Check-in Station: Tiger & Bunny eps1-6 (I come for the action; I stay for the advertisements.)
Have you ever watched something that was so ridiculous you thought you were watching a parody of the show you were watching? Not following? Well imagine you turn on your favorite program and the beginning of the show looks like a series of Super Bowl commercials. It’s glittery, it’s flashy and the lead detective is pushing salty snacks and flavored and carbonated sugar water products in your face. The mildly attractive female prosecutor has Microsoft emblazoned across the back of her blazer. And the tough, rogue investigator starts eating Slim Jims like a fat man eats cake. Your world is slightly askew now isn’t it? Well that’s how I felt during the opening moments of this show. At that point, I had a choice to make. Do I get my laughs now and dump this piece of crap like the hot garbage it appears to be? Or do I keep watching and pray against odds that it gets better? Well, I watched six episodes. Hopefully I made the right choice because that’s three hours I can’t get back!
The last show that surprised me this much was Ika Musume (Squid Girl), and it was damn good. And while through six episodes I can’t say it’s as good, I’m having a great time watching it. It’s tapping into mainstream popularity of comic book-style superheros now and appealing into the discretionary old fag I am about my superheros. All the while poking at its viewership without being annoying, though maybe a little preachy.
The world of Tiger & Bunny seems to twist the usual world we live in by populating it with superheros. To add a further twist to the narrative, the superheros seem to live (if you’ve read the Marvel story arc) under post-Civil War rules, as if Iron Man had won the war and instead of government control they had legal protection behind corporations. Secret identities have little to do with the prestige of being a superhero in this world. There’s no stalking in the night, as everything is heavily televised and highly publicized. For the singular strengths of the heroes, which can be very powerful, there are also a multitude of flaws and weaknesses that surround them. The NASCAR-like support teams; the corporate pressure, stress and public relations; and even the highly competitive focus on points for objects and style turn this more into a sporting event than anything else. I won’t get too far into my personal opinions or the message of the show, but I will say it does an excellent job of giving you the superhero vibe and excitement in a very grounded way.
I find the animation itself good, though character designs can be a little off and weird at times. The music is pretty good too, and I love the show’s ending theme, “Hoshi no Sumika.” Plus there’s the anime’s bonus of its sole female superhero, Blue Rose. Mmmm.
My few middling complaints are the show’s episodic nature, though there appears to be overarching story plot being weaved at the moment. And I have an almost Sasuke-like dislike for the Bunny in Tiger & Bunny, Barnaby. Whether you use the word “prick” or “douchebag”, everything seems to fit. He’s just damn unlikable in my book.
There’s no doubt that I’ll be following this series until the end. I’ll try not to let my personal thoughts that the show may get dark and serious in the future affect my feelings on the show (I wish everything would get serious or dark, even My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it’s just the way I am). This show is fine just the way it is and I’m damn near ready to recommend it after only a few episodes. Give Tiger & Bunny a shot and see for yourself. And maybe once we’re done with the show and I’m doing a Check-out Station on it I’ll be talking about how we watched a classic.
- We Remember Love: sometimes another genre pops into your favorite show, it’s either a disaster or great. This time it seems the production staff for Tiger & Bunny know what they’re doing when it comes to mechs.