Tiger & Bunny - Episodes 15 & 16 Reviewed


Tiger & Bunny is an 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.


Episode 15 is a nice focus on the hero Sky High. Troubled by his tumble from the number one spot he struggles to regain focus and deal with pressure from his manager. Grocery shopping one evening his dog escapes, running through a park until he reaches a beautiful woman sitting alone. Taking some dating advice from the more feminine heroes he attempts to learn more about her. Unfortunately things aren't what the seem when she begins to rampage and attack anything Hero TV related.



Tiger, meeting with his old manager, learns the troubling truth about his powers. It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then a NEXT loses their powers with age. He chooses to keep this information to himself, recording the duration of each usage, while supporting Barnaby and the rest of the heroes.



In episode 16 things get worse for Tiger. While out he hears a cry for help, a woman is about to find an ill fate at the hands of serial killer. Tiger successfully intervenes and is able to save the victim as the suspect tries to escape. Tiger catches up to the villain and confronts him. Unfortunately his erratic powers become an issue once again, dying at a most inopportune time.

We’re also given a glimpse into Lunatic’s past, into his mother and father, a family suffering from a dramatic change. A suffering of emotional and physical violence which will deeply shape Lunatic in the years to come.



The first episode here is rather light but, like episode 14, was well done and fits the series perfectly. Sky High's attempt at romance, and its melancholy outcome, weren't what many expected from a Sky High centric episode. Considering Keiichi Satou's involvement with the series it's easy to get a Dorthy (Big O) vibe from Cis, nor could I help but be reminded of Metropolis. Not to mention the ending, which also reminded me of episode 20 from Outlaw Star.



Innuendo fountain? Yeah, we got that.


Out of the blue we’ve been presented with a great storyline, Tiger’s waning powers. I think I mentioned this in my last review but there are a lot of different ways to approach this type of story element. The slow, dramatic approach that the series is following is working out great. It’s very well-paced and adds a good deal of drama to the show. Not the ‘is his power going to die in the middle of battle?’ drama but the ‘how is Tiger going to handle the change?’ drama.  What’s great is that we finally get to hear some back story for Tiger’s hero, Mr. Legend, who suffered a similar fate. The juxtaposition between how the two are handling the situation is fantastic.




Now, who would have guessed that Mr Legend was Lunatic’s father? And that he beat his wife?! Okay the two elements, on paper, are pretty hack but weave fantastically into Tiger & Bunny. In a single episode they knocked Lunatic’s back story out of the park. No longer does he just have a different view on justice, but he has the traumatic childhood experience to support those deeply held feelings. These elements, combined with lingering doubt, create a complex and conflicted villain which the series desperately needed.



Not to be downplayed is Barnaby’s life shift. It may not have been as dramatic as what’s going on with Tiger and Lunatic but no less important. They’ve expanded his character forward, revenge finally a thing of the past. I look forward to seeing how this rejuvenated Hero responds to Tiger's eventual revelation.

These past two episodes have been some of the best of the series. Here’s hoping for more!



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