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Tiger and Bunny - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 02 April 2011 21:08
The city of Stern Bild is protected by corporate superheroes known as NEXT, who fight crime while promoting their sponsors on the popular show "HERO TV". Veteran hero Wild Tiger relies on his years of experience and instincts to fight crime, but his tendency to destroy public property for the sake of protecting the lives of the innocent has earned him the nickname “Crusher for Justice.” Now, under orders from his new employer, Wild Tiger finds himself forced to team up with another hero, something he'd rather not do...

Hero at workWild Tiger, sanjou!

For the first few minutes of this, I was half-thinking I was watching a commercial presentation (although that was half the fault of all the ads Hulu was throwing at me as well). Softbank, Pepsi, UStream, and many others - all the heroes in this series are sponsored by real-world entities. If it were made here in the UK, it would never get onto TV. But it wasn't, and there's something to be said for seeing real logos instead of the usual "WacDonalds" anyway.

As for the series itself, it seems to have been made with the Western audience very much in mind. All onscreen text is in English, and the superheroes themselves all have the feel you would expect of characters from the Marvel / DC universes, as opposed to the more Ultraman / sentai-style action heroes you might expect from Japanese fare. It takes a little getting used to - but only a little. This episode is pure action straight to the half-way mark, introducing all the HeroTV heroes and giving a little background into the way the show's world works, and it's never dull. Even when the second half of the ep starts digging into Kotetsu's private life and the background politics of a hit TV show, it's still engaging and entertaining.

THE GOOD: Great fun, high-energy action combined with more thoughtful character stuff in a style that won't alienate people new to anime.

THE BAD: Ropey 3DCG which really annoyed me. Not much else, so far.

Whisper is quietly, but this could be a true "crossover" hit, the first series is a while where you could be genuinely able to show it to anime newcomers without worrying about them getting the wrong idea. Of course, with just one episode down there's plenty of time for it to screw up yet, but first impressions? Very positive indeed...

Tiger and Bunny is being simulcast by Viz Anime (US) and Anime On Demand (UK & Ireland).

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