Tiger & Bunny - Episodes 12 & 13 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 via product placement for a hero themed television program.



It's time for the final show down! Jake, the incredibly powerful NEXT, has challenged our heroes to one on one combat. The fate of Stern Bild's residents rests on the outcome!



Okay, yeah, I'm totally skimping on the synopsis. This really is the hardest part of the review. It takes a better man than I to walk the fine line detailing the course of events for a review like this. Do I go scene by scene? Do I give a vague overview of the plot to avoid spoilers? It's way more fun to just throw my opinion out there. Besides, at this point I'm pretty sure you've already seen these past two episodes.




So the reason I didn't post review last week on episode 12 was because I flat out didn't like it. The story, I thought, was completely uninteresting. Origami's forced impersonation of Jake was expected, though Tiger's rush in to nab him up wasn't. While the obvious path would have been to have Barnaby to go attack only to have Tiger intervene to save Origami, I don't think the switch up was handled well. The pacing, it was jut flat.

I think part of the issue was that they had too much to squeeze into the episode. With so much crammed in they lacked the pause needed to build drama and suspense. Seeing Sky High go all out was a lot of fun, but completely wasted on an immovable enemy. Imagine if Goku's dramatic return from training under King Kai was spent punching a wall. Worse yet, the hero with the least amount of screen time - Rock Bison, got fucked over once again.



Tiger's fight with Jake was solid, but once again I didn't care. The petty cloud of his relationship squabble with Tiger hung over the fight way too much. It doesn't help that I can't give two shits about Jake. While his power (or powers as we soon found out) are awesome, and they're handled well, I hate everything else. He looks like a fucking joke and the writing for his character comes off as a terrible Joker ripoff.


Oooh, scary!


What finally did it in for me was a return of giraffe neck, first noticed in it's infamous glory at the end of episode 11. Such an obvious issue with quality control, two episodes in a row, ugh. As it turned out, it was so obvious that they actually fixed it before running the same sequence at the start of episode 13!


The difference between 12 and 13. Apparently I'm not the only one who noticed it.


Outside of that painful flub episode 12 was considerably better all around. From an animation prospective, everything looked great. They didn't skimp faces for wide shots and the background detail was there in exceptional glory. Go back and check out the detail that went into the stadium's roof.



The story was handled incredibly well. And I'm not just saying that because I'm glad Tiger and Barnaby have finally gotten past that trust bitch fest of theirs. At first I thought it was pretty silly how they were outright explaining Jake's second power. The obvious course of events was to have Tiger rush in, explain the details, then work with Barnaby on the spot to work something out and defeat Jake. Instead they pulled us another way, leaving us to think "Wait, super hearing? Well that's fucking retarded." Then, in the middle of a fantastic sequence, they manage to reveal what we already knew.



After all that, a question still remains: is Jake dead, or is he more Joker influenced than I originally expected? There were a few things that didn't make sense, but I'll let them slide for this episode. (In case you're wondering, the lack of blood on Tiger's clothes despite the blood on the grenade. And when the hell does someone say, okay, we're going to need the military for this.) Episode 13 looks relaxed as things return to normal, in a relative sense, for Stern Bild. We also get a glimpse at some of the rejected hero designs...


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