445th G-View: Super Cub

I mentioned in the Mug-Cup mo G-View that there were two chill anime in Spring 2021 I picked up. It is time to look at the other one in Super Cub, an anime that served as both a show mainly about motorcycling girls with some cycling along with an unofficial ad campaign for Honda Super Cubs.

Super Cub

Genres: Iyashikei (for the most part), School, Slice of Life.

Themes: Cycling, Motorcycling.

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: 9/10

Plot Summary: Koguma is a high school girl in Yamanashi. She has no parents, friends, or hobbies, and her daily life is empty. One day, Koguma gets a used Honda Super Cub motorcycle. This is her first time going to school on a motorcycle. Running out of gas and hitting detours become a small source of adventure in Koguma’s life. She is satisfied with this strange transformation, but her classmate Reiko ends up talking to her about how she also goes to school by motorcycle. One Super Cub begins to open up a lonely girl’s world, introducing her to a new everyday life and friendship.

KogumaAs the plot summary described this is the story of a girl with “nothing” and only existed whose life changed forever upon getting a used Super Cub. From there it is small step forward after another as she ever so slowly broadened her horizons, daring to make decisions she normally would not have, the biggest being socially interacting with other people. Mind you dear reader this does not mean she instantly makes a group of friends or becomes the life of the party, far from it. She takes small steps that make a world of a difference, going from subdued to soft-spoken and sassy. Oh yes. One thing readers need understand about our lead Koguma. She is blunt and responds better to people who speak “cub”, meaning if you are someone who loves mopeds and likes to talk about them you will get her attention. Keep this in mind for the 3rd quarter.

Put simply it is a story of a girl finding meaning in life thanks to a moped. Is the moped “magic”? I leave that for viewers to see for themselves.

Reiko's Winter gearNext is best girl Reiko. If Koguma is soft-spoken and sassy then Reiko is cool and spunky yet she is similar to her soon to be Cub Buddy where they only speak when necessary and mostly about Cubs. Like Koguma she too has her own journey but it does get as much spotlight as our main gal’s. This being an (mostly) iyashikei show viewers will understand why when they see what she is striving to achieve.

There is a third girl in the anime cover. However, I will not talk about her in the review. All I will say is she too is lovable like the other two but her arc is very important to the main story and must be seen with as little knowledge about it as possible.

Koguma changing the engine oilThis being an “ad campaign” for Honda mopeds viewers will learn about traffic safety, vehicle maintenance, valuable attachments/accessories/upgrades and even biker culture to an extent. Like any anime centered around a particular topic expect to come out of it having learned a thing or two.

Koguma drenchedKoguma briefly felt alivePay close attention to these screen  grabs and notice the difference in color. Like in Mug-Cup one of the best parts of the presentation in Super Cub is its use of color and music to convey emotions. This is made clear from the very beginning. Koguma wakes up in her room where it would appear the animation is dull, lifeless or somewhat depressing…by design. It is meant to convey how she saw the world and her “meaningless” life at that point. Then when she first got the Super Cub pay very close attention to the mood and sound compared to much of the first half of the episode. These moments I can best describe them as “splashes of life” when Koguma has a moment of fulfillment as we get her rare smiles that get wider and wider as she grows stronger throughout the show. Those invested in her journey, like myself, feel it every time she experiences these warm joyous moments in her life, listening to her simple yet strong inner monologues of how she feels or what she learned. Like the rest of the show the soundtrack is simple but effective, playing when the mood calls for them as most of the time the show is devoid of melodies…again by design. The OP and ED are some of my favorites of the season.

Reiko and Koguma have a fun reflectionThe yuri is at subtext level but good enough to maybe go OT3 depending on who one asks, like me.

Overall Super Cub is simple but very effective, dare I say powerful in its storytelling, proving sometimes yet again that good stories do not always need deep, philosophical or be full of “adult” themes to make an impact. Sometimes all one needs is a cute girl down on her luck taking her first step to finding meaning in her life after getting a moped. The cast are wonderful, the presentation excellently executed and though “subtexty” the yuri shipping material solid. One of my favorite anime of 2021. Highly recommended to Girls Club aficionados or and iyashikei fans looking for something special.

This G-View was brought to you by Honda.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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18 Responses to 445th G-View: Super Cub

  1. Excellent review! Very hard to argue with any of your points. “Super Cub” was definitely my favorite of the Spring Season, and could very well end up that way for all of 2021. Of course I am a sucker for slicing life up into little bitty pieces. It is hard, very hard not to fall in love with all three of these girls, and their wonderful biker gang. The ending trip to see the Cherry Blossoms was very special. I also agree with your comment about the use of color to frame emotion. The one stunning use of that technique was in EP 11 where at first Koguma is opposed to the trip, but Shii touches her, the wind comes up, and suddenly all the colors and her face brighten, and she has a sudden change of heart and agrees to do the trip. That scene was very special as was the entire trip. Wish I could see more of that! Only nit, was a wish to see more changes in Koguma. “Super Cub” was exceptionally enjoyable and heart warming. Sorry to say goodbye!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Little Viktoria says:

    What a charming story. Certainly my favourite of the season. I can’t resist Koguma, she is just exactly my favourite type of girl in her appearance, and I like her personality too. I hope her friends will make her open up even more.

