Due to experiencing what could be known as YCW (Yuru Camp Withdrawal), I decided to look for another anime of the (possible) Iyashikei genre variety and lowe and behold, ‘I may have found it on Funimation. Rather than a show about Camping, which includes at least one character using a small motorbike, here we have a show that is all about the small motorbike. ‘This is Super Cub.
Set in the modern day but has a timeless quality to the visuals. Episode One focuses on one girl who appears as part of a trio in the show’s promotional material. Koguma is quiet and experiences intense isolation. She lives alone in an apartment that is a bike ride away from her school. She has no family, no friends, no hobbies and interests and no goals. Every weekday she goes to school and then goes home without talking to anybody. Occasionally, she shops for groceries. ‘To say the least, this girl’s practically a ghost. One day she sees another student riding a scooter. Curious, she decides to go to Shino’s, a Motorcycle shop in the opposite direction. She notices that the price tags were a little out of her budget (each costing between one hundred and two hundred thousand yen), the elderly Mechanic (Who we assume is Shino) says, “perhaps a used one will do”, and he comes out of the garage with a Honda Super Cub. “It’s ten thousand yen,” he says (‘Roughly one hundred US Dollars). She doesn’t buy it right away – but she does sit on it. Something happens: a note on a piano plays, and all of a sudden, the colours in the anime went from a bit faded to a more vibrant saturation. Something about this bike clicks with her. ‘And curious as to why this bike is only ten thousand yen, she hears that it was part of an accident that killed three people. In my mind, it sounds likes the practice of selling haunted houses at a cheap rate. But this information doesn’t put her off wanting it. All that holds her back now is not having a license. So she receives a Q and A manual, gets told that the questions don’t change, and then gets her License. Afterwards, she gets a promotional helmet and gloves with the purchase while Shino puts something into the trunk. However, she has to take the time to know how to start the bike (something the test doesn’t reveal, as it was a theory test and not a practical one).
Her first ride home ends up eventful when a lorry very closely and quickly overtakes her, which takes both us and her by surprise. When she gets home, she takes the time to admire her new bike. ‘Then, knowing it could become stolen, ‘goes to a hardware store to get a wheel lock before having her bath then her bedtime. However, this doesn’t last long, as she decides that she needs to improve quickly – and goes for a ride, even though it is after midnight. ‘Stopping off at Baer Mari (which is another non-copyright-infringing shop to stand in for Seven-Eleven, along with Laid Back Camp’s Eight-Twelve) to have a small break before riding home again. ‘Leading to the show’s first crisis.
Koguma can’t get her scooter started, and a Lorry Driver tells her to get home before it’s too late. Upon seeing the Driver looking around his Lorry, she remembers Shino putting something in the Bike trunk. Inside is the bike’s instruction manual. After some measures are ‘taken, ‘getting it started and filling up with some new gasoline, she finally gets home. And so after this, the morning begins, and the credits roll, as Koguma starts her first day of school riding a Super Cub.
Along with a handful of original music, we are treated to both Arabesque No. 1 and Claire De Lune by Claude Debussy. Hearing his music… ‘I woke up this morning with it playing in my head while looking outside and drinking coffee – – something the show inadvertently provided, and for me to be thankful. ‘I don’t remember the last time I have watched an opening episode of an anime that is this – – quiet. Quiet and unassuming. Laid Back Camp’s first episode was calm and peaceful, but not ‘quiet. It is surreal. And in a world where the first episode is to have a bang while providing the status quo. We are treated to, quite literally, a lonely young girl’s life for twenty-four hours (although I think we fast forward a week or two from when she got the Q and A book to when she got the License. It felt like it all happened in the same day). We sense her glee with the wind in her face. ‘Her lack of connection in the classroom and her lack of attempts to change too much in one go. Then we witness how the Super Cub has created a door for her to enter the world through. It’s all beautiful, and I want to see where it goes. The next episode will be about Reiko, who I think is the confident-looking one in the promotional material. ‘This should be interesting.