Tiger & Bunny – 20

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I won’t presume to speak for everyone, but I would think most viewers would concede that the developments in episode 20 of Tiger & Bunny were immensely entertaining.  Where some will probably complain is in the area of believability, but I’m going to speak out in defense of the series even there.

I doubt anyone will be feeling too charitable towards Albert Maverick after this week.  The only question will be as to whether he’s just plain evil, or insane – I personally vote for a combo of both.  Certainly he’s a megalomaniac of the highest order, and he sees the world as his plaything.  Oddly enough, I do think there’s a sort of sick affection – perhaps borne of guilt – for Barnaby there.  But more than anything this is a man who was given the worst possible NEXT power, because he clearly loves to see the world bend to his whims.  I wonder which came first, the power or the psychology?

Kotetsu is still Kotetsu, for better or worse.  Dancing close to the truth, he’s never quite able to connect the dots – even when he accidentally spots Barnaby’s friendship pin under a table in Maverick’s office.  Sunrise certainly played the old “poison cup gag” to the fullest – right down to “do you have any cream?” and the ringing phone.  I’d thought perhaps Kotetsu had used his super smell to detect whatever it was Maverick had dosed his cup with and was going to switch them, but no – it was pure happenstance that he never drank.  It seems likely it was just knockout drops, so that Maverick could recondition his memory at leisure, though I did wonder if it might actually be poison.

With Kotetsu and Samantha’s stubbornness throwing a spanner in the works, Maverick – a big thinker if nothing else – comes up with a much bolder plan than his original one.  This is where things got really ugly, because poor Samantha became the first innocent among the major characters to be killed off.  Maverick has clearly passed the point of any possible redemption with this act, and it’s set Tiger off on the run as a fugitive from justice.  Here’s where the catcalls may start, because I’ll admit Maverick has left a lot of potential holes in his plan.  First of all, with so many players brainwashed, isn’t it more likely someone’s conditioning will break?  I also wonder how Maverick could possibly be sure he managed to brainwash everyone who knew Tiger’s true identity.  Presumably he knows Kotetsu’s family will need to be dealt with, but there’s Lunatic first of all – not to mention Kotetsu’s old manager, and who knows who else.  Bad plotting, right?

Well – maybe not.  I’d say that while to a logical person this plan seems hopelessly flawed, to someone so egotistical he thinks the whole world and everything in it are his to play with, it makes perfect sense.  This is a megalomaniacal plan to fit Maverick’s megalomaniacal personality.  It should provide great entertainment value, too, as we get to watch Kotetsu as “The Fugitive”, and the matter of his family – surely under direct threat from Maverick now.  The guessing game of how all this will unravel is great fun, too.  Will Kotetsu unravel it himself, Dr. Richard Kimble style?  Will one of the brainwashed – most likely Barnaby – break through the conditioning and unmask Maverick’s plot?  Will Kaede use her newly awakened powers to rescue her Daddy?  And then there’s the fascinating wildcard, Yuri.  If he doesn’t know Kotetsu’s true identity already I expect him to guess almost immediately – he’s way too smart and too close to the situation to fall for this.  With his Shinsengumi-like sense of justice, I think Lunatic would see Maverick as a prime candidate for “Destroy evil immediately” under the circumstances.  Will the story give us the ironic twist of Lunatic saving Tiger’s bacon?

I wasn’t thrilled at first about Kaede and her storyline being tossed aside for the length of the episode.  But I admit I was totally engrossed by what was happening, and the epilogue makes it clear she’s directly involved in whatever happens next.  As mentioned, she and her Grandmother and Uncle at the very least are under direct threat from Maverick now, as he’ll assume they know Kotetsu’s identity (could this be the vehicle for Kotetsu’s brother to reveal his NEXT powers?  Hmmm…).   I have to admire the artful way all of these plot threads are being pulled together, and this remains one of the most entertaining shows in many a season.  For an original series (in contrast to another original series currently in its second cour) it’s striking just how coherent the plotting and consistent the pacing are with T & B.  There’s not a lot of improvising going on here – this is a series that’s clearly known all along what it was and where it was going.

