Yoshiko continues to methodically tear down the Gals’ rep by digging into their love lives…or lack thereof. Turns out the only one with a “boyfriend” has neither kissed, held hands, or even told him she likes him. Yoshiko is ruthless in her mockery of the surprisingly pure gal, but does get her to express her feelings to the guy.
Yoshiko then inserts herself in the middle of the little kids’ field trip snack-shopping mission, where she dissuades them from buying chips or chocolate lest they get crushed or melt. She also points out the high-priced deluxe Pocky that must not be purchased no matter what…only for Nozomi to not only buy it (with all her money) but is nice enough to share with everyone.
Fuuki Iinchou has to be taken to the roof by Sayaka to try to get her to stop acting so crazy around A-kun, but Fuuki, blinded by love, has no idea how erratically or insanely she’s behaving. When Sayaka tells her the truth, Fuuki is so devastated Sayaka has to take it all back as joking around. This is beyond Sayaka’s ability to deal with alone, if at all.
Lastly, Yoshiko and Dog meet Sayaka’s dog, Pomi the Pomeranian. At first Yoshiko thinks she’s ludicrously tiny and weak, until it’s Dog cowering in fear behind her skirt. Yoshiko misreads their romantic interactions for aggression, but Dog is ultimately too embarrassed and runs off, with Yoshiko riding him, of course.
After Bunny defeats one H-1, Rotwang unleashes an entire squad of them at the heroes. Saito manages to put them into safety mode using a code Bunny’s parents devised. After killing Rotwang, Maverick attempts escape, but his big mouth gets him in trouble when its revealed he’s being filmed by the Hero TV crew. He takes Kaede hostage, but Kotetsu wakes up and knocks him out. He wipes out his own memory and is arrested, and everyone is out of harm’s way. Lunatic intercepts the paddy wagon and kills Maverick for his crimes. Tiger & Bunny both retire, but get back into the superhero game a year later.
Tiger & Bunny wraps up with a solid, satisfying finale, with its fair share of action, slapstick, and a lot of heart. This series always seemed to care a great deal about its cast, and whenever it focused on one or another, it really made the characters shine. Those character pieces always worked better when the series took more introspective views of the characters, rather than bundle them all up with little to do, like the last few episodes where they had to deal with Maverick. But Kotetsu really took center stage – apparently “sacrificing” himself last week, only to make a hero’s comeback at the most opportune time – to look cool in the eyes of his daughter.
This is another one of those “life goes on pretty much as it has” endings, where Tiger returns to the Hero biz, not out of selfishness, but because Kaede told him to. The fact that his powers are only good for a minute don’t faze him; one cannot hold back the tide, as the late Legend proved. He’ll just do what he can to help out and protect his family. As for Barnaby, he wasn’t interested in being a hero without Tiger by his side, so when Tiger returned, so did he. A testament to how far their friendship has come.
Ah, the “framed for murder and suddenly nobody knows who you are” episode. I knew Kotetsu would run into trouble if he came back to Sternbild, but I didn’t think he’d get in this deep. Why again didn’t he just submit his resignation over the phone? Was the junk in his apartment really worth another trip away from his family? (For the record, Kaede and his mother and brother don’t believe he actually killed anyone.)
Anyway, hindsight is 20/20, and instead we get what is mostly a chase episode, with everyone recognizing Kotetsu (thanks to Maverick’s control of P.R.), but not as a hero, but as a murder suspect. One by one, the other heroes corner him, and while they acknowledge that he believes he’s guilty, they have to do their jobs – which means capturing him. Which brings us to Wrongfully Accused Tip #1: Don’t run; you’ll just look more guilty. Kotetsu, naturally, runs.
It’s probably best he runs though, because that allows an opportunity for him to see the cherry on top of Maverick’s sweep-Kotetsu-under-the-rug scheme: another Wild Tiger. This one doesn’t talk (like Stig), and sports an evil black-and-red color scheme. Interestingly, Lunatic, the wild card, saves the real Kotetsu from his own friends, and buys Kotetsu time to find his old buddy Ben, whose cab arrives perhaps too perfectly on-the-dot. However, Ben is in fact on his side, and has his old Wild Tiger costume. I’m not sure how this will convince the heroes he is who he says he is, but we’ll find out next week.
This was definitely one of the darker weeks of Tiger & Bunny, despite a hilarious banquet scene where the heroes are all dolled up (see above). The occasion is Barnaby breaking a record previously held by Mr. Legend, the original Hero. He’s the guy who inspired Kotetsu to become a hero himself. He still gets teary-eyed watching old TV footage of the guy…and I’m sure deep down Tiger kinda resents Bunny breaking his childhood hero’s record, though he’d never say it.
They could have just let Legend be an infallible legend and called it a week, but no! While Ao no Exorcist uses the heroic memory of Shiro, this series chooses to tear the legend of Legend down. Tiger’s friend Ben uncovers something huge: Legend also experienced a dip in powers late in his career; so much so that his criminal captures had to be staged to keep up appearances. This lead to a drinking habit, and then it led to the habit of beating his loving wife out of frustration. Legend was killed by his own son, to save her.
And his son’s name? Yuri…AKA Lunatic. Dunno about you, but I wasn’t expecting that! This was a bold move, but it works; it explains Lunatic’s vast wealth and resources, and because of what happened between him and his father, he developed his twisted sense of justice. Meanwhile, Tiger’s powers are dwindling so rapidly, he can’t even stop an ordinary human, and ends up in a dumpster, his ideals crushed, his dream of his daughter calling him cool in serious jeopardy, and his days as a hero seemingly numbered.
The main arc (Lunatic) is on the back burner for another week as Tiger & Bunny focuses on its characters. last week saw a lot of Kotetsu and Karina; this week’s all about Sky High (interestingly, I don’t believe we know his real name). Since the first half a lot has changed: the Tiger & Barnaby duo are killing it both in points and popularity, while the perennial “King of Heroes” seems to have lost his mojo. Not surprising, considering how swiftly he was dispatched by Jake Martinez.
As if losing his edge on the Hero side wasn’t enough, he also seems to have terrible luck with women. He meets a wooden, monosyballic yet gorgeous woman on a bench beside a fountain in a park (which is gorgeously presented at all times of day throughout the episode). He mistakes her measured responses as human demureness. It’s pretty funny to see him take advice from Fire Emblem, Dragon Kid and Karina, who believe heartsickness is responsible for his decline.
At first I was taken off-guard by Sky’s naivete, but it turns out he has little or no time to be a playboy; as he spends his nights patrolling the skies over Sternbild. But the woman turns out not to be wooden, but metal, and not a woman at all, but an android named Cis, who escaped from her master and is malfuncitoning (read: goes berserk). She has an excellent, frenetic battle with Tiger & Bunny, during which she sheds her human skin. By the time Sky High finishes her off (ironically, with thoughts of Cis fueling his confidence), he doesn’t recognize her, so for all he knows she’s still out there somewhere. Sky High’s mojo is back.
The episode still managed to shoehorn Barnaby’s connection to Cis’s creator (who worked with his parents; Cis is the apparent culmination of their research), which calls into question what he really knows about his deceased folks. Tiger too, has a bombshell dropped in his lap: a friend warns him the erratic behavior of his powers of late may spell a decline in them; rare but not unheard of amongst the NEXT. Well, he is old. Stay tuned! Rating: 3.5
With Lunatic running wild murdering murderers, public opinion around Sternbild is starting to sway in his favor. I mean, it’s not like he’s killing innocent people, amirite? Next to him, the heroes look a bit impotent. So Apollon Media decides to send out their heroes for some good ol’ PR. You know, rather than looking for Lunatic. They end up a Barnaby’s former school, which bears a slight resemblance to Professor Charles Xavier’s.
This series has gradually been delving deeper into various characters, obviously starting with Tiger, then Blue Rose and Bunny, and this week it’s Ivan/Origami Cyclone’s turn. I have to admit I initially found his sudden and intense self-doubt a bit strange, and I was definitely perplexed when Tiger exhibited surprise at his special power of mimicry. Haven’t these two fought together before? Mimicry is most definitely a useful superpower. It’s baffling that he hasn’t figured that out at this point in his career.
While mopey Origami wasn’t all that interesting, I like how they weaved Lunatic into the story, just when you thought he was on a break this week. Lunatic also seemed a lot less invincible than last week, as Tiger was able to soar into the sky and smash his mask. We even see him sans mask…what a girly man! Another plus: not all NEXTs have powers that are well-suited for heroism. Some are seemingly just circus freaks. Then again, Fantastic Four and X-Men made it work…Rating: 3
The new NEXT with the blue flames makes his debut this week, and he ain’t exactly what you’d call an ally. Seemingly killing anyone who may be involved with the Ouroboros crime syndicate that killed Bunny’s parents at just the right time, he even ruins a Hero TV live broadcast by toying with Tiger and Bunny. I have to say, the whole group kinda dropped the ball on this; all heros were mobilized, and yet Tiger and Bunny were on their own against this lunatic, whose name is…Lunatic.
Luny is, to my mind, an indie NEXT who has his own code of justice, one that some Hero fans share: Bad guys should be killed. Tiger doesn’t believe that, valuing and protecting all life, good or bad. But Lunatic has a much faster suit and flames hotter than Fire Emblem, so it will take a lot of effort and teamwork to bring him down.
Other than Lunatic’s intro, this episode feels a little light on substance. Bunny’s brief angsting period lasts only the length of a “charity show” he ducks out of, leading Blue Rose to partner with Tiger. Until charity was mentioned, I questioned the point of putting on shows when there’s clearly enough crime in the city to keep the heroes busy. Similarly, the scene with the oxygen relaxation chambers didn’t really go anywhere, though the guy yelling at Tiger to go to sleep was pretty funny. Rating: 3