Kumamiko and Bakuon 2-3

Uniqlo is a hard place to get to.
Uniqlo is a hard place to get to.

Kumamiko 2 … can’t get a handle on this show yet. It’s slow paced, deliberately lazy with its take on rural life, with lots of pauses, but there’s also a story to be told that often relies on slapstick and quick gags. In this one Machi, still hankering to live in the big city, is given a new challenge: to to Uniqlo and buy a Heat-Tech item. Much time is used on Machi trying to figure out what heat-tech is, how to get there, and then there are her adventures getting there, which is far more treacherous than most city-goers trips to Uniqlo, though my annual pilgrimage there for heat-tech takes about as long by bus. Still, early in the run, it all feels a little off. Two many pauses, unwanted comic music used when they don’t need it. Liked the chair in the woods though.

Dance trance Machi!
Dance trance Machi!

Episode 2 wasn’t bad. Episode 3 is better. Lazy Machi is suddenly inspired to do a traditional dance for the mountain gods, only to make it into a dansersize session. I liked the trance version, however, not to mention the actual trance dance Machi did when asleep. Meanwhile, I’m still figuring out what makes this series tick. But one thing I don’t like is the fanservice, and Yoshiro’s assault (which is what it was). I know from episode one that this show gets bawdy on occasion, but having Yoshiro atop an underaged, screaming Machi, who is wearing only underwear, was too much. For the record, I thought costume 1 was the best, though none felt really appropriate.

Do not mock  Katana 400s when Rin's around.  Otherwise okay.
Do not mock Katana 400s when Rin’s around. Otherwise okay.

Bakuon!! 2 is as playful and weird as the first. And educational. And nearly tragic. A flashback to Rin’s father getting into an accident on his, well, it was a Suzuki, a scene oddly dark and sad for this series, even if it turned out all right with Rin writing that essay that got her dad his Katana 1135R. Back to now, it leads us to more Suzuki vs. the world fighting which introduces our new girl, Hijiri, who suggests a game of chicken. Hijiri, a rich girl who rides in a sidecar, dreams of being a deliquent, you see. If this wasn’t enough, we finish with an inspirational scene where Hane earns her license, though I’ll miss Baito. It’s all good fun again, though it takes longer to watch because I feel obliged to look up all the bikes they talk about on the show.

Hane gets her license ... and goes a little nuts.
Hane gets her license … and goes a little nuts.

The education continues in episode 3. We learn that Su-four riders never go for other bikes, but if they’re pink it’s okay. It’s sweet how Onsa worked overnight to fix up Hane’s “new” bike, even if it’s out of guilt because her dad’s shop is so dodgy. And what’s wrong with making a bike out of parts of other bikes? In fact, it’s cool to build bikes out of other bikes.  Meanwhile, Rin’s discovery out of her own bike felt funny especially since things seemed so dire for her father last week. They’ve taken a possibly tragic situation and turned it into a running gag. Then they created another nearly tragic situation as we finally get some background on Raina. Which leads us to the last important thing I learned this week: If you don’t replace all the screws tightly your motorcycle may explode.

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