I do not have much an intro for this show. Let us not waste time and shift into turbo as we ride along the Girls Club road of Bakuon!! and see if the finish line will bring the interested joy or sorrow.
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life
Themes: Motorcycles, Ecchi
Number of episodes: 12+1 OVA
Plot Summary: Hane Sakura is a high school student who looks a little bit like an airhead. On the way to her all-female high school one day, she is worn-out climbing a hilly road with a bicycle, but she sees a girl named Onsa Amano who is riding a motorcycle. Sakura immediately becomes interested in motorcycles, and she and Onsa join the motorcycle club at the school. Then, Sakura sets out to get her license.
First of all let us get the obvious out of the way. Yes, Bakuon!!’s character archetypes and dynamics are heavily from K-ON!. However, while there are similarities in the main girls’ interactions as K-ON! the show has enough unique traits to stand on its own two feet besides it being about “cute girls riding motorcycles”. Bakuon!!, like many other Girls Club shows is about the daily lives of cute girls doing whatever they feel like doing. As I already mentioned this one is about our heroines riding, discussing, debating motorcycles while having lots of fun doing so and experiencing some neat character developing moments even though the show is more about the laughs (and sexiness), again like any other good Girls Club show.
Also like any other good Girls Club show centered around cute girls doing something more besides cute things, there is educational value to be found in Bakuon!! This is where the discussion and debating part comes in as viewers learn about various kinds of motorcycles and their brands such as the Yamaha, Honda and especially the Suzuki. There are also history lessons about said brands and teaching the basics about motorcycle parts and how to best handle and take care of one. There is even referential humor that motorcycle aficionados and enthusiasts will enjoy.
Bakuon!! contains the “ecchi” tag in the themes section. The first half of the show has several instances where the girls show off their sexiness intentionally or because the camera person is naughty. The above image is from the second half of the show where the ecchi-ness was toned down and only graced viewers’ screens once in a while compared to the first half’s rapid raging otaku boner inducing madness. The bright side for some may be that there is little to no experimentation with breast physics. I would say the interested who have the willpower to endure the first half’s ecchi-ness will be able to relax in the second half, around the time the of the big race. Speaking of racing…
While the racing segments are not as fast as a motocross Grand Prix that does not mean they are devoid of excitement. It is thanks to the good animation quality that can be seen beyond the sexiness with slick moves and occasional ridiculously awesome stunts. When not racing watching the girls casually riding to their destinations and occasionally goofing off is also enjoyable. As far as the soundtrack goes apart from the enjoyable OP and ED I honestly do not remember any of the show’s background tunes. I dunno. Guess I enjoyed the show so much that I did not pay attention to the soundtrack. To be specific, I am not saying the soundtrack sucks. In fact it blends very well with the show. It is just that none of the tunes stood out or were memorable to me apart from the OP and ED.
As for the characters, besides their character developing moments and flashbacks they can be summed the following ways:
- Hane (brunette): Lovable airhead who falls in love with bike riding and is the optimistic inspiration for the team.
- Onsa (black): The leader of the Bike Club who knows a lot about bikes due to her family owning a used bike shop. Best known for her passionate speeches that are sometimes inspirational but more often than not are her attempt to sound cool. She has a feud with Rin due to the latter loving Suzuki brand motorcycles and the former hating them.
- Rin (blonde): the tsundere with a heart of gold of the group who is best known for her amazing body, being a Suzuki supporter till her dying breath, her aforementioned feud with Onsa and being the (usually) undeserved butt of undeserved “misery” jokes. Even when she comes out on top it still feels like she kind of lost.
- Hijiri (purple): The “Mugi” of the group. A rich girl who wants to be “wild”. She also comes with her very own super cool Turbo Butler.
- Raimu (Indigo): The mysterious senior who never speaks and instead communicates by writing. She is a badass on the road and when being a caring senior but an adorable goof like everyone else when not riding. Being the masked character of the show her true identity is a mystery. The only bits of information viewers learn about her come in the form of flashbacks with her old Bike Club team.
- There is a sixth member who joins the group around the fourth quarter. Let me put it this way, out of all the characters I described who share similarities to the K-ON! cast, who have I not yet mentioned?
The following ship should be of no surprise to longtime animeniacs. While there are other yuri ships present Onsa X Rin is the most consistent one getting shipping material.
Overall Bakuon!! is exactly what I hoped it would be, a fun Girls Club anime about cute girls riding motorcycles. Though it shares similarities to K-ON! it has enough material to stand on its own two feet. Recommended to animeniacs who enjoy SoL shows and do not mind ecchi-ness, especially ones who also happen to be motorcycle enthusiasts. While I am not a fan of motorcycles it did not deter my enjoyment of this show at all. Good stuff! Not for everyone but such is the case with non-mainstream anime.
I initially did not want to talk about this character because I felt he was no big deal but I suppose we shall briefly address the elephant in the room that I refer to as Biker Jesus. Maybe it is because I did not bother reading too deeply into whatever messages he had when he showed up but as far as this religious spoof character being offensive goes, believe me when I say that this is child’s play compared to far worse depictions I have seen in Western media, especially adult cartoons or PASSION OF THE FREAKIN’ CHRIST! Let us not even bring up the countless “Christsploitation” movies that make Christians look like hapless victims and everyone else (especially atheists) unforgivable heathens who deserve to rot in hell.
Point being even if this character really is a spoof bashing our Lord and Savior and Christianity it is a weak attempt and hardly worth noticing compared to other spoofs. In fact I thought he was amusing.