Tiger & Bunny – 7

Another almost totally serious episode of Tiger & Bunny this week. It seems clear now that we’ve moved through the initial phase of episodic and frequently light eps, and that Ouroboros is going to be the major plotline for the series – at least for this cour.

There’s an interesting and difficult theme rising to the surface of the show. The whole notion of vigilante justice and revenge – which is a tough thing to tackle – seems to be at the heart of the series now. Tiger and Bunny are clearly on the opposite side of this issue – and adding to the difficulty is that Bunny has an obvious personal stake. Kotetsu seems to be very much in the minority view here – his core belief that saving a life is a worthwhile endeavor, no matter whose life he’s saving. We even get the interesting prospect of NEXT fighting to save a cadre of criminals after the mysterious villain of last week destroys their hideout (in a church).

Before that, Tiger is forced to team with Blue Rose as Barnaby has gone off to sulk after the events of last week, and she’s an even worse team player than Bunny. He even turns off his phone, but is eventually brought back into the fold by the CEO himself. When the order comes to raid the aforementioned criminal hideout Bunny is back in the saddle, hoping it’s Ouroboros and might lead to a clue in his parents’ death. The event is televised live, as the quest for ratings drives the producer to ever more risky gimmicks. But it goes wrong when last week’s baddie interferes. A face to face (mask to mask) confrontation ensues, where the villain reveals himself to be “Lunatic”. But he doesn’t reveal anything about his motives, except a Shinsengumi-like attachment to ultimate justice.

So herein lies the dilemma. While we don’t know Lunatic is doing what he’s doing – if all he’s doing is randomly killing people he thinks of as evil, why did so many of the previous victims appear to be Ouroboros? Whether it was an act of revenge or silencing, his stated goal appears to be much more in line with Barnaby’s own goal – and philosophy – than Kotetsu’s is. I can see a real tug-of-war for Barnaby’s loyalty developing here, especially if the opportunity to finally confront his parents’ killer(s) presents itself. Kotetsu will continue to preach his gospel of law, order and moderation – which I’m guessing will appeal even less to Barnaby than it does now. Meanwhile Lunatic’s “Aku Soku Zan” will look even more attractive…

As the episode ends we’re given a glance at a new character, a bishie blonde-haired judge working with Kotetsu and Barnaby. He seems awfully suspicious and the camera lingers on his evil smile for far too long to accept it as coincidence. Could he be…Lunatic?
 

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