Tiger & Bunny – First Impressions

Mecha with real-world sponsors? Fascinating. I for one enjoy race car driving, in which the cars are plastered with vibrant liveries touting a product or service that may not have anything to do with cars. I don’t mind it there, or here. Also, it’s a pretty clever way to fund a really slick-looking anime, set in a bustling futuristic New New York of multiple levels.

The series throws us right in the middle of the action, as “Hero TV” airborne cameras follow a gang of bank robbers as hero after hero playfully pursues them. It’s a team effort, as different heroes do better under different conditions: on the road, in the sky, in the harbor, etc. I am a bit surprised the robbers lasted as long as they did, but when you step back, this isn’t simply crimefighting. This is entertainment. There are bonus points for style.

The hero the series focuses on is Tiger, whose superpower is super-strength. But he’s the oldest of the team, and many deem him washed-up. Needless to say, he still feels he has a little left in the tank, which is why when his sponsor is acquired by a larger company, he can’t refuse the offer to work for them, only he trades in his blue spandex for a sleek SoftBank mecha, and teams up with another mecha pilot in Bunny. If the production values and fast-paced storytelling stay this good, I’ll surely keep watching. Rating: 3.5

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