Tiger & Bunny – 19

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Tiger & Bunny has the occasional habit of starting off making you think an episode will be one thing, and ending up making it something different altogether.


I could practically here the “Squee!” from the fujoshi as the first part of the episode played out.  Perhaps this will take some of the heat off No. 6, because that sequence with Kotetsu and Barnaby was  about as bromantic as you’ll see two males behave.  I’m still feeling pissed at Kotestsu for blowing off Kaede yet again, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, caught as he was between two highly emotional women in his daughter and Bunny.  Hell hath no fury like a Bunny scorned, and when this one overheard his Tiger talking on the phone about quitting, he really flipped out.  In his highly vulnerable emotional stare it’s understandable, but there was a sort of unintended comedy to it anyway – especially when Kotetsu slapped him.

That was some pretty heavily emotional stuff there, in all seriousness.  Barnaby is a guy who like most who’ve lost their parents early, seems to have abandonment issues – and here was the one person he’d allowed himself to trust about to abandon him again.  For Kotetsu’s part he’s still in the same quandary, with Kaede growing increasingly impatient and his mother less inclined to apologize for him.  It was really touching to see the way he tried to keep Barnaby from going to a really dark place, and the timing of the overheard call couldn’t have been worse.

That, however, was when things took a huge turn and the ep turned into something else altogether.  Spurned (in his wounded mind, anyway) by Tiger, Bunny goes to the other man he trusts, Maverick.  Maverick has had the stink of betrayal about him for a long time, but when he asked if anyone else had overheard Kreim’s statement that Jake wasn’t the killer of Barnaby’s parents, the deal was sealed in my mind.  And indeed, we ended up getting that question answered much sooner than I expected as the second part of the episode raced along at dizzying speed.  It was Aunt Samantha’s memory and an old photograph of she and Barnaby together under the Christmas tree on the day of the murders that was the tipping point – Maverick was trapped in a lie, and it all came flooding back to Barnaby.

So the theory held by myself and others that Maverick was involved in the murders was borne out.  His reason?  The Brooks’ were about to blow the whistle on his scheme to boost ratings for the nascent Hero TV by staging crimes – with the help of none other than a criminal organization names for a snake swallowing its tail.  But here’s where things got interesting, and no one I saw had the aspect of Barnaby’s memory just right.  He wasn’t a cyborg (I never bought that yarn) and it wasn’t some sort of mechanical brainwashing – Maverick is a NEXT, and his power is implanting memories.  I didn’t see that coming, but it does add up, and of course it justifies his willingness to explain everything to Barnaby and by extension us, because he’s going to erase all those memories anyway.  Cue vicious cliffhanger.

I really admire the art of T & B in putting all this together.  Everything in this first 19 episodes really feels like it was logically and believably building to this point.  The revelations all make sense, they fit with each other, and we’ve come to care enough about the characters for it all to matter.  Kotestu seems bound to stick with Barnaby through his crisis, but what will Barnaby’s state of mind be after his memories are altered again – what will Maverick stick in there?  I suspect it was a combination of guilt over what he’d done and genuine affection for Barnaby that caused Maverick to adopt him, but that doesn’t mean saving his own ass isn’t job one now. 

What in the world will Kotestu do about Kaede, who he’s unconscionably putting off over and over as she wrestles with the crisis of her life?  I have a creeping suspicion that things aren’t going to be totally resolved, because this show is starting to have “franchise” written all over it.  It’s highly successful, already exceeding DVD/BD expectations and branching off into other media.  And it just feels like the sort of show that could come back for another season without selling its soul to do it.  Superhero stories tend to go on and on, after all – the good ones, anyway.

My current working model?  Kotetsu’s powers are evolving, but not disappearing – and Kaede moves to the city rather than he moving to be with her.  That would certainly set up a second season nicely, but it’s just a guess. 

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  1. S

    I hope they keep this to 1 season, 2 at the most. Western comics suck balls because they keep on going, they don't stop and eventually get swallowed up by their own BS and plot holes.

    That's not to say that Japanese media has it's own obnoxious crap, but Superhero stories really need to be concise. Look at Watchmen and how it wrapped up in a set number of volumes.

  2. Brace yourself. I really do smell a second season on the wind. Sunrise loves franchises, after all. I agree, I hope they don't milk this till it's a spent husk – but I think the material could support a second season with integrity, if its done well. You could even do a time jump and focus on the next generation (sorry) of heroes.

