So I only have one word to say before we begin: Spoilers! Spoilers for this week and possibly the three weeks worth of episodes before that. Now to move on.
Summer begins in the world of Super Cub, as both Koguma and Reiko finish their “Final Exam For Math II”. Koguma recalls Reiko having big plans for the summer while she, herself, looks at something big – a summer job, presented by a Teacher, ‘the one who gave her the basket for the front of her Cub. ‘To be a document courier between two schools, morning and evening, for two thousand yen a trip (excluding expenses). Considering it costs five hundred yen to fill the ‘Cub with petrol, it might be okay, depending on how far the trip is. She talks it over with Reiko, who notices that Koguma bought a bento box for a change, rather than having home-cooked rice with a microwave curry sauce on top of it. It looks a lot more elaborate. ‘Even has real meat in it. So she takes the job, but under the condition that she wears her gym uniform rather than her school uniform, in case she ends up too exposed to the elements.
She then tells Reiko the news, that she will be starting tomorrow. Reiko says she will be riding too, “Somewhere near, but also far away”, before riding off. Koguma then notices that she has ridden the ‘Cub for over a hundred kilometres and goes to Shiro for an oil change.
While at Shiro’s, she receives advice on when the change the oil again and suggests that she learns to do it herself in time. We get an advertisement for the Honda Ultra G1 4Cycle Engine Oil – the best kind according to them. The oil change was five hundred yen.
Afterwards, Koguma goes to Komeri to buy some equipment. Including a pair of white work boots and a wristwatch. She then goes home and gets some sleep at five past eight in the evening. That morning, she gets up at six thirty-seven. Gathers everything up and leaves. It is July eighth, the first day on the job. She receives the package. ‘Important papers to be delivered to another school. Her time limit is kept simple – be back sometime before noon. And to get their documents as well to bring back.
So she goes on the journey, and finally gets to Kofu City, and then Kofu Daiichi Prefectural High School, where she delivers the papers to a teacher in the Faculty Room. The teacher checks them, and we are given a small glimpse into this high school before the checking finishes. Koguma is then offered Tea but insists that she needs to head back. In most stories, Koguma would ride off without the papers to return and then get fired. But here, the teacher runs out to give her the new documents to be with her. They both apologise to each other for this. Koguma then gets back in time and is told that she will be making two trips from then on – – but to go home for today. I also noticed from that morning that the calendar is for 2020 without actually giving the year. We then get a small montage of Koguma making the same trip every weekday, excluding the bank holiday. Meaning, by July twenty-seventh, she has made over Fifty thousand yen, the equivalent of five hundred US Dollars. However, the trips racked up over five hundred kilometres, meaning she needs another oil change. Back to Shiro’s she goes. Shiro informs her that her driving is too gentle – causing a build-up in the tank. She then rides to the Koba high school in the rain, where the teacher is shocked to see her ‘drenched. After looking at the papers, the teacher informs Koguma that there are no documents to take to the other school and relax until the rain lets up. Koguma then receives that cup of Tea she turned down on the first day and sips it. While doing so, she finds out that the teacher does the Literature Club.
Soon the rain ends, and Koguma travels to “Up Garage”, where she buys some Ladies Rain-wear. However, at nearly six thousand yen, she is reluctant to buy it. But does it anyway, as it’s the best thing to do. The rain then starts to pour as she makes the delivery to the Koba High School again and discovers that it was money well spent. Proving the Norwegian Proverb correct (There is no bad weather. Only ‘bad’ clothes). When she gets home, she finds out that the Cub has now done over a thousand kilometres and decides that this is the time to get some Honda Ultra G1 4Cycle Engine Oil to try out. However, she isn’t strong enough to open the tank with her arms and has to be a little more pragmatic (pushing it with her foot) – She gets it open and changes the oil. The episode ends with Koguma doing her last day on the job. She then gets a phone call from Reiko to meet up. Koguma arrives outside a log house – Reiko’s home.
My experience with this anime remains a surreal one. It is possibly among the most realistic shows I have seen. ‘Especially when it comes to a person’s growth within a new and resourceful hobby, such as the ability to ride a motorcycle of some kind. It also breaks a lot of rules that usually create a more popular anime. It relishes in the mundane. The quiet. The peaceful. The slow. I could expect more of Murphy’s Law to apply to this – but perhaps the message sent is “be fearless, and don’t assume a whole lot of expectations too soon”. Koguma’s body language remains that of the quiet and shy girl who is growing up. But when we see how much the baby steps she takes from episode one to episode four have added up, we can be proud of her if she was our kid. Anyway, in the next episode, we will see how Reiko spent her summer. So see you next week for that one.