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Tiger & Bunny Episode #05 Review

4 min read

The basic belief systems of the two leads continues to grate on each other with how they view their jobs.

What They Say:
Kotetsu and the other heroes decide to hold a surprise birthday party for Barnaby. As they make preparations, Blue Rose urges Kotetsu to get a special birthday gift for his partner.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Tiger & Bunny progresses, one of the sticking points that continues and is most definitely not a surprise is that the two leads of Kotetsu and Barnaby have very different ways of doing their job. More so that Barnaby looks at it as a job and stepping stone to fame and fortune while Kotetsu does it to help people, though he doesn’t always succeed in it. Kotetsu has the classic superhero mindset about him while Barnaby’s all about building himself up and becoming the big star he knows he is. It’s a rather well worn theme in Western comic books and it’s kind of by the numbers but decently done here for the most part as a wedge between the two even as they try to work together.

While the previous episode focused largely on Blue Rose, which was definitely welcome and interesting, this one goes back to the core duo and expands on Barnaby a bit by having it comes up that it’s his birthday. Kotetsu sees it as a chance to connect with his partner a bit more during a time when their relationship is flagging, and at the urging of Blue Rose he goes off to try and find the right birthday present for him. There are some amusing gags associated with this after he fails at finding out what he’s interested in as it goes to a strange place when he does a cute gag involving a cardboard cutout of a bunny that he runs around with in Barnaby’s place. While there’s comedy to be had there, we do get some somber material as well as we see how Barnaby is handling his birthday with some nice flashbacks that show his youth with his mother, something that explains a little bit about his personality.

Of course, the whole plan that Kotetsu and the others come up with go awry when it ends up crossing over with an actual criminal group event and before you know it, it’s all on Hero TV and turning into quite the scene. Naturally, the way everything goes has Barnaby just wanting less and less to do with Kotetsu and you can easily understand why he wants to pretend that the two aren’t a team anymore considering how everything seems to go wonky when they work together. As much as you can like Kotetsu, there is something to what Barnaby says. Of course, some of that is on Barnaby’s shoulders as well as he isn’t exactly the best team player and has been rather standoffish and adversarial at times with Kotetsu since the two first came together.

In Summary:
While every episode has some mild comedy of errors that gets things done, this one uses that formula a bit more from the get go but it works rather well. The pairing of these two has been amusing, though there is that edge to it where it’s starting to feel like it’s getting a bit thin, but by and large it’s the right kind of odd couple gag. The show spends its time on some lighter material this time around compared to what it did previously with a fairly serious Blue Rose storyline and it works pretty well even though it’s an easily plotted piece. The fun continues to be with the characters and the way they work, or don’t work, together. The show still has some very appealing animation to it and that’s a big draw on top of everything else as I continue to like the Japanese interpretation of superheroes. That said, the show needs to start offering something a bit more substantial before it begins to lose something.

Grade: B

Simulcast By: Viz Media

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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