Tiger & Bunny

With a title like that, you’d expect a comedy, no? Surprise, it’s a SUPERHERO show! As in, the American kind, rather than the usual Japanese one (eg. Power Rangers). I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen an Anime series dedicated to exactly that (with the exception of Heroman, but that was more of a Giant Robot show.) No, I’m not counting satires like Kinnikuman.

This series just started, which is why I’m following it. It’s been a while since I followed an Anime series, mostly because I don’t want to watch a hundred episodes to catch up to the more popular ones. So far only three episodes (subbed) of T&B have aired (I think.)

The show is also surprisingly well-written. It’s obviously a deconstruction of the superhero genre, but (so far) a careful one, both parody and homage. As a lifelong superhero fan, I appreciate that.

The show takes place in a future where superheroes are corporate mascots: they even have product logos like Pepsi and Bandai in their costumes! Considering their sponsors pay their expenses including for the damage caused in super-battles, it makes sense. But there’s a general feeling that true heroism is being replaced with publicity-seekers.

The protagonist, Wild Tiger, has been a hero for 10 years, and he takes his job seriously, but he’s eclipsed by the ther heroes now, especially the partner his company has just fostered on him against his will, Barnaby. (He doesn’t care for secret identities.) “Bunny” is the nickname that Tiger has given him. Nope, they aren’t getting along too well right now. Probably because Barnaby is your logical-but-emotionless type. I bet that’ll change.

To be fair, there’s plenty of Anime cliches here as well: Tiger and Bunny are given new costumes that are definitely inspired by Japanese robots, there’s a “loli” character, a heroine for pure fanservice, etc. (Though the REAL eye-opener is the superhero who is, I swear, based on Dennis Rodman. O.O )

So far, the story has been episodic with no clear long-running plotlines, other than possibly, the mystery of who killed Barnaby’s parents. Though given the premise, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least part of the threats they face turn out to be made by the very companies they work for.

I also like the fact that Tiger is a single dad, another thing you don’t see often in a main character.

The animation is VERY good, too. Good character designs and a very realistic overall look, not the sort you’d expect from a Shonen show.

It’s still early to recommend -they could go in any direction, including killing off some of the heroes- but I like it so far. More later.

WOW!!! Holy fuck, that came out of left field!

Anyway, the fact that he’s still in a mecha outfit (or dresses like a mecha, I only watched a couple snippets of a single episode) still suggests a japanese superhero more than an american one.

I dunno if I like the animation. Call me traditional, but I prefer the flat lower frame-rate 2D animation myself. It’s too digital for my tastes.

The clips I did see were pretty amusing though. I saw 400 points in there… if it’s some long drawn out game-style anime (yugioh, etc) I will pass.

There’s plenty of differences between the typical American superhero and the Japanese ones, beyond just the costumes; the show specifically lampshades them, in fact the whole point seems to be “the original heroes were idealistic fools, we’re smarter than that now” except Wild Tiger still holds to those traditions, and most likely will be proven right later on.(Note that the show is directed by the same guy who did The Big O, which was basically Batman The Animated Series with giant robots, so he knows his American hero tropes.)

The armors will probably be kept for the whole show (think toy merchandise) but flashbacks to his earlier costume (and other characters’) still appear. Tiger does admit it is better than his old one eg. it’s bulletproof and has special gadgets in it.

Traditional animation still has its place, and I might have liked it better that way too but this is still pretty good. I think they’re shooting for a slightly more real look to remind the audience that this isn’t just a kid’s show.

The points thing is from a TV Show that keeps track of the heroes’ popularity ala American Idol, but (thankfully) it’s not a major part of the story eg. no one has said “I need so many points to reach the next level” or anything. The show’s crew are part of the cast however especially their pushy female boss.

Oh, another thing I like is the multi-ethnic cast. The heroes range from American to Black to Latino to Chinese to a Russian guy who’s REALLY into Ninjas. Ironically, Tiger (the ‘old school’ hero) is Japanese and Barnaby is American.

There’s a fuck-ton of anime out there that isn’t over-stylized that aren’t for children. I shouldn’t even need to say that. If anything, overstylized animation could appeal more to children.

You don’t have to convince me. It’s the general public that thinks that way. Btw, since this show is being simultaneously aired in America, I strongly suspect it is being made with the American fans in mind as well as Japanese ones; that could explain the use of American superhero trappings.

OK, by now the series is past its introductory phase and has gone into its first multi-part story (beginning with episode #10) and I must say, I’m VERY impressed. Not only it is a perfect homage to the american superhero genre, its an interesting series all on its own, with lovable characters (most of whom are NOT teenagers!) and an ongoing mystery about an organization called Ouroboros which might be a huge conspiracy behind the city and even the heroes themselves. A “killer hero” also provides a third side to the equation.

The series is definitely character-oriented, as it spends more time dealing with the characters’ lives than in action scenes (but has some pretty good ones, especially in the current arc as the heroes must deal with a city-wide terrorist attack.)

The show seems to have become one of the most popular this season as well, right next to Madoka Magica, judging by merch and fanart anyway.

The animation is pretty good (its by Sunrise, with character designs by the guy who did Video Girl Ai.) The director also did The Big O and Karas, so he knows his superheroes.

Rumors are that the show will have a ‘time skip’ after this arc, probably to allow time for the heroes (and the city) to recover. The Status Quo of the series might also change given the current events (eg. people might not trust superheroes as much.) These are just rumors right now mind you.

I haven’t enjoyed a series -in ANY media- this much in quite a while. I recommend it. :slight_smile:

sometimes I feel like u