If you've watched K-ON, Gochiusa, Kiniro Mosaic or any of the hundreds upon hundreds of cute slice-of-life anime out there, you've already watched Bakuon.
People like these shows for a reason, as evidenced by the massive amount of BluRays and merchandise they tend to sell. I'm fine with them, and presumably anybody who would give something like Bakuon the light of day is fine with them, too. But when the only thing distinguishing them from one another is what gimmick they can throw in (in this case, motorcycles), there begins to be a problem.
It is especially apparent that the motorcycle aspect of Bakuon is more
background to the girls being cute and sexy and stupid and whatever. It will likely please biking fans with its references to and jokes about specific motorcycles and brands, but it never goes into detail and is largely superficial. Bakuon needed some way to distinguish itself from other shows in the genre, and, hey, biker girls is fresh or something, right? It's a bit of a shame, since other Cute Girls anime like K-ON have already shown that something meaningful can indeed be done with the girls' club activities. Biking can be more than an excuse to animate boobs jigglin' with the wind, and while it occasionally tries to go a step further with Rin's and Chisame's backstories, it never goes quite far enough.
Anybody seeking realism is, obviously, not going to get what they are looking for here. Bakuon breaks physics and sense on a regular basis. The girls get air-time so big they put Hollywood to shame. Heck, one of the motorcycles is even sentient! And God is a motorcycle otaku! And all the males wear masks and have their faces hidden for whatever reason. Bakuon just don't give a damn. It knows its viewers are not going to take anything it has to say seriously, and so it amps the lunacy up to twelve. It's okay with being dumb. It doesn't want to take itself seriously, and it doesn't need to. I'm cool with Bakuon in that regard. At the very least, it already puts itself above some other shows in the genre by keeping the drama to a minimum and focusing on why people are watching a show like this in the first place: comedy and cute girls, with an emphasis on the cute girls part. If the choice is between bad drama and minimal drama (I certainly would not trust Bakuon to handle it with any sort of grace), then I will choose the latter without hesitation.
There are some striking-- almost scary-- similarities to K-ON here, particularly with regards to Chisame, the show's late addition to the cast. A year passes and Chisame, as one of the new first-years, joins the bike club, much like Azusa from K-ON, and initially shows reluctance and a distaste for the club's silly behaviour, much like Azusa, before giving in and growing an attachment to it, much like Azusa. She also has twintails, much like Azusa, and the exact same freakin' last name, right down to sharing the same kanji. Maybe they're long-lost siblings? Something to think about.
Whether you will enjoy Bakuon or not is largely dependent on your interest in girls with twintails, as the other girls are sure as hell not going to appeal to anyone. You have your Yui clone, presumably a victim of intense brain damage, your Ritsu (who now has frizzly and messy hair), and your Tsumugi, an ojou-sama with a butler attending everywhere she goes. Yawn. Rin and Chisame are the only ones with character, who aren't completely one-dimensional and who actually bring some life to the show. Rin has a legitimate reason for loving biking and brings passion to the show as a result, while Chisame provides an outsider's perspective to the world of motorbiking along with her amusing deadpan humour, and is so adorable that you will want to reach out and squeeze her whenever she appears. (Chisame also looks like Nico. And Rin has big boobs. I thought I should mention that.)
Bakuon does not attempt to hide the fact that the girls are there primarily for sex appeal, what with all the close-up shots of their boobs jiggling, Rin's (naked) butt shaking in the camera's vicinity and taking up approximately 90% of the screen, and them cleaning their bikes (in a swimsuit, by the way!) by grinding and rubbing their genitals all over them. One of Rin's most defining physical characteristics is that she has a motorcycle logo branded on her butt. Bakuon is pretty weird.
I am not someone who believes sexiness is inherently wrong and should be banned from all media. Sexiness is fine. Rather, the issue I have is that most anime force it in where it is entirely unnecessary. If it's a story about, say, a gravure idol or a girl working at a hostess club, it is more than welcome. A group of high school students playing mahjong or music, on the other hand? Not so much.
Under ordinary circumstances, then, I might criticise something like Bakuon for the aforementioned scenes. But honestly? The T&A is one of the only noteworthy things about the entire show. You take that and the motorcycle gimmick away and you're not left with much else. So I'll take the sexy biker chicks who masturbate themselves via their motorcycle, if only because I can't imagine Bakuon being even less of a show than it already is.
But I'll also admit that, despite all its issues and lack of anything meaningful or noteworthy, I still enjoyed Bakuon more than I expected to. It starts off quite rough, and it's only towards the end that it establishes its characters and figures out what it wants to be. For those last few episodes (9 onwards), I genuinely did have a good time with it. It's not a bad anime by any means. It's fine. It's OK. It has heart. And it can be more when it wants to be more - it just doesn't try nearly as much as it should.
Boring? Sure. Uninspired? Absolutely. But you can go a lot worse than Bakuon if you're just looking for cute anime girls to keep you occupied.
Pretty interesting work coming from a former adult doujinshi artist.
During my time watching, I was not impressed with the way Bakuon!!was introduced. I understand that originality in anime & manga has been dead since the earlier 2000's (my opinion, everyone else has their time-line of when it stopped.) however Bakuon's story, while somewhat unique, still failed to bring anything exciting to the table... or in this case TV. Unfortunately creativity was the biggest thing that hurt the story. The plot and story are both simple, which is somewhat good, but also feels very plain. I felt like the producers were afraid to break
the barrier a bit (no crash pun intended) and branch out the story. During the time I spent watching each episode, it was as if the team that worked on Bakuon weren't trying their best to make it really stand out. If I was watching television in my hotel room in Japan and I saw Bakuon on and decided to watch it, I would probably change it due tom the lack of engagement and exciting developments in the story. In all honesty I wasn't in the least bit interested in the show. Bakuons appeal? it's pretty much just your little below average moe title. Think of it like this, "what if the K-On girls were on motorcycles?" or "what if the Lucky Star crew was on motorcycles?" I mean at least they were not playing card games on motorcycles but I digress. Not every episode in Bakuon is equally strong. For the most part episodes felt unbalanced because one episode the main focus or plot would be about a character getting their license then next episode would be about a hot spring. So as far as the plot goes, there was no "set plot." This is of course common in the world of Slice of Life anime. Overall the story doesn't meet my expectations. It is too simple-minded and focuses a tad too much on sponsoring motorcycle companies whilst trying to add some sort of "cuteness."
Characters designs looked like they were ripped off.. or heavily inspired by Kakifly's K-ON! which is something you'll see more than once on my review. Hane stood out the most for inspirational use. I'm not sure if maybe the original creator was going for a moe look or what his deal was but It just wasn't working. Aside from that and I actually had to do lots of Googling for information on the oringal creator because the way the show is set up I seriously thought that Kakifly (Creator of K-ON!) worked on this show or at the very least helped Orimoto with the character designs. In my research I found out that Mimana Orimoto was actually a doujinshi-artist that focused more on adult work which I find both uncommon but also very interesting because this show is to my knowledge, his first published work that isn't hentai. I also found it very interesting that none of the characters from his doujinshi's or self published work share no visual similarities with the Bakuon cast which is good. Now I think that if you read the manga you'll notice the K-ON similarities the most however the anime does a better job getting rid of those distinctions. Animation was pretty good for the most part. I was moderately impressed with the racing scenes in the show. I think the only thing that kept me from actually enjoying the races was that the animation wasn't over the top. Like if I watch something like Initial D movies, even though the animation isn't on par with Bakoun the animators were still able to make the races and drifting look pretty damn good! Lastly, special effects look great, background settings look wonderful etc. I think the art and animation was pretty solid overall.
