English: Tiger & Bunny
Synonyms: Tiger and Bunny, Taibani
Japanese: TIGER & BUNNY （タイガー・アンド・バニー）
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 3, 2011 to Sep 18, 2011
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.231 (scored by 32089 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisSternbild City is home to people called "Next," who use their special abilities to protect the people as superheroes. These heroes solve cases and save lives so they can wear sponsor logos or acquire "hero points." Their activities are documented on the popular program "Hero TV," which picks the "King of Heroes" in a yearly ranking. The veteran hero Wild Tiger has always preferred to work alone, but now he's been assigned the rookie Barnaby Brooks Jr., who has a different perspective on being a superhero.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Tiger & Bunny, Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology, Tiger & Bunny, Tiger & Bunny, Tiger & Bunny Koushiki Anthology
Prequel: Tiger & Bunny Pilot
Side story: Tiger & Bunny Movie 1: The Beginning
Sequel: Tiger & Bunny Movie 2: The Rising
Characters & Voice Actors
Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!
No, it’s... Billboard Man! Fighting crime, defending the innocent, an whoring himself out like it’s his first night in Hollywood!
It’s the distant future for us, and a bizarre mutation has started to occur among our population. Human beings with superhuman powers are popping up everywhere, and we’ve taken to calling them Nexts... Presumably because ‘mutants’ was taken. We initially rejected these outcasts, until they decided to don costumes and assume the role of superheroes, defending the very people who judged them on live, national TV!
Unfortunately for the widowered single father Kotetsu Kaburagi, the human genome isn’t the only thing that’s been evolving. In the decades since Hero TV was established, he finds that he’s become irrelevant, with younger and more capable fighters joining to overshadow him. His rank is low amongst his co-workers, nobody ever buys his merchandise, and to make matters worse, a new superhero named Barnaby Brooks has thrown his hat into the ring, sporting the exact same power that Kotetsu has... And to keep himself from getting fired, he has to take up a new mantle as this rookie’s partner!
At first glance, Tiger and Bunny seems to have one of the most tired premises in recent anime history... That is to say, a large cast of both heroes and villains who’ve mysteriously developed their own unique powers. Just off the top of my head, I can name several titles with that exact same premise... Darker than Black, the Index Franchise, Canaan, S-CRY-ED, Speed Grapher, and Getbackers, to name a few. And that view point isn’t completely unfair, since the array of powers it features is probably the least imaginative in the bunch.
But where Tiger and Bunny differs from these other shows is in it’s core concept, which is essentially an amusing combination of X-Men and Nascar. The heroes are sponsored and basically controlled by wealthy real-life corporations, who tell them how to act and dress while decorating their costume with different logos. They advertise these logos by competing on Hero TV, earning points based on just how successful their defense of the city was that season. I can honestly say I’ve never seen an idea even close to that one in my entire life.
The animation was produced by a company named Sunrise, a prolific animation studio with a lot of very impressive previous work under their belt. They’re known by fans as Sunrise Smooth, a reference to the fluidity of most of their efforts. Unfortunately, the same can’t really be said for Tiger and Bunny. It uses both 3D and 2D style animation, but it doesn’t blend them... The 3D is used in action scenes, or just whenever the heroes are in costume, and the 2D is used practically everywhere else.
The 3D animation is actually very impressive, and yes, very smooth. It turns just about every action scene into a pulse pounding, exciting thrill ride that it should be. Unfortunately, the 3D is still in effect when our heroes are wearing their costumes outside of action, as well... Whether they’re giving an interview, lounging around the company gym, or just interacting with one another, and at times, this can sometimes look really... Really... Awkward. It’s mostly due to the fact that with so much money going into the 3D animation, the regular animation obviously took a huge budget cut. With this side of the coin, we get some of the cheapest looking animation I’ve ever encountered, from hideous walk cycles to the heavy abuse of key frames. Seeing that in the background, the three dimensional characters look out of place to an almost creepy degree.
The artwork, however, almost completely makes up for it. This show is set in a fictional American city, and as such, the art and character designs have a very surprising western aesthetic to them. Aside from a few wide-eyed children, the characters almost always look more like American comic book characters than anime characters. I’m serious, too... Virtually every single frame of this show looks like it could have been taken directly from a Marvel or DC comic book, which is a touch that makes the sometimes stiff animation a lot more palatable. The backgrounds, too, are highly detailed, and the bustling metropolis known as Stern Bild looks like a dead ringer for a futuristic New York City. The architecture of this setting is beautiful and imaginative, even if some of the structures look entirely implausible in design.
