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.
Genres: Iyashikei (for the most part), School, Slice of Life.
Themes: Cycling, Motorcycling.
Number of Episodes: 12
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.
As 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.
Next 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.
This 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.
Pay 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.
The 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.