Didja know Tiger & Bunny’s going to get a sequel?

Well, didja? ‘Cause there’s totally going to be a sequel and in case you didn’t realize it, allow…

…us to…

…hammer it in!

Oh, Sunrise. The ending’s execution could have been so much more elegant. No, I didn’t want Kotetsu to die; I’m not such an ogre. Actually, I never believed for a second he would stay dead. What he should have stayed, however, was retired. C’mon, this would have been such perfect finish to Kotetsu’s character arc! In the end, I guess Sunrise didn’t think they could ever come up with a better duo than Kotetsu and Barnaby. As a result, why not just keep them around in case the duo is needed for the second season!

Honestly, I suspect that Sunrise is right in this respect. Tiger & Bunny has been, after all, a bit of a surprise hit and this is mostly due to Kotetsu’s charm. What are the chances Sunrise strikes gold again? Even so, nothing ventured, nothing gained. What do I mean by this? Kotetsu un-retiring totally cheapens the idea that everyone, even heroes, will eventually have to own up to their mortality. All those hand-wringing from earlier episodes? Totally pointless now.

But since we’ve spent the last twenty-four episodes discussing the show’s themes and ideas, I’m just going to try and react to this finale as a fan. So how best to describe the last episode of the series? It is full of “Oh c’mon!” moments. First, when did Rotwang unfreeze himself?

This is unfortunately just the start of the “C’mon!” moments. I actually think the following heroes (minus Kotetsu) versus the Cell Jrs. H-01 army bit is pretty entertaining for a fight scene. I’ll give the show that much. But using the love of Barnaby’s deceased parents to disable the H-01 army?

Groan. Okay, okay, I guess we can have at least one or two schlocky moments in a show that has always been full of cheese. It’s just that Sunrise has tried so hard all season to make Barnaby into this tragic Batman-like character, but the results have always been awkward and not in a ha-ha sort of way.

Moving on, Agnes making her sudden appearance in the finale doesn’t bug me. After all, she does play a big role in shaping how the public perceives the heroes so I don’t mind that she basically saved the day with regards to Maverick.

It just really puzzles me was how the heroes could then allow a fat, old man to dash off into the darkness only to emerge with Kaede as his hostage? C’mon! No, really, c’mon!

Then out of nowhere, Kotetsu revives, saves his daughter, retires then un-retires all within a span of ten minutes. We’ve already been over this, but it deserves a second “C’mon!” We made this big deal out of Kotetsu breaking his daughter’s promise — his own daughter growing distant from her father because he’s never around! — and it all. doesn’t. matter. All that matters is that Kotetsu looks cool! And what’s cool? Heroes!

A father who devotes his life to his daughter is still a hero though. For example, see Daikichi of Usagi Drop. So what’s the big deal, Sunrise?

What about the rest of the heroes? Fire Emblem groping Rock Bison’s ass at a bar is such a low hanging fruit. Of course! — why didn’t I realize it! All homosexual men have nothing better to do than hit on straight guys. Way to consistently make a caricature out of the gay character.

As for Dragon Kid? Her contribution to the ending is that she’s even girlier than ever. C’mon!

Worst of all, Blue Rose, a teenager, is seen reading up on how to woo a single dad. This deserves the biggest “C’mon!” of all.

No… just no.

As you can tell, this is a very deep and insightful textual analysis of Tiger & Bunny. In any case, the only scene in the ending montage that doesn’t make me roll my eyes is Sky High chasing after a dog. It’s just so fitting for him: a boring, dorky hero who screws up all the time gets to do nothing but chase a dog.

Shame on you, Sunrise. This has been such a fun series, but once again, the ending to a Spring 2011 anime disappoints. You can toss Tiger & Bunny‘s finale onto the heap along with Ano Hana, Steins;Gate, [C], etc. And I suspect Hanasaku Iroha will be joining them soon. Does Tiger & Bunny‘s mediocre finish ruin the series as a whole? Of course not. I’d still recommend this anime above any of the other Spring anime. I’ll still watch the sequel whenever it comes out. I certainly don’t mind Kotetsu reviving out of nowhere (Sunrise being Sunrise!). I just…

…I just expected better.


