Manga / Bakuon!!

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Meet the Okanoue Girls High School Motorcycle club!

Bakuon!! (ばくおん!!) is a Seinen manga about girls and their motorcycles. It was written and drawn by Mimana Orimoto and serialized in the Young Champion Retsu magazine since 2011. As of 2016 it had seven volumes published. An anime adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment started airing in the spring of 2016, while an OAD was released along the seventh volume. The series is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

Hane Sakura has to ride her bicycle up several steep hills just to get to her new high school. As she is desperately pedaling, she sees and hears a motorcycle zoom past her and instantly falls in love with it. It turns out that bike was driven by her new classmate Onsa Amano, who decided to attend this school because there is no policy against motorcycles. Not only that, there is apparently a motorcycle club on campus. Hane and Onsa instantly become friends and she is able to convince Hane to start riding a bike. Now the only thing Hane has to do is get a license...

Tropes appearing in Bakuon!!:

  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: Episode 3, which adapts chapter 7 of the manga. In manga, Hane takes out her new Su-Four for its maiden drive in the middle of rush hour, and as a result vehicular traffic was at a standstill. Hane goes at full-throttle anyway, as if the traffic wasn't there, (and in Hane's POV, there really aren't any vehicles on the road) which fits with Hane's theme about how she sees motorbiking as freedom. In the anime however she starts up on an empty thoroughfare (likely due to the studio saving costs as far as background movement goes), which makes the choice of still using the grayed-out "Hane vision" odd, as there's not much difference between reality and Hane's idealized vision at all.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Rin talking to herself about how hot and bothered she was while riding her Katana, as well as how she couldn't wait to get to the toilet as a result, and unknowingly transmitting all of this via radio to her friends' headsets, was cut out of episode 03.
    • Likewise, the interview of the girls by the bike magazine, and its aftermath (described in the Spooky Photographs and Unperson entries) was also not adapted.
    • The small detail that one of the teams that Raimu-sempai was racing against twenty years ago was made up of Onsa and Rin's dads didn't make it to episode 03 either.
    • Episode 04 cuts out a lot of the Ducati bike trivia Hayakawa likes to spout in the manga, like when the trio of parked Ducatis spontaneously tip over after expelling their oil, and his excuse why the engine on his bike exploded after the trip to the open-air hot spring.
    • Episode 05 takes out the group's visit to the penitentiary tourist spot, as well as the part where they get to compare their sunburns, culminating in Onsa heckling Rin's "visor" sunburn due to her closed-faced racing helmet. Also when they finally realize (thanks to some quizzing by their classmates) that they visited virtually none of the famous tourist spots in Hokkaido, as they spent most of their time there on the road.
  • Badass Biker: NOT our girls, but Hijiri's image of bikers as devil-may-care miscreants was shaped by movies like Rebel Without a Cause. It's for this reason why she joined the bike club, and a major factor why she's usually the first to agree to any situation that would be "exciting" (meaning dangerous).
  • Bait and Switch: Rin's segment at the start of Episode 2, where the flashback to her childhood makes it seem that her father died from his injuries. Fast forward to the present day, and we see that not only did he survive, but he's smugly riding the very same Katana (a limited run model that you need to write an essay to even get a chance to buy) that Rin cried her eyes out writing an essay for.
  • Bi the Way: Saruyama-sensei, she has had and been dumped by thirteen boyfriends because when she drinks she turns into a Psycho Lesbian who pretty much tries to rape any cute girls she can get her hands on.
  • Biker Babe: Raimu, Onsa, and Rin already have their licenses at the beginning. Hane (studying for license exam) and Hijiri (waiting to be of age to take the exam) get their during the series.
  • Bland-Name Product: Thoroughly averted, at least for bikes and related equipment such as helmets.
  • Bleached Underpants: This manga is Mimana Orimoto's only regular mainstream series. Everything else? R-18 material, both doujin and original alike.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Hane. In the manga, one sip of Saruyama-sensei's beer leaves her unconscious on the floor. Even more exaggerated in the anime, where just smelling the beer is enough to make her pass out.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Suzuki Cup (the "Holy Grail") that Hane receives from Jesus Christ. It ends up saving Rin's life a few chapters later.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hane has shades of this, what's with talking to and getting pointers from the driving school's bike and stuff.
  • Conspicuous CG: The motorcycles in the anime.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The team that the previous Motorcycle club went up against during its disastrous final race? It was made up of Onsa and Rin's dads.
  • Cool Bike: Raimu, story-wise. Splash pages from the manga has each of the girls drawn with one, although they have different bikes in-story.
  • Cry Cute: Rin, after she saved the two foxes when she was speeding in an empty road in Hokkaido in Chapter 13/Episode 5.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Raimu. She got to 309 kph (around 190 mph) on her Kawasaki Ninja while taking Hane on a spin.
  • Ethical Slut: Onsa tends to give off this impression, especially in episode three where she tries to explain why brand loyalty is a bad thing by saying it's like only ever being with one lover, later calls herself a cheap woman when she fixes Hane's used Su-4, and finally when Hane asks why passing bikers are giving the girls victory signs, Onsa says they are actually propositioning them for 20,000 yen, then says that she only goes for 50,000.
