Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: TIGER & BUNNY #1

A goof on superheroes? How was this so good?

There's a... real disparity between the title and the image, here.
There's a... real disparity between the title and the image, here.

Truth be told, I wasn’t too intrigued about TIGER & BUNNY when I first saw some promos for it. I’m never keen on the integration of 3D characters into 2D animation, and the cel-shaded armor models were getting paraded around in the aforementioned previews like there was nothing else in the show. Some of you lunatics suggested I check it out because of my background in American superheroes, and that was actually a funny request. I’ve been up in the respective universes of Marvel and DC so solidly for so long that I have a reflexive disinterest in any superheroes not produced by either company. It’s about as fast-acting as my aversion to the classic monsters. I’ve just that I've seen every angle, so many times already, and I roll my eyes any time somebody comes along with the bright idea that self-parodying superheroes is an idea that hundreds of haven’t already come up with.

Of course, I get proven wrong every so often by flicks like THE INCREDIBLES, and I’ll readily add TIGER & BUNNY to that echelon as well. Oddly enough, it’s not actually that interesting as an “outside looking in” take on the American idiom of the superhero (which really shouldn’t be novel anymore since Japan's been doing its takes on Spider-Man and Batman, et al, since the 60s, at least.) Aside from the very JRPG-like points system, I can break down where a lot of the ideas have been done before - - superhero celebrities in YOUNGBLOOD, reality show coverage of their antics in X-STATIX, corporate sponsorship in MYSTERY MEN - - but the execution’s sharp as a fang and claw.

Actually, this was one of the finest pilots I’ve watched throughout the course of this column. It takes care to actually set its cast up and make them clearly identifiable. It throws its hook in quickly and reels it while its plot is moving. It sets up a larger story while having an arc contained in this one episode. It actually even seems to be aware of the spoiler-y expectations you might have from the intro (and, hell, the title itself) and plays with those in the cliffhanger. This was made by people who know what they're doing.

More importantly, it’s a show that’s already good, not one that needs six more episodes to get good. Count me in for more.

Watch this episode "All’s Well That Ends Well" below, decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

zaldaron Aug. 8, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
I didn't find this to be good, steins gate was better and I am sorry that you are not going to continue it.  They definitly have a story they want to tell, but used the first episodes to show the world and get you to care about the characters.  The things C didn't do.  But enough on that show will comment more there.  This show I dropped, the idea is cool superhero's that have to worry about sponsors and the conflict that creates but the characters did not catch me and I dropped the show after 3 episodes.  I would give steins gate a few more episodes not exactly sure where you are on 7 but things get very interesting after a few more d-mails are sent.
Lurkeroon Aug. 8, 2011 at 2:31 p.m.
You're gonna do Tiger & Bunny now? Great! Do go too fast though, the show still has a good amount of episodes for the first season.
I was intrigued by the pilot as well. As much as I enjoy anime, most new shows are aimed at an audience that includes me.
sotyfan16on Aug. 8, 2011 at 2:57 p.m.
I refuse to watch this show.
Kuma_From_Argentinaon Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:28 p.m.
Is a cool show
metalsnakezeroon Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:56 p.m.
I was wondering when you would get to this. You'll probably like what will go on in later episodes since it does deal with the meaning of being a superhero. 
Muerthozon Aug. 8, 2011 at 4:39 p.m.
Although it would have been nice to see discussion continue on Steins Gate, Tiger & Bunny is also a great show to get into. If you're limited on the amount of time you have to spend watching anime or are just too impatient to deal with the slow build up of a series like Steins Gate then Tiger & Bunny is a better choice for a show. Even though there is an overall story arc for the season, the individual stories within each episode are very satisfying on their own. Tiger & Bunny has more instant gratification that Steins Gate does.
Kawaii_Naion Aug. 8, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
I liked Tiger & Bunny. It turned out to be a bit different from what I assumed. I like the depth of the characters. They are not what they seem.
buhssuhton Aug. 9, 2011 at 2:55 a.m.

