Today's guest post is from a friend of the Geek who goes by the pseudonym claudiakat. Calling her an anime and manga 'enthusiast' is the understatement of the year, all years. She loves anime and manga with a passion that makes my love for comic books look like idle curiosity! But it seems we both found a common ground in all this as she talks about this little-known anime series that might just be right up my alley...
It's not a well-known fact that I was a comic book geek growing up. Before my love for manga and anime, I was reading comics with the best of them. I enjoyed The Death of Superman and read basically anything that has Gambit and Rogue in it. In time I moved on to manga and anime, thinking I was leaving my history with comics behind.
But then, this little anime caught my eye. It gained amazing popularity in such a short time so I became intrigued by it, so I sat down and got to watching it, never realizing exactly how big this was going to be.
The anime was called Tiger and Bunny.
Theirs is a world where a semi-futuristic, re-imagined version of New York City known as Sternbild City is protected by a group called Heroes. They are people who have superhuman abilities also known as NEXT. Heroes here have a slightly different connotation since they do not only save people, they have to make it look good. Their every move is being broadcast live as a reality show. They endorse products (the reason for sponsor's logos on their suits), sing and dance for the people's entertainment...in short, Heroes are celebrities.
The main protagonists, Wild Tiger aka Kotetsu T. Kaburagi and Barnaby Brooks Jr. were assigned to become partners by their CEOs. They started off having trouble working with each other thanks to their conflicting opinions of heroism. In order to save the city and solve the murder of Barnaby's parents, they have to work together and eventually learn to trust one another.
Kotetsu T. Kaburagi is known as 'The Crusher for Justice". It may sound like a cool name but is in fact coined from his very bad habit of making unbelievable amounts of collateral damage wherever he goes. Despite being awkward and usually oblivious to almost everything around him, the 'old man' kept a lot of secrets from the world and his own partner.
Barnaby Brooks Jr., nicknamed BUNNY by Kotetsu on the grounds of him preferring high kicks and his Hero suit helmet having protrusions like a rabbit's ears, is cool, calm and collected. Unlike Kotetsu who runs headlong into a situation based on instincts, Bunny prefers to use his brain and think and plan everything thoroughly. He also never had a secret identity unlike all the other heroes who kept their faces behind their masks and used hero names.
Tiger and Bunny deals with superheroes and their relationships with each other, the people they protect, their own problems, their conflicts and their struggles...but it also doesn't forget to have fun. Tiger and Bunny have that little something extra that keeps me coming back for more, like the characters posing for pictures with girls and having sexy pictorials (Barnaby in skimpy trunks? IS THIS CANON? YES IT IS. YOU BET IT IS CANON.), Kotetsu being princess-carried by Barnaby in almost every episode...well, you get the idea.
But in the end it's the characters who keep me glued to the screen in every episode, especially Kotetsu. Being past his prime, hated by a daughter who doesn't know what his job is, ridiculed and disliked by most because of the collateral damages he leaves behind and being compared to the much younger, handsome and agile Barnaby, he was truly in a compromising position. And yet it doesn't seem to faze him in the least and he still goes on doing what he believes is right.
So yeah, when I start to think I left comic books behind, I'll just watch Tiger and Bunny and remember that comic books never really left me...they just came in a deliciously different package.
”I realized that you don’t set your own limits. Even after I lose all my powers, and get mocked by everyone, or looked ridiculous, I’m not going to let that stop me. I'm going to stay as a hero 'til the very end. I’m not going to give up! It doesn’t hurt to have a hero who’s uncool, right?"- Kotetsu T. Kaburagi a.k.a. Wild-Tiger