  • Excited Show Title!: Not Bakuon, but Bakuon!! The two exclamation points are part of the title.
  • Expy:
    • Raimu is basically The Stig, only female and wearing seifuku. The translating group went further in saying that all three early protagonists beside Raimu has parallel to Top Gear hosts (Onsa to Jeremy Clarkson, Hane to James May, and Rin to Richard Hammond).
    • Each member of the Bike Club (barring Raimu) parallels the members of Houkago Tea-Time in K-On!. Supported by how the color-scheme of the volumes that feature each character on the cover matches their rough equivalent in K-On!:
      • Hane = Yui. Both appear on book one (red background). Both are first-timers who take surprisingly well to their new hobbies. Both are the elder siblings, but have a more responsible younger sister to make sure they stay out of trouble (Yume for Hane, Ui for Yui).
      • Rin = Mio. Both appear on book two (blue background). While not experts, they already have experience in the hobby, and both have foibles that don't really make them "normal" either (Rin's Suzuki fangirling, Mio's shyness). Also they're both the designated source of Fanservice. They also are Foils to the yellow background character.
      • Onsa = Ritsu. Both appear on book three (yellow background). Both are tomboys who straddle the middling level of expertise among their friends, and both have a somewhat relaxed perspective to their hobbies, though can get serious when the need arises. They also are Foils to the blue background character.
      • Hijiri = Mugi. Both appear on book four (purple background). Both are from privileged families, both joined the clubs because it was a chance to do something different from what they were used to.
      • Chisame = Azusa. Both have the same surname (Nakano), are one year younger than the rest, have cat-like personalities, petite figures, twintails, and occupy the same position as the protagonists, albeit more experienced. (Chisame is a Honda biker like Hane, Asuza is a guitarist like Yui). She also appears on book five (as Asuza probably would if the K-On! manga had not ended one volume earlier).
  • The Faceless/One-Way Visor: Both Raimu and Rin's father wear their motorcycle helmets 24-7, with the latter going as far as doing so while at home and in his undies. Oddly enough, the latter wasn't that way when Rin was a child, but seemed to have started doing so in the wake of his accident.
  • Fangirl: Rin is a Suzuki fangirl.
  • Game of Chicken: Chapter 5/the second half of Episode 2 revolves around this. Hijiri proposes it. All of the Bike Club gets on with it at a riverbank, but Onsa and Rin dropped out due to them thinking that it's stupid. Raimu (with Hane riding shotgun) wins, and Hijiri took a plunge to the river (uninjured save for a broken glasses). All this also doubles as a big shout-out to Rebel Without a Cause.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Rin.
  • God Was My Copilot: During a roadtrip, Hane encounters a man in need of gas and offers to siphon some of hers to help him. At the gas station, it's revealed that he has an "I am Jesus" helmet and he proceeds to hand her the Holy Grail, a limited edition Suzuki cup. Said cup later saves Rin's life.
  • Hair Decorations: Hane's wing hairclips, Onsa's white hairband, Rin's ribbon-with-bells for her twintails, the massive pink ribbon at the back of Raimu's helmet, and Hijiri's thin ribbon hairband.
  • Hearing Voices: Hane can apparently hear the voice of the motorbike she rode while she was at riding school. It's interesting to note that she only hears the voice of that particular bike, and when she's given a brand-new motorcycle to ride for her final proficiency exam, she couldn't hear anything from it at all. It's later revealed that the bike in question, Baita, is a Sentient Vehicle, whose eccentricities are known even by the staff of the school.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Rin's father never seemed to take the safety of his child into consideration when he took her riding with him. Besides the constant wrecking episode 04 shows he also would do stunts that would fling Rin into the air. Though it should be noted that Rin was usually unharmed, physically, from these wrecks while her father was typically on deaths door.
  • Honest John's Dealership: It turns out, Onsa's father runs a shop like this. Onsa is embarrassed to take her friends there as a result, and a brief go-through by Raimu and Rin of the shop's inventory reveal the many, many problems the bikes supposedly on sale are hiding. Rin is particularly horrified about the place, more so when she finds out that her own bike, the same one that was used by her father, was bought from the very same store.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the preparation for the Bike Club's event for the school festival, Onsa heckles Rin for being a sucker for believing how "occult" mods increase bike performance. It turns out she's also using sketchy and unproven means to increase her Serrow's performance (through engine oil supplements rather than actual attachments).
  • Incendiary Exponent: What happened to the final race of the previous Motorcycle club twenty years ago, where the team's rider continued on to the finish line despite being set on fire due to poor maintenance practices. Then her bike exploded before she even got to the goal. Said racer was Raimu, which just goes to show how old she really is.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Hane, while wearing a bikini, decides to wash her bike by soaping up her whole body and rubbing up against it, with absolutely no idea of the fanservice she's providing.
  • Jerk Ass: Onsa has a mild case of this, especially when faced with Rin's Suzuki fangirling.
  • Magical Realism: There are definitely some strange things that pop up without much explanation in this series. Hane's training bike seems to be able to talk, and not only to her. She also shares some gasoline with Jesus Christ on the side of the road; not only does he teleport Hane to her destination ahead of her friends, he also gives her a "Holy Grail" which serendipitously stops Rin from running over some foxes.