Incidentally, as you recall I speculated here last week on the likelihood of a second season.  Well, this week there’s apparently talk from the producers of the show that a second season is likely already in the plans.  I certainly wasn’t the only one considering the possibility, but I did rather enjoy the timing of the discussion…

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  1. j

    Wow, that was a great episode… Tiger and his "smart" sense… but he was awesome at saving the kid at least 🙂 Now I wish he could somehow pull out of the mess… It would be awesome if Lunatic actually comes in and "save the day" :3 And more Kanade is also welcomed.
    As for Season 2, if it will come out, I imagine it will revolve around the organization, which would be awesome to say at least. Hopefully they pull off a strong finish and a season 2 to deliver!

  2. A

    "… this is a series that’s clearly known all along what it was and where it was going."

    This statement feels so sooo right. Even in its 2nd cour, every climax seems to top the previous.

  3. Yeah, in terms of a steady build-up and sense of drama, this and S;G are the clear class of the field for me among the two-cour series this year.

  4. M

    For some reason, I can actually feel that Lunatic will pop to make matter worse, so that he can use Kotetsu as bait to get Maverick.

  5. Maverick05? LOL

    It's possible. Lunatic is nothing if not unpredictable.

  6. S

    I'm on the fence with this one. As you've pointed out, Maverick's plan is hopelessly flawed but I guess if a second season is indeed in the plans, there's plenty of time to tie up the loose ends. Kotetsu is such a dork and I got a good LOL at his "mug shot". Also, am I the only who thought the animation quality was very inconsistent this episode?

  7. M

    Hahahaha yeap, I found it funny too!! Yet I use Maverick because it is anagram to my real name and a long time game tag. XD

    BTW, Mr. Maverick has never shown to be a good planner/strategist. Jake`s affair almost become a catastrophe because they underrated Jake and they lost control of everything. They were lucky to pull a win thanks to Jake delaying Bunny`s fight for next day.

    And let remember that Maverick`s original goal/plan was to convince the Brooks not to accuse him to the police, and changed the plan abruptly.

    Animation quality….there were some bad shots here and there (Blue Rose looked weird during the kid`s rescue), but overall the episode was ok quality wise.

    BTW, the Wanted!Picture of Kotetsu for some reason doesn`t scream Kotetsu to me. XD I can`t picture Kotetsu trying to look "evil cool".

  8. A

    Yuri already knows Kotetsu is Tiger since episode 8

  9. Did he find out for sure in episode 8? I didn't remember – but Yuri is too smart, either way – he'd have figured out on his own either way.

  10. A

    Yeah he was looking up his file after the credits.

  11. m

    I think I suddenly realized that the dramatic irony works both sides this episode. Sure most of us were screaming in irritation that Tiger was too open with Maverick when its not like he had any reason to doubt him (unlike the audience who knows all his dirty tricks). On the other hand, the people screaming about Maverick's confidence that his plan will work has overestimated how underrated Tiger is to most people in Sternbild where he is just a past-his-prime hero with a cocky attitude. Surely Maverick never realised the long-lasting impressions Tiger made on the people around him and I'm guessing that it's this underestimation that's gonna be his downfall.

  12. Good points, Momo. There really is no reason to suspect that reason that Tiger should have suspectd Maverick, especially given how much Barnaby respected and even loved him. Kotetsu is a dork – an incredibly loveable one – but he's clever and he figures things out in the end. He'll get there.

  13. s

    YESSS. 2nd season :3!

  14. Z

    I think it will either be Blue Rose that shakes off the mind wipe or Super daughter to the rescue by copying Mavericks power and using it to cure people.

  15. Interesting notion about Kaede copying Maverick's power, Znail. It does make a certain amount of sense – if indeed Maverick possesses the power to reverse his own brainwashing.

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