Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spotlight: Tiger & Bunny

Let's start with a Wild Roar!

Welcome one! Welcome all! It’s time for one of the greatest superhero shows ever. Curiously enough, it came from Japan.

The Setting

But first a message from our sponsors

Welcome to Sternbild City. A New York Type fictional city.

Now, Sternbild has one big thing going for it, it has heroes!

NEXT, people with superpowers, exist in this world. Some of them have fairly harmless and mundane skills. Others turn to crime. Others show up on HERO TV. The greatest Hero show on the planet.

Yeah, see the whole being a hero thing? It’s expensive. You need sponsors for that sort of thing, and you better be a hero that can sell good merchandise or else why would anyone want to sponsor you?

In the world of Tiger and Bunny, superheroism has taken a very commercial turn. Heroes are backed by sponsors (they even have their logos on their uniforms), and shown on Live TV as they capture criminals. For their heroic deeds they receive points and a King of Heroes is crowned at the end of each TV Season.

Don’t you just love capitalism?

The Story

Alright, Kotetsu, play it cool

Meet Kaburagi Kotetsu, AKA Wild Tiger. This veteran hero has no luck in the rankings, mainly because he cares little for the collateral damage he causes and cares even less for the whole point system.

His life takes a turn when the company that sponsors him goes bankrupt and he is sold to a new sponsor. He even gets a new partner out of the deal.

Barnaby is the newest hero in town and cares about points more than enough to make up for Kotetsu.

One is the up and coming cynical star. The other is the veteran with a heart of gold.

Together, the fight crime!

How it manages?

Heroes come in all shapes

Tiger and Bunny is an anime that does many things right. Despite the seemingly cynical world the story takes place in, it would be wrong to call this a deconstruction. The story manages to strike a good balance between its cynical elements and the idealism of a superhero.

Kotetsu is awesome. Having a middle aged single parent as the protagonist is a new experience, but he does a good job at carrying the show. Guy’s adorable. He really is. You really get the feeling that he believes in being a hero. He wants to help people.

He is a genuinely nice guy.

Barnaby is… well, he is kind of an ass at first, but he does get his fair share of character development over the course of the show. His and Kotetsu’s personalities bounce well of each other.

The other heroes are good characters in their own right. Despite the way they work, each one of them believes in being a hero and that comes through at various points in the show.

The villains have a good variety between them. From the crazy but competent Jake to the cold anti hero Lunatic. Lunatic has a really good back-story that I won’t spoil here.

If the show has one weak spot, it would be that the second half is not as interesting as the first. There were a bit too many episodes that didn’t fully advance the plot. A tighter story arc could have helped there.

Overall, Tiger & Bunny is a great anime and something any super hero fan shouldn't miss.

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