  • Messy Hair: Onsa's curly mop, more so in the manga than in the anime. It's the reason why Rin gave her the nickname "moja" (or "frizzy").
  • Motorcycle on the Coast Road: Prominent in the OP.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rin, with her exceptionally large bust and skin-tight riding outfit.
  • Mysterious Waif: Raimu. Not only is she one of the principals former classmates and her upperclassman, she was already old enough to gamble when she was going to school with the principal. Whether that means she was just held back then or not there's still no reasonable explanation as to why she's still going to school now. And we still haven't seen her face yet.
  • The Ojou: Hijiri, complete with butler.
  • Older Than They Look: Raimu. It says a lot when the current principal of the school was one of your juniors.
    • We find out later that she was already at least 20 when she went to school with the principal implying that this might have been going on since before even then.
  • Old Retainer: Hayakawa, who's apparently old enough to have served Hijiri's family for four generations.
  • Parental Abandonment: In chapter 2, Onsa and Raimu (and the readers) are led to believe that Hane's parents are deceased... only for Hane to blurt out that now she can take her sister on a ride to visit them. In America.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Rin's flashbacks in which her Dad has a wipeout, ends up in the hospital with a full body cast, and melodramatically tells Rin that he's not going to make it, only to turn out fine afterwards.
    • Rin seems to be an accident magnet. Her Establishing Character Moment was when she experienced a particularly bad wipe out at the Motorbike driving center (where she slams into a concrete post), and her childhood flashbacks seem to be a constant string of accidents, no thanks to her absent-minded father.
    • Hayakawa waxing poetic about the Ducatis he drives for Hijiri's family, only for said Ducati to suffer a catastrophic explosion shortly after. Which is then followed by a helicopter flying in a brand-new Ducati for use.
    • Raimu can't seem to win a race where she's an actual participant, despite being probably the most skilled and experience biker in the club.
  • Scars Are Forever: Rin, again. Due to a childhood accident, she has a burn scar on her left ass cheek shaped like the Suzuki logo. To double the fun, this was something she completely forgot about until her friends pointed this out to her.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Not quite, but the only reason the Bike Club was able to continue existing is because the Principal used to be Raimu's kouhai, and she was feeling generous.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Hijiri's family motto is this. So she "bought" a motorcycle license in another country and had it transferred to Japan. However, Onsa insists that Hijiri get her license legitimately, and promptly destroys it because Hijiri doesn't even know what a yellow traffic light means!
  • Senpai Kohai: Raimu seems to be everyone's senpai. Even the school principal and the old professionals at the racetrack call her "Raimu-senpai."
  • Sentient Vehicle: Baita, the training bike, is revealed to be this, when one of the maintenance crew at the training school replies to its musings.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's either Raimu or Lime. The anime itself is inconsistent as well, showing "Raimu" on-screen in the opening but "Lime" in episode 7.
  • Spooky Photographs: What the photographers from G+Bike magazine got after they took a picture of the five friends during Hane's debut bike trip. A dark aura was resonating out of Rin's Katana, and there was an inhuman shadow right above Rin herself. It was disturbing enough that they had to edit Rin out entirely, even in the interview that came with the photo.
  • Vague Age: Hayakawa. He remembers being sent to The Gulag in Siberia in the wake of World War II (which hints that he was stationed in Manchuria before that point), but one after-chapter extra hints that he might have been born sometime during the Meiji Restoration.
    • Raimu. If one uses Tazuko (the Principal) as a point of reference, then at the minimum Raimu is in her mid-30s.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Baita the Training-school bike identifies itself as male. And a neutered male at that. Its voiced by Kikuko Inoue.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Onsa and Rin have this dynamic.
  • The Voiceless: Raimu.
  • Theme Naming: The names of the members of the Bike Club each reflect their bike brand preferences:
    • Hane means "wing". Her brand of choice is Honda, which has a wing motif on its logo.
    • Rin means "bell". Her brand of choice is Suzuki, which is not only reflected in the syllables of her surname (Suzunoki), but also by how the "suzu" in Suzuki could also be mean bell.
    • Onsa means "tuning fork". Her bikes are Yamahas, which use tuning forks in its labels.
    • Raimu refers to the color, which is iconic for Kawasaki's bikes. Her surname also refers to the brand itself.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: In the anime. While the manga makes it a point to show crowds of people milling about in its city scenes, any scene outside of Okanoue High seems oddly deserted. See Adaptation Induced Plothole as well for more details.
  • Unperson: Rin, but its played entirely for laughs. The five girls get interviewed by a bike magazine while they were on tour to celebrate Hane getting her license, down to having their picture taken. However, once the photos were brought back for processing, the magazine staff found that the one they had taken of the girls had turned into a Spooky Photo (see that entry for more details). The magazine's solution? Edit out Rin completely via photoshop, and write the article as if they interviewed four girls instead of five. Rin is still noticeably disturbed by what happened though.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Rin has a Grade A.

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