    Reiko “I’m always going to walk out of the shower naked with a towel covering my breasts but nothing else, and stand right in front of Koguma” is lovely too ^^

    And Shii is a tiny cutie with big dreams.

    I hope so much that this will get more seasons!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Would second that opinion hands down! “Super Cub” is such good PR for Honda Motors, one would think they would be willing to finance a second season. And my girl Reiko, is just irrepressible. But the Elephant in the room as many have noted, is why no one in the story thinks to suggest that Koguma move in with Reiko. That seems just obvious.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Three wonderful heroines we hope to see more of in animated form.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. opaco1234 says:

    When we become older we will prefer this series more minimalist but had more feelings

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Somebody says:

    My favorite anime of the spring and I’m sad to see it go but it was a very satisfying end. I really hope we get more seasons in the future as I could watch the adventures of Koguma all day. As for the yuri nothing really overt but more like a married couple who are comfortable with each other and just adopted an adorable Shii-chan.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Kotori_Sonoda says:

    I just love Super Cub.
    I relate to Koguma a lot so seeing her take small steps to getting friends felt really good to watch.
    The animation is also really good. It really captures the beauty of travelling, seeing new sights and going on new roads.
    And of course as PR for Honda’s super Cub, well it certainly almost sold me into it. Too bad Honda, I can’t even manage an ordinary bike, let alone a motor bike!

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Koguma’s journey and friends she made were all excellent.

      I’m good with cars. As great as riding a moped looks traffic in my neck of the woods isn’t truly safe. Plus it’s more fit for a bigger country.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. chikorita157 says:

    This is probably the surprisingly best show of the season. I guess it’s obvious that Honda wants to promote their bikes, but I liked the similar feeling of this show to Yuru Camp. The scenery and laid back feeling is there. Not to mention, seeing Koguma smile is probably the most precious thing along with Shii. But still, I can’t get enough of Reiko and of course showing her closeness to Koguma.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. K says:

    This was one of my faves this season. Watching Koguma’s life slowly change after getting that Super Cub was a nice treat and I found myself smiling whenever she smiled or grinned. I also liked that sassy nature she developed later on, it suits her just fine. Reiko seemed like a fun person to be around especially if it’s Cub related. I liked her personality. As for Shii…well, what can I say? She’s an adorable cinnamon roll. Those two were the perfect friends for Koguma, indeed.

    I’m with you on the way this show used colour and sound. It was impressive.

    Simple but effective storytelling this show had and if it got people to try out Cubs (especially Honda ones) then that’s a bonus :).

    Liked by 3 people

  8. One additional little correction which I came across. In EP12 Mr. Eniwa gives the girls a loaf of bread for their trip, and the English subtitles translate the name as Komisbrot which is Serbian Fruit Cake. German Military Rye bread is Kommissbrot and it is delicious, especially with cream cheese and Lox, and a nice Borscht.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yurimylove says:

    My little biker can’t be this cute!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nick says:

    My anime of the season easily!

    I enjoyed Super Cub so much, it was exactly what I needed to fill the void left by Yuru Camp from the Winter season. I loved the Yuru Camp vibes it had, being based in the same area helped a lot too. Now I really want to to see a cross over with Rin and the 4 of them all out riding around. That would be awesome!

    Koguma, Reiko and Shii were all so adorable and I loved them all so much. Reiko is my favorite too, I had a feeling I’d liker her off the start and proved to be true.

    Like you mentioned this was a glorified ad more or less, so the Honda product placement was very noticeable. At the same time I felt like I did learn stuff about biking and with more knowledge I think I could start doing it myself too. Over the past while I’ve really liked educational anime that actually teaches the viewer practical real world things, not just how to be a magical girl and fight demons or something. Although I’m sure that can can come in handy at some point too.

    The music and visual presentation of Super Cub was fantastic too. Loved how the colors changed whenever Koguma was doing Cub related activities, that was such a neat detail and I never got tired of seeing it. I think nearly the whole last ep was all in ‘Cub Colors’. The music was excellent too. I knew right from the start when they played Clair de Lune that this show would have top tier music.

    All in all Super Cub hit all the right notes and left a lasting impression. I really hope we see more of this show in the future because I want to see more adventures the girls go on with their Cubs!

    Liked by 2 people

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