The characters inhabiting this city, much like they would be in real life, are racially diverse, forming a shockingly progressive melting pot with nary a stereotype in sight. Normally, if I were watching an anime that featured White, Black, Hispanic, Russian, Japanese and especially Chinese characters, I would be on the edge of my seat waiting for something offensive to happen. But aside from a few exaggerated physical traits... Nope! Every character’s given a proportionate amount of respect, with their ethnic backgrounds never even slightly becoming an issue in the story.
Well, that is, except for the gay character. Granted, he’s cool and likeable, and I appreciate that they made him the only hero rich enough to own his own sponsor company, but the homophobia in his design is still pretty blatant. He talks in a throaty, effeminate falsetto and flirts with pretty much every other male character in the show... Especially Kotetsu, who already has the barely clad Blue Rose inexplicably pining for him. If you were to create a sliding scale that ranked all of the LGBT characters in anime history in terms of how offensive they were, he’d be somewhere close to the crossdresser from the Battle Royal manga. It’s a disappointing step backward for a series that’s otherwise been able to take two giant steps forward against the abundant racial homogeny of the anime medium.
Ironically, though, if this show were ever adapted into live action, there’s no doubt in my mind that every single character would be Japanese.
As for the other characters? Well, the main focus of the series is on the ups and downs of Kotetsu and Barnaby’s partnership, so several of the main characters got the short end of the screen time stick. Characters like Dragon Kid and Origami Cyclone are barely featured outside of having an episode each to themselves, and Rock Bison doesn’t even really get that much. Fire Emblem, Blue Rose and Sky High get a bit more than that, but they all still play supporting roles to our two mains and their families.
Thankfully, it wasn’t for nothing... The titular characters are fleshed out, interesting, and very well developed. Kotetsu, or Wild Tiger as he’s publicly known, is very thoroughly portrayed as the aging veteran trying his damnedest to keep up with new ideas and techniques while still holding on to his more traditional values by the skin of his teeth. As altruistic as he may be, he’s a very flawed character, who refuses to let anybody ever worry about him... This stubborn attitude causes strain in both his professional and personal life, as he has a lot of trouble connecting not only with his partner but also with his ten year old daughter. Despite his insistence that saving people is more important than earning points or selling merchandise, he still clearly cares about his placement in the rankings. This could make a lot of leading men unlikeable, but in Tiger’s case, it just serves to make him more sympathetic.
His partner, Barnaby Brooks Junior... Or Bunny, as Kotetsu irritatingly came up with... Is in many ways the exact opposite. He’s the newest super hero on the circuit, and he rejects a lot of the older notions to the point that he doesn’t even bother keeping his identity a secret. He fights with his head rather than his heart, preferring logical strategy to Kotetsu’s bold, gallant approach. He’s very direct with people, to the point where he jumps to conclusions at all the worst times. His tragic past is your typical ‘Batman’s parents’ story, but the way it’s portrayed... And the way it shaped his views on justice... is so genuine that you can’t help rooting for him.
They clash a lot in the beginning, working together solely out of the interest of their employment, but as time goes on they do become closer, and they stop having to pretend to be friends. This development is shown very naturally throughout the series, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s portrayed through the outstanding, flawless performances of Wally Wingert and Yuri Lowenthal. The entire dub is very well cast, with nearly all of the actors melting seamlessly and in some cases unrecognizably into their roles, but it’s the main duo by far that takes the cake.
Unfortunately, this is the part where I have to talk about the writing, and it’s not a part that I’m really looking forward to. The story in Tiger and Bunny is fast paced, well executed, and hits all the right notes, with exciting CG battles, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and just enough down time to let us form attachments to almost all of the main characters... Even the ones that don’t get a lot of screen time. However, that story wouldn’t have progressed at all without the help of inexplicably childish behavior, constant coincidences that directly challenge the suspension of disbelief, and foreshadowing so clumsily handled that a lot of the more serious plot twists can be seen coming from a mile away.
There are dozens of conflicts and mysteries that could easily be solved in ways that the viewer will often wind up SHOUTING at the screen, and it almost feels insulting when the answers you come up with are put into play at the last moment for dramatic effect. Yes, timing is important in a story, but even Dora the Explorer doesn’t make the audience shout out obvious answers as often as Tiger and Bunny does. Hell, some of the villains are so obviously villains that they might as well have had the last name Palpatine. Early in the first few episodes, an astute viewer may start wondering things about the nature of Hero TV, ultimately coming to a conclusion that just has to be, and of course winds up being, one of the biggest reveals of the series.
