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Dated 24 June 2016: Bakuon!! turned out to be the best show from Spring 2016

Yume and Hane
Hane gets by with help from her reliable imouto.

I was expecting to enjoy Bakuon!! on general principle, but I'm still surprised to see it at the top of my Spring 2016 rankings. Silly and a little irreverent, Bakuon!! is a charming show about high school girls who really like motorcycles. If you've seen much anime, you're surely familiar with the "girls really enjoy this thing" brand of moé pandering. For example, K-On! did this with guitars, GIRLS und PANZER did this with tanks, and Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai did this with incest.

Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.

In light of this, I get the feeling "Girls Really Like a Thing" shows probably do better when the Thing in question is a bit esoteric or at least a niche interest among the show's target demographic. (Mountaineering, for example, as opposed to yet another girl who loves anime, manga, and video games.) Then again, specification alone wasn't enough for Haifuri, so it's just a rule of thumb at best.

Raimu breaks a lot of laws on this show.

The above K-On! mention may remind longtime readers I railed against "retard moé" seven years ago and cause them to wonder why I enjoyed Bakuon!! so much when its lead character is, to put it mildly, dumb all Hell. It is entirely possible I like Hane largely because of my Ueda Reina bias, but I think an important distinction relates to how Hane and her idiocy fits within the world around her.

Onsa and Yukari could exchange haircare tips.

Specifically, Hane does not make life more difficult for those around her. Moreover, her idiocy is more along the lines of startling ignorance rather than a lack of capacity to reason or learn. The impolite axiom "stupid people make everything more difficult" frequently manifests as a narrative tool or comic trope to rally action and reactions among a story's characters. This was certainly true in the K-On! episodes I watched, where Yui's, um, peculiar mannerisms (autism, some boasted) coupled with Ritsu's laziness to construct comedic situations opposite the serious Mio.

Honda logo
The motorcycle brands themselves are also essentially characters in the
show, from Honda and Kawasaki to even Suzuki and!

Hane, on the other hand, clearly does not know much about anything, but she's eager to learn—at least about motorcycles. Her enthusiasm for the subject makes her endearing because her more knowledgeable friends are happy to educate and indulge her in their shared interest. Maybe I like Hane because everyone else likes Hane. She seems like she'd be fun to be around, maybe ride some motorcycles and go camping with, even if she is dumb as all Hell.

Dated 29 June 2021: I'd rather watch more Two Car than watch more Super Cub

Koguma, Shii, and Reiko
There was also a fair amount of anime tourism.

Super Cub is a great show. Or rather, Super Cub starts out as a great show, but is basically only all right towards the end of the anime. The reason for this is because Super Cub is at its best when it is about changing Koguma's life. Consequently, the best episodes are the ones where she learns more about the little motorcycle and discovers the new opportunities it provides her. However, the anime later settles into a more typical "girls really enjoy a specific thing" sort of show with various adventures. These episodes are still good, but don't convey quite the same sort of magic.

Shii, Reiko, and Koguma

This also means the later episodes of Super Cub invite comparisons with other girls-on-bikes anime, notably Bakuon!!, Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu, and Two Car. In that regard, Super Cub isn't quite as compelling. This is partly because it's not just a Honda commercial in this environment, but straight-up Honda propaganda. It's fine, but I don't find it as interesting. The bigger problem is I also don't think Shii (the third girl) is interesting. Reiko, at least, is a nutjob. I do love me some nutjobs.

Yuri and Megumi
Go fast or stay home.

I'm inclined to believe Super Cub would be better as a much shorter series or as a collection of OVAs. I don't know how much more source material remains, but I'm ambivalent about it now. I'd rather watch a second season of Two Car. Objectively, it's admittedly not a better show, but it does have girls bitching each other out when they're supposed to be relying on each other as a team, and I enjoyed its parade of high-speed caricatures more than I enjoyed Shii lying in a freezing river waiting to die. P.S. Spoilers.