn't be able to get a wife or Mio being a Yuri Fan, Little Busters is quite possible the queerest bishoujo dating sim game ever.
  • Riki admits on several occasions that he romantically loves Kyousuke, such as the scene in the visual novel where Kyousuke ask him if he has anyone he likes. In it, Masato jokes that rather than girls, Riki likes Kyousuke. Riki is then given the option to either "admit that it's true" or "lie that it's false." Either option confirms his affection for Kyousuke. This goes beyond just the crazy reactions of the fans, Riki is confirmed to be gay for Kyousuke. All other homo teasing are just for jokes but these two are serious.