And that’s to say nothing about the lack of originality at play. While the two titular characters and the final villain have some interesting and unique abilities, there doesn’t seem to be an original idea in the bunch. Most of the heroic supporting characters have commonplace powers that manipulate ice, fire, lightning, and wind. There are also powers based on Colossus, Morph, and a lighter version of Rogue from the Xmen. As far as the villains go, you’ll find characters who’re based on Emma Frost(Or more likely the diamond woman from Speed Grapher), Sandman, The Hood, and others. Even when you put Kotetsu and Barnaby’s powers aside, the Iron Man suits they wear are just that... Iron Man suits.
While the vigilante Lunatic may have a somewhat original power, think about this; He’s a judge who experienced emotional trauma as a kid, and grew up believing all evil doers must be killed... And he uses his powers to do just that, murdering the wicked while criticizing those who let them live. He’s basically Teru Mikami, except that he has the long white hair and shady face that have become trademarks of any obvious villain. And by comparison, he’s actually one of the better villains in the series... He’s nowhere near as obvious as the main villain, whose convoluted master plan and backstory turn the entire final story arc into a rat-king sized clusterfuck of plotholes that had me more confused than excited. It’s actually kind of amazing.
Tiger and Bunny was dubbed and released stateside by Viz Media, and is reasonably priced both online and on common store shelves. Two films have also been released in the following years, but in typical anime fashion, they’re just slightly altered retellings of the series. In other words, they’re full fledged cash grabs. I haven’t seen them myself, but apparently the first one is available stateside, undubbed, and also fairly cheap.
For the most part, I really enjoyed it. I connected instantly with Wild Tiger, as his story was undoubtedly and very effectively the heart and soul of the series. It’s a really fun story, with an intriguing idea, great comedy, and it has a highly diverse cast of likeable characters. It’s not very original, but it’s sincere, and it’s clear that some very real heart went into it’s creation. It looks beautiful when it tries, but it doesn’t try often enough. It’s also heavily flawed below the surface, and there’s a lot of points where you have to turn off your brain to fully enjoy it... I don’t like doing that, so there were a lot of times where I just felt alienated from the fun that I should have been having. But to it’s credit, the story is so engrossing that those problems didn’t really bother me as much until my second viewing, and even then, there’s still a lot to love about it. It’s an enthusiastic love letter to American comic book lore, and it damn well feels like it. I give Tiger and Bunny a 7/10. read more
I'd like more people to give this show a chance.
At first glance at the title, the first impression was that the show "Tiger & Bunny" will be a cutesy show with talking tigers and bunnies. It is not.
This may be a disappointment for some.
And looking at the promotional art, people assume "Oh it's some mecha anime. Since I don't like mecha, I won't watch it." I assure you, this show is not about mechas at all. Those "mechas" are in actuality the main characters of the show in their power suits. Calling them "mechas" is akin to calling Tony Stark (of Iron Man fame) a mecha pilot.
Now, you must be wondering what this show actually IS. To be blunt, it's a hyperactive fluffy kid's show, much like the 7:00 Saturday morning cartoons many people used to watch way back when. The plot is extremely simple, and fast moving. It's basically a show about good old fashioned superheroes (attempting to) kick some bad guy butt.
If you're here to know more details, it's better to just look at the description and watch the show. It's extremely simplistic.
However, that isn't to say that there isn't anything for the older viewer. Besides some of the nostalgia rush that I get from watching this show, I see some intriguing plot factors pop up that separate this from any other anime or superhero show (Western or otherwise).
1.) This show is STUFFED TO THE GILLS in product placement. This is not a bad thing. To the contrary, it adds to the appeal to the show. Rather than tasteless placement, it adds to the setting. These superheroes are commodities. Capitalism has taken advantage of the charismatic heroes, and they are used to advertise products. It's not much different from now, with people slapping celebrity names onto products in order to sell.
2.) This show is light. While modern day superhero stories tend to go for "darker and edgier" plots (Watchmen, Batman, etc.), this show remains untouched by such baggage and instead opts for optimism and feel good messages. "Believe in yourself. Be proud of who you are." You'll be rooting for the heroes the whole time.
3.) The main character is an older man with a daughter. Let me tell you: this is mind blowing. Instead of using a child/teenage character as the protagonist, they use an aging papa bear character. The protagonist is someone the audience has someone to sympathize with, and many anime go the lazy route and use a child/teenager as the protagonist for us to sympathize with due to age similarity to the target audience. But Kotetsu is genuinely likable despite his older age setting.
^TL;DR: The story is great and unique, and is quite different from modern day anime offerings and superhero shows. It uses it's premise and setting to its advantage.
The characterization is great. Kotetsu is an idealist, though not frustratingly so. He's basically balancing his own individuality against the expectations of his employers, and his ability to compromise prevents long drawn out misunderstandings. The other heroes seem to have their own agenda, especially Kotetsu's unwilling partner, Barnaby. Characterization through action, not description, is the series' strong point. These aren't just archetypes with faces.