32 Replies to “Didja know Tiger & Bunny’s going to get a sequel?”

  1. I just don’t like how the ending was so hyped up with the live event, then you have the (to me it was) misleading title Eternal Immortality. I’m not exactly disappointed but it really could’ve been better. But I understand why they did what they had to do.

    That book Karina is very disturbing. :|

        1. The last episode was even screened in theaters? What the Christ… apparently there’s nothing better to watch on Japan’s silver screens.

  2. At first I was disappointed that Kotetsu came back from retirement, but then having thought about it I decided that him continuing with work even though his powers are waning fits the general theme of the show better. He can be the antithesis to Legend. There’s no reason he can’t be a great single dad and a working one as long as he communicates with his daughter a bit more. Maybe she can move in with him and attend the Academy or something? I hope he remains in the second league though.

    If he randomly gains a new super power or regains his old ones I’ll drop the show.

    1. I had to laugh at how Kotetsu basically says he didn’t do anything for a year so his daughter told him he was uncool. Surely he could have found another job in Oriental Town? I guess the recession is biting over there too…

      1. His mother seems to do physical labor all day like tilling the tiny garden she has. Kotetsu could have done that. He also could have helped with his brother’s bar. Hell, maybe even tutor young NEXTs who couldn’t afford to go to the academy. So many possibilities…

    2. The antithesis to Legend would be to retire gracefully, not continuing to abandon his daughter to hold onto whatever flashy heroism he has left in the tank. Like I said, a great hero could just be a great dad. I know the ending implies that his daughter is okay with Kotetsu continuing to be a hero, but the main issue here is just the way the anime cheapens all those damn episode of her crying on the phone and whining about him never being around. One thing I’ve always felt about storytelling is this: if you’re going to tap into a particular subplot, follow through on it. T&B made a big deal out of Kaede growing up without her father in her life only to half ass the ending. And c’mon, man, you know having a parent around full time versus talking to him or her on the phone at night makes a drastic difference in a child’s development.

      1. Heck, at this point I’m probably just making excuses for the show because I enjoyed it. I do think they could still build on those character developments in the next series if we actually see Tiger spending more meaningful time with his daughter and striving to acheive a workable hero/family-time balance. It makes me wonder what the show would’ve been like if Kotetsu were a woman instead. Would that change people’s opinion of his choices?

        One thing that really bothered me about this final arc was Maverick’s motivation. He seemed to be all over the place. I guess he panicked and lost sight of his original goal because I don’t understand what he hoped to acheive with his supposed masterplan (that was full of holes..).

        1. If Kotetsu was a woman, he’d be 16. But in all seriousness, I enjoyed the series too so it’s not just you. It’s not just that Kotetsu wants to work and raise a family. I’ve got no problems with working parents. We know, however, that he doesn’t even get to come home when he’s in Sternbild fighting crime.

          Maverick’s motivation

          If I had to pick something, greed.

    3. I cannot see how you would drop the show Ando…

      This whole series has been written very well (well besides the ending) to the point where if he does get new powers or if he regains new powers then I’m sure it will be written into the storyline in a way that will only enhance the story.

  3. I agree with you on most of the points pertaining to the post-time skip section, especially Kotetsu coming out of retirement. This ending would have had much more power to it if he had stayed retired. Oh, and even though I defended the idea of Dragon Kid expressing a feminine side way back in her one character-focus episode, that was total pandering shit there after the time-skip.

    I also get the sense that Sunrise’s original plan was to keep Kotetsu retired, and for that post-time skip part to not be there at all (which is why you have all this low-hanging fruit stuff – that part was probably a total rush-job, probably done at the very last moment with the first idea for various character vignettes that came to the writing staff’s minds). However, the surging popularity of Tiger and Bunny took them by surprise, and they weren’t confident that one or more of the supporting cast heroes could carry a sequel for this. This is likely why you have all this low-hanging fruit stuff – the post-time skip part was probably a total rush-job, done at the very last moment with the first idea for various character vignettes that came to the writing staff’s minds.

