Tiger & Bunny - Episode 8 & 9 Review


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 and product placement for a hero themed television program.


Since I'm a week behind in my reviews (blame work and Fallout) I decided to combine reviews for 8 and 9 together into one. Coincidentally, it just so happens to be my poorest written review yet.


Episode 8 Synopsis


With Lunatic on the loose the public begins to question the existence of the Heroes. To counter this dip in opinion the corporate sponsors decide to use the heroes to promote community good will events. One of these events is a visit to an academy for NEXTs by Barnaby, Tiger, and the ever elusive Origami Cyclone.


Gotta love Tiger's facial expressions


Both Barnaby and Ivan, Origami Cyclone's real name, attended this school. Barnaby was a top student, while Ivan's history isn't so sweet. Back in the day Cyclone was good friends with another student named Edward. His power, the ability to move between objects via quicksand-esk portal, was more 'hero' worthy. While out one day the two encounter a robbery gone wrong and Ed intervenes, despite it being in violation of school policy. Things quickly turn south when a struggle ensues and Edward accidentally shoots the hostage. Though an accident, the event results in jail time and a permanent barrier to becoming a hero.



Cyclone, who chose not to intervene, due to a lack of appreciation for his own with his own power, remains troubled by the event to this day. After a long day at the academy Edward suddenly appears and attempts to take his revenge. Not long after the situation degrades further when Lunatic arrives to enact his form of justice against Edward. Origami Cyclone must make a decision to take responsibility for his actions and protect his friend while Tiger and Bunny go after the wayward NEXT once again.


Episode 9 Synopsis


Episode 9 is our first real introduction to Dragon Kid (Pao-Lin Huang) who's been left tn Stern Bild with a guardian after her parents returned home. The city's mayor, after a string of wealthy child kidnappings, has tasked the heroes to babysit his small child. It doesn't help that the kid happens to be a NEXT with strong telekinetic abilities. Tiger is initially chosen as the guardian, being the only parent in the group, but the child only finds comfort with Dragon Kid. Hijinks ensue.



The kidnappers, forewarned early in the episode, strike again. Sneaking up on Dragon Kid and the baby, they attempt to ransom her off for a hefty fee. The kidnappers, three sister NEXTs, have the ability to smell danger, lies, and money. Aided by Agnes, whom the kidnappers believe to be the mother, Tiger and Barnaby set off to mount a rescue.



Any real appreciation for episode 8 was completely ruined by the internet and their constant attempts to imply gay overtones. The whole episode was fodder for yaoi artists of various mediums. Can we give it a rest already? Just this once?


And he took his shirt off, why again?


Beyond that, 8 was remarkable for it being centered around Origami Cyclone and not much else. His power, while great, doesn't seem to have much application in every day hero duties. It will be interesting to see if they properly write him in later in the series. Had the show been featuring more detective elements Cyclone's would have fit right in. I had a hard time feeling any empathy for, or connecting with, Cyclone. Another coming of age, accepting responsibility story, but one that seemed devoid of any real depth. Maybe I'm so cynical toward the episode because I spent most of the episode being annoyed at his eyebrows. I felt like they kept changing shape and upward intensity. Even Edward's Dorothy Catalonia eyebrows didn't bother me.


Don't masquerade with the guy in shades


A strong point of 8 though was the further development of Tiger and Bunny's partnership. It's obvious that Barnaby has finally started to trust in and believe in Tiger. This development is continued into episode 9 as Barnaby opens up about his parents and his hunt for Ouroboros. For all the mundanity of these two episode's main themes, the underlying growth of their alliance will have the the largest impact going forward. Though it would be shame if they stopped bickering all together.


Probably a fluke, but would be interesting to see develop


The rest of episode 9, despite the basic premise, was more enjoyable than the episode prior. Okay, the bit about the heroes suddenly becoming responsible for a baby isn't any better than an old friend turned enemy, but it was handled better. While Cyclone's development came off as forced the same concept applied to Kid felt more natural.


The better to eat you with my dear


I do want to note the contrasting treatment of NEXT powers between the two episodes. On one hand you have a bunch of folks with a myriad of completely useless powers. On the other you have a bunch of powers that might be useless on their own, but function well when used in conjunction. Makes you wonder, just how many comic books dealt with people who received completely mundane and pointless abilities?


I love how they did the trees in this episode


Despite my criticisms of episode 8 it was, as a whole, a solid addition. It's hard to explain on my part but I can still appreciate how the two episodes worked together to further the series. Either one, even at their worst, sit well in the lineup.


The upcoming episode, number 10, is look good. I love the tease for the man who murdered Barnaby's parents. Sitting in a white room like that, apparently with an artificial leg, has a Fullmetal Alchemist feel to it.


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