Tiger & Bunny
The fifth volume of Tiger & Bunny deals with Ouroboros’ terrorist attack on Stern Bild. The heroes are faced with their greatest challenge yet; saving the entire city from annihilation. But can Barnaby sacrifice his personal goals for the sake of the city?
Ouroboros’ first demand is the release of Jake Martinez, a powerful next whom Barnaby believes killed his parents. To this end, they station military robotic suits piloted by stuffed bears at each of the columns that support the raised city. The heroes are outnumbered and at a loss.
Barnaby was on his way to the prison to question Jake when the attack occurred, and is now seeing his only lead in many years slip through his fingers. But Barnaby is a hero at heart, and when faced with the choice of Jake or Stern Bild, he chooses the city.
Jake is released, which causes consternation amongst the populous; it’s never a moral boost to see the villains win. Barnaby is persuaded by the mayor to tell his story; his personal history with Jake and his commitment to recapture him. This assuages the fears of the people, at least for a time. I’ve mentioned this before, but I love how this series is so open. A lot of shows create artificial conflict by having characters keep secrets for no particular reason; but in this show, everything’s on the table, which seems to keep things moving forward at a good pace.
Kotetsu is worried for Barnaby, and about what may happen if Barnaby lets his emotions cloud his judgment. This causes him to jump in at an inopportune time, allowing Jake to get away. You can understand Kotetsu’s concern; when faced with the man that killed his parents, any man would be a little emotional; but Barnaby actually manages to stay focused, and resents Kotetsu for not trusting him.
Kotetsu has always been the idealist when it comes to ‘what it means to be a hero,’ so it’s interesting that he’d be so quick to assume that Barnaby would fail when things got hard. Is Kotetsu projecting his own failings onto his partner, or does he genuinely not trust him?
The three episodes in this volume are done in a serial format (the next episode picking up right where the last left off) as opposed to the episodic stories that have made up the series thus far. This makes the whole thing feel like an action movie, and it works very well in that regard. On the other hand, there’s a lot less focus on the characters themselves. Aside from the disagreement between Barnaby and Kotetsu, the heroes are basically just tools of the plot.
Still, it’s an entertaining and exciting set of episodes, which delve deeper into the overall plot.
This disc was imported from Japan. Japan has the same Blu Ray region code as North America, so it will play on any domestic player. It includes English subtitles.