This is a clever episode production-wise. Half of the episode doubles as a flashback sequence, more or less. Sunrise didn’t literally treat us to a clip show, but the show does a good job of tying things together emotionally while saving money at the same time. After all, we’ve still got two or three episodes left, I think? No need to blow our wad now.
Hey guys, remember me?
Kotetsu tries to get the other heroes to remember their old buddy by mentioning things about them only he would know. As a result, we semi-revisit old material for half of the heroes — y’know, the pretty ones. For the rest of gang, however, Kotetsu brings up some really strange and quirky facts instead. Is Fire Emblem shaving all the time because he’s gay? Oh those homosexuals, am I right fellas? Always preening! It’s disappointing that a character like Nathan is only in the anime as a joke. Why even include a homosexual character if he’s just going to be mocked? What a shame, I guess. You’ll notice that only the younger, cooler heroes got their chance in the spotlight. For guys like Rock Bison and Fire Emblem, they got nothing. Sky High got his own episode, but it was a downer. Hell, I barely know anything about Rock Bison; I had to look up the fact that his real name is Antonio. I mean, did you know that?
Oh yeah, Karina asked, “If he really is the murderer, then why is he trying so hard to prove his innocence?” I’m going to try that defense in court and post a trip report later.
This episode has it all
Man, is there any action trope that Tiger & Bunny won’t play? First, it’s Kotetsu versus his hero buddies. Unfortunately, they don’t really fight. Then just when things are about to go south for our main man, Maverick lets up the pressure to maximize his ratings. Rather than sending in Barnaby right from the start, the creator of Hero TV just couldn’t resist being the stereotypically arrogant villain.
So a daughter’s love for her father saves the day yet again… a little predictably but that’s okay. Finally, Barnaby enters the fray and — what’s this? A car chase sequence with fancy 3-D animation? And as a cherry on top, we got the good ol’ cliffhanger. This isn’t quite the penultimate episode so I hope Sunrise still has more up its sleeve.
I know I’ve brought this up before, but I just don’t really get the other heroes’ behavior, especially Barnaby. When all of your buddies are suddenly defending an alleged killer out of nowhere, shouldn’t you, like, stop to think that something fishy might be going on? Barnaby goes to such great lengths to understand why Jake supposedly killed his parents, but when it comes to Kotetsu, a complete stranger to Barnaby at the moment, he is consumed with rage. I just feel as if this is the ending’s one flaw.
I can ignore the holes in Maverick’s plans. After all, it was destined to fail. Barnaby, however, is the other half of the show’s equation and I just find his behavior a little perplexing. Did Maverick give him ‘roids as well? Is that why he’s flying off his handle?
There is a couple other minor nitpicks. Kotetsu uses his powers to bulk up so that he could… give his friends a thumbs up?
It’s cute, I guess, but what if they didn’t believe him? With his powers running out so quickly nowadays, was this really a good risk to take? I’m not sure if Kotetsu thinks his plans through, sometimes. Like the car chase at the end — it looks cool, but why would you even bring the conflict to the public to begin with? For a hero, isn’t Kotetsu unnecessarily endangering the public just to stir up Barnaby’s old memories?
But I guess Kotetsu wouldn’t be as charming as he is if he was always a careful thinker.
Anyway, an episode like this simply builds up to the finale, so there’s not much to analyze. I’ll just end this post by saying that I’m pleasantly surprised by how good this series has turned out. In fact, unless the finale is a complete and utter disaster, Tiger & Bunny is definitely the best anime to come out of the spring season. With Ano Hana stumbling at the finish line and Steins;Gate feeling repetitive at times, I guess calling Tiger & Bunny the best spring anime doesn’t say much, but I have to hand it to Sunrise. I certainly didn’t expect much when I first saw advertisements emblazoned on the heroes as if they were NASCAR drivers.