Posted by psgels on 18 September 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tiger & Bunny




The past years have shown a sudden influx of superhero series. It started with Ultraviolet and the Batman movies, then Heroman came and Madhouse had its Marvel series. The best of the bunch however, is Tiger and Bunny.

What this show did was quite special: it didn’t just pick a bunch of superheroes and had them fight crime. It constructed a very creative concept and setting around them: making them tv-stars. In the world of Tiger & Bunny, cameras follow every movement of the heroes as they catch bad guys, and they have been turned into a television phenomenon. By turning superheroes into celebrities, funded by sponsorships, this show is both able to celebrate, and criticize modern media.

The characters really succeed in making such an interesting setting come alive. One of the biggest strengths of this series is how fun the main cast is to watch. Especially the episodes that focus on just a few of them and explore their characters shine in their dynamics. This series is able to create very strong stories that are above all very fun to watch, making this one of the most enjoyable series of the past half year. Nearly every single episode delivers, and at the end of the series the cast has grown tremendously with powerful changes.

The format of this series is that it consists out of two halves. Each half starts off with a number of episodic stories that are meant to flesh out the cast and build up the story, after which a continuous story produces a climax. The plot of this series deserves praises especially because of how well it builds up. In fact, this is one of those stories where the build-up is actually more interesting to watch than the finales themselves. The creators throw in a ton of details as they slowly show more and more about the multi-layered storyline, while at the same time creating interesting individual stories for each of the cast members. it blends in seamlessly.

For me, the major flaw of this series was really that the finales went fairly straight-forward, and just not as interesting as the rest of the series. The cliches that were brilliantly used in the majority of the series in order to achieve some very creative effects suddenly became just… cliches. And that stood out a bit. The journey to the destination however was more than worth it.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Weaves various plot-lines very nicely throughout the story, is very well paced and above all really fun to watch. Albeit the finales are the least interesting parts of the show.
Characters: 9/10 – Awesome cast, wonderful development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Yoshihiro Ike’s soundtrack rocks, the CG works, but often moves jerky, and the 2D animation also has its moments of inconsistencies. It’s a very colourful and bright looking series, though.
Setting: 9/10 – This series is very creative with its premise, and makes brilliant use of it.

Suggestions:
The Big O
Zone of the Enders
Mobile Police Patlabor

6 Responses

  1. LilyGinnyBlack says:

    Since the entirety of the series’ plot was built on cliches, when things became cliche that didn’t really bother me overall, but I can see how it could bother some others.

    I also liked how, with T&B’s plot, most of the big plot twists were expected (and already predicted by fans) but were usually executed wonderfully and it would be the small details that would really add to the reveals and make them so good, rather than the reveals themselves.

    I also don’t really have much gripes with the plot because it wasn’t meant to be anything special, this series has a homage feel to it, to a certain extent at least, and that really shines through in the rather basic and straightforward plots. But, most of the time, characters are actually more important to me than plot. If I don’t like the characters I will care less about the plot.

    And, of course, character building was something that T&B excelled at. All of the characters in this series are memorable, either when it comes to character design or personality or both. Also, characters that have elements of character types (such as Karina and Barnaby with their Tsundere-ness) never have that character type completely take over their personality and the way they act and behave, which is refreshing.

    I also think that the world building was great in T&B too, which definitely helps in the immersion department.

    I’m really interested and eager for whatever continuation there is going to be for this series, since it is just plain fun and enjoyable to watch. It’s not a masterpiece, but it wasn’t meant to be and I don’t think it ever tried to be either.

  2. Lirael says:

    Thank you for blogging this series, I only started watching it after reading your reviews.

    I liked how this series shows that you don’t need to subvert each and evry cliche to make a series enjoyable.

    Just wanted to say something about the production values: sadly, the reason it wasn’t that good is due to the fact that Sunrise thought the show would bomb, and thus invested all it’s money in Sacred Seven (bet they’re reggreting that now…) the show only managed to scrap by enough money to be actually produced due to the investment made by the sponsors.

  3. Cholisose says:

    I’ll admit the title of the show kept me from considering giving this show a try, but it seems that a lot of people have really enjoyed it. I think I’ll give it a try some time–I’ve heard it’s a fun one.

  4. DangerMouse says:

    Awesome job blogging this series, I really enjoyed reading and definitely agree the build up parts were just fantastic and every episode was always a blast to watch.

    I think I enjoyed the climaxes a tiny little more than you since I didn’t really expect them to avoid the cliches in them however I do agree that they would have been even more gripping/exciting and potentially pushed it up to the next level if they had managed to play with the execution of those climax cliches as much and as successfully as they did with various cliches during the fun parts, but it didn’t really take much away from them either since they were still pretty exciting :)

    Definitely agree with the similar suggestions, I definitely got cool Big O vibes at various points in the show even from the way they showed the city and I absolutely loved Big O, and ZOE had a similarly good mix of action, wonderfully executed comedy/buildup and fun messing with cliches (since that show has another rare father-aged character for the lead). :)

  5. Hogart says:

    What worked for me was that Tiger and Bunny was one of those series that was well aware of it’s cliched nature. When it didn’t go too far into abusing them, it was a lot fun. When it crossed the line, which sadly happened at the end, it fell apart just like any other show.

    I found it difficult to adjust my expectations for this show. It was too easy to have fun, and think that the series was going to try something that wasn’t cliched. The only time I really felt let down was the ending, when I wanted them to do something different to make the show memorable and not just “fun”.

    But I won’t knock it for just being fun. It’s rare enough that I genuinely find an anime fun without forcing myself in some way.

  6. Oroboros says:

    A failure of a great idea. A potentially post-watchmen turned out to be a bland generic superhero tale that’s merely reset for another generic tale.

    Media marketed corporate heroes? It’s hardly been done before!

    Too bad the creators chose to ground this ambitious premise with cliches after cliches.

    A good cast of characters that never went anywhere. A homo-erotic relationship scared to come out of the closet. Substandard CGI animation turned me off big time.

    This show deserves nothing more than a C plus. Won’t bother with the second season.

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:43 AM)
    Almost every anime/manga adaptation that I’ve seen looks like it was made by a bunch if high school students. And don’t tell me it’s all a budget thing. Aronofski made Pi with a budget of 60k and it was an amazing film. Are you telling me that the Deathnote adaptation had less than $60,000 to work with?
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:26 AM)
    *he’ll=hell
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 02:25 AM)
    @Aidan: I don’t really understand that given all the gorgeous CGI that the Japanese produce for games (or anime even) and all the meticulousness and attention to detail that they show in arts and media, how the he’ll do they make such bad movies with retarded effects? Everything from the wigs, costumes, make-up, visual effects and acting feels inauthentic as fuck.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 06:43 PM)
    @Emma, middling would be better than bad. Hell the Japanese AOT live action movie is already adding in original characters.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:30 PM)
    And the best we get as a Hollywood adaptation of a Japanese work is edge of tomorrow if thats anything to go by a titan American adaptation would be middling at least.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:26 PM)
    Although I may wait with Cossette…I have watched it three times now that I remember…
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:25 PM)
    @Bam, hell they are making a parastye live action movie as well. the CG is awful. Just awful. Just why…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:23 PM)
    Now to see if Macross plus and Petite cossette still hold up.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:22 PM)
    Log horizons 2s first arc came to a very fun conclusion this week, Deen did a good job of adapting volume six in a short time and making it feel less like a bit of a slog to get through.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 22. 2014 05:21 PM)
    Also took a look at barefoot Gen again, despite its dated art and animation for me the nightmarish, bleak and harrowing bombing sequence still carries a high sense of power to it.

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