Monday, August 29, 2011

Tiger & Bunny - 22

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The general reaction to episode 22 off Tiger & Bunny seems somewhat muted, but I liked it a lot.  It may not have been a “wow!” compared to the great run of eps we’ve had lately, but that’s as much a statement about how consistent T & B is as it is about the episode itself.
For sure, Kotetsu’s “plan” was pretty unimpressive.  Gather everyone on the roof and win them over with his charm?  Oy – but then, he is a loveable dork and that’s a lovably dorky plan to say it kindly.  As expected, it was only Blue Rosé who responded meaningfully to all of his shared memories – proving once again the power of young love (and that her crush is stronger than Fire Emblem’s).  She seemed to be losing the battle of persuasion, though, and Bison and Sky High had just made the arrest when a “Deux ex Kaede” happened.

Was it convenient and a little too easy when Kaede zapped everyone’s memories back to normal with her NEXT power?  Yeah, it was, and admittedly not the best part of the episode.  But it does answer a few questions about her powers.  Not only does Kaede copy the powers of any NEXT that touches her – that was expected by this point -  but hers is a kind of Zelig power – it morphs to whatever the power of the most recent NEXT to touch her is.  That’s interesting for a couple of reasons, not least of which is the fact that she must have touched a NEXT with magnetism after Kotetsu left, and Muramsa is the only candidate that fits.  I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him, but the other interesting element here is that Kaede’s power seemed quite different from Maverick’s.  Does Maverick have the power to emit a kind of thought cloud to impact a group, and to restore stolen memories as well as steal them?  Or does Kaede’s NEXT not copy the powers she touches, but tweak and/or enhance them?

It was always going to come down to Tiger vs. Bunny – this is a superhero comic after all – so it was no surprise when things went down that route.  Saito’s reaction was puzzling – did he remember Kotetsu because of the broadcast, or was he simply upset because someone was wearing the antique version of his suit?  In any case Barnaby didn’t even have the broadcast, so his memories are still 100% altered – which leaves Kotetsu to draw him away from Kaede and the others to try and restore his memories, or to battle him one-on-one out of harm’s way for the others if it comes to that.   Maverick has already lost, whether he admits it to himself or not, but there’s still the matter of the new fake (cyborg?) Tiger, who he sends after the other heroes.  That Tiger’s identity is revealed at the end, but not to us – stay tuned till next week for that, along with the climactic Tiger vs. Bunny battle.  If it were a speaking Engrish contest, Bunny would win in a heartbeat.

Again, I enjoyed this quite a bit for all the flaws – and it’s worth pointing out that the animation rebounded nicely this week (though it was a bit heavy on the CGI).  At this point my hope is that the actual combat is more or less settled quickly, because I’d like to see at least part of the last couple of eps deal with the character-driven conflicts that are still out there.  But then, as predicted here a few weeks ago rumors are percolating strongly that there will be a second season of this series – and for once, I think that would be a perfectly good thing on principle and not a bastardized attempt to cash in on a hit.  Also as predicted, it looks as if Kaede is going to come to Kotetsu rather than he go to her – which also supports the idea of a second season.  There’s the issue of Kotetsu losing his powers, but I expect they’d find some way to make that work – perhaps by his becoming a teacher at the NEXT Academy, or even taking over the disgraced AMverick’s job.  I don’t see Kotetsu as much of an administrator, but he’d certainly be a popular choice among the heroes and the public – and making the issue of his fading powers just go away to support a second season feels like it would be a sellout. 

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16 comments:

  1. Doubt Kotetsu would be pushed to the sidelines. Tiger & Bunny Season 2 has no Tiger?? Now that is a joke. Kaede becomes the new tiger?? Bigger joke.
    @Enzo: Don't think Saito was ever brainwashed.
    Disagree with the overuse of CGI; loved the bike transformation scene.
    Got a feeling that Robo Hero is that gal who sky high fell for.

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  2. I definitely think Tiger would still be a major character - just a different one. If he were running the company and acting as hero-in-training Kaede's Dad, I think that'd give him plenty to do.

    I just don't want to see yet another deux ex machina where he keeps his powers and everything is just like it was.

