And I will spoil anything for spoiler, but I won’t do that. No, I won’t do that. Actually, I will – there are spoilers ahead. Let us begin.
So the Culture Festival has been over for a few days as classes return to normal. Or in Koguma’s choice of words: cold. As in highs has cooled down…and so has the weather. Making Koguma and Reiko’s lunch breaks by their Cubs a little less comfortable than before. They acknowledge that they will have to get their Cubs ready for the winter. While discussing this, they try each other’s drinks: Koguma tries Reiko’s coffee – then Reiko tries Koguma’s Barley tea. They discuss how coffee tastes differently, depending on who makes it, and that Barley tea tastes like a coffee substitute. The reason for this discussion comes from the fact that canned coffee from a vending machine will not warm you up, and Tommy Lee Jones will not come to warm it up for you like a Boss.
Shii arrives from around the corner to greet them and offers them coffee from her Dad’s Bakery – which the two Cubster’s accept, and why today’s episode is called Shii’s Place.
So Koguma and Reiko follow Shii, who is riding a British-style Alex Moulton bicycle. Pressure is on Shii as she has to pedal all the way there. They eventually arrive at Buerre (French for Butter), her family-owned Bakery with cafe-seating. Koguma and Reiko then find confusion in the matter – her Cafes name is french. The bread they serve is German, and at the Cultural Festival, they did an Italian themed cafe. They arrive inside as Koguma smells a potentially incredible aroma. Only to see more confusion, as the interior is a British Sandwich Stand with an American Siner inside a Tyrollean-Style building. Unique, to say the least. They then meet Shii’s father, who offers them coffee – however, Shii insists that they try her coffee instead. The Girls then ask if they can have one of each to try out.
We then get a moment that we haven’t seen since episode one. While Koguma tries the coffee, the colour saturation increases, giving us a more vivid picture. Especially a more vivid red. We then get a sweet moment of pause where we take in the atmosphere with some nice nineteen-eighties keys. We also get a glimpse into the relationship that Shii has with her father. Her father started the business to get away from being a salaryman in Tokyo. However, he is still struggling to make it work. Shii can speak her mind to him. Letting him know that some of his bread isn’t great. Either that or she doesn’t like Rye Bread. Despite this, Shii is determined to take over the cafe and run it herself. Soon, Koguma and Reiko leave to go home. Going in different directions. Meaning the Bakery is plunked in the middle of their routes.
The next day, after school, the original duo continue their plans to prepare for winter. They decide to go to Good-Off Plus, a second-hand store, where they feel the cold when they enter. Koguma looks at Jackets while Reiko gets carried away by looking at guns. Koguma then drags to the front of the store when they across a Trangia mess tin. Which can be used for cooking. However, Koguma is hesitant to buy it, even though it’s twelve hundred yen (about twelve US Dollars). Reiko then teases her for buying it. However, Koguma flips the script and says she intended to use it as a Bento box. They then consider Up Garage until Koguma spots another Biker and gets an idea. She asks Reiko for her smartphone. She is looking at Handlebar covers – which Reiko declines because of how uncool they look. Upon seeing the price range, Koguma gets a pair. We also notice that she is now riding in turn-up jeans with work boots on her day off. She tries the handlebar covers and is very pleased with the results as she rides to Reiko’s house. It becomes enough to convince Reiko into getting a pair for herself. Afterwards, they ride off…back to Buerre.
At Buerre, Shii greets them, and they drink coffee until three pm. They comment on how well the covers work until Shii asks them to leave due to more customers arriving. In reality, she is concerned about them trying her Dad’s Landbrot. Leading to a hint of teasing from Reiko. Shii’s mother makes her debut. And now we know that Shii is half Japanese. They also couldn’t agree on the interior design. Dad wanted German and Mum wanted American. So they agreed to do both and throw in the British Sandwich Stand. Koguma and Reiko then leave on a high note. The handlebar covers are proving to be a great accessory, and they now have a cafe they can go to indulge.
This was a quieter episode meant to develop Shii further, and it did its job well. For one thing, she is the only girl of the trio who has visible parents that the other characters meet and interact with. We also see her more brash side when we see how she interacts with her Dad. Considering her involvement in the Cultural Festival, we see how she can borrow from various cultures with effortlessness. Either way, she will bring an extra dynamic to the main characters. The next episode is called In Ice, suggesting a more frosty affair.