In ways that Star Driver will never be…
The premise for Tiger and Bunny is pretty straightforward. Imagine, if you will, the Justice League, donning NASCAR racing suits decked out with logos and corporate sponsorships, going around saving the poor residents of Gotham Metropolis Sternbild who just so happen to have the misfortune of being constantly under attack by supervillains and normal villains with the uncanny ability to turn every situation in a supervillainy situation. Now imagine those superheros get scored based on their action, with the winner taking home the NEXTEL Cup, hoping to challenge “The Intimidator” for superhero supremacy. And picture a show where the product placement and sponsorships are so intertwined that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between what’s part of the show and what’s an actual commercial (I’m assuming Ice Woman’s Pepsi NEXT commercial was actually a commercial). The cynic in you might say, “brilliant! Sunrise has finally found the perfect way to hawk their wares!” And heck, I wouldn’t disagree with you. BUT- I’d also say it’s the perfect platform to create an intelligent, biting satire on entertainment, consumer culture, and corporate malfeasance.
Satire-aside, the action itself is pretty enthralling. The twists and turns in battle, the hero scoring system, give Mrs. Diethard credit, it makes for exciting television – even with the liberal use of CGI, the animation is good. Those used to, and wanting, one of those grand scale “change the world” Sunrise epics like Gundam or Code Geass will probably be a little disappointed, as Tiger & Bunny doesn’t have that same sense of scale. But the benefit is that, at least so far, it’s as funny as the action’s exciting. There were a couple scenes where I burst out laughing.
Give Sunrise some credit for mixing it up. I can’t imagine Tiger and Bunny will ever reach “epic” status like Code Geass, but as long as the show continues to build around the action, Tiger and Bunny should be a fun watch. Think less Batman The Animated Series, think more Teen Titans.