One of the reasons it took me a while to catch up and watch Tiger & Bunny was because the first episode didn’t leave that much of an impression on me and there wasn’t a lot of buzz surrounding it. After watching episodes 2 to 5, my perception of Tiger & Bunny changed and now I’m hooked! Aside from Gintama, no show this season has made me laugh this hard. I didn’t expect this show to be so damn funny, creative and just– it’s a fun watch, okay?
The show explores the hijinks of these company-sponsored superheroes, the media, the public’s obsession with heroes and a glimpse of the business’ inner workings. The people who take on the jobs of being heroes are just your everyday people who more often than not, see it as a job– a means to get the bills paid or a stepping stone for some other career.
You’d think a concept like this would be tricky to handle but Tiger & Bunny does it so well not because it tries to be overly different but rather because it embraces the cliches and works its way around them to make them feel fresh and relevant again. An example of this is episode 5, where Kotetsu plans a surprise birthday party for Barnaby Jr. I mean, I just typed that out and read it in my head and at first you just have to stop and put on a cynical glare and say: Really? Yes, really. The whole episode was mainly about that. Yet, it still manages to be entertaining without being an all out cheese fest. Once again, Barnaby and Kotetsu prove they’re quite the duo– with the jokes mostly taking a lot from their not-so-good partnership.
Another thing worth of note is how the characters may appear like stereotypes but turn out to be much more than that. I was expecting Sky High to be an arrogant bastard but it turns out he’s a guy who likes to please others and wants to be the best in his performance. Blue Rose/Karina looked like your everyday fanservice character and potential love interest but turned out to be quite the spunky young girl with a mind of her own. She looks so much older in her costume and that’s pretty remarkable, especially design-wise. It’s easy to be lazy and make her look exactly the same with or without her costume and just let everyone else act like they’re unable to deduct that they’re the same person. But no, the change from Karina to Blue Rose is drastic and believable. I didn’t even think she was going to school or anything.
I know I’ve been emphasizing on the funnier bits of this show it’s still an action series. Tiger & Bunny isn’t afraid to hint on something darker and more sinister, proving that it has the potential to grow even more.
I’m glad I gave Tiger & Bunny a chance despite the slightly lackluster first episode. Unlike the majority of the shows this season, there’s a lot of things it can use to keep the momentum going and Tiger & Bunny seems fully aware of that.