Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tiger and Bunny

The series takes place in the year "NC 1978" in a fictional, re-imagined version of New York City called Sternbild City, where 45 years after, superpowered individuals known as "NEXT" started appearing and some of them became superheroes. Each of the city's most famous superheroes work for a sponsor company and their uniforms also contain advertising for real-life companies. Their heroic activity is broadcast on the popular television show "Hero TV", where they accumulate points for each heroic feat accomplished (arresting criminals or saving civilians, for example) and the best ranked hero of the season is crowned "King of Heroes".

Don't be fooled by the title.....
The story mainly focuses on veteran hero Kotetsu T. Kaburagi aka Wild Tiger who is assigned with a new partner, a young man named Barnaby Brooks Jr. However, Barnaby and Kotetsu usually have trouble working together as they have conflicting opinions on how a superhero should act while at the same time trying to crack the mystery of the murder of Barnaby's parents. In addition, the appearance of a homicidal vigilante NEXT named "Lunatic" stirs up the public and makes them question the meaning of heroes.

Mask rider  + Ultraman? OoO
Before it came out, I saw the title and a poster art, and I figured it would be Playboy-esque. Or about Mafia. Then on a fansub site, I saw it tagged as a shounen mecha with action and comedy. Now I was confused. But whichever it was (about Mafia or mecha) it wasn't gonna be good.

OK, so I watched it. It was not what I was expecting. It's not about Mafia or mecha. It's about SUPERHEROES! Why couldn't somebody just come out and say so? But mind you, this isn't like the other Japanese superhero animes that are re-makes revolving around American-made characters. This ain't Wolverine or Iron Man, folks. No, this is good stuff. GOOOOOOD! Here we have bright and saturated visuals, comedy, some pretty sweet action sequences, loveable characters, and enough drama and melodrama to keep a sieve full. And an interesting twist on athlete sponsorship.

Heroes time!
Unlike most shounen series which are primarily about an action or suspense-driven story, Tiger and Bunny's partnership, or attempt at a partnership, is the main draw. You care about them, and the other characters. You REALLY CARE. You might even say this is meddling in seinen territory. Which is probably why this attracts viewers from all sorts of demographics. If you like drama, and a little action, comedy, nice music and animation, and an interesting setting, please, please give this a try. But beware. You might just get hooked.

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