Many complaints with the show deal with the CGI. Honestly, it's not to much of a problem. With some of the Karas staff on board, the CGI is integrated well, with no glaring problems. It beats some of the cheap 2D "QUALITY" animation that we are subject to every anime season.
All in all, this show is wonderful. It makes me feel excited to see what's in store next, though I realize this may not be everyone's cup of tea: the whole "Western" feel of the show can throw people off. But it is this exact "Western" feel that made Cowboy Bebop and Trigun so successful, and I hope that this show continues to appeal to various demographics.
I say give this show a shot for the first episode, and see if you feel like a kid waiting for next week's 7:00 Saturday morning cartoons. read more
The heroes in both series are similar in design and "creation to protect the public."
- Stunning visuals and colors
- A main character who helps others realize what the meaning of a true hero is
- Super powers aren't kept a secret and both explore how this affects society
Can't say you didn't see this comparison coming. the transformed gatchaman looks so much like the suits in tiger & bunny. They both have a catchy battle theme song with light comedy and some fierce fight scenes
The powered suits in both anime are very similar (a little TOO similar), and both deal with the concept of heroes and if they are necessary. They also feature a world that's very high-tech (and not impossibly so) and involves current technology like cars, etc. They have interesting and different approaches to heroes, their burdens and effects on society, and, in a way, how technology can be a hero or a villain.
There's a similar feeling revolved around both series. For instance, the main characters possesses supernatural abilities in order to fight off their adversaries. These also involves transformations that enhances their powers. Among other things, there is comedy and drama. Seemingly, both series also takes place in a futuristic like setting.
- Both shows have cgi power suits (though less of an eyesore in Gatchaman).
- No secret identities (for the most part)
- Stupidly op villain(s)
- Open ended (as of 8/17/2014)
- Super hero group character interactions
- Main characters who hardly change over the series (more annoying in Tiger & Bunny's case)
- Both have comedy & dark moments but Tiger & Bunny can be a bit darker at times
- Tiger & Bunny's shoestring budget visuals
- Tiger & Bunny focuses more on the meaning of being a hero, justice, & vengeance
- Gatchaman focuses more on helping other selflessly & if heroes are needed in the modern age
Very similar super powers and how people use them .
Lets say that humans were to develop powers in the future. There comes a very important question. How would the people end up reacting to the people who develop said powers. On one side, we have Darker than Black, where those with powers are kept in secret and feel ostrasized from the other people. On the other, we have those with powers being publically known as heros, but not by their real name, not to mention people still don't have much respect for those with powers trying to help them. It is an issue of being used as a tool, one side being unknown, the other known.
Both series try to put their own unique spin on superhero stories. DtB opts to be a dark and (acctording to some) deconstructive mindfuck while T&B's approach often borders on the satirical.
Very similar story about individuals with different super powers.
Both are amazing and are very similiar when its about how to use the powers of the characters...anyway, if u liked DTB u should see this one. For me is the bestest anime of this year. o/
Opening Theme#1: "Orion wo nazoru (オリオンをなぞる)" by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN (eps 1-13)
#2: "Missing Link (ミッシングリンク)" by NOVELS (eps 14-25)
Ending Theme#1: "Hoshi no Sumika (星のすみか)" by Aobozu (eps 1-13)
#2: "Mind Game (マインドゲーム)" by Tamaki (eps 14-24)
#3: "Orion wo nazoru (オリオンをなぞる)" by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN (ep 25)
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Related ClubsMiyu Irino Fans!!, Original Anime, Minako Kotobuki FC, Okamoto Nobuhiko FC, Kotetsu x Barnaby FC, Karina "Blue Rose" Lyle Fanclub, Anime America Club, Kotetsu T. "Wild Tiger" Kaburagi Fanclub, [Facial Hair]Sexy[/Facial Hair], ♥~ SKY HIGH ~♥, Ivan "Origami Cyclone" Karelin Fanclub, hot animanga dads, Gatchaman Crowds Go Bird Club, Turk Anime Fans, The Real Ghei Club, Hulu Anime List, The Arcadia, English Dub Fanclub, 100% Dubbed, Tiger & Bunny BrasilThe Beard, Barnaby "Bunny" Brooks Jr. Fanclub, AnimeServ Club, MAL Tokutaku, Online REVOLT, WoH , Donut Club, New York anime club, Maaya Sakamoto fanclub, Missile Punch, Tiger & Bunny, Tigers and Tigeresses, Oyaji ♥ Club see all
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