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Motorcycle On The Coast Road

Many shows that have a character (often a "bad boy"/"bad girl" type) who owns a motorcycle will show that character riding along such a coast road in their opening or closing credits. Usually the camera angle is low and facing the sea where the sun rests upon the horizon, casting crimson sparkles over the wavetops below and behind the featured character as they drive across the screen.

For some reason, this is extremely common in Japan, perhaps because in many places in Japan (but most famously near Tokyo) there can be found curving roads on low cliffs that run right up against the Pacific Ocean (or the Sea of Japan, depending on the location). When Hollywood does something similar, the coast road in question will invariably be California SR 1, the Pacific Coast Highway.

See also Riding into the Sunset.


Examples

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    Anime 

  • Ah! My Goddess, both in the original OVAs and as the second set of closing credits for the 2006-present TV series.
  • Bubblegum Crisis OAV 5 - Moonlight Rambler, featured Priss and her new friend Sylvie riding along the coast.
  • Macross II
  • Real Bout High School
  • Mai-HiME
  • Gakuen Heaven
  • Parodied (like most anime tropes) in Pretty Sammy, with a three-day father-and-daughter motorcycle-on-the-coast ride which resulted in both falling asleep, driving into the ocean, and ending up on a tropical isle in time for the Beach Episode.
  • In Earth Maiden Arjuna, this trope is exactly the plot trigger: Juna and her boyfriend are riding his motorbike in a coast road near Tokyo, when some bizarre spirit makes him lose control and crash. Juna dies, but because she's The Chosen One, she's revived and turned into a Magical Girl.
  • Haruko from AIR. Curiously, her driving is much better in the opening than it is in the actual series.
  • School Rumble
  • Planetes, although in this case it actually becomes a dramatic element. The character in question gets lost in thought, and crashes over the rail into the ocean.
    • Was also shown in the ending credits, which we find out that it was showing the moment that a character decided to become an astronaut.
  • FLCL, though with a moped Vespa.
  • Used in the closing seconds of episode five of Melody of Oblivion.
  • Occasionally, entire sections of the episodes in You're Under Arrest! are on coast roads, almost always on motorcycles.
  • Golden Boy parodies this by featuring a dramatic race along coastal roads between the Girl of the Week, who's a stereotypical motorcycle nut, and the lead character riding a pushbike.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children did something very similar over the credits.
  • This is the last shot of Mai in the Season 4/Doma Arc finale of Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • The manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and its OAV series (also known as Quiet Country Cafe) make grandiose and significant use of this, sometimes dedicating entire chapters to quite literally motorcycle rides on coastal roads. Mind you, said coast roads are often rather further inland than you might expect. In fact, there are a few chapters which are nothing more but a collection of "Motorcycle On The Coast Road" images, with no dialog or character interaction whatsoever. Works surprisingly beautifully.
  • Gintama also features the moped variant — in all four of its opening themes.
  • Featured in both the opening of Lamune and the series itself, as Kenji is shown to be quite dedicated to the motorcycle he got from his father. Midway through the series, another motorcycle girl, Misora, appears.
  • One episode of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has a scene of Shinn doing this, in Homage to director Mitsuo Fukuda's earlier series Future GPX Cyber Formula.
  • Happened in the first episode of Blood+, when Kai gave Saya a ride on his motorcycle to her doctor's appointment. She specifically asked him to take "the scenic route" that brought them by the coast. It was a serenely beautiful scene, perfect for lulling the audience into a false sense of security before the sun went down and the monsters came out.
  • Kaere, Chie, and Nozomu pulling a rather boisterous one of these is the final scene of the first season of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure had some of these. All of them featured Masahiro driving the bike with Rina sitting behind him.

    Film 

    Literature 

  • This imagery appears in the William Gibson short story The Winter Market.
    There's a segment on Kings of Sleep; it's like you're on a motorcycle at midnight, no lights but somehow you don't need them, blasting out along a cliff-high stretch of coast highway, so fast that you hang there in a cone of silence, the bike's thunder lost behind you.

     Live Action TV  

  • Then Came Bronson was a TV show about a man who decided to "take to the road" and have adventures on his motorcycle. Think of Route 66 done on two wheels instead of four. The show spent a lot of time doing the exact thing described above, long shoots across what is probably the California Coastline showing the highway.
  • The pilot of the 2nd season of Seaquest DSV could be argued to have this. Of course, fans of the series are rather shocked to learn that the speeding cycle-rider is none other than Captain Bridger.
  • Nate does this in Six Feet Under, shortly after discovering he's terminally ill. On a Harley, in Cool Shades, to the inspired soundtrack of "Don't Fear The Reaper".
  • In the Taiwanese Series Mars, the lead character, a professional motorcycle racer, takes his girl out for a leisurely drive along the coast.
  • In the Korean Series Scent of a Woman, it's a ride along the coast road, but on a bicycle.

     Music 
  • Blue Oyster Cult use the SR1 California coastal highway explicitly in two songs on their The Revolution By Night album. "Shadow of California" is about a Hell's Angels chapter racing up from San Bernadino to Los Angeles on an unknown mission. "Feel The Thunder" is even more explicit: three Angels going on a night ride up the coastal highway come to grief on a tricky curve and are summoned for judgement by Satan (it is the night of October 31st)

     Video Games  

  • The end of Revenge of Meta-Knight in Kirby Super Star, where Kirby is riding along the coast at sunset on a Wheelie, with the sinking wreck of the Halberd in the background.
  • The stage/episode endings of Geppy X.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas lets you do this in several places, notably near Angel Pine and Blueberry. It's very cathartic.
    • Until you hit a randomly-generated traffic accident, and get hurled off your bike and into the sea.
      • Just like in Real Life... well, ideally not. Still possible.
  • Shows up in the opening and closing credits in various Pokémon games, albeit in bicycle flavor.
  • Doable in EarthBound once you get a bicycle, although you are stripped of your ride after the second town because it's not fair to the rest of your (bikeless) party to be unable to share in your fun.


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