Tiger & Bunny Ep. 11: Just fine

Yep, that’s right, ‘The Die is Cast’ was just fine.

For a ramp-up episode, i.e. moving the chess pieces into place for (hopefully) the good stuff next week, ‘The Die is Cast’ isn’t a bad episode. It wasn’t boring despite a heavy use of generic men in suits conferencing and concerned bystanders on the street. Instead, the drama results from the externalization of Barnaby’s frustrations. He can’t do anything and neither can most of the people in the city.

Things just got a little groan-y and eye-rolling when Albert Maverick decided to reveal Barnaby’s past to the entire city. Believe me, my spirits wouldn’t be lifted just because some pretty boy hero has a personal vendetta. I was half-expecting a reaction from Jake Martinez because it’s not everyday that someone you orphaned decades ago is out to get you, but alas, it appears Jake Martinez doesn’t watch the breaking news of the very city he is terrorizing.

Stray Observations

• Jake Martinez sucks. He’s a NEXT too and he seems to have the ability to kill you when his eyes light up. I’m not exactly sure what happens next. He releases his ki like how he smashed a fellow prisoner to the wall? Anyway, Jake Martinez is more like a Magneto than a Joker despite the ‘Mister J’ connection (from Ryan R) making all the sense in the world.

Jake’s schtick is that NEXTs are God’s chosen people and he wants to build a utopia where he and all other mutants can live (X-Men, basically). All the NEXTs we’ve seen in the anime up til now only add up to an academy and a handful of heroes and criminals though. That doesn’t feel like much of a society to me, but maybe there are more NEXTs offscreen that we don’t get to see.

In any case, Jake Martinez just sucks because he lacks what any villain needs: gravitas. Villains are effective when they command the scene and make you want to join their side. You know it’s wrong, but damn it, the villain is so charismatic! Sometimes, they even overtake the movie they’re in like The Dark Knight’s Joker. Otherwise, the villain is just another generic evil-doer and quite frankly, Jake Martinez sounds like a boring dork whenever he opens his mouth. No, I’m not saying that the writers should just directly copy someone like the Joker, but at least make Jake Martinez worthy of respect (not from a moral standpoint, obviously). In most superhero stories, the nemesis should be an attraction just as much as the hero(es).

• And Kriem’s boring too. She’s in this Harley Quinn meets Mad Hatter get-up and yet she just sounds like another lackey. Where’s the energy? Where’s the craziness? Tiger & Bunny has so much fun with its heroes, but the evil guys are such a drag.

None of the villains thus far have been effective counterparts to our heroes whatsoever.

• As a result, the only consistent reason to watch this show is to see the chemistry between the two leads rather than their heroic exploits. In fact, Tiger and Barnaby’s interactions saved this episode. I enjoyed watching the two confront the men in suits.

And it’s such a Tiger thing to bring a snack to the roof just to find an excuse to stand besides Barnaby during a tough time. Still, it feels like Barnaby’s character would be a lot more entertaining if he didn’t feel so… disciplined. The seething rage bottled within him doesn’t show itself nearly as much as it should.

• Origami Cyclone is pretty skilled — who knew he knew how to fly a helicopter? How convenient! — he’s perfect for infiltrating Jake’s hideout in every single way.

11 thoughts on “Tiger & Bunny Ep. 11: Just fine

  1. A Day Without Me

    I’m still hoping Tiger and Bunny get a big make-out scene by the end of the show.
    Haha. Yeah. Right. I’m sure that’ll happen.

  2. Ryan R

    Yeah, I was a bit disappointed in Jake Martinez. He doesn’t quite have it as a major villain, in my opinion. I hope this improves because the main villain of a superhero story is kind of important, lol.

    And yeah, his female sidekick wasn’t crazy enough. Collectively, her and Jake just don’t carry enough gravitas or crazy charisma.

    1. E Minor Post author

      If this is literally just a Tiger and Barnaby show in the end, I’ll be sufficiently satisfied as they are an entertaining duo. For “the man who murdered your parents” however, I really thought they could cook up something better.

  3. Mira

    I wonder how old Barnaby is. Him being so disciplined and controlled may be an after effect of Mr. Maverick raising him as a child and having to search for his parents killer forced him to act more ‘adult-like’ as opposed to Kotetsu’s more easy going personality. I actually liked Jake more with the beard on.

    1. E Minor Post author

      The man who murdered Barnaby’s parents is on the verge of slipping through his fingers. I just expect a little more pathos.

  4. Maruna

    The weak array of villains in this series baffles me. So often, the villains are cooler or more popular than the protagonists, but T&B’s come up short, every single time. It’s lucky if the bad guys even have cool super powers.

    1. E Minor Post author

      It struck me that not a single person on this show has a cool superpower, hero or otherwise. It’s all just standard stuff.


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