「ないないの女の子」 (Nainai no Onnanoko)
“The Girl With Nothing”
The dawn of a new day. In the Japanese countryside the birds are singing, an empty train arrives at the station and we travel across the landscape while being led by a piano’s touching notes. Our mood has been set. From the macro we delve into the micro: an apartment. The stillness of a moment in between moments, a glint of sunlight seeps through the curtains.
Two scenes caught my eye, the first one when Koguma (Yomichi Yuki) opens her window, sighs while looking at the sky, almost in search of a meaning, The second, while riding her bicycle, as the wind blows her hair and she closes her eyes, she breathes in and smiles peacefully. This momentary oneness of an individual living in the present was so beautiful. I was ultimately won over. This show will tap into a very personal experience of slowly blooming into oneself.
The Girl With Nothing
No parents, no hobbies, no money, no friends, no goals.
Or “I am alone because I am disconnected from others and I have no purpose”. Parents and friends mean connection, hobbies and goals are within the category of purpose. Money is a means to achieving something, so I’m categorizing it with purpose too. This story that our main character tells about herself is a story that she has permanently attached to her identity. As a result, she’s constantly behaving as if this identity is true and will always be true.
The Super Cub
We’re panting, sweating, suffering, it’s summer and it’s terrible to ride this bicycle. In comes the bike shop. In comes the old man character. Please become my Jiichan. Teach me how to build custom bikes while we wear matching onesies smeared with oil. And share onigiris during lunch break with Enka music playing in the background.
She’s green, white and black. She’s a second-hand Super Cub. The price? 10k.
But, why? Second-hand shopping lessons: If it’s too cheap there’s a why. And that why has to be taken into consideration. A friend of mine recently bought a cheap Honda C70, never asked any questions and now she’s spent more on fixing the bike than what she initially paid for. Back to our story; the reason? Some people died in it. Oh, all good then. Just superstition, no technical malfunctions, awesome find. Our Jiichan gives her a helmet and pair of gloves to which she skeptically asks “how many people did these kill?”. Genius.
Blooming Into a Rider
You’re driving for the first time, getting it all right, a car passes by, you feel kind of cheeky and think of speeding up only to have a truck scare you to death. I hated driving next to trucks when I drove a car and that feeling intensified when I changed to a bike.
It was very sweet to see Koguma moving her bike so it’s parked right outside of her window, so that her curtains—once closed to the world—are now open (for all to see). I resonated a lot with Koguma wanting to drive her bike to the home center, but feeling insecure due to something that scared her (the truck). It took me a long time to feel confident enough to do longer distances on my bike!
Our day comes to an end… Or does it? Come on! Night rides! They are the best! YES!
Rudeus himself said it so well “The worse I am at something, the better I feel when I work at it and learn how to do it”.
“Up until yesterday, I didn’t have anything. But starting today, I have my Cub. I wonder how far my Cub will take me”.
I’d like to make an analogy with that last sentence. For me the Cub represents what she is capable of doing once she lets go of her attachment to what she believes is permanently true about her identity. “I am alone because I am disconnected from others and I have no purpose”. So, a nice little twist for me would be “Up until yesterday, I was stuck in what I believed to be true about myself. But starting today, I am no longer attached to that idea. From here onwards, I want to see what is possible for me”.
Super Cub’s first episode was a beautiful slow-paced character introduction and development. It has definitely set the mood for a wholesome show about understanding oneself and finding purpose.
Observing and understanding human behavior is something that fascinates me very much. Though, every once in a while shows can get pretty deep and heavy—especially when also dealing with personal life problems—Super Cub comes as a breath of fresh air in that sense.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode!