Tiger faces the Heroes with no plan, Kaede drops in and restores their memories, but Barnaby is absent, so he remains convinced Kotetsu murdered his Auntie Sam. Tiger goes all “come at me bro” and the two former allies chase each other all over Sternbild. Meanwhile, the other heroes face Fake Tiger, and unmask him to reveal…well, they don’t actually show his face…
Well now, how could I have forgotten that Kaede was touched on the head by Maverick? Well I did…Oops! So she isn’t really a deus ex machina, because the logic of her character and the plot allowed her to have those powers.Still, her arrival in the knick of time was awfully convenient. As for the heroes, they’re extremely susceptable to mediocre stalling tactics.
The second half was all Tiger & Bunny going at it. Tiger decides for some reason that it’s better for him to lead Bunny away from the other heroes and make him give chase on a crowded expressway and through city intersections, putting thousands of Sterbilders at mortal risk. Considering Tiger’s commitment to protecting the public, this was either a lapse of judgement on his part – or the writers.
Last week devious covert über-villain Albert Maverick successfully purged any inconvenient memories from Barnaby, but turns out he wasn’t done yet; not by a long shot. Two people either still knew the truth about Barnaby’s parents, or could potentially learn the truth if they kept digging – namely Tiger and Samantha. They would be Mav’s next victims.
But the ol’ poison coffee trick doesn’t work, as Kotetsu just never puts the cup to his lips before he’s called away. No matter, Mav hatches a dastardly plan that totally turns the climate of the series upside down: having failed to alter Kotetsu’s memory, he instead alters the memories of all the other heroes, and Hero TV staff. The result of this is, no one remembers who Tiger is. Even his security clearence is revoked.
Maverick then sets Tiger up for the murder of Samantha (who he earlier imprisoned). All heroes are now his enemy, and he is a wanted man. Barnaby in particular has the same rage and thirst for justice he had when pursuing his parents’ killers; it’s not unrealistic to assume he’d kill Tiger to avenge his auntie maid. And as usual, Tiger has the worst luck imaginable…though entering Samantha’s house and getting his fingerprints everywhere wasn’t such a good idea.
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)
“Calm Before the Storm” is a fitting title for this week’s heroic adventure, though the second half is more like the storm after the calm. When he grudgingly takes some time off work, Tiger tries to ingratiate himself with his daughter by appearing in her presence for once, with a gift in hand. However, his assertion that heroes never get days off is proven correct: as the bridge he’s driving on is bombed by a terrorist. Predictably, he fails to see his daughter once more. Poor Tiger!
Meanwhile, Barnaby thinks he’s found the one who killed his parents – an odd-looking dude named Jake Martinez, and is off to prison to question him. An automotive aside; Tiger’s daily driver is a green Isuzu Bighorn, while Bunny rolls in a red Honda NSX. These are both very fitting vehicles for those characters. But like Tiger, Bunny and all the other heroes get a rude interruption to their respective respites when Ouroboros makes their big unveiling. The bridge was one of three routes out of Sternbild they bombed, making the 20 million citizens their hostages.
Two shadowy but snappily-dressed villains announce how things will go down: if their demands are not met, they’ll start blowing up the city’s support columns, eventually causing catastrophe (and proving why it’s a bad idea to stack three essentially cities directly atop of one another). Their foot soldiers – nasty mechas piloted by re-animated plushies – surround all the heroes menacingly, and jam the Hero TV feed. If public fear hadn’t quite pervaded yet, it sure as hell will now. The heroes now have two dilemmas: how to defeat Ouroboros, and how to calm, reassure, and earn back the trust of the citizens. Rating: 3.5