The sound wasn't anything special either. The background music is lackluster at best. The opening and ending song while catchy did not get me excited to either watch the show or stay for the previews or warning sign (lol.) The voice actors in the show failed to leave me with memorable impressions based on their peformances. This of course was something I was upset about considering that all the seiyuu's have had some pretty great roles... well maybe not Rikako. It depends on whether you liked the shows she was in. Freezing was okay but... wait a second, let me get back on subject here. I felt like the sound department was reletivly weak in general. One thing that I did admire though was the sound effects. I watched Bakuon on Crunchyroll via PS4 and because I have surround sound along with a soundbar by Bose set up around my television. Whenever the girls got on their bikes hearing the engines revving along with them racing sounded so freaking great! Perhaps my favorite episode was maybe episode 9 or 10 where Nakano was sharing her experience racing with other people and the sound of her whizzing by the other racers was epic! it would travel from one speaker to another and because of the way my speakers are set up it, with the bass, it felt like, and sounded like they were racing in my room!
I mentioned earlier that characters looked as if they were ripped off.. or inspired by Kakifly's K-ON! Hane stood out the most for inspirational use. This is because she looks like Tsumugi Kotobuki, has the personality of Tsumugi, and Yui hirasawa. In addition to that, her relationship with her Imouto or Little sister reminds me of Yui and Ui's relationship in K-ON! Rin reminded me of Ritsu Tainaka. Sort of Tomboy-ish, cute, and when she puts her mind to it dependable. Mio I see a lot in Raimu shy, timid at first but when something excites her she gets super happy and her personailty changes. This is what I mean what I say it's like the characters ripped off. Better yet, they seemed more like copy & pasted archetypes and personalities you'd seen in any other anime series. As mention earlier there were no major character developments other than minor mental thought processes or characters loving certain brands of bikes, just little things. I was not, too impressed nor satisfied with the little women of Bakuon!!
What I find pretty interesting is that no matter how many times I found myself becoming unsatisfied with episodes, I would still find some interesting developments to help me enjoy the show. I think the word I'm looking for is "fun." No matter how bad episodes seemed they were still fun to watch and I really admired that about the show. I had a good time watching the girls enjoy themselves on their bikes.
Overall I would have to say that Bakuon!! is hit or miss. The show has its strengths and weakness, and it makes it somewhat difficult for me to decide what rating to give it based upon everything I mentioned earlier. In addition to the rating, I think that the show obviously needed more work, especially in the story & the characters department. Perhaps if the show had more "originality" then I would have gave it a 7 however I think Bakuon!! is fairly good in all departments despite its lack of creativity. 6.5/10 from me!
Certainly one of the more stranger shows to come out of this anime season, Bakuon is a show in which a transgender motorcycle guides you through tests and each one of our main female character pretty much become wet at the thought of seeing their favorite bike brands.
In an age in which Japan will put cute girls with anything, this time we have cute girls with motorbikes (which is certainly better than the cute girls with bread). I'm still hoping for a cute girls show about drug rehab or something along those lines.
Since I am a filthy cave dwelling dweeb I did enjoy this show
on a raw personal level, since each of the girls was seen in very proactive clothing and pandered to the otaku fan base while also having some genuinely fun moments intermixed within the show.
The plot is pretty much the same as every other show of this type. New girl joins school, gets roped into joining a new school club and in this club, finds a new passion in her life. It's a basic formula for a basic show. The rest of the episodes are pretty episodic and don't really have all too much in the way of story development or all too much characterisation outside of their individual quirks. Some of the jokes and comedy could sometimes feel kind of forced and jarring and if you're not a bike fan some of the jokes will probably fly over your head as it did with me.
Despite that, there were plenty of scenes and moments I generally felt were pretty funny and entertaining, earning a small chuckle here and there, and it certainly entertained me week after week but is still ultimately forgetful.
Character designs and animation could be pretty meh, and sometimes could look off model and strange. The animation is pretty standard and If was improved, it could of helped with some of the joke delivery a little better. The bikes, when in motion were pretty much all CG and didn't blend to well with the 2D backgrounds.
Overall Bakuon was a fun ride with fun characters, but aside from that, doesn't really offer anything unless you're a huge motorbike fan, or a fan of Rin's tits (and those are some big tits). It's hard to recommend this show since there are so many other shows of this nature that do this so much more better.
Ah, girls on motorcycles. We may see it sometimes these days in other form of mediums such as live action films. But, how about a series that dedicates itself about cute girls riding motorcycles as a way of storytelling? An anime adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment. Bakuon!! is a show with a lot fun with cute girls doing extreme things.
In a way, this show reminds me somewhat of K-On! There’s the club with a prominent cast of female characters each with their own unique personalities. For instance Onsa reminds me somewhat of Ritsu with their tomboyish characteristics and is easygoing with their friends. The characters
also comes from different backgrounds and each episode gives more insight on their individual stories. From the cast, Hane stands out as the most noticeable character as she gets directly involved in the story from the beginning. Her relationship with the others brings out a lot of about her character and as time goes on, we can see how their bonds grow. And speaking of bonds, the show establishes a very casual atmosphere with each episode highlighting daily adventures of the club.
Indeed, the story of Bakuon!! is fairly loose despite some background storytelling on occasions; such as the instance about Rin. Every episode is more of a standalone that features the girls and what they do as part of their daily lifestyle rather than linear storytelling. It also involves motorcycles and the comedy it ensures. The show sells its comedy from a variety of angles. However, this can feel a bit distracting at times with unintentional fan service such as an episode about motorcycle washing in bikinis. For the most part though, the show’s comedy style is fun to watch with running gags and dialogues. It also cleverly uses imagery depicted through character interactions to get the most of itself. There’s even some occasional events that can seem out of the world such as an episode featuring Hane’s encounter with a “holy being”. Nonetheless, the humor of the show can be a big deciding factor to whether you decide to watch Bakuon!! or not.
The show is also known for characterizing its brand well for most parts. Some of the most noticeable eye catches are Hane’s Honda that reflects the choice of her logo or Rin’s obsession with Suzuki. Onsa’s Yamahas and Raimu's Kawasaki are also good examples with the latter featuring a nice spotlight in one of the episodes. In essence, the branding of the motorcycles is also important because it shows why the girls are interested in their choices. It also reinforces the meaning of their character names that gives the viewers a nice representation of them. So in some degrees, it has a feel of realism.
In terms of adaptation content, the show can be a hit or miss. I confess that there are a few episodes really took the cut which makes it a bit frustrating for those who are looking for faithfulness. Also, character designs are somewhat modified with lesser details such as Onsa’s hairstyle. On the other hand, the show is consistent in maintaining character personalities that is pretty parallel to the manga. It’s not a perfect adaptation but not too shabby either when you watch it with an open mind.
