This review contains spoilers. Let us begin
So unlike what we might expect, this episode not only takes place in the middle of winter, but it takes place after Christmas. Both Koguma and Reiko are enjoying the lame-looking but evidently comfortable windshields installed on their Cubs. Koguma sees Shii riding her bike to go buy some Coffee Beans. As part of her effort/project to turn the bakery’s cafe into an Italian bar. Apparently, Shii also got a job at the post office, with the goal being to find items to use in the bar. We then see Koguma waking up to a cold day. The first snow day since she got her Cub. The opening then begins.
Koguma concludes that she can’t ride her Cub in the snow, so she heats up the bento rice she intended on eating. While looking out the window, Reiko calls her phone, yelling to come over. After seeing a J-peg photo, Koguma decides she’ll be over. She packs her lunch, sweeps off the snow on the Cub, then rides it to Reiko’s place. Conditions prove to be difficult, as Koguma is not comfortable riding in the snow. Even using her feet as extra brakes when going downhill. But as soon as she gets on the main road, she’s happy enough.
Arriving at Reiko’s house, we now see why Koguma agreed to come over – to check out the tyre chains that Reiko has put on the Cub. Turns out, a newspaper agency was going bust, and Reiko went to see if she could get Cub parts for scrap. It also turns out that Reiko got some chains for Koguma, who then watches a youtube video to find out how to put them on. They then head out by…going up.
Both girls love the new chains on the wheels, as they are allowed to be a bit freer on their approach to riding. They arrive at the bottom of a beautiful snow-covered mountain. We then see that the colour saturation increase – indicating that Koguma is having a great time. Even making a snow angel when she falls. They start to play with snow ridges, and despite falling over, all is well. They then decide to take off their winter coats and continue. Indeed, riding in a T-shirt on a snowy day is the most dangerous thing Koguma has done so far. They then stop for lunch – Koguma’s rice with coffee. After riding more and falling more, they then have a snowfall fight. By sundown, they go to Buerre for Coffee, where they notice that Shii is now using red, green and white, the colours of the Italian flag, for their usual spot. They have a bit of banter.
The next day, Koguma is preparing her Cub for another day. All three girls notice extra snowfall is happening, as we get a nice little montage of images. Now wearing a thermal suit, Koguma rides off. She sees Shii on her bike, going somewhere. But She continues her journey to Buerre to have coffee. Reiko arrives shortly afterwards in a similar outfit. From there, they have said coffee. Shii’s father remarks on the influence the girls are having on her. As she is now pushing her riding skills to catch up with them. Koguma gets philosophical about winter and how it is seen as a foe and a trial by Cob riders. However, we receive the first cliffhanger of the whole show, as Koguma gets a phone call from Shii…Shii says, “Help me!” as she lies in a stream. Possibly getting frozen. Presumably from falling off her bike into the water. And so ends the episode.
As someone who loves winter scenes, this episode was a feast for the eyes. The colours were beautifully chosen, as were the snow textures. I also enjoyed the banter and the playtime that the girls had on the mountainside. But what is also good is that we get some conflict in Shii’s accident. It has us intrigued about what the next episode holds. With this said – see you next week.