「アルバイト」 (Arubaito)
“Part-Time Job”

THE FIRST JOB, THE FIRST TRIP

In the first 3 episodes Koguma got herself a hobby and made a friend. Now she got herself a part-time job: a courier for school documents. 2,000 yen per trip. It’s natsuyasumi time (summer vacation) and Reiko has left on her great adventure. We get to see Shino’s Ojii-chanthe lovely old man that sold Koguma her cub—as she goes back there to change her cub’s oil. In the same fashion as last episode, we go over the entire process. 

The dynamic between the girls does bring a faster pace to the show—perhaps thanks to Reiko’s more extroverted personality as well as her assertiveness—but I actually enjoy the more introspective mood we get from just following Koguma out and about. Since I’m more prone to watching shounen/seinen or reading extremely melodramatic manhwa/shoujo, main characters like Koguma are quite unusual to me. That’s not to say that I’ve never seen characters like her, it’s just that these more quiet, reserved and introspective ones tend to be supporting roles. Could this be more common in the Slice of Life genre? It’s genuinely a genre I don’t often explore.

We got to experience Koguma’s first time getting caught in the rain. And I’m guilty of giggling at her expression once she arrived at the faculty room looking all disheveled and wet because it just sucks so much to get drenched on your bike. Then we got to see an oil change 100% done by herself where she won over the drain bolt. We also got to see her initiate a conversation with a stranger, the literature teacher of the school she’s been delivering documents to. And we saw Koguma feel immense accomplishment from saving up money thanks to the work made possible by her cub. By the way, I found it so relatable how she treated herself to a nice bento box once she accepted the job, even before getting her first pay. Her yellow rain jacket, new watch and sneakers were also A+ purchases, great haul. These small gestures we do to ourselves are so important!

I felt like the scenery in this episode was particularly beautiful. As we travelled a greater distance accompanied by the delicate soundtrack and the rain, it felt very peaceful and meditative. Also, in comparison with the previous episodes we had more “warm-colored scenes”. And by the end of the episode Koguma got a call from Reiko and drove for a meet-up at this western style log-cabin. A garage? Her house? If it’s her house I’m definitely not jealous. Anyway, seems like next week we’ll learn all about Reiko’s adventure.

A PERSONAL FEELING

This week’s episode of Super Cub brought back a specific kind of feeling that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Maybe some of you can relate to this. It’s an abstract combination of feelings that I have whenever I sit on the passenger seat of a car (or train) for a long trip. I’m listening to music while looking at the passing landscape. My mind drifts from daydreams to the present views. There’s an absence of alertness due to not being the one behind the wheel. This transient experience is extremely personal, intimate and meaningful. This realization only dawned upon me as I became aware of my own emotional reaction; two tears falling down. Listen, I’m used to having reactions to anime, I’m well known for crying over deaths, sad backstories or by ending any Zelda/Kingdom Hearts game, but this was a first for me. There was nothing grandiose happening, just this very personal nostalgic feeling that connected me to a personal experience. It was unexpected and odd but I found myself pleasantly surprised!

Many thanks for reading and as always, I’ll be down in the comment section 🙂

16 Comments

    1. Well, it worked at that time. But that was not the entire purpose to teach it to her. No, it was to give her a bit more save feeling, if she end up with Car wheels problem and need to exchange it. Sure it would take it’s time. But knowing get you lets frightened

      Worldwidedepp
        1. That is such a useful thing that you taught your mom! Knowing that you can solve your own issue if you ever need to does give you a sense of security and confidence.

          Kogu-chan’s smiling face and nails dirty with oil was the most wholesome thing indeed ♡

  1. 2k yen (~20$) per trip sounds ridiculously low, especially since the return trip is not immediate (she needs to wait) AND she needs to do it twice a day. AND she needed to be in school attire.

    It should have been 5k yen at least.

    Definitely a show I look forward to each week. The fact that it comes on Wednesdays is a cherry as it allows for a nice break in an oftentimes hectic (real life) week.

    tsirrus
    1. – This payment could be a Schooling preparing for Real Life Work thing.
      – Also in today’s time they would send PDF Files between the Schools.
      – But then could insist to stay in the “past times” and still want to do it the old classic way
      – Seem like (looking at the Kasio Watch) this Anime could play in the Past and not current 202x Year

      Worldwidedepp
    2. Regarding the labor pays in Japan, I’m pretty uninformed, but another viewer (Jijii on the comment below) shared some information regarding that!