In terms of animation style, Bakuon!! is simple with its character designs. Surprisingly, it adapts the motorcycles’ designs quite well with consistency in colorful mechanics. There’s a decent amount of fan service present in the show such as Rin’s design and various camera angles. The teacher in particular is a walking billboard of fan service when she’s drunk with her yuri-like characteristics. There’s even an episode with the girls washing their bikes while wearing skimpy bikinis. Still, the show itself is mostly tame.
Soundtrack is mostly moderate with nothing really to write home about. The OP and ED theme songs are playful with lighthearted choreography. It features all the main characters and the motorcycles of their choices. Character voices is also pleasant and the voice actresses adapts their roles quite well on most parts.
It’s not a complicated show to watch. The premise is simple and the character cast is fresh with a diverse range of characteristics. While the story isn’t impressive in context, there’s a good degree of comedy that makes the show entertaining. And if you watch it with an open mind, the reward can be quite an experience.
Ah, Bakuon. Described by the author as a light hearted "High School Girls X Motorcycle Comedy", Bakuon delivers just that in a nice slice of life package. As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, it's refreshing to see an anime genre that I otherwise would have cared nothing about stepping out into some new themes. As far as I know, Bakuon is the first example of an anime about motorcycles- which definitely earns it points for originality.
The character archetypes, however, may not be the most original, but the personalities implanted into them give them a lot of life and variance from the typical moe moe SOL
desu offerings rampant every season. Enter Hane, the airhead, idiot character. After getting smoked on her bicycle by a motorcycle on the first day of school, Hane decides that she's going to go out and get a motorcycle. At school, she meets up with fellow enthusiast Onsa, the sensible, gear head who knows all about bikes. After they decide to form a club with the resident Stig Raimu and spoiled, dimwit rich girl Hijiri armed with her butler, the group is set... except for one: Rin.
In every group of motoring enthusiasts, there must always be that purist- an insufferable, near rabid fanatic of one brand, and that brand only. Embracing all the flaws, or a severe case of denial, this lover of all things < insert brand > can be your best friend, or worst enemy. In this case... Rin is the worst enemy of all bikers- an intolerable Suzuki addict.
Each character in the story also represents a different manufacturer and aspect of the typical personalities you find in bike culture, so there's a little something for everyone who cares about such things. We have the veritable bike encyclopedia in Onsa, extreme fangirl in Rin, the noob in Hane, the "money fixes everything" in Hijiri, and the racer in Chisame. If there's one thing Bakuon does really well, it's getting the bike culture feel right- with tons of references and factual, true statements about different machines (and their riders), and a lot of in-jokes for the raiders among the viewing populace. Raimu-senpai is the Stig's Japanese Schoolgirl cousin, and Ducati and Euro-bike riders get mercilessly crapped upon, as they should. No one is safe however, even the 4 major Japanese brands. Kawasakis leak, Hondas don't start cold, Yamaha transmissions break, Suzukis have electrical problems, everyone gets crap!
That said, Bakuon is not for everyone. This show is targeting a very niche audience of motorcycle enthusiasts, and is about the last manga I expected to be picked up for animation. People expecting some kind of lesbian romance or drama will be sorely disappointed. With a handful randomly placed, but rather tasteless sexual humor moments, there's a few nuggets for the fanservice lovers among us, which I didn't enjoy very much. This show is a slice of life in its purest form however: just a group of chicks, their bikes, and the adventures they go on. For me, I laughed all the way through, just as I did with the manga, and an enjoyable romp it was, even if it was just a brief 13 episodes.
Things Bakuon gets right:
- almost perfect adaptation of the manga
- no stupid romance
- informed bike humor, things only people invested in the culture would get
- factual information about the bikes in the show, and other bike culture
- The Stig
Things Bakuon gets wrong:
- unnecessary fanservice
- calling Onsa frizzy (translator error, but this is my place to complain)
Watch if you like motorcycles and bike jokes, otherwise, give it a pass.
Bakuon is 2016’s answer to K-On, only with motorcycles in place of rock music.
The story itself is simple enough for anyone to watch. However, what may turn people off is the constant motorcycle jargon (models, companies, etc.), as to be expected for such a series. I do give credit for all of it being true, as the company/models mentioned do exist. Other than that, the stories being told were lackluster.
I can’t really say I enjoyed the characters that much. They certainly had their own personality that distinguished them from each other, but never went farther than that. We don’t get to learn anything about them
outside of what model they ride and how proud they are of riding them. We even get an introduction to a new character during the last few episodes, which makes their appearance for the rest of the show useless.
The animation was, by far, the worst thing about the show. This pertains to the character models, specifically the eyes. Almost every episode had moments where the eyes were disproportionate to the point where it was distracting. Although saying the story is mediocre, I wouldn’t minded it had the animation been consistent.
Overall, Bakuon was a hit and miss for me. Honestly, I found interest because it showed many similarities to K-On. If you’re into motorcycles and/or cute girls riding them, then this might be for you. If you’re not too familiar with motorcycle trivia, then it may not be to your liking.
This has got to be a love it or hate it sort of ordeal. If you don't like motorcycles or have zero interest in them, skip it. If you DO like motorcycles.. it's a fun ride!
Each girl has a make that they favor and a big opinion to go with it, leading to fun squabbles, and they all possess different enough personalities to make a fun dynamic. Yes, they're basically the archetype for anime (rich girl, tsundere twin tails, tom boy, quiet and shy, and dopey but lovable) but in a series like this that doesn't take itself too seriously, it works. Let's
not forget the one that doesn't totally fall into an archetype; The Stig. Er, Raimu Senpai.
It can be a tiny by ecchi sometimes, but never gratuitous, and it generally adds to the shows laid back feel.
The art for the girls and scenery is adequate, but the art for the bikes... gorgeous. They're super detailed and look amazing. Just like how the tanks have great care paid to them in Girls Und Panzer, the bikes here are a treat to behold.
It's summer, the wide open road is waiting.. if you went out and got your motorcycle license after watching School Rumble (guilty) this will be just what you need to whet your appetite for the wind in your hair and 750cc lump of Japanese steel between your legs. I'd highly recommend to anyone who loves motorcycles, and all the better if you like cute girls.
Bakuon!! isn't like any typical "girls doing cute things"...as it's about girls with motorbikes!!!..ohh wait it's still "girls doing cute things" but still...
Bakuon!! has fleshed out characters as well as a cast that has ALOT of great chemistry with each along with the bizarre plotlines this anime take and all with a motorbiked theme makes this "cute girls doing cute things" all the more different from it's predecessors (well in LA's eye anyways).
Bakuon!!'s fleshed out cast of motorbike enthusiasts with Rin Suzunoki voiced by Nao Touyama as the Suzuki zealot as the fanservice girl and while not an expert, has experience in her hobby (*cough*
Mio from K-On!) is LA's favourite character, but the other cast members such as Hane Sakura voiced by Reina Ueda the ditz and rookie come well-trained club member to the Motorbike Club and talks her hobby (*cough* Yui from K-On!), Onsa Amano voiced by Yumi Uchiyama are tomboyish and have moderate expertise and often butt heads with Rin (*cough* Ritsu from K-On!), Hijiri Minowa the ojou wanting to do something different from her ojou-life (Mugi from K-On!) to Raimu Kawasaki the mute senior of the club who is has the most experience yet fails in the most outrageous ways were damn well memorable in their own right with their quirky personalities and love of motorbikes. Later on another character gets into the main cast, Chisame Nakano voiced by Ibuki Kido who is one year younger than the rest of the cast and has more experience than Hane (*cough* Azusa from K-On!) and their team dynamic just gets even better. If anything the character group dynamic and the similarities LA keeps pointing out, the character roster feels like a parodied fanserviced version of K-On!.
