Tiger & Bunny crises

Andrew Osmond faces the deadly dilemmas of Tiger & Bunny 4

Tiger & Bunny

It’s eyes down for the fourth and last (for now) instalment of Tiger & Bunny, speeding to its climax. Spoilers start… now! Previously, Barnaby finally learned the true identity of his parent’s killer – only, in thriller fashion, to be mindwiped by the baddie. The villain, in fact, has a flair for mindwiping, and decides to make Kotetsu a fall-guy in his schemes. Our hapless hero finds former friends and colleagues forgetting he’s Wild Tiger, and chasing him round Sternbild City for murder.

Luckily the villain doesn’t fool everyone. Kotetsu’s daughter Kaede, who’s now got powers herself, may think her dad’s a fool, but she knows he’s not a killer. And Barnaby gets help from a very unexpected quarter, which you’ll have to guess.

These last episodes raise compare-and-contrasts between the Japanese heroes and their American inspirations. For example, at one point, several of the Tiger & Bunny heroes are trapped by baddies, and given a fiendish dilemma. The first to flip a switch will save him or herself, but blow up everyone else. If no-one presses their switch within a time limit, then everyone dies. It’s possible this was inspired by the Batman film The Dark Knight, in which two boatloads of convicts and civilians were given a similar choice.

The interesting thing, though, is that it’s superheroes put into the situation, rather than lesser mortals. In most American comic-books, it would be a no-brainer; the heroes would choose death over betrayal. In Tiger & Bunny, the characters act like regular humans. They don’t trust their “allies” (who have always been rivals), and they can’t face death with aplomb. Of course, it makes the scene far more suspenseful. Another suspense highlight involves a poisoned coffee cup; we suspect the writers knew their Hitchcock.

It’s also hard to watch these episodes and think the writers didn’t have a certain audience in mind. The show’s producer Masayuki Ozaki was on a panel at the 2011 Otakon convention in America, and was asked about so-called “fujioshi” fans (female fans of male-male romances). His answer: “Frankly speaking I didn’t care much about so-called ‘fujoshi.’ I’m so surprised at this situation.”

You can judge for yourself when you watch the episodes, which bring Kotetsu and Barnaby into a succession of crises, with much manly crying. There’s a particularly pivotal use of “Bunny-chan” in the midst of battle that will make some viewers go “A-ha!,” and we don’t mean in an Alan Partridge way. In contrast to the seeming teases involving ostensibly hetero characters, the show seems to have lost interest in the openly gay Fire Enblem – which is good, given how thinly he was stereotyped.

Of course, Tiger/Kotetsu is the star to the end. He does a bit of rope-swinging in these episodes, which highlights his closeness to Peter Parker – shambolic, a bit of a goof, given to nervous wisecracks when the joke’s on him. He’s also driven by decency, responsibility and guilt over loved ones (though far less guilty than Parker on that front!) Whereas humourless heroes create fake identies as masks – Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne – Kotetsu is the real deal. His biggest triumph is he’d be just as much fun in a non-superhero show.

Tiger and Bunny, part four, is out 2nd September in the UK through Manga Entertainment.

Microsoft’s Anime Month Is Here!

Microsoft’s Anime Month Is Here!

Microsoft’s anime month starts today, meaning you can grab the very best anime digitally at the very best price. From Attack on Titan and Goblin Slayer to My Hero Academia and Fruits Basket, there is something for everyone. Grab them and watch them instantly today....

FunimationCon 2020 will be available in the UK!

FunimationCon 2020 will be available in the UK!

FunimationCon 2020 is coming very soon and you won’t want to miss it! This FREE virtual convention, running on Friday July 3rd and Saturday July 4th will have Industry panels, voice actor live-reads, Q&A’s, and more! The best news of all? It’ll be available in the...

Check Out Zavvi’s Movie Mayhem Sale!

Check Out Zavvi’s Movie Mayhem Sale!

Zavvi's Movie Mayhem is here!   Zavvi's Movie Mayhem sale is now on until June 30th! You can grab fan-favourites such as Akira, Redline and Cowboy Bebop The Movie from only £6.99. Take a look at the full list of titles available:Steamboy - Blu-rayTokyo Godfathers...

One Piece Stampede Competition with ABYstyle

One Piece Stampede Competition with ABYstyle

To celebrate the home video release of One Piece Stampede we have teamed up with the lovely folks at ABYstyle! Find out below how you can win a Stampede Steelbook + some amazing merch. You can enter the competition on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, meaning you have...

MVM anime sale 2020

MVM anime sale 2020

The MVM anime sale is now on! You can grab fan-favourite series such as Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Steins;Gate and much, much, more. But hurry, these great deals end on June 29th. Here's the full list of titles you can find in the sale: A Certain...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This