It’s hard for a hero these days. People just can’t seem to appreciate good ‘ol crimefighting. When Lunatic appears, it makes the public question if there’s a real need for heroes like Tiger & Bunny. Apparently, there’s just something about vigilantes that the people adore. I don’t know about you but I guess it’s because of actors like Charles Bronson and movies like Death Wish. That’s the kind of image vigilantes have in media, they’re almost always cooler than your regular good guy.
We can’t have that though. So the heroes are sent to win back the public’s trust, wooing them with their clean-cut and friendly images. Tiger & Bunny, along with Origami Cyclone are tasked to visit the Hero Academy. They offer lectures and advices, but I suppose the real reason is to boost the morale of these students. Some of them have really sucky powers, like– absolutely pointless ones. But hey, who am I to judge a guy who has ‘severe hair loss’ as his power?
The focus is on Origami Cyclone (Ivan Karelin), who has lost faith in himself as a hero. He’s also someone of poor confidence and feels useless. He has an interesting ability though, he can shape shift into other people but he can’t copy their abilities. No wonder he has a tendency to imitate other people, as shown when Barnaby says he wants to go home and Ivan echoes his words. This ability would be invaluable if used in the right way though, but Ivan is unable to see that.
In his younger years, his inability to take action caused his friend Edward to accidentally kill a civilian while attempting to save her from hostage takers. Because of this, his friend who Ivan saw as more worthy of being a hero was put into jail. Edward escapes from prison and attempts to seek revenge on Ivan.
The Lunatic is after Edward though, and attempts to kill him. Ivan tries to save him by shape shifting and claiming he’s the real Edward but the Lunatic sees through it and claims that sinners are cowards. He points his crossbow at Edward but Ivan blocks him. Luckily, Kotetsu and Barnaby arrive.
Kotetsu suffers some damage after taking a hit for Barnaby but not without dealing some damage to Lunatic. Lunatic retreats after having his mask cracked and spares Edward.
If there’s one thing Tiger & Bunny is very good at, it’s embracing cliches and working around it. The people behind it know what the more popular superhero cliches are and they incorporate it if they can. This is seen in the case of the people vs. the heroes. Thankfully, the heroes have their sponsors behind them and are willing to take countermeasures. This way, these big corporations are shown in a more neutral disposition as opposed to the usual.
Ivan is in a horrible, horrible position though. I’d hate to say this but he looked really pathetic until he decided he wanted to redeem himself. Protecting Edward definitely made me like him a bit more. But for his sake, he really needs to get himself together. That said, he’s a really good looking character. Having him voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto gives me too many Rin flashbacks too.
Kotetsu and Lunatic are the anti-thesis of each other and I’m guessing this is going to be a pretty long rivalry. Kotetsu is almost like a grown up version of your average shounen lead but with the tendency to be very father-like. This makes it easy for me to sympathize with him. It kind of sucks not everyone gives him the recognition he deserves in this show.
And finally, Barnaby actually softens up. He’s always been a tsun without the dere but after Kotetsu’s sacrifice, he starts to think about what an asshole he’s been towards his senior.
It looks like we’re getting more episodic episodes before we hit serious plot arcs. Tiger & Bunny remains good though, it’s almost amazing how I find that the first episode is still the weakest so far. That has to say something about this show’s direction.