On speaking of fanservice, the fanservice in this anime is rampant from some very yuri play to full out nudity to some typical hot springs episodes here and there from most of the cast yet LA quite liked it. (Sue LA that Rin got the most fanservice and LA could quickly ignore the rampant fanservice all because of her)
The group dynamic of the cast helped the comedic and rather weirder moments of this anime and again fleshed out the cast at the same time. The comedy and random/Chekov's Gun moments really does make this anime for what it is worth from the character jabbing to again the weirder moments of this anime, for example, Jesus giving Hane a miniature Suzuki Cup...yes this actually happened, LA would praise the author of Bakuon!! with the insanely funny moments of this anime as it just made LA's day whenever LA watched Bakuon!!.
Sure this anime has lots of advertisement to the motorcycles that the main cast rides like Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Ducati, but these advertisements is taken with a grain of salt and thankfully they don't push the advertisement of the bikes in our faces...just add in fanservice and it just goes away...*ahem* take that as a good thing, this anime IS about girls and their motorcycles right?.
The animation by TMS Entertainment, the animation had times of animation derps here and there yet has lots of high detail when concerning the bikes and racing. Yes, it's inconsistent yet LA didn't mind the animation and thought that the animation got better at some point.
Does LA need to say anything about the voice acting, considering LA...-sigh- "typically" LA's favourite voice actor goes to the tsundere shy Nao Touyama, though Yumi Uchiyama who voiced Onsa needs to get special mention as both Nao and Yumi's chemistry together with their banter really made the comedy even better.
LA would hate to admit it, but this was LA's guilty pleasure of Spring 2016 and no it wasn't just because of Rin, but the crazy antics the cast went through "drove" LA to carry on watching no matter how weird the plot gets as simple as it is about a high school girls biker club. Rin and the fanservice and just the weirdly crazy plots these girls take just absolutely made this anime a guilty guilty guilty pleasure for me from start to finish.
What story? It's just your typical schoolgirl series with motorcycles about their daily lives.
The art was horrendous. Stilted animation, horrible character design, and whenever they were riding their motorcycles, they suddenly became 3D along with the entire background.
The music was terrible. The only song I kind of liked was the ending. Otherwise, the music they used in the scenes was so simple and forgettable.
All of them are 1-dimensional and get no character development. The only reason I'm not giving the characters a 2 is because I will admit, all of the girls are really hot.
I don't know anything about motorcycles,
but even if you do, I guarantee you that you will not enjoy this series. It's boring and random. The only source of enjoyment is the fanservice.
Final score: 1/10
Don't watch it. Just don't. There are way better schoolgirl anime out there than this poor excuse.
Oh boy, I'm detecting a sudden influx of otakus going to their nearest motorcycle dealership store and they're going to purchase a Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki motorcycle. We all know they're going to go for Suzuki because Rin = best grill of the series.
If you've seen a "cute girls doing cute things" type of anime before then Bakuon is no different. Well, there are slight changes here. Instead of "Cute girls doing cute things", it's "cute girls doing cute things in a motorcycle". I haven't seen that before. No, really, I haven't so a show featuring cute high school girls riding in a
motorcycle is new for me. Except the formula is nothing new as the show is still the same old "cute girls doing cute things"
The story of Bakuon is basically a high school girl named Sakura Hane who got interested in motorcycles after tirelessly going up a hill countless times using her bicycle. That hill was, of course, part of her route to go to school. She realized that going to school in a motorcycle was far more easier than using her bike. From there on, the crazy antiques begins. Hane, who knows nothing about bikes decides to join a bike club with other members who are a bunch of motorcycle savvy nerds and knows a lot about motorcycles and sometimes they even argue on which brand is better.
I came in to this show with no expectations and I ended up enjoying this series far more than what I would have expected. I've always been a sucker of motorcycles ever since I was a kid so don't tell me that Bakuon! influenced me to go out there and buy a motorcycle because that's clearly false. If you ask me, I've always wanted one of those Kawasaki 1000cc motorcycles.
One of the many things that I enjoyed about Bakuon!, besides the motorcycles, is the comedy. For the most part, the comedy is surprisingly good. I mean, at times you can tell they were trying hard but most of the time, the comedy scenes would make me laugh. Few examples are when characters compare each other's bikes and they argue over the bike's flaws and how Suzuki is a very flawed motorcycle.
The show also has quite a lot of product placements for Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha's motorcycles. Now the question is, who payed who (Did the show's producer's paid the motorcycle companies or was it the other way around?) and how much? There's also some fan-service moments in the show. The most notable one is when Hane decided to clean her bike in a "lewd" way or that quote that I don't think I'll ever forget which was:
"My butt's vibrating" -Hane 2016
TMS Entertainment did a good job with the show's visuals and its character designs. The visuals looks pretty average when the girls are just messing around in school but the visuals excels when the girls go for a ride in their motorcycles. There's only one thing that I want to talk about in terms of Hane's character design and that's her eyebrows. I have to admit that it looks cute. On the other hand, the animation was decent. What bothered me is the fact that they used still-shots sometimes when the girls go on a ride. I know this is a slice of life and I shouldn't expect much in terms of animation but it was seriously off-putting at times.
The soundtrack is just your average soundtrack which you'd expect in a slice-of-life show so they're not worth mentioning. Now, the OP and ED theme song(s)
The OP theme song is "FEEL×ALIVE" by Sayaka Sasaki. Man, the title of the OP theme song just predicted how I felt about the OP. It's super catchy, the melody is awesome and it made me feel alive whenever the OP theme song comes up. The ED theme song is "Voon! Voon! Ride On!" by Hane, Rin, Onsa and Hijiri. The ED theme song is nothing really special. I was just in it for the ED animation which was pretty funny when I first watched it.
I don't usually review the voice actors but for this show, I just have to because of one voice actor. I love Hane's VA and her performance. She sounds super enthusiastic all the time and that's the part that I loved about her, which in turn, made me like Hane's enthusiastic personality.
Hmm, what can I say about the characters? Bakuon has a fun cast of characters and the weak character development, especially Rin, wasn't taken seriously and they were there just for the laughs. Though, I have to admit that Rin's past had me dying in the f*cking floor. I want to talk about the characters next.
Hane Sakura is my second favourite character in the series due to her enthusiastic and charming personality. She rides a pink Honda CB400SF and nice choice by her because it looks like a nice motorcycle.
Next up is Rin Suzuki which in my opinion is the best girl in the series. It's not because of her gigantic melons but it's because I feel bad for her. I mean, the cutest girl in the series getting bullied by that "Frizzy" girl just because she owns a Suzuki motorcycle? Hah, I just love the hilarious arguments between Rin and Frizzy. She rides a Suzuki GSX400S Katana which doesn't even look that bad. Is Frizzy saying bad things about Katana because of the specs?
Next up is Onsa Amano.. I prefer calling her "Frizzy" because Rin's right about her messy-ass hair. I just wish Frizzy and Rin can get along because I can clearly see a hidden yuri love here and they surprisingly work well together when they get along.
