Episode 3, “Things Received”, begins as many of Koguma's days do now: she gets on her Super Cub, helmet snug on her head, and cautiously heads to school with the wind gusting by. It's as picturesque as many of the scenes in Super Cub have been, though there's a distinct air that today, things will be a little different for Koguma.
Post-OP, viewers are back with the girls—that is, Koguma and Reiko—at their new lunch hangout underneath the bike shelter. What ensues is a scene where Koguma proceeds to eat some very cold curry…which she's rather expressive about distinctly not liking. Fair enough: cold curry isn't satisfying in the least. The scene is rather brief, but Koguma's expression is vivid enough for Reiko to read the room and conclude that yeah, that's not delicious at all. Yet as quick as the scene is, I found myself smiling because Koguma's already grown so much over the course of three episodes. In fact, I don't know that episode 1 Koguma would have been so candid to another person. I go as far to say she absolutely wouldn't.
After school, Reiko and Koguma head to the local supermarket to pick up some treats. This quickly leads to them heading to an office where a middle-aged man has something for Reiko: a busted motorbike that she can take her pick of parts from, and she has her eyes on one part in particular. What thing, you might be asking? Well, Reiko's eyeing a very convenient handy box that she means to give to Koguma so she can store her things while she rides around.
The girls had back to school and together and install her new handy box on the back of the Cub. Finally, Koguma's got a bit of style: plus, she has protection from the inevitable rainy day that's gonna come around at some point. The whole scene feels like the start of Koguma's real adventure with her bike.
We're still very in Koguma's head in episode 3, but that's understandable. While she's made an acquaintance, Reiko is not yet a friend. While they exchange greeting's—Koguma's “Good morning” to Reiko's “mmm”—they're still forming something new. And while it's clear from the OP and the promo art that these two kindred spirits will eventually come together as friends, it's still too early for that adhesion to happen. In fact, I suspect that their friendship will be more than that: not romantically. Rather, I think that Reiko and Koguma will be bonded over their love of Cubs, and the freedom they've brought each girl.
In the end, episode 3 marks a big change as Koguma smiles frequently, quite pleased with her Super Cub. She even dreams about it in a sequence that's downright beautiful. It's also one of this episode's most joyful moments, second only to Koguma fawning—in her own way—over her new storage box. Little by little, Koguma's world is filling with color. I look forward to the day when her life is so satisfying that she never stops smiling.
Until that day, I'll continue to stan Super Cub because honestly…this show is so heartfelt. The music continues to be evocative and provides the perfect table setting for Koguma as her world flourishes, bit by bit. It's going to be hard not to give each episode a 5/5 every week, but honestly… episode 3 more than earned it in my book.
Super Cub is currently streaming on Funimation.
Mercedez is a localization editor & QA, pop culture critic, and a writer who also writes & reviews at Anime Feminist and But Why Tho?. There, she gushes about idols anytime someone lets her, which is… not often enough. This anime season, she's all about Super Cub, which is great because she's also reviewing it here on ANN. When she's not writing, you can find her on her Twitter, where she's always up to something.