Quick & Dirty
Initial Interest: Medium
Favorite Character: Tiger
Sternbild 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.
This is another show that they’ve been advertising on ANN, which means that I keep seeing adds for it. On top of that I’ve been running into it elsewhere recently as well. It’s piqued my interest somewhat. That being said, however, the plot sounds only so-so to me. I’m pretty sure this is a comedy, so maybe that will make it rise above mediocrity.
I picked Tiger or Kotetsu because he’s honestly the only character I really like. He gets awesome points for being the only hero in this gig that seems genuinely interested in saving people rather than racking up points, looking cool, and making money. He’s also goofy in that cool hero kind of way. He’s always saying things that are all heroic and awesome and never gets credit for it in the show, so he deserves credit from it from someone at least.
What they did well: The thing I love best about this show is that it seems to have seriously considered the superhero scenario and where it would go in the real world. It kind of mixes the old school hero with the Incredibles idea of costs of heroism and comes out with an interesting premise. The synopsis isn’t really clear so for those who are reading without having watched I’ll break it down a little. Heroes are paid for by big companies and sponsors and they wear their sponsors on their uniforms like Nascar. There’s a TV network that films all of their heroic actions as well as gives them direction from time to time and scores them based on how many people they rescue. Bunny is literally in the game to win the game; Tiger is in the game to save lives. This is honestly how I would expect superheroes to work in real life, with corporate sponsorship and maybe a little more egotism than heroism.
In the first couple episodes we find out that Bunny’s parent’s died when he was little and I’m anxious to see how that happened. I’m also anxious to see how his relationship with Tiger progresses because as of episode 5 it seems like he’s never really had anyone that cared enough to check up on him and now he has Tiger being a nosy friend if not an almost father-like figure.
I also really like Tiger.
I am infinitely amused that Blue Rose is sponsored by Pepsi (I love Cherry Pepsi), that Bunny is sponsored by Bandai, and that Origami Cyclone is sponsored by Anime. As a note, the pictures above are missing the sponsor logos.
What they didn’t do well: It really annoys me that Tiger seems to be the one saving the day in pretty much every episode so far but he never gets any credit for it, and I’m not exaggerating. Blue Rose keeps telling him that he has no points which means that when he completely defused the situation in episode 2 it didn’t count, when he found the bomb and then cleared a path for Bunny to kick it out of the building it didn’t count, and of course when he “arrested” the bad guy and gave him to Bunny it didn’t count. I’m wondering how long this can continue.
I’m wondering why they bothered making as many heroes as they did because so far Dragon Kid and Origami Cyclone have done pretty much nothing…well I think Dragon Kid arrested someone in the first episode after Sky High and Rock Bison had done most of the work… I’m hoping eventually they’ll give everyone more depth but I won’t hold my breath.
This anime is also full of Superman syndrome, which is to say, how do they not recognize these people? I get most of them, they’re either in full body suits or in the case of Blue Rose, her hair changes color. But Tiger spends a lot of time hanging out with Bunny and sometimes he’s wearing a mask (like Robin in Batman) and sometimes he’s not and either way he’s wearing the same outfit, down to the pretty recognizable hat. How do people not know?
I totally recommend giving this one a shot. It’s funny in a good way. Word of warning though, it seems it’s still airing so you might want to put it on a back burner if you like to watch a series in one go.
Next Official Review: Undetermined.