Next up is Hijiri Minowa. She's your typical rich girl but she doesn't know how to ride a motorcycle properly even though she has a motorcycle license. Instead, she rides in a Ducati outfitted with a side car. She sits in the side car and her butler rides the Ducatti.
Last one is Raimu Kawasaki. She's the weirdest and the most mysterious character I've ever seen. She wears a helmet which means we never get to see her face throughout the series and she never said one word throughout the series which makes me quite suspicious of her sexual orientations. How do we know she's a "she"? How do we even know she's a high school girl?
Say what you want about the series being a "cute girls doing cute things which has been down over a million times by now" but I still enjoyed the series. The show did a good job on the comedy side, albeit not great and it has a right amount of comedy.
Bakuon! may just be your typical slice of life "cute girls doing cute things" but this show was still a fun ride for me. The show has a fun cast of characters and the comedy might not be perfect but it still did its job to make me laugh. If you're a slice of life fan or you're a motorcycle enthusiast then you'll definitely enjoy riding on a road paved by Bakuon!
+Fun slice of life series
+Mostly accurate motorcycle representation makes this show an enjoyable show for motorcycle enthusiasts
+Fun cast of characters
+Right amount of comedy
+Good visuals and animation
+Catchy OP theme song
-Uses the same old formula
-Fan-service scenes can be off-putting
Bakuon tells the story of a girl who likes motorcycles. She makes her best to get a license to drive these vehicles, and get one of this so she can join to the bike club.
Throughout the anime we can watch the girls from the club talking about the bikes and driving her motorcyles to travel from one place to another.
When I was watching it I remembered K-On and other similar animes, it really feels like you're watching any of these.
Maybe if you don't know anything about these stuff you will feel a little confused (like me), but that doesn't mean that the anime is bad.
In my opinion, I say you give it a chance. Maybe you can enjoy it more than I did.
I started this with no expectations but to be honest, it's better than i thought it was going to be. I was most shocked to see actual brands in this show such as amazon, but also all the motorcycle brands, helmet brands and the such. Character types are very typical and not very creative. the main character and her sister are like Yui and Ui from K-ON! down to the hair color and their respective personalities. motorcycle engine noises aren't anything to rave about, and could've been more interesting had they added some actual race flair, but it's just about moe girls liking motorcycles. Bunta
from initial d is straight up in this, along with suspension noises, and the Hachiroku makes a cameo in one of the episodes. Essentially you have an interesting mix of K-ON! and Initial D, which gives you some great fanservice for fans of both the anime.
Yes, riding a bike doesn't necessarily involve drug trades or gang shootings.
Well, it's a comedy about "cute girls doing cute things", the gimmick this time is motorcycles. The question is, how much did they do with said gimmick? A lot actually. They talk about bikes all the time, they ride them all the time and most episodic plots are about motorcycles, so I'd say the potential is fully utilized. Since I don't know anything about these vehicles, I can't judge how accurate they handle the subject, but it looked like they did well. The comedy is varying heavily, from cute shenanigans to perverted fanservice. I
don't mind either, but sometimes it felt like I was watching two different shows.
The bikes all look pretty good, as far as I can tell. The girls surprisingly fall a little flat compared to the background characters, who are much more detailed. The body proportions look a little weird at times too. Overall, I'd say it shines when it needs to, but could have been better.
I'm a big fan of the ending, but the opening isn't too bad either (though nothing special). The voice acting was absolutely solid, though rarely extraordinary. I don't remember much background music, the sound effects of the bikes sounded realistic though.
Out of the 5½ main characters, Rin and Onsa were the most memorable. To me it felt like Rin was more a parody of a tsundere than an actual one, which was kinda nice. Onsa is an interesting mix between "dirty old man" and "only sane person". Also, her hair looked awesome. Hane fell a little flat compared to similar main characters (see Anne Happy for example), but she was still okay. The other three didn't impress me much, but they also didn't annoy me or anything. The side characters were great though, Rins dad, Raimus old classmates and Bike Jesus especially.
I had a lot of fun with Bakuon. Many slice of life comedies run out of ideas fairly quickly, but Bakuon always had another thing up its sleeve. Surely not everything was a hit, but most of the time, I had a really good laugh. I can see the fanservice feeling out of place for some people, but I personally didn't mind. For a show of its kind that isn't purely cutesy, it did a very good job.
One thing I noticed is that this anime seemed to rub a good number of people the wrong way, and while it's by no stretch perfect, I really don't get why this show was so hated in it's season :'D
Sure, it gets pretty ecchi sometimes. But it's by NO means overbearing (besides that....motorcycle washing scene, dear sweet god) and this is coming from someone who's not all that fond of ecchi. Aside from some boob jiggles from Rin, that one drunken perv teacher, some eyecatches, and one hot springs scene, it's really not all that ecchi, to be completely honest.
One thing I really do
love about this anime, is how it's absolutely not afraid to get completely RIDICULOUS. Seriously, from Biker God, to random sumo wrestling, to a character secretly being 30+ years old, to Suzukiphilia, it's so damned silly that it's charming.
The characters are also super endearing. My favorite probably has to be Frizzy, but the entire cast is a bunch of lovable goofs who're just super into motorcycles, and I love it!!
Also, the character designs are absolutely adorable! The mangaka for this series has a fantastic art style, and every character design feels unique.
This isn't a show to take seriously. If you're into ultra-serious, completely plot driven shows, then boy, are you gonna hate this. If you're into slice-of-life flair, cute girls doing cute things, and motorcycles, then this series is definitely your thing.
It really, really doesn't deserve the hate it gets. In summary, it's silly, sort of stupid at times, but has heart to it and it's cute as can be. I'd recommend it to anyone!
[This review contains minor spoilers.]
I am glad that I watched this.
I would recommend this to others.
I have watched this once, subtitled. I have only watched the anime.
I may watch this again.
---- Positives ----
Motorcycles get a decent amount of focus.
This series incorporates motorcycles into the story well. It's not just a detail.
Time is well spent.
Pacing was great throughout. The club members actually go out and do things, as opposed to just sitting in their clubroom.
A new character is introduced toward the end of the series, and this is done well.
Near the end of the series, the club gets a new member, and episodes after this point
still focus a good amount on all members.
Sakura is voiced well.
Her voice stands out and fits her character well.
---- Negatives ----
Kawasaki's backstory is a little peculiar.
After hearing more of her backstory, the series felt a little weird to me.
Opportunity for cancel: No. I don't know if she's covered better in the manga series, but it feels like there are a few details missing from her past that would have helped explain her situation so that it didn't seem so strange.
Suzunoki seems to get a disproportionately high amount of fan service.
This series is actually fairly tame, except for one scene where the club members are washing their motorcycles ... and quite a few scenes involving Suzunoki.
Opportunity for cancel: Maybe. I initially had the impression that this was some lewd series from some video clips I saw before watching this series. I was glad to discover that this actually wasn't that type of series. That one motorcycle scene doesn't represent the series.
Story: the story in this is pretty almost typical honestly but its about Hane who is walking to school one day when she someone riding a motorcycle and she decides that would be her passion pre say so she joins a bike club in the school to so she joins the club and now she has her new found love and that is motorbike so she starts learning about them and so on that is really about it for the story is really not a hard story to understand.
Art: the art here is really done her personally no idea if CGI was involved in this
in any way but if it was never noticed anything wrong with here unlike some other bikes ive seen (granted those were nitpicks if anything) as for character look and backgrounds they look good.
