Tiger & Bunny
Kotetsu’s choice to separate his personal and business life causes unforeseen consequences in this eighth volume of Tiger & Bunny. Breaking down the wall between the two may be his only hope for retaining both.
The president of Hero TV, Maverick (the name should have tipped people off), reveals himself to be a villain, at least one of opportunity. That is to say, he isn’t evil for evil’s sake, but he’ll do bad when he feels it’s necessary to protect himself. Luckily for him, revealing ones villainous traits isn’t a problem when you have the ability to alter people’s memories.
The illusory memories Maverick imparted on Barnaby to cover up his involvement in his parents’ death have started to break down under scrutiny. Maverick does a patch job, only to find that Barnaby’s partner, Kotetsu remains suspicious.
Failing to alter Kotetsu’s memories, Maverick decides that the best choice is to change everyone else’s. This is where Kotetsu’s secret identity causes him problems. Maverick is only able to alter the memories of people right in front of him; thus, casting Wild Tiger as a villain would be impossible because the whole of Stern Bild would know it to be untrue. But nobody knows Kotetsu. All Maverick has to do is alter the memories of the few people who know that Wild Tiger is Kotetsu, and then stage a run-of-the-mill frame job on the now unknown Kotetsu.
This volume of Tiger & Bunny was most reminiscent of volume five (the one dealing with the Ourboros terrorist attack), in that it is very serial in structure and deals with a single incident. Like that previous volume, it is great in terms of action and plot, but is light in character drama. Of course, when the characters have forgotten their relationships to each other, meaningful interaction kind of goes out the window. There is some movement in Kotetsu’s relationship with his daughter, though it’s more plot point than character development at this stage, since we haven’t seen the fallout from it yet.
It’s an engaging set of episodes, but plots like this bother me a little, because they’re essentially just roadblocks. It’s artificial drama, like an episode where someone dies and then we find out that it was all a dream. Yes, there is conflict between the heroes, but we know it’s all just magic and will ware off soon.
If it were earlier in the series I wouldn’t have minded much, but with only one volume left, I’d prefer to see them kicking it up a notch. Still, they are well made and entertaining episodes. Taken on their own (and ignoring their placement in the series), they’re some of the best action anime I’ve seen in some time. It ends on a solid cliffhanger, even if that cliffhanger is just a distraction to the real story.
This Blu Ray was imported from Japan, and includes English subtitles and menues. The screencaps are from the streaming version, and do not represent the video quality of the BD, which is beautiful.