Light Novel Adaptation by Studio Kai
Koguma has nothing going on in her life. No family, no friends, no hobbies, nothing. That changes when she buys a small motorcycle to help with her long commute to school. She immediately falls in love with her newfound freedom and the possibilities it brings.
Jel’s verdict: Laid Back Riding
This is extreme, hardcore, unfiltered slice of life. Like cut most of the dialogue and music, and just let the audience soak it all in, that kind of series. I immediately thought of Laid Back Camp or Non Non Biyori (which both coincidentally just ended), but the more muted art direction and realistic character designs make this feel more down to earth than those shows. It makes for an extremely pleasant watch, and it’s fun to see Koguma find something that she enjoys in an organic way. There is some blatant Honda product placement, but they never go more into detail on the technical aspects of motorcycles than they would need to in natural conversation.
That said, the decision to solely focus on Koguma made the first episode a little too dry for my taste. If the series stays this chill for the rest of the run, I’m not sure I would have the patience for it. It appears there will be more characters joining the cast though, and if they can add some energy to the series I think this could be quite good. It could also just turn into another boring school club show, but we’ll wait and see. I’m at least willing to give it another episode or two to find out.
Artemis’ verdict: A Leisurely Ride
Even for slice-of-life shows, it doesn’t get more slow-burn than this – and I’m totally fine with that. Watching Super Cub feels almost like watching just a couple of long, uncut movie scenes, interspersed with some pretty nature shots and the occasional piece of dialogue. I get that the extremely deliberate pacing and incredibly quiet nature of this show overall won’t be to everyone’s taste, especially if they go in expecting any kind of real motorcycle ‘action’, but purely through its general mood and understated mode of characterization, Super Cub manages to achieve an impressive amount of solid and compelling storytelling. Sure, I don’t doubt that 11-odd episodes of the same would eventually wear rather thin, but I’m assuming that the eventual introduction of the two other main characters set to make an appearance will liven things up just enough for things to remain fresh. In the meantime, the beautifully-drawn scenery (albeit with one or two jarring moments of CG) and very chill vibe of this show was enough to keep me invested, despite not knowing a thing (or particularly caring) about motorbikes or the Honda Super Cub 50.