Sound: the Op and Ed were really good at first i didn't care for them but later on i grew to enjoy them so yeah as for the voices for the characters they were really done good here as well.
Characters: Hane is the main character of this anime and she is well a really bright light and just overall fun and nice person she is also really energetic all the time also i liked her in the anime she was well done. Ramiu is another main character and i mean personally i can't describe here than she just doesn't talk at all like that the only real thing about her. Hijiri is another main character and she is a person who is actually wealthy and has her own butler drive her around and such sense she can't but she does have a pretty good attitude and not a snobby one again just a cheerful and nice character. Onsa is another main character and she actually has a bike shop unlike the others (granted her father runs it but hopefully you get my point) so she like everyone her is actually a cheerful and kind person in the anime. Rin is the last main character here and she is really passionate about Suzuki bikes to the point of arguing over it with Onsa (they get into alot cause she loves them but Onsa personally hates them so there you go) she can kinda have a snobby attitude but she is a nice and good character here (also i usually don't add support characters here but will but just one). Chisame is a supporting character and she goes to the bike club later she was a minibike rider but doesn't ride them on the rode cause she think they shouldn't be on the rode (uh ok that makes no sense but roll with it) but she is a good character i personally didn't care for her cause i don't know she just seems gloomy and stuff ALL the time but she again is a decent character i should say.
Enjoyment: What i liked: i actually like this anime the comedy was more here and there not the greatest but decent the characters here were all good and the enjoyment i had was really i mean enjoyable and the voices to the music as well here. What i didn't like: me personally (this a nitpick) but for whatever reason i personally didn't like rin having big boobs no idea why just seemed unnatural to me for her also some of the jokes with the bikes flew over my head at times sense im not big into motorbikes also i don't understand with throwing in Chisame like (sorry for the spoiler) like in episode 8 or 9 like why have her join the main cast like THAT late made no sense to me also the drama (when it has those little bit of here) sorry but it didn't click with me was weird if anything ( episode 11 i can understand for a sense but yeah it was more weird but again this is more of a nitpick) but it wasn't like terrible or good just decent but weird.
Overall: id give this a 7 i though about giving this a 6 but after debating it for a bit im deciding on a 7 it was actually pretty enjoyable from the comedy being here and there at times and also from i guess kinda learning about motorbikes was neat and also it was really well done with the character as well to the voices for them being really well done here id give this anime a shot it was really good in my opinion.
Story: Very interesting and funny storylines in the anime. Plus, it's great to see how motorcycles can bring a group of friends together.
Hane - She is sweet & adorable. Hane reminds me of Yui from K-On! & is a new-comer to the world of motorcycles.
Onsa - She is very tomboy-ish and cool. She has two younger brothers and her family owns a motorcycle shop.
Rin - She has long, blonde hair and large assets. & idolizes Suzuki.
Hijiri - She is a rich, soft-spoken girl. She has a butler by her side (especially during their motorcycle adventures). Plus, she is also
very creative and funny when she takes her ideas to the next level.
Raimu-Senpai - The eldest student of the main characters. She is very caring towards her friends and is an experienced motorcyclist. There's not a lot information that is stated about her, but she always has her helmet on.
Overall: One of my favourite animes to watch. Plus, I would like to see Raimu-senpai without the helmet. This anime makes me want to ride a motorcycle too.
There's simply nothing to gush about when it comes to the basic plot of the show, rather what isn't explained outright is that this show is an absolutely irreverent parody of the subject matters it features- complete with random scenes of sheer absurdity drenched in over-the-top -and at times, subtle- goofiness.
Which brings us to question just what on earth does it make fun of? Biking perhaps? Why of course, the whole thing is essentially about biking, but it makes fun of it in
spades! And what else does it make fun of as well? Oh plenty really, anything from traffic laws to business practices- not to mention the characters themselves whom are all relatively quirky, downright bizarre and completely ridiculous at times.
The script is also relatively well paced and imaginative, wherein it's loaded to the brim with various situations where >70% of which is outright designed to be soaked in comedic value. Other than that, there are also a few surprisingly charming but brief scenes spread throughout the show centering around such topics like friendship for instance.
But above all, if you can't already tell, this show is a parody of K-ON!
On the visual front, there really isn't that much to comment on actually. Generally speaking, the show is decently made. The art is well-drawn, and while the colors can be slightly over-saturated at times, they are at the very least rich, vibrant and 'poppy'. The designs of the backgrounds and characters on the other hand aren't meant to break new ground, but are at least creative and distinctive. There're also plenty of real-life visual references in the form of scanned magazines, posters, photographs and artwork.
Animation-wise, this show is surprisingly well-animated at parts, especially when it comes down to the character movements and comedic scenes. The 3D-rendering of the bikes in the show is also rather impeccable- exquisitely detailed down to the most minute of particulars, the bikes themselves move very seamlessly on screen with very little to no choppiness in fact.
There're also several instances of experimental or at least, out-of-the-norm animation and artistic techniques being used in the anime, and the lighting -which utilizes extensive bloom to create the show's distinctively warm and bright look- and particle effects greatly enhance the visual appeal of the show. The camera-work is also very creative and the shots well edited to great effect, all flowing together very well in many of the scenes thus creating a consistently seamless viewing experience.
The OP sequence is a well-made though only somewhat creative sequence which introduces the characters and their bikes, before proceeding to showcase them embarking on a road trip in its second half. The ED sequence on the other hand is very comedic and simple, with mini versions of the characters on their bikes journeying back to school.
Art & Animation Rating: 8
For one, this show's sound design is bloody amazing, wherein an appropriately joyful rock-oriented (BIKES = ROCK- PERIOD) soundtrack featuring some uncommon track structures and musical timbres, in addition to more conventional bluesy and poppy rock tunes, and various other goofy and idyllic tracks utilizing an eclectic selection of instruments used in the more slice-of-life moments drenches the show in an inviting musk of gleeful hilarity that's just simply hard to shake off.
Not only that, the sound effects themselves are superb- ESPECIALLY the greatness that is the bikes' engines... OOOOOHHHHHHH PURE ECSTASY. Ahem, I mean, in general they are carefully chosen and professionally made but yeah you get the point, no complaints there.
But hold it! There's just one more part that we MUST absolutely discuss before going in any further and that is the ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC voice acting! Oh God, the voice acting, the sheer amazing balls that is the voice acting is what REEEEAAAALLLYYY makes this show shine. Skilled, emotive and hilarious, the voice acting for the characters are all incredibly well done, with the only hiccups possibly going to the 'extras' on screen. However! The one character who received the BEST voice acting chops in the show is by far Sakura Hane, voiced by the highly talented Ueda Reina. Her portrayal of Hane as this absolutely dorky, cheeky, simple-minded, childlike dunce of a character drove me to intense elongated bouts of teary-eyed gut-busting laughter that is hard to top save for the likes of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. Man, I sure haven't laughed this hard in ages!
