Every day Hane Sakura makes the arduous trip to school, cycling up a large hill on her bicycle. After encountering the motorcycle enthusiast Onsa Amano one morning, she is introduced to the motorcycle club, led by the ever-silent Raimu Kawasaki. New to motorcycles, Sakura experiences firsthand the difficulty of learning to ride again. However, through this, she hopes to once again recreate her first biking experience, which was filled with both horror and exhilaration.
Alongside Baita, the talking motorcycle; Rin Suzunoki, a Suzuki model enthusiast; Hijiri Minowa, a wealthy girl who dreams of being a thug; and professional racer Chisame Nakano, Sakura strives toward getting her bike license and experiencing the joys and hardships of motorcycles.
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!
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.
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.
Admit it! You really do wish you could burn rubber on a 2-wheeled beauty, as you race through neon-lit Tokyo streets. Speed demons may need to check out some of the following motorbikes in anime in order to get their adrenaline rush!