Tiger & Bunny - Episode 11 Review - The Die is Cast


Tiger & Bunny is a new anime program current airing weekly in Japan and simulcast on Hulu and Viz Anime. Produced by Sunrise it's  directed by Keiichi Satou (best known for his work on Big O). The series revolves around a couple of super heroes who fight crime while driving ad revenue via product placement for a hero themed television program.



Following Ouroboros' series of terrorist attacks and scheme to hold Stern Bild hostage our heroes have found themselves in a quagmire. Like the citizens of the city, tensions run high as they fret and worry about what is going to happen next. The city's leadership, including the mayor, Yuri Petrov (Lunatic), and Albert Maverick debate their next move.



Emboldened by impatience Tiger and Bunny head off to storm the meeting and force them to take action. Tiger gives a poignant, yet poorly stated, lecture encouraging them to forget their um, what was it, ah, self-interests and release the prisoner. The meeting interrupted a second time as Ouroboros member Hans Checkman shows up, hostage at gunpoint, to force a decision just the same.


Obvious caption is obvious


And such, thinking of the people, they decide to release Jake. Walking out of the prison he uses his powers just slightly and half a second later a blast tears through steel bars and smashes a prisoner against the wall of his cell. Outside he finds a waiting helicopter, accompanied by his female accomplice, Kriem, and Checkman. As they fly way, toward downtown apparently, Jake reveals his true desire: a world run by NEXT with him as their leader.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to rouse the population behind the heroes and their choice to release Jake, Mr. Maverick holds a press conference with Barnaby, exposing his history with Ouroboros.

For Jake, things aren't what the seem. Checkman is actually Origami Cyclone who has taken up the dangerous task of mimicking the terrorist in an attempt to find out how they're controlling the threatening mecha. Things seem to be going well until Jake decides to have a little chat with him...



So, ummm, where should I start with this one? Or rather, which complaint do I levy first?

The path this episode took was predicted by most. The only shift in what I expected, Origami Cyclone copying Hans Checkman instead of Jake, works really well. He was bound to be discovered but how doesn't seem to make any sense. If your power is to copy someone else's physical traits, and you never use it in your day-to-day hero duties, why would that information be published? (Unless what was the plan all along, dun dun dun)

I'm also very disappointed that they had Jake return to his old look. I could understand that twenty years ago he looked like a compete twat but why return to that? Between his shitty tattoos, shitty hair, and shitty makeup he comes off more as a joke than the powerful NEXT he seems to be. Why not update him to the same aesthetic stylings of the rest of his gang?

The scenes representing the leadership's incompetence were too drawn out and pointless. What good did any of that do to the development of the setting or story? Is the mayor just supposed to be a bad allegory of President Obama? Mr. Maverick's plan to win public support seems to fall flat with the way it was handled. Why should we, as viewers, care what the public feels when all we see is them standing around watching TVs or hanging out in bars?  A few random comments here and there don't capture or portray the feeling that the show implies exists. There's never a level of negative emotion portrayed that warrants public response. Even the press conference lacked the energy and reaction that it should have.


Your eyes can do that when you're a NEXT


Not only did this episode feature a lackluster approach to story telling but they carried that apathetic attitude with the animation. Tiger's expressions have usually been well detailed, well proportioned, and not overly unrealistic. At several points in this episode we get just the opposite. It's painfully obvious that there were multiple animators participating in this episode with starkly different skills, styles, and attention to detail.

Take a look at these overhead shots of the hero's break room, only a minute or two separated in the show's time-line. It's like a game of Spot the Difference.



You'll notice that several of the heroes are still in costume while the rest weren't. No, I'm sure that Dragon Kid and Blue Rose wanted to sit around all day dressed like that. You could make the argument about them being dressed like that in preparation for being called out to duty but the show has yet to demonstrate that costume changes take any reasonable length of time.

I like that they've decided to carry around their helmets, instead of just leaving them with the rest of their suit (except for Tiger's which miraculously disappears), to recommend us who everyone is.


You can spot all sorts of badly drawn faces and details throughout the episode


And someone please explain to me why they would line the helicopter in black, but the cel animation components in a stark* red line?



My favorite flub is near the end of the episode when Tiger shows up in his armor. The sequence has two shots, once of him in his armor, and another with a close up of his face. Apparently our two different animators couldn't decide what to do with with the proportions and location of his head.




I can only hope that the reason behind this travesty was a reallocation of budget between this episode and the next. Preparation for some awesome battles, if the preview is any indication.


*Or should I say Lannister red? ;)

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