Like I've briefly described at the end of my POFITs on the show's sound design, the characters of this show are absolutely absurd and ridiculous with varied personalities. I've already described Hane just now, but what about the rest? Well, there's:
1) Amano Onsa, who serves as your average, friendly teenage girl who's a little quirky with a deep passion for bikes and a good sense of humor. She switches from reacting to initiating jokes in a variety of ways
2) Suzunoki Rin, who's a smug, easily embarrased yet spunky girl with an elevated sense of self and a sore loser, in addition to being a diehard fangirl of Suzuki's bikes. She's a daddy's girl but has over time lost some respect for him due to his bike-related hijinks
3) Minowa Hijiri is your eccentric, air-headed rich kid who fantasizes about doing the 'naughty', 'socially transgressive' things that 'delinquents' tend to do or at least that's the impression that she has in her head. She's frequently accompanied by her butler Hayakawa who rides a Ducati
4) Kawasaki Raimu is an enigma of a figure who's utilized by the plot as a conduit for bizarre, unexplainable acts. No one knows what's underneath her helmet and she never speaks. She's a parody of The Stig from Top Gear
Apart from those 5 main ones, there's a host of other side characters as well, in addition to one who we're later introduced to before finally being bumped up to main character status- just like K-ON! Tee-hee!
To sum all of this up, I just simply couldn't get enough of Bakuon!! and waited extremely eagerly each week to know just what kinda shit that the cast are gonna get themselves into the next time. Not to mention those nights when I simply couldn't sleep at all, laughing my ass off just thinking about all the absolutely hilarious situations and dialogue that occurred throughout the day's episode. Without a doubt, this show was easily my most favorite show of Spring 2016 and I wonder in excitement as to whether something similar to this BUT WITH CARS would get animated one day. Hope you guys can see the charm of this show just as I did when it aired months back.
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, but I used to ride my bike around my neighborhood as a kid.
The bike was a hand-me-down from my cousin. It had a glossy green metallic frame. The back wheels had these extra spokes to let someone else stand on (or for grinding rails should one be skilled enough). And it made a nice clicking noise as I rode it down the sidewalk. It was a cool bike which, by proxy, made me cool, too (which is pretty hard to do).
While I liked that bike very much (and maybe because
of it), I’ve always wanted to try riding a motorcycle. And as the girls of Bakuon!! prove, motorcycles are more than just glorified bicycles.
Bakuon begins with Hane, a happy girl who is eager to start her high-school life. However, riding a dinky bike up the hill to her school is more taxing than she realized. But when she sees a passing motorcycle, she knows what she will do: ride them.
For Bakuon, motorcycles are its bones, blood, and organs. They are what the anime focuses on in regards to its slice-of-life escapades, its comedy, and its more sentimental material.
On the slice-of-life side, the anime takes its time in explaining the different types of motorcycles. A Honda CV400 Super Four, a Yamaha TZR250, and a Suzuki Katana 400 are just a few of the bikes showcased. Everything from their make, their origins, and their overall feel come into play. The amount of information does not make one become a biker-know-it-all, but the audience still gets educated quite a bit in the ways of the two-wheeler.
But they don’t just explain their bikes. Hane and the other girls (perhaps obviously) use them for a variety of circumstances. They take part in a daring duel involving a ledge and a river. They embark on a road tour. They race one another during a cultural festival. Nothing extravagant, but, then again, biking isn’t either.
On the comedic side, Bakuon has not just a surprising amount of jokes in store but also some cleverness here and there. For example, in episode nine, Hane introduces all the bikes for that previously mentioned race. One of the students comments about Hane’s overly safe-conscious motorcycle, calling it “intellectual, like a satire on modern society.” Hane’s response?
“What’s a satire?”
The show has more than just “unintentional” humor. It goes unrealistic with a virus that forces Onsa to (gasp) like Suzuki bikes. It uses extreme juxtaposition with a gruff biker dude who hates only two things in the entire world: murder and standing next to a mid-sized Katana. It has silliness when their teacher licks the feet of Hijiri.
While the laughs themselves are almost always very light in nature and impact, they do a nice job of providing a mixture of different forms.
On the sentimental side, the anime is surprisingly sincere. About once per episode, the narrative takes some time away from the slice-of-life silliness and the bike-related jokes to craft a small scene that is more than heartfelt in nature.
One of the best examples of this idea happens in episode five. Onsa (who is usually the starter of these scenes due to her personality) stops Hane from wanting to ride in Hokkaido for one last time. She does not do so because she fears Hane will get hurt or even that she does not think Hane has the capability to ride well.
Instead, she simply tells her that, while they had immeasurable fun on their trip, it is time to go back, to realize that (and using a cliché because clichés are awesome) all good things must come to an end.
People face this same feeling all the time. When visiting grandma, when going to that movie theater, or when taking part in a cross-country motorcycle journey. Nobody doubts those are fun experiences, but, eventually, the fun will stop for now. That’s just how life is, for, in a similar fashion, that same sense of fun will eventually come around again – as the girls of Bakuon show.
These three pillars – motorcycles, comedy, and sincerity – support the anime’s strongest ideal: that it is more than okay to like something “foolish.”
The girls often talk about the problems associated with biking. When it’s cold, the freezing air numbs their hands. Motorcycles require heavy maintenance to function properly. A lot of effort is needed to obtain a license. Certain designs are favored over others. Bikes are prone to new types of accidents.
Yet that means nothing to what one can get out of this “foolish” hobby. A new way to roam the world. A set of scenarios unable to be felt in any other fashion. A group of friends who not only share a common interest but also share a tight bond between each other.
So, when the gang is dancing up on stage and singing a song to recruit new members, or when Hane goes through the motions on her imaginary bike, the audience empathizes with the girls’ joy and their sadness because the audience, too, likes foolishness.
It may not necessarily be with motorcycles. But it’s easy to understand why being a “fool” is more fun than not.
Arguably speaking, Bakuon’s worst aspects are its art and its animation.
The art itself is, at times, not that appealing. Even disregarding the unimaginative locales – the clubroom, random sides of the road, and a bike shop – the show has trouble on a more technical level. Characters can appear wonky, their lines rough and their faces distorted.
CG segments exist that, while not off-putting, are not exactly welcome. They are almost exclusively there for the more intensive movements – such as Hane turning a corner on her bike or Raimu falling through the sky on her scooter – so, even if those segments are considered a distraction, they are only so for a small amount of time.
Unfortunately, actual animation follows in the same tire tracks, though, to be fair, it does swerve off the path now and again.
Usually, the show does not have much in the way character movement. Arms, eyes, and general body actions are not given a lot of attention. However, the girls riding on their motorcycles, with hair flapping and wheels spinning, prevents this anime about moving vehicles from keeping its kickstand in place.
As for the character designs, they, like the actual animation, are more subpar than not.
Onsa and Hijiri are on the lower end. Onsa’s frizzy hair is part of her personality, but it looks more like a big ball of wet fur plopped on her head. And Hijiri may have long purple hair and glasses, but her design is overly dull.
Hane is arguably the same, but she’s purposefully so (as the main protagonist) and she at least has cute hair clips (in the shape of wings).
It also doesn’t help that (for everyone) their glossiness is tuned a bit too high, their colorings are somewhat faint, and the school outfits they all wear are too plain to remember.
Regardless, Raimu, Chisame, and Rin are easily a hit. Raimu’s helmet fits her literally-say-nothing persona. Chisame’s short stature is used for both characterization and development. And Rin’s tight, pink motorcycle suit, blonde twin tails, and large bust make her out to be an attractive character.
