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Tiger & Bunny

A previous post of mine mentioned that I have been recommended at least 3 anime to watch to keep myself occupied for the 2 weeks before school starts, and the first one I watched was this! I was hooked and gave it a 9.1/10 rating, and the show gained a new fan.

I was skeptical at first - it was probably the first time for me watching a series where the world centers around heroes and makes use of them to help society, and at the same time profit the ones that are eager to cash in. I could already tell that they are doing the latter from the many sponsor logos shown during the opening credits. Despite that, it's still part of the show's appeal after all - there are fictional and non-fictional sponsors shown, and in the story they are the ones that enable people to become recognised heroes by the city.

The story is set in a fictional city based on real-life New York City. 45 years before, individuals with superpowers start to emerge, termed the NEXT (Noted Entities with Extraordinary Talents). Though not all are able to do so depending on their abilities, there are certain NEXTs who can abuse their powers and deal extensive damage to the city and put the lives of people in danger, which is where the need for heroes come from.

Initially I had been bored during the first episode - until the main character, Wild Tiger changed into civilian clothing and walked around the streets and I decided to stick around at least for him ><! So it seems that Wild Tiger has been a hero for at least a decade, up to this point in time where something major happened in his hero career; arrangements have been made for him to pair with another hero, Barnaby Brooks Jr.

The dynamics between Wild Tiger and Barnaby was rather interesting to watch. Neither of them liked each other, so they don't get along well at all, at least at first. But neither can contest against this arrangement since it is fixed by the company both of them are working for, so we see many problems between them in the early stages of their working relationship. Which means many blunders were made, even when Barnaby has been shown to be a perfectionist. Somehow or the other, they gradually begin to be able to work together and their relationship improves a lot towards the end of the series.

Other than our two main characters, the story develops to show the various personalities of the other heroes and villains, and the struggles they are facing. One thing I like about the series is the kind of struggles presented, and how the characters deal with it. It mostly centres around the family; for example, Wild Tiger himself had to leave his family living in another town, and has difficulties keeping promises to see his family members regularly especially when he wanted to keep his actual job a secret from his daughter.

The show had a rather nail-biting ending, and I heard a second season was supposed to be on the way... but it has been 6 years so I sometimes wonder if plans have not been changed u_u Despite the lack of new content, the show is apparently super popular in Japan still, with new merchandises still being made occasionally as well as a few Tiger and Bunny themed events here and there. I find Tiger and Bunny one of the more promising animated series I've watched in terms of story development, character designs, even the fight scenes - the whole package. You bet I'm still hoping for a sequel after all this time.


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