I thought to myself whether or not to watch Bakuon since it has cute girls being enthusiastic about motorbikes. After deciding to watch the first four episodes, I felt that it’s a lot deeper than what I thought initially and it’s quite obvious why.
While I don’t have a huge interest in cars or even motorbikes, watching or hearing people talk about or ride them is enjoyable considering that unless you live in a city, you need a vehicle to get to work. It is certainly something that some younger generations tend to take for granted since most choose to live in the city.
Of course, cars and motorbikes are not only used for transportation, but also for fun and entertainment since people seem to enjoy watching shows about cars or even motorbikes or riding/driving them. This is probably a reason shows like Top Gear and Regular Car Reviews are so popular. Sure, there are some factual stuff, but these shows mostly focus on the entertaining aspect. This is probably why people tend to enjoy these shows even if they don’t know much about cars because watching people riding them while being enthusiastic about them is very refreshing.
In other words, Bakuon is exactly like that, except it focuses more on high school girls being enthusiastic about motorbikes and having fun riding them while breaking the stereotypes that motorbikes are for boys and delinquents. There is no wonder Sakura Hane becomes interested in riding one after seeing Onsa riding one to school and of course, taking a ride on Raimu’s bike.
Also, Hijiri, who comes from a rich family and knows nothing about them instantly became fascinated in motorbikes after looking at other girls riding them. Like I said earlier, someone like Hijiri still enjoys riding on them despite being unable to operate one or know much about them since they are cool.
Aside from that, there are two other things that are very relatable, becoming attached to a vehicle you own and of course brand loyalty and fanboyism. It’s true that most people might grow an emotional attachment to something like a car since he or she will use it every day. Sure, it costs money to own a car or a motorbike since you need to maintain it and have insurance, as Rin mentions, one will eventually develop a bond because you have to take care of it so it won’t break down. We see this when Hane grows some attachment to her training bike, which eventually led her to buy the same model after passing the test.
While I don’t ride a motorbike, I do own and drive a 1999 Volvo S70 that my parents gave me when I moved to my new job. Sure, it has gone through a lot with some things like the interior lights not working and the seats being worn out, but the car has a lot of history since it was my mother’s car. When I had to drive a Ford Focus for a week while my car was being repaired, it’s not the same since it doesn’t handle the same way as the car I usually drive. It’s because you eventually get used to how your own car drives that it becomes somewhat difficult to drive something else. In short, I could relate to Hane when she rides on a different Honda motorcycle and started to ride it nervously. It’s obvious that she grew some attachment to Baita who can surprisingly talk. Eventually, she got used to the new training bike thanks to her friends’ support and pass the test.
Another thing that I like about the show is of course pokes fun at brand loyalty and fanboys. Like Hane, she basically buys a Honda CB400 just because she used one at the training school she went to. This is like going to a driving school to get a driver’s license and deciding to get a Honda Accord or a Toyota Corolla after getting one just because the driving school uses them.
Sure, there are probably better cars or motorbikes out there, but most people buy the same thing because of strong brand loyalty. Unless there is something that makes him or her dislike a brand such as unreliability or poor customer support, a person will likely stay loyal to a specific brand. However, it limits the excitement to one brand and he or she will unlikely try other brands. To me, my parents only drives Volvos because they are safe and reliable.
Of course, there is the extreme side to brand loyalty and that is fanboyism/fangirlism. When it comes to cars and motorbikes, it is taken to the max for some people as he or she will swear by one brand and look down people who drive other cars or bikes that are not made by the company they prefer. This is also true with luxury cars as people will swear by BMW or Mercedes-Benz and think that everything else is mediocre.
This is probably why Rin is a very enjoyable character. Aside from being attractive, she is a big Suzuki fangirl and will ride on nothing but Suzuki since she swears by them to no end, especially after writing an essay so that her dad can buy a limited edition model. Of course, Onsa upsets her when she badmouths Suzuki since she thinks that they are overrated. There is no wonder they don’t get along. In general, this is an example that fanboys/fangirls can’t take criticism when there are flaws in the vehicles from their favorite company is making. Fanboyism and fangirlism is not only strong with things like cars and bikes, but other things like computers, smart phones, video games, etc.
In short, it’s quite obvious why Bakuon is enjoyable like shows that focuses on people riding or talking about cars and motorbikes. Aside from the coolness factor in seeing what other people drive or ride, there is also an emotional aspect to owning any type of vehicle since not only you will grow an attachment to it, but you might also create life experiences that one will remember such as taking a road trip for years to come. This aspect is something that the girls are doing as they ride their bikes to places to create memories together regardless of their brand preferences. The fact that they are bikers unifies them.
With that, do you find the girls relatable to your experiences with cars and motorbikes? Feel free to share.