Anime Meta-Review


Bomber Bikers of Shonan


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Shonan Bakusozoku
  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: 1986
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

What a curious creature this is. This is (western inspired?) biker culture adapted to Japanese youth culture (which seemed to already have all the pieces needed). As such it is a familiar, yet strangely dissonant, experience for anyone who has seen western biker movies. One immediate difference is that the bikers are high school students, and while they're plenty tough (especially the group we follow) they seem to have decided which area's to rebel in and which to remain part of school life. This is well summed up in their leader, Eguchi, who is competent, cool and capable but still polite, friendly and a dab hand at embroidery. Still, as he explains to a club member it is riding his bike, especially nice and fast, that dominates all else. And while there is no doubt Eguchi is intelligent, as are the guys who follow him, it is clear that he enjoys the adrenaline rush of speed, danger and biker conflict. In this story, and there are lots more, we get to see a possible conflict between an established and powerful biker gang and the guys we follow.

Mind you, I tend to have a pretty low tolerance for the whole biker thing, so don't trust my review. The problem I have with it is actually well demonstrated in this anime, the thrill of adrenaline and the feeling of being `bad' tends to lead to conflict. In this video, as in a lot of anime, this is a great chance to show how tough and brave you can be...but the whole thing just sets my `corn' meter ringing. That said this is anime so it is done better than you might fear. The characters are largely sympathetic and it isn't too hard to understand their viewpoint. The dialogue, characters and the philosophy being espoused isn't too deep, but it is interesting to watch and some may find elements to appreciate. If nothing else it is nice to see a high school drama that is more than a little different. As such it is an interesting enough experience, but not something I would want to see more than once.

The production is reasonable but fairly basic, and has aged a little. This is well demonstrated in some of the bike scenes where they clearly want to show the beauty or the thrill of riding, but can't quite manage it. In addition the action scenes, of which there are a reasonable number, are simplified and relatively short (which is somewhat realistic). Character design is okay, albeit with a somewhat weird style to represent the appearance of the bikers. The voices and dialogue is fine, although only the major character get to say much. There's an awful lot of card-board cut out extra's in this one. In other words it is a competent and satisfactory, but unremarkable, production.

I was interested to see what my review sources thought. An interest that will remain unsatisfied because there are no reviews from my regular sources.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:15 WST 2009