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.