      Absolutely agreed, this show is a nice breath of air amidst all madness.

  2. This week

    I remember my first all-weather quilted jacket… It did a great job of keeping me dry from the rain on the outside, if only I didn’t sweat gallons on the inside.

    The problem with this type of show is only showing the very expensive options. For surviving on a budget, seriously, if you can’t get it in a Daiso, you don’t need it.

    Then there are child labor laws. Koguma is sixteen, and seemingly not being exploited:

    From Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-aso-idUSKBN2BG1EP, quoting Aso Taro:

    “We must seek to raise Japan’s minimum wage to around 1,000 yen ($9/hour) from the current average of about 900 yen,” he said.

    Indeed, Koguma’s probably earning more than the artists making the anime:

    From ANN https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2021-02-09/animator-in-japan-reveals-their-1st-year-earnings-in-the-industry/.169306

    Total income was 668,000 yen (US$6,000), or a monthly average of 74,000 yen (US$670)

    2 x 2000 yen a day for 20 days is 80,000 yen.

    Reminiscing

    Did we learn the young teacher’s name? Watched the episode twice, and can’t remember. She says bungaku-bu, which is the literature club. Which reminds me of Bungaku Shoujo, a light novel series and quaint OVAs, in which the eponymous girl in the literature club literally (and how I hate misusing that word) eats the books she reads. Worth a read if you can get the books or find the OVAs cheaply somewhere.

    Anime that made me cry

    It’s surprising, really, how the daftest thing can make a grumpy jijii shed a tear, but:

    Strawberry Panic. Way too many scenes that defy even the most cold-hearted soul. The best shoujo-ai ever made.

    Popotan. Usually condemned for gratuitous underage fanservice, but it has its ridiculously poignant moments. And a robot maid 😉

    Kannazuki no Miko. Not for the pointless mecha, but the last episode’s post-credits scene. Spontaneously burst into tears for a week after.

    And, shock-horror, currently, Sayonara, watashi no Cramer.. There’s a reason no one is watching easily the worst anime of the season. Absolutely no redeeming anything. Utter garbage. Lazy, lazy, everything. But something else about it just makes me cry.

    Personally…

    Don’t ever waste money on the shinkansen, or even limited express trains. My most memorable journey in Japan was from Matsuyama to Marugame on the local train. It took forever; stopped for twenty minutes or more changing districts; but the scenery! Awesome and breathtaking. And the highway bus from Osaka to Tokyo. Boy, was some of the countryside ugly (when we could see it), but Fuji-san shone like it was silver plated.

    I’m back to where I started after the first episode… The best slice-of-life brings back memories. Most likely of things we’ll never get to experience again, so at the same time we are happy and sad 😂

    Jijii ; -)
    1. I wonder why they didn’t include stores like Daiso on the show. They should be common even in country-side areas, no? hmm

      Aw, traveling on local train in Japan is definitely worth the experience! I had the opportunity of visiting this incredible land twice, but on both times I was running on a tight schedule and on the second I was being sponsored by a travel agency and part of our agreement was that I had to use the JR Pass since it was a product that they were marketing quite heavily back then. But to my luck, one of my destinations (that’s now become one of my favorite places) was the island of Naoshima.

      The shinkansen could only take me to Okayama and from there I had to take the local train all the way to Uno, which was the last station. And aside from the beautiful landscape I got to gaze at, the funniest little thing happened:

      Two boys sat across from me and after 10min both of them just crashed into deep sleep. The boy on the right (on the photo) was the first to wake up and he kept looking at his friend every now and then until we reached a certain station. By this point he had both of his hands in his mouth trying to contain his laugh and as soon as the train stopped he got up and just left. So I decided to step in and gently woke up his friend and told him in my best Japanese that his friend had left. The kid jumped and was able to stop the doors from closing with his little arm and soon enough the whole train broke into giggles as the boy started running and calling after his friend. I had tears coming down my face from laughing so much.

      Regarding the teacher; we did not learn her name!

      And for the titles that you’ve mentioned: Bungaku Shoujo had a manga adaptation which I read ages ago when it was first being released, but back then it was pretty hard to get your hands on novel material so I never really went there. Do you read in Japanese or do you purchase official english translations for what you read?

