After a quiet, inspirational and not-so perilous ten episodes – Super Cub receives an intense moment of danger. While travelling along the cat trail on her bike, Shii had slipped into the river and is too cold to get out. It is the middle of winter – meaning, without help, she could die from hypothermia. Upon receiving a phone call for help from Shii, Koguma rises to the occasion. Getting onto her Cub and heading there (and delivering the line ‘My Super Cub will come to the rescue. A cute piece of dialogue). Winter from Four Seasons by Vivaldi blasts throughout the next few minutes, as even Koguma struggles to travel the trail on a Cub (let alone Shii on a bicycle). As extreme as Reiko attempted to conquer Mount Fuji, what Koguma does here is probably the most badass scene in the whole show, bar none. Why? Because the girl who had no hobbies, friends or life in episode one just saved the life of a friend by episode eleven. Something she could not have been able to do had she not gotten the Cub, to begin with. After slipping on some black ice. Possibly the spot that caught Shii – Koguma notices a break in the barrier. She looks down to see Shii in the water. Hesitant due to the steepness of the bank, Koguma gets in, picks Shii up, wakes her up with a good slap across the face, and then aids her in climbing out (rather than carrying her like a fireman). They eventually reach the top. Koguma offers to bring Shii to her home for a hot bath and change of clothes, then phones Reiko to tell her what happened while Shii looks into the bank at her bicycle. Which she cannot retrieve just yet. Possibly even reliving the fall in her head. Koguma then decides that, because Shii is so petite, she picks her up like a baby then put her into her front basket. Shii wonders if this is wise, but Koguma indicates that Shii weighs less than a stack of newspapers being delivered. Leading to Shii screaming as Koguma drives them home. The opening credits begin after this.
They arrive at Koguma Casa, while Koguma then gets the bath prepared. She then gets Shii prepared for it like a mother with a child. While soaking in the bath – Koguma gets clothes washed. Shii thanks Koguma, but Koguma insists that she gives thanks to the Cub. While preparing clothes, we hear an engine outside. It is Reiko. The phone call was Koguma asking Reiko to reclaim what was left in the river. Shii’s phone is fine. However, her bike was damaged in the fall. It has Koguma with a sad expression as we flashback to when Shii’s father told them that she was riding her bike more. Possibly a way to catch up to the Cubs while on the road together.
Koguma is then seen hanging some of Shii’s clothes. When Shii comes in, she notices that Reiko is there, who decides to take advantage of the bath. Shii then gives us a very anime moment – as she becomes embarrassed by Koguma holding her panties. To which, Koguma says, ‘You want to go home in wet panties?’ Shii decides to hang her clothes herself in a different room. Afterwards, Koguma serves some Curry Udon. Shii wants to help around the house, but Koguma continues to shoot this down. Reiko then comes out, giving Shii a shock by her lack of modesty at the moment before Koguma insists that she puts her maintenance overalls back on. Afterwards, they eat with a bit of banter on hard-boiled eggs.
After dinner, Shii insists on doing the dishes for them. Possibly as her way of saying thank you. Reiko delivers the news that the Alex Moulton bike Shii uses has had it. To which we hear a sniff – Shii about to cry. She breaks down. Asking Koguma to take winter away. Koguma responds – ‘this isn’t something my Cub can do’.
The next day, Koguma and Reiko bring Shii home, where her parents show their gratitude by giving them a one year pass to have as much coffee as they want. Shii’s mother then insists on including the bread and sandwiches in the offer. Afterwards, we see all three girls arrive at school. Shii is now riding an old bike that nobody used anymore. An “old granny bike” as Koguma calls it. A bike with larger wheels, designed for riding in the city, but wasn’t a good fit for her. Koguma then addresses that the days that go by are mundane. She and Reiko ride their cubs and Shii rides the granny bike. They go to school, then they go home. All of the challenges that Koguma and Reiko had to overcome – when it came to outfitting their cubs for the winter – had been solved long ago. And the Italian Bar appeared to be put on hold. Suggesting depression.
One morning we hear the radio tell us that Spring was around the corner after talking about cherry blossoms. The girls are also doing their final exams. In this case, English. They go to Buerre afterwards for coffee. As it turns out, they are beginning a holiday soon – and in Japan, this means that the school year is over, and they are entering a new grade when they get back. Koguma has no plans, while Reiko will just be riding her Cub, as usual. While leaving, Shii says, come again. But also says she is still waiting for Spring to come and for the cherry blossoms to appear. Koguma indicates that the Cherry Blossoms are already out in a nearby region of Kagoshima. Reiko suggests that they go see them. Koguma isn’t sure, and when she expresses this, Shii’s mood goes down again. But then she decides ‘okay, let’s go – Her reason for this decision is because…all along, Shii is the reason she got a Cub to begin with. As a girl who looked positively towards the future and went after what she wanted, Koguma found inspiration in this way. So why not reward that girl by bringing her back to who she was before the accident?
Outside of Reiko’s holiday at the bottom of Mount Fuji, it could be argued that this is one of the more extreme or perilous episodes of the show. This episode also adds extra development to the three girls: Koguma’s journey brought her to this point of saving the life of a friend. Afterwards, we see a maternal side to her. Reiko exhibits a high-functioning and carefree nature. As she was able to acquire Shii’s stuff, despite the weather conditions. At the same time, she takes the opportunity to have a bath at someone else’s house and suggest rewards where they weren’t considered at first. Such as everybody getting a hard-boiled egg in their curry udon. Shii changes with this incident, as she was near death and lost her bike. She lost some of her confidence and possibly experienced post-traumatic stress from it. Seeing cherry blossoms will give her a lift – so we will see what episode twelve will bring – which will be the last episode of the series. Personally, I have enjoyed this journey, and next week you will get my final verdict. See you then.