The Gist: Maiharu Hiromi has moved to a new town from Nagasaki. It’s a beautiful town, full of cherry blossoms, stone lined hilly streets and a picturesque train station. Unfortunately, Hiromi has chosen to ride her bicycle to school on her first day, which her mother reminds her is something she has not done in a long time.
After 8 minutes of Hiromi falling off her CGI bicycle, complete with product placement logos, I turned it off. Much of that 8-minute arc presents Hiromi as an imbecile, incapable of even pulling her handle brake to stop, nor following the instructions of others. She literally says “Oh right. Bicycles don’t move forward unless you turn these things, right?”
There is a remarkably slim chance you may enjoy Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu if you can survive the opening 8 minutes of Hiromi-chan ‘relearning to ride a bike.’ The color pallete and the backgrounds are very nice and there’s probably a story of schoolgirl friendships and/or bike club adventure to be had.
But you better be a hardcore bicycle otaku because everything else is goddamned terrible. This is the first toon-shaded show I’ve ever seen where the term ‘uncanny valley’ applies. The bicycle itself is fine, but Hiromi’s animation around it, which is sometimes CG and sometimes hand drawn, is distorted in a jarring way. Sometimes its not animated at all, choosing to lurch wildly from keyframe to keyframe.
The Verdict: skip it. Pretty backgrounds are not a reason to watch an anime and Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu has nothing else going for it.