Yeah, I knew Tiger wasn’t going to quit being a hero this week and return home to take care of Kaede. But part of me still wished he did. But then it wouldn’t be Tiger & Bunny, now would it? What I didn’t expect was the tragic life story of Kriem, and how Jake Martinez saved her, as told on her deathbed.
Kaede’s powers are starting to run amok back home. It turns out she doesn’t just have Tiger’s Hundred Power. She can copy powers. Yegods, that’s an awesome power! If she can master it, what’s stopping her from moving to Sternbild to help fight crime, or at the very least, be closer to her father. I mean hell, Karina is still in high school, and she’s a hero. Dragon Kid’s just…a kid, amarite? I’m just looking for the most mutually beneficial solution here.
To be fair to Kotetsu, he never really has a good time to announce his retirement: the rest of the gang is so happy to see him back (especially the previously mentioned Karina). And before she dies, Kriem drops a bomb on Barnaby: Jake didn’t murder his parents. It’s proven when the hand tattoo in Bunny’s memory is missing from Jake’s hand in footage. This causes Barnaby to question his fitness to be a hero, at exactly the wrong time for Kotetsu. Nothing comes easy for ‘ol Tiger.
So it took about three weeks and half of the Heroes’ asses getting kicked for them to find out that – gasp – Jake Martinez has not one, but two powers: the barrier power, and telepathy. Interestingly, classically the least observant and analytical hero, Tiger, is the one who discovers this. Everyone else who fought him just kept rushing Jake until they could no longer stand. So the big bad of the season is dealt with through the use of…an ordinary stun grenade. Something that would disorient anyone. Sooo….why didn’t they use one at the beginning???
Well, the episode answers that question to my satisfaction: they needed to stall for time, and divert both Jake’s and Kriem’s attention while they set up a jamming signal for the exobots. Once they do, Fire Emblem, Blue Rose and Dragon Kid finally have something to do besides sit in a lounge and watch what we’re watching. I got the feeling that just about everyone played an important role this week, which is good. Also, the episode dispenses with excessive exhibition and starts right off the bat with Barnaby taking it to Jake. The combat animation is quick and sharp.
So yeah, I enjoyed this episode more than the previous two partially because it was better, but also because I knew this arc had to end eventually. It’s a bit of an anticlimax that Jake doesn’t even remember Bunny’s parents, but I’m glad that in the heat of the battle he didn’t say something to the effect of “Haha, I actually DO remember your parents! They begged for mercy yadda yadda yadda”; I feel like that line is overdone. He didn’t remember them, period. So, remember, if you want to hold a city hostage, have more than a team of just two people, both of whom are busy playing around while their robots are jammed and disabled. Rating: 3.5
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this latest crisis to hit Sternbild just hasn’t been doing it for me. A lot of what goes on simply doesn’t make sense. The city is being held hostage by a fleet of “exosuits” that apparently have to be taken out all at once, or else they’ll collapse the city. Ouroboros has altogether too much power. So does Jake Martinez for that matter. He’s the most boring villain of the series to date; all Crazy Evil, no depth, no time limit on his powers, and seemingly invincible. He and his lieutenant, Kriem, are also visually over-designed as characters. Too much stuff going on.
If someone exists who can swat Sky High and Rock Bison away like flies, how the hell was he contained in a prison? Some kind of anti-NEXT field? If so, why aren’t steps being taken to activate a similar field around him now? I mean, he’s busy fighting heroes, and Kriem is simply watching…go under the radar! And I guess that’s the crux of why I’m just not enjoying Tiger & Bunny like I was earlier. There are just too many stupid things going on, and I’m constantly getting the sense I could come up with a better solution than the series provides; never a good thing. Credulity has been over-strained.
In addition, the pacing is very off, with lots of momentum-killing scenes of heroes just standing around like there’s no emergency at all. With the exception of Agnes, all the non-NEXT characters come off as useless, bumbling morons. That explains why Sternbild is in this mess, but doesn’t explain why Ouroboros hasn’t just destroyed the city already. If destruction is their only goal, they themselves are just stalling needlessly. Stalling is supposed to be the good guys’ job. Enough playing around, just get on with it! Rating: 2.5 (11), 3 (12)