Tiger and Bunny
|Tiger & Bunny|
The heroes of the city of Stern-Bild.
|# of Episodes||25 (so far)|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
An unpopular aging veteran and an adored young upstart are forced into the world's first superhero duo while competing to protect Sternbild City on the reality show HeroTV.
Tiger & Bunny is set in the western metropolis of Sternbild City. Forty five years ago, people developed mysterious powers and became known as NEXT. While persecution drove many to hide their talents from others, some decided to use their powers for the good of protecting the city becoming Super Heroes.
In order to most effectively use the heroes (and control the damages they may cause), the city has the heroes register themselves and participate in a city-owned reality television show called HeroTV with ads emblazoned on their suits. The exploits of the heroes are broadcasted live across the world, with their performance protecting the city scored. The hero with the most points at the end of each season is declared the King of Heroes.
Tiger and Bunny follows Wild Tiger (Kaburagi T. Kotetsu), and a veteran hero who has been in the business for over a decade and a half. He is a NEXT with "Hundred Power", which allows him to increase his strength and speed by a hundred fold for five minutes. Tiger is obsessed with justice and protecting people, but is also a goofy middle aged single dad and not very popular with viewers; in fact, he's well on his way towards being dropped altogether.
... until the network decides to try a new paradigm for ratings: by forming the first super hero crime fighting duo. Wild Tiger is paired with Barnaby Brooks Jr. (Barnaby Brooks Jr.), a young and cool hero who also has "Hundred Power". His dedication towards furthering the corporate interest of HeroTV and earning points clashes with Kotetsu's idealism and goofiness.
The best / worst super hero duo ever is born. This is their story.
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The first (and so far only) season is great. The story is written and paced well. The exposition/filler episodes for the other heroes make you wish and hope we will get more insights for them in a forthcoming Season 2 (which is not confirmed at the end of Season 1, but seems likely). The animation is top notch, including excellent integration between normal animation and the 3D CG. There aren't a ton of action scenes, but the ones that are there are placed very well.
Goddamn does this show rule. It's pretty bloody popular in ADTRW, not to even begin to talk about in Japan. It's almost hilarious how popular it is in Japan, since it's often taken as a common practice that you have to appeal to some specific niche audiences. Tiger and Bunny is just a Western-influenced and stylized super hero show with excellent writing and directing. That's it. There's no real spin to it or blatant pandering. It surprised the industry, it surprised the fans in Japan, it surprised a lot of people over here. The fact that it was partially funded based entirely on in-series ads didn't help initial expectations of course.
And really that's its greatest strength: it's savvy. Sometimes it plays the tropes straight. Sometimes it subverts them. Always is it done in a way that is fun, enjoyable, and boundlessly exciting. It's a series that doesn't rely on any sort of niche anything. It just tells a story in a way that's exciting and extremely entertaining. The entire cast is fun to watch and well characterized, Tiger is an amazing protagonist, and I can't wait to see what they do with this series in the future.
This one took me (and apparently nearly everyone) by complete surprise. Exciting and funny and packed with great characters, this show plays around with superhero conventions and turns many of them on their head while still managing to be a great example of that genre.
This show does a concept that's pretty fresh, particularly in the realm of anime, and knocks it out of the fucking park, setting the bar impossibly high for imitators and hangers-on. This show is fun. It's also funny and heartwarming and dramatic at times, but it's always fun. Watch this show and you'll have fun, too.
This is a fantastic example of good characterization and a good plot melding together. It's fairly simple, essentially a variation on the X-Men idea, but very well executed. Tiger is beyond adorkable and Bunny is the voice of reason. Some of the secondary characters aren't really touched on, but the others get at least one episode to shine. The plot twists keep things fresh and Tiger's relationships pull everything together. It's not perfect, but it's only two seasons and it's well worth your time if you enjoy the superhero genre.