The 10 birthday is a little heartbreaker of a milestone for little girls’ daddies and uncles. Even though it was more of a result of him being away for so long, I was sympathizing with Kotetsu during all the little gags where he learns that his daughter’s now too old for most kinds of play. My eldest niece just turned 10 and, yeah, it was a little sad to realize that she’s a big girl, now, so “Uncle Tom” can’t wrestle with her anymore.
Such reminisces get at the appeal of this show. Conceptually, it hasn’t done anything especially innovative within the genre, but it makes up for that by having real heart for its characters. It says a lot that it’s devoted an entire episode to one of the guy taking a vacation in his sleepy old home town and sorting out his family business in a fashion that only involves NEXT powers for maybe two minutes out of the total twenty. I’ve seen plenty of switchback tonal turns in these shows, but this is the first one I’ve come across that felt like it took me from X-MEN to CURLY SUE.
And that works. Although, I guess Kotetsu using his powers to save little Kaedke at the end has some issues if you think about it more. Obviously, you’ve got to have at least one scene with impossible stuff happening. The show’s set expectations that need to be fulfilled, and it does put a nice bow on the guy’s reconciliation with his daughter. However, I don’t know - - is there something to be said about how she needed her Daddy to perform such a spectacular for her to stop hating him? It actually puts a little cynical spin on the saccharine.
Watch this episode "Blood Is Thicker Than Water" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.