Monday, March 5, 2012

Anime Profile: Tiger & Bunny

Tiger & Bunny is a Western superhero story, but it's a Japanese anime.

Yes, that's a little odd.

It's the story of Kotetsu T. "Wild Tiger" Kaburagi, an older, fairly unpopular hero, and his brand new partner, Barnaby "Bunny" Brooks Jr., a young "rising star." (Yes, the "bunny" of the title is a guy, although my sister likes to talk about him actually being a woman/girl who just happens to actually be a man.) They don't get along very well.

And they're on a reality TV show about heroes competing for the top spot, while being sponsored by corporations and wearing advertising.

It's also a very silly series, although the second part has a more serious tone and it can be taken very seriously throughout.

Kotetsu is essentially an everyman hero, and he couldn't be more different from the privileged Barnaby... except that the two actually have a lot in common when you get down to it, including their powers.

I can't emphasize enough that this is a very well-written series. Sure, it's a comedy much of the way through, but it's extremely good at foreshadowing in a way that is neither too obvious nor too obscure. I found myself calling at least half a dozen plot points for the second half of the show at the halfway point correctly, but they were things that, when they happened, I was happy to see.

The show is also very emotional and good at swerves. Even with the comedy, the writing, and the animation (which is also nice), the characters are the main draw.

And that link up there? That's to Hulu's subtitled version, which if you live in the United States you can currently watch for free. (An English dub is due... sometime in the future, I guess. The Hulu version apparently put up each episode just an hour after it aired in Japan. There's also supposed to be two movies coming up, the first one slated for this year.) So don't take my word for it.

-Signing off.

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