May 09, 2016

Bakuon and K-On

Pete doesn't like Bakuon; he thinks it's a ripoff of K-On. Of course, there's nothing new under the sun and in a field of entertainment as long and rich as anime it's nearly impossible to come up with something really new that isn't reminiscent of something else that came before. (It does happen, of course, but shows like Serial Experiments Lain and Haibane Renmei are really rare and even a show like Puella Magi Madoka Magica is arguably at least somewhat derivative.)

So in this case the claim is that Bakuon is K-on with motorcycles instead of electric guitars. Could be. I can't say. I tried watching K-on and couldn't make it through the first episode because all the characters were too stupid to tolerate. Pete refers to this as "retard moe" and from his point of view Bakuon is even worse.

Somehow it doesn't feel that way to me. The characters don't feel retarded to me; they feel young and inexperienced. And that's not the same thing.

Ignorance can be cured, but stupid is for life.

The girls in Bakuon come across to me as ignorant and immature, for the most part. And in any case I can forgive some of that kind of thing in a show which is deliberate farce like Bakuon. (And not K-on, which was supposed to be somewhat serious.)

Hijiri (the rich girl) really does seem to be an idiot. I'll give Pete that one. But I don't think Hane is an idiot; she's just accepting, non-judgemental. She goes with the flow. She's unfailingly nice and that kind of character is unusual in anime. There's a reason she was the one who had an encounter with Kami-sama; Onsa and Rin passed him right by without looking back.

Rin isn't a "dumb blonde" character, despite being the best purveyor of fan service. Her thing as a character is about punctured pretensions. She's built up her self-identity about riding a Suzuki Katana, but it turns out her particular bike came from Onsa's store, so it isn't what she thought it was. And Rin has a Suzuki logo burn mark on her butt, left over from an accident when she was younger. (The explanation for it is contrived, but you can get away with that kind of contrivance in a farce.)

I am really enjoying Bakuon, which is surprising me immensely. When I first read the description in the previews I was sure it was going to be horrible, but I find it to be witty and clever -- and a lot more ecchi than I expected. Pete watched 4 episodes and has decided to bag it. It's a pity; he missed the "motorcycle cleaning" fan service scene at the end of episode 5 (time 19:07).

Ep 6 should be out today but isn't yet as I write this at 5 AM and it begins a new plot arc. I'm not sure it will maintain the series the way it has been, but I have my hopes. If it continues to follow the manga, then we won't be getting any more massive fan service scenes for a long time. We're back to motorcycle-service instead.

UPDATE: I downloaded all of the manga volumes untranslated, just to get some idea of what's coming. This series is fantasy, not too surprisingly, but I mean in the classic sense.

Kami-sama shows up again. A biker shows up wearing a helmet decorated like a skull; he might be Death. Rin gets visited by a talking cat and ends up doing cosplay (?) as a magical girl. That one goes on for several chapters, with Onsa, Rin, and Raimu being opponents and Hane showing up with her own cute talking animal sidekick, in the shape of a rabbit.

There's a new member of the club named Chisame and she has an episode with adult men that all look like puppets. And I'm becoming increasingly convinced that Raimu is a kami.

They visit an onsen in chapter 36 and they do (fully clothed) sumo in chapter 42. Another onsen in chapter 50. At the rate they're burning through chapters (3-4 per anime episode) we might reach chapter 36 before it's all over.

And there are a lot of people running around who wear helmets and never take them off. Raimu isn't the only one.

Rin's 3 numbers are B91/W56/H81 (36/22/32).
Hijiri: B81/W61/H86 (32/24/34).
Chisame: B75/W60/H80 (30/24/32).
Hane: B82/W58/H87 (32/23/34).
Onsa: B76/W55/H83 (30/22/33).

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:32 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I've said about K-On! that if you don't like the characters in episode one, stop there; they grow, but they don't fundamentally change.  I fell in love with Yui as a character the moment she showed up, but I can equally see how she'd rub many viewers the wrong way.

And heck, Shakespeare ripped off all his plots.  As they say, good artists borrow, great artists trademark their knockoffs and file massive lawsuits against the original designer.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at May 09, 2016 08:52 AM (PiXy!)

2 I liked K-On! well enough, but didn't care for the movie or K-On!!  In line with what Pixy said, I really like Yui early on, but grew less and less fond of her.

Posted by: Ben at May 09, 2016 02:28 PM (S4UJw)

3 I never really finished either K-On! or -!!, but I really enjoyed the movie.  I'm kinda wishy-washy on the whole thing, actually... but then again, I have four figma of cast members, so I dunno what that means.

None of them are Yui, by the way.  No, not Mugi, either.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 09, 2016 05:12 PM (XQ5ac)

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