Maverick might say his NEXT ability is to re-write memories, but I know the truth.
He’s got the power to retcon.
Retcon’s a term from comics fandom. I don’t know if it’s also in anime’s parlance but, in case it isn’t, the short explanation is that it’s “retroactive continuity." When a serial runs for a long time, continuity gradually increases in importance. How do all the stories fit together in a timeline? Does one story contradict another? And so on. However, creators always want to go back and revise things, either because they’ve changed their minds, or because they want past stories to fit more seamless together with current stories. Hence the retcon. A basic example would be how Superman’s origin story has to be continually retconed so that all his adventures started only a few years ago (even though the character debuted in 1938.)
I can’t help but see Maverick retconning poor Barnaby’s origin here and, actually, this episode’s whole dark turn makes me think of retcons in an even more “meta” way. See, there are certainly pluses and minuses to a series running continuously for decades on end (instead of, say, capping off after 26 episodes.) I figure one plus is how characters and worlds can be reinterpreted in exciting and often deconstructionists ways by latter writers. It happens enough in superhero comics that it’s practically a facet of the genre. As such, I can’t help but see this twist as being like some iconoclast has come along and turned the long-running, fun and sun TIGER & BUNNY comic on its head by inserting dark revelations into its fictional history.
Anybody else feel that way? Or am I just crazy?
Inter-textual ranting aside, I’ve got to say that Barnaby’s got Tiger pegged pretty square about being so self-serving and conceited in this episode. We've established that Kotetsu has his better days and his worse days… but you’d at least figure that a guy who’s a professional daredevil (essentially) would have a little more spine about owning up to his own decisions.
Watch this episode "There's No Way Out" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.