(A small nod goes to both the ED visuals with their paper-cut-out characters and some of the citizens in the anime with their red-and-white fox masks.)
The cast of Bakuon are a quirky bunch despite the realistic setting of the show.
Hijiri comes from a wealthy family. She has a personal butler drive her around in her Ducati (of which she owns many). Should her motorcycle become unusable for whatever reason, she simply has another one delivered via a helicopter drop. And she apparently has the capacity to fund scientists to create a device that cools down the engines that pass over them.
But her most prominent personality trait is her penchant for being a delinquent. Due to her upbringing, Hijiri finds immense pleasure in doing delinquent-like acts or even just hearing about them. Driving super late at night to go to a restaurant to eat food. Owning a fake motorcycle license. Seeing Onsa and Rin “fighting.” She may not actually be a delinquent, but it’s practically her middle name.
Chisame arrives much later in the season (technically episode seven but officially episode nine), and she is considered a side character for this reason, but she quickly demonstrates that she is as important as the other girls.
She tends to be less optimistic than most, and she does not like to be seen in a negative light. She also happens to be an undefeated minibike champion, taking after her father’s impressive skill on the race track.
Like Hijiri, though, Chisame has a trait that overshadows (maybe, in this case, undershadows) her others: shortness. Growing up, she never could reach the ground with her feet while riding a larger motorcycle, turning her off from the bigger bikes altogether. Her inability to do so fueled not only her determination to be the best at minibike races but also her fear of associating with proper motorcycles (as well as memorizing the multitude of seat heights for bikes out there).
The rest of the girls can be described in a similar manner: normal trait juxtaposed with a weird quirk. Raimu is older and the best motorcyclist ever, yet she never speaks a single word (and doesn’t even have a VA listed next to her name). Onsa likes to joke around, but she’s often the one who brings about the next philosophical musing. Rin can be mean at times since her fervent love of Suzuki bikes often dictates her actions.
Hane is the same. She’s a simple, kind girl who is oddly cheerful. Nay, incredibly jubilant. She almost always seems to be smiling, viewing life with more positivity than necessary. As such, her personality is affable to say the least.
To put it differently, the girls of Bakuon are each foolish in their own respective way. But that foolishness does not exist just to define them. Indeed, it allows them to both grow as characters and affect the other girls in the group.
Hijiri’s foolish delinquent behavior allows the group to experience new events. Chisame’s foolish view of herself leads her to earn a motorcycle license. Raimu’s foolish silence allows her to guide the other girls. Onsa’s foolish outlooks let the others understand different angles to approach life. Rin’s foolish passion for Suzuki fuels the passion for the other girls. And Hane’s foolish happiness gives her the strength to cycle forward no matter what may be trying to stop her.
Yes, the characters were not all that engaging. But it was nice to see them connected back to that sense of foolishness that the story itself touted from beginning to end.
Bakuon’s opening track combines bass, piano, and lots of drums to create a piece that feels as though one were touring the countryside on motorcycles with a group of friends. The vocalist does well, and the ending guitar riff is catchy, but most of the piece is not too adventurous in terms of scope or even finesse.
The ending track, in comparison, does a lot better. The different characters sing individually and together throughout the parts of the song. Onomatopoeia adds a bit of extra cuteness. Shifts in the lyrical pacing change up the flow. The starting guitar is a catchy lead-in. And the quickness of the piece give it higher energy (in contrast to the OP). It’s a nice ED – both on its own and in conjunction with Bakuon.
Voice-acting performances are of a similar quality to the ED. Reina Ueda as Hane does a splendid job of acting happy. Nao Touyama as Rin brings the passion. And Yumi Uchiyama as Onsa did well with a slightly mature voice to fit the slightly mature girl.
As for the other tracks from the original soundtrack, they do well. Lots of piano pieces – on both the low and high end – for the silly times and the bittersweet times, as well as daintier woodwind pieces for the laidback and fast-paced moments. (“Oyaoya!!” is especially fun.) Also, all that guitar. Tracks like “Kinpaku!!”, “Bushitsu!!”, and “Bakubaku!!” bring, like riding a motorcycle, lots of cool, tough vibes.
It may seem like standard slice-of-life fair for this fairly slice-of-life show, but the various compositions, tones, and motifs, combined with the large quantity of music itself, make the OST a more-than-strong offering.
I had a lot of fun with this one.
One of the best jokes from the entire season was when Hane met Jesus. Him responding to her “Thank God” comment, and His revelation that motorcycles were around way back when had me laughing hard.
But it wasn’t just this example; I found myself laughing at many other points. Hijiri using training wheels on her motorcycle, blurred out symbols on the motorbike to avoid copyright infringement, and Onsa (with Raimu) poking fun at the Suzuki brand of bikes each got me smiling.
Though my favorite parts of the show were Rin and Hane.
Rin’s more tsundere tendencies were a welcome sight. As was her running gag with a semi-jerk dad, her calling the smaller-sized Katana users losers, and her overzealous nature in general made her quite likable.
While Rin ekes out the win as my favorite character in the show (just barely so), Hane was always making me smile, too. Mostly because she’s simply a very happy, very fun person.
She was worried that Yume would yell at her if she lied to Rin about Rin’s Suzuki. Her goofball impersonation of a motorcycle: “Vroom! Put, put, put.” The enthusiastic conversations she had with Baita the talking bike. Her happiness rubbed off on me, making the anime an even more entertaining experience overall.
In all honesty, this anime is nothing too special. It does not drive for anything unique or arguably memorable. It does not have the strongest cast imaginable. And it does not have anything overly interesting. But I had fun without a doubt.
Bakuon!! may hit a few bumps in the road, but that doesn’t stop it from reaching its destination. Its theme on foolishness makes those sharp turns. Its sound-work gets over those hills. And its likable cast and silly jokes stop it from taking too many detours. All in all, it would make for quite the metallic hand-me-down.
Story: Great, motorcycles, comedy, and sincerity support the idea that “foolishness” has its problems, but the rewards are far grander
Animation: Bad, boring artistic direction, below average actual animation, and slightly below average character designs
Characters: Fine, while Hane, Rin, Onsa, Raimu, Chisame, and Hijiri are not much more than their base characteristics, their continued theme on foolishness makes them more thematically relevant
Sound: Good, okay OP, good ED, good OST, good VA performances
Enjoyment: Good, it’s nothing special, but it’s a fun-filled, happy time nonetheless
A funny, epesodic, fan-servicy anime about cute girls on motorcycles. While I do not know.... well, anything about motorbikes, this show breaks down concepts enough for you to understand the incoming jokes. If you like motorbikes and/or a bit of slapstick comedy you might wanna check this out.
There is not much overarching story here and most episodes are self contained. Hence it gets a sort of low grade.
The art is pretty nice overall. The characters are all designed differently that you do not get bored looking at them. The motorbikes are all well designed too (goodness knows they better be). I tend
to make a habit of watching cars in the background of anime to see how good the cg is. While most shows seem to put no effort into this aspect, the cg in this show is pretty good. most moving shots of the girls on their bikes are cg.
The characters are really what holds the show together. They all have wildly different personalities. It would take too long to go into their details but its fun to watch them clash over their bike preferences.
Your enjoyment mileage may vary. As much as I think this show will fade into the ether of cute girl anime and be forgotten, I think it has picked a niche corner to hold down. After all there probably are not that many anime about motorbikes.