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Tom Smith introduces Tiger & Bunny rockers NOVELS

Tiger & Bunny’s action takes place in a fictional metropolis known as Sternbild City. There, superpowered humans known as ‘Next’ zip around being all awesome and mighty by fighting crime and doing fairly typical superhero-type activities… while having advertisers plaster their logos and slogans all over these newly-found heroes’ suits. Crime doesn’t pay, but being a good guy does. Literally.

Sternbild and ‘Next’ may be made-up, but the idea of brands seeking cool and exciting ways to give their product increased exposure is something we experience in daily life in the real world too. You needn’t look any further than this series (or every other anime, for that matter) to see it in action. In Tiger & Bunny’s case, the Japanese record company giant Toy’s Factory is using the show to push its artists into the limelight by hopping on the anime’s success and hi-jacking the opening and closing themes to utilise the company’s latest musical exports.

Part One of Tiger & Bunny featured ‘Orion wo Nazoru’ from UNISON SQUARE GARDEN as its opening, which managed to push the band to their highest recorded chart position. Well, until Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning, the franchise’s first full-length feature exploit, came along using another single from the rockers. Then that become their highest chart ranking, ever.

Yep, having your brand *ahem* band placed on a superhero (show) does bring in the sales. For UNISON SQUARE GARDEN it helped make an existing, relatively popular band into a hugely popular outfit. It can also work at spring-boarding unknown indie bands into the world of major chart success too. Another group seemingly tied to the franchise is new comers NOVELS. Prior to Tiger & Bunny they could be found meandering around Aichi’s indie scene until the release of their single ‘Missing Link’, the second opening theme of Tiger & Bunny, and the band’s link to a bigger, brighter future.

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The band’s homepage states that NOVELS are Aichi Prefecture’s ‘rock heroes of the new generation’. I’ll take a bit more convincing to believe that statement, but if you enjoy their single ‘Missing Link’ you can rest assured that there will be further NOVELS-based audio delights as the Tiger & Bunny franchise continues.

A word of warning to avid iTuners though; the sole ‘Novels’ album available on the UK store (entitled Savior) is not from NOVELS of Japan, but is instead from lowercase, alternative metal trio ‘novels’ from France. It appears that iTunes cares not for such pedantic use of capital letters and automatically formats artist titles to only have each first letter capitalised. Something I’m sure editors across the land can sympathise with…

Tiger & Bunny: Part 2, featuring an opening theme by NOVELS, is out 22 April as a UK Blu-ray and DVD combo pack from Manga Entertainment.

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