You’re not allowed to complain about Dr.Pepper anymore
I had originally written off T&B to just be a boring show I’d never even try to watch, let alone write a first impression for. Amazingly enough it became my 2nd favourite spring show after 2 episodes. In other “amazing” news, no one was really as eager as I was to blog about it so I switched from a horrible fate of blogging Toriko to writing about something I really like! Alright, now that I’m suddenly covering this, let’s recap what’s been going down!
Episode 1 has a bunch of superheroes hard at work to catch some criminals while they’re being…filmed? In this world, superheroes are mutants with odd powers who have to make a living like the rest of us. Thanks to their sponsors, they get paid in return for looking cool on Hero TV and sporting their logo. Each hero earns style points for doing certain things until one hero wins. Kotetsu or “Wild Tiger” is more concerned with saving civilians, often costing his company more than he earns. As shown by the subway track he twists into a pretzel, meanwhile the criminal is caught by some hotshot in a tin can.
At the announcement ceremony of the best hero (hint: Kotetsu doesn’t win), they introduce who the new hero that appeared was, but they actually show his real identity. Gasp! Kotetsu is pissed so he leaves early. Things don’t get better, they get worse. Kotetsu ends up getting transferred to a new company as their superhero billboard, but he has to work with a partner now and wear a new suit. He heads out with his new robo suit to where a giant statue is parading about only to run into his new sidekick..
Episode 2. Kotetsu has no choice but to play the Robin to Barnaby’s Batman. He gets a way better suit and it’s the only way he’s gonna make a living to provide for himself and his kid. Their opponent is a living statue and things are off to a great start. Kotetsu and Barnaby throw aside any attempts for teamwork and try to take down the statue on their own. It results in Kotetsu and Barnaby being wound together by Kotetsu’s zipline and forever flooding the Tiger & Bunny tag on pixiv with BL. I didn’t even notice until I went to check out fanart…ANYWAYS, the statue stops a few metres short of pummeling them into a fine paste.
Poor Kotetsu can’t tell his daughter that he’s a hero, so he can’t explain that he has to miss her skating competition to fight a giant statue. Are you kidding? I would tell my kid right away. They’d look at me like I was their GOD. No disobedience or anything AND I wouldn’t have to feel bad about missing their stupid skating thing while I fight a gargantuan statue. Speaking of which, Kotetsu and Barnaby’s second encounter with a giant moving piece of rock doesn’t go much better, as they just end up stuck in the statue’s fists.
Sooooo…nice weather we’re having, huh?
Kotetsu uses his super powers to break out of the grip and follow the kid who is making all of these sculptures come to life. Except he’s not allowed to hurt the precious monuments. Derp. The kid is now riding some crazy lion which climbs all the way up to where Kotetsu’s daughter is having her competition. Kotetsu tries to save her daughter from falling rubble, and doesn’t quite make it in time…But Barnaby does.
Kotetsu manages to convince the kid that he’s not an unlovable dork…or rather, he’s an unlovable dork but he’s not alone! He hands himself over to the police, but the damage has been done – the building is ready to topple over and destroy the city. All the heroes try to hold it up, but the building is just too heavy and Kotetsu is nearing his 5 minute limit. Kotetsu shouts to the kid to save them so he controls a giant statue and saves everyone. Wow, talk about overpowered.
Kid, why haven’t you taken over the world yet?
Hero TV Unaired Scenes:
Hahaha, you cannot hurt me as long as I have bulletproof manboobs!
“When flipped over, Wild Tiger inflicts 500 points of damage to your opponent’s life points with his old man cane…”
It’s too heavy…cannot support….for much longer…boobs…too heavy…*bra collapses*
End Thoughts: Superheroes. We’re all sick of it. Revolving a show around special powers without bringing anything compelling to the table just doesn’t cut it, because we’ve seen super-powered humans fight each other time and time again. Tiger & Bunny is not just about superheroes. It is about the corrupt world where the only way superheroes can make a living from SAVING THE CITY is becoming a walking advertisement for their sponsors. They’re not rich, they’re just popular models who risk their lives and try to look good while doing it. This essentially strips away the “heroes stand for justice” image shown in most shows and replaces it with “heroes stand for fame and money.” A superhero is just another occupation, there’s nothing noble about it.
There are ads EVERYWHERE which is brilliant in that it 1. fits with the story and isn’t annoying at all and 2. probably gives Sunrise a TONLOAD of money for having so many sponsors. The ads are an integral part of the story and are there for making a statement as opposed to shameless advertising. It just works. The only thing that’s going to hurt your eyes is the CGI. It’s not bad, it’s just that CGI and anime doesn’t often blend well. It can get a bit distracting at times, but otherwise the animation looks fresh and lively.
So far I’m really liking this show. The lead character is a down-on-his-luck guy who the world sees as being “past his prime” who gets paired up with a young asshole whose only concern is looking cool for the camera. Kotetsu – heck, all the characters – are really endearing and earn my sympathy. (Especially after i realized that Kotetsu is voiced by Hirata Hiroaki, who also voiced Gojyo from Saiyuki and Sanji from One Piece. YES, so suave.) Even the model ice chick has my sympathy for having to spout such terrible catchphrases every time she’s trying to do his job. I can’t imagine trying to fight crime in heels.
The fights are endlessly entertaining since they’re not just battles – they’re televised competitions to see who is the most stylish. That added element is just enough to make any seemingly normal battle into something special. I really hope T&B makes a good use of this set-up and doesn’t just fall into a “baddy of the week” trend. So far there’s ample focus on Tiger in and out of his suit, so I’m not worried just yet. If this isn’t in your list of spring shows you’re watching, I urge you to give it a try. It’s incredibly easy to get into. I’m not saying it’s the deepest show out there, but it has enough layers to make it atypical from the usual straightforward action anime. If you want an almost satirical look at how superheroes would function in a society like ours, Tiger & Bunny is your show. You will fall in love with Kotetsu whether you want to or not!