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  3. You know, this is speculation, but I am wondering: "Do we know a Hero that actually went to the point in which his power went to zero?"

    Mr. Legend went crazy and killed before he got to that point. Might be the same for others.

    Personally, I want Tiger to keep a 1 minute 1k Power, but getting a back injury or something like that by the end of first season. So that he can come back but more like a coach or take-it-easy detective.

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  4. No, you are correct - we don't know for sure what happened with Legend, or would have if Yuri hadn't killed him. But Ben seemed to indicate that the loss of powers was a known phenomenon, generally speaking.

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  5. Good review! My take on this episode is much the same as your own.

    I also hope that the conflict resolves itself next episode, leaving the final episode to be an epilogue of sorts to tie up lose ends and give the characters a nice and relaxing send-off.

    Normally, I prefer the last episode of an action-packed series to come off of a big cliffhanger from the 2nd last episode, but I feel differently about Tiger and Bunny since...

    1) The Maverick Arc has basically played itself out, and his defeat seems completely certain now, as you yourself alluded to.

    2) This is a very strong core cast, and each character in it deserves a minute or two of good spotlight in an epilogue finale episode, imo.

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  6. Really, I remember he mentioned it was a "very rare" case. Besides, there is only 50-60 years of NEXT history, 2-3 generations at most, not much data to clear up all the cases (specially if the specimens decides to finish themselves first rather to see it to the end).

    Either way, everyone say Maverick has lost, I agree, and I think Mr. Maverick himself knows that. So I am wondering he will just decide to go down with a blast of RoboTigers and BlackBunny to take everything with him.

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  7. Maverick ordering Robo Tiger to capture Kaede so he can brainwash her and running off with her when the heat is on him might be possible.

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  8. if there is going to be a season 2, we need more of Lunatic ;)

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  9. I agree there, more Lunatic is a good thing. He's the most morally ambiguous character in the series, and that makes him fascinating.

    Maverick kidnapping Kaede as a hail Mary? Interesting notion.

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  10. As for Kaede possibly tweaking the NEXT powers she copies: remember that in her farewell scene from kotetsu, when she ran after the train, she actually stayed up hovering in the air after the train has gone by (falling to the ground only once it was pointed out to her, in a classic Warner Bros. fashion). I'd be really disappointed in T&B if that bit was just thrown in for laughs but wasn't actually canonized in the plot..

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  11. Lunatic is new season + New tiger and half way through the series Kotetsu regains his powers and takes over. Would feel weird if he got his powers as a deus ex or all of a sudden.
    Or maybe he is a background super hero. Comes in only in emergency situation as his powers are limited.
    Or it could just be that he is overworking his powers, as a full time hero. Maybe after some recuperation and drugs he is back to normal. At the end no one really knows much about his condition. Could be doing weights in the gym. Strength increases but not stamina. Power increase but time decrease?

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  12. Not a fan of this episode. Everything was solved too easily with Deux ex Kaede. How did she even get up there in the first place?
    I know I'm nitpicking over here but the writing for the final arc has been very sloppy. It seems like the writers put Tiger and Bunny's GARRR above everything else. It puzzles me why none of the heroes jump in to help Tiger in the final showdown with Bunny.
    I enjoy Tiger's dorky charm as much as anyone out there but that's not enough to make up for the subpar writing we've seen over the past 3 episodes.

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  13. AMverick?

    I'd personally be happier with Tiger & Bunny ending with a bang than continuing on - instead of being a philosophical story about advertising and justice, Tiger & Bunny is becoming more and more of a superhero show with good guys versus bad guys, and thus more suited to a bang ending. Now that we're so far into the show and the moral debates have basically disappeared, I'd hate to wade through another cour of debates that fade into nothingness when the superheroes take over.

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  14. instead of not having a tiger ( which would be a total fail to the title of the series)...
    wouldnt it more sense that kaede moves to the city and goes to that hero academy and lives w her dad now that she knows his secret??

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  15. well the title DOES SAY "GOOD LUCK" to counter all the negatives
    and haters out there

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  16. If Kaede doesn't end up living with her Dad one way or the other, I'll certainly be disappointed...

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