Super Cub – 12 (Fin) – Girls’ First Tour

Koguma says “I’m off” to no one as she leaves her spartan apartment (put up some Super Cub posters!) in the early morning to meet up with Reiko and Shii at Buerre. Back when Shii begged her to use her Cub, which had rescued her from the ravine, to take Winter and send it away, Koguma said her Cub couldn’t do that. But one thing it can do is take them to where Spring has sprung so they can seize it and bring it back home.

After Shii’s doting parents see them off with their blessing and some military-grade komisbrot, Shii rides double with Reiko and the girls set off on their grandest tour yet, headed all the way down to Kagoshima, on the southwestern tip of Kyushu. There lie the first cherry blossoms. After just their first hour on the road, known as “the devil’s 60 minutes” Koguma and Reiko stop to check their steeds from stem to stern.

They take the famous historic routes used in the Edo period, which happen to include many cute cafes where Shii can gather some pointers. They also enjoy a quick lunch of the hearty rye bread with cream cheese and local smoked salmon—very Scandinavian!

They spend their first night at an economical business hotel near Lake Biwa, where Reiko again demonstrates her complete lack of modesty, claiming curry should be eaten while naked; Koguma is having none of it. They pass the stirring Shirahige torii gate, pass the Tottori dunes, shell out for some seriously huge crabs, reach the far end of Honshu, then spend the night at a net cafe in Kyushu.

As they ride through all of these famous places and take in the sights and tastes, there’s a very straightforwardness to it all; it’s essentially one long breathless montage with only a few brief stops to eat or sleep. Through it all, the three girls grow even closer and more comfortable with each other.

When they finally reach their destination of Kagoshima, the rewarding feeling of having made it all that way there on two Cubs (no cheating with trains!) is matched by the ephemeral gorgeousity of the bloossoms. They set out to find out if they could achieve this, and they did it: they seized spring and basked in its beauty.

By the time they return home, Spring arrived there as well, as if they had brought it with them. And in the midst of Spring, Shii reveals she decided to buy a Cub of her own, an elegant “Little Cub” in her preferred powder blue. When she can’t help but pet it like a new puppy, Koguma and Reiko break into laughter, having both been there and done that!

The series closes on a triumphant shot I had been hoping for since Shii first entered the lives of the rich politician’s daughter and reserved loner: the three girls on their three Cubs riding together in single file. Koguma’s final voiceover says if you sit back and do nothing, a Cub can’t and won’t help you, but if you hop on and decide to take a corner you’ve never turned at before, that Cub will be right there with you for whatever may come.

I’ll admit it: I’m a lot more enticed to buy a motorbike than I was before watching this show! I also have a similar affinity for my trusty Civic. What I thought was a gussied-up advertisement turned out to be one of the most earnest, heartfelt, unique, and beautiful stories of friendship, love, adventure and accomplishment to come along in a long time. I’ll miss my Cub girls!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren – 07

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Let’s get down to magical brass tacks: Yuuta kinda screwed up here. Yes, helping Satone when she lost all her money and phone was the right thing to do, and it’s clear he can always be counted on to help his friends in time of need. BUT, when the girl he’s helping is a girl he has a history with, which intimidates his girlfriend, that’s a rather different story. This was a crucial day he and Rikka were supposed to spend together alone, strengthening their bond of love, and Satone’s arrival couldn’t have been timed worse.

We were well and truly annoyed at Chu2Koi for so neatly tossing that pink-haired wrench into its own works. While it isn’t particularly far-fetched that Satone’s school would be visiting Kagoshima on the same day as Yuuta and Rikka’s, the odds of her just happening to bump into the two in her vulnerable state struck us as far too convenient; enough to question early on whether she followed them there intentionally. But with Yuuta’s promise not to get close to other girls ringing loudly in her ears as Yuuta gets close to Satone, Rikka’s patience runs out quickly, to the point she accuses him of breaking their contract and storms off. Trouble in paradise.

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But we never forgot that Satone seemed willing to walk away and not bother the couple when she first found them; and when she’s alone with Yuuta, she apologizes. They part ways, and then she sets into motion what Rikka believes to be a showdown by the waterfront. But rather than engage in a Chuunibyou battle as one might expect, Satone drops the delusions and gives it to Rikka straight. The truth is, she used to be in love with Yuuta; but with emphasis on the “used”. She didn’t like how “powerless” she became while obsessing over him, so she decided to stop doing so. She never told Yuuta her feelings, so things could remain as they were.

The confirmation that Satone has no intention of being her competition is surely relieving to Rikka, but she’s not all that upset over what Yuuta did after all. In fact, the kindness he exhibited is a main reason she fell for him in the first place. To Yuuta’s credit, he offers up a full apology (after being chastened by many other girls) and surprises Rikka with a new umbrella and pendant for her birthday, which she didn’t even know he knew. She thanks him with a decidedly un-Chuunibyou, confident “I love you.” While they may not have spent as much time together as they’d planned; it’s ultimately a case of quality over quantity. And while Satone may have felt weakened by her love for Yuuta, Rikka clearly draws strength from it.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • The B-plot involves a phone conversation between Shinka (who thinks Sanae built the Mori Summer website) and Sanae (who actually didn’t, but is impressed by said site, and finds something shocking on it we’re not privy to). We’ve grown fonder of their love-hate relationship, but frankly would have preferred more Yuuta-Rikka time.
  • Kagoshima seems like a nice place to visit. Dig the volcano.
  • A “Do Not Rush At Feral Monkeys” TV disclaimer was conspicuously missing from this episode. Seriously, some punk kids might try that and get themselves bitten!
  • Good to know that the other girls in Yuuta’s life were just as outraged as us that he’d essentially ditch Rikka to help Satone. It means the show knows he erred as well, despite his good intentions.
  • We don’t use this term lightly, but Rikka’s “I love you” was totes adorbs.