      And wow, Strawberry Panic, Kannazuki no Miko and Popotan. What a walk in the past hahaha. I did cry a lot in Kannazuki no Miko and I remember being on the edge when I heard Kaishaku would be releasing Kyoushirou to Towa no Sora and the girls would make cameo appearances. I spent almost all of my allowance buying an imported Japanese magazine just so that I could look at some pictures before the anime was released in the next season!

      Have you rewatched any of these shows recently? I’ve been considering whether or not I should revisit some series that I was really into.

  3. The shinkansen could only take me to Okayama and from there I had to take the local train all the way to Uno, which was the last station.

    Okayama is a place to go back to if you like castles and gardens. Before and after are Himeji (one of my favorite places) and Fukuyama. All three have incredible historic castles, and Himeji is a delightful place in early spring for hanami, and the shopping districts for food, drink, and outdoor entertainment. Never made it to Naoshima. But, I didn’t have a Cub, which would be perfect for exploring where the trains don’t go.

    Do you read in Japanese or do you purchase official english translations for what you read?

    I managed to get official translations of the light novels. It’s so annoying when books go out of print and second hand stores stick an extra zero on the price.

    Kyoushirou to Towa no Sora

    I’m not familiar with that one. The side-effect of Kannazuki no Miko was avoiding mecha (and gratuitous violence) like the plague. I have read the (tedious) Strawberry Panic 700+ page novel. These days, I prefer exploring new recommendations rather than revisit old favorites (apart from Pani Poni Dash and Zetsubou Sensei). Mostly because I find favorites from 20, 30, 40, years ago just so banal now. But, if there’s a season where nothing stands out, I might go back.

    Jijii ; -)
    1. I do love castles and gardens. Himeji was one I did not visit, but have it on my list for the next trip! Naoshima was a forgotten fishermen island that has been revitalized through art and architecture: two things which I’m madly passionate about. And a great trip to take your cub to. The ferry from Uno to Naoshima is quite cheap and getting around the island in a bus doesn’t sound as appealing as in a bike (I rented an electric one and had so much fun).

      Have you heard about Tadao Ando before? He is the main architect behind the project. He is one of the many indirect mentors that I’ve had in my life.

      Which region of Japan do you live in?

      Oh, and thanks for answering my other questions ٩(◕‿◕)۶

      I agree that some older shows tend to lose their magic as they age, hence why I avoid revisiting them. I started obsessively consuming subbed anime at the age of 11 and now 16 years later some shows remain only in small glimpses and I can’t remember enough to know whether it’s worth to recommend to someone else, you know? Ashita no Nadja, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Nanoha, Scrapped Princess, Slayers, Shakugan no Shana, Utawarerumono being just some of these.

      As always thanks for your engagement!

  4. Have you heard about Tadao Ando before?

    Only coincidentally. A Youtuber I follow recently visited https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/water-temple-honpukuji but I’m not a modern architecture person.

    Which region of Japan do you live in?

    Scotland. 🙂

    I’ve been fortunate to visit Japan a few times, usually taking local trains to as many out of the way places as I can. Next time, if Covid ever ends, I’m aiming for the lesser traveled towns of Kyushu, starting with Beppu https://travel.gaijinpot.com/destination/oita/ (no, it’s not on fire) and onwards.

    I agree that some older shows tend to lose their magic as they age

    For me, it’s more books that I loved when I was teenaged. Sensibilities change a lot with (im)maturity. I recently binge-watched all the Nanoha series except the latest. For the most part, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. As for recs, I tend to browse anime-planet for similar anime/manga, but I haven’t tried creating any lists.

    No thanks necessary; I’m enjoying the conversation 🙂

    Jijii ;-)
    1. Oh, the water temple is to-die-for. It’s absolutely on my bucket list. Visiting his buildings is almost a transcendental experience for me. His use of chiaroscuro is so on point. I sobbed like a child when I entered the Monet room in Naoshima because of that (the combination of art x architecture as an experience taken to the next level).

      I see! I’ve never had the opportunity of visiting Scotland. From what I’ve seen in pictures and movies, it looks quite beautiful though 🙂

      That sounds like an incredible trip. I do hope this ends at some point. We were supposed to go Hanami this year 🙁
      Hopefully on the next…

      Have a lovely day!

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