Tiger & Bunny
As volume four of Tiger & Bunny opens, the vigilante hero, Lunatic, has just come out to the world. This presents a problem for the various business entities that profit from Hero TV. The problem being that Lunatic’s brand of instant, homicidal justice turns out to be much more popular then the antiquated ‘arrest and trail’ method employed by the mainstream heroes.
The first two episodes on the disc focus on supporting characters, though Tiger and Bunny are heavily involved in each of their stories. The first is about the Origami Cyclone, the self-described ‘guy in the background.’ His NEXT power is the ability to shape-shift and mimic anyone’s appearance. For a costumed hero, is a relatively useless power, though it’s the perfect for someone who thinks very little of himself.
The episode is about an incident from Oragami’s past coming back to haunt him. One in which his lack of confidence prevented him from acting to save his friend. The irony is that he now leads the life that should have gone to his friend, who was a far more promising student at the hero academy. Thus, he hides in the background, ashamed of the position he doesn’t deserve.
The second episode is about Dragon Kid. The mayor leaves his baby in the care of Tiger, as he is the only hero with a child of his own, but it turns out that the the only person who can get the kid to stop crying is Dragon. Dragon was sent to Sternbild by her parents, who wanted her to become a hero. She resents her parents to some extent, refusing to wear a hair clip they gave her (and rejecting them by proxy). This resonates with Tiger, who has left his own daughter for the sake of being a hero. Seeing Dragon’s attitude towards her parents leaves him wondering what his daughter thinks of him.
Tiger’s relationship with his daughter is also a central part of the third episode. It turns out that Tiger has a lot of vacation time saved up, and is forced by his manager to take it. This begs the question, is Tiger absent from his daughter’s life because that is the unavoidable cost of being a hero, or does he have some subconscious aversion to seeing her, and is only using his hero duties to rationalize it . The exact nature of his wife’s death is still a mystery, so his relationship with his daughter (or lack of it) could stem from that.
The stand alone episodes continue to be strong. The small windows into the lives of the other heroes show them to be well defined and complex characters, and the writers do a great job of tying their stories thematically into those of the protagonists.
At the same time, the large story arc (involving Ouroboros) is being fleshed out in a very satisfying way, leaving me anxious to see the next episode.
This blu ray was imported from Japan, and includes English subtitles. The screencaps are from the streaming version, and do not represent the video quality of the BD, which is beautiful.