Just like most of people, I didn't expect much from this show from watching the commercial/promo. But after seeing it, it's not bad as I thought.

Dunchadon Aug. 9, 2011 at 3:24 a.m.

I hate CGI in my anime.

Newdeathon Aug. 9, 2011 at 4:02 a.m.
I think it's a decent anime. I wouldn't call it "very good" but I'd watch it. I'm not really into the CGI in the series though. It can be a little annoying. 
Marshal Victoryon Aug. 9, 2011 at 9:58 a.m.

For those who hate cgi in their anime ...Odds are more modern anime uses some cgi for animation. At least characters an the cars etc.What cgi in Tiger&Bunny is not overboard like some other anime . You may have watched some computer animation an not known it!
For every one else.The worst thing about Tiger&Bunny is the name.Wish it was even Hero TV . Tiger & Bunny sounds like a little kids show.An yes i understand im talking about cartoons .Not every episode is perfect.But then again not every one of Cowboy Beebops was either.Blasphemy i know. 
As the story plays out ,Theirs more to things than they apear. 
Think Bubble Gum Crisis Tokyo 2040 should be a watch an learn to.  at least because the intro is cool an the comerical musical rift is to. 
Tom Pinchuk is not the only one that  had the same reaction. When i saw this anime advertisedi had litle hope of it being intresting But gave it a try an it gets better than the pilot...This an have been rather good.
chickdigger802on Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:21 a.m.

Being a sunrise joint, I still think their character animations and what not are lacking vs mecha/action bits.

They really need to team up with someone like CLAMP to get somewhat interesting "characters".

ninjapantheron Aug. 9, 2011 at 1:31 p.m.

not bad
Dunchadon Aug. 9, 2011 at 4:06 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: If it's done so well that I can't tell it apart from the drawn animation - then I don't care. But I doubt I've watched any anime with CGI and not noticed it - it just looks different. And that contrast is something that ruins it for me, or at least decreases my enjoyment. And then there are series that are done in full CGI that I wouldn't even categorize as anime anymore.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 10, 2011 at 12:14 a.m.
Yeah i think its one of those things that your mileage may vary.Im reading subtitles so 1st watch  will miss a bit here or their .But shows like say Sacred Seven  cgi is used an at times it does stick out like porcupine at a peting zoo.But shows like Daugther of 20 faces its used an its not as jarring imho. 
With cars etc it sticks out to me.But i used to work on cars for a living to.In movies Ill pick apart the paint jobs/body work or if the wheels on the car would be around for the time period.Friend of mine picks apart guns an shots fired with round capacity.But cgi gets only better as the years roll on.An far less noticable. If done right.
By no means am i saying just get over it.Im saying its goten so good when used right one may not know its in their anime now.Cgi is like any art form .Used right it helps move the story .Used wrong it is the story.That aplies to big screen movies an anime equally.
heyalexei staff on Aug. 10, 2011 at 11:19 a.m.
I was looking for a good excuse to pick up an action series and jumped into Tiger & Bunny once I realized Tom had pinpointed my own apprehension about the art style and branding.  I'd have to agree with him that the pilot is really well done and engaged me more than I anticipated.  However, after a few more episodes I've lost interest and am wondering if I'll get it back. 
The format seems like it will continue to be a serialized, misson-based plot structure, each episode finding our oil & water heroic duo dealing with a new event and coming away having grown and learned something about each other.  But because the suits are so static and prevent any physical expression during a large chunk of the show, I'm having trouble connecting to the characters inside.  If I can get back into further episodes, I hope there is a revelation about the world surrounding this story that really hooks me.

Dig Deeper into Tiger & Bunny

Sunrise's new show about superpowers called "Next" work for a sponsor company and accumulate points by each feat accomplished and the best ranked hero of the season earns the title of "King of Heroes". Kotetsu T. Kaburagi is the least popular hero who is assigned with a new partner.

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