BAKUON!! is a twelve-episode slice-of-life comedy series about a group of girls in their school’s motorcycle club. The original manga was written by Mimana Orimoto, whilst it was adapted into an anime by the studio TMS Entertainment. The director for the anime was Junji Nishimura, whilst it was written by Kurasumi Sunayami.
BAKUON!! can be watched on Crunchyroll.
BAKUON!! takes place at Okanoue Girls’ High School, where girls are permitted to ride motorcycles to school. Main protagonist Hane Sakura is awed when she sees a fellow student riding a motorbike to school, and she goes on to join the motorcycle club and even buy her own bike.
Of course, as this is a slife-of-life series, there isn’t much in the way of plot – the anime pretty much just follows the everyday lives of the girls of the motorcycle club and the different situations they find themselves in.
Whilst this probably won’t be enough to draw in those who aren’t big fans of the slice-of-life genre, it could be said the motorcycle aspect of this anime may draw in a few bike fans. The different bikes the girls ride are all motorcycles that actually exist in the real world, and there’s definitely a fair bit of motorcycle trivia one could pick up from watching this anime.
Though the bikes play a major role, it’s probably a good idea to go over the characters. After all, characters are always important in the slice-of-life genre; if the characters aren’t interesting, there’s not much to keep an audience captivated.
BAKUON!!‘s main protagonist is Hane Sakura, and one of the first things we see her do is imitate a motorbike whilst she’s riding her bicycle. She is a friendly, kind-hearted lass who definitely has cloudcuckoolander tendencies.
Next up is Rin Suzunoki, an avid fan of Suzuki motorbikes. Being so passionate about Suzuki bikes, Rin gets angry whenever someone belittles them in front of her. Officially she isn’t a member of the motorcycle club, but Rin always happens to be around during their activities. Rin is also probably the biggest source of fanservice in the show; she wears a skin-tight racing suit and is well-endowed. The other girls get opportunities for fanservice as well, but Rin has the most.
Onsa Amano is the tomboy of the group, and tends to be fairly relaxed towards her hobby. However, should the need arise, she can get serious about biking. It’s also worth noting that she and Rin often get into arguments concerning their bikes, but those are the kinds of arguments that only serve as fuel for shippers.
Hijiri Minowa is a rich girl, with wants to be a rebel – she views the motorcycle club as delinquents and eagerly joins so she can become the same. However, she is a kind-natured person. When the motorcycle club goes out in the beginning of the series, Hijiri rides in her butler’s sidecar. Later on she obtains a moped license and rides a Honda Super Cub.
Raimu is always seen wearing her helmet, and never utters a single word. Effectively she is Bakuon!!‘s version of The Stig from Top Gear. She is a seasoned biker who serves as a big sister for the group. Raimu’s true age is never revealed, though it’s hinted at that she may have been at the school for at least two decades.
Chisame Nakano is the last member to join the motorcycle club, and that happens during the latter half of the anime. Whilst she’s a prodigy when it comes to racing, she has a height complex due to petite stature.
Beside the five mentioned here, there are several other characters who make appearances – these include family, friends and teachers. The assorted characters certainly make for an interesting group, and it’s a fairly enjoyable dynamic the motorcycle club members have amongst themselves.
The members of the motorcycle club actually have some parallels with the girls of K-On!, with the exception of Raimu.
Hane is very similar to Yui, in that she’s a first timer who takes well to her new hobby and has a more responsible younger sister.
Rin can be compared to Mio – both are sources of fanservice for their respective shows, and are also fairly experienced in their hobbies.
Onsa and Ritsu share more than a few traits: both are tomboys, and they can be pretty relaxed.
Of course, Hijiri as the rich girl is comparable to Mugi. They both joined their clubs as it provided them with the chance to do something different.
Finally, we have Chisame Nakano, similar to Azusa Nakano. They both have the same surname, cat-like personalities, petite figures and twintails. Both characters alos happen to have more experience then the main protagonists.
Whilst motorcycles and interesting characters may draw in an audience, there will be some there for the fanservice. As already mentioned, a lot of this comes from Rin, but there are occasions when the other girls get in on it too – one particular example being a bikini-clad Hane lathering herself up with soap and rubbing her body all over her bike to clean it. This may be enough to drive some viewers away, and stuff like that does feel a little forced at times.
The comedy in BAKUON!! is pretty fun. It does become quite surreal sometimes, particularly concerning a certain biker who has a halo… Regardless, there’s plenty there in terms of laughs and makes it well worth coming back for each episode.
BAKUON!! is a lot of fun to watch, even if you aren’t a big fan of motorcycles. Whilst the bikes do play an important role, they never really detract from the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ formula, and even add a unique selling point.
Very enjoyable, providing both laughs and bike trivia. The fanservice at times can be a bit much, but for some people that would be a plus. Either way, BAKUON!!‘s combination of slice-of-life and motorcycles is something that will most likely appeal to fans of the genre.