「椎の場所」 (Shii no Basho)
Do you have the opportunity to experience seasons in the place you currently live? If yes, I’m curious to know, how do they impact your day-to-day life? For someone who has lived her whole life in tropical, ass-sweating countries I find myself often detached from the passing of seasons, in an eternal loop of summer and monsoon. Consequently, throughout these episodes you can find me muttering things like, “I miss the cold,” or, “That snow looks so nice,” or, “Look at the leaves changing.” But I’ve never lived and experienced this change in my routine.
As seems to be the norm in Super Cub, things like winter handlebar covers—which might otherwise be overlooked as minor setting details—become main attractions in the story. A change in season is not only a change of weather, it involves certain gear and mental preparations. To an extent, driving a car in the countryside gives a sense of insulation, whereas driving a motorbike makes one all too aware of the smallest of changes.
This week’s episode also carried the theme of interpersonal connectedness from the previous week. Koguma’s world continues to expand and increase in experiences; the warmer tones of these special moments make me smile so much. Shii-chan’s family is an unusual one: her father is this massive, big bearded kind-looking huntsman who’s obsessed with German things; her mother, who appears to be a source of embarrassment to the small character, is a tiny slip of a person with a blond Marilyn-esque hairstyle transported straight out of I Love Lucy. Germany, United States, Italy and a British sandwich bar to represent a middle ground. What a fun little family.
It was nice for a change to see Koguma influence Reiko on something Cub related (purchasing handlebar covers). Kouguma’s satisfaction when she sees she’s had an influence on Reiko felt like a treat to us as viewers, and the same can be said about Reiko’s lack of focus when shopping—which at this point has turned into an ongoing internal joke amongst the friends. Question, are these real guns? It certainly looks like those are real bullets. I’ve done some really surface level research about gun licensing in Japan and it seems to be very strict to the point that it’s causing some issues with the Olympic teams. So I was a bit taken aback at the possibility of guns being sold at a general store in the middle of the Japanese countryside. But then again, I’m ignorant on the topic.
BEING PART OF A COMMUNITY
In the beginning of the episode the girls share a laugh over drinks––Reiko’s not so tasty coffee and Koguma’s mugicha or coffee substitute––since both of them are avoiding vending machine coffee. This is for money reasons, I presume. Speaking about money, later in this episode we see Kogu-chan begrudgingly buy a bento box. We all know her financial situation and have seen time and time again how she feels reluctant to spend her money, but to be fair the bento box was quite useful. Hence why I found it very meaningful when she said at the end of the episode “I figured there was no future in getting café coffee when I can make it at home and it costs as much as a full tank of gas. But that is typically speaking. Supposing I wanted to indulge myself a little, and absolutely have to have a cup to warm myself up, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to stop by that shop, would it?”
Because it’s not the coffee per se, but all that it entails: the whimsical shop, Shii-chan and her family, the mood and atmosphere, the getting there and the connection in being part of a lifestyle and a community. For her, spending money there is more than an exchange of currency for goods.
And now we wait for the water to freeze and to turn into ice. As always, many thanks for reading and I wish you all a great week!
Full-length images: 36.