Teenagers in many countries look forward to the day they get the freedom of their driver’s license, letting them explore their increasingly widening world. In rural and suburban Japan, where trains and busses may not be reliable or common, this freedom is given form in a moped, scooter, and motorbike license, obtainable at the age of 16. Current anime Super Cub, based on a novel series of the same name, is a love letter to this first flush of adolescent freedom.
The Super Cub anime opens with main character Koguma, a quiet and lonesome girl who lives alone on a meager income in a very rural part of Japan called Yamanashi. This area is known for its natural beauty, including being one of the prefectures that contains Mount Fuji. Despite the fact that 27% of Yamanashi is designated as national parks, Koguma has seen very little of it beyond the route she takes on her bicycle from her apartment to her high school and back again.