  3. m

    But how can a second season be possible without showing the two of them married! (and we know Sunrise won't allow that…I think…)

    Anyways not sure I can trust a second season (recalls Code Geass R2) but I'd sure like some focus episodes on Rock Bison (my bro jokes that Rock Bison's focus episode is ep14, poor guy…) and Fire Emblem since at this rate there probably isn't enough episodes left. However these tend to be spin-offs like novels and mangas rather than OVAs.

    I think Kotetsu's reaction to Barnaby's taunt about him being useless reveals that he hasn't yet gotten over his being a hero issue. Sure he says he is satisfied if he can just be Kaede's hero but deep down he still hasn't accepted that his power loss means that heroing is no longer a viable option for him.

  4. e

    I like your working model, Enzo :). I do root for Kaede to reach Daddy in the big city and help him solving this mess (and restoring the altered memories via copying Maverick's power perhaps? ). Team Kaburagi FTW! <– the Japanese save the world ;p.
    There was a lot of bromance too – all the 'partners stick together' talk was the cherry on top XD – but it was very cleverly handled ;).
    And it's the very first episode when I was really empathyzing with Bunny: tsuntsun as he was in the first half of the episode, his reaction to the double betrayal of Kotetsu first (please scriptwriters, don't abuse the 'misunderstanding by omission' bit) and to the actual and big one by 'uncle/surrogate father figure #2' Maverick were pretty affecting. I could really easily buy into him being so powerless and crying in the last scenes.

  5. N

    Another great episode of T&B… and I agree with this having another season. And I wouldn't mind that ^_^

    Kinda feel sorry for Kotetsu and I approved of him slapping his little son. Kaede and Bunny… he sure has it tough ever since the Usagi Dropped 😛

    Tough I wish he was more honest. Seriously, why didn't he tell Bunny that he is losing his powers rather than coming up with such BS?

  6. l

    Well, the story for this season was originally written to be wrapped up in 25 episodes, since they honestly did not think it was going to be so popular.

    However, Ozaki (the producer) did mention at the Otakon Tiger and Bunny panel that he would like to do some more with this series (such as another season or some OVAs/mini-movies or something like that). He also wants a live action Hollywood adaptation of the movie.

    Still, I can easily see all of the current plot points getting wrapped up in the next six episodes. Especially since there are a few ways everything can end up getting tied to each other.

  7. I certainly feel like Tiger isn't over being a hero, and that's one of the reasons why he's finding it to hard to cut the cord – Bunny's crisis is a nice excuse (though he really does care about it).

  8. j

    Hi Enzo, thanks for the post :) I am glad that you are covering the show here along with your RC posts :) Hope all is well with you, this site, and RC :3

    As for the episode itself, I hope Tiger will eventually help Bunny regain his memory (seems like he helped in that regard), and Bunny would appreciate his help more… and please don't take away Tiger's power… :(

  9. T

    "I could practically here the “Squee!” from the fujoshi as the first part of the episode played out." I completely agree, there was fanbait in quite a few scenes in this episode.

    That aside, I don't like how Kotetsu STILL isn't being completely honest with Barnaby, especially after the entire mumbo jumbo of "trust each other" that they were spouting back in Jake's arc. Talk about regression in character development.

    And to top it all off, Kotetsu isn't handling his family situation well either. Kotetsu is a cool guy and all, but he sometimes just makes the stupidest of mistakes.

  10. I don't disagree, Tsuki. I think it's a pride thing with Barnaby – he just doesn't want to admit he's losing his powers. OTOH, I can't easily forgive his treatment of his daughter. She deserves better.

  11. K

    I think we are gonna find the matching pin the 2 guys wear will play a part in Barnaby getting back his memories. I'm guessing he won't remember what happens regarding their bro time and the ice rink until Tiger whips out his pin and Barnaby has his on his neck collar.

    I love this series but wanna strangle Kotetsu for dragging 2 situations on needlessly. His telling Bunny his powers are "going away" and his dealing with his daughter.

    I also still think Tiger's brother is a NEXT as well and uses magnetism. We might see Tiger, his older brother, and Kaede working together before this is all said and done.

  12. A

    Season 2 could be T and B "raising" Kaede. Two bros raising a super powered daughter.

    I can smell the ratings from here.

  13. A

    That rating won't include me

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