    Where I disagree with you is on Blue Rose. At first, I found her crush on Kotetsu a tiny bit sketchy myself, but I don’t know… She was the heroine who at least considered his words back when all the heroes had their memories wiped (i.e. she was the only one who said “No, I don’t think you have the face of a killer”). She was the heroine who comforted Kaeda the most during this nasty situation. And now, after a full year has passed, she still has this crush on Kotetsu.

    I don’t know, maybe this really is true love at this point? I have to admit that I find it pretty cute and endearing.

    And geez, Karina was in highschool two big, long time-skips ago. She must be almost an adult now, isn’t she? Once Karina is legally an adult, the age difference between her and Kotetsu becomes less of an issue, imo.

    Anyway, I think you’re a bit too hard on the episode (mainly the pre-time skip part), but good review all the same.

    1. With Blue Rose, I don’t care how well it’s developed. A massive age gap is just one of my pet peeves, especially since pop culture is always full of skeevy old men marrying young hot girls.

      Once Karina is legally an adult, the age difference between her and Kotetsu becomes less of an issue, imo.

      Dude, she could be 25, i.e. well into adulthood, and I will still think it is silly if Kotetsu’s anymore than five (let’s say) ten years older than her.

  4. The thing with Kotetsu that really irks me is that Sunrise didn’t even need to make him a hero again to keep him active in the story. What would be wrong with him acting as a mentor figure to the second-string heroes? Could he not be one of the teachers in the superhero academy? That way, he could be easily accessed whenever Sunrise wants to use him, his arc gets a natural growth, and it doesn’t cheapen his retirement.

    1. I really do think Sunrise collectively shat their pants when they realized that Kotetsu is a first character they’ve had in a long time that wasn’t lame and pathetic, i.e. “Aw crap, don’t write him out of the main hero role just yet!” I wish I knew when the final episode was finished vis-a-vis the announcement was made for a second season, ’cause the ending feels as though it was heavily altered at the last minute.

    1. That makes it worse than #6.

      Oh, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m sorry, but nothing will ever top the goddamn rainbow bee for a long time.

  5. I guess Japan advertising experiment was a success. And guess what? More episodes equals more product placement. And that means more money. It could be the next Dragon Ball Z. with video games and movies and merchandise. Kotetsu and Barnaby could be the the next Goku and Vegeta. I can see it now, Tiger and Bunny: The Ouroboros Chronicles. With more product placement and Action, to the max!!

  6. What bothers me is if they do plan to make a sequel, how will Kotetsu make an difference? The fact he demoted himself (I don’t think it’s even demoted) to the second league of heroes means he doesn’t have that much capability anymore. I agree with you on the idea that Kotetsu should’ve just stayed retired then at least T&B will have a plot revolving on how ex-heroes can still make a difference and blah.

    1. Oh, I’m sure they’ll cook something up. I mean, Kotetsu never was an amazingly-capable hero to begin with. Four or five minutes of superpower was still pretty lame and led to all sorts of bumbling buffoonery from our hero. We liked the guy because of all the ways he’d annoy Barnaby, not that he was Superman.

  7. My biggest cmon moment was the Ouroboros logo on the sternbild dollar. You mean to tell me no one in Sternbild has ever gotten a dollar wet? After all that time Barnaby spent trying to figure out what the logo meant and find any reference to it whatsoever there it is on the cash.

      1. Iunno, but I’m still hoping that there would be some kind of confrontation between father and daughter by realizing that Kaede is now drawn to the bad side because well, she thought daddy never loved her, got all angry or tempted to join the bad guys because of her potential, that kind of plot.

        I mean, with Tiger leaving her again alone without any resolution to spend more time with her, that has to lead to a few potential twists. Not saying balls and risks would be involved heavily, but at least some interesting causes and effects would be nice to see in anime.

        1. I dunno, that seems a little too… moody for Tiger & Bunny. I mean, yeah, Barnaby was emo about his dead parents all season long, but they kind of played it off with cheesy opera music and such. I just can’t see a character like Kaede brooding over her absentee father and Kotetsu having to face down his own daughter.

        2. But it would give the idea how the Superhero-villain world is dangerous when someone you truly care for is the one who wants you down. Maybe not in ways where a character is brooding, but maybe make Koutetsu can realize how much one broken promise can change a relationship with his own child.

          I think I watched a little too much Doctor Who…

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