Aw yeah! Time to be bad! Embrace that inner delinquent! Tell the authorities to shove it! And look super cute while riding!
Okay, I admit it. I don’t know anything about being a biker, and that intro sounded horrible! But for what it’s worth, this is the tone of an anime that brings together the magic of moé and motorcycles! It wouldn’t be my first pick for an anime that celebrates the recreational side of bike culture, but… it’s a lot of fun. I’ll give it that. And I’d rather not make this review about comparing the anime in question about a much better series that I have yet to review (oh, COME ON hyperlink goblins!)
Ahem… Let’s try that again. Strap on those helmets. Rev up those engines. And always remember those safety precautions before you ride down that open road. This is an anime about the light side of biking!
A couple of reviews back, I briefly took a stab at criticizing a fatal flaw in utilitarianism, that having the illusion of happiness can be just as dangerous as letting one suffer from the pains of the truth. I still believe this to be true, but I neglected to offer an alternative that defends why happiness is something that we should value. Given the many animes that I’ve already reviewed that are made primarily to bring joy to their audience, one more case probably wouldn’t hurt. What makes this sitcom different from some of the others that I’ve reviewed, however, is that happiness is more than just something it imparts on us. Rather, happiness is at the heart of why this series matters in the first place! (That and come on, it’s in the title!)
And if you’re thinking that I’m going to somehow over-complicate a comedy anime that wasn’t meant to make sense with theoretical mumbo jumbo, well you’d be half right, but you would also miss out on all the fun things I love about this series that no analysis can capture to such humorous detail! That, and I need to subject you all to the “Timothy Rap” because catchy music is catchy!
This is it! I am wrapping up a three-month feature of anime reviews under a larger scope of feminism! And in case you missed some of them or never knew about it, read my synopsis on my project here.
I took a look at what women writers and artists of anime today convey in The Girl’s Perspective. I critiqued how feminine traits are portrayed in recent anime in Cuteness. Then I critiqued some examples where girls and women strive to be free in Liberation. As a proverbial capstone of these themed anime reviews, I hope to send us off with something not so much with critical analysis, but with something inspiring, as I find it appropriate for us to do when coming to a close on something positive. And unlike my analytical formats for the past three months, this one will be more like a collage of scenes.
This final review of the series will touch upon a little bit of everything I have talked about, under the theme: Becoming the Subject.
No archetype in any storytelling is given as much attention as the Hero. The Hero embodies all the ideals of our society, and everything that he does or happens to him (stylistically gendered) is a reflection of our sense of morality. The Hero is often an independent being as well as a mentor to the audience. But can this Hero interplay with other ideologies that aren’t traditionally as active or triumphant? Yes, she can (intentionally gendered). Our very existence isn’t so defined by just a few values that others are posited against it so easily. And for a series like this one, the Hero isn’t just the independent individual. The Hero is a cute girl that values the power of those immediately around her, in that they can all be freed from the essences that bind them.
Before I get into this review, please know that there are a few limitations. First, I previously commented (as did many others) that this series is very similar to another anime. There are useful comparisons, but I will NOT be talking about them! Second, again, I will not be arguing whether or not the series as a whole is in alignment with feminism, but I will be critiquing it in a feminist perspective. Third, I will be discussing the ambiguous concept of moé: an idea that is used commonly in anime and manga today, but still in development. For purposes of this review, I will be defining moé as the general comparison of girls to flowers, and the most ideal form of beauty for a flower is moé (from the Japanese term for a flower just before it blooms).
And fourth, if you’re familiar with my style of reviews, there will be SPOILERS.
Also note: Yuki Yuna is A hero (de Aru), not THE hero (desu)!
This is the Saki series’ third season and fourth arc (if you count Saki: Episode of Side-A) for the anime. With Saki Miyanaga and the Kiyosumi girls’ victory at the Interhigh Mahjong regional championship in Nagano, the story continues where they left off as they enter the Nationals!