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.

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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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

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